bill 2797, Nuclear/Missiles for Europe, $500 million/ OBJECTION
June 22, 2009
I read with displeasure the following article:
Nuclear Arms in Europe; U.S. Congressmen Push NATO First Act,
about the formation of H.R,2797, recently presented by Congressmen Michael Turner (R-OH)
and Jim Marshall. (D-GA )
The story is published by the American Chronicle's Congressional Desk, June 11, 2009.
Bill H.R.2797 speaks of U.S. national defense policies and programs, particularly as
they relate to Eastern Europe, Poland and the Czech Republic, and the Missile Defense
System (MDS). This system has been discussed since George Bush proposed it many
years ago. In recent years it has been opposed by the majority of people in Poland, the Czech Republic, the Russian government, members of the European Union, members
of the U.S. Congress, scientific investigators in the U.S.and hundreds of activists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The bill presupposes that the Russian government will be pleased to be included in the
operation of the MDS since that might allieviate their fears that the U.S. would turn and use the missiles against them. This has been an ongoing "argument" for the last year.
Reaction to the building of the MDS by the U.S.. has been so heated that the Russians even threatened to send missiles (possibly with nuclear warheads) to Kalingrad, just to the northern border of Poland. Russia also was planning to send missiles to the western border of Belarus, adjacent to Poland as well. Fortunately this did not occur.
Various meetings were held about the MDS in Europe by the U.S., Russia, the European Union, the Polish and Czech governments, and the idea of granting Russia participation was presented, thus easing the tension of the situation. Now, H.R,2797 is authorizing $500 million, as well as millions more along with Patriot missiles for Poland to build the system and include Russia in the operation. Also the bill, called NATO First Act, would strengthen NATO and "bolster America's negotiating position with Russia and ensure that our defense and security interests are preserved."
Strangely, the bill would also "prohibit any action taken to reduce United States nuclear forces that are based in Europe unless required by law and the President makes a series of certifications."
Excuse me but I've never even heard of a "series of certifications". Is this a good idea? The U.S. and Russia are presently engaged in START talks and Non-proliferation is "on the table".
At least that's what has been offered by both governments, the reduction of nuclear warheads and weapons. How can the negotiators proceed at these meetings knowing that the U.S. is putting a hold, a freeze, on any disarmament of nuclear weapons in Europe?
The bill is geared to strengthening defense in Europe against an attack by Iran. Nowhere have I heard of any threat by Iran on attacking Europe. They've spoken of a war with Israel but not with Europe.
Presently they happen to be engaged in a bloody situation over the elections there, and military aggression may be off their agenda for a long time to come anyway -depending on who ends up in power. Russia has said the completion of their nuclear plant is delayed as well. Russia has been partners with Iran during its development.
I have several reasons that this Billl, H.R.2797, is not in the interests of progressive developments for the European region. The main reason against the bill is it calls for more military buildup as deterrant against aggressive warmaking, and that naturally means more business of the U.S. military industrial complex, which, I imagine is usually pleased to accomodate these efforts to produce, sell and see used more weapons of mass destruction; harm to hundreds, thousands or millions
of people in the days ahead.
The U.S.Congress - despite a new democratic administration - has just passed the largest military budget in history; with another $500 million added if this bill is passed into law. The U.S. military is getting stronger and stronger.
It has been said by many people who understand the long-term consequences of warmaking and peacemaking that we need less warmaking and more peacemaking to foster a peaceful world in the future. During the last year we have had more diplomacy in Europe/Russia and things have become calmer in the process of discussions and negotiations. The U.S., Russia, the EU, the people's and governments of Poland and the Czech Republic, all have had say in the pros and cons o the MDS in Europe This diplomatic effort has been a progressive development differing from the past political/military endeavors of only a few nations making the agendas and carrying out the actions afterwards.
More people are now taking responsibility for wanting and even demanding disarmament and diplomatic means to solve these geopolitical problems. The UN and other international agencies are close at hand as well.
As I've stated before in my previous papers and "action" alerts I believe it would be better if the U.S.abandon the MDS in Europe entirely. This would please most Europeans and Russians as well.
The MDS falls short of a progressive development because:
1. There is no apparantr threat of attack from Iran at all. This whole effort to develop a MDS in Europe was designed by the Bush administration and the Military to support the military industrial complex and foster a stronger military presence in Europe along with strengthening NATO while opposing Russia.
2. The MDS has been shown to be ineffective by scientific investigators in the U.S. who have even testified to such before Congress. Congress in turn cut off the funding entirely for MDS in Europe and hasn't reinstated it al all - until by bill #2797. (unless money is in the large defense budget just passed).
3. Disarmament is the key to peace in the future; we need ongoing diplomacy in Europe rather than the development of a multi-million dollar or billion dollar missile defense systems.
4. The great majority of people in Poland and the Czech Republic have demonstrated and voiced their opposition to a MDS on their soil; so much so that it forced the government of the Czech Republic out of power. This bill overrides the sovereignty of both nations by forcing the construction of radar systems and missile systems on their soil without their permission.
5. The President of the U.S. called for a review of this situation. The public needs to hear the arguments.
6. Russia has already threatened to respond if the U.S. builds a system. If they reject the U.S. offers to become a part of the operation then the whole project should be aborted. Otherwise it would be very precarious and dangerous to challenge Russia so close to their soil and military might.
7. The U.S. presently is involved in at least three wars. We need to re-think our foreign policies and consider greatly increasing disarmament and diplomacy in order to avert tensions building up and any further wars in the future. We need to encourage the President to extend even further his bold approach of assigning envoys to hotspots in the Middle-East, Asia and the European region. Instead of a dozen envoys we could have hundreds, on a long-term mission to foster dialogue, negotiations and, if needed mediation and arbitration to solve geopolitical concerns.
Before we see ourselves in any kind of confrontation in Europe let us challange everyone involved in this effort to, once again, promote a MDS in Europe; the President, Congress (Rep. Turner and Marshall and members of the Military Committees), the State Department, Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and our representatives in Washington who have the power to reject any further military expenditures or developments for missile defense, at least until it is "proven cost effective
and works properly" , as indicated by President Obama.
Better yet let us advocate for the abandonment of the MDS in Europe and have an updated review in congressional committee (the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee is in charge of missile defense). and lobby against H.R. 2797.
Arn Specter, Phila.
--- In email@example.com, "Global Network" wrote:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Rozoff"
June 11, 2009
Washington, D.C. "As the Obama Administration pursues a policy to
"reset" America´s relationship with Russia, Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) and Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA) yesterday introduced the bipartisan NATO First Act (H.R. 2797) to fortify America´s transatlantic security links with our European allies and partners.
By building a robust, integrated U.S. and allied security framework in
Europe, the NATO First Act will bolster common defenses, protect the United States homeland, and strengthen an alliance that has ensured peace and stability in Europe for over 60 years.
The legislation, which Rep. Turner and Rep. Marshall will attempt to incorporate into the National Defense Authorization Act during committee consideration next week, would also strengthen the United States´ negotiating position during ongoing engagement with Russia on key issues, such as the START Treaty. Read more>
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