Biological weapons have been banned. Chemical weapons have been banned. Landmines have been banned. Cluster munitions have been banned. Is it not time to ban nuclear weapons?
This 20-page booklet produced by ICAN (Intenational Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) describes the nuclear problem and outlines why a Nuclear Weapons Convention is needed. It argues that nuclear weapons are inhumane, make the world less secure, are harmful to the environment and are a waste of money. Download
The Morality of Nuclear Arms and the Drones
A day of talks on the topic of the legitimacy of wars, Just War Theory, nuclear weapons and drones was held on the 27th of October at the Abbey as part of the Ealing Abbey J&P group's Peace Day.
You can listen to both talks here:
Intro by Nick Stevens (Chair) and first talk by Sir Richard Parsons, based on his experience as Ambassador: informative and full of snippets based on his broad experience as Ambassador.
Second talk on Just War Theory by Fr Richard Finn O.P Blackfriars, outlining the criteria of Just War theory, and its development from Tertullian in the 3rd century to modern times.
Drone Wars UK
Drone Wars UK aims to be a source of information on the growinguse of armed drones. As we are based in the UK we focus on the use of British drones but also include information about armed drones in general.
"Waziristan? No, it's west Wales..."
Article from the Independent, 2nd Nov, about the Drone site in West Wales, see here.
What are Drones ?
There are two types of lethal drones primarily now used by the US: the MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper.The Predator is designed to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information combined with a kill capability, equipped as it is with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The Predator MQ-1B can spend some twenty-four hours in the air, flying at heights of up to twenty-six thousand feet, beyond sight or sound .The MQ-9 Reaper “is larger and more powerful than the MQ-1 Predator and is designed to prosecute time-sensitive targets with persistence and precision, and destroy or disable those targets.
The technical precision of these weapons has been disputed. One factor that reduces targeting precision is ‘latency,’ the delay between movement on the ground and the arrival of the video image via satellite to the drone pilot. Even when they are precise, however, casualties and damage are not necessarily confined to the specific individual, vehicle, or structure targeted. The blast radius from a Hellfire missile can extend anywhere from 15-20 meters; shrapnel may also be projected significant distances from the blast.
which is the result of nine months of research by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School (Stanford Clinic) and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law (NYU Clinic). Reprieve, a charity based in the United Kingdom, contacted the Stanford Clinic to ask whether it would be interested in conducting independent invesigations into whether, and to what extent, drone strikes in Pakistan conformed to international law and caused harm and/or injury to civilians.
The report presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies, based on extensive interviews with Pakistanis living in the regions directly affected, as well as humanitarian and medical workers. Below is a summary of points:
First, while civilian casualties are rarely acknowledged by the US government, there is significant evidence that US drone strikes have injured and killed civilians.
Second, US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury.
Third, publicly available evidence that the strikes have made the US safer overall is ambiguous at best.
Fourth, current US targeted killings and drone strike practices undermine respect for the rule of law and international legal protections and may set dangerous precedents. This is because drone attacks take place outside of a formal declaration of war between the two countries involved.
In light of these concerns, this report recommends that the US conduct a fundamental re-evaluation of current targeted killing practices, taking into account all available evidence, the concerns of various stakeholders, and the short and long-term costs and benefits.
Read the full report here
Pax Christi is an international Catholic movement for peace, active in over 50 countries, building a culture of peace by running education workshops, campaigning against military spending, the arms trade and nuclear weapons, and developing solidarity between people who are working nonviolently for justice and peace.
See their website here
Petitions for Peace
Sign the Petition to end the secrecy surrounding the use of British drones here
Add your voice to CAAT's campaign to tell the government that it is not OK to sell weapons to authoritarian regimes which have the worst records for human rights abuses. Sign the petition here.
Sign ICAN's Petition supporting a treaty to ban nuclear weapons here. See below for more details.
Peace Trails Through London
Discover some of the people and visit some of the places associated with national and international peacemaking. Illustrated booklet with photographs and maps £2 plus postage from 11 Venetia Road, London N4 1EJ.
Article on Peace
Extract from "Your Journey to Peace, 100 days of Reflection and Prayer", published by The Redemptorists, June 2012.
It Begins With Peace
Denis McBride, C.Ss.R. on the peace that liberates people to begin again.
How does the Chritian community begin? How is it re-founded after the passion and death of Jesus?
In Luke's Gospel, he moves the story from a community shattered by the violent death of Jesus, to a community preaching in the name of the risen Lord. As a storyteller, Luke illustrates the movement from the disciple's experience of loss, to their new attachment to the Lord; and from a community that stays and waits, to a mission-charged community.
Such a momentous change doesn't happen naturally or easily. When people change, we often ask them: "What happened to you?" The way the quetion is posed indicates the belief that something must have happened to account for such a change. The question supposes that the individuals haven't accomplished this new change by themselves: some outside agency, some event must have taken place. It is this kind of dramatic change that Luke's story describes. The disciples change because, firstly, something happendd to Jesus: he was raised from the dead by God.
In the story of Jesus' appearance to the assembled disciples and their companions, the first thing Jesus does is to offer reconciliation in the greeting of peace. He returns to the same community that has abandoned him, betrayed him, denied him - and offers them peace. He is willing to begin again, his peace will enable them to begin again: Jesus does not lock us ito the failures of our past.
The gift of peace marks the beginning of this new community, the community that we belong to as Church. As a Church, we were founded in the peace of Christ.