Georgia Winters posted the above video here on OS earlier today, sharing a message of love and hope from a young Israeli father and teacher who is saying no to war, and is asking the world to join in.
Within the past 12 years, we have amassed a massive national debt, which has now reached more than 15.5 trillion dollars.
What if all the money (as well as talent, energy, and, most importantly, life) spent on war in the Mideast the past decade would have instead been thoughtfully invested in green technologies, education, teaching tolerance, drug treatment programs and accessible mental health care, job training, food and a safe home for every child (and every adult), parks and green spaces, basic health care for everyone, the arts...the list goes on and on...
Where will our country, and our whole world, be 12 years from now?
Our future is up to all of us, together.
We Love You (too!) , a video response from the Iranian people...
"...dialogue can create a space for peace to take root and grow..."
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem to be invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always." --Mahatma Gandhi
Update: Worldwide, Mayors Join to
Say: Cities Are Not Targets
Mayors for Peace is an organization of mayors from all around the world calling for worldwide nuclear disarmament. As of August 1, 2012, membership stands at 5,312 cities representing 153 countries & regions. (As of March 1, 2013, the number has grown to 5,551.) Join Mayors for Peace in saying:
"Do not allow war. Do not target cities and civilians. Cities are Not Targets."
Mayors for Peace was founded in 1982, when the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki appeared at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament, calling for cities to come together in solidarity for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons. Their 2020 Vision Campaign has a goal of abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, and coincides with The International Decade for Disarmament, which began in 2010.
Today, the Asian chapter of Mayors for Peace
has participants in
Iran, Iraq, Israel & Japan.
Please read more about this movement for peace, for the security of all people as well as our environment, and please sign this petition calling for an International Nuclear Weapons Convention, so that nations can together start planning for a nuclear weapon free world.
There are 193 cities in the US that have already joined Mayors for Peace, including:
Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Baltimore, MD, Berkeley, CA, Boston, MA, Boulder, CO, Burlington, VT, Charleston, SC, Charlottesville, VA, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Corpus Christi, TX, Denver, CO, Des Moines, IA, Detroit, MI, Duluth, MN, Durham, NC, Hartford, CT, Fargo, ND, Honolulu, HI, Jersey City, NJ, Kansas City, MO, Little Rock, AR, Los Angeles, CA, Milwaukee, WI, Olympia, WA, Philadelphia, PA, Portland, OR, Portsmouth, VA, Salt Lake City, UT, Santa Fe, NM, Seattle, WA, West Palm Beach, FL, and many more.
Maybe your city or town has joined already. If not, please invite your mayor to join.
Update #2: The Nuclear Security Project's
Goal: No Nuclear Weapons on Earth
In 2007, the non-partisan Nuclear Security Project was founded by former Senator Sam Nunn, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, whose purpose they state as follows:
"We endorse setting the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and working energetically to achieve that goal..."
(Chart from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8543897.stm All numbers are estimates, as exact numbers are secret. Strategic nuclear warheads are designed to target cities, missile locations, & military headquarters.)
Russia and the US control 90 to 95% of the world's nuclear weapons. In "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," a 2007 Wall Street Journal Op Ed piece, these four leaders write:
"First and foremost is intensive work with leaders of the countries in possession of nuclear weapons, to turn the goal of a world without nuclear weapons into a joint enterprise."
photo: recycled art foundation
Make Art, Not War
Hopefully, this vision of a nuclear-free world will come true, and someday our country will be a leader in disarmament of both nuclear and conventional weapons, encouraging other countries to do the same. Instead of putting ourselves in the same position over and over again, remaining stagnated at the Neanderthal way of solving things--attack and kill--we can start using our abundant resources and modern knowledge for foresightful ways of conflict resolution and cooperation.
It seems like we're all in this life together for just a very brief time on Earth. Every child, every person deserves food, clean water and air, a chance to live free from attack, and live out a full life, wherever we are born in this world.
We do have the means and knowledge to end warfare, but we need the vision, patience, and leadership to work towards that goal.
We must stop
propagating violent tools,
methods, & ideologies
here at home,
and stop promoting them around the world, both through our foreign policies, as well as excessive international weapons sales. It is not working for us.
Right now is the best time to learn & put into practice cooperative peace-building and modern-day conflict resolution skills that really do work,
at the international level, within our nation, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and homes, and, of course, where it all starts,
"Conflict is an intrinsic and inevitable aspect of social change. It is an expression of the heterogeneity of interests, values, and beliefs that arise as new formations generated by social change come up against inherited constraints. But the way to deal with
conflict is a matter of habit and
choice. It is possible to change
habitual responses & excercise
--from: Contemporary Conflict Resolution
"I actually realized once in Kosovo, when I watched a man break down, that bulllets are actually hardened tears, that when we don't allow men [and women and children] to have...their vulnerability, and have their compassion, and have their hearts, that they become hardened, and hurtful, and violent."
We have too many weapons on Earth
Dr. Óscar Arias:
"During my term as president of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990, I learned first-hand the devastating effects of the arms transfers on poor and war-torn places. In Central America, the arms shipments that were supposed to resolve the region's ideological clashes in fact prolonged and exacerbated them. We would later learn that the civil wars in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua had caused more then 200,000 casualties, mostly civilian.
Conventional weapons imported from the Soviet Union and the United States were involved in the vast majority of these deaths."
"Peace cannot take root until the
deepest causes of conflict are
brought to light, examined, and
"Arms betray this delicate process by adding intolerance, deepening present grievances, and making agreement more distant. Today, in troubled regions such as Sudan and Colombia, cheap and readily available weapons continue to poison efforts to establish peace for future generations."
"By the end of my presidency, I was
convinced that the arms trade
represents the single most significant
perversion of human priorities in our
"...The arms trade, and its accompanying glut of military spending, exacerbates and prolongs wars, criminal activity, & ethnic violence; destabilizes emerging democracies; and inflates military budgets to the detriment of health care, education, and basic infrastructure...
The Arms Trade Treaty...was formulated in 1997 by 8 Nobel Prize laureates: me, Ellie Wiesel, Betty Williams, the Dalai Lama, José Ramos-Horta, & representatives of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, American Friends Service Committee, & Amnesty International.
The treaty calls for a ban on transfers of weapons to governments that repress fundamental democratic and human rights, or that commit acts of armed international aggression...
Since October 2003, a grassroots campaign to ratify this treaty into a binding piece of international law has been advancing in 70 countries around the world..."
"In Costa Rica, the Arias Foundation
for Peace & Human Progress has
launched a public education
campaign on the public health
impact of small arms, with a
special component of peace training
in the public schools."
"...Clearly, a campaign to regulate the global arms trade brings us head to head with some very entrenched interest groups, & it could take years, even decades, to move forward. In this struggle, the moral & political leadership of civil society--from schools, to church councils, to public action groups--is fundamental.
It has been thrilling to watch in the past decade as the Arms Trade Treaty has gathered worldwide momentum, a rising tide that grows out of the tiny ripples of every individual act of creativity & leadership."
(Dr. Óscar Arias Sánchez initiated a peace pathway leading to the signing of the Equipulas II Accord in 1987 by all Central American presidents, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He continues his work for peace and human rights through his Arias Foundation for Peace & Human Progress.)
The UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty will reconvene March 2013, as the treaty has not yet been ratified.
"Repairing the damage caused by crime, gang violence, or piracy - often fueled by reckless arms and ammunition transfers - vastly exceeds the initial financial profits of selling weapons...Without adequate regulation of international arms transfers and high common standards to guide national export decisions, the human tolls and financial costs will remain colossal."
To read more about the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, please see: http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/
We have too many weapons
on Earth now.
We must tell our leaders
that environmental stewardship;
together restoring our Earth's ecosystems;
building humane relationships;
& doing business, creating, & planning for
the future with respect for
universal human rights
is the best & only road
to security for all of our children.
om mani padme hum :)
update #4: Ronny Edry, the father who started the Isreal Loves Iran campaign, shares his dream for the Middle East: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cteLZDFeQ3c