EVERYTHING SHOULD BE UNDER THE SUN...
NO New Nuclear Weapons... NO New Nuclear Targets... NO New Pretexts For Nuclear War... NO Nuclear Testing...
NO Star Wars... NO Weapons In Space...
NO All Types Of Weapons, War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?

Letter of the Summer-02 Issue

Reserve the World:
Nuclear Danger, Tick and Reserve America


Bircan ÜNVER

The Nuclear Proliferation Treaty - Prep 2005 meeting was held from April 9 to 18, 2002 at the United Nations in New York City.

I was able to attend the first panel on April 9th, in which international government representatives presented their statements and signed the NPT.  Six countries have not signed it yet but 186 countries signed on who are also members of NATO.

Despite very carefully written official or diplomatic language and formal presentations, the participants ranging from Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany, France to Malaysia and Indonesia, each demonstrated that their country was aware of the danger from different perspectives and through their different status, and they all underlined the need for non-proliferation and control of the production and usage of nuclear weapons.  Still, mostly they framed their statements from their government's perspective and a national security angle.  Out of the 163 countries Canada, Japan and Brazil proposed general public education and had much more humanitarian approaches than the others.

Non-governmental organizations as national and international leaders presented their statements from various social and cultural perspectives, and continued their warnings against increasing production and the possibility of the usage of nuclear weapons. Non-profit organizations' standing points were based on humanitarian and environmental issues rather than "national security."  One of the striking graphic pieces of information that was given out was the fact that one-trillion dollars was spent on weaponry in 2001 but only a quarter of that would have been sufficient to solve all the major social and humanitarian problems in the World today!

During the NPT Prep-Conference for 2005, the panels under the title of "Peace Women" gathered and presented national and international Women Organizations' perspectives and outlined woman's essential role in stopping the production of nuclear weapons and ultimately abolishing them. From the usage of daily chemicals, the problems of radioactive waste, how to recycle them, defining AIDS as mass destruction, highlighting "Human Security" instead of "Natural Security", an urgent call for "Disarmament", a discussion of an "International Court" and its mission, how to educate children and families, how to organize a powerful advocacy against the usage of nuclear weapons as well as how to plant and harvest peace; these type of issues were powerfully presented only under the "Peace Women" panel series which enormously increased my hope about the future, and convinced me that planting and harvesting a peace culture will only be possible by women, and emerging women organizations' joint statements and efforts.  These efforts by  "Peace" and "Women's" organizations working together have been leading the way, and is a powerful tool to change this world from the war and destruction arena to a much more livable, caring and respectful one, not only on a national but on an international level.

The "Nuclear Weapons and Human Security" panel was one of the most powerful panels in terms of looking at the "National Security" issue under a different light where we can see how it ignores human rights and neglects "Human Security" in the service of "National Security." There was a common strong statement for switching governments' general policies from "national security" to "human security".

Another striking and hopeful panel was led by SANITY (Students Against Nuclear Insanity and for Tomorrow's Youth), which featured presentations by high-school students.

On the subject of an "International Court", one shocking example came from Guatemala's representative about Guatemala's urgent need for five million dollars in order to save sixty-thousand kids from hunger and death but they can't get any food aid for children.  All that is available is a hundred-million dollars for military aid.

There was a high level of awareness and discussion of the current direction of our World, which highly criticized President Bush's 369.4 billion dollar military budget in the year 2003.

The NPT Prep-Conference also convinced me that all these great ideas, knowledge, reports, and presentations represent the other side of the big coin of governments, corporations and mainstream media. In one of the panels, the chairwoman critiqued in particular mainstream media, stating that corporations, media and government are in so much control and have so much power that they do not let out our words to transit and to be heard by the public in the mainstream media. She also said that corporations and the military are in the same bed, which is fascism.

"The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex" is a new book on the subject written by Dr. Helen Caldicott, who gave a presentation on her book at the New School University on April 18th. This event made me much more aware of the closeness of nuclear war and the desire to use nuclear weapons.  Dr. Caldicott reminds us of Einstein's warning in 1949 that we were just fifteen minutes away from nuclear danger, but now, it seems, we are only two minutes away from pushing that red-button.

You do not read or hear these kinds of statements in the mainstream media. Despite this, this event was not the gathering of just a few intellectuals, but an international conference, with strong diplomatic, multi-issue, feminist as well as youth organizations coming together to powerfully represent the other side of the coin, and indicates an emerging movement  countering the interests of governments, corporations and the military.

Overall, during the conference, my reactions have grown against the mainstream media's approach and made me wonder why these statements do not reach the general public on a national and international level. This compelled me to present this issue on the Light Millennium global platform, although it is very modest, a symbolic seed of an on-line platform. 

When some speakers talked about different types of missiles and the categorizing of nuclear or biological weapons, I sort of felt that some technical definitions or details of the content of the missiles or their layers were above my knowledge or comprehension. Despite this, as Frida Berrigan underlined during one of the panels, "You do not have to be a nuclear engineer or scientist to oppose this increasing danger, everyone on the street should be against it and go out on to the street and demonstrate their ideas." With Frida's remarks, I found where I stand. Not based on my knowledge of nuclear weapons or any other types of weaponry, overall "I'm against all types of weapons production, its usage and its marketing, who ever might have produced or bought them these must be abolished by all" -of course, the sooner the better-- in order to protect humanity and our unique Earth.

Thus, the NPT - Prep Conference for 2005, and its series of panels and meetings, has opened many doors to knowledge and further exploration of the subject, and other emerging powers and organizations working in the same direction, as well as given me a chance to fill my abstract ideas with some facts and inspired my writing a poem on the subject titled, "Please, Wake Up!!!"


*  *  *  * *

One of my dear friends who greatly supports me in writing, wrote me that in one of our correspondences based on one of my diaries, "Life is full of miracles, not only the beauty of an orchid, but also a blade of grass or any living creature and life sign is a miracle. Each of these miracles has enough power to change our lives whether we recognize it or not." This approach gave me great strength. I was amazed by the way my friend perceives the life surrounding him. The day I received his note, I also read the "Arms Trade Resource Center's" updates and newsletter. Then my mind completely divided into two parts: On the one hand, I was feeling and thinking as my friend thinks, and agreeing with his ideas. On the other hand, thinking that we are so powerless, we are not able to make any changes, or to stop any bit of this crazy spending and investment in different types of weaponry, which basically aims at mass killing and the destruction of our nature and culture.

I was also realizing more and more that without political and business opposition to any war, the weaponry productions, nuclear weapons and war games will go on.  The consciousness of these problems will never be able to gain momentum in the general public, even though they should be everyone's main concerns. 

In particular, I was reading about the ever increasing military budget, and US military aid to countries such as the Philippines, Guatemala, Israil, Turkey etc. and the setting up of a new war with Iraq, all this while children are dying in Guatemala, Africa, people are losing their jobs, losing their living standards, most of the families can not afford to raise their kids in a healthy environment and are not able to offer them a good education. When the object is military or war, or creating an enemy for a war, then throwing billions and billions of dollars in investing, producing, buying and marketing any type of weapons without considering humanity, nature, culture and our future, is like a piece of cake. But when the issue is social, humanitarian, education, health, science, water, hospital, etc. unfortunately there are no funds available, no budget or resources to elevate the World's living condition to all humanity.  Instead we make eight billion humans and all the Earth's resources serve a couple of multi-national corporations' interests and we continue with government policies which mainly have practiced military and non-humanitarian approaches.

I am among those who believe that based on Mevlana's philosophy that a single grain of sand has all of the universe's values and power, and can bring about major changes in the world. Sr. Anne Montgomery, who received the 40th Annual "Peace Award" by the War Resister League on behalf of CPT, during her acceptance remarks, quoted from Carl Sagan that when one butterfly flies in Africa it can cause a major change in San Francisco. But still, why have only the corporations, military or the government's power and policies been shaping today's world and which direction our World is to go.  I am willing to activate all my possible power to change this direction towards humanitarian issues rather than whatever will yield a profit, or increase our power over killing and people. Whether my own energy has a power level such as what a blade of grass or a grain of sand might accomplish, whatever it is, I must --WE MUST-- activate it and merge with the others who belong to the other side of this big coin.

My mind has been stuck on these questions for more than two months: Why do our ideas not count? Why are scientists, non-governmental organizations or the general public's basic needs and expectations not valued on the national and international political arena by policy makers in most countries? What will convince them to switch their direction, even if it seems like going backward to move forward, for a better future for all?

If for one reason or another, a nuclear war is conducted, what is their "real" plan? Will they be able to survive after all?  If not, then why is the whole World driven insistently to this fatal direction?

The last week of June, we went to Sebago Beach for camping with our little son.

It was the first time I stayed in a cabin and was camping in the forest and by the lake without any buildings, houses, industrial destruction without it being a typical pop-vacation. On the brochure, all these types of camping opportunities have been defined as "Reserve America."  I loved the environment, and was amazed by its beauty and can attest that the motto is perfect. Mostly, I spent time by the beauty of Sebogo lake which is in a circle surrounded with all types of trees in all nuances of the color green. The place is actually not far from where we live.  It is only one-hour.  I kept thinking "peace" and "heaven" is not that far during our stay there and after coming home.

I re-gained my energy, sitting long hours by the lake or taking sunbaths on the beach, listening to the wonderfully composed birds, their natural orchestral music, and two nights I also listened to the rain. Overall, I was freshened and energized at the end of the week.

When we returned home on Sunday, we found a tick under the left arm of my little son while giving him a shower.

Then we were in panic. I read about what a tick can cause if it is able to stay in a body 36-48 hours --what is called "lyme" disease. It was the first time I saw a tick, its size, color and shape. It is very hard to see at first hand and very small. But when I read our book on health about "lyme" disease, I realized how much harm a little-tiny tick could cause to a life or lives. We took our son to his doctor and he is on antibiotics now. However, according to the book, 10,000 people are affected by ticks or "lyme disease" in America every year. This information reminded me my friend's perspective. Yes, we all have some sort of power to affect our environment and to make some changes. Whether they are positive or negative changes depends on each of us.

We have to learn from a tick about its power and what a tick can cause which is very negative but on the other hand, as far as we know, on our planet and in our galaxy, we are the only creatures who can think, evaluate, compare, dream, produce not only physically but also intellectually, and create, and thus we have a capacity to change this planet for a better tomorrow. With the increasing danger on the Earth, we must unite our energy, knowledge, positive dreams for better tomorrows and activate all our capacity in order to change our misguided direction to humanitarian, education, science and space matters.

In conclusion, I fell in love with the concept, "Reserve America," and the appreciation of the natural beauty of our surroundings contained within its motto. But this also made me question why do we not work towards expanding this motto and concept to "Reserve the World!!!"


_ . _



News from The Light Millennium since February 25, 2002


We have aimed to highlight two major concepts in our Summer - 2002 issue as dedication:  Based on "Islam: A Short History" and "A History of God" books to Karen Armstrong and World Policy Institue's Arms Trade Resource Center project for its great mission.

Light Millennium global platform was presented at the NYU, Students Activities Center with the support of ITSS on March 8, 2002.

Isik Binyili - Turkish version was published last week of March 2002.

We celebrated our Second Anniversary on April 6, 2002 with the support of Cigdem Acar. On April 6th, The Light Millennium was visited by 55 thousand readers in 86 countries. As of July 8th 2002, our global platform has been visited by 82 thousands readers in 91 countries.

We organized "To Many Millennia Dear Nazim" poetry reading event with the support of the Federation of Turkish American Associations at the Turkish House in New York on May 2nd 2002. Selected fifty poems of Nazim Hikmet were read by thirty participants of the program and one-hundred-sixty attended the event.

After several months working on the tax-exempt forms with our attorneys, we submitted our #1023 Tax-Exempt forms by May 20, 2002, and received an acknowledgement letter by the IRS on May 30, 2002.

First week of June, we were finally able to publish the new issue of the Turkish & Greek Synergy with its new design.

We have signed up with the VolunteerMatch in order to expand our "volunteer staff". Thus, with this issue; Sabrina L. Lappa, Jennifer Libbin, Helen Davis, Swati Jain, Tamre have joined us. Thank you to VolunteerMatch and Welcome to our new volunteer staff.

We weren't able to publish a Spring-02 issue because we focused on finalizing our tax-exempt forms and on publishing the Turkish & Greek Synergy new issue. We hope to get over our limitations in terms of an actual production team when our tax-exempt status is granted.

Isik Binyili (in Turkish) Summer - Issue will be published in August. Until the Fall issue, updates will be published and presented from the TODAY & BUGUN pages monthly.

Thank you for being part of the Light Millennium.

Be in peace, light and love...


© Bircan Unver, July 2002, New York

   
This issue dedicated to such distinguished author Karen ARMSTRONG &
The Arms Trade Resource Center for its essential role and mission.
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