2008 #5 Fall ~

NOW IS THE TIME FOR POLITICAL ACTION

page1image4384

The upcoming election on November 4, 2008 will be one of the most important elections in the history of our country. A major issue is what kind of foreign policy this country will follow. Will this country put more emphasis on working with the United Nations and the governments of other countries to strengthen international institutions and the rule of law at the global level?

To get more information about the candidates, not only for President but also for Congress, go to the national Citizens for Global Solutions website

<www.globalsolutions.org>, click on “Politics” on the left, and then click on “Issues and Candidates.” Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) is nonpartisan, so the Political Action Committee (PAC) tries to find candidates from any political party which it can endorse because they support our goals. The CGS PAC focuses on endorsing candidates for Congress. Instead of endorsing a candidate for President, the positions of the main Presidential candidates are publicized on the website.

THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

With regard to Presidential candidates, it seems that both John McCain and Barack Obama will abandon the unilateralism of the present Bush administration, but not in the same way.

McCain calls for the creation of a League of Democracies composed only of democratic nation- states. Such an organization would be able to take coordinated action in situations like the Darfur region of Sudan and Burma and Iran, situations where the United Nations fails to act against perpetrators of crimes because of the veto power of China and Russia in the U.N. Security Council. (At the same time it should be remembered that it was just that situation which kept the U.N. Security Council from approving military action against Iraq for the current war there. It should also be noted that the Security Council legitimized military action against Iraq when it invaded Kuwait ten years earlier. The U.N. Security Council also approved retributive action against the terrorists in Afghani- stan after the 9/11 terrorist attack).

McCain says he doesn’t want to eliminate the U.N. or international agreements on human rights and more assistance to poorer nations, but he wants to be able to coordinate multilateral action through an international organization other than the U.N. that will be more amenable to forceful action against those regarded as enemies of democracy and Western values. Of course such a course of action might reignite the Cold War. McCain wants “victory” in Iraq and tends to favor aggressive diplomacy and, when necessary, military action coordinated with allies, against those who oppose democratic values.

“ . . . [A]ny solution to the problem of war in the end must involve influencing our social practices and modifying our social and political institutions. . . . Individual action is going to be useful largely to the extent that it is addressed to social issues and social attitudes and social-oriented organizations. Working for peace ultimately must involve some kind of concern about and participation (direct or indirect) in politics.”

-Ronald J. Glossop, CONFRONTING WAR (4th ed.), pp. 17-18.

Obama’s main foreign policy focus is getting U.S. military forces out of Iraq as soon as feasible and moving many of them into Afghanistan to fight against “the real enemy, Al-Queda.” He favors working through the United Nations and favors U.S. ratification of international treaties, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. He supports U.S. involvement on global issues such as global warming, assisting developing countries, and protecting human rights. He favors more aggressive U.S. action to deal with the genocide in Darfur, but he wants to get more evidence on how the International Criminal Court functions and how the Responsibility to Protect principle gets implemented before endorsing them. He does not support the CGS-proposed creation of an individually-recruited U.N. Emergency Peace Force. He wants to try to avoid confrontations with other countries by using less aggressive diplomacy and paying more attention to their concerns.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES IN MISSOURI AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

Although the Presidential race gets most of the attention, battles for Congressional seats also deserve our attention. Citizens for Global Solutions provides a biennial review of the voting records of those in Congress. The Political Action Committee of CGS endorses incumbents on the basis of their past voting records and challengers on the basis of their answers to the CGS Candidate Questionnaire, which you can find on the CGS website.

In Missouri there is no election for either Senate seat. On the most recent CGS Congres- sional Report Card Senator Kit Bond received a grade of F and Senator Claire McCaskill received a grade of B- (She was endorsed by and received financial support from CGS PAC two years ago).

In Missouri’s First Congressional District (northern part of the city of St. Louis and north St. Louis Country) Representative W. Lacy Clay (Democrat) has been endorsed by the CGS PAC and has not needed financial support because of no significant opposition. Congressman Clay, as usual, received a grade of A on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. He has been endorsed by CGS PAC now and also two years ago. There is no Republican opponent in the general election.

In Missouri’s Second Congressional District (the western part of St. Louis County and half of St. Charles Country) Representative Todd Aiken (Republican) received a grade of D- on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Bill Haas is the Democratic opponent in this district generally regarded as a safe Republican district.

In Missouri’s Third Congressional District (southern part of city of St. Louis and south St. Louis County, Jefferson Country, and Ste. Genevieve County) Representative Russ Carnahan (Democrat) received a grade of A+ on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Congressman Carnahan, a member of the key House Committee on International Relations, has been endorsed and financially supported by CGS PAC now and also two years ago. His Republican opponent is Chris Sander.

In Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District (south and east of Kansas City to Jefferson City and almost to Columbia) Representative Ike Skelton (Democrat) received a grade of B+ on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Skelton’s Republican opponent is Jeff Parnell.

In Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District (Kansas City and Jackson County) Representative Emanuel Cleaver (Democrat) received a grade of A- on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. He has been endorsed and financially supported by CGS PAC now and also two years ago. Cleaver’s Republican opponent is Jacob Turk.

In Missouri’s Sixth Congressional District (Northwest corner of Missouri including north suburbs of Kansas City) Representative Sam Graves (Republican) received a grade of D- on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Graves’s Democrat opponent is former KC mayor Kay Barnes.

In Missouri’s Seventh Congressional District (southwest corner of Missouri including Springfield and Branson) Representative Roy Blunt (Republi- can) received a grade of D on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Blunt’s Democrat opponent is Richard Monroe.

In Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District (southeast Missouri including Cape Giradeau) Representative Jo Ann Emerson (Republican) received a grade of D+ on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Emerson’s Democrat opponent is Joe Allen.

In Missouri’s Ninth Congressional District (northeast part of Missouri including Columbia) Representative Ken Hulshof (Republican) has decided to run for Governor after receiving a grade of D+ on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Blaine Luetkemeyer is the Republican candidate and Judy Baker is the Democrat candidate. Neither candidate has filled out a CGS Candidate Questionnaire, so neither is eligible for a CGS PAC endorsement.

In the Illinois Senate race, Senator Dick Durbin received a grade of A+ on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Durbin has been endorsed and financially supported by CGS PAC. Durbin’s Republican opponent is Steven Sauerberg.

In Illinois’s Twelfth Congressional District (Alton, Belleville, East St. Louis and south through Carbondale and Anna to Cairo) Representative Jerry Costello (Democrat) received a grade of A on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. He has been endorsed by CGS PAC now and also two years ago. Costello’s Republican opponent is Tim Richardson.

In Illinois’s Nineteenth Congressional Dis- trict (Godfrey and Edwardsville east to Effingham and Olney) Representative John Shmikus (Repub- lican) received a grade of D+ on the most recent CGS Congressional Report Card. Shimkus’s Democrat opponent is Daniel Davis.

A main purpose for the change in the name and structure of our organization in 2003-2004 was to encourage more involvement in the political pro- cess. This article is to provide guidance to our members with regard to this involvement.

page3image32272
page3image32544

CELEBRATE CONSENSUS BUILDING AND PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER

Reprinted from the September 2008 issue of the newsletter of the Minneapolis chapter of CGS Claude Buettner, President, Minnesota Chapter, CGS, August 28, 2008

We are one-twelfth into the first century of the new millennium. During this period we have witnessed previews of what could have been a major change of course; but many Americans are left with a feeling that we’ve seen and heard all this before.

What we’re now experiencing is a thinly disguised retelling of the same sad story of the last few centuries when distance and delays in commu- nication made it easy for people to think of coun- tries as isolated, unattached entities. When our own country was new, the social contract that bound its citizens together did not seem to apply on an international scale. Then, even the basic human rights of prisoners of war had to be promoted and negotiated by the newly independent United States, whose citizens had been hideously abused in our parent-empire’s prison ships off Manhattan Island and elsewhere. But today the farthest distance on earth has shrunk to at most 48 hours for a traveler taking scheduled airlines and to minutes for an intercontinental missile. Communication is instan- taneous and ubiquitous thanks to an infrastructure of satellite carriers and Internet servers. But, in a time when the world is inextricably interconnected, our international institutions are not yet up to the task of ensuring a secure future. Signs that we are prone to regression abound.

Ironically, we are surrounded by successful examples of how free committed groups with divergent and seemingly irreconcilable views are able to work through a long, sometimes tedious, but eventually manageable, process of consensus building. As we Americans watch our political process with fascination — and sometimes trepida- tion – we witness a mostly successful model that could be scaled up to allow peaceful transfer of

power on an international level, with checks and balances and guarantees of basic rights.

Take heart that there is a way forward to a democratic (small d), inclusive system of interna- tional institutions that could be capable of solving life-and-death problems that no nation can solve alone: nuclear proliferation, water and energy resource wars, environmental degradation, and overpopulation. With guidance, our embryonic system of global governance — as it now exists in the Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Orga- nization — can be improved by increasing transpar- ency and accountability and by increased and better representation of those who are affected by the decisions made by these institutions.

BENEFACTOR RANDY FUNSTEN DIES

Randolph Fairfax Funsten, Jr., the greatest benefactor ever to the St. Louis chapter of CGS, died April 27, 2008. Randy’s financial assistance to the chapter began in the late 1990s when he would with some regularity provide additional funding so that our chapter could send two or three student essay contest winners to national World Federalist meetings rather than just the one winner covered by the budget.

In 2001 Randy gave our chapter a gift of appreciated stock worth approximately $100,000 to support World Federalist Association youth activi- ties. The national WFA assisted us with the conversion of the stock into cash. Realizing that our chapter’s capability to use these resources was limited (at that time the interest was about $5,000 per year), we entered into an agreement with the national organization. They would hold the Funsten Fund as part of their portfolio and each year would give our chapter at least $2,500, but if the annual interest for the Fund exceeded $5,000, the chapter would get half of it.

The money from this Funsten Fund now provides the money we need to send our essay contest winners to national conventions, all expenses paid. A special plaque of appreciation was presented to Randy by WFA President John Anderson at the national convention held here in St. Louis in November 2001. The chapter also bought a brick for Randy in the patio in the memorial garden behind the national office in Washington DC.

Upon his death this year Randy bequeathed another $100,000 to the national CGS Education Fund.

Randy was born March 13, 1926 and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in biology from Princeton University in 1949. The Funsten Company on Craig Road in St. Louis County which he ran, conducted noncommercial research. We are very grateful to Randy Funsten for his very generous financial support both to our chapter and to the national organization.

Page 5

Citizens for Global Solutions Fall, 2008

page6image1304
page6image1576

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

(presented at Hiroshima Remembrance Service, Missouri Botanical Garden, August 6, 2008 by Ronald Glossop, Chair, Citizens for Global Solutions, St. Louis)

We are living at a critical time with many global problems that need to be addressed: seemingly unending wars, tyrannical national governments which have no regard for basic human rights, global warming, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and huge and growing discrepancies between rich and poor.

Do we have too much government? Definitely not. The problem is that at the national level and even more at the global level we lack good govern- ment, government that acts for the common good, not just the welfare of the well-off. We need a global democratic federation to move beyond our existing anarchic international system. Then national governments would not need to spend valuable resources getting ready to fight wars in the name of “national defense.” We have models for such a system in our own country and in the European Union. How much does Missouri spend to protect itself from possible attack from Illinois? The European Union has now eliminated the possibility of war between Germany and France. At the global level we need a demo- cratic federation which limits the national sover- eignty of regimes in countries such as Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, and yes, even the rulers of this country. In such a world, no nations would need nuclear weapons or large military forces. No doubt conflicts would still occur, but they would be worked out by political and judicial means just as is now done within all democratic nations.

The United Nations is a step in the right direction, but it does not have the law-making capability of a real government, and it is not democratic. It does not have an elected legislature, and leaders of national governments are not constrained by any higher law enforceable against individual criminals. Thankfully some progress is being made with regard to putting more limits on national sovereignty. A big step forward in holding individual leaders accountable is the International Criminal Court or ICC whose authority began on July 1, 2002. It is now supported by 108 national governments but not by the United States, China, Russia, Israel, Sudan, Myanmar, North Korea, and other nations that believe their leaders can remain above even the very limited laws put forth in the Rome Statute of the ICC. Another step in the right direction is the Responsibility to Protect or R2P principle now recog- nized by the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Security Council. The R2P principle limits the sovereignty of national governments. They have a responsibility to protect the human rights of their own citizens, and if they don’t, the international community has a right to intervene to protect those rights. So far, as the situations in Darfur and Myanmar make clear, the U.N. has not yet worked out a way of enforcing the R2P principle. It is becoming ever more evident that the next step is for the U.N. to have its own individually recruited U.N. Emergency Peace Service to move in quickly when the R2P principle needs to be forcefully implemented.

If you want to help push the U.S. government in this direction, I encourage you to join Citizens for Global Solutions at <www.global solutions.org> and the other non-governmental organizations sponsoring this program. Each of us must ask ourselves, “How do I spend my time and my money? Do my actions match my concern for peace and justice? Am I doing what I can to move us toward a world under law which is more peaceful and just than the world we now have?”

We need a global, democratic federation to move beyond our existing anarchic international system.
page6image38936
page6image39208

Palestinian Peace Activist Visits St. Louis but Leaves

without Discussion of Solution to US-Israeli-Palestinian War

by Suzanne Reinhold

Palestinian peace activist and poet Dr. Hanan Awwad visited St. Louis last June where she spoke at a ‘salon’ held at Webster University, engaged in other meetings with local members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and Women in Black, and was inter- viewed on radio. Dr. Awwad’s midwest itinerary concluded with her attendance at a WILPF meeting in Iowa.

I eagerly awaited the conclusion of Dr. Awwad’s presentation at the salon so I could present for her consideration what I considered to be a fool-

proof plan for peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the ‘Suzanne and
Bob Reinhold roadmap.’ (See the Summer, 2007 edition of this newsletter for the author’s editorial comment in which she proposed the plan. I laid out the ‘roadmap’ as if I were Einstein declaring E=MC squared.)

Step one would be Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 War borders, as proposed by the Arab Initiative several years ago, which, according to Dr. Awwad, has been largely ignored. Step two would be a huge infusion of cash into the Palestinian economy to jump-start it. The establishment of a Palestinian state will accomplish nothing unless its citizens have hope for a decent standard of living.

The funds would be provided by Germany, Britain, and the United States, the countries responsible for the creation of the problem and its con- tinuation. In the 1930s the United States failed to respond to repeated requests for asylum for European Jews, which led to the near annihilation of European Jews by Germany. (An excellent history of the deliberate disregard by the United States government of the requests for immigration for European Jews is documented in The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945, by David S. Wyman (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984) . It was Britain that proposed the creation of the Jewish homeland on Palestinian land.

The United States bears a huge present responsibility for the Second Intifada due to its substantial financial support of Israel, which pays its citizens to relocate in the West Bank, and whose military incursions into the Palesti ian territories have killed Palestinian citizens in numbers far exceeding those of Israeli citizens.

Because of this U.S. funding, one might more accurately describe the Israeli-Palestinian War as the US-Israeli-Palestinian War. Certain analysts have discussed it as an important part of the birth of Al Quaida and have concluded that its solution would be a major step toward peace in the entire Middle East.

To my dismay, following my presentation of the ‘Reinhold roadmap,’ there ensued a debate between members of the audience as to what archeologists would find if they were to burrow beneath the Dome of the Rock! One member of the audience did ask Dr. Awwad what borders should constitute the basis of a settlement, but Dr. Awwad said she did not know.

Fortunately, I had another matter to attend to, and left the program early! It was going nowhere.

Where is the Mandela who will propose a fair solution to the US-Israeli-Palestinian War and short-circuit the seemingly endless discussion of who did what and who deserves what tract of land?

page7image34664
page7image34936
page7image35208
page7image35480
Advertisements

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

%d bloggers like this: