Dear friends all,
I am taking the liberty of forwarding this message to you since an action on
it is simple - I just phoned Graham's office and gave my name and number -
and this is an urgent matter that I am sure many of you would be concerned
about - you may already know about it but I only got this announcement this
There is a letter below requesting that Graham be called on this matter of
chemical weapons and then separately, an article from the Guardian
explaining the issues
and documenting US efforts to interrupt and subvert the work of the OPCW.
Thanks for reading it!
Please join Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Thom Yorke of
Radiohead, Brian Eno, and many other cultural figures in
speaking up on an important, last-minute issue.
This Sunday, April 21, the United States will seek to remove
Jose Bustani, the head of the Organisation for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), from his post.
Bustani's crime is essentially that he was too good at his
job. Under his lead, according to the Guardian article
copied below, "His inspectors have overseen the destruction
of 2 million chemical weapons and two-thirds of the world's
chemical weapon facilities. He has so successfully cajoled
reluctant nations that the number of signatories to the
convention has risen from 87 to 145 in the past five years:
the fastest growth rate of any multilateral body in recent
But in the eyes of the US State Department, Bustani has been
a nuisance. First, he's attempted to treat the US like any
other signatory to the body, and the US, not unlike its
enemy Iraq, is unsatisfied with the inspectors he's chosen.
Second, he's actively working with Iraq to encourage it to
accept inspectors, which would undercut support for a second
US-led Gulf War. For these reasons, the State Department
wants him deposed.
In a meeting this Sunday, the US will propose a vote of no
confidence in Bustani, even though it hasn't specified the
exact nature of his failings. If Canada votes with the US,
yet another international, multilateral organisation will
essentially become a proxy of the US government.
Please contact Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham
immediately and urge him to "support Director-General
Bustani and an independent Organisation for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons."
Then pass this message on to your friends and colleagues and
urge them to write. Since the timing is so close, we need
to get as many people involved as possible. And please send
us a message at [log in to unmask] so that we can keep track
of how many contacts have been made.
A sample letter, drafted by Brian Eno and co-signed by many
other cultural figures is copied below, as is an article by George
Monbiot more fully explaining the situation.
Please act today to support an important international
Wendy Strachan, Ph.D
Woodring College of Education-MH260-C
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9090
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