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Harvey Pekar, Graphic Art and Israeli State Policy

 

By John Grant


A review of:
NOT THE ISRAEL MY PARENTS PROMISED ME
By Harvey Pekar and J.T. Waldman
With an epilogue by Joyce Brabner
Hill and Wang, 2012
$24.95. 
$14.67 on Amazon
 

John Pistole’s victims are legion – and all are “one-offs”

TSA Administrator John Pistole is frequently heard to minimize the importance of devastating passenger experiences at the checkpoint by referring to them as “one-offs,” as in the quote below:

Read the rest at TSA News.

Money Printing Madness

 

Money Printing Madness

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

According to an ancient proverb, "Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad." Perhaps it had central bankers in mind.

 

In fall 2007, economic crisis conditions erupted. Counterproductive policies followed. Resolution is nowhere in sight. Responsible measures weren't adopted. Everything done so far failed.

 

Wisconsin Anti-Worker Law Struck Down

 

Wisconsin Anti-Worker Law Struck Down

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It happened last year as well. On May 27, 2011, Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi rescinded Walker's bill. In a 33-page decision, she ruled Republican lawmakers violated Wisconsin's open meetings law. 

 

Nuclear Roulette

As the Coalition Against Nukes prepares for a series of events in Washington, D.C., September 20-22, including a Capitol Hill rally, a Congressional briefing, a fundraiser at Busboys and Poets, a ceremony at the Museum of the American Indian, a rally at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a film screening, and a strategy session, the time seems ideal to take in the wisdom of Gar Smith's new book, Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth.

Most dangerous indeed, and most useless, most inefficient, most destructive, and dumbest.  How does nuclear energy make the human species look like the stupidest concoction since the platypus? Let me count the ways:

1. After the mining, processing, and shipping of uranium, and the plant construction, maintenance, and deconstruction, a nuclear plant only produces about as much energy as went into it -- not counting the need to store the only thing it actually produces (radioactive waste) for hundreds of thousands of years -- and not counting the sacrifice of areas of the earth, including those poisoned with uranium, which has a half life of 4.5 billion years and causes lung cancer, bone cancer, and kidney failure.

2. Wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal have far better net energy ratios.

3. If nuclear power actually worked against climate change, that fact would not be useful, because there is no way enough nuclear power plants to significantly contribute to the required difference could be built quickly enough.

4. If nuclear power plants could be built quickly enough, that wouldn't matter, because the financial cost is prohibitive.  Only with multi-billion-dollar bailouts from the government can a tiny number of nuclear plants be considered for construction at all.  The sainted Private Marketplace of Freedom will never touch nuclear construction on its own -- or insure it.  And the small number of jobs created by the "Job Creator" lobbyists who push for the generous public loan guarantees mostly show up in Japanese and French nuclear companies, thus depriving the whole enterprise of its anti-foreign-oil xenophobic appeal.  (Not to mention, most of the uranium used in U.S. nuclear plants comes from abroad just like oil.)  Deconstructing the plants when they grow too old to operate costs so much that the job is routinely and recklessly put off -- and that doesn't count the fairly common expense of compensating the victims of accidents.

5.  The nuclear industry is in debt up to its ears already, without our feeding its habit any longer.  For example, Washington State's Hanford Nuclear Reservation has dumped 1.7 trillion gallons of contaminated waste into unlined trenches.  The latest plan to try to deal with the mess comes with a $12.3 billion price tag.

6. Even if nuclear power worked when it worked, it's remarkably unreliable.  Between 2003 and 2007, U.S. nuclear plants were shut down 10.6 percent of the time, compared to 1 or 2 percent for solar stations and wind farms. 

7. Nuclear power produces greenhouse gases in the mining, production, deconstruction, shipping, and waste storage processes.  It also discharges 1000 degree Fahrenheit steam directly into the atmosphere. Considering the entire fuel cycle, a nuclear reactor burning high-grade uranium produces about a third as much carbon dioxide as a gas-fired power plant.  As high-grade uranium runs out, low-grade ore will result in a nuclear plant producing just as much carbon dioxide as a gas plant.

8. Climate change may have reached a tipping point.  Radioactivity could as well.  Birds and insects near Chernobyl are adapting.  Humans, too, may be beginning to evolve within the Radiocene era to which the earth has been condemned.

9. Climate change limits nuclear energy, as the heat forces plants to shut down for lack of cool water.

10.  The Three Mile Island disaster killed birds, bees, and livestock.  Pets were born dead or deformed.  In humans, cancer, leukemia, and birth defects spread.  Chernobyl gave cancer to about a million people.  Fukushima looks to be far worse.  Meltdowns and other major malfunctions are common, in the United States and abroad.  Gar Smith documents dozens.  The worst nuclear disaster in the United States was in Simi Valley, California, and no one was told about it.  The rates of disease and death led residents to investigate.  I shouldn't use the past tense; the disaster is still there and not going anywhere in the span of human attention.

11. The rate of break downs and failures thus far is very likely to grow as nuclear plants age.  Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), subservient to the nuclear profiteers, is drastically reducing safety standards.

12. In the normal course of proper nuclear power production, the water, air, and earth are poisoned.

13. The NRC publicly dismisses concerns about earthquakes, but privately panics.  Earthquakes are on the rise.  Fracking may cause even more of them.  Fukushima should scare us all; but closer to home, a plant at Lake Anna, in Virginia, was shut down by an earthquake last year, possibly caused by fracking, and the first response was the publication of lies about the damage. 

14.  If anticipated solar flares (or anything else) collapse power grids, nuclear plants could overheat, melt down, or explode. 

15.  An average nuclear plant produces 20-30 tons of high-level waste and 70 tons of low-level waste per year.  No proven long-term storage site exists.  If one ever does, we won't know what language to post the warning signs in, as no human language has lasted a fraction of the time the nuclear waste will remain deadly. 

16. When a country develops nuclear energy, as the United States encouraged Iran to do in my lifetime, it brings that country very close to developing nuclear weapons, which has become a leading excuse for launching and threatening wars.  It doesn't help for the CIA to give Iran plans for building a bomb, but ridding the world of that sort of stupidity is just not within our reach.  Ridding the world of nukes needs to take priority.

17.  There is no purpose in a nation developing nuclear weapons if it wants to target an enemy that possesses nuclear power plants.  Sitting duck nuclear catastrophes waiting to happen -- by accident or malice -- exist in the form of nuclear power plants within 50 miles of 108 million people in the United States.  Nuclear reactors could have been somewhat protected by being built underground, but that would have cost more.  Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist, commented on Fukushima: "This time no one dropped a bomb on us. . . . We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives."

18. The latest designs in nuclear reactors don't change points 1-17.

19.  The Associated Press in 2011 found that, "Federal regulators [at the NRC] have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them."

20. Helping to shake the nuke habit would take 30 seconds and be ridiculously easy, and yet many won't do it.

Iran War Weekly - September 16, 2012

Iran War Weekly

September 16, 2012

 

Hello All – In 1947 the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists first placed a clock on its cover, with the hands at seven minutes before midnight.  Nuclear war was that close, the atomic scientists thought.  And over the past 65 years the hands of the clock have moved back and forth, from two minutes before midnight (1953) to 17 minutes before midnight (1991).  There is no similar clock counting down war against Iran, but if there were, the hands moved back a few minutes this week.

 

Chicago Teachers Union Sellout

 

Chicago Teachers Union Sellout

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It's in the air. You can smell and taste it. It's not pleasant. Union bosses and city officials struck a deal. A previous article headlined Capitulation in Chicago? 

 

Final details aren't known, but bet on it. It's baked in the cake. By the time this article circulates, it may be official. It practically is now.

Fed Panic

 

Fed Panic

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On September 13, the Fed announced QE 3. Pimco head Bill Gross tweeted Bernanke plans to buy mortgages "till the cows come home."

 

It's open-ended along with near zero short-term rates. His move suggests desperation. What does he know, we don't, and why now?  Things aren't as they seem. They're worse.

 

It's Us or the Nukes

President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor was about to wake him up in the middle of the night to inform the President that 220 Soviet nuclear missiles were headed our way, when he learned that someone had stuck a game tape into the computer by mistake.

Three years later a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel acted out the same scene, with the computer glitch on his side this time.  Then in 1984 another U.S. computer glitch led to the quick decision to park an armored car on top of a missile silo to prevent the start of the apocalypse.  And again in 1995, the Soviet Union almost responded to a U.S. nuclear attack that proved to be a real missile, but one with a weather satellite rather than a nuke.  One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years  -- so far.

Then there are the accidents, of all variety.  Nuclear submarines of the sort now looking for trouble in the Persian Gulf have been known to collide with other ships.  At least eight nuclear submarines (one French, two American, and five Russian) are known to be rotting at the bottom of the sea, leaking uranium and plutonium.  In 2003 the U.S.S. Hartford, a nuclear powered submarine, hit a rock on a tiny island north of Sardinia.  The area is now highly radioactive.

In 1961 a U.S. B-52 with two nukes on board blew up over Faro, North Carolina.  One of the bombs, with a parachute to slow it down, was found.  Five of the six fuses designed to prevent full nuclear detonation had failed.  The other nuclear bomb buried itself 20 feet deep in the ground, lighting up the sky like daylight.  The military deemed that one hard to dig out, and left it there.  And there it sits. This little mishap involved bombs that were each 250 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb.  The commander of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, Lt. Jack B. ReVelle, remarked, "How close was it to exploding? My opinion is damn close. You might now have a very large Bay of North Carolina if that thing had gone off."

In 1956, a B-47 carried two nuclear capsules from MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, headed to a refueling over the Mediterranean, but never arrived and was never found.  In 1958, a B-47 crashed into an F-86 during a combat simulation off the coast of Georgia, near Savannah.  A nuclear weapon was jettisoned over water and never found.

On January 17, 1966, a U.S. B-52 carrying four live hydrogen bombs smashed into a tanker during midair refueling over Spain. Two of the bombs were blown apart like dirty bombs scattering radioactive particles all over Palomares, Spain.  The United States dug up 1,400 tons of radioactive Spanish dirt and took it to Aiken, South Carolina., where the Savannah River Site has been producing nuclear weapons material, trying to dispose of the waste, and radiating people for over half a century, and where radiation was even recently detected coming all the way from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. 

This was just after the U.S.S. Ticonderoga sailed from Vietnam to Japan with a nuclear-armed airplane on board and accidentally dropped the plane, complete with nuclear bomb and pilot, to the bottom of the ocean, where they remain.

Then, in 1968, another U.S. B-52 with four nukes on it crashed in Greenland.  Three of the bombs exploded, while the fourth has yet to be found.  It's among 11 nuclear bombs the United States admits to having lost over the years.  That's not counting the ones it's temporarily lost and recovered.  In August 2007, a U.S. crew accidentally (or as part of a secret plan; and I'm not sure which is worse) flew six live nuclear bombs from North Dakota to Louisiana and left them sitting there unguarded until the ground crew noticed. 

Oh, and if you doubt that these people will arm unmanned drones with nukes just because the drones tend to crash and malfunction, you haven't yet begun to grasp the sort of madness we're dealing with.

The really good news is that more and more nations have nuclear weapons, and even more have nuclear power, which puts them close to having nuclear weapons.  The thing to remember about every one of these nations, is that they screw up too, through bad luck, stupidity, rage, or madness.  Baharul Haq was an Air Vice Marshall in Pakistan involved in security for Kahuta, Pakistan's main nuclear weapons facility.  Later, his son, Faisal Shahzad, claiming the motivation of outrage at U.S. drone killings, tried to blow up a bomb in Times Square, New York.  What if Faisal and his father had been on closer terms?  Should the fate of New Yorkers really have to depend on such luck?

Nuclear weapons testing on the Marshall Islands produced babies born looking like jelly fish.  Nuclear weapons use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed like nothing had ever killed before. On October 22, 1964, and again two years later, the U.S. government exploded nuclear bombs underground in Mississippi, and then put up a sign asking people not to dig in the area.  Uranium mining of the sort the profiteers now want to reopen in Virginia has spread cancer through every community it's touched.  And the use of depleted uranium weapons has likely contributed to thousands of deaths and birth-defects in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and among members of the U.S. military and their families, not to mention the weapons' producers in places like Jonesborough, Tennessee.  The United States has also sold DU weapons to 29 other countries.

What Are You Going to Do About It?

There are three barriers to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.  First, our governments don't represent us and will have to be compelled to act when and if we get our act together. 

Second, people imagine we're safer spreading nukes around the globe by the thousands than we would be eliminating them while a few rogue non-state terrorists hang onto some.  This is crazy, of course.  An arsenal of nukes doesn't discourage a terrorist.  Nor can it discourage a state any more than can the non-nuclear weapons capable of complete devastation. 

Third, people fantasize that there are advantages to nuclear energy that outweigh the problem of its technological vicinity to nuclear weaponry.  There are not.  Nuclear energy barely reproduces the amount of energy it takes to build and operate the plants; the waste materials cannot be put anywhere safe for 250,000 years; and the inevitable accidents pose such a risk that no private "free-market" insurance company will take it on -- only taxpayers' misrepresentatives in government are willing to pick up the tab.  Nuclear energy is how India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea got nuclear weapons.  It's also Israel's and the United States' excuse for threatening Iran.  Uranium radioactive waste is among the horrible things being dumped by the West off the lawless coast of Somalia.  The results of such dumping include attacks on Western ships by angry "pirates."  The pirates are generally explained to be hating us for our freedom.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is hosting a Congressional briefing, Thursday, September 20, 2012, on the medical effects of radiation exposure, and the health threats presented by our nation's nuclear power plants, nuclear fleet, and the on-going tragedy in Fukushima, Japan. There will be expert testimony from Physicians for Social Responsibility and others.  Ask your senators and representative to attend.

The ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Prior to this disaster, the regulators in Japan said they had all possible safety measures in place. Our Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has said the same thing about our 104 aging nuclear power plants, 23 of which have the same flawed design as in Fukushima.

Nuclear disasters are not unique to Japan. Chernobyl killed and sickened many, as did Three Mile Island on a smaller scale. A nuclear plant in Virginia was damaged by an earthquake last year.

If you're in the Washington, D.C., area, the Coalition Against Nukes invites you to a series of events September 20-22, including a Capitol Hill rally, the Congressional briefing, a fundraiser at Busboys and Poets, a ceremony at the Museum of the American Indian, a rally at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a film screening, and a strategy session. http://coalitionagainstnukes.org

The nukes have got to go, or we do.  This planet's not big enough for both.

Capitulation in Chicago?

 

Capitulation in Chicago?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

By the time this article circulates, it may be all over but the shouting, finger-pointing, and bitterness among rank-and-file loyalists over another union sellout.

 

As this is written, it looks that way. It won't surprise. Across America, union bosses keep prioritizing their own positions and welfare over workers they represent. 

Obama v. Netanyahu

 

Obama v. Netanyahu

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Much has been made about an Obama/Netanyahu rift. At times, it's hard separating rhetoric from reality. Nonetheless, neither leader, it appears, particularly likes the other. Disagreement between them is palpable. It's over Iranian red lines and deadlines.

 

Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said he doesn't believe in "red line policies." He responded to Netanyahu saying:

Syria News - Sep 15

Failing the Test: Obama and Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett Must Go

 

By Dave Lindorff


Just because someone has the ability to do something, does not mean he or she should do it.


A review of recent TSA sex crimes by Bill Fisher

As reported here on September 13th, yet another TSA screener has been arrested for child pornography. While not a crime unique to TSA workers, it does raise the question of why the TSA is attracting a disproportionate number of criminals and pedophiles.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Anti-Muslim Hate Film Incites Violence

 

Anti-Muslim Hate Film Incites Violence

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Post-9/11, Washington declared war on Islam. Islamophobia facilitates war on terror policy. Muslims became public enemy number one. Imperial wars followed. Endless direct and proxy ones continue. Others are planned.

 

Dehumanizing Islam violates core US beliefs about religious freedom and respecting all faiths equally. America only respects money power and imperial dominance. 

Rahm Emanuel's Privatize Chicago Plan

 

Rahm Emanuel's Privatize Chicago Plan

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent years waging war on progressive politics. He's a corporate predator turned politician. 

 

As White House strategist and senior advisor, he represented the worst of the Clinton years. His abrasive style earned him the nickname "Rahmbo."

 

Drone Protesters Convicted in Missouri

Two anti-war activists were convicted in federal court Monday of trespassing at central Missouri's Whiteman Air Force Base to protest the use of unmanned military drones.  A four-hour U.S. District Court hearing in Jefferson City ended with Magistrate Judge Matt Whitworth finding the pair guilty. Sentencing will occur at a later date.

STOP U.S. Aggression and Continued War on the World!

 Obama expanded the U.S. war on the people of Afghanistan begun 11 years ago by the Bush regime, now the longest war in U.S. history. The U.S. occupation is fought not only with military personnel, and mercenaries for hire, but increasingly by Special Forces and unmanned drones.  The U.S. continues to imprison and indefinitely detain people without charges, conducting night house raids that terrorize innocent people, and conditions leave women worse off than when the U.S. invaded.

                                                        NOT IN OUR NAME

Yet another TSA agent charged with child porn

This is getting so routine I should keep a template so I can just fill in the blanks.

Read the rest at TSA News.

If You're in New Hampshire

On October 5, 2012, don't miss NH Peace Action's 30th Anniversary Event and Fall Fundraiser, at The Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main Street, Concord, NH. 

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Featuring Author/Activist and RootsAction.org Campaign Coordinator David Swanson.

And featuring Singer/Songwriter David Rovics

$30 for tickets in advance, $35 at the door, $10 for students or limited income.

Please be in touch about sponsorship opportunities, silent and live auctions, and ads in our program book!

http://nhpeaceaction.org

NH Peace Action
4 Park Street, Suite 210
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 228-0559

info@nhpeaceaction.org

Corporate Media's War on Public Education

 

Corporate Media's War on Public Education

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

September 12 marked day 3 of Chicago's teacher strike. At stake is the future of public education in the city and perhaps the country.

 

This battle is too important to lose. It's too early to tell what's coming. Teachers are resolved. Parents and students support them. 

 

German High Court Capitulates to Bankers

 

German High Court Capitulates to Bankers 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

As expected, the Court caved. On September 12, headlines reported it. The Financial Times said "German politicians declared the road clear for the creation of the eurozone's (500 billion euro) rescue fund after the country's constitutional court rejected a petition to block it."

 

At issue is does it matter? More on that below.

Congressional Research Service document on legal basis for drone strikes

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/target.pdf   This document by CRS Legislative Attorney Jennifer Elsea makes it clear that the US Government's drone program is based on the ancient legal principle of "shoot first, ask (legal) questions later".  Her analysis demonstrates that these killings run afoul of almost every legal principle regarding the use of lethal force outside of a declared war between nations, from the Caroline principle to the UN Charter to the specific provisions of the 2001 AUMF.  And of course it speaks volumes that the CRS has to speculate on the U.S. government's justification for killing people in the first place - this is the extent of our democracy, that Congress employs people to parse speeches by administration officials to find out what the policy of our country is regarding our right to not be killed in cold blood.

 

Syria News - Sep 13

 

 

POLL: Majority of Americans, Europeans and Turks against Military Intervention into Syria - turkishweekly.net

POLL: Americans favor Obama over Romney, Europeans would re-elect him in a landslide - AFP

VIDEO: Romney Adviser: He would do all that it takes to get arms to the Syrian rebels -- that means money and equipment, Discusses also Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, China - VOA

Expert: Romney may strike Syria if elected President, Obama would like to see other countries on board before taking any action - turkishweekly.net

Former UN observer chief Mood warns against supporting Syrian rebels - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Jonathan Marshall: The Perils of Saudi Arabia Bankrolling U.S. Foreign Policy - HUFFINGTON POST

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Activists: Car Bomb Kills 18 in Syria, Troops and rebels clash near Aleppo airport - VOA

Pope Benedict to visit Mideast in the shadow of Syria’s civil war - Reuters

Syria’s Christians fear violent backlash from anti-Assad uprising - Reuters

Syria: Christians take up arms for first time to repel opposition guerrillas - Telegraph

VIDEO: Syrian Soldiers & Civilians Beat A Group Of Rebels To Death - documentingreality.com

VIDEO: Syrian Army and local residents protecting Hama from terrorists and criminal gangs - Liveleak

VIDEO: Syrian Rebels torturing a civilian then calling his dad to bring some money to get his son back - Liveleak

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Plans to Unite Kurdish Armed Forces in Syria - Rudaw

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Funding Teachers Doesn't Get Embassies Attacked

We're not out of money. We've stopped taxing billionaires and corporations, and we're funding war-preparation so generously that we're sparking a global arms race that will eventually generate some enemies with which to justify the war preparation . . .  which will make sense to students who were never taught to put events into chronological order.  They couldn't be taught that because their teachers had to be laid off so that greedy billionaires could stuff a little more cash into their fat "Job Creator" tote bags.

Talk Nation Radio: The Risks and Benefits of Political Theater in the West Bank

The Freedom Theater in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank produces politically engaged theater and is under assault by both the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority.  We speak about theater as therapy and theater as an alternative to violence with Gary English and Laura Wilson. 

Gary English is a Stage Director and Designer with credits that include over 100 productions at many of America’s major repertory theaters.  He is a Distinguished Professor of Drama at the University of Connecticut and a member of the Human Rights Institute Faculty at Connecticut.  He has been to the Middle East five times in the last two years and will spend the next year on leave from Connecticut when he will serve as Artistic Manager of The Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank. 

Laura Wilson is a professional Stage and Event Manager based in New York City with credits on Broadway and regional theatres who has been involved with active research and development for Freedom Theatre activities in the United States for the past year and a half.  She is working with Gary English as Editor on a book project entitled Theatre and Human Rights: The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.

Read: "The Freedom Theatre Under Assault; Building a Cultural Institution Under Military Occupation" by Gary M. English and Laura L. Wilson -- PDF.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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The Environmental Antiwar Movement

Events in South Korea are putting U.S. and international environmental groups into coalition with antiwar groups, and in rare opposition to one of the most environmentally destructive forces on earth: the military industrial complex. 

Normally, this doesn't happen.  Typically, civil liberties groups oppose the detention and torture and assassination that come with military spending, but not the spending and not the wars.  Typically, anti-poverty and pro-education groups lament the supposed lack of funding, but avoid all mention of our dumping 57% of federal discretionary funds into war preparation and war.  Typically, for environmental groups, our top consumer of oil, producer of superfund sites, and poisoner of the earth is off-limits.  We oppose pollution, but not pollution in the cause of killing people more quickly.

Jeju Island, South Korea, is changing this.  A coordinated international campaign is trying to save this beautiful island from destruction.  The World Conservation Congress 2012 is being held on Jeju Island -- while just four miles away, in the island's Gangjeong Village, construction is beginning on a massive new naval base to be used by the United States.  Dredging of the seabed and coral has already begun.  94% of the residents of Gangjeong Village have voted against construction of the base.

The extraordinary biological diversity, unique volcanic topography, and the culture of Jeju Island attract many tourists. The Sea of Gangjeong is a national cultural treasure adjacent to a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Only 114 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins remain in Korea, and they live here -- one of many species threatened by base construction. The damage will be devastating.

If the base is constructed, it will host nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, as well as Aegis missile-carrying warships. U.S. taxpayers will pay the cost of the Obama administration "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, while Jeju Islanders pay with a damaged home. Ultimately, the cost to the earth and the risk of war will belong to all of us.

Villagers have been arrested during nonviolent protests. Police and construction workers have assaulted elderly members of the community, who represent a large portion of the activists.  Raising our voices in solidarity is the least we can do.  But Samsung, the primary contractor for base construction, is sponsoring the World Conservation Congress (WCC), which opened pretending all was well.  That pretense is crumbling.

From afar, we are flooding the WCC and Samsung with emails.  You can help" Let them know we aren't fooled. Demand that Samsung halt construction and the WCC oppose the base.

On location, activists have made every single participant in the World Conservation Congress aware of the destruction underway on the island where the WCC is meeting. And a resolution is being introduced by 34 organizations from around the world calling for a halt to the military base construction.

Please take the time to read this resolution, and check out the list of signers.  This is how the military industrial complex will eventually do itself in.

World Appeal to Protect the People, Nature, Culture and Heritage of Gangjeong Village

UNDERSTANDING that Gangjeong Village, also known as the Village of Water, on the island of Jeju, also known as Peace Island, is a coastal area home to thousands of species of plants and animals, lava rock freshwater tide pools (“Gureombi”), endangered soft coral reefs, freshwater springs, sacred natural sites, historic burial grounds, and nearly 2,000 indigenous villagers, including farmers, fishermen, and Haenyo women divers, that have lived sustainably with the surrounding marine and terrestrial environment for nearly 4000 years;
 
NOTING that Gangjeong Village is an Ecological Excellent Village (Ministry of Environment, ROK) of global, regional, national and local significance, sharing the island with a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve and Global Geological Park, and is in close proximity to three World Heritage Sites and numerous other protected areas;

NOTING that numerous endangered species live in and around Gangjeong Village, including the Boreal Digging Frog (Kaloula borealis) listed on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species; the red-footed crab (Sesarma intermedium); the endemic Jeju fresh water shrimp (Caridina denticulate keunbaei); and the nearly extinct Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins;

NOTING the global uniqueness of the Jeju Soft Coral habitats, designated as Natural Monument 422 of Korea: the only location in the world known to have temperate octocoral species forming a flourishing ecosystem on a substrate of andesite, providing ecological balance to the Jeju marine environment and the development of the human culture of Gangjeong Village for thousands of years;

UNDERSCORING that of the 50 coral species found in the Soft Coral habitats near Gangjeong, 27 are indigenous species, and at least 16 are endangered species and protected according to national and international law, including Dendronephthya suensoni, D. putteri, Tubastraea coccinea, Myriopathes japonica, and M. lata;

THEREFORE CONCERNED of the Civilian-Military Complex Tour Beauty project, a 50-hectare naval installation, being constructed within and adjacent to Gangjeong Village, estimated to house more than 8,000 marines, up to 20 warships, several submarines, and cruise liners;

NOTING the referendum of Gangjeong Village on August 20, 2007, in which 725 villagers participated and 94% opposed the construction;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the construction of the military installation is directly and irreparably harming not only the biodiversity, but the culture, economy and general welfare of Gangjeong Village, one of the last living remnants of traditional Jeju culture;

NOTING the Absolute Preservation Act, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (1991) and that Gangjeong Village was named an Absolute Preservation Area on October 27, 2004: a permanent designation to conserve the original characteristics of an environment from the surge in development, therefore prohibiting construction, the alteration of form and quality of land, and the reclamation of public water areas;

CONCERNED that this title was removed in 2010 to allow for the Naval installation, and that this step backwards in environmental protection violates the Principle of Non-Regression;

RECALLING the numerous IUCN Resolutions and Recommendations that note, recognize, promote and call for the appropriate implementation of conservation policies and practices that respect the human rights, roles, cultural diversity, and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples in accordance with international agreements;

CONCERNED of reports that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the naval construction was inaccurate and incomplete and may have violated well-known principles of international law concerning EIAs, transparency, public and indigenous participation, right to know, and free, prior and informed consent;

CONCERNED of the destruction of sacred natural sites in and near Gangjeong Village, noting that the protection of sacred natural sites is one of the oldest forms of culture based conservation (Res. 4.038 recognition and conservation of sacred natural sites in Protected Areas);

ACKNOWLEDGING that IUCN’s Mission is “To influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable;” and that “equity cannot be achieved without the promotion, protection and guarantee of human rights.”;

NOTING Resolution 3.022 Endorsement of the Earth Charter (Bangkok, 2004) that endorsed the Earth Charter as “the ethical guide for IUCN policy and programme,” and that the military installation is contrary to every principle of the Earth Charter;

NOTING the U.N. World Charter for Nature (1982), and that the military installation is contrary to each of its five principles of conservation by which all human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged;

AND ALARMED by reports of political prisoners, deportations, and restrictions on freedom of assembly and speech, including the arrests of religious leaders, for speaking against the naval installation and for speaking in promotion of local, national, regional and world conservation and human rights protections;

NOTING Res. 2.37 Support for environmental defenders, “UNDERSTANDING that the participation of non-governmental organizations and individual advocates is essential to the fundamentals of civil society to assure the accountability of governments and multinational corporations; and AWARE that a nation’s environment is only truly protected when concerned citizens are involved in the process;”

NOTING principles enshrined in the Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development such as those concerning military and hostile activities (Art. 36), culture and natural heritage (Art. 26), and the collective rights of indigenous peoples (Art. 15);

FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGING that militarization does not justify the destruction of a community, a culture, endangered species or fragile ecosystems;

AND UNDERSCORING that IUCN’s aim is to promote a just world that values and conserves nature, and the organization sees itself as nature’s representative and patrons of nature;

The IUCN World Conservation Congress at its 5th session in Jeju, Republic of Korea, 6-15 September 2012:

1. REAFFIRMS its commitment to the UN World Charter for Nature and the Earth Charter;
2. CALLS ON the Republic of Korea to:
(a) immediately stop the construction of the Civilian-Military Complex Tour Beauty;
(b) invite an independent body, to prepare a fully transparent scientific, cultural, and legal assessment of the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area and make it available to the public; and
(c) fully restore the damaged areas.

Sponsor – Center for Humans and Nature
Co-Sponsors
-Chicago Zoological Society (USA)
-International Council of Environmental Law (Germany)
-El Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental, CEDA (Ecuador)
-Sierra Club (USA)
-Fundacion Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Argentina)
-Center for Sustainable Development CENESTA (Iran)
-Asociación Preserve Planet (Costa Rica)
-The Christensen Fund (USA)
-Terra Lingua (Canada)
-Ecological Society of the Philippines (Philippines)
-Citizen’s Institute Environmental Studies (Korea)
-Departamento de Ambiente, Paz y Seguridad, Universidad para la Paz (Costa Rica)
-Coastal Area Resource Development and Management Association (Bangladesh)
-Fundação Vitória Amazônica (Brazil)
-Fundación para el Desarrollo de Alternativas Comunitarias de Conservación del Trópico, ALTROPICO Foundation (Ecuador)
-Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Ecuador)
-EcoCiencia (Ecuador)
-Fundación Hábitat y Desarrollo de Argentina (Argentina)
-Instituto de Montaña (Peru)
-Asociación Peruana para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, APECO (Peru)
-Coordinadora de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica, COICA (Ecuador)
-Fundación Biodiversidad (Argentina)
-Fundacao Vitoria Amazonica (Brazil)
-Fundación Urundei (Brazil)
-Dipartimento Interateneo Territorio Politecnico e Università di Torino (Italy)
-Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas (Costa Rica)
-Corporación Grupo Randi Randi (Ecuador)
-Living Oceans Society (Canada)
-Instituto de Derecho y Economía Ambiental (Paraguay)
-Korean Society of Restoration Ecology (Korea)
-Ramsar Network Japan (Japan)
-The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (Isreal)
-Chimbo Foundation (Netherlands)
-Endangered Wildlife Trust (South Africa)

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