rn: NMD message for a wider audience


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

Sometimes I am almost annoyed about arguing against such idiotic schemes as
"star wars". Why even waste my time arguing something so simple?

But a friend goaded me into writing something on NMD for "other" (mainly
environmental, not peace) activists and I think it could be useful for a
wider audience. I'll copy it below. 

All the best, Jan
This would be President Bush's contact info:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C., 20500 USA
Fax: (202) 456-2461
White House Comments Line (202) 456-1111
E-Mail: •••@••.•••
NMD a BI (Nuclear Missile Defence a Bad Idea)
Dear Sust-Mar [Sustainable Maritimes list],

If long-time activist, Friend(Quaker) and friend, Muriel Duckworth, had
e-mail, I'm sure she'd write to you about the get rich quick scheme (for a
few defence contractors) called NMD or BMD (nuclear or ballistic missle
defence, Star Wars warmed over). Thanks to a little prodding from her, I
thought I would let you know why I think environmentalists should care.

At first blush, the idea of being able to intercept nuclear missiles from
"rogue states" before they hit us, sounds like a good idea. However, as John
Valleau, executive member of Science for Peace wrote in a Jan. 15, 2001 G&M
article, "to put the Space Command plans in place, the United States will
have to 
abrogate, or ignore, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and probably the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Treaty as well, while violating at least the spirit of the 
Outer Space Treaty and the Environmental Modification Techniques protocol."
In other words, militarizing outer space would destabilize world peace.

The plan would also suck resources, some $60 billion from now until 2015,
from the struggle to live sustainably into the black hole known as "defence
spending". (A former senior engineer at TRW (= big military contractor), Dr.
Nira Schwartz, was recently fired by the corporation after she told them the
system will not work. She is now suing the company, alleging that BMD is
"not a defence of the US... It's a conspiracy to allow them (TRW) to milk
the government. They are creating for themselves a job for life.")

The new US president, George Bush, seems keen on NMD. Included among the
astonishingly horrible cabinet choices he has made are Donald H. Rumsfeld as
Secretary of Defense, and Colin Powell as Secretary of State, both ardent
supporters of NMD.

Why would a "democratically elected" government go ahead with such a bad
idea? I think there are several reasons: For one thing, most citizens are
too busy to bother with something as seemingly remote as NMD. (I bet most of
you didn't know what NMD/BMD was.) And then, it is hard to believe just how
horrible the US government is. (I have very credible postings showing how
Bush and members of his cabinet are linked to Rev. Sun Myung Moon
("Moonies") & arming North Korea, one of the "rogue states" the US claims it
needs to arm istelf against, how the Bush family is STILL tied in with
companies which were involved in Nazi eugenics and drug development using
Holocaust victims.) So it is hard to believe the extent to which we must not
trust our "allies" to the south.

What can we do? As always, educate ourselves and others. And insist our
government tell the truth about NMD and have no part in it. 

When I wrote to Defence Minister Art Eggleton last year on this subject, he
replied that "the United States has not taken the decision to proceed, so it
would be premature for a Canadian decision at this point." (I guess so, if
Canada is just a handmaiden to the US, and has no business making policies
of its own.)

He also said that "For some time, NATO has been reducing its reliance on
nuclear weapons, consistent with the changes that have occurred on the
global stage.  NATO nuclear forces are considered weapons of absolutely last
resort.  Their role is to preserve peace and prevent aggression.  Indeed,
these weapons are
purely defensive in nature, and are not targeted against any country."

An article by Retired Navy Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll Jr. (excerpted
below) refutes that claim quite effectively.

I would love to be able to tell Muriel Duckworth that people have been
inspired to write letters or articles against NMD. So, please write to
Eggleton (and oppostition Defence critics, addresses below) and let me know
if you do.

all the best, Jan

You can write to any MP at the following address:
House of Commons
Ottawa, K1A 0A6

The e-mail address for MPs is the 1st 5 letters of the last name + the 1st
letter of the 1st name + @parl.gc.ca. So, the Hon. Minister of National
Defence, Art Eggleton is: <•••@••.•••>.

Defence Critics are: 
NDP - Peter Stoffer (who is also a very good fisheries critic!)
PC - Elsie Wayne
Bloc québecois - Claude Bachand
Alliance - Art Hanger

If ever you want federal govt. info, just call the information # at the
beginning of the blue pages (1-800-622-6232)
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 20:46:29 -0400
Subject: US to reveal that Dominance NOT Deterrence is their nuclear policy

From: Alan F. Phillips <•••@••.•••>
      co-Chair of WG on NA (Science for Peace Working Group on Nuclear Arms?)

US Policy: Nuclear Dominance 

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll Jr. Is Vice President of the
Center for Defense Information in Washington
visit: http://www.cdi.org  
The U.S. Senate is preparing to take a major step to abandon all pretense
that U.S.nuclear forces exist only to deter war. An amendment to the
pending Defense Authorization Act for 2001 would lead to the development
of a new nuclear weapon designed expressly for fighting.
<snip>Not only is the Senate's action a throwback to those unlamented days of
preparing to prevail in nuclear war, but it also is a flagrant repudiation
of a solemn pledge the United States made in May at the Nonproliferation
Treaty Review Conference in New York. We joined with Britain, France,
China and Russia in a commitment to accomplish the total elimination of
nuclear arsenals, leading to nuclear disarmament.
Nothing could be more contrary to that commitment than a congressional
order to develop a new, more usable nuclear weapon. Regrettably, this
action is merely one more blatant signal that the United States is
determined to pursue nuclear dominance indefinitely through enhanced
readiness to fight a nuclear war. Additional preparations include the
decision to resume production of tritium and plutonium pits for
thermonuclear weapons, continued subcritical explosive testing in Nevada
and rejection of Russian proposals to reduce nuclear numbers 75% below
START II levels. The thinking behind all of this was revealed by
then-Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre when he said in March: "Nuclear
weapons are still the foundation of a superpower . . . and that will never
All of these actions are supportive of President Clinton's signing in 1997
of a directive whose overarching principle was that nuclear weapons would
remain the cornerstone of U.S. security indefinitely. Far from emphasizing
deterrence, the document reasserted the need for all three arms of the
U.S. triad of nuclear forces--intercontinental ballistic missiles,
sea-launched ballistic missiles and long-range strategic bombers. It
declared the U.S. right to make first use of nuclear weapons and to target
not only Russia and China but also any prospective nuclear states that
might threaten U.S. interests in the future.
my reply to Eggleton:

The Hon. Art Eggleton
Minister of National Defence
House of Commons
Ottawa, K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Eggleton,

Will you work to prevent any Canadian government involvement in NMD
(national missile defence)?

As a article by William J. Broad in the _New York Times_ states: "A group of
50 Nobel laureates has signed an open letter to President Clinton urging him
to reject a proposed $60 billion missile defense system. The group said the
plan would be wasteful and dangerous."

Canada should be working to support the Abolition 2000 campaign, which seeks
to phase out all nuclear weapons. We should not support further
militarization, especially into space.

Please reply to this letter promptly.


P.S. I know you are on record as saying that it would be premature for
Canada to declare its opposition to NMD, given that the U.S. has not yet
committed itself on the question. It would be premature only if Canada
intends to slavishly go along with US policiy!