Despite Slump U.S. Role
As Top Arms Supplier Grows
Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.
The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before. The United States was the leader not only in arms sales worldwide, but also in sales to nations in the developing world, signing $29.6 billion in weapons agreements with these nations, or 70.1 percent of all such deals.
– New York Times, September 6, 2009 Φ
Intelligence Agencies Say
No New Nukes in Iran
The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear-weapons development program, two counter-proliferation officials tell NEWSWEEK. U.S. agencies had previously said that Tehran halted the program in 2003. More >> Φ
Radio Play for Peace — Get Your Free Copy
A dramatic new radio play on the conflict in the Middle East, “It’s Up to Us Alone,” featuring Ed Asner as the character Ari Shalom, is available without charge (not even shipping) from Radio Play for Peace CD: http://www.peaceteam.net/play.php.
Donations are welcome, but the producers want to get this production out to as many people as possible in order to stimulate discussion.
“It’s Up to Us Alone” is the story of people torn apart by generations of endless conflict. Benjamin, a biological researcher with the National Health Institute, enjoys a relatively carefree life with his girlfriend, Fatima, originally from the Occupied Territory. Benjamin’s father, Ari, is the National Defense Minister, and was already dead set against their relationship. But it’s not only their own personal world that is brought to the brink of Armageddon, when militants get their hands on some virus-dispersing bio-warfare shells to put atop their crude rockets.
If you able to help publicize this new dramatic work, please contact the producers, especially if you are connected with a radio station interested in airing this 40-minute audio blockbuster. Φ
U.S. Dominates Arms Sales
U.S. arms sales were $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before. Details are at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/world/07weapons.html?hp.
In second place was Italy at $3.7 billion, edging out Russia at $3.5 billion.
The value of global arms sales in 2008 was $55.2 billion, a drop of 7.6 percent from 2007 and the lowest total for international weapons agreements since 2005.
More related info: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs090/1102561677942/archive/1102703500941.html . Φ
Keeping Nuclear Abolition on the Agenda
Fr. Carl Kabat, one of the original Plowshares resisters, was arrested last month for celebrating Hiroshima Day by cutting a hole in a chain-link fence and mounting the silo of a Minuteman III nuclear missile in Colorado. In the 45 minutes before he was arrested by Air Force security personnel, he draped antiwar banners from the fence, prayed and tried without success to open a hatch leading to the silo. See the NYT story at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/us/07activist.html.Φ
Think Outside the Box
You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and see three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?
You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first. Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again. Think before you continue reading.
This moral/ethical dilemma was once used as part of a job application. The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. He simply answered: “I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.” Φ