Sunday, July 16, 2006

WE WANT A CEASE FIRE IN LEBANON

We are all very worried about the present situation if you want to do something about it;
Please write, phone, fax protests to MPs and Government

Lebanon blames US for UN silence

Al Jazeera report
Sunday 16 July 2006, 5:08 Makka Time, 2:08 GMT Lebanon has accused the United States of blocking a Security Council statement calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, and said the impotence of the UN's most powerful body sent wrong signals to small countries.

Nouhad Mahmoud, the Lebanese special envoy, said: "It's unacceptable because people are still under shelling, bombardment and destruction is going on ... and people are dying."

Qatar, the only Arab nation on the council, received widespread support during closed council consultations for a press statement calling for an immediate ceasefire, restraint in the use of force, and the protection of civilians caught in the conflict, council diplomats said.

But Cesar Mayoral, Argentina's UN ambassador, said the United States objected to any statement and Britain opposed calling for a ceasefire.

The US and Britain want to wait for the outcome of this weekend's Group of Eight meeting in Russia, an Arab League foreign ministers meeting, and a mission sent to the Middle East by Kofi Annan, Mayoral and other diplomats said.

No agreement
Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, the French ambassador to the UN and the current council president, confirmed that "there was no agreement on a text tonight, but we will meet on Monday"

But Mahmoud protested, saying while innocent civilians are killed "here we are impotent in having ... some stand to address the situation".

"It sends very wrong signals not only to the Lebanese people but to all Arab people, to all small nations that we are left to the might of Israel and nobody is doing anything," he said."

It sends very wrong signals not only to all Lebanese people but to all Arab people"

Nouhad Mahmoud, Lebanese special envoy to the UN"

We want a resolution. We want a ceasefire. We want very clear stand from the Security Council. But concession after concession arrived to the press release - and even the press release was not possible to issue."

Lebanon's pro-Western government came to power after the assassination of Rafik al-Hariri, the former prime minister, in February 2005. This led to Syria's withdrawal of its forces from its smaller neighbour, ending a 29-year occupation."

We have many reasons to expect much more from the Security Council," said Mahmoud, an ambassador who was sent from Beirut.

And from the United States?"

They were always supportive in the last one-and-a-half years, but when it comes to Israel it seems things change," he said.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

No to Trident replacement

Sorry,
call again, post under construction.

see http://peacecampaign.blogspot.com/ please
Martin Julius

RE: It would be folly to give up Britain's nuclear deterrent

In th­­e Daily Express (23rd June 2006) Colonel Mike Dewar Defense analyst commented on the need of Britain’s Nuclear Deterrence.
According to him there is in reality “no alternative to nuclear deterrence”.
His reasons are:

1. Britain’s top position in international politics.
“First, the key to Britain’s position on the top table of international politics and in particular as a member of the permanent five on the UN Security Council is its nuclear status. And no responsible government is going to surrender that status as long as the US, Russia, China and France retain theirs.”

2. Threat from “rogue states”.
Then he mentions the threat of “rogue” states. Particularly North Korea and Iran.
“Add to this Israel, Pakistan and India already being nuclear powers and “real politik” would tend towards the UK maintaining its capability for the foreseeable future. “
“... no British government in its right mind would rely on the US to protect the UK from possible nuclear blackmail.”

3. The possibility of nuclear terrorism.
“Finally, we should not discount the possibility of nuclear terrorism.”
“While stealing a workable nuclear device is most unlikely, the leaking of nuclear expertise for cash incentives is a possibility and there is evidence that this has already occurred in Pakistan. Accurate retaliation against such a terrorist threat is a problem, but the knowledge that nuclear weapons would be used against known terrorist sites might act as a deterrent.”

He claims the UK deterrent is “very much on the cheap”.

“Estimates of the cost to replace or prolong the life of Trident D5/ Vanguard system vary from £10 - £25 billion.“
“It consists of 4 submarines armed with the D5 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The warhead is British. Only one submarine is on patrol at any time, the number of missiles on board is limited to 16. It is intentionally a minimum deterrent and sends the signal that, while unilateral disarmament is not a practical alternative, our only intention is to deploy what keeps us secure. “

Well “on the cheap” in Col Dewar’s judgment means £10 – £25 billion!!!

How would you spend £25 billion?

His opinion on the opponents of nuclear weapons is:
“Others who oppose nuclear weapons have, for the most part, a greater faith in the goodness of humanity than is perhaps wise. They will have to become accustomed to political realities...”

Among other qualities of the aforementioned Colonel, is the power of crystal ball gazing:

“A debate in Parliament on the issue is likely and a large majority in favour is certain as the Conservatives will support the government. In fact the government could take the decision on the nuclear option without referring it to Parliament, but this is unlikely.
One way or another the UK’s nuclear deterrent is certain to be maintained for a generation at least. The logic for doing so is inescapable. Indeed we need look no further than Theodore Roosevelt’s dictum: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

Now, how can somebody question the need for nuclear weapons after this?

see also http://peacecampaign.blogspot.com