Just published 14 October in Open Democracy:
COMMENTS 15 October 2016
SHETLAND TO SCILLY JOURNEY COMPLETED – SO WE MOVE ON
The major activity of the Campaign over the last few months has been the Shetland to Scilly – New Technologies for Peace Journey. The actual Journey is now over but the campaign goes on. A big thank you to everyone who helped. For reports on the Journey go to www.shetlandtoscillyforpeace.com .
A number of lessons came out of the trip that will help us to continue the campaign in new ways.
AIR STRIKES IN ALEPPO
During the Journey, conflicts in the Middle East continued as did deaths by bullets and bombs. The recent airstrikes and bombings on Aleppo have been particularly disturbing with hospitals now being targeted. At the time of writing it seems that an assault on Mosul will soon take place. ISIS forces may eventually be dislodged but there will be many people killed or injured. There’s no guarantee even then that there’ll be stability in the region. Less visible in the media, but no less worrying is the civil conflict in Yemen with many more civilians being bombed, blasted and burned. There should be many other ways beside warfare to resolve these conflicts. If aggressors need to constrained, we should do this without death and injury, using nonlethal technology.
(See below for earlier comments)
NAOMI KLEIN TO VISIT AUSTRALIA
World-leading voice on climate justice Naomi Klein has been awarded the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize by the University of Sydney Peace Foundation. Naomi will deliver the Peace Prize Lecture and formally receive the prize on 11th November in Sydney.
RECENT: For an excellent readable summary of nuclear disarmament up to the present see: Filling the Legal Gap on Nuclear Weapons by Daryl Le Cornu, President of the World Citizens Association of Australia
COMMENT 27 March 2016
ACTION ON GLOBAL MILITARY SPENDING
4 – 18 April will be a time of Action on Global Military Spending. Annual military spending now apparently exceeds $1.75 trillion. That’s $US 1,750,000,000,000. Much of this money focuses on machines and methods which kill and injure people.
Obviously we need resources to protect nations from unwarranted aggression and maintain international law but they should be directed at technology which does not cause death and injury. There’s no shortage of money. It’s just being spent in the wrong way.
COMMENT 15 February 2016
A few days ago, scientists proved without doubt that gravitational waves do exist. They were predicted by Einstein over one hundred years ago as an outcome of the theory of relativity. The discovery will open up vast new areas of cosmology.
The instruments used to detect the gravitational waves are quite breathtaking in their ingenuity and precision. Theoretically they could measure the movement in space of the sun by the breadth of a single human hair.
We humans have this amazing technical skill and yet we still equip our police officers with handguns, not to mention the bombs and bullets employed by armies around the world. That’s also breathtaking when you think about.
COMMENT 9 February 2016
The city of Aleppo in Syria is coming under increasingly heavy attack by pro Assad regime forces. More hospitals have been reported as destroyed by aerial bombardment. Increased Russian airstrikes are said to be a factor. But for a moment, let’s not try to say who’s to blame. Extremist groups, the great powers and the Assad government are all involved. The UN is working hard but so far seems unable to halt the conflict. The reality is that in 2016, hospitals are being destroyed and thousands of people killed or mutilated in a conflict that is ultimately how about who will govern a nation – manage its taxes, its schools, its trade – indeed even about who, if anyone, collects the garbage. These are all important matters but in the year 2016 disagreements about them should not result in the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of citizens. Do we really have to drop explosives on hospitals to resolve such issues?
Sure, we need to physically restrain aggressors – be they ‘terrorists’ or ‘regimes’ until the matters are resolved, but the current technology we employ of bomb and bullet is barbarous and outdated. We can do better.
COMMENT 13 January 2016
Last week North Korea appeared to have detonated its fourth nuclear test. The rogue nation seems unlikely to have a large nuclear arsenal but we are reminded that just a single nuclear bomb – let alone a full scale nuclear war – would cause immense radiation damage. The threat of nuclear war has by no means gone away,
The adoption of nonlethal security across the world would ‘lower the temperature’ of potential conflict and ease the path to total nuclear disarmament. We should not delay in a world where even one nation still conducts nuclear tests.
(FROM LAST YEAR:)
TECHNOLOGY IN WAR
2015 is the Year of Committing to Nonlethal Technology in War.
Lethal weapons – like fossil fuels – are becoming obsolete. Weapons cause huge grief and quite often they don’t resolve conflict.‘Clean green’ nonlethal technology will ensure peace across the world without killing people. Just as we’re changing from burning coal and oil to sustainable ways of generating energy we can start to move from bullets and bombs to devices which keep us safe but don’t kill. During 2015 we must start making the move to a new nonlethal technology of war.
1915 – the Centenary of Gallipoli – also saw the start of World War One’s industrial scale slaughter by rifles, machine guns and artillery: over 100,000 dead at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, over 420,000 at the Battle of Loos and nearly 120,000 at Gallipoli, including some 8,000 Australians.
In the century since then the weapons of war have become ever more deadly. There is less ‘major’ warfare at present, but the ongoing lethal conflict in the Middle East puts us at risk of a nuclear war, triggered by terrorists or failed states.
In this Centenary Year, we need a commitment by nations around the world to begin the serious development of nonlethal technologies which can protect us from aggression and ensure peace and justice without death and injury.
(See Media Release http://www.tamingwar.com/media-releases)
AIMS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN:
The overall purpose of the Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign is to reduce the damage of war, specifically to:
- Reduce death and injury in warfare by promoting the use of non-damaging technology in conflict resolution
- Influence peace-keeping agencies (such as the UN) to move progressively from lethal to non-lethal weaponry
- Subsequently influence defence forces in nations around the world to make the same transformation to non-lethal defence
- Over the course of time, change world culture from lethal to non-lethal conflict resolution, with the result that the nuclear weapons that threaten our species will finally be eliminated
- By removing lethality from conflict resolution, help to lower the overall level of violence in society, promoting a more peaceful and just world.
TWO GOALS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN
One day, except as curios, guns designed for killing people will be illegal
(Sporting guns – for responsible shooters – will be OK)
Explosives will only be used in mining, engineering and fireworks.
From controlarms.org :
‘every minute one person dies from armed violence, 16 people become refugees and 15 new weapons are created’
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