Thursday, October 15, 2009

Address Climate Change as a National Security Threat, Urges Bipartisan Group

post for Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

A group of top U.S. foreign policy and national security leaders issued a statement last month urging Congress and the Administration to "transcend the political issues that divide us - by party and by region" and engage cooperation on climate change because of national security concerns. The bipartisan group, convened by the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), calls for "a clear, comprehensive, realistic and broadly bipartisan plan" that will allow the U.S. to lead the development of a global strategy to mitigate and adapt to the climate change crisis (emphasis is mine). Their statement is timely with international negotiations over climate change action slated for this December in Copenhagen.

The statement terms climate change "a national security issue." Calling for immediate U.S. action, it suggests that "the longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to mitigate and respond to [climate change's] impacts." The bipartisan statement is signed by eight former Senators, three former National Security Advisors, two former Secretaries of State, a former Secretary of Defense, and both the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission. The statement, entitled "Climate Change Threatens All Americans. We Must Work together on an American Strategy," and its signers are found on the PSA website.

"American leadership is necessary to address the threat of climate change," said PSA Advisory Board co-chair former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN). "The United States must work to forge a consensus, both domestically and internationally, with leaders from around the world and both parties, on a unified strategy that can succeed in countering this threat to international security."

"Our efforts to combat climate change will be only as enduring as they are cooperative, as effective as they are concerted. The United States urgently needs a bipartisan solution that recognizes climate change as a critical security issue," said PSA Advisory Board co-chair and former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-NH).

Source: Partnership for a Secure America. Press Release 9/8/2009. No copyright restrictions.CONTACT: Michael Landweber

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Video: "Resistance Silenced in Honduras"-10/1/2009

HONDURAS UPDATE 10/9/09: DAY #104 OF THE COUP ** Urgent action bulletin from Pastors for Peace


President Zelaya, along with 313 of his supporters, is still holed up in the Brazilian Embassy.

President Obama talks about mutual respect among nations, but does nothing to condemn the gross miscarriage of justice and constitutional law in Honduras.

1) GUNFIRE INTO THE BRAZILIAN EMBASSY: Radio Globo from Honduras has reported that snipers have been shooting into the Brazilian Embassy where President Zelaya and 313 others have taken refuge. We do not yet have word about injuries.

2) BREAK-IN AT THE GARIFUNA HOSPITAL: The Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH) reports that 15 soldiers and "preventive police" of the coup regime broke into the Garifuna Hospital of Ciriboya at 5:00am on October 6. The military entered the hospital through a window, using the pretext that they were engaging in a anti-narcotics operation.

The Garifuna Hospital of Ciriboya is the center of the Luagu Hatuadi Waduhenu project, the first-ever hospital and health network in Honduras' Atlantic Coast region, founded by Dr Luther Castillo [see his interview on YouTube vid at the top of this post.] The coup government recently downgraded the status of the Garifuna Hospital from hospital to simple health center, to the detriment of the local Garifuna and indigenous population.

The break-in is seen as a message to the Garifuna community because of their active participation in the resistance against the coup, as well as an example of the racism of the coup regime. "The only thing this hospital can be accused of is that we've provided health care to 300,000 people," said Dr Castillo.

"It is unheard of that one of the paradigms of community health across our continent should suffer the aggression of a government made up of a crew of mercenaries at the service of the US Southern Command and the banana, telephone, and oil corporations who want to preserve the status quo in Honduras," declared OFRANEH.

3) The 10/8/09 New York Times reports that lobbyists for the Honduran coup have already spent more than $400,000 in Washington. Some of the lobbying firms have close ties to Secretary of State Clinton and to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Key Republicans are urging the Obama administration to lift all sanctions against the coup government. "Several former high-ranking officials who were responsible for overseeing US policy in Central America in the 1980s and ‘90s... — including Otto Reich, Roger Noriega, and Daniel W. Fisk — view Honduras as the principal battleground in a proxy fight with Cuba and Venezuela..."

We want to be clear that this is not just an ideological ‘proxy fight,' but rather a brutal violation of the rights and sovereignty of the Honduran people. Our neighbor nation is at a standstill; many lives have been lost, and many more are at risk. Reich, Noriega, Negroponte and others who had a hand in initiating this coup are trying to punish President Zelaya for being too friendly with progressive governments in the region. While President Obama talks about a US foreign policy based in "mutual respect," these former functionaries of the Reagan/Bush administrations are operating as rogue agents, trying to impose the agenda of the US right wing (as was done in Haiti, in Guatemala, in Chile), and showing a total lack of respect for Honduras' democratic process.

ASK YOUR REP TO SIGN ON TO REP GRIJALVA'S LETTER ABOUT HONDURAS! Rep Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, has taken leadership on this issue by writing several strong letters to President Obama. His current letter urges the Obama administration to "clearly and unequivocally reject and denounce the repression by this illegitimate regime," to state that the elections planned for November "cannot and will not be considered free and fair by our government," and to "step up its efforts to bring about a prompt restoration of democracy in Honduras."

Ask your representative in the House to sign on to Rep Grijalva's letter — and let him/her know that we OPPOSE the coup in Honduras, and that the US must be on the side of democracy and constitutional process in Honduras — not on the side of the thugs and murderers perpetrating this illegal coup.

CALL CONGRESS! CALL THE WHITE HOUSE! CALL THE STATE DEPARTMENT! Demand that they stop the violence and bring about an end to the coup!

Congressional switchboard: 202/225-3121
President Barack Obama 202/456-1111
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: 202/647-9572