The Biden administration has just approved using U.S. weapons to attack Crimea, a horrifying leap closer to nuclear war. We agree with journalist Caitlin Johnstone’s response, “Everyone on earth should be shouting a loud, unequivocal 'no' to this at the top of their lungs.” (photo - Paul McMahon)
Some are. Last week, an open letter from the Eisenhower Media Network to the Biden administration was published as a full-page ad in the New York Times from a group of former military, intelligence and civilian national security officials. Their headline: “The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World.” The letter begins: “The Russia-Ukraine War has been an unmitigated disaster. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded. Millions have been displaced. Environmental and economic destruction have been incalculable. Future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war. "We deplore the violence, war crimes, indiscriminate missile strikes, terrorism, and other atrocities that are part of this war. The solution to this shocking violence is not more weapons or more war, with their guarantee of further death and destruction.
"As Americans and national security experts, we urge President Biden and Congress to use their full power to end the Russia-Ukraine War speedily through diplomacy, especially given the grave dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.”
What a welcome development! More welcome news: Peace in Ukraine Coalition’s ceasefire and diplomacy petition will be printed this week in The Hill, a widely-read Capitol Hill newspaper. And what are we doing in Wisconsin? Our group, Madison for a World BEYOND War, speaks up publicly to defuse nuclear war. We have done 31 War Abolition Walks in Madison since April 2022 to call for an end to the war in Ukraine, and all war. On May 6, we were part of WI vs WW3, an antiwar demonstration at the Capitol during Farmers Market on the Square. It was a big-tent event, organized by unusual collaborators — veterans, libertarians, socialists, Catholics, Quakers and Democrats. In March, we helped host the 20th Midwest Catholic Worker Faith & Resistance Gathering, which brought together well over 100 people to resist the F-35 fighter jets and war.
War is organized mass murder. We are part of a growing global movement for war abolition. Wars end in negotiations. Why not skip the killing and start with negotiating? Almost all human conflicts are resolved nonviolently, between individuals and between nations. Only a tiny number of conflicts lead to people killing each other. But once wars get started, they are addictive and terribly hard to stop. We are doing all we can so that the war in Ukraine ends in negotiations, not nuclear annihilation.
We at World Beyond War don’t take sides. In war, the only winners are the people selling the weapons. We call for a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine. Our message is: Let’s not annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons. We honor the brave war resisters in Russia, the hundreds of thousands of people who have demonstrated, spoken out and refused to be drafted into the military. We honor the Ukrainian conscientious objectors who have fled the country to avoid being drafted, and other Ukrainians who have been prosecuted and jailed for draft resistance — Ukrainian and Russian antiwar activists are heroes. Let’s follow their examples and speak out.
In Madison, we do War Abolition Walks together most weeks. We hold signs that say, “Defuse Nuclear War” and “Weapons Makers Are the Only Winners.” Often, we visit the offices of our members of Congress. Will you join us?
Stefania Sani and Janet Parker are co-coordinators at Madison for a World BEYOND War.....a WNPJ member group.
This article is in the Cap Times of Madison WI - May 31st, 2023 issue - page 44.