Les d’Églises pressent l’OTAN

 

Les d’Églises pressent l’OTAN d’éliminer au plus tôt les armes nucléaires
Le Conseil canadien des Églises


le 13 avril 1999

Très honorable Jean Chrétien
Premier ministre du Canada
Chambre des Communes
Ottawa K1A 0A6

c.c. Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, ministre des Affaires étrangères

Monsieur le Premier ministre,

La présente lettre est une initiative conjointe de la Conference of European Churches, du National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA et du Canadian Council of Churches/Conseil canadien des Églises.

Nous invitons votre gouvernement, de même que l¹ensemble de l¹OTAN, à profiter de la révision en cours du Concept stratégique de l¹OTAN pour renverser l¹affirmation de cette dernière, voulant que les armes nucléaires «jouent un rôle essentiel» et de rejeter l¹assertion selon laquelle les forces nucléaires stratégiques de l¹alliance constituent la «garantie suprême de la sécurité des alliés» (Concept stratégique de l¹OTAN, approuvé en novembre 1991).

Dans sa version révisée, le Concept stratégique se doit d¹engager les membres de l¹OTAN à
éliminer au plus tôt les armes nucléaires et à réduire au maximum la valeur politique qu¹on leur attribue.

Contrairement à ce qu¹affirme le Concept stratégique actuel de l¹OTAN, les armes nucléaires ne garantissent pas la sécurité et ne peuvent le faire. Tout ce qu¹elles entraînent, c¹est le danger et l¹insécurité, car elles risquent d¹annihiler toute forme vie et de dévaster l¹ensemble de l¹écosystème dont toute vie dépend.

Les armes nucléaires ne détiennent aucune légitimité morale, sans compter que leur utilité militaire demeure ambiguë. Selon l¹avis consultatif de la Cour internationale de Justice, même leur légalité en vertu du droit international est sérieusement mise en doute. La Cour internationale de Justice, dont on a sollicité l¹avis, affirmait qu¹«il existe une obligation de poursuivre de bonne foi et de mener à terme des négociations conduisant au désarmement nucléaire dans tous ses aspects.»

Nous pressons donc tous les gouvernements des États membres de l¹OTAN de faire en sorte que le nouveau Concept stratégique de l¹OTAN :

* affirme l¹appui de l¹OTAN à l¹élimination immédiate, de tout armement nucléaire et engage l¹Alliance à prendre systématiquement des mesures en vue de la réalisation de cet objectif;

* engage l¹OTAN à réduire la cote d¹alerte des armes nucléaires en la possession de ses États membres et à conclure des ententes efficaces ayant pour objectif l¹élimination de la cote d¹alerte des armes nucléaires dont disposent tous les États;

* renonce à l¹emploi en premier d¹armes nucléaires par les membres de l¹OTAN, en toutes
circonstances, et engage l¹OTAN à faire tout en son possible pour obtenir des engagements
similaires de la part des autres États possesseurs d¹armes nucléaires.

Soyez assuré, Monsieur le Premier ministre, de nos prières et de notre appui en ces moments où vos responsabilités sont plus lourdes que jamais.

Janet Somerville, secrétaire générale
Conseil canadien des Églises
2nd floor, 3250 Bloor Street W.
Toronto (Ontario) M8X 2Y4

Au nom de: Joan Brown Campbell, secrétaire générale
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
475 Riverside Drive, Room 880
New York, NY, 10115-0050, USA

Et de: Keith Clements, secrétaire général
Conference of European Churches
1211 Genève 2, Suisse

 

 

Are nuclear weapons and materials being secured and destroyed?

Are nuclear weapons and materials being secured and destroyed?
There are several agencies engaged in this work. Here are a few:

1) The International Atomic Energy Agency is tasked with oversight of nuclear and related facilities in 140 signatory states. They receive reports from the countries involved and engage in a program of regular inspections. For information on their activities, go to: http://www.iaea.org

2) The G8 meeting in Canada resulted in the creation of the G8 Global Partnership Program. The Foreign Affairs Canada website advises:
The Global Partnership is intended to address one of the most serious security threats facing our world today by preventing terrorist groups from obtaining weapons and materials of mass destruction (WMD) to carry out their campaigns.

In recognition of this threat, G8 Leaders, under the guidance of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (1993-2003), committed the G8 to a program aimed at preventing the acquisition of weapons and materials of mass destruction by terrorists or those who shelter them. At the Kananaskis Summit, G8 Leaders, from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the European Union and Canada, united to launch the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction <http://www.g8.gc.ca/2002Kananaskis/kananaskis/globpart-en.asp> . The eight countries agreed to raise up to US $20 billion to support cooperation projects, initially in Russia. As Chair of the G8 for 2002, Canada reinforced its leadership on the initiative by committing up to CDN $1 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2003.
For further information on their priorities and progress go to: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreign_policy/global_partnership/menu-en.asp

3) Senators Nunn and Lugar in the US founded NUNN-LUGAR COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAM.
The goal of NUNN-LUGAR is to lessen the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, to deactivate and to destroy these weapons, and to help the scientists formerly engaged in production of such weapons start working for peace.
For updates on progress, go to http://nunn-lugar.com or http://lugar.senate.gov/nunnlugar.html

4) The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) was founded in January 2001 by Mr. Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting and Senator Nunn. NTI’s mission is to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. NTI seeks to raise public awareness, serve as a catalyst for new thinking and take direct action to reduce these threats. For their 2004 Report go to: http://www.nti.org/e_research/cnwm/overview/2004report.asp

Do you want more information?

Do you want more information?
Here are some good sources of information:

Merav Datan and Jurgen Scheffran, “Principles and Means for Verification of a Nuclear weapons Convention”, INESAP Information Bulletin No. 14, Nov. 1997, p. 21.

Steve Fetter, “Future Directions in Nuclear Arms Control and Verification”, INESAP Information Bulletin No. 15, at p. 50.

Steve Fetter, “Verifying Nuclear Disarmament”, Henry L. Stimson Center Occasional Paper No. 29, October 1996.

Steve Fetter, “ A Comprehensive Transparency Regime for Warheads and Fissile Materials”, Arms Control Today, January/February 1999.

David Fischer, “Safeguards for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons”, INESAP Information Bulletin No. 14, Nov. 1997, p. 30.

Patricia M. Lewis, “Laying the Foundations for Getting to Zero: Verifying the Transition to Low Levels of Nuclear Weapons”, VERTIC Research Report No.1 September 1998, published by the Verification Information Technology Centre, London.

Bhaskar Menon, Disarmament: A Basic Guide published by the UN , NY, 2001. Available at: http://disarmament.un.org/education/

Ministry of Defence (UK), “A Summary Report by the Ministry of Defence on the Study conducted by the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston into the United Kingdom’s Capabilities to Verify the Reduction and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, published in 2000, found on the Federation of American Scientists website.

Annette Schaper, “A Treaty on the Cutoff of Fissile Materials for Nuclear Weapons – What to cover? How to verify?, Summary, PRIF Report 48/1997

Annette Schaper, “The Cutoff of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons: Scope and Verification”, INESAP Information Bulletin No. 14, Nov. 1997, p.36.

Annette Schaper and Katja Frank, “ A Nuclear Weapon Free World – Can it be Verified?” Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, PRIF Report No. 53.

Theodore B. Taylor, “Global Abolition of Nuclear Weapons – Verification of Compliance and Deterrents to Violation” Draft of Contributed Paper for 40th Pugwash Conference, 15 – 20 September 1990, Egham United Kingdom.

“Verification and Enforcement”, published by Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), in Energy & Security No. 12, Nuclear Weapons and the Rule of Law, Science for Democratic Action.

2004 reports from the NPT prepcom

(Debbie Grisdale, Physicians for Global Survival)

Report #1 Day 1 – Monday April 26, 2004

The day began with the daily delegation meeting at the Canadian Mission. We are 12 people – a combination of DFAIT people (from Ottawa, NY,Vienna and Geneva), DND, the Nuclear Safety Commission and 2 NGO reps (Ernie Regehr of Project Ploughshares and myself). We went over the day’s events, assigned tasks and discussed preparations for the next few days.

The prep com sessions run from 10-1pm and 3-6pm. This first day was devoted to opening statements by countries, including Canada. The UK and China were the 2 nuclear weapon states to present today. Overall the statements are quite repetitive – on dangers of proliferation, need to strengthen the NPT, bring the CTBT into force, achieve fissile material cutoff treaty, rejuvenate the paralysed Conference on disarmament etc. I am struck by the huge amount of time and resources and paper that are devoted to statements and briefs – words by the thousands. So much of what is said is repetitive and it all seems so inefficient when there is so much to do. This is why I am not a diplomat!

Canada is presenting a 3 part package on

  1. greater NGO access to the NPT process,
  2. increased reporting by States on their progress toward compliance with NPT and
  3. addressing the ‘institutional deficit’ of the NPT by creating a standing body with annual general conference mechanism etc to make the NPT more responsive to problems and emergencies as they arise (e.g. DPRK withdrawa in 2003l from NPT). The 3 parts fit quite well together and complement each other.

Several countries expressed interest is looking more at this last idea on institutional strengthening, while the UK minced no words saying ‘The idea is that such measures would strengthen the NPT process. We disagree. ..,.” Our job over the next 2 weeks is to talk up the three notions and get other states and NGOs (not so difficult!) interested in them so the ideas can be further developed and make to the 2005 Review Conference.

At noon the Middle Powers Initiative held a standing-room-only panel on ‘Ensuring Full Implementation of the NPT’ with the New Zealand Minister of Disarmament (only country with Minister of Disarmament), Cdn Ambassador for Disarm. Paul Meyer, former Swedish Ambassador for Disarmament and Tariq Rauf (a Canadian) of IAEA. The room had many government representatives as well as NGOs. Canada is well regarded and certainly featured prominently in this roundtable which was introduced by Doug Roche. (Canada is one of the very few delegations with an NGO rep on it – let alone 2.)

There is, overall, a good turnout of NGOS here – 69 are registered. Tomorrow they will have the whole afternoon to make their 11 presentations to the plenary. A core group has been working on them for the last 6 weeks. Ron McCoy will present IPPNWs on the human face of NW. After tomorrow aft. the government sessions will be closed to NGOs.

It is pouring rain, good thing this hotel is only one block from the UN – perfect location. Will report again after a couple of days.
Debbie

Report #2 from NPT PrepCom April 27-30 2004

Government Country Statements

On morning of the prepcom’s second day more countries gave their statements. Countries frequently mention the 3 “intertwined” pillars of the NPT — disarmanent, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear technology. The room filled up as names on the list moved down to the US government’s turn. The US focused mostly on issues of treaty non-compliance and how to “devise ways to ensure full compliance with the Treaty’s non-proliferation objectives”. The US seems to feel they are in full compliance with Article VI of the treaty (which deals specifically with nuclear disarmament) and went so far as to hold a special closed briefing at a lunch hour to govts providing “hard evidence” about how they are in compliance. Several countries later, Iran spoke — reading their prepared statement saying after a year of verification by the IAEA there was no indication of diversion of nuclear technology from peaceful uses to a weapons program. Then they added another para to reply to the US accusations saying the US needs to come clean about its violation of the treaty and its proliferation activities. The US has targeted Iran repeatedly in their statements.

The government statements were extremely repetitive. Issues touched on by many countries include: the universal reaffirmation of support for the NPT and its three intertwined pillars; serious concerns about and the need to tackle non-proliferation and compliance (DPRK, Iran, Libya); the need for progress on disarmament; negative security assurances (NW states assurance to non-nuke states that they will not use NW on them — this is fundamental to NPT agreement); the need to deal with the proliferation of nuclear technology; the continuing CD impasse; the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East, the CTBT, the Additional Protocol and interest in the fuel cycle proposals. Many called for the PrepCom to make substantive, not only procedural, recommendations to the Review Conference. But to date, little progress is being made toward any substantive outcome from this prepcom.

NGO Presentations

On Tuesday afternoon 13 representatives from NGOs spoke to the plenary. There were several mayors, Sarah Estabrooks of Proj Ploughshares, Ron McCoy and a wonderful sight of a young German with bright fuschia hair. As the first several NGOs spoke, their directness in addressing the issues was a welcomed relief. The speeches ran long and took exactly the allotted 3 hours with no time for the hoped for Q+A. For details on NGOs recommendations see Report #3.

On Wed morning country statements were finally finished. For the afternoon session NGOs were no longer permitted on the conference room as has been the practice for the last number of years. They are allowed in for country statements only. Procedural issues were on the agenda — dates for next year’s review conference (May2-27), election of officers, agenda, rules of procedure etc. As countries debated the rules of procedure it was difficult to imagine how there could ever be agreement on an agenda, let alone anything of any substance. A number of issues were deferred — including a rule of procedure on NGO access to sessions.

Government Cluster&Mac226; Presentations

Over the next several days the governments delivered statements in what are called Clusters — of which there are 3 and deal with different aspects of the treaty -disarmament, nuclear safeguards and peaceful uses of nuclear technology. (These are supposedly different from their country statements but in actual fact go essentially over the same ground.)

The prepcom Chair (Indonesian Amb Sudjadnan) has kept a low key posture from the start, which is seen generously by some as exemplary of Indonesian subtletly, and by others as revealing a weak grasp of the process. It is believed by some that he is overly influenced by backroom sessions with the NWS, who are seeking a merely procedural outcome that does not attempt substantial recommendations. He did brief the NGOs at one of the early morning sessions.

NGO Access to Government Sessions

By Friday afternoon things had changed considerably for NGOs and they were permitted back into the “cluster” sessions The “cluster” sessions should finish Monday and it is not clear whether NGOs will be allowed to remain in during the remainder of the prepcom when, I believe and hope, there is more actual debate onn recommendations to go forward to the 2005 Review Conference.

Canada has been steadfast on NGO access and intervening on this issue whenever necessary. There are 2-3 other delegations with NGOs on them and so I have been asked a number of times by NGOs from other countries about how is it that Canada has one. I have been dividing my time between the govt sessions and the NGO panels.

NGO Sessions

The NGOs sessions are excellent, covering topics on missile proliferation, US weapons labs, civilian weapons inspectors, resolution of the crisis in the Korean Peninsula etc etc. One noon hour I went from a session by the UK government on their technical verification research program which also included outlining how they undertook mock inspections to a NGO session on “civilian weapons inspections” by representatives from churches and activist NGOs — the difference in the room was palpable in terms of personal engagement with the issue and the depth of the discussion. This holds true for most of the NGO sessions I have been to where they have very good presentations and information and are deeply aroused about nuclear disarmament and very frustrated with the lack of progress.

The question has been raised a number of times about how best to influence the government delegations and whether it is possible to do it here at the N. The answer that frequently comes back is that the work to be done is raising the awareness among civil society back home. For the Americans their first task is a change of president, but that is only the beginning. There was a very interesting presentation from Los Alamos Study Group on the social contract with nuclear weapons labs and the military in the state of New Mexico — the poorest state in the country, where 13% of the workforce is employed at the labs or in the military.

Over the weekend Abolition 2000 organized a town hall evening session on Friday, a rally on Sat (covered in the New York Times Metro section) and an all day general planning meeting on Sunday.

First thing this morning, Monday, Ambassador Meyer gave an “off the record” briefing to NGOs from the Canadian perspective.

The second week begins with the final slate of countries speaking on Cluster 1 issues — disarmament.

Report #3 from NPT Prepcom
Summary of Recommendations from NGO Statements to Plenary Session

Process of Developing the NGOs&Mac226; Statements

It took over 6 months of intensive brainstorming, debating, selecting and refining to get to these 13 statements. Not everyone is agreement on all points but the presentations reflect the NGOs “unquenchable desire for nuclear abolition” and “to rid the planet of nuclear weapons, verifiably and irreversibly”.

There were a number of Mayors or deputy mayors who participated in the presentation of the statements.

Vertical proliferation is defined as increases in the size of arsenals; the introduction of new weapons and new capabilities to arsenals including new means of delivery; and changes in the role of nuclear weapons in defense policy. All the nuclear weapon states are seen as proceeding with vertical proliferation programs that undermine the treaty.

Summary of Recommendations as presented:

1.Disarm

  • Convene a Summit meeting on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation tasked with the creation of an International Nuclear Disarmament Organization with the appropriate political and legal authority and financial resources to eliminate all nw and monitor the nuclear-free status.
  • Summit would be a prelude to the opening of negotiations on a Model NW Convention. * Establish clear timetable for the total abolition of nw no later that 2020, and negotiations should begin as of the 2005 NPT Review Conf on a phased program of incremental steps leading to the total elimination
  • NPT States Parties should condemn all practices that violate the letter and spirit of the NPT – inter alia preemptive nuclear strikes, development of new generations of NW
  • disarmament of delivery systems and of warheads
  • Let the radiation history of Indigenous peoples, hibakusha, downwinders, nuclear industry workers, community in the global south and elswhere be living history for all humanity – let us learn from it and prevent history from repeating itself.
  • to address the “disarmament deficit” and to avoid future reliance on the UNSC as a global lawmaker, revitalize the existing NBC-treaty regimes and create new multi-lateral agreements – on non-state actors, fissile materials, a biological weapons verification regime and more.

2. No new nuclear reactors

  • Moratorium on building of new nuclear reactors and old ones close down.
  • Transfer of funds from Export Credit Agencies and governments to an International Sustainable Energy Fund.

3. Implement and strengthen the NPT in a non-discriminatory manner that demands accountability

  • consider development of a permanent NPT body and a UN-based inspectorate, drawing on UNMOVIC capabilities, to address concerns of suspected or confirmed horizontal proliferation within the NPT framework and thereby reinforcing it, similarly for addressing and halting vertical proliferation
  • make common cause with BTWC and CWC in pursuit of mutually reinforcing systems for verification and enforcement
  • reconfirm commitment to 13 Steps to ensure it remains a living document and use as means to assess progress and to plot future steps
  • engage in broad and intensive discussions to acquire commitment to disarmament in 2005. NGOs are prepared to help in any way.
  • NNWS are encouraged to cooperate through diplomatic alliances to propose progressive and concrete recommendations as unified voice.

4. Insist that international mean international

  • Bring SORT into conformity with goal of NPT to achieve global disarmament under “strict and effective international control”
  • NPT member states should send invitations for formal observers from Israel, India and Pakistan at the NPT prepcoms and Review Conferences, and develop mechanisms for giving them greater access to NPT deliberations
  • Start negotiations immediately on a multilateral treaty banning shipment of NBC weapons
  • excess weapon-grade fissile materials of the NWS must be brought under IAEA safeguards. Parts of the nuclear fuel cycle should be brought under multinational control and that export controls should be universalized.
  • Revise withdrawal clause of the NPT and the method of convening States Parties to deal with disputes.
  • Provide financial and political support to the safeguard and verification regime thereby supporting the IAEA in verification of peaceful nuclear activities.
  • Create international controls on uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technology through a multilateral agreement, as proposed by IAEA DG Mohamed ElBaradei
  • International oversight on the UNSC resolution on non-proliferation is required

5. Enhance NGO Access

  • Grant to NGO participants increased access to the proceedings, including fewer closed sessions allowing NGOs to attend cluster discussions and timely access to documentation.

6. Strengthen Member State Reporting

  • All states parties must be held to higher standard of reporting on treaty compliance in order to strengthen this as transparency tool.
  • Increase States’ participation in reporting before negotiating a standard format

7. Create an NPT Secretariat

  • Establish Secretariat to prevent functions and responsibilities and institutional memory of NPT from either falling to wayside or being dealt with in ad hoc fashion
  • Consider modeling on OCPW

8. Missiles, Missile Defences and Space Weapons: prevent an arms race

  • stop testing missiles and missile defence systems
  • initiate negotiations for an international treaty banning tests of ballistic missiles and of missile defence systems
  • initiate negotiations for a global treaty banning ballistic missiles and missile defence systems
  • any research, development, testing, building and deployment of weapons for use in space should be prohibited

9. Depleted Uranium

  • NPT member states are urged to sponsor a General Assembly [resolution] condemning the use of DU weapons and uranium-tipped radiological weapons

References to Canada in NGO Statements

  • “Australia and Japan have already decided to join US missile defence. Canada and the UK are in appropriate negotiations”
  • We also applaud the latest Canadian efforts to develop a comprehensive approach seeking to integrate space security issues with the international community’s need for security and equitable access to space for peaceful purposes, which has recently been presented at a seminar in Geneva”
    *Let us also ban all uranium mining in the First Nations of Canada and the United states, Australia, India and elsewhere that supplies the continuing global nuclear industry”.
  • “inalienable right” under the NPT to nuclear materials for peaceful purposes is given to all NPT parties and implemented by other NNWS such as Japan, Canada, etc

The full NGO statements can be found at www.reachingcriticalwill.org.

NPT PrepCom Report #4 May 3-5 2004

On Tuesday afternoon after countries had an opportunity to finish the last of the “special time” sessions which was on “Safety and Security of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Programs” the chair announced the program for the remainder of the week. The product of the prepcom will be a Report of the meeting (on procedural issues, provisional agenda for the 2005 Review Conference, Draft Rules of Procedure etc) and an annex to it that contains the Chairman&Mac226;s Factual Summary. After discussing the procedural issues in plenary on Wed AM countries would have a chance on Wed afternoon to meet with the Chair and Vice-Chairs individually to “provide their views” on what should be in the Factual Summary. The draft Report with the procedural aspects would be available on Thurs AM and the draft of the Factual Summary on Friday AM. This was announced by the Chair with no written overview of this timetable provided and many countries remained confused about what the plan was. Even one of the Vice Chairs admitted after in a smaller meeting that she was not exactly sure what was in the Chair&Mac226;s mind.

On Wed AM discussion on the provisional agenda for the 2005 Review Conference (which is essentially the 2000 Review Conference’s agenda) hit a snag when Canada proposed that that the review should take into account not only the decision taken at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference but also „the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference”. Sounds reasonable, the 13 Steps, a very important achievement, came out of the 2000 RevCon. Canada proposed it as simply a technical adjustment, an update, to the agenda not a substantive change. There followed a lengthy discussion in the plenary many countries supporting Canada but the US in particular unable to see any value in adding in 2000, another hour in a smaller group, a third session in the afternoon and still there is no agreement. Discussions on this “technical” and definitely “not political” point begin again today. These smaller group sessions are chaired by Canada&Mac226;s Ambassador Paul Meyer, doing an admirable job. Most of the countries support Canada&Mac226;s suggestion except the US and Russia and the UK. The UK suggested putting in the phrase “where appropriate”, until it was pointed out that this was “cherry picking”. Discsussion continue this morning.

The NGOs have daily briefings at 9AM by various delegations and delegates. Yesterday I meet with NGOs to talk about being “an NGO on the Canadian Delegation”. A number of NGOs are interested in knowing the background on the Canadian situation.

Below is the May 5,2004 editorial of the daily newspaper “News in Review”, put out by the financially struggling WILPF&Mac226;s Reaching Critical Will Project (NIR). It is ,handed out at the door of the conference room and read avidly by delegates. All the NIRs can be read at http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/npt/nirindex.html

Playing Chess with Damocles

International relations have often been described as a complex game of chess, played on multiple boards simultaneously, wherein a decision on one board directly affects the strategies and opportunities on all the others.

Over the past week and a half that this PrepCom has been in session, the accuracy of this metaphor has been highlighted several times. First, the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) were given fresh impetus in their quest to frame the discussion on non-proliferation, rather than disarmament, when Security Council Resolution 1540 was passed last week. The resolution, as the News in Review has commented several times, struck a blow to the delicate balance between disarmament and nonproliferation by failing to reaffirm the intrinsic link between the two indivisible goals.

The multidimensional chess game was in full action yesterday at the UN as well, as the PrepCom devoted special time to Regional Issues while the “Quartet” – the UN, U.S., E.U., and Russia- met in a separate part of the building to discuss the tattered Road Map to peace in the Middle East.

Nearly a dozen States took the floor to call for Israel&Mac226;s accession to the treaty- the main obstacle in the creation of a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ)- and to reaffirm the urgency of universalization and the denuclearization of the volatile region. The United States, meanwhile, utilized the Special Time to once again accuse Iran of “serious violation of its NPTobligations.”

France, the only other Nuclear Weapon State to take the floor yesterday, heralded Security Council resolution 687 and the proposals from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and offered a “checklist” of conditions necessary to create a much needed “new regional security framework.” In order to achieve a NWFZ in the tumultuous region, France called for: an established dialogue amongst all parties; compliance with NPT commitments from the region&Mac226;s States Parties; cessation of arms and delivery systems proliferation; strict adherence to the NPT, CWC, BTWC, and the CTBT; adoption of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the placement of all facilities under IAEA monitors; the elimination of existing stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as their means of delivery; and more.

It could be argued that had the 1995 Review and Extension Conference not adopted the resolution on the Middle East as part of the “Package of Decisions” States Parties might not have been able to ascertain the indefinite extension that prolonged the treaty&Mac226;s lifespan. Although the resolution has yet to be implemented, it remains, as Kuwait remarked yesterday, “an integral part” of the international disarmament and nonproliferation regime.

The absence of further decisions on the Middle East at the 2000 Review Conference was entirely due to the possibility of the 13 Practical Steps. In 2000, Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) in the Middle East were temporarily content to relegate the region to the back burner in exchange for the “unequivocal undertaking” by the NWS to disarm. Now that the NWS have clearly reneged on that diplomatic achievement, the NNWS are duly determined to reprioritize the Middle East as a front issue for the NPT at the next Review.

While the Quartet deliberates how to reconcile Israel&Mac226;s proposed withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, States Parties trek back to their Missions to consider how the NPT can best address the crisis.

Neither framework is likely to discover a silver bullet in the next few days. But, as pawns and bishops scuttle across their separate boards, the nuclear sword of Damocles continues to loom over the Middle East and the entire world.

— Rhianna Tyson, Reaching Critical Will

For my Report #5 I am attaching below the report of veteran NPT watcher Rebecca Johnson. As she outlines, the whole process bizarrely and despairingly fizzled out at the end, at 8pm Friday May 7 – 2 hours past the scheduled closing. There no agreement on any substantive urgent issue. Any agreement that there was was on purely procedural items and even many of those items saw no agreement at all and so cannot go forward as official documentation from this prepcom to next year’s Review Conference.

Overall the experience was a good learning opportunity in many aspects, but it reinforced indelibly for me that any progress on nuclear disarmament will come as a result of civil society pressing for it.

Lots to be discussed at the Board meeting. See many of you then.

Debbie

Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 15:00:43 +0100
From: Rebecca Johnson <rej@acronym.org.uk
Subject: NPT PrepCom crashes in disarray

Confusion and Anger as NPT Meeting Closes in New York

The Third Session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2005 Review Conference of the NPT closed in disarray around 8 pm Friday May 7, 2004, with adoption of only parts of its final report containing the most minimal agreements to enable the 2005 Review Conference to take place. States Parties were unable to take decisions on important issues such as the agenda and background documents, in large part because the US delegation was determined to oppose and minimise references to the consensus final document from the 2000 Review Conference, which had resulted in the ground-breaking 13-step plan of action on nuclear disarmament. The United States, actively abetted by France and Britain, with the other nuclear weapon states happy to go along, wanted to rewrite the NPT’s history by sidelining the 2000 Conference commitments, at which they had made an “unequivocal undertaking& to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”. A majority of other states, by contrast, wanted the 2005 Review Conference to build on both the groundbreaking agreements from 2000 and the decisions and resolutions from the 1995 Review and Extension Conference.

The meeting, chaired by Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadinigrat of Indonesia, was expected to be difficult, but was made more so by the ideological US obstruction to anything that mentioned the CTBT or the 2000 agreements. The nonaligned states, frequently spearheaded by South Africa, a key player in both 1995 and 2000, refused to capitulate, though far too many of the western non nuclear weapon states appeared ready to roll belly up and settle for a lowest common denominator trade-off. Most notably, as the meeting went through its motions, a significant number of parties showed preference for ‘waiting out’ the problem, in the hope that time, further consultations and, most importantly, more constructive political circumstances (which many associated with possible regime change in the United States in November), might make consensus more reachable before the 2005 Conference opens.

Throughout the meeting, there was much stating of positions, but little stomach for confrontation or compromise. After two weeks of lacklustre debates, with much repetition and very few new ideas, the last day of the meeting turned into a bad-tempered shambles that ended in near farce, with a series of confused decisions taken without interpretation, with the majority speaking English but two delegations insisting on French. The PrepCom even failed to abide by its own rules whereby, if discussions have been held in closed session, the meeting is opened to the public for formal decisions to be properly taken.

Along with the rest of civil society, the Acronym Institute was outside the room throughout the long day, gleaning information from a series of frustrated delegates as they wandered back and forth for cigarettes or coffee. As debates went round and round in circles, messing up earlier agreements on access for nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), adding and subtracting words to slide just one outstanding – but importantly context-establishing – paragraph on the agenda past the US blockage, it was clear that many delegates, including, some complained, the Chair, had lost the plot. Their confusion about what they were doing even extended to the final decisions, as illustrated by contradictory reports of what occurred at the end.

President-Elect Ambassador Sergio Duarte of Brazil may have to wait some time before there is full clarity about what was decided and what he will have to do over the next year to create the conditions for the Review Conference to get to work in May 2005. Certainly, the PrepCom failed to agree any substantive recommendations and refused to annex the Chair’s summary of the meeting, which will be issued merely as a chair’s working paper, with no authority. The Chair’s summary, issued late on Thursday evening, was – as with its predecessors – challenged by several states, including the United States and Iran. Canada was angry that the summary had failed to mention initiatives on strengthening the Treaty’s enforcement mechanisms; there were complaints that text on nuclear energy and safeguards provided by the Vice Chairs had been ignored. Illustrating the difficulties of walking this Chair’s tightrope, the summary provoked grumbles from some states that it too closely resembled the chair’s summary issued by Ambassador Laszlo Molnar of Hungary the previous year, while others complained that it read like a NAM (non-aligned states) document, of which Indonesia is a prominent member.

As it turned out, however, the chair’s summary was little more than a sideshow, paling into insignificance as states parties realised they were in danger of not being able to take the necessary decisions to enable the 2005 Conference to be held. After much to-ing and fro-ing it appears that the disputed parts of the report dealing with the more fundamental issues of agenda, background documents and subsidiary bodies will now be turned into a chair’s working paper that will be forwarded together with the bare bones of a report that were agreed.

In view of the confusion and the lack of reliable documentation on the decisions, a more substantive analysis will be published by the Acronym Institute once the decisions have been clarified and the statements and documents have been further analysed.

Background:

The NPT PrepCom opened at the United Nations in New York on April 26, 2004, and ran for two weeks. The meeting was required to come up with recommendations for the 2005 Review Conference, but seemed just to go through the motions, managing only to adopt a timetable of work at the end of the first week. On Friday, April 30, the decision was taken to enable NGO representatives to attend and receive statements and documents from the so-called ‘cluster debates’, on the non-tranfer and acquisition of nuclear technologies and nuclear disarmament, safeguards, and nuclear energy for non-military purposes. The objections to the timetable centred on whether there should be ‘special time’ allocated to the issues of security assurances (in accordance with which the nuclear weapon states commit not to use nuclear weapons to attack states without nuclear weapons) and the Middle East.

It was finally decided to fold the security assurances discussion into a session devoted to consideration of the practical pursuit of nuclear disarmament measures, and to include the Middle East question in a session on regional issues. For ‘equity’ among the three ‘pillars’ of the NPT, it was also decided to devote a session to ‘the safety and security of peaceful nuclear programmes’. Symptomatic of the lack of real progress at this PrepCom, it turned out that many statements to these special sessions merely repeated, with slightly more detail or argument, on points already given in general debates.

As anticipated (see my Disarmament Diplomacy 76 article on “The NPT in 2004: Testing the Limits”), the main focus of interventions from the United States has been noncompliance by North Korea and Iran and the need for stricter measures to deal with NPT parties who use the Article IV provision on nuclear energy to fulfil nuclear weapon ambitions. At the same time a large number of states, including many US allies, highlighted the importance of fulfilment of disarmament obligations – with emphasis on core agreements such as the CTBT – while also raising concerns about new developments in nuclear weapons or doctrines. States lined up to support Additional Protocol, and suggestions were put forward for how to manage nuclear fuel cycle supply, restruct exports in sensitive technologies and materials and provide better institutional tools for states parties to strengthen the treaty’s implementation.

The General debate heard interventions from: Mexico on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition; New Zealand; Ireland on behalf of the European Union; China; Britain; Algeria; Mexico; Malaysia on behalf of the Group of Non-Aligned States Parties; Australia; Peru; Indonesia; South Africa; Egypt; Bangladesh; Republic of (South) Korea; Switzerland; Japan; Syria; Venezuela; Canada; Belarus; Kazakhstan; Bahamas and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The General Debate continued on Tuesday and Wednesday with statements from France; Brazil; the Holy See; the United States (John Bolton); Norway; Iran; Russia; Viet Nam; Burma/Myanmar; Cuba; Ukraine; Morocco; Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group; Nepal; Chile; Argentina; Serbia and Montenegro; Mongolia; Saudi Arabia; Kyrgyzstan; Cuba; Nigeria and Ecuador. As a result of the decision to open the cluster debates to NGOs, these statements are also obtainable from the website of reachingcriticalwill.org.

In one three hour session, the PrepCom was addressed by thirteen civil society representatives, including the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven from Belgium, the Mayor of Kiev, Olexandr Omelchenko, the Hon Bill Perkins, the Deputy Majority Leader on New York City Council and attended by a host of others. The full texts of the NGO statements, as well as a daily news review with summaries of the many civil society panels held during the first week, are also available from reachingcriticalwill.org.

The 2005 Review Conference will be held from May 2 to 28. A fuller analysis of the third PrepCom will be published in Disarmament Diplomacy 77, due out in June.

==========================================
Senior Advisor, Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction
www.wmdcommission.org <http://www.wmdcommission.org/
johnson@wmdcommission.org

Executive Director
The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy
24 Colvestone Crescent,
London E8 2LH,
England UK
website: <http://www.acronym.org.uk
tel: +44 (0) 20 7503 8857
mobile +44 (0) 77 333 60955 ron

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
2004:

Reports filed for Canadian NGOs by Debbie Grisdale (Physicians for Global Survival) from the 2004 NPT prepcom: here

2003:

NPT Background
http://reachingcriticalwill.org/npt/nptindex.html

NPT Statements by States and Nongovernmental organizations
http://reachingcriticalwill.org/npt/day1statements.htm

NPT Statement by Under Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala
http://disarmament.un.org/speech/29april2003.htm

NPT Chairman’s Factual Summary, May 9, 2003
http://reachingcriticalwill.org/npt/day1statements.htm

Comments on the NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting – 2003:
Senator Douglas Roche, O.C., Chairman, Middle Powers Initiative
Download as a pdf file: Ritualistic Façade

The reports filed for Canadian NGOs by our representatives on the Canadian delegation,
Ernie Regehr and Sarah Estabrooks:
http://www.ploughshares.ca/CONTENT/ABOLISH%20NUCS/NPTPrepcom2003ReportsIntro.html

Comments of Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute:
http://www.acronym.org.uk/npt/03inter3.htm

1000 paper cranes

1000 Paper Cranes and Mayors for Peace

In late April 2004 Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba of Hiroshima visited five Canadian cities including Ottawa. His visit to Ottawa was hosted by Physicians for Global Survival (Canada) and the office of City Councillor Clive Doucet. At a luncheon hosted by Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli, Mayor Akiba was presented with 1000 paper cranes folded by local Grade 6 students from Kathryn Ferris’ class at D. Roy Kennedy public school. After reading Sadako, students decided they wanted to be involved, in their own way, in efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. (See: http://www.sadako.org/sadakostory.htm for the Sadako story.)

Mayor Akiba travelled from Canada to New York City for preparatory meetings at the United Nations in the lead-up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2005. The 2005 Review Conference will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, 1945.

As President of Mayors for Peace, (a coalition started by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1982 and which now includes members from 562 cities in 108 countries and regions around the world), Mayor Akiba is a leading proponent of the full ratification of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the UN and complete elimination of nuclear weapons by the year 2020.

Mayors for Peace has initiated an Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons and is exploring ways that cities can work together to arouse international public demand for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They seek ways to help each other address the many other problems that threaten peaceful coexistence, from hunger and poverty to refugee, human rights, and environmental issues. The organization encourages mayors to strengthen cooperation to abolish nuclear weapons and work for a genuine world peace that values reconciliation and humanity.

Prior to becoming Mayor of Hiroshima five years ago, Tadatoshi Akiba was a member of the Japanese House of Representatives for nine years. He received his Ph.D in Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, and taught at the State University of New York in Stony Brook and at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Returning to Japan, he taught at Hiroshima Shudo University in Japan for 11 years.

Robin Collins: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION VERIFICATION AND COMPLIANCE ISSUES

Robin Collins: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION VERIFICATION AND COMPLIANCE ISSUES
Presentation by Robin Collins (World Federalist Movement-Canada) to the WMD/Nuclear Issues Consultations, February 2004

•Background items inserted into the consultation package:

1. A list of BW and CW sources: http://cns.miis.edu/research/cbw/possess.htm;
2. CW types: http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/cw/chem-table.htm;
3. NW arsenals of NW states: http://www.cdi.org/issues/nukef&f/database/nukearsenals.cfm;
4. Steve Fetter paper on verification of NW, for background reference: http://www.inesap.org/bulletin13/bulletin13.htm;
5. US State Department most recent listing of terror incidents: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2002/html/19997.htm

From the last item, I draw your attention to the downward trend of terrorist incidents (as collected by the US state department), but remember also that numbers of incidents tell us little about the impact of any particular incident (9/11 for instance).

How far away are we from a comprehensive regime that integrates verification and compliance measures with criteria for enforcement that are better tuned than in the past?

• Canada has done more than many in contributing to the development of international enforcement mechanisms and structures, such as the International Criminal Court structure, and in pursuing the Responsibility to Protect option. Efforts such as these bolster the development of any new process that also upholds the WMD verification and compliance regime(s).

• However, when we look to an assessment of the verification and compliance processes associated with each WMD subgroup (nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, etc.), there are some non-trivial differences we have to recognize, and they are not entirely technical. For one thing the chemical weapons verification regime is considered one of the best in the business. But the biological and toxin weapons verification regime doesn’t yet exist because of a lack of agreement on implementing a protocol for verification, let alone enforcement.

Chemical Weapons: Problem of ease of access to weapon materials

• The ease by which CW components can be made accessible for purposes of weaponization is a significant worry. Where there is ease of manufacture, there will likely be complexity in verification. Many of the components found in chemical weapons are available and used for industrial processes. Thiodiglycol, for instance, a precursor for mustard gas, is also used to make the ink found in some ballpoint pens. But while chemical weapons are relatively easy to obtain and use, they are not as easily kept safely in stable condition. Nonetheless as with biological weapons, CW have been found by the US Army to be easily disseminated from ships near seaports, or subways and with crop duster aircraft – an indication that their use and dispersal is possible with relatively low tech capability. Generally speaking, the threat of CW these days is thought to be primarily from terrorist groups; therefore, if the products are readily available, while the groups are unpredictable, irrational, and often indigenous, then no response is likely to be quick enough in many cases.

• Large-scale production, on the other hand, was suspected, proved and halted in Iraq; this was possible because of the effectiveness of an international inspection regime, albeit, imposed in a coercive environment. We might argue about the nature of the coercion, but the capability for detection seems to have been credible and convincing.

Biological [and Toxin] Weapons (BTW): Difficult access, high risk, low frequency of use

• In the very contemporary timeframe (not counting the recent ricin poison scare in the US Senate earlier this month), there are only three instances of terrorist bioweapon/toxin attacks or attempted attacks that are well documented. In 1984 a religious cult contaminated salad bars in their county in rural Oregon. 751 people became ill from food poisoning, 45 of whom required hospitalization, although nobody died. It was a year before authorities determined the source of the outbreak.

• In 1995, the religious sect Aum Shinrikyo, released sarin gas (a chemical agent) in the Toyko subway system. 12 people died and thousands became ill. While the cult also attempted to use biological weapons (spraying botulinum toxin and anthrax in downtown Tokyo over a two year period, 1993-1995, as many as ten times, there was no apparent known effect.) Some have suggested that the switch to sarin gas from bio-agents is indicative of the relative ease by which CW can be administered, as compared to BW.

• In the autumn of 2001, following the terror attacks in New York and Washington, at least three letters contaminated with anthrax were circulated in the US. 18 people were infected with anthrax as a result, and five people died. The impact of the letters was wider however than those numbers would suggest.

• Regardless of the frequency of contemporary attacks, the potential for risk by biological agent dispersal should not be ignored. It is calculated that 100 kilograms of anthrax spores could be dispersed, in ideal conditions, killing between 130,000 and 3 million people over a large US city – a lethality “matching or exceeding that of a hydrogen bomb” (see: Richard F. Pilch in the references, below).

• The greatest present danger of BW risk is probably the brain drain of Russian ex bio-weapon scientists. Stemming that flow is therefore the most likely useful focus of our attention.

Nuclear Weapons: Verification and compliance proposals in the context of deep reductions

•What are some proposed approaches to verifying “deep reductions in nuclear forces” as would be necessary in the early phases of a process towards abolition? Some, such as Bruce Blair, Frank von Hippel, Steve Fetter et al. have noted (see references, below) the high degree of cooperation that will be necessary among the current nuclear weapon states before verification of compliance measures can be put into place – something that is not currently looking that promising. But, when the ducks so get lined up, a comprehensive system would include three key components:

1. measures to monitor restrictions on “allowed” nuclear weapons [en route to abolition];
2. measures to monitor delivery vehicles and launchers; and
3. measures to monitor restrictions on the deployment and alert status of nuclear forces.

We should note the importance of irreversibility in any of these deep cuts strategies. Some of this could be carried out by the IAEA, other aspects by a new verification authority that would need to be set up. Standard measures would include the listing of suspect processes, declarations, tagging schemes, challenge inspection protocols, records verification, production facilities shutdown monitoring procedures, and so on, that in the present international climate may seem to put the cart before the horse. However, if we are to be prepared to enter a period of deep reductions when the opportunity arises, and because the process of inventorying will be long and complex anyway, there’s no time like the present to start the inventory.

•A precise inventory of known warhead and fissile materials stockpiles could be at the top of the list. For the very reason that concealed weapons and fissile materials will be almost impossible to detect without information indicating where to start looking, it is important that the process begin, and obviously starting with those currently willing to cooperate.

•As the Nuclear Turning Point authors suggest, citizen reporting should be both encouraged now and become an activity protected in law.

The costs of verification are not prohibitive, even ignoring their efficacy

In 1995, the IAEA estimated that a comprehensive nuclear weapons verification effort would involve 25,000 person days of inspection effort/year, and cost $150 million to monitor 995 facilities in both the declared and undeclared nuclear weapon states. For comparison, it cost $62.5 million in 1993 to do the job, involving 8,200 person days. Ron Cleminson, who has spoken to this gathering in the past, estimated perhaps somewhat optimistically about eight years ago that a cool half billion dollars per year would cover verification costs for the whole range of weapons of mass destruction. In other words, this is a drop in the bucket, even in today’s dollars.

•The problem, however, is not cost, nor is it likely technological, even though there is real complexity in tracking inventories of broadly used industrial products that might be diverted into chemical weapons production; or sources of anthrax and other bio-agents, or nuclear reactor waste products diversion.

Iraq Case Study: What lessons?

•We know that absolute certainty of compliance is impossible, so there needs to be agreement on what level of satisfaction is acceptable, realizing that the greater the assurance, the greater will be the coercion potential in any unfriendly environment. That level of assurance is certainly also technologically limited, but case studies such as that of UNSCOM/UNMOVIC in Iraq suggest that the process is on the most part effective. Here I’d like to throw into the pot for discussion a few questions for us to consider:

•I think the evidence shows that the UNSCOM/UNMOVIC inspection experience is proof we are facing a political question, not a verification problem. In fact there is a good deal of likelihood that once the deep cuts in nuclear weapons process is begun in earnest, once the momentum shifts away from the 9/11 obsession, the rest may not be “simple”, but the verification process will be shown to be well developed, even based on current experience and technology.

All of which leads us to asking ourselves: Were the measures taken by inspectors in Iraq to verify compliance with Security Council resolutions robust enough? Knowing that the process can never be 100% assured, were the criteria selected sufficient? Let’s assume that they were good enough. The weight of evidence suggests that Iraq either had no Weapons of Mass Destruction of any significance in hand; or they may have moved them out of the country (a piece of anonymous speculation that recently made the rounds); or the Iraqis may have destroyed them.

•In any case, there was no evidence of an imminent threat. That was more or less the Canadian government position (see references, below), and the position of most states, including the majority among the 15 members of the Security Council. Arguably there was conflicting intelligence. But if a regime as comprehensive as the inspection regime placed in Iraq was not sufficient, then what would sufficient look like, and what does that tell us about the future of the verification and compliance process?

•There are other test cases waiting in line on the so-called rogue lists: Iran, North Korea and Libya. What confidence do we have, then, that a positive inspection report will be taken at face value, and not that these assessments will be taken instead as excuses for intervention, regardless of any inspection/verification/compliance process outcome? In other words, is there a basic political problem that needs to be addressed, before we can get back to looking to verifying compliance in another corner of the globe?

References:

Canada’s assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction:
http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/department/focus/weapons_mass_destruction-en.asp

Richard A. Falkenrath, Problems of Preparedness: U.S. Readiness for a Domestic Terrorist Attack, available on the world wide web at:
http://www.uky.edu/RGS/Patterson/desch/Readings/02-13/02-13_falkenrath_1.html

Richard A. Falkenrath, Robert D. Newman and Bradley A. Thayer, America’s Achilles’ Heel: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack, 1998, MIT Press, may be available as an e-book through university libraries.

Harold A. Feiveson, ed. The Nuclear Turning Point: A Blueprint for Deep Cuts and De-Alerting of Nuclear Weapons. Washington, DC.: Brookings Institute, 1999.

Russell Howard and Reid Sawyer, eds. Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the New Security Environment. Guilford, Ct: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2004. See in particular:

•Jessica Stern, from “Getting and Using the Weapons,” The Ultimate Terrorists (Harvard University Press, 1999)
•Christopher F. Chyba, from “Toward Biological Security,” Foreign Affairs (May/June 2002)
•Richard F. Pilch, from “The Bioterrorism Threat in the United States,” Monterey Institute of International Studies Report, prepared for the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (2003)

Walter Laquer, “Post Modern Terrorism.” In Foreign Affairs, Vol. 75, no. 5, 1996.

NOVA backgrounder on Biological Weapons. Available on the world wide web at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bioterror/

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the world wide web at: http://www.opcw.org/factsandfigures/
See also their Fact Sheets, including #5 Three Types of Inspection, and #2 Synopsis of the CW convention text.

Steven Staples: MISSILE DEFENCE AND CANADA’S PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

Steven Staples: MISSILE DEFENCE AND CANADA’S PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
A presentation to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Consultations with Civil Society on Issues Related to International Security, Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems.

By Steven Staples
Polaris Institute

February 25, 2004

First, let me begin by saying thank you to my colleagues who have asked me to make a presentation on behalf of civil society regarding this very important issue of Canada’s participation in the American missile defence system.

With so much expertise and experience in the room today, I won’t pretend to be able to cover all of the concerns of citizens, so I’m counting on my colleagues to contribute generously to the subsequent discussion. . .

Two summers ago my family and I took a vacation along the Acadian coast of New Brunswick. It is a beautiful part of Canada and not very far from my home town of Fredericton. We went for the beaches and the wonderful culture there, but I have to admit to indulging in a little “nuclear tourism.”

We took a little detour to the town of Chatham, the site of an old Canadian Air Force base that has since been closed and handed over to local industries. But during the Cold War there were lots of rumours about Chatham — rumours about the U.S. soldiers that were stationed there, and about the Canadian Voodoo jet fighters that were on constant alert, hooked into the continental NORAD system.

As kids growing up in Fredericton we always wondered what was going on up there in Chatham, just about an hour or so’s drive down the back roads?

Thanks to research done recently by John Clearwater and others, today we know: Chatham was one of the few places in Canada where the government had permitted the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons.

In this case, they were nuclear-armed Genie missiles that could be loaded onto the Canadian fighter jets and fired against Russian bombers coming in over the Arctic. The nuclear weapons were kept there for years until the last of the missiles were taken out of Canada in the early 1980s.

I was reminded of this little-known chapter of our history during that astonishing interview with David Pratt on CTV last weekend. When Craig Oliver raised the issue of Bomarc nuclear missiles in Canada, the defence minister said, “Well, you know, Craig, we’ve been in the missile defence business for some time in terms of the north warning system.”

In essence, he was arguing that our history with NORAD and the nuclear weapons that were placed in Canada has made us part of a missile defence system for decades — so whatxs the big deal?

And I think this explains why whenever the discussion of missile defence comes up, there is a sense of déjà vu in the minds of everyday Canadians: “Haven’t we gone through this before? This is Star Wars, right? From the Cold War. Oh yeah, Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union and all that evil empire stuff. Glad that’s over. . .”

Well, maybe not.

This headline from Monday’s Globe and Mail brought it all back: “Canada may host U.S. missiles.”

I think that headlines like this, and missile defence in general, are tapping into a growing unease about where this government is taking us.

It was no coincidence that the exchange of letters between Defence Minister David Pratt and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld occurred a few days before Paul Martin’s big breakfast meeting in Monterrey, Mexico.

Of course, everyone wants to have good relations with the neighbours, but how far is Paul Martin willing to go to get that invitation to the White House?

So I went to Monterrey, and even sat in on the Prime Minister’s first press briefing following his breakfast with Bush. Surprisingly, no mention of missile defence came up. Just Iraq contracts, Maher Arar, and possible movement on trade problems such as beef and lumber.

A reporter told me later that in a subsequent press briefing he had asked the Prime Minister what he offered the U.S. president in return for these concessions, and Paul Martin replied: nothing.

Now, as an advocate for disarmament I have been frequently called naïve — but I don’t think I’m that naïve. . .

A week later a Canadian Press story emerged to the effect that during the meeting in Mexico, Paul Martin proposed to reviewing Canada’s foreign policy to make it more complementary to that of the U.S.

Further, the story said that Paul Martin himself had a private meeting with U.S. Ambassador Cellucci last April. Only days later he announced he supported Canada’s participation in the U.S. missile defence program, along with increased military spending and improved security co-operation generally.

Since taking power Paul Martin has not failed to deliver on many of these promises. He has put an improved Canada-U.S. relationship and even a close personal relationship with George W. Bush at the top of his agenda.

The government has been reworked to include a new public safety department that mirrors the United States Department of Homeland Security. All capital spending has been frozen except for new military helicopters and tanks. And Martin appointed the most hawkish of the Liberal caucus, and a supporter of the Iraq invasion, as his minister of national defence.

Most revealing, it is apparently David Pratt who is leading the negotiations on Canada’s joining the national missile defence program — not the department of foreign affairs, where these discussions should rightfully be taking place.

These changes really fly in the face of popular opinion. There is no widespread demand for this in the Canadian public. Maclean’s Magazine’s annual year-end survey found that only one in ten Canadians felt that the Prime Minister’s top priority should be “having a closer relationship with the United States.” Further, three out of every four agreed that “It is important for Canada to set its own course and we were right to stay out of the war, even if it has annoyed our closest trade partner and may have cost Canadian jobs.”

So where is the pressure coming from in Canada for this new-found enthusiasm in the government to build up the military and join the U.S. missile defence shield?

Anyone who reads the business pages these days will know that a very active business lobby has sprung up in the last few years to push the government towards greater market integration with the United States.

According to the C.D. Howe Institute and other corporate think tanks, NAFTA has run out of steam. Many of the old players who were involved in the free trade debates are back, pushing what Thomas d’Aquino of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives calls “the second chapter of that transforming initiative.”

Only this time there is a difference — economic integration with the United States is linked with military and security integration. In the Bush administration security trumps trade, so the proposals from the business lobby today call explicitly for a beefed-up and more aggressive Canadian military, including Canadian participation in the American missile defence program. Even the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has come out in support of joining missile defence.

If you go deeper into their proposals, you find there is more than just missile defence. In fact, business groups are arguing that we need to rethink our foreign and defence policy to fit that of the United States. They are being bolstered by the most extreme voices in the Canadian defence lobby — some of whom are now arguing that years of Canada’s work on multilateral arms control initiatives have been a waste of time. Others are questioning Canada’s traditional peacekeeping role and preparing the ground for the government to drop its opposition to the weaponization of space.

The result, in my opinion, is a serious crisis for the future of Canada’s foreign and defence policies — and our very role in the world.

Those voices that urge the government to embrace the national security policies of the United States are in fact urging that we turn our back on decades of support for nuclear disarmament.

In the final assessment, missile defence is an admission of failure. It accepts that nuclear breakout is now a fact, and as Donald Rumsfeld has pointed out, the United States has to “manage” the spread of nuclear weapons if it wants to maintain its own nuclear arsenals and superior strategic position in the world.

This strategy requires missile defences at home that will allow aggressive, counter-proliferation and pre-emptive wars abroad. We heard this very clearly from one of our presenters yesterday . . .

And we have to ask ourselves: Is this the best that Canada can do? Is this the best answer that all of these brilliant people in this foreign affairs building can come up with? I don’t believe it.

Canadians are proud of our tradition as a peacekeeper, as a diplomat, as a middle power that seeks novel solutions to seemingly intractable situations. If we look around we can see it every day.

Look at the soldiers in Afghanistan who know it’s dangerous to patrol in those open Iltis jeeps but who accept the risk because they want to have personal contact with local people.

See the everyday Canadian activists who have taken verification into their own hands, formed citizen weapons inspection teams, and confronted nuclear bases in the United States and other NATO members demanding that they live up to Article VI of the NPT.

And look at the Liberal members of Parliament who don’t even support their own party’s involvement in these missile defence talks.

One of our presenters yesterday asked an important question: If we are not working for zero nuclear weapons, what are we working for?

Personally, I believe that the abolition of nuclear weapons is still possible. I’m not ready to give up that easily.

I told you about the airbase in Chatham, and the nuclear weapons that were kept there. That base has been sold off to local business and is now open to the public. So we took a look around and we found the concrete bunkers that once stored the dozens of nuclear bombs were secretly held at the base.

Can you guess what those bunkers are used for today? They’re gardening sheds.

Canada should not join the United States in its missile defence system. Instead, we need to recommit ourselves to the task of nuclear disarmament.

The number of opportunities, while sometimes difficult to see, has in fact never been greater. The Cold War is over! Let’s leave these weapons and missile schemes to history.

Let’s not sit here in North America and hide behind an American missile shield.

Instead, let’s take Canadians’ new-found confidence and internationalism and engage the world to show that there are other, better answers.

Thank you.

______________
Steven Staples Director,
Project on the Corporate-Security State
Polaris Institute
312 Cooper Street Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 0G7 CANADA
t. 613 237-1717 x107 c. 613 290-2695 f. 613 237-3359 e. steven_staples@on.aibn.com www.polarisinstitute.org

Bev Delong: Canada, missile proliferation and controls

Bev Delong: CANADA, MISSILE PROLIFERATION AND CONTROLS
Briefing note for Government-Civil Society Consultation Feb. 24 & 25th, 2004

The literature in this area seems based in a fantasy world of good guys and bad guys, or perhaps even a world where the only owners of nuclear weapons are North Korea, China, India, Pakistan and Israel. Rare are references to the legal obligation to eliminate nuclear weapons. And nonexistent are references to the warnings given by Dr. Joseph Rotblat, General Lee Butler, Dr. Bruce Blair and others of the dangers involved in states persisting with policies of launch on warning. (1)

Thankfully greater realism has obviously encouraged Canadian officials in their persistent work in moving from the MTCR to the Hague Code of Conduct. The clarity of thinking is very evident in Rob’s excellent paper. We are in a somewhat more secure world due to his work on Pre Launch Notifications in the Code. Mark Smith of the Mountbatten Centre has commented on the importance as well of the establishment under the Code of basic working relationships and he notes that “Stopgap solutions, after all, are better than a widening gulf.” (2)

There is some evidence the MTCR has slowed transfers of sophisticated technology.(3) But all these initiatives fail to define disarmament as an urgent legal obligation.(4) And I think that apart from improving the procedures defined under the Hague Code and widening its membership, we may now be at a halt.

Why do states want missiles? Regional quarrels obviously support the drive to buy nuclear weapons. But, more importantly, I think that demand is fuelled when states are subjected to threats of nuclear use. The US is known to have made such threats over 20 times.(5) And the new- and near- nuclear states have noted the profound hypocrisy of NATO states who, while claiming to support the NPT, simultaneously maintain their capacity to threaten nuclear use.

Given this dangerous state of affairs, what could the Government of Canada do to build international energy toward fulfilling our legal obligation of nuclear disarmament?

A. The Government could use the opportunity of the NPT PrepCom to publicly move to an authentic position of legal compliance with the NPT. We can join South Africa and 61 other states now in NWFZs in delegitimizing nuclear weapons. This soon-to-be-historic (!) speech at the PrepCom would require several elements. The Canadian Government would:

1st, call upon all Nuclear Weapons States to immediately de-alert their nuclear weapons recognizing the threat posed by launch-on- warning strategies;

2nd, Canada would refuse the offer made by the US to Canada in the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction to use nuclear weapons to defend us, noting that such a defence is immoral, unlawful and could trigger a nuclear holocaust (6).

3rd, the Government would announce that Canada will no longer participate in NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group noting that such planning for the use of nuclear weapons is both immoral and unlawful as a breach of international humanitarian law; [I reject the “seat at the table”argument and think officials need to be very mindful of the implications of the Nuremberg Principles for those “planning…a war in violation of international law..”]

4th Canada would call upon the US to honour its Negative Security Assurances and withdraw its threats against the several states named in the Nuclear Posture Review; and finally

5th, Canada would call upon the US to withdraw its threat of preemptive nuclear use against states thought to possess WMD. Such threats simply encourage those states to acquire missiles and weapons to protect themselves against the US.

Imagine how such a speech might serve to delegitimize nuclear weapons?

In addition, there are other steps Canada could take to limit missile proliferation and to delegitimize nuclear weapons.

B. It is obvious that Canada should withdraw from all US plans for missile defence, noting that this program is encouraging the maintenance and indeed expansion of nuclear arsenals and missile technology worldwide. (7) As an alternative, the government could engage like-minded states in discussion of the possibility of a missile flight test ban. Indeed, Canada should invite other states to discuss the new threat potentially posed to satellites by missile defence technology and the need for satellite security. (8)

C. Canada might host meetings to explore the necessary elements of model domestic legislation criminalizing not just the activities of those involved in sales of nuclear technology – as Dr. El Baradei has proposed – but the activities of those involved in all aspects of nuclear weaponry. If we start a process of one state after another criminalizing nuclear weapons activities, perhaps it would build public support and political momentum toward a norm of rejection of nuclear weapons.

D. Canada could investigate means of supporting the renewal of a US-North Korea security agreement. The American assurance against the threat and use of nuclear weapons from the 1994 Framework Agreement should be urgently renewed. North Korea should quite simply be bought off with food aid and fuel.

E. The Canadian Government should be strongly encouraged to support efforts through ASEAN to build military and popular support for a North East Asia Nuclear Weapons- Free Zone. As recommended by the Pacific Campaign for Disarmament and Security, Canada might play a role by encouraging the invitation of civil society from the ASEAN states to present their proposals for this Zone and engage in debate within a ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting. (9) And a similar strategy should be supported in other regions.

F. As for the Proliferation Security Initiative, I am a newcomer to maritime law, but my initial look at the Law of the Sea Convention leads me to believe that interdiction on the high seas – no matter how justified – is currently unlawful. Almost more worrying is my sense that it will be perceived to be an act of bullying by states. We need to avoid rash action. If we want our seas nuclear free, the time must be taken to build consensus on a Nuclear Weapons Free Seas Treaty – applicable to all – or amend the Law of the Sea Convention. The U.S. should be warned that bullying activities may provoke further proliferation or terrorism against them.

G. More generally, but still very important, the Canadian government can confront proliferation by increasing funding directed toward democratization and development strategies worldwide, such work being of particular importance in these “states of concern”. It is this work that will in the long term build a more stable international security. Ernie Regehr has written very persuasively on the need for attention to governance issues. (10)

H. Finally, in accord with its undertakings at the UN on Disarmament Education, the government could fund a nuclear weapons education program to build a norm supporting abolition of nuclear weapons. It could initially be directed to four specific groups each of which might become engaged in discussing missile proliferation within their communities. Might I suggest these groups – all potential citizen inspectors or whistleblowers:
1) new Canadians who might have important contacts in new or near nuclear weapons states
2) scientists who could potentially be invited to engage in research regarding nuclear weapons and their delivery systems,
3) Canadians engaged in work, study and travel abroad, and
4) unions involved in the transportation industry responsible for handling goods in ports, and airports.
Such strategies might provide a truer and nondiscriminatory path to engaging the global public in understanding the risks of missile proliferation.

Footnotes:
(1) Bruce G. Blair, “Keeping Presidents in the Nuclear Dark”, Feb. 16, 2004;
Bruce G. Blair, “Rogue States: Nuclear Red-Herrings”, Dec. 5, 2003 (both at
Generals Lee Butler and Andrew J. Goodpaster, “Joint Statement on Reduction of Nuclear Weapons Arsenals: Declining Utility, Continuing Risks”, 2002 (at ;
David Ruppe “Experts Warn of Accidental U.S., Russian Missile Launches”, Jan. 28, 2004, Global Security Newswire,

(2) Mark Smith, “Preparing the Ground for Modest Steps: A Progress Report on the Hague Code of Conduct”, Disarmament Diplomacy, Issue No. 72, August – September 2003, at p. 10 wherein he comments “…while provision of information such as the HCoC’s PLNs [Pre Launch Notifications] and annual declarations is certainly a limited cure for the insecurity generated by missile development, the modest impact of such basic working relationships should not be dismissed. Stopgap solutions, after all, are better than a widening gulf.”

(3) Mark Smith, “Pros and Cons of the MTCR, and Efforts to Move Forward”, INESAP Bulletin 21, publishing a paper delivered on Jan. 24-26, 2003 in Berlin.

(4) W. Pal S. Sidhu and Christophe Carle, “Managing Missiles: Blind Spot or Blind Alley?”, Disarmament Diplomacy, Issue No. 72, August – September 2003, at p. 7.

(5) For instance, see the threat of nuclear use made by the U.S. in the Nuclear Posture Review. This is only one of a series of threats by the U.S. and other nuclear states. For a list of the threats, refer to “A Chronology of Nuclear Threats” which has been researched by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Maryland, USA. For a further update, see the speech”Nuclear Weapons: Forgotten but not Gone”, by Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation, on Feb. 24- 25, 2001 at their website within which the author notes: “…. over the past decade the U.S. has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against Libya (April 1996), North Korea (July 1994) and Iraq (1991 and 1998).”

(6) In the U.S. “National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction” released in 2002, it states “The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force – including through resort to all of our options – to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies.”

(7). Unhappily we note that Russia has just engaged in a huge military exercise to test ballistic missile launches in an attempt to develop weapons systems “capable of providing an asymmetric answer to existing and prospective weapons systems, including missile defence”states Col. Gen. Baluyevsky, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces quoted in “General says maneuvers are response to American nuclear development plan”, International Herald Tribune (online), Feb. 11, 2004.

The report of these exercises in “Military Exercises of the Nuclear Briefcase” from Rossiyskaya Gazeta of Feb. 11, 2004 advises that “Such large-scale exercises have not been organized in Russia for a long time….Strategic nuclear forces will play the main role in the exercise.”

(8) David Wright and Laura Grego, “Anti-Satellite Capabilities of Planned US Missile Defense Systems”, Union of Concerned Scientists, Dec. 9, 2002, at

(9) “Promoting a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free-Zone: An Opportunity for Canada”, Pacific Campaign for Disarmament & Security, August 2003.

(10) The need to support improved governance has been well argued by Ernie Regehr in “Missile Proliferation, Globalized Insecurity, and Demand-Side Strategies”, Ploughshares Briefing 01/4.

Women and Nuclear Weapons

Women contribute thousands of hours of work yearly to the nurture of their families, their community and the natural environment. All are threatened by nuclear weapons.

“The nuclear bomb is the most anti-democratic, anti-national, anti-human, outright evil thing that man has ever made.
If you are religious, then remember that this bomb is Man’s challenge to God. It’s worded quite simply: We have the power to destroy everything that You have created. If you’re not religious, then look at it this way. This world of ours is four thousand, six hundred million years old. It could end in an afternoon.”
(Arundhati Roy, “The End of Imagination”, Guardian Media Group, August 1, 1998.)

Why should women care?

Nuclear bombs are an enduring threat. Thirty thousand nuclear weapons remain in the global arsenal. Of these, 4,400 could be used in less than 15 minutes. Nuclear terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons technology to non-nuclear states continues. Until nuclear weapons are eliminated, we are at risk. The idea that they can exist and not be used accidentally or by decision “defies credibility”. (The Canberra Commission, 1995)

Nuclear tests spread dangerous levels of radioactive fallout.
Nuclear weapons are extremely expensive to develop and maintain, taking valuable resources from health, environmental and social programs.

“Even a single nuclear bomb exploding in an inhabited area – whether through accident, terrorism or war – could kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. There is no effective medical response to a nuclear explosion; the only effective approach is prevention.”
(Call for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) 1995).

In what ways does Canada support nuclear war-fighting?

In what ways does Canada support nuclear war-fighting?

The Government of Canada provides:

  • political, military and financial support for NATO and NORAD
  • airspace and facilities for nuclear bomber training/li>
  • approval for port visits by nuclear-armed submarines/li>
  • maintenance for communications sites for nuclear forces/li>
  • permission for deployment of bombers and support forces to Canadian airfields during nuclear crises/li>
  • support for production and export of components for nuclear weapon delivery vehicles, such as bombers and submarines

Although NATO has reduced its reliance on nuclear weapons, those states persist in relying on nuclear weapons as a “credible and effective element of the Alliance’s strategy of preventing war.”  Such statements serve to encourage other states to acquire nuclear weapons.  NATO has taken no steps to comply with the legal obligation to eliminate nuclear weapons.  To find their current view, review the Final Communiqués out of the most recent Meetings of the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group at:

http://www.nato.int/docu/comm.htm

See also Canada and nuclear weapons: Canadian policies related to, and connections to, nuclear weapons
Ploughshares working paper 02-5 by Bill Robinson

Voices: My Hiroshima A-Bomb Experience by Miyanaga Ryuma

My Hiroshima A-bomb Experience: Why Nuclear Weapons Cannot Be Allowed in Our Universe
By Miyanaga Ryuma, Morioka-City, Iwate Prefecture

Flash!… I was engulfed in an intense ray of light and felt an incredible heat. In an instant, everything around me became red, as if I had been thrust inside a fiery blaze. In the same instant, I was knocked over by a blast of hot air containing a tremendous amount of pressure.

When I came to, I was sprawled on the floor and the drawing easel I had just moments before been working on was on top of me. With a rush of noise the ceiling opened up and the roof totally collapsed in, sagging down near the window. Previously solid pillars all broke in the same way, forming a shaped that looked like a sideways “V”. They seemed to be hanging at an angle in mid air, capable of collapsing at any moment. The entire floor was covered in broken pieces of glass. I could hear people groaning and screaming. The floor was covered in blood and bodies lay there with pieces of glass piercing them like knives. I was covered everywhere in dust and felt fuzzyheaded, unable to stand up but finally able to crawl on my knees. From outside, I could hear thousands of employees yelling and screaming.

Workers covered in blood gathered in the open grounds near the side of the building. Among this horrendous scene was a steady stream of people pouring through the front gate who looked like they came from some horrible other world. They were people fleeing from the city center. An unending line of people came walking through, eyeballs protruding out of their sockets, hair clinging to their head, their skin burnt and dripping, still smoldering, with blisters beginning to form. Unable to distinguish between men and women, they no longer looked human. The cries and moans of “I’m so hot! It hurts! Water, water!” began to fade away and people started dying like flies in front of me. I was so stunned by this scene that I didn’t even notice my own injuries.

On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 am, I was exposed to the atomic bomb dropped by America. I was fifteen years old at the time and I was inside the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Hiroshima Shipyard four kilometers away from the hypocenter. When day broke the following morning, the shipyard had become an even more hellish field of corpses. I entered the city to help in the rescue efforts of survivors about 1 kilometer to 1.5 kilometers away from the hypocenter. Fires were breaking out all over the city. Thousands of people had jumped into the river to find relief from their burns, and the river had become choked with floating corpses. All the bridges and roads were covered with burnt, blackened bodies. There was no place to walk without stepping on arms, legs, heads or bodies stuck to the surface of the road. Bodies hung from the bridge railings like rags hung out to dry. All that was left of a train stopped in its tracks was its frame. All of the people inside had been incinerated.

In another scene, the upper body of person trapped under a collapsed houses remained intact while their legs had been completely burned away. I couldn’t rescue them. I felt like I was loosing my mind amid this unspeakably horrifying scene. Dead bodies and those people barely alive were left outside in the intense heat and began to rot. The stench from the city’s crematoriums drifted as far away as the shipyard four kilometers from town, making it difficult to breath.

More than 140,000 people died during this time. The atomic bomb is truly horrific. That single A-bomb dropped half a century ago instantaneously wiped out 78,000 people within a 1.5-kilometer radius of the hypocenter. It decimated our culture, incinerated all vegetation and turned the city to ashes. In addition, those A-bomb survivors that are still alive today have suffered from a lifetime of residual illness due to radiation fallout. Immediately following the atomic bombing I was in a state of total shock and didn’t help rescue a single person. However, I will never forget that scene of truly evil hell and the sadness of those robbed of life in such a tragic way.

While the wounds on my forehead and limbs healed over the course of time, my body was inundated with radiation during my participation in rescue efforts near the hypocenter. Many of the people who were with me at the time died soon after and each day I was tormented by fears that I would soon die as well. Three years after the atomic bombing I left Hiroshima and moved to Iwate Prefecture. Twenty years later, I am receiving treatment for a hormonal disorder, diabetes and cataracts due to radiation fallout. Although I constantly carried with me fears of becoming sick, I was able to work for a long period of time and just retired from my teaching position a few years ago. Currently I am a member of the Iwate Prefectural Hibakusha Association. I speak about my experiences as an A-bomb survivor whenever I have the chance.

While I stood by helplessly at the time, that image of the living hell of Hiroshima on “that day” has been burned into my brain. As a surviving atomic bomb victim, I believe I have a duty to speak out on the reality of the destruction wrought by nuclear weapons. No matter how one attempts to justify nuclear weapons, they should absolutely never be used and they should never be built. If they are used again it would destroy the cultural heritage of the world, reduce every country to ashes and cause the extinction of the human race. This atrocious, horrific and inhumane event simply cannot occur again on this earth. For true peace and happiness among human kind, I strongly appeal from my heart for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Voices: The Youngest Survivor, By Nakanishi Eiji

The Youngest Survivor
By Nakanishi Eiji, Kita Ward, Tokyo

Voices: My Hiroshima A-bomb Experience by Miyanaga Ryuma

I was born in Hiroshima in October 1941. When I was a two month-old baby, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War began. The Japanese government proclaimed themselves to be the “Leaders of Peace in the Orient” and began the war stating that they would “Liberate the people of Asia from the control of Europe and the United States.” In reality, Japan aligned itself with Hitler Germany and became the enemy of the entire world. They engaged in a war of aggression using brute force to control other countries. The responsibility for starting this war, which claimed more than twenty million casualties in Asia and the Pacific alone, lies with Japan.

From a young age I have always wanted to know from the adults around me, “Why did you start this war?” I was still only three years old when, as a result of the war started by the Japanese government, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. My family lived 2.5 kilometers from the hypocenter. On that day my father, my older sister and I were at home. According to the stories of my parents, at the moment of the blast a large portion of our house was completely blown away and my father was thrown from a downstairs room into the garden. My older sister, who was on the second floor, tumbled down the stairs that had just collapsed and filled with dust and began to look for me.

Apparently I was sitting right outside the front door playing by my self. Miraculously, I was completely uninjured. Covered head to foot in ash, I was totally white. When my sister found me she grabbed me and hugged me as tight as she could. What is so miraculous about all of this is that at that very instant the woman from next door was walking on the road very close to me and was severely burned by the thermal rays. I just happened to be in the shade, and that housewife from next door just by chance was walking outside in the sun.

Our fates were decided by the thinnest of margins. With the A-bomb, the difference between life and death, between being injured or emerging unscathed, is completely random. Only ten days before the bomb was dropped, my family had moved away from an area that was close to the city center. My aunt’s family remained in this area and their house was totally razed to the ground by fire. Her husband was killed when he was pinned under a burning support column. My aunt, unable to do anything to save him, watched her husband burn to death before her very eyes. I have heard that her husband died screaming, “Are you just going to stand there and watch me die? You evil bitch!”

If our move had just been ten days later, my family would have been struck by the same tragedy. The A-bomb killed more than 100,000 people in the immediate period following the blast. Furthermore, it is a terrifying weapon which continues to kill people through fallout from radiation and which continues to cause pain and suffering in peoples lives many years later. My father’s older brother was uninjured in the blast but by the end of 1945 he had died from radiation sickness in a hospital in Kyushu.

I will never forget the scene of two brothers who were friends of mine in tears one evening, rushing their mother to the hospital in a wheelbarrow because she had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. Their mother was dead by the end of the day. Suffering from the A-bomb as a three year old and watching so many people die around me, I have grown up with the fear that someday my turn will come.

When I was twenty-two I became engaged to be married. However, the woman’s family opposed the marriage saying, “We will not let our daughter marry an A-bomb survivor”, and the marriage never happened. I later married a different woman and together we had a son. When he was born, I counted each and every finger and toe to make sure he had all ten. The first time he came down with a fever, I spent the whole night cradling him in my arms and cried about what I would do if he ever started to show the effects of the A-bomb. I cursed the A-bomb for its never-ending presence in my life. Even as the “youngest survivor” who suffered from the atomic bombing at the age of three, the A-bomb is a lifelong burden that I must carry.

Those who were killed or injured by the bomb were not soldiers or the military. They were noncombatants, the nameless people of Hiroshima. The A-bomb incinerated in a single stoke ten of thousands, indeed hundreds of thousands of people like you and I who have the right to live in peace and happiness, and it continues to rob people of their lives through residual radiation illness even half a century later. This is not a weapon to be used for military victory. It is a weapon for the annihilation of the human race.

I have something I would like to say to President Bush and the leaders of all the countries which possess nuclear weapons. Imagine a relative of yours being burned by the atomic bomb. You are forced to watch them die while they scream that you are an “evil bitch” because you can’t do anything to save them. Imagine a scene of hundreds of thousands of good people writhing in pure agony while they are burned all over their bodies. Imagine two young brothers in tears while they watch over their mother as she dies from radiation illness. Would you still use the A-bomb?

As the sole witnesses to the scenes of the annihilation of humanity that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, A-bomb survivors have continued for half a century to offer a warning to the world. The world cannot have anymore atomic bomb survivors. That is our cry. Although I am the “youngest survivor”, I believe it is my job to pass on this desire of older A-bomb survivors to the next generation. I am sixty-one years old and this is my first trip abroad. I am finally realizing my lifelong dream of visiting the United States to apologize for the war my country started, but also to speak out against nuclear weapons. From the bottom of my heart I wish to take this opportunity to become friends with all of you.

What We Do

  1. Discussion of Nuclear Weapons Policy:
    • We organize or support Round Tables among Parliamentarians, officials, academics and the public to encourage a discussion of nuclear weapons issues and policies.
    • We organize regular briefings by officials of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and National Defence for our membership.
    • We discuss and build consensus among our member groups on priorities for Canadian policy priorities.
    • We Participate in, and encourage members to participate in, public hearings on Canadian policy with respect to nuclear weapons.
    • We serve on the organizing committee for an Annual Consultation with the Canadian Government on nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.
  2. Inform Canadian Parliamentarians, officials, the media and the public:
    • We prepare and circulate public education materials.
    • We provide briefings and educational materials to officials and Parliamentarians.
    • We develop public campaigns on nuclear weapons issues.
    • We circulate key information through listservs.
    • We share key information on our website.
  3. Network with Others Working for Abolition:
    • We serve as point of contact for the Canadian public on nuclear disarmament activities:
    • We serve as a national point of contact with the Canadian government and other interest groups.
    • We contribute to and work with international efforts for nuclear abolition.
  4. Build/Provide Evidence of Public Support for Abolition:
    • We provide the Canadian Government with evidence of support for disarmament through:
    • Letter writing campaigns, opinion polls in Canada and abroad, public statements by key groups in civil society, public statements by governments supportive of abolition.
  5. Building Media Awareness of Nuclear Weapons Concerns, and the Need for Abolition:
    • We identify and provide information to key media people who follow the Government’s movement on foreign policy.
  6. Building International Support for Abolition:
    • CNANW proposed creating a coalition of middle power states to work toward nuclear weapons elimination. (This became the successful Middle Powers Initiative.)
    • We write to Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
    • We communicate with peace groups around the world.

Scott Ritter – former United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq

Scott Ritter, Former United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998:
Six Points for Peace
On America, Iraq, the United Nations, Weapons Inspections, and the Future of World Peace

Six Points for Peace

The Canadian Government is bravely and correctly using its influence as a member in good standing of the United Nations to try and strike a compromise in the Security Council that offers a realistic opportunity to peacefully disarm Iraq, maintains the real threat of severe consequences should Iraq fail to comply, and preserves the integrity and viability of that body. The only problem with the Canadian initiative is that it fails to take into account the unspoken truth — that the American grudge with Iraq has nothing to do with disarmament, but rather a laser-like focus on regime removal, something that is not endorsed by any Security Council resolution, or indeed the United Nations Charter.

If Canada would like to see a positive outcome in regards to its initiative for peace, it would do well to remember that the decision for war with Iraq will be made in Washington DC, not New York. As such, expanding its compromise initiative in a manner that offers President Bush a face saving means of extricating him and his administration from the political quagmire they have created might be the only way to avert war.

But there is a foundation of hope upon which to build this dream and turn it into reality, if only someone, or some nation, has the courage to see it through. This foundation rests on six points for peace, which in fact reflect six issues of concern for Iraq, the United States, and the international community — disarmament, human rights, democracy, diplomacy, economy, and peace. The main thrust behind these six issues would be to put in place actions that could be viewed as representing a fundamental change in the nature of the Iraqi Government, and as such constitute a form of regime change that could be acceptable to the White House, thereby opening a politically face saving way for war to be averted. These initiatives build upon White House comments made last year that if Iraq cooperated with inspectors and disarmed, this would in effect represent regime change, and thus meet the administration’s goals of achieving regime change in Iraq. Each of the six points is expanded on as follows:

Disarmament
The Iraqis have significantly improved their cooperation with the UN in accordance with Security Council resolutions, including unrestricted access to all sites and individuals requested by the inspectors. The inspectors have not found any substantive evidence of Iraq possessing proscribed weapons. While there are gaps in verification concerning certain critical elements of the Iraq declaration, this does not constitute a breach of Iraq’s obligations. If an acceptable benchmark regarding compliance can be defined, Iraq will continue to work with the UN inspectors with the goal of reaching a satisfactory conclusion to their work. It is important not simply to place a deadline, but to define the disarmament tasks that need to be accomplished. Furthermore, it is imperative that these tasks allow for the incorporation of qualitative judgments, to avoid the pitfall of trying to prove the negative in the absence of absolute proof. Finally, a finding of compliance must pave the way for the lifting of economic sanctions and the return to normalcy regarding Iraq&Mac226;s position vis-à-vis the international community.

Human Rights
Iraq will agree to implement domestic policies that are consistent with its obligations as a United Nations member, and in keeping with universally acceptable standards of human rights. For this purpose, Iraq will open, under the auspices of the Office of the Presidency, a special human rights office, and will invite the Secretary General to dispatch to Iraq the UN representative for human rights to begin discussions on joint work concerning monitoring and reporting on human rights issues inside Iraq. Baghdad will also agree to work with international organizations such as Amnesty International in regards to the monitoring of human rights in Iraq.

Democracy
Iraq will commit to the principles of democracy and reconciliation, and will agree to begin working with outside agencies, including the United Nations, to create the conditions for a free and open election for the Iraqi Parliament in three years time. This would include authorizing the establishment of opposition political parties, including those affiliated with expatriate opposition groups. Iraq would agree to work closely with outside agencies (i.e., the United Nations, the Governments of Canada and South Africa, Nobel Prize winners, etc.) to develop programs of reconciliation so that the process of democratization is open to all Iraqis without fear or prejudice.

Diplomacy
Iraq would commit to continue to cooperate fully with the United Nations. Iraq would also seek every means to reach out and engage the United States diplomatically so that the concerns of both parties can be resolved bilaterally. Iraq would request the re-establishment of full diplomatic relations with the United States, recognizing that this represents the best means of interacting between the two interested parties.

Economy
Iraq would commit to its responsibilities to the world in regards to providing secure supplies of oil at reasonable market prices. Iraq would work within acceptable frameworks to ensure that this occurs. The best way to achieve this would be to return control over Iraq’s oil resources to the Government of Iraq, thus freeing it to better exploit Iraq&Mac226;s indigenous resources. Iraq would work with the United Nations and leading oil exploration and extraction companies, including those from the United States and Great Britain, to achieve this. Iraq would be prepared to guarantee the strategic energy requirements of Europe and the United States once economic sanctions are lifted and the current crisis resolved.

Peace
Iraq would commit to a regional peace process that seeks not only to resolve the current crisis between Iraq and the United States, but also establish a framework of stability for relations between Iraq and all of its neighbors. Iraq would recognize the nation of Kuwait and its borders, and renounce war with Iran. Iraq would seek to direct its efforts towards regional economic and political stability, and renounce massive military expenditures that exceed legitimate requirements for self defense. Iraq would work to resolve the Palestinian conflict, and would accept any resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis that is acceptable for the people of Palestine. Iraq would reject violence as a means of resolving disputes, reject terror and terrorism, and would work with the international community to bring an end to acts of international terror.

Pie in the sky thinking? Perhaps, but the best part about these six points for peace is that the Iraqi Government, in conversations with senior officials of the South African Government, has agreed to implement them if there is some assurance that the United States would actively pursue a peaceful resolution to the current crisis along these lines. I can&Mac226;t think of a better mission statement for Canadian diplomacy than that. Six points for peace trumps 3,000 impact points for American bombs any day of the year.

Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector,
and author of Endgame: Solving the Iraq Crisis (Simon & Schuster, 1999).

This essay is taken from the presentation by Mr. Ritter to Calgary University on March 14, 2003.


On America, Iraq, the United Nations, Weapons Inspections, and the Future of World Peace

Scott Ritter
Former United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998

As the first months of resumed weapons inspections in Iraq comes to a close, the only thing that has become clear is that when it comes to Iraq and its past programs of mass destruction, nothing is clear. Are there weapons still remaining in Iraq? While it is too early along in the process of inspections for any preliminary judgment to be had, it does seem that Iraq is doing more than it ever has in the past to be as cooperative with the new UN inspectors. And yet, the Iraqi declaration concerning its past proscribed weaponry seems to have fallen short of the kind of conclusive confession that many in the United Nations, and especially Washington, DC, were expecting and demanding. The failure, or inability, of Iraq to provide iron-clad documentation concerning the final disposition of unaccounted for weapons and associated material once again brings the world to the brink of armed conflict.

Can inspections work? Can the UN weapons sleuths provide the world with enough confidence that the threat posed to international peace and security by Iraq’s chemical, biological, nuclear and long-range ballistic missiles has been dismantled? Or are the weapons inspections themselves merely a smokescreen behind which Iraq, enabled after seven years experience of mastering the cat-and-mouse game of hide and seek, bides its time while luring the world into a false sense of complacency, only to emerge emboldened by its defiance and strengthened with the ultimate tool of political and diplomatic blackmail — weapons of mass destruction?

Perhaps there is a different game at play here, a classic bait and switch being perpetrated by neo-conservative hawks in Washington, DC, one that parleys the conceptual threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction into an extension of the ongoing (and still un-won) war on terror, which is in turn used to justify implementation of a new doctrine of unilateralism which seeks to achieve American hegemony over the world under the guise of national security?

These are difficult questions and issues which require a solid foundation in fact and ideology to answer — fact because facts do matter, and ideology because when speaking of war and peace, life and death, it is essential that such matters be framed within the concept of an over-reaching system of values that defines life’s worth, and as such the circumstances under which one can consider the sacrifice of life. From my perspective as a former officer of Marines who participated in a War with Iraq (Operation Desert Storm, in 1991), and a former UN weapons inspector who took part in over 50 missions inside Iraq from 1991 until 1998, the current situation regarding Iraq is best evaluated within a framework which brings into play issues of War, the Rule of Law, and American Democracy.

On War. This discussion should start off by acknowledging that war is about death and devastation, killing or being killed. It is about the taking of human life, and the destruction of the human condition. War advances nothing; it only destroys. War represents the absolute failure of mankind, and as such should represent the last option considered when discussing the resolution of disputes between nations. I come to this discussion from the perspective of a warrior, someone who has trained in the art of war, and practiced it. I did so out of a sense of service to country, a desire to defend what I love and cherish. When joining the Marines, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I swore to defend the system of values and ideals set forth in that document, something I was then, and am now, prepared to give my life for. When speaking of war and reasons for war, as an American I must first ask what it is I and others would be fighting for. Is this a war about the security of the United States? Has the target of our aggression attacked us in any way? Is our very existence threatened? Or is this a war about political ideology and ambition? The former I am willing to sacrifice for, the latter never. As Americans we should seek clarification from our elected officials as to why we are pursuing war before we head down that awful path.

On the Rule of Law. The Constitution defines the United States as a nation of law. Law governs how we Americans interact as a people, and how we interact with the rest of the world. Law establishes the rules and regulations of this interaction, and sets forth the penalties for failure to comply. Law without effective enforcement is meaningless. Iraq has been required by international law to disarm. The penalty for failing to comply is severe — war. But the rule of law is a two-way street. It doesn’t only apply to those being held accountable, but also to those prosecuting. It is imperative that when speaking of holding Iraq accountable to the rule of law, we ensure that the rule of law is maintained. As such, when speaking of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, we should not deviate from the legal precept of “innocent until proven guilty”; especially when the consequences are sever as war. It is one thing to suspect Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction; it is another to demonstrate it. As long as Iraq is fulfilling its obligation to fully cooperate with UN weapons inspectors, and these inspections uncover no evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Iraq, talk of war is irresponsible and morally wrong. A guilty conviction can be made only upon irrefutable evidence of wrong-doing. The onus is upon the international community to provide proof of such wrongdoing, not on Iraq to provide proof of innocence. There are those who say the onus is on Iraq to prove to the international community that it no longer has weapons of mass destruction. This may well have been true in April 1991, when the Security Council passed the original disarmament resolution, 687. But that resolution recognized the precept that Iraq must fully cooperate with the United Nations inspectors, and if Baghdad failed to do this, then the Security Council, because it had made resolution 687 one passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, would enforce its law through the use of military force. However, when in July 1991 the Security Council failed to act in enforcement of its resolution in the face of Iraqi lies and obstruction, and instead sent weapons inspectors back to Iraq to hunt for undeclared weapons, the Council, through the precedent of its actions, shifted the burden of proof from Iraq to the inspectors. While this might have been wrong, it is in fact what happened, and from 1991 until 1998 the inspectors were forced to carry out an elaborate game of hide and seek. Having made these rules, it is imperative that the international community accept the results, which is that Iraq cannot at this late stage in the game be compelled to prove a negative.

On American Democracy It is increasingly difficult for me as an American to square the issues of war and the rule of law with the actions of the Government of the United States and, as an extension, the people it represents, when discussing Iraq. It is one thing to set out ideals and values in a Constitution. It is another to put them into action. More and more, I see the United States heading down the path of expediency when dealing with war and the rule of law. Such expediency is reprehensible to me as an American, as it represents a deviation from the foundation of beliefs that define me as an American. For me, the Constitution is an absolute; we are not Americans without it. To undertake courses of action at home or abroad which fail to adhere to the principles and letter of the Constitution means that we are turning away from that which defines us as a nation, that which I and others who wear, or wore, the uniform of the Armed Forces were — and are — prepared to defend with out lives. I not only revile those who would lead us down such a path, but wonder about those who allow themselves to be so led.

Democracy is not a passive endeavor. It requires an investment of sweat equity by those who seek to prosper within the framework of liberty and freedom democracy brings. I fear that many in America have come to expect the benefits of being an American without making the investment of citizenship. We are a nation that has stopped voting. We are a people so accustomed to wrapping ourselves in a cocoon of comfort that we fear anything that rocks the boat of prosperity, even if the ship is sailing towards the abyss. We have ceased being a nation of citizens, and instead become a collective of coddled consumers.

For America to survive, its citizens must rediscover who we are as a people. We must reacquaint ourselves with the Constitution of the United States, the rule of law, and what it means to be an American. We must re-embrace the concepts of citizenship, and the will to do so actively. The urgency of the moment is real, especially in this time of war and fear of war. Now is the time to ask questions, to demand answers, to hold those whom we elect to represent us in higher office accountable for what they do in our name. Such engagement is not only good citizenship; it is the most patriotic thing an American can do in defense of the ideals and values of American democracy.

As we consider war with Iraq, therefore, let us pause to ask some questions of those who are leading the charge towards war. Is Iraq a threat worthy of war? Can Iraq be demonstrated to possess weapons of mass destruction? And, regardless, is the situation regarding Iraq about the national security of the United States, or about the pursuit of political ambition and ideology? The answers to these questions, and how we respond, will go far in defining who we are as a nation, and how we are perceived around the world, for decades to come. We owe it to ourselves, to the world, and especially to those who wear the uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States, to not only ask these and other questions, but to demand factually-based answers from those in higher office. And if adequate answers are not forthcoming, then we owe it to the concept of American Democracy to ensure those who fail to respond to the will of the people never again represent the will of the people.

Despite President Bush’s repeated rhetoric concerning a “coalition of the willing”, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the looming war with Iraq is very much an American war, and decisions pertaining to this conflict are the sole purview of Washington, DC. The United Nations may fret and debate over issues of war and peace, and there still yet may be a role for the Security Council in providing a veil of legitimacy for any attack on Iraq through the passage of an authorizing resolution, but the trigger will be pulled by the White House. As such, the succession of high profile presentations recently made by UN inspectors and US Government officials in the form of, respectively, the weapons inspection status report to the Security Council (January 27), the President’s State of the Union Address (January 28), Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the Security Council (February 5) and the most recent status report by the UN inspectors (February 14) are best evaluated in terms of its impact on American audiences, both domestic and political. Hans Blix’s report on January 27 was tailor made for those in the Bush administration who had been denigrating the effectiveness of the UN-led inspection regime in Iraq. As made clear in his State of the Union Address, President Bush and his advisors have defined the inspection process as a simple matter, one where Iraq must turn over its stockpiles of proscribed material for verification and elimination by the weapons inspectors. While this may in fact represent the initial inspection scenario as it existed in 1991, to continue with this formulation today demonstrates a woeful unfamiliarity with the history of the inspection process.

Let there be no doubt that Iraq is responsible for the position it finds itself in today. Iraq’s record of obstruction, lies, deception and deceit on the matter of its obligation to disarm is clear. However, one cannot ignore the reality of the disarmament that was accomplished by the United Nations weapons inspectors, despite Iraq’s unfortunate behavior. From 1991 to 1997, weapons inspections were able to achieve a 90-95% level of verified disarmament concerning Iraq’s proscribed weapons programs, according to Rolf EkJus, the former Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM, the predecessor to Hans Blix’s United Nations Monitoring and Verification Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC. This level included all of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction production facilities, and the associated manufacturing equipment.

In addition, from 1994 to 1998, UNSCOM had implemented the most strenuous on-site inspection regime in the history of arms control. During the period of monitoring inspections, UNSCOM never found evidence of retained proscribed material of any meaningful level, or efforts by Iraq to reconstitute proscribed activity. Contrary to what President Bush alluded to in his State of the Union Address, there is not a single UN document since 1995 that states that Iraq possesses prohibited weapons. All UN reports note that while the inspection process achieved impressive results in the field of disarmament and monitoring, there were still critical aspects of Iraq’s proscribed weapons programs for which the final disposition could not be verified.

Despite President Bush’s claim that Iraq has never accounted for its weapons of mass destruction, the fact of the matter is that Iraq has submitted a comprehensive declaration which fully accounts for every aspect of its past proscribed programs. The problem is verification. While many of Iraq’s declarations have been confirmed by inspectors as being accurate, there are some — including those involved with critical chemical and biological weapons — that remain unverified. The major obstacle towards acceptance of Iraq’s declaration is that much of it is based upon acts of unilateral destruction, where Iraq disposed of its weapons — illegally so — void of the presence of UN weapons inspectors and without sufficient documentation. Given Iraq’s past record of distorting the truth, one would be foolish to give Baghdad any benefit of the doubt when it comes to its disarmament obligation. But one should distinguish between the concept of verification, which is the process that is ongoing in Iraq today, and proving the negative, which is what President Bush is demanding of Iraq.

The United States, together with Great Britain, contends that Iraq continues to possess massive stockpiles of proscribed material related to chemical, biological, nuclear and long-range missile weapons programs. And yet no substantive evidence has been offered by any party to back up these allegations. Indeed, when pressed for some form of evidence to back up his assertions regarding Iraq, the American Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, noted with a straight face, “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” More recently, Mr. Rumsfeld noted that the fact that weapons inspectors have not found any weapons in Iraq is probably the best proof that such weapons exist.

In the face of such logic, one has to wonder what was going through the mind of Hans Blix when he prepared his report to the Security Council. Clearly he had to be cognizant of the political and ideological environment that existed in Washington DC, where the proponents of military action against Iraq would be hanging on his every word. While factually correct, Mr. Blix’s report was decidedly imbalanced and deliberately misleading. While accurately noting that the Iraqi declaration regarding the final disposition of growth media used in the manufacture of anthrax, Mr. Blix failed to balance his concerns by noting that the main production facility used for anthrax manufacture had been destroyed by UNSCOM in 1996, and that liquid bulk anthrax germinates after three years, making it mathematically impossible for Iraq to have any anthrax void of a new means of manufacture — something no UN inspector has been able to ascertain despite thousands of on-site inspections since 1996. Furthermore, the growth media — acquired by Iraq in the late 1980’s — itself has a shelf life of some five years, making this a moot point all around.

With great fanfare, Mr. Blix discussed the so-called “Air Force” document, which accounts for chemical munitions expended by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War between 1983 and 1988. Mr. Blix noted that this document did not coincide with earlier Iraqi accounting, and that there was a shortfall of some 6,000 munitions, the contents of which must still be considered to be in existence. But in saying this, Mr. Blix failed to inform the Council that his own chemical experts have stated, in internal reports, the “…taking into consideration the conditions and quality of the CW agents and munitions produced by Iraq at that time, there is no possibility of weapons remaining from the mid 1980’s….this is not the case for the accounting of CW activities carried out by Iraq at the final stage of the implementation of its chemical program, from 1988 to 1991.” In short, the UN still has unresolved issues about VX nerve agent, but the unaccounted munitions and their fill from before 1988 — primarily sarin and tabun nerve agent, and mustard gas — are not of major concern.

On the issue of VX nerve agent, Mr. Blix was similarly incomplete in his presentation. Again, there is no debating the fact that Iraq has been woefully inadequate in terms of its accounting for its VX nerve agent program. This lack of accountability is exacerbated by Iraq’s refusal to admit having a VX nerve agent until 1995, and the less than forthcoming manner in which details concerning that program were exposed. Regardless of these circumstances, however, the inspectors are in possession of documents concerning Iraq’s VX program, obtained by UNSCOM inspectors from buildings destroyed during Desert Storm, which detail the extent of Iraq’s efforts in that area. To date, the inspectors have refused to share the contents of these documents with the Iraqis, holding Iraq accountable instead for differing accounts provided to the inspectors based upon flawed recollections. While this technique might reinforce the perception of Iraqi non-cooperation, it does not further the cause of disarmament. There is nothing in the VX documents that constitutes a ‘smoking gun’ in terms of continued Iraqi possession of VX. Likewise, Mr. Blix refers to evidence that Iraq had weaponized VX, without stating that the tests used to determine this finding did not meet international standards in terms of quality control, and that the testing methodology itself, according to Harvard University Professor Dr. Matthew Mendelson, has a very high rate of false readings.

In conclusion, the Blix report of January 27 was slanted, incomplete and misleading. While taking note of the level of Iraqi cooperation in regards to access, Mr. Blix failed to note that the so-called “high priority” sites provided to the inspectors by US intelligence, and which had been singled out by senior Bush administration officials in the fall of 2002 as evidence of Iraq’s ongoing work on weapons of mass destruction, had been inspected and no evidence to support such activity, past or present, discovered. Mr. Blix could have reported that, in fact, no intelligence leads provided by either the United States or Great Britain had been found to be credible.

Dr. Al-Baradai, of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had the courage to note that the much publicized US intelligence concerning aluminum pipes had nothing to do with Uranium enrichment, but rather conventional artillery rockets, and that British intelligence reports concerning ongoing Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium stocks abroad had proven to be baseless. This, of course, did not stop President Bush from continuing the myth of Iraqi nuclear capability by repeating these false assertions in his State of the Union address.

Finally, Mr. Blix demonstrated a remarkable insensitivity to the reality of the situation regarding inspections and Iraqi cooperation, highlighted by his comments concerning Iraq’s balking at the resumption of overflights by US-controlled U-2 spy planes. There was a disruptive presence in the Security Council during Mr. Blix’s presentation, and yet no one wanted to acknowledge its presence. This, of course, was the American policy objective of regime removal. This policy is unilateral in nature, has no basis in international law, and has taken precedent over disarmament in the mind-set of Bush administration policy formulators. This policy of regime removal dates back to 1991, and has resulted in the United States using the unique access afforded to the inspectors inside Iraq for purposes other than that mandated by the Security Council, namely intelligence gathering related to the security of Saddam Hussein. The inspection process has been irretrievably tainted by this American policy, and the U-2 spy plane plays a special role in this pollution.

But nobody made any reference at all to the American policy of regime removal, and the corrupting influence this plays on the issue of Iraqi disarmament when Colin Powell spoke before the Security Council on February 5. According to Secretary Powell, the Bush administration places the burden of proof squarely on Iraq when it comes to proving that it has no prohibited weapons. But how do you prove a negative? Iraq has declared that it no longer possesses weapons of mass destruction, and that everything has been destroyed. Much of this destruction has been confirmed by past weapons inspections, so much so that the United Nations can verify the final disposition of over 90% of Iraq’s proscribed weaponry and related material. But what of that which is unaccounted for? Iraq claims that this material, too, has been destroyed, and yet can provide no verifiable means of enabling weapons inspectors to confirm this.

Given Iraq’s uneven record of veracity regarding its past weapons declarations to the United Nations, one would be loath to accept at face value the current claims that all has been destroyed. Iraq claims to have produced 8,500 liters of liquid bulk anthrax, and yet there is enough unaccounted for growth media, food for bacteria used to mass produce biological agents, to have manufactured 25,000 liters of anthrax. There is no evidence that Iraq did in fact produce this amount; the number is simply an extrapolation, one that Iraq is held accountable to. But this figure fails to take into account the following: Iraq procured the growth media in question in the late 1980’s, and it has a shelf life of 5-7 years. The last known batch of anthrax manufactured by Iraq was in 1991, and the factory used by Iraq to produce anthrax was destroyed, together with its associated production equipment, under UN supervision in 1996. Iraq only produced liquid bulk anthrax, which under ideal storage conditions has a shelf life of three years before it germinates and becomes useless.

Intensive monitoring inspections of Iraq’s biological research and manufacturing base carried out from 1995 until the end of 1998 failed to detect any evidence of a retained biological warfare capability. For Iraq to have a viable anthrax stockpile today, it would have needed to develop a new manufacturing base since 1999. And while the new UNMOVIC inspection regime is still only a few months old, to date no evidence of such a capability has been detected. Further more, Iraq has never been shown to have perfected the technique needed to produce the dry powder form of anthrax so graphically presented by Colin Powell when he held up his vial of simulated white powder. Only the United States has, which of course was the source of the anthrax used in the October 2001 letter attacks mentioned by the Secretary of State.

During his presentation to the Security Council, the Secretary of State made reference to so-called mobile production facilities for biological agents, citing various defector reports as the source of this information. But the real basis for these road and rail-mobile biological facilities are sheer conjecture and fantasy, a hypothesis posed jointly by Dick Spertzel, the former head of the UNSCOM biological weapons inspection team, who postulated the existence of such vehicles from his own imagination, and a CIA analyst frequently assigned to the UN who had a theory on the possible use by Iraq of rail cars to conceal activity from the inspectors. Theory and hypothesis, not hard fact that pre-dates any of the cited defector reports. There simply is no hard evidence that such vehicles exist. Defector reports related to this issue come from questionable sources that cannot be verified. Many of these defectors are affiliated with Achmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, an organization notorious for making available so-called “defectors” who have been pre-briefed with publicly available information. Colin Powell also failed to inform the Security Council that had anyone tried to build the mobile biological weapons laboratories displayed in the US drawings that they would never work. The diagrams, like the intelligence they were based on, represented pure fantasy.

Similar problems exist in the case regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons program. With great fanfare, Mr. Powell repeated Hans Blix’s concerns over an accounting shortfall that emerged when inspectors discovered the so-called “Air Force” document, which accounts for chemical munitions expended by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War between 1983 and 1988. But Secretary Powell failed to note the contents of the UN chemical experts&Mac226; analysis of the viability of these weapons, written by one of the most respected chemical experts in the employ of the United Nations.

And in regards to defectors, everyone seems to be loath to discuss the words of the ultimate defector, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamal, who repeatedly told his questioners after his August 1995 defection, UN and US alike, that in regards to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, “nothing remains…I ordered everything destroyed.”.

END PART ONE

Biological weapons? “Nothing remains…all has been destroyed.”
Chemical weapons? Ballistic missiles? Nuclear? “All has been destroyed.”

That is one defector report that wasn’t part of Secretary Powell’s report to the Security Council.

The Iraqi threat painted by Colin Powell is not real, but a Phantom Menace, something conjured up with smoke and mirrors disguised as “irrefutable fact”. How else does one explain the existence of a 1,200 kilometer missile that has never been designed, built, or tested? This part of the presentation was clearly geared towards fear-mongering, an effort to pressure Russia and others ostensibly in the range arc of the Iraqi phantom missiles into supporting a military strike against Iraq.

The entire Powell presentation was a farce, filled with satellite pictures that show nothing, but claim to show everything. During my time as a weapons inspector, the United States repeatedly provided so-called “evidence” of this nature, displaying photograph after photograph ostensibly showing Iraqi evacuation operations in response to UN inspection activity. On two occasions, one in Baghdad and the other in Tikrit, inspectors were able to show that the vehicular activity in question actually related to the gathering and distribution of food supplies. On all other occasions the imagery in question was so vague as to make any definitive judgment impossible. The point to make is that in every case, Hans Blix and his inspectors can travel to these sites and conduct a forensic investigation to determine what, if anything, actually took place. Of course, Colin Powell failed to mention that the UN inspectors had done exactly that at the nearly one dozen “high priority” sites designated by the CIA, and which turned up nothing.

And then there were those intercepted conversations. I ran the United Nations communication intercept program against Iraq from 1996 to 1998, and experienced several intercepts of this nature. Who are the individuals in question? Do we have names? What are their affiliations? What call signs did they use? Was this an encrypted conversation, or conducted in the open? Were they operating on military frequencies? Frequencies assigned to security units? Frequencies assigned to personnel responsible for inspection-related activities? How do we know this conversation relates to inspection activity? These are questions that I and my team of communication intercept specialists dealt with all the time, and as a result we were able to sort through conversations that were relevant and those that were not.

Without additional input from the United States, it is impossible to assert that these intercepts mean anything at all, although Colin Powell asserts they in fact mean everything. If so, then the United States should provide Hans Blix with the relevant data, allowing the UN inspectors to reconstruct the events in question, interrogate the individuals involved, and through forensic investigation determine the relevance of the conversation.

This, of course, is the last thing the United States wants. Left unmentioned throughout this whole charade is the fact that the policy of the United States in regards to Iraq is regime removal, not disarmament. Disarmament is only useful to the Bush administration in so far as it facilitates the containment, destabilization and eventual demise of Saddam Hussein. That is why President Bush keeps repeating his mantra, “Either Saddam Hussein disarms himself, or I will lead a coalition of the willing to disarm him.” There is no mention of the inspectors, or the process of inspection mandated by Security Council resolution.

As the time table for military action draws near, the last thing the hawks in Washington, DC need is a favorable report from the UN regarding Iraq’s cooperation with the inspection process. It appears that Iraq is doing everything possible to achieve that outcome, turning over new documents, permitting unmonitored interviews of scientists, and acceding to U-2 aerial overflight, in addition to maintaining its provision of immediate, unrestricted access to sites designated for inspection. A favorable report by the UN regarding Iraqi cooperation would prove to be the death knell for any Security Council resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. The only hope the United States has, therefore, is to discredit the inspection process itself.

Colin Powell’s presentation lacked substantive data of any note, and the circumstantial nature of most of the reporting could readily be refuted through proper investigation by UN weapons inspectors. Of course, this is the last thing the United States wants. Given their ability to uncover the truth about Iraq’s proscribed weapons programs, the inspectors are now the enemy. The purpose of Secretary Powell’s briefing was less about demonstrating actual Iraqi proscribed programs than it was about denigrating the efficacy of the weapons inspection process. Given the Bush administrations commitment to removing the regime of Saddam Hussein, the United States simply cannot allow a viable inspection regime to go forward, because a disarmed Iraq is one that will be welcomed back into the family of nations, even with Saddam Hussein at the helm.

Which is why the report to the Security Council of Hans Blix and Mohammed Al-Baradai on February 14 was so critical. This report noted the improvement in the level of cooperation from Baghdad regarding Iraq’s disarmament, while noting that there were still many outstanding issues, old and new alike. Blix reiterated his concerns on biological and chemical weapons, but this time hedged his statements by noting that while he had no proof that Iraq in fact possessed these weapons, he could not discount this possibility based upon the evidence at hand. Most
importantly, however, Hans Blix directly contradicted many of the assertions that Colin Powell had made in his February 5 Security Council briefing, especially those that spoke of Iraqi concealment. The presentations by Hans Blix and Dr. Al-Baradai both breathed new life into the inspection process, demonstrating that inspectors on the ground in Iraq were a very viable option to war. Many members of the Security Council picked up on this, and in dramatic fashion rejected the American and British efforts to push for a resolution authorizing military force against Iraq.

This does not mean that the crisis is over. Far from it. Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has noted that the United Nations may soon have to make a grim choice in regards to Iraq. This choice is whether or not the United Nations will retain any semblance of relevancy in the future. However, relevancy does not come by caving in to the demands of an arrogant Superpower, but rather from adhering to the spirit and letter of international law as set forth in the United Nations Charter. For the United Nations to have any meaning at all, it must
stand up and defend what it aspires to stand for, and not simply become the pliant tool of American unilateralism. The United Nations must make sure that it adheres to the principles set forth in the UN Charter, especially those governing international peace and security. There may very well be an “Abyssinia Moment” for the UN in the near future, where the international body will be forced to stand up against the brutal tyranny and aggression of a rogue nation. But in the case of Iraq, the threat to international peace and security emanates not from Baghdad, but from Washington, DC. For the rule of law to have any relevance, it must be uniformly applied to all,
tyrannical dictators and rogue Presidents alike.

The United States itself faces a critical test. Many Americans feel that the events of September 11, 2001 have “changed everything”, and that the insecurity felt by the United States in the face of terrorism justifies the harsh actions undertaken by the Bush administration, both at home and abroad. America’s War on Terror has hit a dangerous impasse. The rapid military campaign in Afghanistan which saw the demise of the Taliban and the scattering of Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda has stalled. American troops, together with the forces of their allies, have become mired in a counterinsurgency campaign which finds them confronting the forces of tribalism more often than the forces of terror. Concerns over the difficult situation inside Afghanistan have prevented the United States from supporting an expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), guaranteeing that the stability promised to the people of Afghanistan following the American-led intervention will be limited to the capital city of Kabul and its immediate environs. As a result, the unrest in Afghanistan is actually creating a situation in the countryside that is conducive for return of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

As Afghanistan sinks deeper and deeper into chaos and anarchy, the resultant instability has undermined the situation in neighboring Pakistan, America’s ostensible ally in the War on Terror. Pushed by the United States to cooperate in crushing fundamentalist Islamic forces in Afghanistan (forces which had been fostered by Pakistan over the past two decades), Pakistan’s President Musharraf has been compelled to make domestic compromises concerning fundamentalist Islamic movements in Kashmir which are also sponsored by Pakistan. Musharraf had urged a quick resolution to the situation in Afghanistan for good reason: the longer Pakistan was involved in something as inherently unpopular in the domestic politic of Pakistan as the suppression of fellow Muslims in Afghanistan, the more difficult it would be for Musharraf to contain Islamic fundamentalists in his own government, especially those involved in the highly-charged situation between India and Pakistan regarding Kashmir. The Kashmir situation has devolved to the point that today Pakistan and India, both nuclear powers, stand on the brink of an all-out military struggle which could rapidly escalate into a full nuclear exchange. Nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India would kill tens of millions immediately, and the death toll could rise to hundreds of millions in the weeks and months afterwards from the combined effects of radiation, disease, and hunger. Nuclear fallout from such an attack would pollute much of the world, including North America and Europe, creating a short-term health emergency and devastating long-term impact on the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people.

America’s focus of attention on the military aspects of the War on Terror in Afghanistan have prevented full diplomatic engagement in the India-Pakistan situation. What engagement that has been forthcoming seems more focused on finding ways to keep Pakistani forces deployed on the border with Afghanistan than de-escalating the tensions between Pakistan and India. Likewise, the stalled military campaign in Afghanistan has resulted in increased political vulnerability on the domestic front in Washington DC, prompting the Bush administration to seek a second front in the War on Terror as means of deflecting criticism. This second front is Iraq. Building upon decades-long demonizing of Iraq’s President, Saddam Hussein, and capitalizing on the post-9/11
fears of many Americans concerning weapons of mass destruction, the Bush administration has exaggerated the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to the United States in an effort to gain domestic support for a war with Iraq, even if this means the United States must go it alone. War against Iraq for the purpose of deposing Saddam Hussein has been defined by the Bush administration as the essential criteria for ultimate victory in the War on Terror, above and beyond even the capture or elimination of Osama Bin Laden.

Strong-handed diplomatic pressure by the United States in the past weeks appear to have expanded support for a war against Iraq in Saudi Arabia, which will provide ports and other logistical support, and Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, which will provide bases from which American troops will operate. However, none of this diplomatic arm-twisting has changed the reality on the Arab street that a war between the United States and Iraq would be immensely unpopular. Many Arab governments, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, have warned the United States that a war with Iraq could undermine their ability to maintain power, and would strengthen the position of militant anti-American Islamic fundamentalist forces. They have cautioned against an American war with Iraq, but emphasized that if America was to strike, the situation should be resolved quickly and that there should be a viable plan for a post-Saddam government in Iraq.

War with Iraq brings with it real dangers. Ideally, a US-led military campaign would trigger anti-Saddam forces inside Iraq that would enable a rapid defeat of the Iraqi government and stabilization of the internal situation inside Iraq. If this is achieved, the United States would theoretically be able to neutralize any backlash that might erupt in the region and around the world resulting from an invasion of Iraq. A new, pro-American government in Iraq, put in place through strong unilateral action by the United States, would reflect not only the seriousness of the Bush administration in dealing with those who promote anti-American terror, but also the futility of confronting the United States. Unfortunately the reality of the situation inside Iraq does not appear to match the conditions needed to achieve such a result. Many anti-Saddam opposition forces, including Kurds in the north of Iraq and Shi’a operating in the south of Iraq from bases inside Iran, have warned that the population of Iraq might very well actively resist any American invasion, not so much out of loyalty to Saddam but rather sincere Iraqi patriotism. Recent agreements between the United States and Turkey regarding the stationing of considerable numbers of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, as well as the apparent abandonment of the Shi’a dominated Iraqi National Congress by the Bush administration when formulating options for a post-Saddam Iraq, have eroded potential support even further.

While such resistance would not serve to defeat an American invasion, it would definitely delay an American victory and result in enormous casualties amongst the Iraqi population. Both such results would severely complicate the situation in Iraq and the entire Middle East for the United States. Any hint of quagmire or massive loss of civilian lives would serve to ignite a wave of anti-American sentiment already looming under the surface of almost every Arab and Muslim country, and bring with it the real possibility of pro-American governments in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere falling to Islamic fundamentalist movements. Complicating all of this is the current
tendency of the Bush administration to engage in military operations inside Iraq with a relatively small force of some 250,000 troops. Even if victory can be had with a slimmed-down invasion force, the margin for error will be very small. Any deviation from the plan would result in costly delays, increasing the likelihood of severe complications both from a military and political standpoint.

Furthermore, the Bush administration has yet to define a definitive plan for a post-Saddam Iraq. Void of such, it is unlikely that any post-Saddam government would have any viability, and could not survive without massive American military backing. The occupation of Iraq could prove to be an immense, costly and contentious undertaking. It is unlikely that Iraq could be securely occupied with anything less than 100,000 troops. The ISAF in Afghanistan is comprised of 25,000 troops simply for the area in and around Kabul. Iraq would require the occupation of no less than five major cities (Baghdad, Basra, Tikrit, Mosul and Kirkuk), as well as three separate oil producing regions (Kirkuk, Basra and Baiji). Active patrolling in tribal areas would be required to keep unrest down. Defeating Saddam is not the major obstacle in securing Iraq; stabilizing Iraq in the aftermath of Saddam’s downfall, and replacing Saddam with a viable government, is. Right now the Bush administration is focused on regime removal, with little in the way of responsible planning taking place concerning a post-Saddam Iraq.

In short, the War on Terror is not proceeding well. Stalemate in Afghanistan, a deteriorating situation inside Pakistan, potential for catastrophic nuclear warfare between Pakistan and India, chaos and brinkmanship with a nuclear-armed North Korea, and a situation vis-à-vis Iraq that could further worsen an already tenuous situation for America in the Middle East is not conducive to achieving victory. The Bush administrations prosecution of the War on Terror is off-target in regards to addressing any center of gravity in regards to the enemy&Mac226;s position, and off-balance in terms of achieving any constructive gains against the forces of terror. In fact, an argument can be made than, as a result of the current stalemate, the forces of terror are actually growing stronger. The political fall-out from the lack of progress in the War on Terror is prompting the Bush administration to seek expansion of the war for short-term domestic political gain (i.e. Iraq) with little or no consideration of the detrimental long-term impact such a conflict might have on the region and overall United States security. An overall reassessment of the War on Terror needs to be had, including a re-prioritization of national security threats which put the War on Terror in a more balanced perspective.

Iraq would need to be dealt with through the Security Council of the United Nations. The United States would need to support viable weapons inspections in Iraq to address concerns about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and then respect the will of the Council in allowing economic sanctions to be lifted once Iraq has been certified as being disarmed. The United States should seek to facilitate the economic reconstitution of Iraq, which represents the best means of creating true political reform inside Iraq. Such reconstitution can be had by returning full control of the Iraqi economy to the Government of Iraq, even if this means accepting the continued rule of Saddam Hussein. Furthermore, a de-emphasis on military action with Iraq would enable the United States to reconsider its military posture in Saudi Arabia, opening the possibility for a reduction in American military presence in that nation which would enable the Saudi government to more forcefully deal with the forces of extreme Islamic fundamentalism.

There is no justification for war with Iraq based upon any notion of a real and imminent threat to international peace and security posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The best counter to any Iraqi threat in this regards has been, is now, and will continue to be the presence of UN weapons inspectors on the ground. The fact that the Bush administration continues to push for war regardless only exposes the reality that this war is not about implementing international law in regards to Iraq’s disarmament obligation, but rather to implement a unilateral American policy of regime removal which is itself part of a larger strategy of unilateral global domination. The international community has pressed for more time so that the inspectors can complete their task, and it appears that an extended reporting date of 14 March will be scheduled. However, while the world hopes for peace, the United States moves inexorably towards war through the continued deployment of military force into the region.

Sadly, the die seems to have been cast, and war with Iraq appears all but inevitable. The key question now is what form of coalition will be assembled to confront Saddam Hussein. For this, the debate in the halls of the Security Council is all important. The results of this debate will not only determine the nature of the looming conflict, but in fact represents the last hope of the international community to stop a war. For all of his rhetoric, President Bush has as of yet failed to present a compelling case for war with Iraq, both in international circles as well as at home among the domestic American audience. The recent actions by the Governments of France,
Germany and Belgium at the United Nations and in NATO serve as a pointed reminder of this failure. Void of Security Council backing, and the resultant international coalition that would be formed, the vast majority of Americans oppose war with Iraq. Because this conflict is more about political concerns than actual national security, the role of American public opinion cannot be understated. War with Iraq will occur so long as President Bush believes that he gains more by going to war than he does by pulling back.

The Bush administration will be using every trick in its bag of diplomatic tricks to try and sway the Security Council into supporting a new resolution authorizing military force against Iraq. However, lacking any substantive facts that sustain the US allegations regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the international community must stand firm if it is to retain any relevancy at all. The Bush administration will pressure those who oppose war with Iraq by noting that such nations will be left behind once the war begins. But all nations must recognize that unless the line is drawn now, and the US war with Iraq opposed vigorously, all nations become irrelevant in the face of a new age of American imperial domination. The voice and power of American democracy is awakening as more and more of America&Mac226;s citizens realize the dangerous direction President Bush is leading them, as so graphically demonstrated by the massive anti-war demonstrations of 15-16 February.

If the Security Council, acting on behalf of the international community, falters now, at the moment of truth, and provides the Bush administration with a smokescreen of legitimacy by authorizing military force against Iraq, the forces of ignorance and fear which have paralyzed the United States since September 11, 2001, will prevail. If this occurs, there is a real risk that the Bush administration will continue to exploit the tragedy of 9/11, doing to American democracy what Adolf Hitler’s exploitation of the burning of the Reichstag did to German democracy in the 1930’s. If, however, the international community stands firm and supports the continued work of the inspectors in Iraq, without artificially imposed time lines, then President Bush would be running the risk of committing political suicide by going to war with Iraq unilaterally. In the game of high stakes poker that is American politics, this is a risk both he and his advisors may not be willing to take, seeing as the true objective of any politician is reelection, and George W. Bush does not want to go down in history as a one term President. As such, it is the duty and responsibility of all freedom loving people, around the world and in the United States, to stand up for the rule of law, insist on the continued work of UN weapons inspectors, and continue to oppose a needless war with Iraq.

Scott Ritter – former United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998

Letter to Minister Bill Graham, January 2003

January 23, 2003

The Honourable Bill Graham,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G4

Dear Mr. Graham,
Re: Canada’s policies with respect to nuclear weapons

We are very grateful that Canada cast a favourable vote at the UN on the New Agenda Group resolution. We are aware that this is a result of your knowledge of, and principled leadership on this issue. This vote is consistent with Canada’s undertakings and statements at the NPT May 2002 Review Conference and within the Conference on Disarmament.

Please be advised that we have requested an explanation of vote from other NATO states.

We write now to express our deep concern with regards to recent nuclear weapons developments, and the current unravelling of the international legal infrastructure relating to nuclear disarmament and abolition. Recent events such as the setbacks with the CTBT, the ABM Treaty, the proposals with respect to missile defence and weaponization of space, the suggestion of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states and the funding for developments of mini-nukes make us fear that we are moving more surely toward nuclear war than to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Rarely in recent years has our objective seemed more important, or the achievement of our goal more remote.

We request that Canada’s commitment to nuclear weapons abolition be specifically reaffirmed in the upcoming Foreign Policy Review.

We are particularly concerned with the failure of NATO governments to address, let alone reconcile the glaring contradiction between their “unequivocal undertaking” to abolish nuclear weapons under the NPT, and NATO’s policy that nuclear weapons remain essential for the foreseeable future. We are asking the Canadian government to make every effort to urgently resolve this contradiction in a manner that is wholly consistent with our obligations under the NPT and the undertakings related thereto.

Knowing the immense capacity of nuclear weapons to cause destruction, we are further proposing that this problem be addressed by the SCFAIT. More specifically, we propose that the Committee examine:

a) progress in implementing those recommendations accepted by the Government from the SCFAIT Report entitled “Canada and the Nuclear Challenge”, December 1998; and

b) Canadian progress, and progress within NATO, in implementing the “13 Practical Steps” agreed upon in the Final Agreement of the May 2000 NPT Review Conference.

Representatives of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons held meetings about this NATO-NPT contradiction with MPs Irwin Cotler, Stockwell Day and Bernard Patry on October 31st. Mr Day and Prof. Cotler were both supportive of our proposal that the SCFAIT address this NATO-NPT contradiction next year. Dr. Patry indicated that he would consider it.

Your consideration of this letter is most sincerely appreciated.
Sincerely,

Bev Tollefson Delong
President, Lawyers for Social Responsibility and
Chairperson, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

On behalf of the following members of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:
Jacques Boucher, Centre de ressources sur la non-violence
Bev Delong, President, Lawyers for Social Responsibility
Paul Klopstock, Les Artistes pour la paix
Michael Call, PeaceFund Canada
Dr. Hanna Newcombe, Director, Peace Research Institute Dundas
Debbie Grisdale, Executive Director, Physicians for Global Survival
Dr. Ernie Regehr, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares
Dr. John Valleau, Science for Peace
Nancy Gordon, National President, United Nations Association in Canada
David Morgan, National President, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms
Rev. Bern Barrett, President, World Conference on Religion and Peace
Fergus Watt, Executive Director, World Federalists of Canada

cc: to All SCFAIT members

Terminology

Note on terminology used in discussing the launch of rocket-mounted nuclear weapons

In connection with “launch on warning” the terms used by different speakers, writers, and sources of information, have varied. At times they have been intentionally or unintentionally ambiguous. Different groups have used one term with various meanings, and few have made a serious attempt to achieve consistency.

In the launch of a nuclear rocket or salvo of rockets, the moment of the first launch relative to perceived actions by the enemy must be in one of three distinct time periods:

(i) Before any enemy missile has been launched;
(ii) During the flight of one or more enemy missiles, and before the detonation of any enemy warhead;
(iii) After the first detonation of an enemy warhead.

This paper (“No Launch on Warning”) concerns itself with period (ii), during which warning systems indicate enemy missiles or warheads in flight. Launch during period (ii) has been referred to in most anti-nuclear writings and speeches, and in discussion, as “Launch on Warning”. It is abbreviated to “L-o-W” in this paper.

The US military use the term “Launch under Attack”, or “LUA” to denote launch during the same time period (ii). Their spokespersons have sometimes denied a policy of ‘launch on warning’ while admitting “LUA”. The word attack may have been chosen in order to imply that enemy warheads have already detonated, or that perception of the attack was in some way more certain than it was in the context of “L-o-W” (which was used at an earlier date). However, “LUA” is defined in the dictionary of military terms at: http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/doddict/ as “execution by National Command Authorities of Single Integrated Operational Plan Forces subsequent to tactical warning of strategic nuclear attack against the United States and prior to first impact.” This (if you have grasped the jargon) is identical with the peace movement use of the term “Launch on Warning”.

“Launch on Warning” is not defined in the web version of the dictionary of military terms, which contains some 100,000 definitions. However we have been told that L-o-W can have a very scary meaning in deterrence theory. It means, or includes, a launch in period (i), that is before any enemy missile has been launched, but when there is convincing evidence that a nuclear attack by the enemy is imminent. It would be a huge attack, aimed mainly at rocket launch sites and enemy command and communication systems.

A consistent system of terminology for launches could be this:

Launch during period (i): “Launch on Warning”
Launch during period (ii): “Launch under Attack”
Launch during period (iii): “Launch after Detonation”

However, that is not the terminology in use. In practice the term “Launch on Warning” as used by non-military writers usually means a launch during period (ii). “Launch after Detonation” or “No Launch Before Detonation” are new terms we are suggesting here for the posture we advocate to eliminate the danger of a launch due to a false alarm.

A policy or option of launching during period (ii) inevitably carries a risk (perhaps only a very small risk, but always a real one) of the ultimate and most absurd disaster that the human species could inflict on itself – a full-scale nuclear war due solely to a false warning. That is why this paper advocates a change of policy: giving up the option of launch in period (ii) (whether it is called L-o-W or LUA) and waiting those few minutes to “Detonation” before launching retaliation. This change would eliminate the risk of starting a war because of a false warning.

An option of launch during period (i) obviously carries a greater risk of disaster with quite different possibilities for misinterpretation of information received. It is, however, not the subject of this paper.