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Wilton Quaker Meeting calls to action on nuclear weapons, climate change, & Yemen

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The Wilton Quaker Meeting which serves Norwalk and surrounding towns met Jan. 9.  Quakers are a Christian community that meets weekly for worship and monthly, quarterly and annually in progressively larger groups to make decisions about the stands we take in the world.  Quakers have practiced pacifism since the religion’s founding in the 1600s.  There are no ministers.  Decisions are made by a group process in which many perspectives are shared, and a consensus is sometimes reached.  The following statements were approved by consensus.

Background

The US currently has a nuclear stockpile of 3,750 nuclear warheads.  There are 2,000 additional warheads that are retired and scheduled for dismantlement according to Transparency in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, Fact Sheet published Oct. 5. (1) The extension of the new START treaty between Russia and the US was signed in February and limits each side to not more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads per the Congressional Research Service.

Decision Minute #1

Wilton Quaker Meeting asks that the Biden administration (1) accelerate the dismantlement of the retired weapons (2) immediately retire an additional 2,200 nuclear weapons since we are still well above the limits set in new START treaty and (3) urge the Russians to do the same in the near term to reduce the risk that nuclear weapons will be used.

We consider climate action urgent and are troubled by the inadequate response of Congress.  The executive branch needs to move forward much needed clean energy and energy efficiency programs proposed in the Build Back Better bill without delay.  We ask that the Biden administration act by executive order to use cost savings achieved through reduced nuclear and other weapons programs to fund additional climate change response programs because our national security depends on fighting the global scourge of climate change.  We support at least a 10% redeployment of the military budget (Congress approved a $768 billion military budget in the recently passed NDAA) and a redirection of the additional $76 billion to addressing climate change.  As we saw in Boulder, Colorado and in other parts of our country, our lives and the lives of our neighbors depend on federal action now.

Decision Minute #2

Wilton Quaker Meeting opposes all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as long as the blockade of humanitarian aid to Yemen continues.  We call on Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal to withhold their support for any further arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

If you have any questions or concerns about these please let me know

Best,

Diane Keefe

Clerk Peace and Service Committee

Wilton Quaker Meeting

“The world carries along an outgrown past and it has not yet wholly achieved the gleam of vision of the possible future, but it is always capable of being made good…The ‘evil’ is not purely diabolic.  It is a relic of an outgrown past.”  

Rufus Jones Haverford Commencement June 9, 1934

2 comments

Piberman January 10, 2022 at 10:21 am

The UN has identified Yemen as the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis. With widespread starvation, lack of basic medical facilities, destruction of cities and widespread loss of life. Houthi rebels armed and financed by Iran have created the crisis. And repeatedly send over Iranian made rockets, missiles and drones attacking Saudi facilities. Saudi forces respond in kind. Suggesting the US end arm sales to the Saudis, one of our major allies in the mid-east, only benefits the Houthi rebels and increases the Yemen humanitarian crisis. And further extends the power of Iranian sponsored Houthi surrogates to raise havoc and bedlam throughout the mid-east.

Prior to the Iranian sponsee Houthi rebellion Yemen was one of the world’s most impoverished nations. How are ordinary Yemeni lives “improved” by Iranian sponsored arms to Houthi rebels literally destroying Yemen ?

Piberman January 12, 2022 at 10:38 pm

Puzzling why any group familiar with global nuclear weapons inventories would argue for reducing the US stockpile. Countries with major stockpiles of deliverable nuclear warheads include the US, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, Pakistan, India and Israel. With N. Korea adding to its inventory and Iran on the verge of joining the Club.
Perhaps 10,000 nuclear weapons are operational. Compare that number with the total of major cities – about 500 with populations exceeding one million.

Actually the number of 10,000 nuclear weapons is misleading inasmuch the major nuclear powers have major inventories of nuclear missiles with multiple warheads. And the next “frontier” is placing nuclear weapons in satellite orbits. And we ought acknowledge “suitcase nukes”. Clearly the world is utterly awash with nuclear warheads. With more nations anxious to join the “club”. If Iran and N Korea are any examples the major unclear powers so far are unwilling to deny entry into this exclusive Club. For the foreseeable future the major nations and smaller ones will maintain their awesome nuclear inventories. And continue to make them more lethal.
That’s the world we live in for the foreseeable future. The history of warfare is our weapons become ever more lethal.

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