Yemen Crisis & Nuclear Warning – two letters in two days in the Age from MAPW

Yemen crisis

In the time it takes to read through the comments and letters page another child will die of cholera in Yemen.  Then 10 minutes later another, and so on throughout days and nights.  Attempts by the UN to find a peaceful power-sharing solution to the conflict have been rejected and recent calls for war crimes investigations by the UN were rejected by Saudi Arabia and its weapons-supplying allies, the UK and US.  Australia, too, is supplying military equipment to Saudi Arabia. 

There is no way to peace with air strikes bombarding health infrastructure, airports and civilian homes as the Saudi Arabian coalition is relentlessly doing.  This is a humanitarian crisis. It is time for Australia to stop providing weapons to Saudi Arabia, and call on our allies to do the same. Until we do that we are facilitating the ongoing persecution of this nightmare on the people of Yemen.

Jenny Grounds, Vice-President Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia

Letter published in Sunday Age, 10 September 2017


Nuclear warning

Matt Golding's cartoon (Letters, 11/9) of two birds building a nest in a leafless tree with a mushroom cloud in the background is chilling. 

It is terrible that North Korea now has nuclear weapons. But also terrible are the 15,000 nuclear weapons globally, with 1800 on hair trigger alert. Over the past five decades there have been a number of very close calls, where radar or computer faults have nearly sparked nuclear war.  

The United Nations adopted a treaty banning these weapons in July, yet Australia refuses to sign it. Nuclear weapons are far worse than chemical weapons or biological weapons, and Australia has signed both those treaties.

We face a clear choice: support the banning of these weapons and work constructively with all nations towards disarmament, or watch them multiply and inevitably cause appalling catastrophe. 

Dr Margaret Beavis, president, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia

Letter published in the Age September 12 2017