Monday, October 25, 2010


The recent demise of the Peace Talks on the Palestinian / Israel question, in a cloud of new Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, begs the question. Does Israel really want peace? In a Times Magazine article, Sept. 2, 2010, the answer appears to be the Israelis aren't interested.
"The truth? As three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still see their country as being defined by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on." [1] Reading the full article on these shifting attitudes is instructive. A possible U.S. answer to this problem of Israeli apathy will be part of next weeks posting.

Photo by Larry Towell, WEST BANK. Hebron. February 2003. A religious Muslim woman and her children navigate their way around an Israeli tank during the Army's invasion of Hebron which helps to enforce a 24-hour curfew on the city center.

These talks are now in limbo, and 300 new settlement structures [2] are furiously being built to add to the thousands that now stand in the way of an independent Palestinian state. Israel, which didn't exist over 60 years ago, has moved on, behind a tall wall, confident of its prosperity and military dominance, with 10,000 troops stationed in the West Bank, in the midst of the Palestinians, on the other side.

Barrier wall West Bank, by Joshua Hough, morning lines [presumably Palestinians awaiting work in Israel]

Image may be enlarged to better view extent of wall, and geography, "West Bank "[of Jordan River] to the east of most of Israel. Palestine landlocked, with only coast in the small Gaza strip to the southwest of this image.

They have placed their trust in weapons, massive amounts provided by the U.S., not remembering the ancient lessons of their scriptures, only their more recent terrible persecutions in the World War. David has now become Goliath, and faces a new stone throwing David within his realm.

Photo by Larry Towell, Bethlehem. West Bank. Rachael's Tomb. Young Palestinian man loading stone into home made catapult during clash with Israeli Army following funeral of 13 year old Moayad Osama Jawareesh, shot and killed the previous day on the same spot by Israeli soldiers. Jawareesh was a resident of the adjacent Aida Refugee Camp. 2000.

The polls show most Israelis agree with a true two state solution. Can't Goliath leadership lay down the swords of military conflict, and both peoples be given lands of milk and honey? Justice demands that Israel has its home in the Middle East, and that Palestine be guaranteed their ancient homelands also, and compensated for that taken to make the modern state of Israel.

Let the walls come tumbling down. Remember Jericho? May there be bountiful harvests in peace, in the gardens of the Kibbutzim, and the olive orchards of the Palestinians. [3]
Omar on his way with sacks to harvest his olives in the West Bank near Awarta, a crop often stolen by residents of neighboring illegal settlements. Michigan Peace Team has accompanied him--see below.

Please read some or all of these, and other sources, to inform on this most crucial central area struggle between war and peace and justice in our world.



3 Helping in this harvest we have Sandy Quintano of Port Huron, who is now in the West Bank with a long term Michigan Peace Team. [see their webpage: ]

For a report on "Peace Now " flights over the West Bank to show extent of settlements to peace activists and hardliners alike,

The statement also criticized some Zionists who use the Bible to justify the Jewish presence in the occupied territories, saying that "recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable." --from just concluded Vatican synod of Middle East bishops, which supports the 2 state solution. For full report see: "Bishops at Meeting Urge Israel to End Its Occupation of Palestinian Territories" NYT 10-24-10,

Monday, October 18, 2010


Last in the "Decade of Disarmament Delayed" trilogy.

Government brochure--17 pages-- availability limited, but see below

The debate called for in the letter that follows, never happened. Debate on how much money and technology we dedicate to War in Space, and the military in general, was demolished along with the World Trade Towers, less than two weeks later. Now we begin to come to our senses--that War on Terrorism, or War in Space, can never deliver the promised security, but only profit the business of war. Time for an informed public to demand that the Arms Race be abandoned. Time to start the Peace Race. You get what you pay for.

In this month of October, that many churches dedicate for Right to Life, what better way to lead all the world's peoples to Respect Life---work and prayer to end the spirit of war and violence, on earth, and in the heavens. All the planet's children born and unborn will be blessed. Victim of Hiroshima bombing

--unlikely to have survived. Photo
also published in Life magazine,
Sept. 1952,
seven years after taken in 1945.

August 29, 2001

Dear Editor,

My oldest child, Maura, came home for a visit last weekend. She is a wonderful achiever, graduating from Georgetown University, and landing a job with the Federal Reserve. She has a hopeful spirit, is a logical thinker, and is not shaken by much of anything. When I showed her the U.S. Space Command's brochure, "Vision 2020", outlining our plans to take military control of space, tears came to her eyes and she said, "Dad, this can't be true." Then she made me agree to publicize this plan to 20 newspaper editors [none did publish], in hopes that its absurdity will provoke widespread opposition. I'd thought that I'd been over-reacting, the aversion I have to this attempt to go beyond the first "Star Wars" plan of former President Reagan which did nothing but waste 80 billion dollars. I was feeling weary because over 15 years ago we'd been through all the arguments against a star wars missile shield, and militarizing space. The arguments remain and have proven true, but this doesn't seem to matter to the military and this administration.

First called Strategic Defense Initiative [President Reagan's Star Wars], then called Limited Missile Defense, now called National Military Defense. Never proven workable under any name--a defensive precedent in space which has opened space to these offensive plans of the U.S. Space Command.

Maura's reaction made me see that we must all rise to the call and defeat this idea--that we can be safe as a country by ringing ourselves with defensive missiles and filling the heavens with weapons of mass destruction.

Space laser, from the pages of the "Vision 2020" brochure.

I'm hoping your staff, and the public, will take the time to contact Space Command at 719 554 6889 and ask for their "Vision 2020" brochure. It's a frightening program to militarize space--that we are in the process of implementing. [Within weeks of this letter, the brochure became unavailable from the government—it can now be found at the website below. 1] The former commander of this Space Command has just been nominated by President Bush as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and President Bush last Thursday announced that the anti-ballistic missile treaty will be rejected unilaterally by the U.S. in 1 or 2 months. There is little publicity about where this is headed--multiple lasers, nuclear weapons, & military satellites deployed in space, billions of dollars wasted in the vain attempt to hold the rest of the world hostage to our every priority.

hen you get your brochure {which is also available on line to be printed, [No longer], yet more imposing perhaps in their glossy publication-- [See again new reference below,1]} please review carefully, and add the information and critique of local and national sources, for feature presentations and editorials. Have other colleagues at news organizations order copies, and spread the information far and wide. We need as many of our citizens as possible to realize what our military is planning for us: war-fighting without limit nor boundary--to infinity and beyond, if we could.

I feel re-commissioned in this task by my 21 year old [now to be 31] daughter. I hope you will feel so engaged as well, for her, and for everyone on this planet. Thanks for your consideration.

Yours truly,

Michael McCarthy, PA-C

Port Huron, MI 48060
810 982 2870


These 17 pages are worth looking at, to better discern the "vision" our leaders have still in process for our future. A Space Command vision. I also have a clearer pdf copy I can send to those interested.

Also below is this still available link [with cover picture], of the slightly newer [and more wordy] version developed by Donald Rumsfeld and others, just prior to his activities in the Bush administration. These globally positioned war tactics have been part of both Afghan and Iraq wars. The Obama administration, while now calling for an end to nuclear weapons, continues much of the program, as evidenced in the remote-control warfare of drone technology now surging in Pakistan.

Please contact your members of Senate and House, 202 224 3121, calling for a complete end to our dependence on nuclear weapons and their sophisticated systems. Ask Senators to vote for the START TREATY as a first step. Convert our security spending into life supporting education and development.

Life hangs in the balance.

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

Monday, October 11, 2010


Scientists at A-Bomb test site -- 1945

Last week I posted a May 8, 2000 letter to Bill Clinton, pleading for courageous action to make a real push for nuclear disarmament, in the final months of his presidency. But by then he'd humbled himself, and nothing could be done. And nothing was done, a lost decade for disarmament was to follow.

Things, after Clinton, turned from bad to worse. As reported in the Dan Schorr NPR commentary [again referenced below 1], for some reason, Russia in May of 2000 started disarmament talks with Texas Gov. George Bush, well before he was narrowly elected president. During this near decade of the George W. Bush administration, the oldest nuclear arms treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missiles Treaty, was dropped, and the START treaty negotiations, [limiting the number of nukes] stopped. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed at the end of Clinton's term, was mothballed, never brought out to be ratified by Congress. Though we invaded countries to track down non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction, and possess world-dominant thousands of them, our leaders thought we needed more, new, and better ones.
Finally, there is a small break in this mind boggling nuclear cloud cover. On Sept. 16, 2010 the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee after a 10 year lull, voted to allow a vote on the "New START" treaty. The first nuclear weapons treaty in years should be voted on, the sooner the better. President Reagan's Secretary of State, George Schultz, argues for this in a 9-7-2010 article in the Wall Street Journal. Many conservative experts are joining the call—for treaties, and for a complete end to nuclear weapons. Contact your Senators—urge they vote for this first step to "re-start" nuclear disarmament, before Nov. 4 elections, before Christmas, ASAP please. [See website link below - #2]
I've been following the mysterious permutations of nuclear weapons treaties well before teaching a class on the subject at Prestonsburg [Kentucky] Community College in 1982. The names of many of the political strategists remain the same [called the nuclear priesthood by some 3]. Their domineering incantations on national security / homeland security have lulled us into a dangerous spell, under which we risk self-destruction because of our own reliance on nuclear weapons.

Collage--a few pundits of past & present warfare doctrines: Richard Pipes at Harvard; Richard Perle commenting at NBC; "Communism"
--first need for nuclear weapons; Daniel Pipes [the son] on TV promoting the ongoing need--the MiddleEast & terrorism.

We must get serious, beyond words to actions. Nuclear weapons must be abolished, worldwide, starting here at home, where they originated. . We are certain to lose the War on Terrorism, and our self-respect, if we remain the world's predominant producers & guardians of these most terrible weapons.

"It is a sin to build a nuclear weapon." Fr. Richard J. McSorley S.J.

When I pray for peace, I pray not only that the enemies of my country may cease to want war, but above all that my own country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable." Fr. Thomas Merton, 1961, as quoted in Passion for Peace, p. 36

As we come to reject the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine of nuclear strategists, that's been pointed at Russia, we must now reject Mutually Assured Jihad.

"Almighty and mericiful God, ...

Save us from the compulsion to follow our adversaries in all that we most hate, confirming them in their hatred and suspicion of us. Resolve our inner contradictions, which now grow beyond belief and beyond bearing. They are at once a torment and a blessing: for if you had not left us the light of conscience, we would not have to endure them. Teach us to be long-suffering in anguish and insecurity. Teach us to wait and trust. Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace,…Amen."

From a Thomas Merton "Prayer for Peace", delivered before Congress, April 12, 1962, {months before the October Missile Crisis}, full text in Passion for Peace, p. 166-169

Illumination by Kathy Brahney
    Next week: letter to editor of 10 years ago--on the planned resurgence of
    "Star Wars"--looms in the heavens while War on Terrorism grabs our attention here on earth. Last posting in this disarmament-almost-forgotten trilogy.



Monday, October 4, 2010


Letter never responded to. See next week for further details of the continued struggle towards nuclear disarmament.

May 8, 2000

Dear President Bill Clinton,

You have a few months left to give the people of this country something of lasting value--a world working towards peace through disarmament. This is the only political treasure worth having, or passing on to our citizens as your legacy. Peace through weapons is the lie that has killed millions down the millennia.

Now we have the zenith of weapons madness--the nuclear arms race. We have the hugest surplus of nukes; the Russians have too many and don't have the means to get rid of them; the bombs never helped either country; we don't want any new countries to have them; we say we want to get rid of them. Yet we will not stop testing, designing, and building new ones. We shot down the Comprehensive Test Ban. And now we risk destroying the small limits of the START nuclear arms treaties, by violating the ABM treaty--setting up our own "limited missile defense" system.
Anti-Ballistic Missile bomb catcher as devised "the boys in the back room" as envisioned by Dr. Seuss in his Butter Battle Book

We appear to be making up our own rules. We have the best and most nuclear weapons so we'll sit pretty with them thumbing our nose at the rest of the world and trying to put up a technologically imaginary ABM Star Wars system to protect ourselves and our missiles. And then we tell them not to build any nukes themselves. Non-proliferation for you guys, nuclear weapons plus for us. This is the incredible arrogance of people in Congress like Jesse Helms and the weapons merchants and ballistic think-tankers he and others like him represent.

I heard the very depressing commentary of Daniel Schorr on NPR, May 1st [I hope you will listen to it if you haven't already--see web address below]*. He describes the machinations of these nuclear death star true believers, and how they've completely lame-ducked you on disarmament. Don't let them do this. You can banish the influence of those who've been sitting in smoke-filled rooms endlessly planning more deadly missiles to protect their scandalous wealth.

Say right now that there will be no Star Wars ABM system--limited or not. What need for further tests in June, or ever? Go to Russia, more a statesman than any we've had in the past 100 years, and negotiate deep reductions in nuclear weapons beyond START II into START III, until they are finished, gone. And we can begin to base our national security on something other than the most lethal machines ever devised, and start having a real peace dividend--work on health, education, and creative ecologically responsible energy technology, becoming true leaders of a free world.

It is high time your presidency took the high road. Put the weaponeers on notice that they no longer run our country [as President Eisenhower on his retirement suggested we do]. We can then forthrightly tell the rest of the world, Iraq, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, India, etc., not to build nuclear bombs. These weapons are the doomsday virus, still exceeding virulent, that we cannot let proliferate. Their control and elimination are crucial to any national health plan. Be the disarmament president! Lead the nation to renounce its inordinate belief in, and addiction to, all weapons great and small.

Yours truly,
Michael McCarthy

Depiction of projected weapons control from space. Donald Rumsfeld was chairman of this report's commission, until nominated for Secretary of Defense by President-Elect Bush on Dec. 28, 2000

Take time to listen to this year 2000, Daniel Schorr [died last month] report, on the almost impossible U.S. politics of nuclear disarmament.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed....
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
--President Eisenhower, 1953

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

Next week--some current hope that the START treaties, can be now "re-started", and then strengthened, to lead finally to a world with no nuclear weapons.