Members Speak Out! Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editors (mainstream press) by WWFOR Members and Friends, Jan & Feb 2024

The Seattle Times Jan 12, 2024

Re:” In Israel-Hamas war, where are the voices of the healing profession?’ [Jan 4, 2024, Opinion]

Op-ed author Alice Rothchild described the many examples of when medical colleagues have not spoken up in regard to the war in Gaza. I can’t imagine the reasons for silence given that not only are Palestinians in Gaza experiencing the bombing with no safe place to go but also having virtually no access to food, fuel, medicine and clean water while hospitals and ambulances are targeted.

In the meantime, the United States continues to provide Israel with the weaponry that allows this tragedy in Gaza to continue. I fully support Rothchild’s appeal for a long-term cease-fire, restoration of water, fuel, electricity, and adequate humanitarian aid.

However, if we fail to understand and deal with the reasons behind uprisings by Palestinians over the past 75 years, there is little hope for security for either Israelis or Palestinians in the future.

  • Louise Lansberry, Seattle

The Seattle Times Feb 2, 2024

Braving cold and steady rain in Seattle on Jan. 22, nine senior activists — myself included — celebrated the third anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We held banners on an Interstate 5 freeway overpass from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The banners stated “93 Countries Have Signed the UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons” and “Nuclear Weapons Are Illegal, Get Them Out of Puget Sound.” Literally thousands of drivers on the busy interstate saw these messages.

Talking, smiling, waving, joking, laughing, singing and shivering, we enthusiastically weathered the cold and rain to inform many people in the Puget Sound area about the enormous threat posed by nuclear weapons, in particular the Trident missiles in submarines at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, a short 20 miles from Seattle.

Most people may think of such actions as an exercise in futility. Yet our group of activists believes that it is important for the people of the world to know that international law forbids the U.S. and other nations from possessing these horrific weapons that threaten virtually all life on Earth.

Tom Krebsbach, Brier

letters@cascadiadaily.com

Resolution to Support Nuclear Disarmament

Editor,

We are not safe in a world awash in nuclear weapons. Our conventional military power can protect us. Instead our Federal government is planning on building more nuclear weapons with their delivery systems in the next 30 years at the cost of over two trillion dollars.

A group of Bellingham citizens affiliated with Washington Against Nuclear Weapons (www.wanwcoalition.org) are asking the Bellingham City Council to join 76 other American cities in asking our national leaders to join a global effort to prevent nuclear war. We have crafted a resolution to that effect. 

We think this is a local issue because the power of these weapons will affect us all if used and the money being planned to build them is needed locally to address many serious problems. 

John M Repp

The Seattle Times

Re: “The pragmatist’s guide to nuclear disarmament’ [Feb. 11, Opinion]:

Thank you for running Steve Olson’s piece arguing for a grassroots anti-nuclear movement. In fact, a worldwide grassroots campaign already exists and has advanced the cause of nuclear disarmament by promoting the creation and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which Olson discusses.

That movement is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and its website, icanw.org, that includes many resources for those interested in joining the disarmament movement here in the Pacific Northwest or anywhere in the U.S. Most of the organizations Olson mentions in his op-ed are ICAN partners and many others have joined a new campaign, Warheads to Windmills, that aims to flip the money now spent on nuclear weapons to promoting sustainable energy infrastructure in the country. (warheadstowindmills.org).

The SANE/Freeze movement in the 1980s sparked the deepest reductions ever in nuclear weapons. A new movement can revitalize nuclear disarmament and free humanity from this existential threat while freeing up funds for human needs.

-Nick Mele, Bellingham, senior advisor, Pax Cristi USA

Physicians for Human Rights, Feb 6, 2024

Last week, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and their partners released a report documenting the staggering misuse of solitary confinement by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the past five years. “Our investigation shows that ICE placed people in solitary confinement for 27 days on average, exceeding the 15-day period of solitary confinement that constitutes torture as currently defined by the United Nations.” PHR team members are gearing up for a significant advocacy effort on Capitol Hill to seek an end to the barbaric use of solitary confinement in immigration detention.

Submitted by Bruce Radtke