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May 4, 2001
Sounding the Alarm over BMD

by Jillian Skeet


During the 1950's, then U.S. President, Dwight Eisenhower, tried to warn the American people about the powerful military-industrial complex that held their nation in a death grip.

In a moving speech in 1953 he stated: "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 world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

Fast forward half a century, and the U.S. military-corporate complex is behind a drive to spend an estimated US $50 billion - $1 trillion on a ballistic missile defence system that will ensure nuclear weapons remain a fact of life, and a source of global insecurity, well into the future.

Without missile defence factored in, average global military expenditures already hover around US $780 billion - of which the United States accounts for the lion's share.

According to the most recent UN Human Development Report, 11 million children die worldwide every year of preventable causes. An estimated US $80 billion, about 10% of current military expenditures, is all that is required to provide food, education and healthcare to the poorest of the poor on our planet.

At a critical time when nations should be looking to each other as potential allies in the fight against our common global enemies like poverty, environmental destruction and war, the United States is seeking out a list of enemy "rogue" states to justify this costly and dangerous escalation of the global arms race.

It's time Americans woke up and recognized the precarious and immoral state of our existence on this planet. And, rather than hedging in the shadows, Canada should be loudly sounding the alarm.

Jillian Skeet
National Programmer

End the Arms Race
Suite 405 - 825 Granville Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 1K9 Canada
604/ 687-3223
fax 604/ 687-3277