You can help stop a nuclear catastrophe - You can help save the world

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 14:00:05 -0700
Subject: You can help stop a nuclear catastrophe
From: Steven Staples, Abolition 2000

View this as a web page -

April 26, 2006

One day one of these nuclear weapons will be used.

Russia - 16,000
United States - 10,000
China - 400
France - 350
Israel - 200
Britain - 185
India - 40
Pakistan - 40

Wanting to join the club are North Korea and Iran.

There's a threat looming over us, every day.

It's a quiet threat. And a growing threat.

And unless we do something about it - the unthinkable will happen.

One day a nuclear weapon will be used if we do nothing.

That's why I'm asking you to support the Abolition 2000 strategic plan by making your 2006 contribution.
( )

It's well over a decade since the end of the Cold War, but still more than 12,000 nuclear weapons remain on high alert and poised for attack. India, Pakistan and Israel (unofficially) have joined this dangerous club.

North Korea has sufficient enriched nuclear fuel to build a half-dozen nuclear bombs.

Iranians believe the bomb will protect them from the United States' pre-emptive war strategy and save them from the same fate that Iraq now suffers - tens of thousands dead, infrastructure bombed back to the Middle Ages, a collapsed society and foreign occupation.

This fear is not unfounded. John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, publicly threatened Iran when he said the U.S. would use "all the tools at our disposal." Keep in mind George W. Bush's pre-emptive war doctrine and U.S. policy of first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries.

The Bush administration has also abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and is spending an estimated $9 billion each year on the new Star Wars.

And hawks in the government and the military are pushing for a new generation of nuclear weapons, such as the so-called reliable replacement nuclear warheads, and new "bunker busters" that will penetrate deep into the earth to destroy underground bunkers - both with the explicit purpose to make nuclear weapons 'more useable' and more 'palatable' to public opinion.

But it's not just the United States that is at fault. I cannot fathom why in the United Kingdom, Tony Blair's government insists on replacing its nuclear-weapons submarines with a new generation of more accurate and more destructive nuclear weapons - at a cost of 25 billion pounds!

Recently former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara summed it up in Foreign Policy magazine, "I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous."

We cannot let fear stop us - otherwise, one day these weapons of mass destruction will be used.

There is hope. And when you hear people like Robert McNamara and many, many other former generals speak out against nuclear weapons you know there is a chance we can abolish nuclear weapons.

Antinuclear demo on May 1, 2005. The Times Square news ticker says "Thousands of antinuclear antiwar activists stage rallies at U.N. Central Park."

And when you know that around the world hundreds of groups have joined together through Abolition 2000 to create the Abolition Now! Campaign - you know there is the reality that one day, not too far away, we will see the end of nuclear weapons.

Abolition 2000 has a vision of ridding the world of nuclear weapons by 2020.

We know the vast majority of people in every country, in every part of the world support the abolition of nuclear weapons - that's why this vision is built upon a realistic plan.

Today I want to give you the choice to join us. When you decide to join us you'll be part of a growing movement that will one day will rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Abolition 2000 comprises more than 2000 organizations around the world who have endorsed our founding 1995 nuclear abolition statement. It has built an international network with other civil society networks, governments, parliamentarians and mayors.

These are powerful networks that help us build an international grassroots movement and enable us to influence international policy makers.

But this work depends on you. It depends on your commitment to making the world a safer place. That's why I ask that you make your most generous donation on-line right now.

Go to . It's simple. It's convenient. And it's a secure to make your gift of peace to the world through Abolition 2000 on-line right now.

It's your commitment and generous gifts that give us the tools to plan and organize. With your donations we're launching the Abolition Now! Campaign, which will take action to abolish nuclear weapons:

Build close relations with diplomats and international experts who will open the doors to power and give us the information we need to speak with accuracy. Seize opportunities in the international media to make sure our vision for a nuclear weapons-free world is known around the globe. Work directly with key countries that will help push our agenda forward at international forums and institutions. And provide millions of people around the world the opportunity and tools to actively participate in events and make their voices heard loud and clear.

A realistic plan of action is built upon attainable steps of action. Every action that the Abolition Now! Campaign takes will support the long-term goals of achieving nuclear disarmament.

Already we have achieved so much - building, consolidating and founding an international campaign. We're beyond the "ideas stage"; we're now rolling up our sleeves and going out to do the hard work.

And this is when we most need your help. It takes the vision of people like you to understand that these first steps are vital to reaching our long-term goal.

So over the next short while we have some concrete goals to reach:

Work with Mayors for Peace initiative, an international group of hundreds of mayors. Working with the mayors lets us reach out to millions of people, builds legitimacy and gives people a direct means to affect government decision-making. Establish a research program, including working with international experts, universities and research institutes - it helps us speak with knowledge and authority and gives us access to global media interventions. Support initiatives that recognize the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. This is an opportunity to highlight how the spread of nuclear power is enabling nuclear weapons proliferation - we need to promote non-nuclear and sustainable sources of energy. Focus attention on the 10th anniversary of the International Court's opinion that the use of nuclear weapons is illegal. Petition the British government to not replace the Trident and to help reduce global tensions by joining other governments like South Africa, Brazil and Canada that no longer have nuclear weapons. Ensure that the U.S. withdraws its nuclear weapons from Europe. And finish the interactive upgrade of our Abolition Now! Campaign web site - so you can take action along with thousands and thousands of other individuals.

I started this letter by saying there is a threat looming over us. And it's true. The threat of nuclear weapons is growing. And sadly, one day, we will use nuclear weapons if we do not rid the world of this danger.

That's why I'm committed to Abolition 2000 and our strategic Abolition Now! Campaign. I do not want to wake up one morning to the news that the United States, or India, or Russia, or IranŠ has dropped a nuclear weapon on a city of millionsŠ.

And then have to wait with my loved ones as we prepare for nuclear Armageddon.

The work you and I do now to rid the world of this danger is long and difficult. But we must remain dedicated.

Without your commitment, one day a nuclear weapon will be used.

That's why I ask you to join me now.

Please make your most generous donation to Abolition 2000.

It's simple. You can help save the world.

Sincerely yours,

Steven Staples
General Secretary,
Abolition 2000

Polaris Institute, a Canadian registered non-profit organization, is the financial agent for Abolition 2000. Donations are not tax deductible.

Donations by mail and inquiries may be directed to:

Abolition 2000 c/o Polaris Institute, secretariat Attn. Karen Craine, Program Assistant
180 Metcalfe Street, suite 500 Ottawa ON K2P 1P5 Canada Tel. 613 237-1717 Fax 613 237-3359

The Polaris Institute is a public interest research organization federally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with Industry Canada under the Canada Corporations Act. Unfortunately, donations to the Polaris Institute are not tax deductible.

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