Morality and War: A New Future for All?: The Annual OMNI Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Hope of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology invites you to attend their annual Remembrance of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, 7 p.m., at the Fulbright Peace Fountain, University of Arkansas.

We face two perils possessing the potential of destroying human civilization: nuclear war and global warming. But we have the capacity to prevent such a war and to ameliorate the effects of warming.

Regarding whether we humans are primates of war or peace, most fundamental is understanding that war is not inevitable. The countless initiatives of empathy and compassion for peace and cooperation throughout history and the world provide evidence for hope that the unthinkable is not inevitable. In his book The Human Potential for Peace, the anthropologist Douglas P. Fry reports on 70 emphatically nonwarring cultures. As Margaret Mead famously wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

That small group devoted specifically to abolishing nuclear weapons is GLOBAL ZERO, GZ invites us to learn about the nuclear threat and the Global Zero solutions for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. And GZ calls us to action to eliminate the nuclear threat, with Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Naomi Watts to mobilize our peers and apply pressure on policymakers.

For example, President Obama recently visited Hiroshima. The U.S. has nearly a thousand nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert — meaning they can launch in a matter of minutes. Whether by accident, miscalculation, or madness, we are just one wrong move away from another Hiroshima. GZ asks you and me to call or write President Obama to stand down U.S. nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, because it puts the entire world at risk of an accidental nuclear launch.

This is only one of many initiatives pursued by Global Zero’s nuclear weapons abolition campaign. And many other organizations resist nuclear weapons. (See OMNI’s 2015 Hiroshima-Nagasaki Newsletter: Together they identify the vested interests and forces that must be overcome, and make the struggle against nuclear weapons, together.

OMNI UA’s president, Matt Miller, will speak more about thoughtful, committed citizens determined to change U.S. and global nuclear policy.

This year our representative for the Marshall Islands is Chris Balos, who will read a poem. With the Marshall Islands facing the rising ocean, U.S. nuclear and warming injury to innocents coalesce. During the 1950s, the U.S. exploded over 60 powerful hydrogen nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, with lasting negative effects. In 2014 the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) took a courageous stand against the world’s nine nuclear-armed nations. On April 24, 2014, the RMI filed nine groundbreaking lawsuits at the International Court of Justice and another lawsuit, separately, against the United States in U.S. Federal Court.

Our special guest speaker is Maria Santelli. Ms. Santelli is the director of the Center on Conscience & War in Washington, DC. The Center for almost 76 years has worked to defend conscientious objectors to war and violence. For most of those years the Center supported those who resisted conscription to war. Today with a voluntary military, CCW works with active duty military inspired by a crisis of conscience to seek discharge as objectors to war.

Ms. Santelli also challenges the false assumption that war and violence are inevitable. In her work at the Center on Conscience & War, the stories of military conscientious objectors serve as daily reminders that humanity is disposed to peace and that our conscience guides us to cooperate with others rather than kill. Further evidence is the length the Army goes in Basic Training to condition soldiers to kill, and the hundreds of thousands of veterans struggling with the trauma of moral injury after killing.

Our program includes also the City’s proclamation by Mayor Jordan, poetry by OMNI UA Vice President Shane White, music by Still on the Hill and Jeanie Garber, reading of names by Japanese Students Association, and a Japanese Obon Ceremony to ancestors.

For peacemaking citizens of the United States who wish to dispel false assumptions and to understand and prevent the mass slaughter of nuclear war, the best history is Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World by Joseph Gerson. Gerson explains what it means that the U.S. is the only country to have dropped nuclear bombs, and that since Hiroshima and Nagasaki every U.S. president has threatened nuclear war.

Steadfastly, OMNI remembers the deaths of the innocents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and renounces war and threats of war.

Categories: Legacy Archive