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September 1988

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Riding the Vancouver Sky-Train (Astrid Monson)
Transportation Committee
News Release: Beat the School Jam
Membership
Council Observers Needed (Dorothy Murdock)
League Plans Action Following Star Wars Meeting
Favorable Reaction to Star Wars Meeting
Announcement - Congratulations
Filling Midterm Legislative Vacancies in Hawaii
Debates '88
Speak Out Hawaii
Irrefutable Evidence That League Members Are Sensational!
Neighborhood Commission

League Plans Action Following Star Wars Meeting

Several courses of action to be taken by Honolulu League were suggested by members at the meeting on August 20 lead by Ruth Lams on the Strategic Defense Initiative or "Star Wars". Included in the program were a 15-minute video tape presentation "The False Frontier" prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and discussion of problems associated with Star Wars by Ruth Lams. This was followed by a general discussion and suggestions for action.

Both the video-tape and Ruth's presentation emphasized the basic flaws of Star Wars which are summarized below:

1. STAR WARS CANNOT PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Though touted initially as an astrodome defense to prevent missiles from destroying our cities and our people, it is recognized now that a perfect shield is not feasible--the cracks would allow enough missiles to enter and kill tens of millions of people. The objective now seems to have shifted to the defense of missile sites to allow retaliatory strikes in case of attack.

2. STAR WARS IS INHERENTLY DESTABILIZING AND DANGEROUS. The development and deployment of a Star Wars system would upset the U.S.-Soviet nuclear balance. So far, the recognition of mutual vulnerability by both sides has acted as a deterrence. The development and deployment of Star Wars would force the Soviet Union to engage in a crash program to reduce this threat.

"In a time of crisis, Star Wars would create a hair-trigger climate of great fear and uncertainty, in which both nations would feel intense pressure to use their nuclear weapons, or face losing them to a first strike from the other nation." (Quote from discussion guide.)

3. STAR WARS THREATENS THE ABM TREATY. The treaty places strict limits on the testing, development, and deployment of nationwide anti-ballistic missile systems, and therefore, prevents a competition in defensive weapons.

"The deployment of Star Wars would require the U.S. to eventually break or withdraw from the ABM Treaty, since the treaty was designed precisely to prevent each side from deploying a nationwide anti-missile system. Even the research and testing being currently conducted poses a threat to the treaty in the near future."

4. STAR WARS WOULD BE RUINOUSLY EXPENSIVE. Estimates on the cost of such a system range from just a few hundred million to over a trillion dollars. "Star Wars would require tremendous sacrifices of other national priorities and it could eventually bankrupt our nation."

HONOLULU LEAGUE PLANS ACTION

The general consensus was that we must take immediate action to support National League in its efforts to stop the development and deployment of SDI. League does not oppose the funding of some research in ballistic missile defense as a hedge against a Soviet technological breakthrough so long as this research is compliant with the ABM Treaty.

The action plan includes the following:

1. Representation on the Peace Education Committee - a U.H. Committee on World Peace.

2. Make the Star Wars presentation available to other organizations and the general public through League's Speaker's Bureau. Advertise the availability. Since Ruth Lams will be away until January, have others prepare to make the presentation.

3. Present program on television--possibly .use one of the slots in the Channel 20 schedule.

4. Write letters to the editor on Star Wars.

5. Send a delegation of Leaguers to visit Pat Saiki.

6. Write letters to Congressmen and Senators.

WE URGE OUR MEMBERS TO SEND LETTERS OR CARDS TO OUR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS OPPOSING FUNDING THE DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF STAR WARS. ALSO, SEEK OUT GROUPS WHO MIGHT WANT TO HAVE THIS PROGRAM PRESENTED TO THEM AT ONE OF THEIR MEETINGS.

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