2011 #16 Summer ~

CGS/STL PARTNERS FOR GLOBAL CHANGE IN ACTION

CGS/STL Partners for Global Change met noon Saturday, May 14 following the local chapter board meeting at the World Community Center. The bi-monthly national CGS conference call was focused this time on the issue “Where’s the International Affairs Funding.” We heard an excellent presentation by Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) on the need to understand what foreign aid does and how it is faring in this time of unusual budget pressure and unprecedented antagonism to the United Nations. In the House of Representatives 170 members voted not only to defund U.S. dues to the U.N. but also to even drop our U.S. membership in the U.N.!

Congressman Smith stated that U.N. funding is O.K. for 2011 and probably 2012, but he said that too much of U.S. development money is being administered by the military and not enough by the State Department and AID. A Congressional staff member stated that $300 million had been cut from the U.S. contribution to U.N. peacekeeping missions, but for the moment other credits had been able to take up that slack. At present 100,000 U.N. peacekeepers are operating in Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Lebanon, and 11 other countries costing us much less than if U.S. forces were called on to do this work. We were asked to contact our Representatives and Senators on this issue as well as to write letters to the editor. Yvonne’s letter was published on p.A12 of the St. Louis POST DISPATCH for Thursday, May 26. Here is what it said under the paper’s heading “Fair Solution.”

“One part of a fair solution to the budget crisis would be a big cut in military spending,starting with dozens of our far-flung bases. We should, however, preserve our spending on international projects, including the peacekeeping missions that are very cost-effective.United Nations missions in Haiti, Lebanon, and other countries cost only 20 percent of what they would if they had been undertaken by U.S. forces, and they get strong credit for saving lives and averting disasters.

The United Nations also has diplomatic uses in Iraq and Afghanistan when it undertakes missions for which the United States is less fit. Let us continue to support the low cost of diplomacy instead of war by preserving the one percent of our national budget devoted to these affairs.

– Yvonne Logan, University City

EXCERPTS FROM REVES’ ANATOMY OF PEACE FOR SEPT. 25 DISCUSSION

On Sunday, September 25 there will be a general meeting for our members and visitors at 1:00 p.m. in the Hanke Room of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis MO 63117. The topic “How Can the U.N. Be Made More Effective” will be discussed by a panel consisting of Bill Bartholomew, Prof. Jean Robert Leguey-Feilleux of St. Louis University, and Ron Glossop, Professor Emeritus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Prof. David Oughton of St. Louis University will be moderator. The selection below is to provide background for Bill Bartholomew’s point of view.

–These Excerpts are from the Postscript of The Anatomy of Peace by Emery Reves

Editor’s note: After the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, journalists asked Albert Einstein for his ideas on world peace. Einstein replied, “We need a world government.” He then urged the journalists to read a new book by Emery Reves entitled The Anatomy of Peace. The following passages from the postscript of this book references the early days of the debate over the adoption of the U.N. Charter early in 1945:

There is only one method that can create security against destruction by the atomic bomb. This is the same method that gives the states of New York and California (non-producers of the atomic bomb) security against being erased from the surface of the earth by the states of Tennessee and New Mexico (producers of the atomic bomb). This security is real. It is the security given by a common sovereign order of law. Outside of that, any security is but an illusion.

Many of the scientists who released atomic energy, frightened by the consequences of this new force, warn us of the dangers that will result if several sovereign states possess atomic weapons, and urge control of it by the United Nations Security Council. But what is the United Nations Security Council, except ‘several sovereign states’? The pathetic defenders [of the U.N.] argue that it is all we have and we should be practical and start from what we have. [But] the mere fact of having something does not automatically make it valuable. 

The San Francisco Charter [that created the United Nations Organization] is a multilateral treaty. That and nothing else. Each party to it can withdraw the moment it desires, and war alone can force the member-states to fulfill their obligations under the treaty. For several thousand years man has given innumerable chances to treaty structures between sovereign power units to demonstrate that they can prevent war. We cannot risk reliance upon a method that has failed miserably hundreds of times and never succeeded once. Law and only law can bring peace among people; treaties never can. We can never arrive at a legal order by amending a treaty structure. To realize the task before us, the heated debates of Hamilton, Madison, and Jay in Philadelphia should be read and reread in every home and every school. They demonstrated that the Articles of Confederation (based on the same principles as the United Nations Organization) could not prevent war between the states, [and] that amendment of these articles could not solve the problem [by] establishing an overall federal government with power to legislate, apply, and execute law on individuals in the United States. That was the only remedy then and it is the only remedy now.

The San Francisco league is not a first step toward a universal legal order. There is no ‘first step’ toward world government. World government is the first step.Whether the change from treaty structure to a legal order takes place independently of the United Nations Organization or within it is irrelevant. To amend the San Francisco Charter – if that is the road we choose – we will have to rewrite it so drastically to get what we need that nothing of the document will remain except the two opening words: ‘Chapter One.’

The stumbling block to transforming the San Francisco league into a governmental institution is the Charter’s basic conception expressed in the first phrase of the first chapter: ‘Members are the states.’ This makes the charter a multilateral treaty. No amendment of the text can alter the fact until the very foundation is changed to the effect that the institution will have direct relationship, not with states, but with individuals. But – argue the defenders of the Charter – the preamble says, ‘We the Peoples of the United Nations.’ These symbolic words of democratic government do not belong in the San Francisco Charter. Their use in the preamble is in total contradiction to everything else in it. The most vulgar of all objections is the meaningless assertion made by so many ‘public figures’: ‘The people are not yet ready for world federation.’ One can only wonder how they know. Have they ever tried to explain to the people what makes war and what is the mechanism of peace in human society? After having understood the problem, have the people rejected the solution and decided they did not want peace by law and government but preferred war by national sovereignty? Everybody has a perfect right to say that they do not believe in federal world government and do not want it. But without having faith in it and without having tried it, nobody has the right to preclude the decision of the people.

REPORT FROM CGS/STL 2011 ANNUAL MEETING

The annual meeting of the St. Louis chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions at the Ethical Society of St. Louis was called to order at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, 2011, following a short refreshment period with drinks and snacks provided by the CGS/STL board. Thanks to Bill Bartholomew, the use of the Ethical Society was again acquired at a reduced rate. Tad Daley, author of APOCALYPSE NEVER, spoke to an audience of about fifty persons, 34 of whom stayed for the subsequent buffet dinner. The first part of Daley’s talk followed his book in arguing that a nuclear accident is quite likely, that “Kokura luck” will run out, unless mankind wakes up to the danger. (The city of Kokura was the target for America’s second atom bomb after the bombing of Hiroshima, but cloud and smoke cover from nearby Allied bombing prevented hitting Kokura, so Nagasaki was bombed instead.) There have been an estimated three close calls in which nations almost deployed a nuclear weapon. It was recently observed that North Korea’s possession of the nuclear bomb is proof positive that being in the nuclear ‘club’ can prevent military attack by another country. Countries lacking conventional military superiority need nuclear weapons for deterrence, but the United States now has great superiority in conventional military weaponry so no longer needs nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless getting rid of all nuclear weapons will require a fail-safe inspection and elimination system that all countries can trust, meaning that the U.S will also have to allow open inspection to prove that all of our nuclear weapons have been destroyed. Daley credited Ronald Reagan with the great leap forward into nuclear disarmament in his second term even though he had talked about winning a nuclear war during his first term. During the last part of his talk Daley focused on the need to eliminate war as well as nuclear weapons and argued that creation of a democratic world federation is the only way to accomplish that end, which would also include the end of military forces and militarism but not of police forces. Several members of the audience applauded that statement. Questions included one from Bob Reinhold as to the effect of disparity in the level of development of nations as a cause of the increased danger of nuclear war and disaster. Daley admitted that this was one of many factors that contribute to international tensions but argued that his plan to get rid of all nuclear weapons would be easier to accomplish than the establishment of a world federation. Daley was a great speakerand enjoyed the give and take with the audience. He autographed each of the more than 20 books which were sold. A buffet turkey dinner catered as usual by Diner’s Delight followed for those who were able to stay, followed by a short business meeting. Minutes of last year’s annual meeting were approved. Ron Glossop reported on the activities of the chapter during the past year. David Oughton presented the Treasurer’s report showing a present checkbook balance of $540.34 ($185.34 in the education fund plus $355.00 in the political fund). It was approved unanimously. Yvonne Logan reported on Partners for Global Change. Bud Deraps gave the report of the Nominating Committee: Chair – Ron Glossop; Vice-Chair – Yvonne Logan; Treasurer – Dave Oughton; Recording Secretary – Suzanne Reinhold; Membership Secretary – Celestia Gaudreault; Board of Directors – Bill Bartholomew, Paul Davis, Leon (Bud) Deraps, Hicham Jaddoud, Katharine Kilpatric, Tom O’Gorman, Bob Reinhold, and Lolly Wehrli.

All the candidates were elected unanimously. Hicham Jaddoud, the new Director, was introduced. He is a graduate student at Lindenwood University and hotel manager trainee at the Luminere Hotel. The budget proposed for the fiscal year 1 October 2011 to September 30, 2012 ($5,450 income [including $1,000 from the Robison Fund CD] and $5,450 expenses) was unanimously approved. The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:00 pm.

–Suzanne Reinhold, Recording Secretary, April 6, 2011

PROGRESS IN JUSTICE IS NO SMALL GAIN

I am disappointed that the articles about the arrest of war criminal Ratko Mladic in the June 1 edition of the POST-DISPATCH are so focused on the limited viewpoint of the Bosnians that no account is taken of the bigger picture, the long-term deterrent effect on present and future national leaders as it becomes evident that the international justice system can and will eventually punish those national political and military leaders who commit international crimes.

The Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials after World War II, the creation of the tribunals to deal with crimes committed by leaders in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court, and the U.N.’s adoption of the principle of “the Responsibility to Protect” for national leaders all show that the world community is moving slowly but surely toward the implementation of the rule of law for the world community, even for powerful dictatorial leaders who previously felt they would never be brought to justice for their crimes. That hard-won progress is no small gain for humanity. It certainly should not be pushed aside by focusing so much on the disappointments of some who feel that justice was not done quickly enough in their particular case.

What should get more attention is the fact that one of the biggest hindrances to this expansion of justice at the global level has been the government of the United States. I do not want a world where national leaders, including our own, feel that they are above the law. Ronald Glossop, 8894 Berkay Avenue, Jennings MO 63136, 314/869-2303 

From Page A16. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sunday, June 5, 2011.

REPORT FROM WASHINGTON FROM STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

Winner Kristi Tanaka, Senior at Lindbergh High School, St. Louis

The 17th and 18th days of March, 2011, Citizens for Global Solutions provided me a truly unforgettable experience. I entered the CGS of St. Louis’s essay contest, having high hopes that I would be chosen for a trip to Washington, DC. I was interested in learning more about government and the basics of international relations between the United States and the rest of the world. However, Thursday’s information-packed conference and Friday’s exciting day for lobbying proved to be much more than the average school field trip. At the conference, we solidified information about genocide and UN funding, making it comprehensive and accessible to anyone who wanted to know more about them. We discussed the best methods to obtain our envisioned results, and decided on the most effective ways of conveying our ideas to members of Congress. Presenters gave powerful speeches, and the environment was always welcoming to comments, questions and suggestions. While I learned about the important issues, the most exciting part was putting all of that knowledge and preparation into action. Sitting in the offices of Senators and Representatives, having a person-toperson conversation with the people who can get our message heard, and addressing the issues that so many people are passionate about made everything I learned about the United States government come to life. How great it is to have a system where people’s voices can be heard! It’s not always easy, and of course the two days were very exhausting, but it is reassuring to know that if there’s an important issue, we can address it and get feedback.

While I learned a lot during my time spent in Washington, what made my experience with Citizens for Global Solutions most valuable was the chance to connect with people of the same values and concerns for the world we live in. They are caring, welcoming, knowledgeable individuals who sincerely want to see a change in our approach to international issues. They promote peace, international cooperation, and an end to violence in all forms. For their hard work, dedicated involvement, and passion for change, I commend them and thank them graciously for the opportunity to experience first-hand what they do. 

Winner Stephanie Yousef Senior at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 

The minute I received the phone call telling me that I was one of the winners of the Citizens for Global Solutions Essay Contest, excitement overcame me. I was absolutely thrilled, a trip to Washington DC dealing and discussing my favorite topic, the international world. I didn’t know all what to expect but I was prepared to have fun. 

When the conference began, I still had trouble in believing that I was in Washington with all these very educated, well-known, hardworking individuals. Since I have always liked talking politics, especially international politics, this was heaven to me. I learned plenty from the conference, many new facts, and various ways of assisting. I learned all about the organization CGS and its goals and successes. I had a wonderful time. My favorite aspect was that I was surrounded by like-minded people, who were very friendly and essentially mentors. I learned a lot from the participants of the program and I felt very at home. I was in a safe environment and an environment open to dialogue, new ideas, and actual implementation of these ideas.

My favorite part was the announcement during the conference that the UN Security Council had passed a resolution on the no-fly zone over Libya. This was my favorite because our conversations were about how to ensure that the U.S government continues funding the UN even though it is an imperfect system because it is still effective and basically the only one we have. This news was the icing on the cake, because it helped me better understand the picture as a whole.

Overall, I was very pleased that I was chosen to go on this trip. I have learned a lot and would like to thank everyone that made it possible to do so. This trip just encouraged me even more to be very hands-on and dream big because we can strive to make good things happen.

Winner Katy Rasmussen from St. Louis University

I had no idea what to expect while traveling to Washington D.C. for the Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) . I sat on the plane in a nervous anticipation. I had never met anyone from the organization and I had never even heard of Citizens for Global Solutions before the entering their essay contest. I couldn’t even sleep the night before the conference, but when morning came I began to meet various CGS members, I came to understand everything CGS stands for. Every person I met was just as excited as I was to be in Washington D.C. Everyone was unified in their objectives and came to the conference whole-heartedly intending to spark change. It was inspiring to meet people filled with such passion for what they believe in; people that came from all across the country to participate in the political process; people that can envision a better future and map out steps to achieve it.

In recent times, with growing amounts of partisan politics, discussing critical issues can evolve into hot debates. When issues are elevated to this point, many people don’t even want to get involved. The CGS conference showed me that debate is healthy for such huge issues and I felt like it was a safe place for such discussions. I never once felt unwelcome to say what was on my mind. In fact, I felt encouraged to do so. I was comfortable engaging in conversations about key issues and topics addressed by the conference. I think that is an important and necessary quality for a political organization to possess. All too often, groups with political agendas will alienate certain kinds of people, but to achieve success in any cause there needs be inclusion. I feel that CGS does that very well and I was extremely impressed by the organization.

Participating in the annual CGS conference was a remarkable experience. I never expected to receive such a warm welcome from all the different members I came in contact with. The atmosphere was friendly and inviting to all sorts of discussions.I was amazed that so many people from various backgrounds could come together for such noble causes. It was great to see people dedicated to their civic responsibility and to be able to participate myself. My horizons were greatly expanded during the conference and I got to see the multi-faceted sides of democracy in action―citizen activism on the one hand and representatives working for their constituents on the other. Most importantly I have learned that it is never too early to get involved in the political process and just how important it is to be involved.


COMMENT BY SUZANNE REINHOLD ON POINTS IN TAD DALEY’S TALK AT ANNUAL MEETING

Tad Daley is an excellent speaker and has chosen an important topic for his book Apocalypse Never. I have not yet read his book, but make the following comments in response to his address at the CGS/STL annual meeting on April 3, 2011. I am dubious about the accolades heaped on President Ronald Reagan for beginning nuclear arms reduction talks with the Soviets. So what that he took steps in that direction? There are those who question the very premise of arms reduction; they assert that it is a tricky numbers game that results in little or no reductions. President Reagan was responsible for vast expenditures on “Star Wars”, a program that was questioned as a plausible technology at the time and has since been shown to not be possible at this time. Furthermore, President Reagan authorized the infamous Iran-Contra program, whereby the US illegally sold arms to Iran and funneled the proceeds to the opposition in Nicaragua. For progressives to be joining the Reagan bandwagon seems absurd.

Secondly, Daley stated that if there is one nation that needs nuclear weapons for its defense, it is Israel. Nuclear weapons need to be abolished, but nevertheless there is one nation that has special needs!


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: