U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum speaks out about nuclear weapons and other good news.
U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum: No New Nuclear Weapons
In the case of the NPR [Nuclear Posture Review], the Trump administration has gone far beyond a plan to recapitalize the existing U.S. nuclear deterrent by proposing the development of new, costly, and unnecessary weapons systems. These include a new low-yield nuclear weapon and a nuclear-tipped sea-launched cruise missile. Development of these weapons, in addition to recapitalizing our existing nuclear infrastructure, will cost American taxpayers over a trillion dollars over the next decade…I will continue to oppose the expansion of these programs and work to reduce unnecessary expenditures on these antiquated and irresponsible weapons.
— Constituent letter dated June 1, 2018, from Minnesota’s Congresswoman Betty McCollum, member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, on voting against authorization for new nuclear weapons in the National Defense Authorizing Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515).
Good News: People Create Prospects for Peace
Walking for Peace in Korea
An international delegation of women from civil society, Women Cross the DMZ, marched along the Demilitarized Zone on May 25 to support the official peace process that was to begin with a meeting in Singapore between U.S. President Trump and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
Walking for Hope and Peace in Minnesota
In Minnesota, Korean-American artist/photographer Kyong Juhn, who was a Distinguished Scholar at the Art Institute of Chicago School, embarked on a Walk for Hope and Peace throughout the month of May. With her camera in hand, Kyong walked from her home in Rochester, Minnesota, through the state on a 325-mile trek that paralleled her mother’s route from the north in Korea to the south to escape war in the 1950s. Kyong’s walk honored her determination to escape war and generated her own hope for peace on the Korean penninsula which she shared with people she encountered along her journey.
Talking for Reconciliation Between Iraq and the U.S.
Suad Rasouli and Kathleen Struble of Star Prairie, Wisconsin, participate in the English for reconciliation program in Najaf, Iraq.
Peace-minded people from the United States who grieved the suffering that war-making has caused were invited to the beautiful, historic city of Najaf to speak English with Iraqis who wanted to learn the language. Individual Americans who responded to the invitation were able to live and interact with Iraqi families for a month or more. They shared in cultural exchanges as participants in the English for Reconciliation Program, a project of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT), which promotes principles of peacebuilding and friendship via people-to-people contact.
Ordinary Iraqi and American citizens held informal conversations and formed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect. The program, which has been accepted as a legitimate nonprofit by both the U.S. and Iraq, was so successful that it is continuing.
People interested in learning more can contact Iraqi-American Sami Rasouli, founder, Muslim Peacemaker Teams of Najaf, Iraq: firstname.lastname@example.org
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