Seeds of Peace

West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition

Seeds of Peace

May, 2020

 

Note From The President

Let perpetual war be a pandemic casualty

The pandemic has shut down much activity in the US. Alas, that does not include US perpetual war in the Middle East and Africa. US warfare there should never have be started and should have been ended without a pandemic. But the coronavirus makes it more imperative that our soldiers stand down as it thrives among many military in close quarters. More than 1,000 sailors infected, one of whom died, aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, resulted in the big boat’s quarantine. US ground exercises are also being scaled back.

Perpetual war squanders treasure needed for combating both the virus and the corresponding economic meltdown. Perpetual war, the organized killing of peoples, directly contradicts the organized saving of peoples from a pandemic. On March 23, the the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterrez urged warring parties worldwide to lay down their arms to support the bigger battle against Covid-19, the common enemy that is now threatening all mankind. Some fighting groups are doing that, especially in war torn Yemen.

But the US has turned deaf ears to Guterrez’s plea. The Trump administration has continued to threaten war against Iraqi militia groups seeking end of the US occupation of Iraq, claiming they are sponsored by our real enemy Iran. Massive bombings against these militia groups which are connected to the Iraqi military are still possible. A shooting war with Iran is still possible. Besides Iraq, the US shows little sign of leaving Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria; the former two client states whose leaders we’re propping up to do our bidding; the latter a regime change target we still seek to achieve. Besides the bombs we drop, the economic sanctions we impose on Iran, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela, among others, make it more difficult for them to combat the pandemic. Those sanctions were making life for their citizenry miserable before the pandemic. With it they are adding to its toll.
The pandemic has been a wake up call to virtually every American to alter numerous daily behaviors. Up till now standing down from perpetual war is not among those of Uncle Sam.

Walt Zlotow

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MILITARY SPENDING IN 2019 HITS HIGHEST INCREASE IN A DECADE

By Marlee Kokotovic
“The COVID-19 Crisis Has Made Clearer Than Ever The Flaws In Our System, One That Prioritizes Military Spending And Global Instability Over The Well-Being Of Our People.”

Earlier this week a new analysis was reported showing the world’s military spent a combined $1.9 trillion last year with the U.S. being the top spenders.

According to the most current annual report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the top military spenders after the U.S. were China, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Total spending in 2019 was 3.6% higher than in the previous year and accounted for 2.2% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

 

Who were the top 10 military spenders in 2019?

1) USA
2) China
3) India
4) Russia
5) Saudi Arabia
6) France
7) Germany
8) UK
9) Japan
10) South Korea

Together they spent $1430 billion, accounting for 75% of global military spending 

 

“This is the highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis and probably represents a peak in expenditure,” says Nan Tian, a researcher at SIPRI.

According to Aljazeera, as the world heads for a potential global recession, governments will have to weigh military spending against other sectors, such as healthcare and education.

This report comes at a time when the global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed toward three million and the pandemic’s death toll stood at over 207,000, reports Common Dreams.

“The COVID-19 crisis has made clearer than ever the flaws in our system, one that prioritizes military spending and global instability over the well-being of our people. Indeed, global priorities are wrong; it is time for a new era of peace, a global ceasefire as called for by the U.N. and people around the globe. Let us demilitarize the world and invest in global peace and diplomacy,” says the International Peace Bureau (IPB).

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Peace Essay Contest deadline extended to June 1

​$1,000 Prize for First Place in Peace Essay Contest

2020 Peace Essay-Response Contest Rules

The West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition (WSFPC) is again sponsoring a Peace Essay Contest with a $1,000 award to the winner, $500 for the runner-up, and $300 for third place. As in the past, essays will be directed to a person who can help promote knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact (KBP), and from whom a response is expected. Essays will be judged on the quality of the essay. Lack of response will not be factored in the judging but responses will be useful in assessing the effectiveness of the Peace Essay Project. Everyone is eligible to participate; there are no restrictions regarding age or country of residence.

Participants are required to take the following three steps:

  1. To enter the contest send, by June 1,  a Peace Essay Request email to coordinator Walt Zlotow at zlotow@hotmail.com with a copy to wsfpc.peace@gmail.com. Provide your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, and age if under 18.  Also provide the name and position of the person or persons to whom the essay will be directed. Your acceptance as a contest participant will be acknowledged in an email with your 4-digit Essay Number. (If information is missing or confusing you will be contacted by email or phone.)
   2. In 800 words or less write your essay on: How Can We Obey the Law Against War? By
       June 15, send the essay to the person named in your application and a copy to
       zlotow@hotmail.com with your essay number in the subject line.
   3. By July 15, 2020, send essay response documentation to zlotow@hotmail.com with your
       essay number in the subject line.
Some examples of impact:

1. The President agrees to explain the limitations placed on the government by KBP.

2. A member of congress supports a resolution to make August 27 a Day of Reflection.
3. The ACT or SAT administration agrees to include questions regarding KBP.
4. A newspaper includes a KBP story.
5. A school board revises its curriculum to expand KBP studies.
6. A religious leader calls for nonviolent actions.


Act now:  We will notify winners one month prior to announcing them publicly at the Peace Essay Awards Luncheon honoring the 92nd Anniversary of the Kellogg-Briand Pact on Aug, 26, 2020.

May 19th Educational Forum cancelled 

We will advise resumption of Educational Forums when appropriate guidelines regarding public events are issued by the governor. WSFPC Educational Forums are held

3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM

Lombard Mennonite Church

528 E. Madison, Lombard

 

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WSFPC Membership Dues Schedule 60137 

Individual             $15 per year

Organization        $30 per year

 

Send check payable to “WSFPC” to WSFPC, 340 Greenfield, Glen Ellyn, IL. Dues and additional donations are tax deductible. 

West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition

340 Greenfield, Glen Ellyn IL 60137

630 442 3045

zlotow@hotmail.com

www.faithpeace.com

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WSFPC is a non-profit peace organization based in Chicago’s western suburbs. WSFPC promotes peace through public witness, peace education, an annual peace essay contest and lobbying for peaceful legislative initiatives.