t will be five years this March 19 since the attack by the USA on Iraq; an attack which, according to latest estimates, led to the death of nearly one million people. This preventative war, waged without the authorization of UN Security Council, without the authorization of the world community, has set an entirely new direction in international policy making. Today, a preventative nuclear strike on Iran is openly discussed.
Hundreds of billions of dollars collected from us, the taxpayers every year are spent on the production of weapons and financing of wars. The war in Iraq alone has cost US citizens nearly 500 billion dollars. New deadly weapons including nuclear ones are being developed. Nearly thirty thousand nuclear warheads still exist in the world today – an amount that would suffice to destroy the entire planet and all of us on it 25 times over.
In this atmosphere of armament the United States are now coming with a plan to expand the Missile Defense System to Europe with two new military bases – one in the Czech Republic and one in Poland. This dangerous project increases international tensions and leads to a new arms race.
Technological progress could have long ago helped to solve the problem of poverty. Still, 2.6 billion people – nearly half of all the people living on this planet – live below the poverty line. Our governments are aiming at privatizing healthcare, education and other areas. A model of society is being promoted that makes all aspects of human life subject to business, without taking into consideration the charter of human rights and the rights it guarantees, such as the right to life, education, health, security and others. Developments in recent years show that the gap between the poor and the rich is widening not only among the “rich north” and the “poor south”, but also among the people living in individual countries. A narrow, extremely rich minority and ever bigger, ever poorer majority are emerging. This trend cannot continue for long. Our political leaders have recently showed us that their priority is not the lives of people on this planet, but their own benefit or that of the sponsors of their political campaigns. That is why we cannot count on these men improving our everyday reality or solving the world’s problems anymore – we have to start coming up with solutions ourselves.
Many people in the past have shown that there is great power in united people and in the nonviolent fight. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King gave examples that in common action for change we are much stronger than the apparently more powerful enemies. A Latin American writer Mario Rodriguez Cobos – Silo, a long supporter of active nonviolence, appeals: “Give peace a chance”. A nonviolent movement inspired by these examples is being born in different parts of the world today.
This March 15 we will unite around the world to show our dedicated resistance against further militarization of the planet and the negligence of real world problems and above all we will express our determination to start creating a world that we really want: nonviolent, peaceful, truly democratic; a world, where human rights will be upheld; a world, where every human being counts.