homes not bombs worldwide: PHONE Clinton re India's Nuclear Tests

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 14 May 1998 20:11:35 -0700 (PDT)


PHONE CLINTON ABOUT INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS -- URGE HOMES NOT BOMBS WORLDWIDE

"Shiva, a leading Indian environmentalist, said the euphoria with which
so many Indians greeted this week's tests showed that many Indians
equate strength with nuclear capability.

"But, she argued, strength should come from being able to feed, educate
and house a population. With or without nuclear weapons, India is one of
the poorest countries in the world." -- from articles below


FWD 1 of 3 from Uncle Don B Fanning <uncledon@well.com>

I'm going to CALL THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMENT LINE  *tomorrow*
(nobody answers except during business hours, Eastern Time).
I'm going to state that:

-----

- I'm very concerned over the nuclear tests that occurred in India.

- I'm also concerned that more of the same will occur in Pakistan & China.
- I feel that other 'rogue nations' will soon follow suit thereby negating
any positive effect of a CTB (Comprehensive Test Ban) treaty.

- I feel that we are not providing a good example ourselves by, in effect,
ignoring the basic tenets and intent of a CTB with our subcritical /
supercomputer and other questionably 'legal' means of, in effect,
continuing a test program.

- Let's provide the leadership to the rest of the world, come clean on the
matter, and effect a unilateral and *complete* test ban (as a first step)
since that is apparenty the only hope we have at this point of avoiding a
nuclear disaster.

-----

If other folks (lots of you) do the same thing via phone that would help a
lot.  FAX and letters would be OK too but might not have the same impact as
a *massive* phone-in.

If we keep it really simple (in this busy world) we will have more
participants.  (A phone call will only take 5-10 minutes.)

If we pose the same simple logic above, I believe that we will have a
better chance that the White House will listen.

Please propagate this message as widely as possible.

(But only through next Friday 5/22/1998 so that the message doesn't lose
its timeliness or bother everyone in time *and* space.  And also only to
people or lists that you know *personally* and who you feel will be
sympathetic to its message so that it doesn't become SPAM.)

The time to act is *NOW*!

...uncledon.

"I don't care who started it.  What I want to know is who's going to stop
it!" --- Chaparral

-Food Not Bombs List     fnb-l@tao.ca
-distributing food in opposition to violence
-archive: http://www.tao.ca/~fnbtor/fnb-l/
-active cities: http://webcom.com/peace
-send '(un)subscribe fnb-l'  to majordomo@tao.ca

*****
FWD 2 of 3 - RELATED ARTICLE


NUCLEAR TESTING STORY HAS SOME BIG HOLES

By Norman Solomon


     The Bomb -- nearly forgotten by many of us -- has returned
to the world's center stage in a hurry. When India set off
several nuclear explosions and President Clinton quickly
responded with economic sanctions, the news coverage was jolting.

     Condemnation of India's nuclear tests is certainly
justified. But the story we're getting is quite partial. The plot
narrated by the White House and echoed by the American media --
presenting the U.S. government as a principled foe of nuclear
escalation -- is akin to a fairy tale.

     This country's journalists don't have to visit India in
order to find alarming evidence of a nuclear arms race. They
could venture much closer to home.

     Forty miles from San Francisco, scientists at the Lawrence
Livermore Laboratory are still designing thermonuclear bombs.
Under a benign-sounding Stockpile Stewardship and Management
program, the Department of Energy carries on with the business of
devising new and "improved" nuclear warheads.

     In fact, the U.S. government is spending $4 billion a year
to develop nuclear weapons. The effort includes sophisticated
computer simulation that enables the United States to upgrade the
deadly capabilities of its nuclear arsenal without resorting to
test detonations.

     Now, more than ever, the Clinton administration is a fount
of piety as the president and his top aides scold the
transgressors in New Delhi. While lecturing India to show
restraint, the U.S. officials continue to lead the world in
building a nuclear bridge to the 21st century.

     The news media hardly seemed to notice as the United States
completed the testing and deployment of B61-11 earth-penetrating
nuclear warheads last year. And when conflicts with Baghdad
intensified over the winter, we heard little about Washington's
not-so-veiled threat to use such weaponry against Iraq.

     A few months ago, Clinton oversaw a major overhaul of
nuclear weapons policies and issued a presidential directive
allowing the Pentagon to plan for the use of U.S. atomic weapons
against non-nuclear states. (Clinton's order violated the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty -- the same pact, ironically, that the
president cited in reverential tones May 13 when he announced
sanctions against India.)

     In February, with a U.S.-Iraq confrontation heating up,
Boris Yeltsin warned that "Clinton's actions could lead to a
world war." American news media attributed the Russian
president's comment to irrational inebriation. The Los Angeles
Times, for instance, called the remark "somewhat daffy." But
Yeltsin was apparently referring to the fact that Clinton had
authorized the U.S. military to target Iraq with nuclear arms.

     Jay Truman knows quite a bit about nuclear tests. Growing up
in Southern Utah during the 1950s, he watched mushroom clouds
rise from the Nevada Test Site about 110 miles to the west. While
in high school, Truman was diagnosed with lymphoma. Unlike many
of his classmates, he survived.

     Now, Truman is director of a regional organization known as
Downwinders. "There is no excuse or justification for any nuclear
weapons testing by any nation," he told me. "But before everyone
starts pointing their fingers at India as the world's only
nuclear villain, it's important to look at the ongoing weapons
development programs of the United States and the other members
of the `perm five' -- the established nuclear weapons countries -
- and clean up our own houses first."

     Truman emphasizes that "the nuclear arms race will not be
over until all nuclear weapons testing and development have been
stopped by everybody -- not just India." For years, he points
out, "India has been warning that it was unfair and
discriminatory for certain nations to maintain nuclear arsenals
and to be able to threaten other nations with them."

     "If we really want a world free from the horrors of
potential nuclear annihilation and free from the economic burdens
of an ongoing arms race," Jay Truman says, "the world should
choose to get that message and understand it and act on it this
time. Because if we don't, we may not get another chance."

_______________________________________________

Norman Solomon is a syndicated columnist. His most recent books
are "Wizards of Media Oz" (co-authored with Jeff Cohen) and "The
Trouble With Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets the Last Laugh."


*****
FWD 3 of 3


From: Jonathan Parfrey <psrsm@igc.apc.org>

INDIA'S ANTI-NUCLEAR MOVEMENT TINY
By Donna Bryson
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, May 14, 1998; 1:49 a.m. EDT

NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- When Dhirendra Sharma organizes anti-nuclear
marches in New Delhi, he's accused of being a CIA agent.

Fellow activist Vandana Shiva can't understand why Indians aren't more
concerned that their schools and roads are crumbling even as the country
pursues a costly nuclear program.

India's tiny disarmament community says the country's chest-thumping
response to this week's five nuclear test explosions -- three Monday and
two more Wednesday -- demonstrates the difficulty of getting its message
across.

For the most part, the movement's activities are confined to writing
op-ed pieces and organizing poorly attended discussions every Aug. 6,
the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the United States dropped an
atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

"I cannot mobilize Indians to come out to march against nuclear
weapons. They don't know what atom bombs are. They are worried about
their daily bread," said Sharma, a retired philosophy professor who has
been agitating against nuclear power and weapons since his students days
in England in the early 1960s.

Sharma also is up against national pride: Indians have heard for decades
that the West was trying to hold them back by denying their country
nuclear technology, he says.

"I have marched against nuclear power in India, but when I did I was
accused of being a CIA agent," Sharma said.  . . .

ADDING TO THIS ODD JUXTAPOSITION, SUPPORT FOR INDIA'S NUCLEAR
ASPIRATIONS COMES EVEN FROM SOME OF THOSE COMMITTED TO GANDHIAN IDEALS.
[emphasis added]

"If India has gone nuclear ... there is nothing wrong in it. Our
intention is not to become a nuclear power, but to break the nuclear
monopoly of the United States," says Rajiv Vora, a researcher with New
Delhi's Gandhi Peace Foundation, who concedes that nuclear weapons are
"anti-human."

Shiva, a leading Indian environmentalist, said the euphoria with which
so many Indians greeted this week's tests showed that many Indians
equate strength with nuclear capability.

But, she argued, strength should come from being able to feed, educate
and house a population. With or without nuclear weapons, India is one of
the poorest countries in the world.

"It saddens me that even though India has been able to show its power
in the conventional sense, in other senses it has fallen way behind,"
said Shiva, who was trained as a nuclear physicist but immersed herself
in human rights and environmental issues when she began to learn more
"about what radiation does to life."

(c) Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

Jonathan Parfrey
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles
1316 Third Street Promenade, Suite B1
Santa Monica, California 90401-1325
310.458.2694/phone * 310.458.7925/fax * psrsm@psr.org *
http://www.labridge.com/psr/

END FORWARDS






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