NewsNotes - August 2005
War and Famine
Peace and Milk
- Somali Proverb
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We would like to announce the addition of a new resource on our website. The page offers links to data sources for
You can navigate there by going to the "Network" tab on www.epsusa.org, and then the "Data" sub-tab, or by clicking on this link: http://www.epsusa.org/network/data.htm. If you know of a data source that you feel should be added to our list, please contact our webmaster, Kate Cell, at firstname.lastname@example.org
EPS mourns the passing of Robin Cook, the former British Foreign Secretary and Labor MP who died Saturday, August 6th. Mr. Cook was one of the very few politicians in the UK or US who spoke clearly against unilateral, pre-emptive war in Iraq.
In his resignation speech, he protested the logic that was being used to justify the war, saying, "Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddams forces are so weak, so demoralized and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days. We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat." http://www.robincook.org.uk/cook/rc_press.asp#article8
Mr. Cook stated in a 1997 speech, Security, prosperity and quality of life are all clear national interests. Britain also has a national interest in the promotion of our values and confidence in our identity. That is why the fourth goal of our foreign policy is to secure the respect of other nations for Britains contribution to keeping the peace of the world and promoting democracy around the world. The Labor Government does not accept that political values can be left behind when we check in our passports to travel on diplomatic business. Our foreign policy must have an ethical dimension and must support the demands of other peoples for the democratic rights on which we insist for ourselves. http://www.guardian.co.uk/ethical/article/0,2763,192031,00.html
James K. Galbraith asks in The American Prospect online edition July 27, "What if the four London bombers didnt know they were bombers?" Examining the evidence, Dr. Galbraith finds Reasonable Doubt, noting the method doesnt fit, the effect doesnt fit, the behavior doesnt fit, and the background doesnt fit. http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=10051
EPS is looking forward to another round of stimulating ASSA/AEA meetings next January 6 - 8. We will be hosting three sessions again this year:
Our annual dinner this year will be in honor of Amartya Sen.
We hope you will make plans to join us at these events. More information on dates, times and rooms will be posted as it becomes available. Watch this space.
Have some fun and learn about important social issues. Citizens for Global Solutions offers a page-ful of short video games that give the player a chance to play, learn and act, all at the same time. Games include
Audits of Conventional Wisdom (http://web.mit.edu/cis/acw.html). In this ongoing series of essays, MIT's Center for International Studies tours the horizon of conventional wisdoms that animate US foreign policy, and puts them to the test of data and history. By subjecting particularly well-accepted ideas to close scrutiny, we aim to re-engage policy and opinion leaders on topics that are too easily passing such scrutiny. We hope that this will lead to further debate and inquiries, with a result we can all agree on: better foreign policies that lead to a more peaceful and prosperous world.
EPS's Security Policy Working Group partner, Cindy Williams, contributes to the series with her article Filling the Army's Ranks for the Iraq War http://web.mit.edu/cis/pdf/Audit_6_05_Williams.pdf
Writing in the Washington Post, Lawrence J. Korb and Peter Ogden discuss the recent Bad Deal With India and its impact on the Nuclear Non-proliferation regime.
"Many of the people who are made uncomfortable by President Bush's ideologically driven foreign policy have been pleasantly surprised by his recent decision to supply India with nuclear energy technology. This diplomatic agreement, its admirers eagerly point out, is not rooted in 'freedom' or 'values' but in a strategic calculation: that providing India with such technology will help balance China's power in the region.
"This does appear to be the case. But what they fail to note is that the administration's inexperience with such strategic, non-ideological calculations has caused it to mishandle the negotiations themselves and, in so doing, to damage one of our country's most strategic, effective and 'realistic' agreements: the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"...The final weakness in these negotiations is that the Bush administration
secured so little in return. While we were willing to void the most potent
nuclear weapons control treaty of the past three decades, India was not
even compelled to stop producing fissile material for further weapons.
Apparently, in its concern to balance the power of China, the administration
forgot to consider whether putting no limits on India's fissile material
production might not prompt Pakistan to continue such production itself.
Such a development would certainly increase the risk of nuclear materials
falling into the hands of terrorists."
On July 29, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a series of organizational changes she said would boost the State Department's capacity to battle global terror and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Rice made the announcements in a speech that avoided the term "war on terror," in keeping with the administration's apparent new doctrine that it is more of an ideological struggle than a military campaign.
Rice said protection against weapons of mass destruction now required more than deterrence and arms-control treaties and involved action against "outlaw scientists, black-market arms dealers and rogue state proliferators."
Among the changes are a merging of two bureaus to create the Bureau of
International Security and Non-proliferation, which will also house a
new office focusing exclusively on the threat of terrorists seeking weapons
of mass destruction, and a strengthening of the Bureau of Political-Military
Former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security,
John Holum, says the move, "dismisses arms control, fragments it,
and essentially makes it disappear."
The costs associated with securing US nuclear weapons sites against terrorism will be a key factor in deciding whether or not to consolidate the facilities, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said August 2. Bodman made the comments before making his first official visit to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
Consolidating the most sensitive components of the eight US weapons-related nuclear facilities to one site could lower the number of terrorist targets and facilitate warhead development, according to a preliminary report released two weeks ago by a federal advisory task force. The final version of the report is due to be released by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board next month.
Journalist Judith Coburn, writing for TomPaine.com, wonders why the
Iraqi costs are Unnamed And Unnoticed.
"'Cost of the war:' a cliché to normalize the carnage, like the anaesthetizing term 'collateral damage' and that new semantic horror, 'torture lite.' And yet the 'cost of the war' report, by now a hackneyed convention of American journalism, includes only American casualtiesno Iraqisitself a violation of the American mainstream media's own professed commitment to 'objectivity.' Three years of 'anniversary' articles in the American media adding up the so-called 'cost of the war' in Iraq have focused exclusively on Americans killed, American dollars spent, American hardware destroyed, with barely a mention of the Iraqi dead as part of that 'cost.'
"But there's no way to count, protest American journalists. What
they mean is that the Pentagon doesn't count for them - 'We don't do counts,'
was the way General Tommy Franks put the matter during our Afghan war.
But Iraq Body Count (IBC) counts, as does the Brookings Institute among
others. As of July 13, IBC estimated Iraqi civilian casualties to be between
22,838 and 25,869, an extremely conservative number. (The range between
the two figures represents occasional discrepancies in the number of civilian
casualties reported by different media sources about the same incident).
So what journalists really mean is that only Pentagon counting counts
and that the prosecutor of the war is the only 'reliable' source on the
magnitude of its own killing. Pentagon casualty figures are rarely questioned.
When anyone else counts, these figures are given short shrift."
In its quest to find recruits, the military has literally turned war into entertainment. "America's Army" offers a range of games that kids can download or play online. Although the games are violent, with plenty of opportunities to shoot and blow things up, they avoid graphic images of death or other ugliness of war, offering instead a sanitized, Tom Clancy version of fantasy combat.
The Pentagon's recruitment effort also entails massive information-gathering efforts aimed at both students and their parents. Under a little-publicized aspect of Bush's "No Child Left Behind" education program, the military has gained what the Chicago Tribune described as "unprecedented access to all high school directories of upperclassmen -- a mother lode of information used for mass-mailing recruiting appeals and telephone solicitations."
The US Senate, after a series of angry partisan exchanges, unanimously approved $1.5 billion in emergency funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care programs, June 29. Veterans groups -- including the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars -- have complained bitterly that the administration and the Republican leadership have abandoned a commitment to treat VA health care as an integral "cost of war."
Jorge Restrepo and Michael Spagat, working at CERAC (Centro de recursos para el análisis de conflictos, or the Conflict Analysis Resource Center) have noticed a similarity in the structures of several conflicts. They have analyzed the pattern of casualties in the Iraq conflict and the seemingly unrelated conflict in Colombia, using a power law formula. Surprisingly they found that these conflicts have remarkably similar structures that also greatly resemble that of the war on global terrorism.
The entire paper can be read at http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0506213.
Shorter write-ups on this work appear in Nature online (http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050711/full/050711-5.html)
As of August 3, journalists, policymakers and the public have a new means of understanding the publics concerns for US foreign policy on issues ranging from international trade and immigration to terrorism and human rights. Public Agenda, a nonpartisan opinion research organization, in cooperation with Foreign Affairs magazine, designed the Public Agenda Confidence in US Foreign Policy Index to help leaders look beyond the ups-and-downs of weekly polls and to provide on-going assessments of the publics confidence in our nations role in global affairs. Public Agenda will field the survey regularly and develop a trend line measuring public sentiment on international issues over time, similar to the Consumer Confidence Index.
You can read the survey questions, see the results of this year's survey, and view analysis at http://www.publicagenda.org/foreignpolicy/index.cfm
Call for Papers: World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD)
This WCCD will focus on demonstrating that communication for development is an essential ingredient for meeting todays most pressing development challenges and, as such, should be more fully integrated in development policy and practice. The WCCD aims to analyze and evaluate new developments in the field of Communication for Development and to develop recommendations for consideration by policy and decision-makers, practitioners and researchers on how to make communication for development recognized a central pillar of development.
The organizers encourage abstracts and proposals to consider innovative
and creative ways to present information and share knowledge using different
technologies that encourage dialogue and exchange, consistent with the
spirit of the discipline. In order to support the goals of the Congress,
submissions should do one or more of the following: demonstrate the value-added
of Communication for Development; provide data and evidence of the impact
of communication in development projects and programs; briefly discuss
the theoretical foundation and methodological approach applied in practice;
or reflect on how to incorporate communication into development policy
and practice. Abstracts and proposals are invited on the following broad
For more information, please visit: http://www.devcomm-congress.org/
The deadline for the submission of abstracts and proposals is September 30, 2005. Early abstracts will be given priority.
What price academic economists? asks Heather Long in the Guardian.
"People either love or hate Paul Krugman. Twice a week the New York
Times columnist lashes out at the Bush administration. But Krugman is
no mere hack. The basis of his critique of the US incumbent stems from
his day job as a professional economist...
"Economists love to talk about incentives. The astonishing success of [Steven] Levitt's book proves there is a wide market for economic writing. The average person has a curiosity, if not a hunger, for economic thinking. Yet British economists are not exploiting this potential mass market.
"Maybe American economists see part of their duty as intellectuals to debunk popular myths on outsourcing, immigration and trade... There are those who would say America does not benefit from having so many vociferous 'dismal scientists.' Economists, however, provide a very necessary service to society: they can offer long-term views that are not biased by the short-termism of the government or the media. And economics is more than a dismal science.
"At its core it is a philosophy, an extremely practical way of viewing
the world. Economists believe people, business and governments are rational
agents who make decisions by weighing costs and benefits. Whether you
call it dismal or distinctive, economists have a different way of looking
at the world, and we could use more of this thinking."
Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest is an annual competition
designed to challenge college students to analyze the urgent ethical issues
confronting them in today's complex world. Students are encouraged to write
thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues
and are rational arguments for ethical action.
First prize includes $5000. The deadline for the 2006 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest is Friday, December 9, 2005. More information and application forms are at http://www.eliewieselfoundation.org/EthicsPrize/information.html
Sixth Annual Global Development Awards Competition Submissions will be accepted for an ongoing development project, completed research, or a new research proposal. The last day for submissions is September 16, 2005.
Global Development Networks Board of Directors has chosen Institutions and Development: At the Nexus of Global Change as the theme for the Seventh Annual Global Development Conference to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia in January 2006. The five topics proposed for the research awards are consistent with this theme. Under each topic, GDN welcomes submissions from all branches of the social sciences. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary submissions are particularly encouraged.
The competition carries prizes in cash and travel of over $300,000. For more information see http://www.gdnet.org/activities/gdn_competitions/global_development_awards/2005_awards/
The Ford Foundation is seeking a Program Officer for the Peace &
Social Justice Program of the Governance and Civil Society Unit. The
new Program Officer will be responsible for developing and overseeing
the Foundation's work designed to strengthen Global Economic Governance
in the interests of all members of the world community. Building on prior
Foundation-funded work to reform international markets and institutions
in trade and finance, this portfolio will support new thinking and action
designed to bring about a global institutional architecture that promotes
economic security while addressing poverty in the developing world. The
portfolio will also support work on global economic circuits as a cause
of conflict, and how to govern them more effectively. Strengthening capacity
in the Global South will be a priority throughout.
|Military vs. Social Spending: Warfare or Human Welfare. This two-sided fact sheet compares US and global military spending with the costs of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals in an accessible, graphic format. The fact sheet, which was compiled and designed by former Project Manager, Paul Burkholder, is available in PDF format at http://www.epsusa.org/publications/factsheets/milexMDG.pdf.|
The ECAAR Review 2003: Conflict or Development? This edition has a regional focus on Africa, the site of most of the world's current armed conflicts. In its pages some of the leading economists of the day analyze and reflect on the relationships among military spending, domestic and foreign policy, security, and human welfare. Features include country studies, sections on business and conflict, and "Trends in World Military Expenditure." Written in clear English, with informative maps, tables, and graphs, the series is designed to inform the debate among policymakers, activists, journalists, academics, students, and citizens worldwide.
You can order the Review by emailing email@example.com.
We believe the Review can be a valuable teaching tool in economics, political science, and international relations courses. If you are interested in teaching this book, please contact Thea Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy to review.
|The Full Cost of Ballistic Missile Defense. The study estimates that the total life cycle cost for a layered missile defense system could reach $1.2 trillion through 2035. You can download the PDF file from http://www.epsusa.org/publications/papers/bmd/bmd.pdf, or order a copy of the report from the cosponsor of the study at http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/nmd/fullcost.html.|
EPS's mission statement avers that we agree with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. (http://www.epsusa.org/main/mission.htm)
If you agree that inherent in that declaration is the understanding that torture should be abolished, you may find the August congressional recess is an ideal opportunity to contact your senators while they are home from Washington. Urge your senators to support the McCain amendment (#1557, as modified ) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (S. 1042). The purpose of the amendment is "to provide for uniform standards for the interrogation of persons under the detention of the Department of Defense." You can read the text of the amendment at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r109:FLD001:S08790
You can write or call your senators in their district offices. Find your senator's district contact information at http://capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials/.
Tell them to send a message loud and clear to the US military that no intelligence information is worth spoiling our countrys long-standing moral position that we in the US do not condone torture, ever.
Below are some talking points that you can use in your message. You may also want to identify yourself as part of your community (where you live, your occupation) and include a sentence about why you care about this issue. The more specific you can be, the better.
This article in the Washington Post describes the White House's efforts to avoid this amendment. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/22/AR2005072201727_pf.html
Anyone who would be willing to put an EPS flyer up on a departmental bulletin board or similar venue, please contact Thea Harvey at email@example.com.
|August 15 - 21, 2005. Think Outside the Bomb, a national youth conference on nuclear issues presented by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara, California. More info at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/menu/programs/youth-outreach/youth-conference/index.htm|
September 21 - 23, 2005. Entry-Into-Force (Article XIV) Conference of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, New York, NY. For a complete explanation of the background and possible outcomes of the conference, see http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/ctbt/ctbtindex.html
September 24 - 26, 2005. Three Days of Action for Peace and Justice in Washington, DC. This massive mobilization will include a march and rally, lobbying, concerts, an interfaith service highlighting spiritual reasons to oppose the war, and many other events. More information at http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?list=type&type=91
26 - 29, 2005. The United Religions Initiative-Middle East and North
Africa Region, (URI-MENA) Annual Regional Conference, in Amman, Jordan.
URI-MENA is composed of Middle Eastern and North African religious activists,
from Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Druze backgrounds, and conducts activities
to promote mutual understanding and peace in the region, to deepen and share
their religious and spiritual experience and to communicate their everyday
life, and a global human agenda, through their shared interfaith experience.
This year the theme of the conference will be Charity, a concept that invites the meeting of the spiritual, the social and the economic, and questions the notion of ownership rights. The cost of the conference is $200, which includes registration and hotel. Some scholarships are available. Application deadline is August 20.
28 - 30, 2005. International Interfaith Youth Conference on Peace 2005.
Africa Christian Youths Development Forum, in Plateau State, Nigeria.
|November 7 - 8, 2005. The Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, "Sixty Years Later," will be held in Washington, DC. http://www.carnegieendowment.org/static/npp/2005_carnegie_conference.cfm|
|November 10 - 12, 2005. European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE) presents its annual conference in Bremen, Germany. The theme of the conference is A New Deal for the New Economy? Global and Local Developments, and New Institutional Arrangements. The conference will include a joint EAEPE-ECAAR Session entitled The Economics of War and Peace, (Dis-)Armament, and Arms Conversion, organized by the European ECAAR/EPS affiliates, in conjunction with EPS-US and EAEPE. For further information please visit the EAEPE website (http://www.eaepe.org/) or http://www.iiso.uni-bremen.de/elsner or contact the local organizers: Wolfram Elsner at firstname.lastname@example.org and Rebecca Schmitt at email@example.com|
|November 11 - 12, 2005. International Conference on Conflict and Sustainable Peace in East and Southeast Asia, University of Western Sydney, Australia. For details, contact Professor Manas Chatterji by phone (607) 777-2475 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.|
December 9 - 10, 2005. Guns and Butter The Economic Causes and Consequences of Conflict conference in Munich, Germany presented by The CESifo Group, consisting of the Center for Economic Studies (CES), the Ifo Institute for Economic Research.
More conference information at: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page?_pageid=36,34737&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL To see the information for this conference, scroll down through the page's listings.
|December 28 - 30, 2005. Second International Conference on Conflict and Peace in South Asia, Jaipur, India. For details, contact Professor Manas Chatterji by phone (607) 777-2475 or e-mail email@example.com.|
|January 6 - 8, 2005. The annual meetings of the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) and the American Economic Association (AEA) in Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AEA/anmt.htm. EPS events will include a roundtable on addressing world poverty with Amartya Sen, Sir Richard Jolly and Joseph Stiglitz; a joint session with the AEA on National Security; and our annual dinner, this year in honor of Amartya Sen.|
|January 12 - 14, 2006. Second International Meeting on Disaster Management, Colombo, Sri Lanka. For details, contact Professor Manas Chatterji by phone (607) 777-2475 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|January 15 - 16, 2006. First Annual Workshop of Households in Conflict Network (HiCN), studying empirical and theoretical micro-level research on the nature, causes and consequences of violent conflict. Berlin, Germany http://www.hicn.org/papers/callforpapersJan06.pdf|
|January 18 - 19, 2006. International Conference on Conflict and Sustainable Peace in East and Southeast Asia, University of Western Sydney, Australia. For details, contact Professor Manas Chatterji by phone (607) 777-2475 or e-mail email@example.com.|
|February 24 - 26, 2006. The Eastern Economic Association annual meetings in Philadelphia, PA. Deadline for submission of papers is November 4, 2005. Submission forms and other conference information is at http://www.iona.edu/eea|
|March 2006. World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD) in Rome, Italy. http://www.devcomm-congress.org/|
|If you are considering buying a book online, please take a look at WhatWeGive.com (http://www.whatwegive.com/). They have tens of thousands of titles available at a discount to you, and EPS/ECAAR receives twenty percent of your purchase price. After you check out, a pop up window will ask for information about the organization to which you wish your donation to go. Enter Organizational Account # 32 and "Economists Allied for Arms Reduction" in the organization field, and your purchase will be credited to our account.|
|Please consider becoming a member of EPS. Your annual membership entitles you to discounts on publications, invitations to events, our informative newsletters, and more. Most importantly, by joining us you help to ensure that reasoned perspectives on essential economic issues will continue to be heard. Membership dues and other donations are fully tax-deductible. For more information, visit http://www.epsusa.org/membership/membership.htm.|
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