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Gorbachev calls for new American revolution

June 11th, 2009

Mikhail Gorbachev calls for new American revolution

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/09/mikhail-gorbachev-calls-for-new-american-revolution/

Posted By Stephen C. Webster

June 9, 2009

 Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last communist general secretary, called for a new American “revolution” — also calling it a “perestroika,” or government restructuring — [1] in an editorial http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/its-time-for-a-second-american-revolution-in-the-spirit-of-perestroika-20090609-c25z.html?page=-1>  published Wednesday in The Sydney Morning Herald .

“Some have reacted with understanding. Others have objected, sometimes sarcastically, suggesting that I want the United States to experience upheaval, just like the former Soviet Union. In my country, particularly caustic reactions have come from the opponents of perestroika, people with short memories and a deficit of conscience,” the former Soviet leader wrote.

He continued: “Our perestroika signalled the need for change in the Soviet Union, but it was not meant to suggest a capitulation to the US model. Today, the need for a more far-reaching perestroika – one for America and the world – has become clearer than ever.”

In Russia, Gorbachev’s “[2] perestroika <http://mars.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/wc2/lectures/gorrev.html>  ” was a government restructuring and the introduction of limited market economy freedoms into the Communist model, which initially caused a great deal of social unrest before eventually becoming an integral part of society.

Gorbachev called for something similar in November, when he declared then-U.S. President-elect Barack Obama “a man of our times” and suggested his administration would need to bring about an American “perestroika.”

“[He] is capable of restarting dialogue, all the more since the circumstances will allow him to get out of a dead-end situation,” Gorbachev said, [3] according to Russian news service RIA Novosti http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081107/118196981.html>  . “Barack Obama has not had a very long career, but it is hard to find faults, and he has led an election campaign winning over the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton herself. We can judge from this that this person is capable of engaging in dialogue and understanding current realities.”

The Russian Communist, in his concluding paragraphs, strikes a surprising balance between capitalistic freedom and government controls.

“[If] all the proposed solutions and action now come down to a mere rebranding of the old system, we are bound to see another, perhaps even greater upheaval down the road,” he wrote. “The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing. I have no ready-made prescriptions. But I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasise public needs and public good, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transport, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.”

He continued: “The time has come to strike the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarising the economy.”

Finally, Gorbachev warns that the world’s current economic model, created by “America’s elite,” is “cracking.” As it comes undone, many will suffer, he predicted. “Including the United States.”

Gorbachev concludes: “However different the problems that the Soviet Union confronted during our perestroika and the challenges now facing the United States, the need for new thinking makes these two eras similar. In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change – for a global perestroika.”

 
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Obama’s diplomatic victories in Europe and Turkey

April 11th, 2009

 

 

My friend Gordon’s son lives in Germany and I find his analysis of Pres. Obama’s European trip (below) interesting.  I thought you might as well.  

Peace,

Janice

Life is fragile.  Handle with care.

 

 

 

From Len in Germany, after I had asked him a similar question on the phone.

G

It is better to wear out than rust out.!!!!

— On Wed, 4/8/09, Shirts Len <len.shirts@theater-rab.de> wrote:

 

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you all know a bit about the impact of President Obama‘s trip to Europe. On reading the internet news I have a feeling that in the USA you just don’t get a feel of what this trip meant.

Obama has scored high. That is putting it mildly. I read an article in “Stern” (comparable to Time or the old Life) which made that clear. It wasn’t the huge popular crowds of an impressed Europe – the comments, especially from the BBC, are all a bit jealous comparing him to a “pop star”. No, it was what actually went on in these summits.

In the New York Times they say that he didn’t get everything he wanted. That may be true, but when one knows how contrary Europe was, then it is more true to say that he got a lot more than anyone here ever expected. There was a lot of opposition and he just ironed them flat and suddenly the leaders were all exuberantly speaking of an historic moment of compromise and agreement.

Obama was also central in preventing several major european political fiascos, that probably weren’t noticed over in the States. He did it by taking leaders of opposing factions aside, speaking quietly to them, then reconciling them with each other. 

This was the case with Denmark and Turkey: Turkey was resisting Denmark’s taking up the chairmanship over an old feud over a political cartoon. After a talk under six eyes they were all friends again. In reconciling these two countries he saved France’s and Germany’s faces – they had backed Denmark.

He managed to win over Germany’s support for more funds. Again, by taking Angela Merkel aside and speaking to her alone. Suddenly she voted for something she had adamantly resisted.

He impressed the leaders by doing something that they never expected from a leader of the USA: acknowledging that the present financial crisis had it’s start in the USA and then accepting responsibility. This took the wind out of a lot of sails that might have steered the Europeans to a deadwind deadlock. Instead, they managed to agree on a program which might not satisfy all but nevertheless was an astoundlingly quick compromise.

His knowledge (respectively, his astute use of knowledge fed to him by his team) allowed him in his speeches to make local references and local relevances… I watched the speech in Prague and was astounded how he created bridges between the Czech situation and his agenda. 

In Turkey he again did something that was a complete surprise and which seems to have won over the Turkisch people and politicians. He said, basically (not a direct quote) I have my feelings and opinions (about the turkish genocide on the  Armenian populace at the beginning of the twentieth century) and they haven’t changed. But I will keep them to myself. More important than the past is the present reconciliation, and I want to help Turkey and Armenia come together again.

This is an example of what is truly new in Obama’s strategy. Expected was a condemnation of this historical genocide, which certainly would have been politically correct but which would have only put fuel on the fire. Obama changed course, but without denying his/the USAs own personal/political views.. 

There were several other things he said and actions he took in Turkey that were very positively taken by the turkish people. I don’t think you know this, I didn’t know this, but up until this point the USA was very unpopular in Turkey. I can hardly believe this, but I read that the turkish people had the lowest opinion of the USA in the world. In any case, very very low. Obama has turned this around. This is extremely important because Turkey is the meeting point of East and West.

Theater R.A.B.

Random Acts of Beauty

Franziska Braegger & Len Shirts GbR

Basler Straße 29

D – 79100 Freiburg im Breisgau

NEU AB 1. JANUAR 2009

Privat:

Schwimmbadstraße 12

D – 79100 Freiburg im Breisgau

Tel: ++49 761 20 21 203

Fax: ++49 761 319 6336

info@theater-rab.de

www.theater-rab.de

 

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Obama reversing nuclear cold war strategy?

April 6th, 2009

The 52 Minutes of Obama Magic That Changed the Nuclear Rules

Monday 06 April 2009

by: Ian Traynor  |  Visit article original @ The Guardian UK

photo
Obama in Prague, where he delivered a second call to rid the world of nuclear weapons. (Photo: Getty Images)

Two presidential speeches in two days signal end of cold war strategic thinking.

In his whirlwind debut European tour of summits in Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic, Barack Obama has delivered two speeches, both exactly 26 minutes long.

On Friday, in Strasbourg, he was rapturously applauded by French and German students when he said he wanted to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In Prague yesterday, he spelled out his hopes, outlining a host of means to that end and denouncing fatalism in the face of the nuclear threat as a “deadly adversary.”

Also see below:
Remarks by President Obama in Prague

The world’s estimated arsenal of 24,000 nuclear warheads – all but 1,000 in the US and Russian armouries – was the worst legacy of the cold war, Obama said. If the risk of all-out nuclear war had faded, the danger of nuclear attack had increased, he added.

Disarmament

The president pledged a drive on nuclear disarmament, possibly bigger than any ever attempted. He spelled out how he would accelerate arms control agreements with Russia, following his first summit meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev last week. The deal to conclude a new arms reduction treaty with Moscow, which would slash stockpiles by about a third was a beginning, setting the stage for further cuts.

Building on the momentum of a new agreement with the Russians, Obama said he wanted to cajole the other nuclear powers into agreeing international arms cuts.

This would include Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent as well as France’s force de frappe and could run into resistance.

John Hutton, the defence secretary, said at the weekend “there would have to be a very significant breakthrough in international nuclear weapons negotiations” before Britain’s arsenal could be put on the table.

Nuclear Testing

“It is time for testing of nuclear weapons to be banned,” Obama said. He called for a resuscitation of the 1996 comprehensive test ban treaty outlawing all nuclear tests. Obama’s Democrat predecessor, Bill Clinton, signed the treaty, but then gave up on it after running into resistance from the Republican-controlled Senate which refused to ratify it a decade ago. George Bush did not pursue the issue.

America is the most important country that has not ratified the treaty, although other nuclear countries such as China, Israel and Pakistan, as well as Iran have also declined to ratify.

Obama said he would pursue US ratification “immediately and aggressively”.

Proliferation

As well as supporting the test ban treaty, Obama pledged to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation treaty which dates from 1968 and is the cornerstone of the effort to try to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.

He specified two ways of reinforcing the NPT regime – banning the production of fissile material used for nuclear warheads and establishing an “international fuel bank” which would supply and keep tabs on low-enriched uranium for peaceful nuclear purposes in electricity generation for countries that need it.

This is aimed at keeping countries, such as Iran, from developing their own fuel enrichment programmes and at restricting the growth of nuclear knowhow.

Low-enriched uranium is used in power plants. High-enriched uranium is used for warheads. The material can be diverted for weapons use and once you have mastered the fuel cycle for power generation, it is relatively easy to produce bomb-grade material.

Obama also insisted on greater resources and authority for international inspections – and “real and immediate consequences” for countries that violate the treaty.

Loose Nukes

Over the past 15 years there have been various efforts, mainly by the US, to secure and store nuclear materials stemming from the collapse of the Soviet Union to offset the dangers of “loose nukes”, nuclear contraband, and black market trading in radioactive materials.

Obama said he wanted to re-energise this campaign to get all “vulnerable” nuclear materials in secure storage within four years.

He also said he would convene a world summit on nuclear security in the US within a year. The agenda and participants for such a conference remain unclear.

But the spread of nuclear knowhow and technology had to be stopped, he said, since it would become increasingly easy to “buy, build or steal” a nuclear bomb. The risk of terrorists being able to obtain a nuclear device was “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.”

National Security

Obama also promised to rewrite American military and national security strategy to downgrade the centrality of nuclear weapons, reversing a tendency among some senior former military officials to argue in favour of an increased reliance on nuclear weapons and a commitment to embrace preemptive nuclear strikes as an option.

The Timetable

The president conceded the nuclear challenge was daunting, would be a long haul, and could fail. “This goal will not be reached quickly – perhaps not in my lifetime. It would take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change.” But he said it was time for a new, more robust international regime. “Rules must be binding, violations must be punished, words must mean something.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Remarks by President Obama in Prague
Hradcany Square
Prague, Czech Republic

Sunday 05 April 2009

President Obama: Thank you so much. Thank you for this wonderful welcome. Thank you to the people of Prague. Thank you to the people of the Czech Republic. (Applause.) Today, I’m proud to stand here with you in the middle of this great city, in the center of Europe. (Applause.) And, to paraphrase one of my predecessors, I am also proud to be the man who brought Michelle Obama to Prague. (Applause.)

To Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, to all the dignitaries who are here, thank you for your extraordinary hospitality. And to the people of the Czech Republic, thank you for your friendship to the United States. (Applause.)

I’ve learned over many years to appreciate the good company and the good humor of the Czech people in my hometown of Chicago. (Applause.) Behind me is a statue of a hero of the Czech people – Tomas Masaryk. (Applause.) In 1918, after America had pledged its support for Czech independence, Masaryk spoke to a crowd in Chicago that was estimated to be over 100,000. I don’t think I can match his record – (laughter) – but I am honored to follow his footsteps from Chicago to Prague. (Applause.)

For over a thousand years, Prague has set itself apart from any other city in any other place. You’ve known war and peace. You’ve seen empires rise and fall. You’ve led revolutions in the arts and science, in politics and in poetry. Through it all, the people of Prague have insisted on pursuing their own path, and defining their own destiny. And this city – this Golden City which is both ancient and youthful – stands as a living monument to your unconquerable spirit.

When I was born, the world was divided, and our nations were faced with very different circumstances. Few people would have predicted that someone like me would one day become the President of the United States. (Applause.) Few people would have predicted that an American President would one day be permitted to speak to an audience like this in Prague. (Applause.) Few would have imagined that the Czech Republic would become a free nation, a member of NATO, a leader of a united Europe. Those ideas would have been dismissed as dreams.

We are here today because enough people ignored the voices who told them that the world could not change.

We’re here today because of the courage of those who stood up and took risks to say that freedom is a right for all people, no matter what side of a wall they live on, and no matter what they look like.

We are here today because of the Prague Spring – because the simple and principled pursuit of liberty and opportunity shamed those who relied on the power of tanks and arms to put down the will of a people.

We are here today because 20 years ago, the people of this city took to the streets to claim the promise of a new day, and the fundamental human rights that had been denied them for far too long. Sametová Revoluce – (applause) – the Velvet Revolution taught us many things. It showed us that peaceful protest could shake the foundations of an empire, and expose the emptiness of an ideology. It showed us that small countries can play a pivotal role in world events, and that young people can lead the way in overcoming old conflicts. (Applause.) And it proved that moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon.

That’s why I’m speaking to you in the center of a Europe that is peaceful, united and free – because ordinary people believed that divisions could be bridged, even when their leaders did not. They believed that walls could come down; that peace could prevail.

We are here today because Americans and Czechs believed against all odds that today could be possible. (Applause.)

Now, we share this common history. But now this generation – our generation – cannot stand still. We, too, have a choice to make. As the world has become less divided, it has become more interconnected. And we’ve seen events move faster than our ability to control them – a global economy in crisis, a changing climate, the persistent dangers of old conflicts, new threats and the spread of catastrophic weapons.

None of these challenges can be solved quickly or easily. But all of them demand that we listen to one another and work together; that we focus on our common interests, not on occasional differences; and that we reaffirm our shared values, which are stronger than any force that could drive us apart. That is the work that we must carry on. That is the work that I have come to Europe to begin. (Applause.)

To renew our prosperity, we need action coordinated across borders. That means investments to create new jobs. That means resisting the walls of protectionism that stand in the way of growth. That means a change in our financial system, with new rules to prevent abuse and future crisis. (Applause.)

And we have an obligation to our common prosperity and our common humanity to extend a hand to those emerging markets and impoverished people who are suffering the most, even though they may have had very little to do with financial crises, which is why we set aside over a trillion dollars for the International Monetary Fund earlier this week, to make sure that everybody – everybody – receives some assistance. (Applause.)

Now, to protect our planet, now is the time to change the way that we use energy. (Applause.) Together, we must confront climate change by ending the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, by tapping the power of new sources of energy like the wind and sun, and calling upon all nations to do their part. And I pledge to you that in this global effort, the United States is now ready to lead. (Applause.)

To provide for our common security, we must strengthen our alliance. NATO was founded 60 years ago, after Communism took over Czechoslovakia. That was when the free world learned too late that it could not afford division. So we came together to forge the strongest alliance that the world has ever known. And we should – stood shoulder to shoulder – year after year, decade after decade – until an Iron Curtain was lifted, and freedom spread like flowing water.

This marks the 10th year of NATO membership for the Czech Republic. And I know that many times in the 20th century, decisions were made without you at the table. Great powers let you down, or determined your destiny without your voice being heard. I am here to say that the United States will never turn its back on the people of this nation. (Applause.) We are bound by shared values, shared history – (applause.) We are bound by shared values and shared history and the enduring promise of our alliance. NATO’s Article V states it clearly: An attack on one is an attack on all. That is a promise for our time, and for all time.

The people of the Czech Republic kept that promise after America was attacked; thousands were killed on our soil, and NATO responded. NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is fundamental to the safety of people on both sides of the Atlantic. We are targeting the same al Qaeda terrorists who have struck from New York to London, and helping the Afghan people take responsibility for their future. We are demonstrating that free nations can make common cause on behalf of our common security. And I want you to know that we honor the sacrifices of the Czech people in this endeavor, and mourn the loss of those you’ve lost.

But no alliance can afford to stand still. We must work together as NATO members so that we have contingency plans in place to deal with new threats, wherever they may come from. We must strengthen our cooperation with one another, and with other nations and institutions around the world, to confront dangers that recognize no borders. And we must pursue constructive relations with Russia on issues of common concern.

Now, one of those issues that I’ll focus on today is fundamental to the security of our nations and to the peace of the world – that’s the future of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War. No nuclear war was fought between the United States and the Soviet Union, but generations lived with the knowledge that their world could be erased in a single flash of light. Cities like Prague that existed for centuries, that embodied the beauty and the talent of so much of humanity, would have ceased to exist.

Today, the Cold War has disappeared but thousands of those weapons have not. In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. More nations have acquired these weapons. Testing has continued. Black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear materials abound. The technology to build a bomb has spread. Terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal one. Our efforts to contain these dangers are centered on a global non-proliferation regime, but as more people and nations break the rules, we could reach the point where the center cannot hold.

Now, understand, this matters to people everywhere. One nuclear weapon exploded in one city – be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo or Tel Aviv, Paris or Prague – could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be – for our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival.

Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked – that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction. Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.

Just as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. (Applause.) And as nuclear power – as a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.

So today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. (Applause.) I’m not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly – perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, “Yes, we can.” (Applause.)

Now, let me describe to you the trajectory we need to be on. First, the United States will take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons. To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same. Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies – including the Czech Republic. But we will begin the work of reducing our arsenal.

To reduce our warheads and stockpiles, we will negotiate a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians this year. (Applause.) President Medvedev and I began this process in London, and will seek a new agreement by the end of this year that is legally binding and sufficiently bold. And this will set the stage for further cuts, and we will seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor.

To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. (Applause.) After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned.

And to cut off the building blocks needed for a bomb, the United States will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons. If we are serious about stopping the spread of these weapons, then we should put an end to the dedicated production of weapons-grade materials that create them. That’s the first step.

Second, together we will strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a basis for cooperation.

The basic bargain is sound: Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament, countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them, and all countries can access peaceful nuclear energy. To strengthen the treaty, we should embrace several principles. We need more resources and authority to strengthen international inspections. We need real and immediate consequences for countries caught breaking the rules or trying to leave the treaty without cause.

And we should build a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, including an international fuel bank, so that countries can access peaceful power without increasing the risks of proliferation. That must be the right of every nation that renounces nuclear weapons, especially developing countries embarking on peaceful programs. And no approach will succeed if it’s based on the denial of rights to nations that play by the rules. We must harness the power of nuclear energy on behalf of our efforts to combat climate change, and to advance peace opportunity for all people.

But we go forward with no illusions. Some countries will break the rules. That’s why we need a structure in place that ensures when any nation does, they will face consequences.

Just this morning, we were reminded again of why we need a new and more rigorous approach to address this threat. North Korea broke the rules once again by testing a rocket that could be used for long range missiles. This provocation underscores the need for action – not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.

Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response – (applause) – now is the time for a strong international response, and North Korea must know that the path to security and respect will never come through threats and illegal weapons. All nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime. And that’s why we must stand shoulder to shoulder to pressure the North Koreans to change course.

Iran has yet to build a nuclear weapon. My administration will seek engagement with Iran based on mutual interests and mutual respect. We believe in dialogue. (Applause.) But in that dialogue we will present a clear choice. We want Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations, politically and economically. We will support Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections. That’s a path that the Islamic Republic can take. Or the government can choose increased isolation, international pressure, and a potential nuclear arms race in the region that will increase insecurity for all.

So let me be clear: Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran’s neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. (Applause.) If the Iranian threat is eliminated, we will have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for missile defense construction in Europe will be removed. (Applause.)

So, finally, we must ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon. This is the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. One terrorist with one nuclear weapon could unleash massive destruction. Al Qaeda has said it seeks a bomb and that it would have no problem with using it. And we know that there is unsecured nuclear material across the globe. To protect our people, we must act with a sense of purpose without delay.

So today I am announcing a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years. We will set new standards, expand our cooperation with Russia, pursue new partnerships to lock down these sensitive materials.

We must also build on our efforts to break up black markets, detect and intercept materials in transit, and use financial tools to disrupt this dangerous trade. Because this threat will be lasting, we should come together to turn efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism into durable international institutions. And we should start by having a Global Summit on Nuclear Security that the United States will host within the next year. (Applause.)

Now, I know that there are some who will question whether we can act on such a broad agenda. There are those who doubt whether true international cooperation is possible, given inevitable differences among nations. And there are those who hear talk of a world without nuclear weapons and doubt whether it’s worth setting a goal that seems impossible to achieve.

But make no mistake: We know where that road leads. When nations and peoples allow themselves to be defined by their differences, the gulf between them widens. When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp. We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also a cowardly thing to do. That’s how wars begin. That’s where human progress ends.

There is violence and injustice in our world that must be confronted. We must confront it not by splitting apart but by standing together as free nations, as free people. (Applause.) I know that a call to arms can stir the souls of men and women more than a call to lay them down. But that is why the voices for peace and progress must be raised together. (Applause.)

Those are the voices that still echo through the streets of Prague. Those are the ghosts of 1968. Those were the joyful sounds of the Velvet Revolution. Those were the Czechs who helped bring down a nuclear-armed empire without firing a shot.

Human destiny will be what we make of it. And here in Prague, let us honor our past by reaching for a better future. Let us bridge our divisions, build upon our hopes, accept our responsibility to leave this world more prosperous and more peaceful than we found it. (Applause.) Together we can do it.

Thank you very much. Thank you, Prague. (Applause.)

»


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Comments

This is a moderated forum.  It may take a little while for comments to go live. Be civil and on-topic, don’t threaten or advocate violence, please keep it under 300 words. Thanks for participating.

Perhaps Israel will reduce

Perhaps Israel will reduce its nuclear arsenal? I would support this initiative only if Israel is included in the deal. Otherwise we (US, China Russia, EU etc) might be facing Nuclear Israel and have nothing in our arsenal to respond with.

If Obama means what he said

If Obama means what he said in the speeches, why is he pushing Russia into a new era of development in nuclear weapons by putting anti-ballistic missiles in Poland? Why is he whetting Iran’s appetite for nukes by threatening Iran with attack? It seems his actions belie his words.

What “magic”? The talismanic

What “magic”? The talismanic mojo emanating from each and every word of the Great One seems to have eluded me. Major changes in nuclear policy have been proposed before, accompanied by declarations that the abolition of nuclear weapons is a worthy goal. Nothing earth-shaking here, folks, “rapturous” students notwithstanding. BO is the POTUS, the current face of the permanent government and its interests, not the herald of the Age of Aquarius. Really, this stuff is getting sillier by the day.

45 years ago Amitai Etzioni

45 years ago Amitai Etzioni published a little-noticed book: The Hard Way to Peace. In it he delineated what the process of unilateral, gradualist, disarmament from nuclear weapons might look like. JFK endorsed the ideas in the book, even if he was too cautious to follow them with action. It seems and feels clear that too many weapons exist and we cannot afford not to at the least begin the dismantling of them. Obama can start this but he needs support. That, as they say, is us.

America has never kept a

America has never kept a treaty. Why would you ever believe the US would ever bring their huge imperial arsenal to zero. Our “manifest destiny” mentality seems to allow us to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, and invade anyone we wish… if it goes against our “national interest.” I no longer trust Obama because of the people he’s put in his cabinet. Why should another country? When he takes back the monetary system from the Fed’s, helps other countries do the same, stop the theft of Wall Street, redistribute the wealth to the working class, and pass bills to help “we, the people” then I will begin to trust.

Nothing will happen so long

Nothing will happen so long as we continue to put negotiation ahead of action. We (the United States) have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, far larger than we need to maintain a deterrent. We can declare significant unilateral reductions and then invite other countries to match us. Once that process begins, then we can compel not-NPT nuclear states (India, Pakistan, Israel) to join. Then the UN can negotiate a binding roadmap to zero, with inspections in all countries. The point is, someone has to act first, and, as we are the strongest power, that someone should be us. “We must think anew, and act anew, and then we shall save our world.”
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Environmentalists to battle Navy proposal on Whidbey

March 26th, 2009

 

Environmentalists to battle Navy proposal

By Justin Burnett

Examiner Staff Writer

Whidbey Island environmental groups opposed to the Navy’s plan to expand its Northwest training operations say they will take their objections to the highest levels of government.

 

Representatives from Orca Network and the Whidbey Environmental Action Network have agreed to team up and send their comments not only to Gov. Christine Gregoire and Washington‘s Congressional delegation, but also to President Barack Obama.

 

“I think we need to kick it right to the top,” said Howard Garrett, president of Orca Network’s board of directors.

WEAN cofounder Marianne Edain said attracting presidential or congressional attention may be a long shot, but could end up being worth it. She pointed out that the Navy answers to both branches of government.

 

“The president and Congress have ultimate power over the military,” she said.

The Navy is planning to expand operations in its Northwest Training Range Complex, an area encompassing about 122,400 nautical miles of air, surface and subsurface space stretching from Washington to northern California. The complex has been in use since World War II.

 

The proposal, which ranges from increasing missile and sonar testing to dumping depleted uranium, has attracted the attention of more than just local environmentalist groups.

Following federal Environmental Policy Act requirements, the Navy prepared an environmental impact statement to examine how the expansion might affect wildlife and the environment. The Navy held six public hearings on the matter and accepted public comment from late December to mid-February.

 

But as concern over the plan began to grow, and more people learned about it, an increasing number of people complained that the public comment period was too short for a document of more than 1,000 pages. Even large, well-informed environmental groups such as People for Puget Sound said they felt caught off guard by the Navy’s proposal.

 

Although the Navy extended the comment period to mid-February, complaints in Oregon spurred six of the state’s seven-member Congressional delegation to send a letter to Navy Secretary Donald Winter requesting another extension of the comment period.

 

Navy Environmental Public Affairs Officer Sheila Murray the Navy has extended the comment deadline three times – a first for the Navy.

“This is unprecedented,” she said. “The Navy has never done this before.”

 

Murray said the Navy’s willingness to extend the deadline has been based primarily on the public interest generated by the plan. The new deadline is set for April 13. So far, more than 1,000 comments have been submitted.

 

That includes a 59-page document submitted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental watchdog group. The NRDC document was endorsed by 20 other national and local groups that are against the Navy’s plan.

 

According to Heather Trim of People for Puget Sound, the environmental impact statement does not adequately address potential impacts to Puget Sound. 

“This is an area that’s already stressed,” Trim said.

 

The Navy’s increased activities could have serious implications on endangered species in the region, such as salmon and orca whales. That makes the Navy’s proposal more than just a local issue, she said.

“It really has national implications.” Trim said.

Garrett agreed, noting that the proposed training activities could cause significant harm to orca populations. He said that he appreciates the Navy’s need to train and be prepared, but he does not believe it should come at the price of the environment.

 

“It’s a clear case of social values that are in conflict,” he said.

Garrett said his hope is that the Obama administration shares his outlook, and will place a higher priority on the environment and resolving international conflict through diplomacy than on the military.

 

While the impact statement will be reviewed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Murray said the assistant secretary of the Navy makes the final decision as to whether to proceed with the training expansion proposal. The decision is expected sometime this fall.

 

Comments can be mailed to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest, Attn: Kimberly Kler, 1101 Tautog Circle, Silverdale, WA 98315-1101. Submit comments online at www.nwtrangecomplexeis.com. The deadline is April 13.

 

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Mattthews messages of hope

March 8th, 2009

 

 

    /Hello Everyone ….. some days we get a little down and so we

    forget what we know. Maybe these little excerpts from Matthew’s

    messages will help cheer us up. /

    //

    //

    /*May 21, 2008*/

    //

    Free will choices of the majority have been made and now, without

    influencing those choices one whit, we can reveal that in the

    _energy field of potential_, Obama?s momentum always was

    unstoppable, and we can tell you that this highly evolved soul with

    many lifetimes as a wise and just leader came from a spiritually and

    intellectually advanced civilization specifically to rise to his

    current prominence.

    At soul level he knows this is his mission, but consciously he is

    aware only of his innate leadership abilities and genuine intent to

    serve his nation as he so states; in time he will become consciously

    aware of his origin and purpose for embodying in this lifetime. Once

    he is in office, some darkly-intentioned persons expect to control

    him just as they and others before them have controlled a succession

    of US presidents and many members of Congress. However, that vicious

    kind of governing is at an end, and contrary to the protestations of

    Hillary Clinton that this race is not over, she and other top

    Illuminati know they are witnessing the demise of their ?secret

    government?; therefore, the Obama family members are among the most

    intensely light-protected persons on Earth.

 

    //

 

    /While that election is of undeniable importance, foment leading to

    benevolent changes in other countries? governments is of paramount

    significance too. The myriad reforms underway span the globe?WORLD

    transformation is what is occurring?_and in time, every leader in

    every nation will be a lighted soul._/

 

    //

 

    /*November 21, 2008*/

    //

    /Prior to birth/ all peoples now on the planet (that means ALL of

    us) knew the soul who would incarnate as Barack Obama and joyfully

    agreed to his becoming president of the United States to lead that

    country and the world into the Golden Age.

    All participant souls were born with that knowledge, but it was

    forgotten in the adjustment to ?life in the flesh? and its needs,

    and even more so, indoctrination by family, educators, religion and

    society. But they all knew that would happen because it is inherent

    in third density embodiment; therefore, according to the plan, light

    in ever increasing intensity has been provided by beings throughout

    the universe to merge Earth peoples? consciousness with their soul

    level knowingness.

 

    So what is considered in your world to be a recent political event

    had its beginnings long ago in your counting of time and is far, FAR

    more than Obama?s imminent presidency!

 

    Think of the innumerable times ?historic? has been used to describe

    this, and rightly so! However, most people have no idea how truly

    historic it is?they have not yet reached their soul?s knowledge that

    includes what I just explained or what I and other sources of

    messages have told you through our receivers: /This era on Earth is

    unique, what is happening is unprecedented in the universe. /

 

    Replace your concerns about his safety with gratitude for the shield

    of protective Christed light surrounding him, and yes, the light in

    your prayers does indeed add to his well being.

 

    _We encourage you to be patient while everything unfolds_, knowing

    without any doubt whatsoever that the light is in control!

 

    This applies to the global economic situation too. There is no way

    to sugarcoat the bleak news that this is worsening, however, we do

    ask that you remember what was in a recent message (see next

    paragraph) about your agreement to experience this and your innate

    ability to handle it.

 

    *Excerpt from October 22, 2008 message*

 

    We have been asked how people around the world will weather the

    effects of what finally is called what it is, an international

    economic crisis, and we can only say that this is like in any other

    situation on the planet: The universal law of attraction, or ?like

    attracts like,? which is totally neutral and constantly in

    operation, will serve each individual in accordance with his or her

    perception of and reaction to personal situations. The energy sent

    forth by those who see themselves as tragic victims will zoom out

    and draw to itself the energy of thought forms in the ?universal

    soup? that match the individual’s thoughts and feelings, and the

    energy combination will manifest ?tragic victim? circumstances for

    the person to deal with. Those who feel genuine gratitude for what

    they have will be provided with more to be grateful for, and the

    energy of sharing with an open heart has the same positive result.

 

    But always _the foundation of weathering any distressing situation

    is staying out of fear about it_! The magnified energy of fear

    assures that the law of attraction will bring fear-filled

    circumstances to the fearful person. How long it will take to reach

    the end of the tunnel and what you will encounter during the

    transition from the totally corrupt system that is collapsing to an

    honorable system that will serve all peoples fairly we don’t know.

    If we could give you a timetable, we would, but exactness in your

    time for completion of all details cannot be determined in this

    moment. The darkness that for millennia has produced dire situations

    for Earth and her resident life forms to contend with cannot be

    undone overnight?that is, not by the energy of third density

    thoughts. Few people know the phenomenal power of their thoughts or

    know that never before have changes the magnitude of world

    transformation and spiritual renewal come with the astounding speed

    and scope of the Golden Age plan. We urge you to look within and

    reach what your souls know: This is a time not for impatience or

    doubting? /and especially not fear!?/but for steadfastness in hope,

    optimism, gratitude and LOVE!

 

    I believe it is well worth my repeating something else: Earth?s

    ascension is assured and on pace; it is up to each individual to

    decide to physically accompany her. If it is your wish to do so, the

    energy of fear or other negative attachment is not your ally because

    it blocks the light that bodies require to survive in the higher

    frequencies of Earth?s journey to her destination.

 

    Absorbing light is as simple as living from your heart, the seat of

    your soul, and souls are made of light energy. You need not study

    spiritual or metaphysical material, perform rituals or find a guru

    or other mentor. You need not spend years looking for some elusive

    entry into the light?you ARE light! You need only to know this and

    live by it! It isn?t by chance that the Golden Rule was so named, or

    that despite all the dark manipulations of the Bible?s original

    content and intent, /?Do unto others as you would have them do

    unto you? /remained. The guidance of the Golden Rule, in all its

    simplicity, is part of the elaborate plan that already has

    manifested Earth?s Golden Age in the continuum.

 

    (Reminder: In Matthew’s language, “continuum” means something

    already so, done, actualized, can’t go back, be cancelled, be turned

    around, it is so.)

 

    Earth has reached energy levels where the higher frequencies are

    accelerating everything, and whatever is in your thoughts is

    manifesting more quickly than previously?/be careful what you

    think!/ Not only is it important to focus only on what you /want/ in

    your life and your world, but also to refrain from thoughts of

    retribution, revenge, or punishing others. Those carry the heavy

    negative energy attachments that account for generation after

    generation of violence, brutality and oppression as one side

    retaliates for what the other side?s ancestors did to the first

    side?s ancestors, thus incurring karma upon karma for all those

    souls to deal with. While we understand the desire to hold

    accountable President Bush and others operating within the

    Illuminati for their actions that amount to crimes against humanity

    itself, we encourage you to let the judicial system do what it will

    and be content with that.

 

    When the Golden Age plan was formulated, Bush and those other strong

    souls willingly agreed to fill their roles as long as necessary,

    then join the light forces. Those roles were essential to the part

    of the plan that covered third density karmic completion and

    subsequent reconciliation of darkness and light within balance,

    wherein all is light.

 

    Whatever ?punishment? you may feel ?fits the crime? committed by

    Bush and all the other like-minded individuals, we tell you that

    they have imposed upon themselves unimaginably harsher consequences

    than any of your legal systems could ever conceive, and that is why

    time and again we have urged you to send them light.

 

    //Let your thoughts be of peace, love, honor, abundance, fairness,

    goodness?all the beautiful, harmonious facets of life you want for

    yourself and your world?and know that we are among the myriad light

    beings who lovingly are by your side in every moment.

 

    */January 20, 2009/*

 

    On the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United

    States, we ask that you fill your hearts with love and gratitude and

    direct those feelings to him and his family and to the individuals

    who will assist and advise him. The outpouring of those kinds of

    energy streamers is like a blanket of golden filaments surrounding

    your world. By sending that energy to the Obama family and the new

    administration, you are radiating light to guide, protect and

    contribute to their success in governing wisely and honorably; and

    the light in their efforts beams out to the world, thus benefiting

    all souls and Mother Earth herself.

 

    Although inauguration day is a specific date in linear time, in a

    universal context it is a major part of the master plan devised by

    the spiritual hierarchy in conjunction with physical civilizations

    in the timelessness of the continuum. (There’s that word again)

    Obama?s willingness to come from a spiritually and intellectually

    highly evolved civilization to take on the primary leadership role

    in your world is part of that plan, which all of you knew and agreed

    to prior to your birth. The soaring hope of peoples around the world

    when he was elected has grown exponentially, and Mother Earth

    herself is feeling uplifted by the surge of harmonic waves from her

    residents and from all light beings throughout the universe.

 

    The first day of new presidential leadership is an event of

    paramount importance in a series of on-target powerful developments

    in the plan?s goal of spiritual renewal and reformation in your

    physical world, but in the /*continuum*/, /its success already has

    been achieved!/ [/Note: The November 21, 2008 message in

    ?Matthew?s Messages? on //www.matthewbooks.com/

    <http://www.matthewbooks.com/>/ explains the plan./] Nevertheless,

    all of the forward movement is operating in /your /concept of time,

    and in this respect, your every thought, feeling and action is

    creating not only your personal lives, but collectively are the

    stepping stones to Earth?s ?future? world. All those steps are being

    taken at one pace or another, and holding your light steady in trust

    and patience as events unfold within the new US administration will

    heighten the collective consciousness. The higher the collective

    consciousness of a peoples, the higher the vibrations they radiate

    and attract in kind, all the while assisting Earth?s ascension into

    the increasingly higher frequencies that you perceive as time

    passing faster and faster.

 

    Abundance is the God-given right of souls, and joyful living

    circumstances for /every/ person on the planet is part of the master

    plan that includes the election of Obama.

 

    _From a purely ?3D? perspective_, his administration is facing one

    of the gravest situations the world has ever encountered. And

    indeed, it is a huge mess that must be cleaned up!

 

    _However, what we see from our vantage point_ is that Earth is far

    healthier today than she has been for millennia, and due to the

    massive infusion of off-planet light that guided individuals into

    generating their own light, the turn-around in Earth?s condition has

    happened with speed that is unprecedented in the universe. Again,

    this is all according to the master plan, and every soul on the

    planet is participating one way or another.

 

    The population as a whole is seeing the economic situation, as it is

    reported by mainstream media, with unemployment, retail sales and

    real estate statistics along with various analysts? forecasts.

 

    Therefore, in the collective consciousness the situation appears

    dire?by some estimates, the spiraling downward will continue for as

    long as two years and the overall impact will be felt with leveling

    out stages over the next ten or twenty years.

 

    The analysts are calculating in accordance with economic history and

    they see the resolution as combined government and corporate efforts

    to return to what they consider the soundness of the global system

    that existed prior to the meltdown.

 

    You know better!

 

    You know the economic system is collapsing to end the Illuminati?s

    long stranglehold on all aspects of commerce, taxation, investments,

    and such, and that _a new foundation based in light is rising out of

    those ashes. _

 

    You know that the increasing light in your world is propelling Earth

    to her fifth density destination;

 

    you know about the universal law of attraction and the advent of

    on-planet assistance from the same advanced civilizations that have

    been helping from afar for sixty-some years.

 

    By living in consonance with this awareness, the light in your

    optimism and trust has raised the vibrations within the collective

    conscious

 

    ?your contribution has been phenomenal!

 

    We want to clarify some misunderstandings prevailing even among the

    most faithfully dedicated lightworkers about the economic reforms

    underway. Some persons still do not know the magnitude of what is

    commonly known as NESARA. In previous messages I have recommended

    reading the explanatory messages about the true NESARA, but we

    understand your time constraints and I have been requested to

    summarize that material [Special NESARA Edition in ?Matthew?s

    Messages? below September 11, 2006 message on www.matthewbooks.com

    <http://www.matthewbooks.com/>]. Most succinctly stated*, NESARA is

    that master plan for manifesting spiritual renewal and world

    transformation. *

 

    Underlying all of the death, destruction and tyranny in the Middle

    East is the extremely heavy karma being played out. Long before your

    recorded history, the inhabitants of those lands battled savagely

    for supremacy, and ancient blood permeated the earth. The resultant

    negativity had to be released in massive degree so Earth could move

    out of deep third density, and souls who lived in those early

    civilizations have returned time and again with the chosen mission

    to reduce the accumulated negativity. The inhabitants of those lands

    today came in for the same purpose, but this time, they are here to

    complete the release and achieve karmic balance as individuals and

    for Earth.

 

    We know that overview seems dispassionate in light of the extensive

    pain in Gaza, just as in Iraq and Darfur and all other places on

    Earth where darkness still has a toehold. Even though we know that

    the individual and area-wide karmic balancing taking place is

    essential and we know that the souls who participated in accordance

    with original or amended contracts have achieved leaps in spiritual

    growth, we weep for those who are living in the midst of trauma

    because they are not aware of their loved ones? magnificent

    accomplishments or their very own. The balance to our deep sadness

    for them is our joy in the assurance that one day they will know

    what we do, whether they are in spirit lifetimes or in Earth?s

    Golden Age that they helped to manifest.

 

    Now, in the same spirit of exultation and brilliant light of hope

    that is pervasive in your world, we bid you farewell even as we

    lovingly accompany you every moment along your pathway. Matthew.

 

    Hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Looking forward to Matthew’s next

    message around March 20th, my birthday season, Spring, the Equinox,

    more Light, Flowers. Hooray! Love ‘n hugz … Joline

 

    LOVE and PEACE

 

    Suzanne Ward

 

    ________________________________________

 

    *Joline Stone*

 

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Brian McLaren says it like it is

February 17th, 2009


God’s Politics
Two Kinds of Economic Recovery
by Brian McLaren 02-10-2009

I just watched President Obama’s Indiana speech and town hall meeting from my hotel room in San Diego. I was watching on MSNBC, with Chris Matthews hosting and Pat Buchanan commenting. Pat (predictably) panned the speech, saying that people in Elkhart make RVs, and Obama’s speech failed to explain how we’d get Americans to buy RVs again. His comment, it seems to me, perfectly epitomizes an adventure in missing the point, and perfectly articulates two kinds of economic recovery.

For many people, economic recovery means “getting back to where we were a few months or years ago.” That means recovering our consumptive, greedy, unrestrained, undisciplined, irresponsible, and ecologically and socially unsustainable way of life.

I’d like to suggest another kind of recovery … drawing from the world of addiction. When an addict gets into recovery, he doesn’t want to go back and recover the “high” he had before, or even to recover the conditions he had before he began using drugs and alcohol. Instead, he wants to move forward to a new way of life — a wiser way of life that takes into account his experience of addiction. He realizes that his addiction to drugs was a symptom of other deeper issues and diseases in his life … unresolved pain or anger, the need to anesthetize painful emotions, lack of creativity in finding ways to feel happy and alive, unaddressed relational and spiritual deficits, lack of self-awareness, and so on.

Similarly, I’d like to suggest whenever we hear the word “recovery,” we as a nation see it not as a call to get back our old addictive high, but rather as a call to face our corporate and personal addictions, including the following:

1. Our addiction to carbon. Fossil fuels are an addictive substance. They give us speed … quick energy … serving as a kind of cultural amphetamine. Meanwhile, they toxify our environment and throw the ecosystem in which we live into dangerous imbalance.

2. Our addiction to weapons. Weapons are one of the most addictive substances possible. They give us a feeling of well-being and security, removing our feeling of fear and anxiety, much like a barbiturate. But like a drug, they make us lazy and slow — lazy and slow in the much more important work of relationship-building, justice, and peace-making, lazy in seeking the common good. And they plunge us into an addictive cycle, because if everyone in the world is getting more and more weapons, we aren’t safer … especially when increasing numbers of those weapons are nuclear, biological, and chemical.

3. Our addiction to fear. Religious leaders, media leaders, and political leaders have all discovered that you can raise quick votes, dollars, and members through the hallucinogenic stimulant of fear. By making straights afraid of gays, conservatives afraid of progressives, Christians and Jews afraid of Muslims, citizens afraid of immigrants, and vice versa, these leaders get a quick organizational high — crack for their unity and morale. But the more fear you pump into your system, the more fear you have, and pretty soon, you go from being stimulated to paranoid, seeing things that aren’t there and missing things that are. And soon after that, you move from paranoia to paralysis, leaving you in greater danger than ever.

4. Our addiction to stuff. Jesus said that a person’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of her possessions. An economy that measures growth by the number of durable goods (resources) extracted from the environment and turned into non-durable goods that are bought, used, and then thrown away into a landfill … that economy “succeeds” by turning goods into trash, and calling it success. That’s not success. We need to imagine moving beyond an extractive, consumptive economy to a sustainable economy, and beyond a sustainable economy to a regenerative economy. I believe that in God’s world, if billions can be made destroying the planet and exploiting people addictively, trillions can be made caring for the planet wisely and caring for people justly.

5. Our addiction to a single bottom line. During the president’s town hall meeting, a man from Indiana told how he started a solar-powered attic fan company, and how he chose not to ship manufacturing overseas, but instead, to provide good employment for his neighbors. That meant, he said, that he had a little less cash in his pocket … but wouldn’t you agree that being a good neighbor has a value that can’t be measured in dollars? The single bottom line of financial profit is addictive, and like an addiction, it destroys families and communities. We need to rediscover a triple bottom line — financial sustainability, social sustainability, and economic sustainability. So we need a recovery of family values, and we also need a recovery of community values, and neighborly values, and ethical business values.

6. Our addiction to easy answers. “Government is the problem.” “Just throw money at the problem.” We can’t afford our addiction to these kinds of easy ideological slogans and facile reactive fantasies in a complex, real world. Ideology is, in many ways, a drug that substitutes the quick high of unthinking reaction for the hard work of acquiring wisdom.

So … maybe we can sabotage our addictive tendencies by letting the word “recovery” have a meaning that wakes us up rather than drugs us into the comfortable, dreamy, half-awareness in which we have lived for too long. That’s my hope and prayer. (For more on this, see my book Everything Must Change.)

Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren (brianmclaren.net) is a speaker and author, most recently of Everything Must Change and Finding Our Way Again. 

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President Obama Seeks Russia Deal to Slash Nuclear Weapons

February 4th, 2009

GOOD NEWS!

President Obama Seeks Russia Deal to Slash Nuclear Weapons Wednesday 04 February 2009 » by: Tim Reid, The Times UK photo A spokesman has stated that President Barack Obama will seek an agreement with Russia to significantly reduce the two countries’ nuclear weapons stockpiles. (Photo: Senior Airman Javier Cruz Jr. / af.mil) The radical new treaty would reduce the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each. Washington – President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent. The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow. Mr Obama is to establish a non-proliferation office at the White House to oversee the talks, expected to be headed by Gary Samore, a non-proliferation negotiator in the Clinton Administration. The talks will be driven by Hillary Clinton‘s State Department. No final decision on the defence shield has been taken by Mr Obama. Yet merely delaying the placement of US missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic – which if deployed would cost the US $4 billion annually – removes what has been a major impediment to Russian co-operation on arms reduction. Any agreement would put pressure on Britain, which has 160 nuclear warheads, and other nuclear powers to reduce their stockpiles. Mr Obama has pledged to put nuclear weapons reduction at the heart of his presidency and his first move will be to reopen talks with Moscow to replace the 1991 US-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), which expires in December. Under that pact, the two countries have cut their respective stockpiles from roughly 10,000 to 5,000. “We are going to re-engage Russia in a more traditional, legally binding arms reduction process,” an official from the Administration said. “We are prepared to engage in a broader dialogue with the Russians over issues of concern to them. Nobody would be surprised if the number reduced to the 1,000 mark for the post-Start treaty.” Efforts to revive the Start talks were fitful under Mr Bush and complicated by his insistence on building a missile defence shield. “If Obama proceeds down this route, this will be a major departure,” one Republican said. “But there will be trouble in Congress.” The plan is also complicated by the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which launched its first satellite into space yesterday, and North Korea, which is preparing to test a long-range ballistic missile capable of striking the US. Mr Obama views the reduction of arms by the US and Russia as critical to efforts to persuade countries such as Iran not to develop the Bomb. » IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THIS MATERIAL IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. TRUTHOUT HAS NO AFFILIATION WHATSOEVER WITH THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS ARTICLE NOR IS TRUTHOUT ENDORSED OR SPONSORED BY THE ORIGINATOR. “VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE” LINKS ARE PROVIDED AS A CONVENIENCE TO OUR READERS AND ALLOW FOR VERIFICATION OF AUTHENTICITY. HOWEVER, AS ORIGINATING PAGES ARE OFTEN UPDATED BY THEIR ORIGINATING HOST SITES, THE VERSIONS POSTED ON TO MAY NOT MATCH THE VERSIONS OUR READERS VIEW WHEN CLICKING THE “VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE” LINKS. Comments This is a moderated forum. It may take a little while for comments to go live. 

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Obama is looking good!

January 31st, 2009

January 26, 2009

Dear Friends:

I had the pleasure of responding to an invitation from Greg Nelson and participating this morning as PSR’s representative in a White House ceremony at which President Obama announced his initial steps on energy and the environment. The content of his announcements were covered this morning in an anticipatory piece on the front page of The New York Times and I am sure will be in tonight and tomorrow’s news.

The invitation came at the last minute, yesterday, Sunday afternoon in fact but an audience of 80-100 folks appeared, mostly good friends of ours from the national environmental community. This group rarely has occasion to be together in the same room and the mood was celebratory. Members of the President’s energy and environment “team” were present including: Steven Chu, John Holdren, Carol Browner, Lisa Jackson, and others.

The President spoke for 10 minutes and was very business-like. The President’s tone sent a clear message. He opened with the urgent need to respond to the financial crises and linked his remarks on energy independence, CAFE standards, green house gas emissions to job creation and economic stabilization. He spoke of global warming as a matter of fact that we all understand and want action on. He spoke of the importance of science-based policy.

His presentation was low-key, as if he were saying: “I’m not telling you anything you don’t know… and here is what we are going to need to do…” I found listening to him a remarkable experience, like a light coming on after 8, or has it been 20, years in the darkness. Unlike previous White House events there were no photo ops; there will be no signed photographs of me with the President. He greeted a few of his own people in the front row and left the room. I am impressed.

I hope we see an event like this on nuclear weapons in the near future. This is a moment both to celebrate and to redouble our efforts.

Mike McCally's
Mike McCally, MD, PhD

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TODAY Vote for “Ideas for Change in America”

January 15th, 2009

The last day of voting for the Ideas for Change in America competition is today! On Friday we will present the top 10 ideas to the Obama administration at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We’ll then connect the winning ideas to leading nonprofits and launch a series of national advocacy campaigns to turn each idea into federal policy.

You have voted for the following idea:


You can help support this idea by forwarding this email to friends or posting links to your favorite ideas on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any blog you might write.

You also have 9 votes remaining, and we encourage you to finish voting for your list of “Top 10 Ideas” by going to www.change.org/ideas <http://www.change.org/ideas>  before voting ends at 5pm Eastern this Thursday, Jan. 15.

We started the Ideas for Change in America initiative in the hope that we could translate the energy behind the Obama election into a citizen-led movement for change around the major issues we face. With over 500,000 votes thus far, each of you has helped deliver a clear message to the Obama administration that the American people want to participate in their own government again.

For that, we thank you. And we can’t wait to work with each of you to continue this momentum after the competition ends.

In the meantime, best of luck for each of the ideas you support!

- The Change.org http://change.org/>  Team

To unsubscribe from messages from Change.org, click the link below.
http://www.change.org/my_change/email_opt_out?email_id=ICABIUXVVUZPCOBSZEPB

 

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Ugly Middle East “plan” exposed

January 14th, 2009

Obama is already under the thumb of the American Enterprise Institute, AEI, with his choice of Dennis Ross as his senior advisor on middle east policies.  The American Enterprise Institute is the Zionist Israeli (located in the US) “think tank” whose members made up the majority of the Bush administration, and who hatched the Iraq war under Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith, Cambone, Bolton, Wolfowitz, Libby, Ross, all AEI “fellows/scholars” all Zionist Jews who control this country, and apparently newly elected Barack Obama as well.  In their now famous document a “Project for a New American Century (PNAC)” initiated in the late 1990s, they mapped out the course of action to attack Iraq, inflame the middle east, and be able to fight at least 2 minor and 1 major war at the same time with Israel using the US government and military to do its’ work in taking over the world.  Although the “project” has not gone as smoothly as anticipated, that has not deterred them, they press on now having co-opted the new administration by installing their members already and their agenda going forward.  Their next project is for the US to attack Iran.
http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/6648 

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