Dr. Joseph Gerson
Director of Regional Programs-New England
American Friends Service Committee
Resistance in Dark Times
Friends, to come to Hiroshima is to engage
with the meanings and human consequences of one of the 20th century's most
monstrous crimes. It requires us to explore humanity's, and especially
my nation's struggle with evil. It provides the unique opportunity
to be inspired and transformed by Hibakusha and the Japanese peace movement.
It is a privilege to be rejoining you.
It is my unhappy responsibility today to describe the nuclear war and Asia-Pacific policies of the Bush Administration, one of the most militaristic and arrogant governments in modern U.S. history. President Bush, often referred to as "Bush the Lesser," "W," and "Shrub," [note for translator, a shrub is a small bush] is a unique but quite dangerous expression of the U.S. power elite. He is the grandson of a U.S. Senator, and the son of a former member of Congress who also served as CIA Director, Ambassador to China, and President. W. is a man who our great playwright Arthur Miller has explained needs his sleep because putting together four word sentences is such a demanding effort for this man. I find it almost beyond imagination, and certainly beyond my comprehension, that to a considerable degree, the fate of humanity lies in the whims and choices of a man who, during the Presidential campaign said "I don't read what's handed to me." And, "When I was young and coming up, it was a dangerous world, and we knew exactly who the 'they' were. It was 'us' versus 'them' and it was clear who the 'them" was. Today, we're not so sure who the 'they' are, but we know they're there." i
When one of the most right-wing and militarist political figures in U.S. history, Vice President Cheney, has been hospitalized, even progressives have been confused. Were he to be serious impaired, we would be left with our mentally limited president, and that is perhaps a more frightening prospect.
As a result of the most corrupted U.S. presidential election in living memory, the world suffers a U.S. government that is not only flouting the world's fears of global warming, but re-accelerating the nuclear arms race. The Bush Administration has declared China a "strategic competitor," and its military doctrine that focuses on China and the Asia-Pacific. It is anxious to revise the ABM Treaty and to kill the CTBT Treaty to give it the freedom to do whatever is necessary to prepare to and threaten its enemies with extinction by ensuring U.S. nuclear superiority. For this reason, its "Number 1 priority" is deployment of "missile defense" shieldsii to reinforce the U.S. first strike nuclear and high-tech swords. It is anxious to expand and deepen the alliance with Japan, and others across the Asia-Pacific. Remember our horror when, within weeks of coming to office, Bush and company publicly humiliated President Kim Dae Jung and derailed the Korean reconciliation process. And more recently, the Bush Administration has made dangerous and unprecedented military commitments to Taipei.
The Armitage-Nye framework for Bush Asia-Pacific policy reflects a bi-partisan Washington campaign to revise of Japan's Peace Constitution that has well served the Japanese and the world's people. And, consistent with the new regime's arrogance, was its response to the rape of yet another Okinawan woman, its continued demands for extraterritoriality, and its pursuit of still more air bases in Nago and southern Okinawa.
This only begins the list of Bush Administration atrocities. The list also includes the assault on the Kyoto Protocol, reversing the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, its dangerous campaign to increase U.S. fossil fuel and nuclear power consumption, using tax laws to take from the poor and middle classes to give to the super rich, opposing Third World and European proposals to reduce the costs of life saving medicines, and the list goes on....
The U.S. is not the only source of Darkness
in our time. Koizumi's "personality cult" has raised concerns about the
depth of democratic values in Japanese political culture. Increasing
Japanese nationalism, as manifested in history-denying text books, challenges
to the Peace Constitution, and the Prime Minister's pledge to visit Yasakuni
Shrine, is causing anxiety across the region. Koizumi's promised economic
"reforms" will likely result in more unemployment, widen gap between rich
and poor, and fail to heal the economy. And, Meanwhile increasingly
aggressive U.S. and Japanese militarism is reinforcing Chinese nationalism
and military modernization.
THE BUSH-CHENEY-RUMSEFLD VISION:
Vice-President Cheney was recently asked if there is a main organizing event or dynamic at work in the world. His answer was revealing: "the arrangement [for] the twenty-first century is most assuredly being shaped right now...the United States will continue to be the dominant political, economic and military power in the world."iii
That 21st century "arrangement," U.S. domination and coercion of other people and nations, is to be based on@@U.S. first strike nuclear and high-tech arsenals. This explains why so-called "missile defenses" are the Administration's priority. It is planning and building for the long-term: twenty, thirty and more years into the future, in much the same way that Alfred Mahan, Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt emphasized sea power and the building of a great Navy late in the 19th century to replace Britain as the world's dominant@power.
The Administration's military vision was reflected in the President's May 1 Star Wars speech and in the recent announcement of the new Rumsfeld/Marshall military doctrine. As momentous as the changes they plan are, we should remember that they build on the Clinton Administration's doctrine of "full spectrum dominance," of which preparations for nuclear war were the "cornerstone." The new doctrine seeks to ensure that the military has the "military capability to act at any time, anywhere, in defense of what it sees as its global interests."iv As a senior military officer recently explained "We don't like a fair fight. We want to win, absolutely and on our terms."v The new military doctrine has four ostensible military priorities: 1) defense of U.S. territory. 2) make other nations "afraid" of possible U.S. military actions in the Asia-Pacific, in Europe, and the Middle East, 3) to "win decisively" in one major conflict while it 4) conducting "small-scale contingencies of limited duration in other areas of the world." The doctrine shifts the focus of U.S. military planning and power from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region.
NUCLEAR WAR, "MISSILE DEFNESES," AND GEOPOLITICS:
Despite renewed U.S. rhetoric about "defending U.S. territory" from attacks by rogue nations, the Rumsfeld-Marshall doctrine is increasingly explicit that China is Washington's primary concern. They fear that in the future Beijing will have missile forces capable of intimidating U.S. troops, bases and allies in the Asia-Pacific. If and when these sea, land, air, and space-based weapons are deployed, their primary mission will be to neutralize China's relatively small nuclear deterrent force (an estimated 20 ICBMs with the theoretical capability of reaching the United States.)vi They are also being designed to shield forward deployed U.S. troops and bases and U.S. allies in the Middle East and possibly Europe. This explains the priority being given to Theater Missile Defenses, which are closer to being credibly deployed than so-called "National Missile Defenses. In fact, Rumseld has been clear that the next phase of "missile defense" development will focus on extending TMD technologies.
Dominance - not defense - is their strategic goal. Achin Vanaik, the Indian journalist and disarmament leader, put it well when he wrote that "Missile defenses" are "not geared to protecting the US from potential enemies or to make the world safer." They are "aimed not only at institutionalizing [the United States'] current military-nuclear dominance for the next half century, but at greatly extending and strengthening this hegemony."vii
Closely related to the "missile defense" program is the Bush Administration's assault on the ABM and CTBT Treaties. As the revered liberal columnist Anthony Lewis has explained "The fundamental policy of security through treaties is anathema to President Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld."viii Thus, even as the Administration's review of U.S. policy toward Russia reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the arms control regime and the President speaks of deep unilateral cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal beginning with the retirement of 50 MX missiles and two Trident submarines, it remains committed to nuclear superiority, to possessing the world's largest nuclear arsenal, and the concept of "adaptability." This means retaining the freedom to increase or reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal, insisting on the right to resume nuclear weapons testing and to deploy new nuclear weapons at will, and to build so-called "missile defenses", and to weaponize space. There is also a political agenda. The Bush Administration is racing to build ten missile silos in Alaska, which would violate the current terms of the ABM Treaty, in order to have initial "missile defense" deployments in place before 2004 election campaign.
In truth, the problem is not limited to Republicans. During the Clinton years, the President and Congressional Democrats supported "missile defense"/Star Wars research and development. For a decade, most Congressional Democrats have claimed that the major differences between them and "dangerous" Republicans have been about timing. Republicans have pressed for "missile defense" deployments "as soon as technologically possible" while the majority of Congressional Democrats support deployment as soon as the technology is proven to be "effective." The two parties have also differed over the number of billions of dollars to be devoted "missile defense"/Star Wars research and development, and over whether Washington's policy toward China should be simple "containment" or the more complex simultaneous "containment and engagement" approach. Thus, Democratic Senate leaders Tom Daschle, Carl Levin, and many of their Democratic colleagues support "robust" funding for "missile defense" research and development. They want to "work out the problems first", to avoid "alienat[ing] every ally and Russia and China besides" by deploying "something that still hasn't been shown to work."ix Daschle recently complained that by "isolating ourselves" the Bush Administration is "minimizing" U.S. global influence by creating "a global vacuum" that could all too easily be "filled by others."x So much for a "Democratic" opposition!
To overcome the U.S. people's natural aversion
to escalating the arms race with "missile defenses" it advocates are working
to manipulate people's fears. Thus when the President addressed the
U.S. people in May to explain the necessity of demolishing the ABM Treaty,
his speech writers had him echo the worst rhetoric of the Cold War era:
"Like Saddam Hussein, some of today's tyrants are gripped by an
implacable hatred of the United States of America. They hate our friends.
They hate our values. They hate democracy and freedom and individual
liberty. Many care little for the lives of their own people." xi
In fact, the U.S. elite thinks in quite different terms. George Kennan, the author of the Cold War containment doctrine once advised that
We have about 50 percent of the world's
wealth, but only 6.3% of its population.
In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task...
is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position
of disparity...The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in
straight power concepts.xii
In the wake of the U.S.-NATO bombing campaign
against Yugoslavia, the elite Council on Foreign Relation's journal Foreign
Affairs celebrated a new era of U.S. unilateralism, with a commentary which
" the United States and NATO -- with little discussion and less fanfare -- have
effectively abandoned the old UN Charter rules that strictly limit international
intervention in local conflicts...in favor of a vague new system that is much
more tolerant of military intervention but has few hard and fast rules....Kosovo
illustrates...America's new willingness to do what it thinks right -- international
As the labeling of China as a "strategic competitor" and the Armitage-Nye and Rand reports of the last year reveal, China is replacing Russia as the new enemy which can be used to justify unprecedented military spending and to keep the U.S. people mobilized for possible war. This is not to say that there is total unity within the Bush Administration. The April "spy plane" crisis revealed divisions within the Administration between hard line" geopolitical realists" and "geoeconomists" more closely aligned with transnational corporations anxious for greater market share. But, there is unity in Washington that the U.S. remain the dominant power in Asia and that this requires the "containment" of China.
Shortly before he joined the Administration, Richard Armitage (now Assistant Secretary of State,) along with Joe Nye, co-authored a report that reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan alliance as the "keystone" of U.S. policy and power in Asia. To deal with continued Okinawan resistance to U.S. military colonization, Armitage, Nye and their colleagues called for "diversifying" the U.S. military presence throughout Asia and the Pacific. They recommended reducing, not removing, the Marine presence in Okinawa, and urged the used of military alliances and access agreements to re-deploy these and other U.S. forces to the Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Australia, and possibly Vietnam. To augment U.S. power, and to increase what the U.S. political elite calls "burdensharing", their report encouraged revision of the Japanese constitution so that the Japanese military can fight along side the U.S. confrontations and wars in Korea, against China, in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, and elsewhere in the world.
The Armitage-Nye report was followed by a Rand Corporation study overseen by Zalmay Khalilzad. Khalilzad has since been appointed Senior Director at the National Security Council. In his report, he focused on "the potential for armed conflict between Taiwan and mainland China as a key U.S. security concern." Consistent with the Armitage-Nye report, he reaffirmed the central importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance. He raised the possibility that "removal or reduction of U.S. forces" from the main island of Okinawa to the southern-most Ryukyu islands "could be the currency with which Washington might pay for a foothold in the critical area surrounding the troubled waters of the Taiwan Strait." He also urges a policy akin to "diversification", with the Pentagon shifting "the focus of its military presence in Asia toward the Philippines and other nations." This would include increased military cooperation with the Philippines to permit "frequent, rotating deployments of U.S. forces" to keep them "warm" for military interventions. To better fight in wars over Taiwan, the South China Sea, Indonesia, and the Malacca Straight, Khalilzad urges that Guam be transformed into a "major hub" for U.S. air and naval forces. Among the report's recommendations that have already been adopted are President Bush's explicit commitment to use whatever means necessary to defend Taiwan (which, by definition, includes the possibility of initiating nuclear war,) and Rumsfeld's call for a larger arsenal of long-range bombers.xiv
Why the preoccupation with China? Since returning to Harvard University, Joe Nye has repeatedly described what he believes to be the greatest strategic challenge facing the United States. Twice in the 20th century, he says, the failure of the status quo (dominant imperial) powers to integrate rising powers (Germany and Japan) into the prevailing global order resulted in catastrophic world wars. Pointing to China, he urges the U.S. not repeat this mistake.
Of course, China remains a poor nation, and Nye concedes that at its current pace of military modernization, in 20 years China will have the military power of a mid-level U.S. NATO ally of forty years ago. But, having already transformed itself with an annual 4-8% growth rate for the past twenty years, and with no end to such growth in sight, China is clearly a rising, if still limited and vulnerable, force in Asian and global economic, diplomatic, and military considerations.
This leads us back to so-called "missile defenses" and to a strategy that Nye's colleague Ezra Vogel has advanced, that Henry Kissinger has alluded to, and which Nicholas Berry has described in some detail.xv In pursuit of "a grand bargain with China," which would integrate it into the Asia-Pacific and global (dis)orders on U.S. terms, the Clinton and Bush administrations have pursued TMD that could, at last theoretically, neutralize all of Beijing's missiles, leaving China vulnerable to a U.S. first strike attack. As the TMD threat increases, China is being offered a deal: forego adopting more aggressive military doctrines and deploying weapons that increase its aggressive capabilities, and Washington will limit its TMD deployments in East Asia.
This would, of course, leave in place the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the 7th Fleet, hundreds of U.S. forward deployed military bases and installations, 100,000 troops and their advanced weapons, and future U.S. weapons in space -- all threatening China.
This is clearly not acceptable to Chinese leaders and promises a dangerous new arms race that must be prevented. Chinese officials and strategic analysts have long seen TMD as a shield to reinforce the U.S. first-strike nuclear sword. They are forceful and unanimous in repeating that China will not be intimidated, that "missile defenses," mean a dangerous new arms race. If the U.S. deploys TMD, China will build as many missiles as needed to overwhelm these new systems. This will, in turn reinforce military hard liners in Washington, and in a classical chain reaction, it will also spur the Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons programs.
Meanwhile, Joe Nye and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Joe Lieberman (who is preparing to run for president in 2004) have joined Bush and Rumsfeld in saying that it is not a question of whether the U.S. will deploy TMD, but of what their characteristics will be.
Until recently, critics and activists in the United States, who for the most part remain oriented to Europe and Russia, have been dangerously blind to these developments and have focused almost exclusively on so-called "National Missile Defenses." In fact, Rumsfeld has eliminated the terms TMD and NMD from the Pentagon's lexicon. The concepts have been conflated as research and development for "missile defenses" focus increasingly on extending the capabilities of what were formerly termed TMD technologies. This strategy is also designed to calm U.S. allies for whom a "theater" missile defense would serve as a "national" missile defense. Politically, it also permits the Bush Administration to argue that it is building more credible TMD, rather than failed NMD, technologies.
TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCE WARS
Princeton physicist Zia Mian has observed that leading US planners appear to be deliberately "giving supremacy to the cult of U.S. technological supremacy" in order to communicate that "there is no point in even thinking about putting up a fight [with the U.S.] because the U.S. is so technologically far ahead of everyone else."xvi
This perspective illuminates at least four additional goals of the accelerated "missile defense"/Star Wars campaign: 1) to subsidize development of new weapons related technologies; 2) to subsidize military-related research and development leading to new commercial technologies that can dominate the world market; 3) to fatten corporate profits; and 4) to ensure continued U.S. privileged access to the world's limited resources.
It is this latter agenda, especially U.S. efforts to continue controlling the world's oil supply, that most immediately affects security and power relations in East Asia. World War I was fought largely fought to defend British (and to a lesser extent French) control of Middle East oil reserves against the German challenge.xvii In the wake of World War II, U.S. replaced these colonizers as the dominant power in the Middle East, and "political axiom number one" of U.S. foreign and military policy has since been to ensure that neither its enemies nor its allies gain independent access to the region's oil reserves.xviii. In the course of at least eight wars and crises that placed U.S. Middle East hegemony at risk, Washington has threatened to initiated nuclear war. Its "Missile Defenses" are designed to reinforce U.S. control Middle East oil, to leverage control over newly accessible Caspian Sea oil fields, and thus to reaffirm its ultimate control over the economies of Japan, China, Korea, and the vast majority of the world's industrialized nations.
RUSSIA AND THE TRILATERAL ALLIES:
Washington's "missile defense" agendas for Russia, Japan, and the European Union are complex. Even if Putin and his government succeed in revitalizing Russia's economy within a generation (roughly the period of time the U.S. Space Command believes it will take to begin the serious weaponization of space,) Moscow's nuclear arsenal could atrophy to the point that it no longer poses a credible second-strike deterrent threat against a "missile defense"-reinforced, U.S. first strike nuclear arsenal.
An interesting element in the Bush Administration's "missile defense" diplomacy has been the olive branch proffered to Moscow.xix President Bush has hinted at an openness to possible Russian collaboration in "missile defense" development and deployments. If an agreement can be reached, Russia could become Washington's junior partner and tacit ally against China.
The outlines of such a "grand bargain" have been widely reported. In exchange for agreeing to modify the ABM Treaty to legitimize "missile defense" deployments, the U.S. and NATO would purchase a variety of Russian weapons. The deal would also include military aid to Russia and joint "missile defense" exercises. Russian scientists and engineers would be integrated into U.S. led "missile defense" research and development, permitting the U.S. to skim Russian scientific knowledge and technological resources. In exchange, Russia is expected to demand greater recognition of its influence in the former Soviet Republics, a privileged position in dividing the spoils of the Caspian Sea oil fields, and limits to NATO expansion.xx
True, Russia and China have established a weak "strategic partnership" to counter Washington's increasingly aggressive hegemony. It is in this context that Russia has represented Chinese interests in initial missile defense negotiations with Washington and may well find its "interests" better served by positioning itself over the longer term as a bridge between the China and the U.S.
However, because both Russia and China are anxious for U.S., European and Japanese technologies and investments, their "strategic partnership" remains tenuous. And, since the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Washington has sought to divide Moscow from Beijing and to play one against the other. In an era when Japanese leaders have pointed to China, wondering aloud to their Russian counterparts who will populate and control eastern Siberia in the coming decades, it is no wonder that Russia's foreign minister says Russia is "ready to be constructive in talks with the United States on missile defense" and President Putin has repeated that "he was open to the idea of negotiating an accord over a limited missile defense. xxi
In terms of Japan and the EU, remember that since the last years of the Reagan era, U.S. strategic doctrines have stressed that Washington's "first objective" is to "prevent the re-emergence of a new rival" or "peer competitor", including the "discouragement" of "friendly nations....from challenging our leadership."xxii This includes Reagan's "Discriminate Deterrence"; the elder Bush's 1992 initial Pentagon Draft Defense Planning Guidance written under Paul Wolfowitz's (now Assistant Secretary of Defense) direction, and the Clinton Administration's "Joint Vision 2020" which defined the Pentagon's mission as worldwide "full spectrum dominance."
It is no a secret that the U.S.-Japan alliance was imposed to "cap" and co-opt Japanese militarism in addition to "containing" Russia and China, and that NATO was created to contain Germany as well as Russia. U.S. strategic planners are not as stupid as their rhetoric sometimes makes them appear. They have learned from studying the histories of European and other empires and want to be prepared to contain, and if necessary defeat, inevitable challenges by emerging powers to U.S. hegemony.
Although Japan is now wracked by economic,
political and increasing social turmoil, its power is such that U.S. officials
have boasted that one way they discipline China is to occasionally threaten
to spin Japan off as an independent power. Japan is still the world's
second richest nation, and its economic power far exceeds China's.
And, despite the peace constitution, Japan is the world's third greatest
military spender and a near-nuclear power.
More immediately, the European Union is not only an economic, but a potential military, superpower. Recently tensions between the U.S. and the European Union have grown over trade, and the proposed creation of an independent European Rapid Deployment Force, influence in Asia, and more importantly values - especially over human rights and global warming. These developments point to the possibility that U.S. and E.U. elite interests and ambitions may in time diverge substantially in the coming decades. The U.S. and Europe could theoretically - but not necessarily - become military as well as economic "peer competitors."
Thus, even as the U.S. seeks to integrate Japan and the E.U. more deeply into "missile defense" research, development and deployments, the "missile defense"/Star Wars campaign is, in part, designed to remind Japan and the E.U. who is really in charge. In the tradition of Joint Vision 2020 and the Clinton Administration's Nuclear Policy Review, many in Washington believe that "missile defenses" can serve as a "hedge" against "uncertainty." And, as with Russia, Washington wants to further integrate European and Japanese science and technology into U.S. dominated systems.
WEAPONIZATION OF SPACE
On May 8 Secretary Rumsfeld gave the world something else to worry about. As Bush Administration officials traveled to calm global fears of the "missile defense" program, Rumsfeld announced the reorganization of the Pentagon's space programs. Central to his announcement was that the Air Force was being "assigned responsibility to organize, train, and equip for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive space operations."xxiii
Rumsfeld's press conference was surprising only in its timing. Shortly before joining the Bush Administration, he served as Chairman of a Congressional commission on space, whose report stressed that it is time for the U.S. to weaponize space. The report was a rehash of already published Space Command reports. For example, "Vision for 2020" describes the Space Command's role as "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investments." It points to the widening gulf between "the haves" and the "have-nots" and proposes to enforce these growing disparities through the "control [of] space" to "dominate" the Earth.xxiv
China and Russia have reason to fear that space-based U.S. "missile defense" systems may soon be able to destroy their satellites, wiping out essential C3I functions for their missile and conventional forces, leaving them vulnerable to U.S. first strike attacks.
In much the same way that community-based movements are successfully mobilizing to resist Koizumi-Mori nationalism, and convincing communities to reject the Fsuo-sha text books, in the first arrogant and depressing months of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld government the U.S. peace movement has been revitalizing itself and taking encouragement from actions beyond our borders. Beijing refused to kowtow to Washington's demands during the EP3 spy plane crisis (with China perhaps aware that the planes "also collect information used to develop nuclear war plans.xxv) European and Third World nations demonstrated their disdain for U.S. arrogance by unexpectedly joining together to oust the U.S. from two U.N. commissions. And popular movements from Goteborg to Tokyo and Seoul have been in the streets and at the gates of U.S. embassies to protest the "missile defense" campaign. Few nations except Israel and Australia, are openly supporting the "missile defense" campaign, and the Danes, who are the "sovereign" colonizers Greenland, insist they will refuse to permit construction of missile defense radars there until the U.S. and Beijing are working from the same script.
Within the U.S, the organizations associated
with the U.S Nuclear Weapons Abolition Network, and the Global Network
Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and the Union of Concerned
Scientists have laid the foundations for a potentially powerful movement.
In the first national manifestation of popular U.S. opposition to "missile
defenses" and star wars, activists from forty states came to Washington
in June to protest against "missile defenses" and to put Congress on notice
that a growing popular movement will hold its members accountable.
This has been followed by a campaign of community-based education and organizing
across the United States, including the demonstration at Los Alamos ten
days ago on the 56th anniversary of the "Trinity" explosion, and dozens
of protest actions world-wide are planned for mid-October.
We are developing a strategy that will, in the short term, prevent catastrophic TMD deployments, lays the foundation to end "missile defense" research and development, and moves the U.S. toward negotiating verifiable and time-bound agreements to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
A number of the strategy's essential elements are becoming clear. An essential step is to replace the preoccupation with "National Missile Defenses" with a broader opposition to all so-called "missile defenses" and to the U.S. first strike nuclear war fighting policies. Failure to do this opens the way for TMD, guarantees a dangerous new arms race, and vastly increases the possibility of nuclear cataclysms.
It is essential that the largely white U.S. peace movement overcome self-imposed race, class, and generational obstacles, building common cause and alliances with social, economic and environmental justice activists. One of the more compelling examples of this kind of organizing is the growing alliance between the traditional peace movement and the people of Hunters Point in San Francisco who have long been the victims of nuclear research and nuclear waste.
A critical core of us are building on the "deadly connection" between U.S. nuclear war policy and U.S. military interventions, building links with the more racially diverse anti-intervention movement and with younger of the movement against corporate globalization. In the coming year, the AFSC hopes to host a Japanese, Korean and Chinese activists to communicate the urgency of preventing TMD deployments, of eliminating nuclear weapons, and of withdrawing troops and bases from East Asia. One expression of this work is the Boston Okinawa Network's recent and brief "Yankees Come Home" petition drive expressing shame and outrage over the most recent rape of an Okinawan woman by a G.I. and calling for the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Okinawa and East Asia. Petition signers include Professors Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, and Ramsey Liem, Hawaii State Representative Roy Takumi, Bruce Gagnon, and the Swedish Peace Committee!
Finally, the AFSC and other organizations are helping to frame the reemerging "guns or butter" debate. This has been made substantially easier by the Bush Administration's $1.35 trillion tax cut coup for the rich and by its frightening confrontations with China. With greatly reduced available to pay for human needs, people and communities are increasingly feeling the stark choices of funding Star Wars or education, "missile defenses" or medicine and health care, new tactical nuclear weapons or social security and pensions for the elderly. This helps to explain why the U.S. Mayors' Conference called for abolition of nuclear weapons and for the funding of human needs.
I want to conclude with lessons I have
learned here, from the world's most dedicated nuclear abolitionists: Hibakusha
and the Japanese peace movement: Preventing the deployment of offensive
"missile defenses", prohibiting the weaponization of space, and achieving
the abolition of nuclear weapons are all possible. What we achieve
and the terrible dangers that we bequeath to future generations if we fail
depend on the clarity of our vision, the liveliness of our imaginations,
and by the depths of our will.
No More Hiroshimas!
No More Nagasakis!
No More Hibakusha!
Let Us Take Back Our Humanity!