Sunday, November 29, 2009

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Jerusalem must join Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

Amidst a constant stream of news stories about the IAEA's calls to Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions, this morning I inadvertently ran across a recent (9/18/09) Reuters piece about the IAEA calling on Israel to join Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow it to monitor its facilities. The Reuters piece was posted in Ynet News, an Israeli news source. This speaks well of the Israeli people, many of whom are peace-loving. See the story at: http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3778884,00.html. Kudos also to the IAEA for its even-handed treatment of Israel. This example of objectivity is something that U.S. officials, including our Nobel Peace-prize winning president, might well learn from, and finally bring a stop to America's apparent lack of objectivity in failing to hold Israel to the same standards it insists on with Iran and other nations.

The Reuters article states: "Israel is one of only three countries worldwide along with India and Pakistan outside the nuclear NPT and is widely assumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, though it has never confirmed or denied it." Indeed if one does some research, it's easy to conclude from a number of sources that Israel has a formidable nuclear arsenal. For all the Israeli and U.S. complaining about Iran's nuclear plants, it seems to me that Israel's own thinly-veiled nuclear arsenal makes it, and not Iran, the greatest threat to peace and stability in the middle east.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

U.S. ranked #83 out of 144 in study seeking to rank the most peaceful nations

A study of the world's most peaceful countries released earlier this year puts the U.S. as number 83. The top five most peaceful countries are said to be, respectively: New Zealand (#1), Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Austria.

Israel is ranked as fourth to last (141) among the 144 countries ranked. To put this into perspective, Pakistan is ranked at #137. See http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/results/rankings.php for the list.

According to the site, the rankings were arrived at by: "Twenty-three indicators of the existence or absence of peace were chosen by the panel of experts, which are divided into three broad categories: measures of ongoing domestic and international conflict, measures of safety and security in society and measures of militarization." For more details, see: http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/about-gpi/methodology.php

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nov. 17, 2009 - thought-provoking and informative "Rethink Afghanistan" documentary

Brave New Foundation's documentary, "Rethink Afghanistan" showing:
7:00PM Tuesday, November 17th at Memorial High School's Little Theater in Eau Claire!
Ending the American military occupation of Afghanistan starts with Americans everywhere getting together with friends, neighbors and family members and discussing the costs --human and financial-- of this misguided use of America's military.

Rethink Afghanistan is a ground-breaking, full-length documentary focusing on the key issues surrounding this war. Through the film, Brave New Foundation hopes "to raise critical questions regarding Afghanistan that Congress must address in oversight hearings, which inform the public and challenge policymakers."

The segments that make up this dvd are all posted online (http://rethinkafghanistan.com/videos.php). I've watched, I think, 5 or 6 of the 7 total segments on the dvd, and am very impressed with the good work that went into this dvd.

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