Archive for September, 2016


September 30, 2016

From: johnhallam2011 via Nuclear News List <>
日付: 2016年9月30日金曜日
To: Nuclearnews Group <>, Yahoogroups <>


September 27, 2016
Press Release

Washington – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) introduced H.R. 6179, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2016.  This legislation would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.  The crucial issue of nuclear first use – discussed in last evening’s Presidential Debate – is all the more urgent given the fact that a majority of Americans do not trust Republican Nominee Donald Trump with our nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Upon introduction of this legislation, Senator Markey issued the following statement:
“Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival. Unfortunately, by maintaining the option of using nuclear weapons first in a conflict, U.S. policy increases the risk of unintended nuclear escalation. The President should not use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack. This legislation enshrines this simple principle into law. I thank Rep. Lieu for his partnership on this common-sense bill during this critical time in our nation’s history.”
Upon introduction of this legislation, Mr. Lieu issued the following statement:
“Our Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew the President could launch a massive, potentially civilization-ending military strike without authorization from Congress. Our Constitution created a government based on checks and balances and gave the power to declare war solely to the people’s representatives. A nuclear first strike, which can kill hundreds of millions of people and invite a retaliatory strike that can destroy America, is war. The current nuclear launch approval process, which gives the decision to potentially end civilization as we know it to a single individual, is flatly unconstitutional. I am proud to introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2016with Sen. Markey to realign our nation’s nuclear weapons launch policy with the Constitution.”
Praise for the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2016
William J. Perry, Former Secretary of Defense – “During my period as Secretary of Defense, I never confronted a situation, or could even imagine a situation, in which I would recommend that the President make a first strike with nuclear weapons—understanding that such an action, whatever the provocation, would likely bring about the end of civilization.  I believe that the legislation proposed by Congressman Lieu and Senator Markey recognizes that terrible reality.  Certainly a decision that momentous for all of civilization should have the kind of checks and balances on Executive powers called for by our Constitution.”
Tom Z. Collina, Policy Director of Ploughshares Fund – “Current US nuclear policy is undemocratic and unconstitutional. In the realm of nuclear weapons, the United States is closer to a dictatorship than a democracy. The President has absolute authority to use nuclear weapons, and Congress has been cut out. It is time to bring democracy to nuclear policy, and Rep. Lieu and Sen. Markey’s bill moves us in that direction.”
Megan Amundson, Executive Director of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) – “Rep. Lieu and Sen. Markey have rightly called out the dangers of only one person having his or her finger on the nuclear button. The potential misuse of this power in the current global climate has only magnified this concern. It is time to make real progress toward lowering the risk that nuclear weapons are ever used again, and this legislation is a good start.”
Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility – “We must understand that our own nuclear weapons pose an unacceptable risk to our national security. The “successful” use of our own nuclear arsenal would cause catastrophic climate disruption around the world including here in the United States. These weapons are suicide bombs, and no one individual should have the power to introduce them into a conflict. The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2016 is an important step to lessen the chance these weapons will be used.”
Congressman Lieu is a member of the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee.

Here’s Video of #NoWar2016

September 27, 2016

David Swanson via

Wow! We’ve never had such overwhelmingly positive feedback on anything. People loved the #NoWar2016 conference!

You can now plan your own event using the videos, or just watch the videos yourself for free at home here:

We’ll be producing a highlight video too.

We owe a huge thank you to American University School of International Service, Jeff Bachman, Barbara Wien, Karen Ives, Brienne Kordis, and all of our volunteers organized by Pat Elder, and all of our speakers, MCs, workshop leaders and participants for pulling this event off, plus a lot of gratitude to all of our partners and cosponsors listed on the website and below!

We’ve been flooded with new interest and support because of this exposure.

The tough part is that we’re also being looked to now to lead the way and follow through on what we’ve started. We’re looking into launching a campaign for divestment from war industries, as well as campaigns based on the topics of the seven workshops held this pastSunday: closing foreign bases, adding U.S. to ICC, countering recruitment, banning nukes, freeing Palestine, creating friendship with Russia, and developing the work of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.

Participants in the sold-out conference received a free copy of the new edition of that book. It lays out all of our thinking on how to replace war with nonviolent conflict resolution. It makes a terrific text book, already being used at American University. You can buy it in bulk here and we will send you the new edition. Just get 10 or more and share them or sell them at a local event. Or get a single copy from your local bookstore or

World Beyond War began as a volunteer operation. It is still mostly volunteer. Our whole coordinating committee, advisory board, and all of our country coordinators around the world are volunteer. Our director is our sole part-time employee.

If we are going to take on the work that needs to be done, we’re going to need to hire a full-time organizer. We’re going to need to raise $50,000. Can you get us started by donating a little or a lot on our donate page?

Thank you for everything you’re doing to end war!

There may be a vote in the U.S. Congress tomorrow to override President Obama’s veto of the unanimously passed bill that would allow family members of 911 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. If you think war victims around the world suing war-making governments is preferable to responses of more terrorism and war, phone the U.S. Congress, both houses, and tell them to override the veto!
(202) 224-3121.

Partners of #NoWar2016 Included: Jubitz Family Foundation, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,, Code Pink, International Peace Bureau, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Jane Addams Peace Association, Veterans For Peace, Delaware Peace Club, United for Peace and Justice.

Co-Sponsors Included: Washington Peace Center, Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence,Liberty Tree Foundation,, Nonviolence International, Peace Action Montgomery, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Military Families Speak Out, Peace Action, WILPF-DC, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Center for Bangladesh Studies, Society for Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University, Nuke Watch, Friends of Franz Jagerstatter, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR), WILPF-DC, International Society for Inter Cultural Study and Research (ISISAR), Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, On Earth Peace, The Virginia Defenders, UNAC, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore,Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund/Peace Tax Foundation.

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Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital

September 26, 2016
OpEdNews Op Eds 9/24/2016 at 13:43:10

Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital

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The United States government recently gave more than a million dollars to the family of one victim it had killed in one of its wars. The victim happened to be Italian. If you were to find all the Iraqi families with any surviving members who had loved ones killed by the United States it might be a million families. A million times a million dollars would be enough to treat those Iraqis in this respect as if they were Europeans. Who can tell me — raise your hand — how much is a million times a million?

That’s right, a trillion.

Now, can you count to a trillion starting from one. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Actually we won’t wait, because if you counted one number per second you would get to a trillion in 31,709 years. And we have other speakers to get to here.

A trillion is a number we can’t comprehend. For most purposes it’s useless. The greediest oligarch doesn’t dream of ever seeing a fraction of that many dollars. Teeny fractions of that many dollars would transform the world. Three percent of it per year would end starvation on earth. One percent per year would end the lack of clean drinking water. Ten percent per year would transform green energy or agriculture or education. Three percent per year for four years, in current dollars, was the Marshall Plan.

And yet the United States government through numerous departments dumps a trillion dollars per year into preparing for war. So that works out perfectly. Take one year off and compensate Iraqi victims. Take some additional months and begin compensating Afghans, Libyans, Syrians, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Somalis, etc. I’m well aware of not listing them all. Remember the 31,709 years problem.

Of course you can never fully compensate a destroyed country like Iraq or a family anywhere that has lost a loved one. But you could benefit millions and billions of people every year and save and improve millions and billions of lives for less than is spent on preparing for more wars. And this is the number one way in which war kills — by taking away the funding for anything else. Globally it’s $2 trillion per year plus trillions in damage and destruction.

When you try to weigh the good and the bad to decide whether starting or continuing a war is justified, on the bad side has to go the cost: financial, moral, human, environmental, etc., of war preparations. Even if you think you can imagine how there could be a justifiable war some day, you have to consider whether it’s justifiable in the way that a corporation that pollutes the earth and abuses its workers and customers is profitable — namely by writing off most of the costs.

Of course, people like to imagine that there have been a few justifiable wars, so that the chance of another one outweighs all the destruction of endless war preparation plus all the unjustifiable wars it produces. The United States simply had to fight a revolution against England although nonviolent corrections to injustices were working well, and the reason that Canada didn’t have to have a war with England is because there are no touchdowns in hockey, or something. The United States simply had to kill three quarters of a million people and then end slavery, even though slavery did not end, because all those other countries that ended slavery, and this city we’re in that ended slavery, without killing all those people first now lack the valuable heritage of Confederate flags and bitter racist resentment that we so cherish, or something.

World War II was totally justifiable because President Roosevelt was 6 days off in his prediction of the Japanese attack he’d worked to provoke, and the U.S. and England refused to evacuate Jewish refugees from Germany, the Coast Guard chased a ship of them away from Miami, the State Department denied Anne Frank’s visa request, all peace efforts to halt the war and liberate the camps were blocked, several times the number of people who died in the camps died outside them in the war, the all-out destruction of civilians and the permanent militarization of the United States have been disastrous precedents, the fantasy of Germany taking over the Western Hemisphere just as soon as it finished conquering the Soviet Union was based on forged documents of Karl Rovian quality, the United States gave syphilis to black troops during the war and to Guatemalans during the Nuremberg trials, and the U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war who fit right in, but this was a question of good versus evil.

The new trend of pitching wars as philanthropy picks up a sliver of U.S. public support, but each such war relies on greater support from those who thirst for blood. And because no humanitarian war has yet benefitted humanity, this propaganda leans heavily on wars that did not happen. Five years ago one simply had to bomb Libya because of Rwanda — where U.S.-backed militarism had created the disaster and never would bombing anybody have helped things. A few years later U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power openly and shamelessly wrote that we had a responsibility not to look at the disaster created in Libya in order to be properly willing to bomb Syria, and we had to bomb Syria because of Rwanda. Also because of Kosovo, where the propaganda had featured a photograph of a thin man behind a fence. In reality the photographer had been behind a fence and there had been a fat man next to the thin one. But the point was to bomb Serbia and fuel atrocities in order to stop the holocaust, which the U.S. government at the time of WWII had had absolutely zero interest in stopping.

So, let’s get this straight once and for all. It’s to our credit that wars have to be marketed as good for people. But we are well-meaning fools if we believe it. Wars must end, and the even more damaging institution of war preparation must be abolished.

I don’t expect that we can and am not sure that we should abolish the U.S. military by next Thursday, but it’s important that we understand the necessity and desirability of abolishing it, so that we can begin taking steps that will move us in that direction. A series of steps might look like this:


1) Stop arming other countries and groups.
2) Create US support for and participation in institutions of law, nonviolence, diplomacy, and aid, as developed in the book in your packets, A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.
3) End ongoing wars.
4) Take the U.S. down to no more than twice the next leading military spender — investing in transition to a peaceful sustainable economy.
5) Close foreign bases.
6) Eliminate weapons that lack a defensive purpose.
7) Take the U.S. down to no more than the next leading military spender, and continue to keep pace with a reverse arms race. It is almost a certainty that the United States could trigger a universal reverse arms race if it chose to lead it.
8) Eliminate nuclear and other worst weapons from the earth. A nice step would be for the U.S. to join the convention on cluster bombs now that the U.S. has momentarily stopped producing them.
9) Establish a plan for the complete abolition of war.

Even the necessary wars? The just wars? The good and glorious wars? Yes, but if it’s any consolation, they do not exist.

There is no need to be arming the world to the teeth. It’s not economically beneficial or morally justifiable in any way. Wars today have U.S. weapons on both sides. ISIS videos have U.S. guns and U.S. vehicles. That’s not just or glorious. It’s merely greedy and stupid.

Studies like Erica Chenoweth’s have established that nonviolent resistance to tyranny is far more likely to succeed, and the success far more likely to be lasting, than with violent resistance. So if we look at something like the nonviolent revolution in Tunisia in 2011, we might find that it meets as many criteria as any other situation for a supposedly Just War, except that it wasn’t a war at all. One wouldn’t go back in time and argue for a strategy less likely to succeed but likely to cause a lot more pain and death.Despite the relative scarcity of examples thus far of nonviolent resistance to foreign occupation, there are those already beginning to claim a pattern of success there too. I’ll quote Stephen Zunes:

“During the first Palestinian intifada in the 1980s, much of the subjugated population effectively became self-governing entities through massive noncooperation and the creation of alternative institutions, forcing Israel to allow for the creation of the Palestine Authority and self-governance for most of the urban areas of the West Bank. Nonviolent resistance in the occupied Western Sahara has forced Morocco to offer an autonomy proposal “. In the final years of German occupation of Denmark and Norway during WWII, the Nazis effectively no longer controlled the population. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia freed themselves from Soviet occupation through nonviolent resistance prior to the USSR’s collapse. In Lebanon ” thirty years of Syrian domination was ended through a large-scale, nonviolent uprising in 2005.”

End quote. He has more examples. And one might, I think, look at numerous examples of resistance to the Nazis, and in German resistance to the French invasion of the Ruhr in 1923, or perhaps in the one-time success of the Philippines and the ongoing success of Ecuador in evicting U.S. military bases, and of course the Gandhian example of booting the British out of India. But the far more numerous examples of nonviolent success over domestic tyranny also provide a guide toward future action.

On the side of choosing a nonviolent response to an attack is its greater likelihood of succeeding and of that success lasting longer, as well as less damage being done in the process. Sometimes we get so busy pointing out that anti-U.S. terrorism is fueled by U.S. aggression — as it is — that we forget to point out that the terrorism fails in its objectives just as the larger U.S. terrorism fails in its objectives. Iraqi resistance to U.S. occupation is not a model for U.S. resistance to some fantasized invasion of the United States by Vladimir Putin and Edward Snowden leading a wild band of Muslim Hondurans to come and take our guns away.

The right model is nonviolent noncooperation, the rule of law, and diplomacy. And that can begin now. The chance of violent conflicts can be greatly minimized.

In the absence of an attack, however, while claims are being made that a war should be launched as a supposed “last resort,” nonviolent solutions are available in infinite variety and can be tried over and over again. The United States has never actually reached the point of attacking another country as an actual and literal last resort. And it never can.

If you could achieve that, then a moral decision would still require that the imagined benefits of your war outweigh all the damage done by maintaining the institution of war, and that’s an incredibly high hurdle.

What we need, in order to bring nonviolent pressure to bear on whoever occupies the White House and the Capitol four months from now is a larger, more energized movement for the abolition of war, with a vision of what we could have instead.

During World War II, before the United States maintained a permanent state of war, a Congressman from Maryland suggested that after the war the Pentagon could be turned into a hospital and thereby put to some useful purpose. I still think that’s a good idea. I may try to mention it to the Pentagon staff when we visit there at 9 a.m. on Monday.

This is the vision we need to advance, one in which a new and valuable purpose must be found, as in these necklaces made from recycled nuclear weapons, for everything that used to be part of the immoral criminal enterprise that was known as war.

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David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at and and works for the online (more…)

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WIPP nuclear waste accident will cost US taxpayers $2 billion

September 26, 2016

Dr Jim Green

20th September 2016

The clean-up after the February 2014 explosion at the world’s only deep underground repository for nuclear waste in New Mexico, USA, is massively over budget, writes Jim Green – and full operations won’t resume until at least 2021. The fundamental cause of the problems: high level radioactive waste, poor regulation, rigid deadlines and corporate profit make a dangerous mix.

The facility was never designed to operate in a contaminated state. It was supposed to open clean and stay clean, but now it will have to operate dirty. Nobody at the Energy Department wants to consider the potential that it isn’t fixable.

An analysis by theLos Angeles Timesfinds that costs associated with the February 2014 explosion at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) could total US$2 billion.

The direct cost of the clean-up is now estimated at US$640 million, based on a contract modification made in July with contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership.

The cost-plus contract leaves open the possibility of even higher costs as the clean-up continues and, as the LA Times notes, it does not include the complete replacement of the contaminated ventilation system (which failed after the 2014 explosion) or any future costs of operating the repository longer than originally planned.

The lengthy closure following the explosion could result in waste disposal operations extending for an additional seven years, at an additional cost of US$200 million per year or US$1.4 billion (€1.25b) in total. Thus direct (clean-up) costs and indirect costs could exceed US$2 billion.

And further costs are being incurred storing waste at other nuclear sites pending the re-opening of WIPP. Federal officials hope to resume limited operations at WIPP by the end of this year, but full operations cannot resume until a new ventilation system is completed in about 2021.

As expensive as the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster

The US$2 billion figure is similar to the costs associated with the 1979 Three Mile Island disaster. The clean-up of Three Mile Island was estimated to cost US$1 billion by 1993, or US$1.7 billion adjusted for inflation today.

Yet another cost for the federal government was a US$74 million (€66m) settlement paidto the state of New Mexico in January 2016. The negotiated agreement relates to the 14 February 2014 explosion and a truck fire that took place nine days earlier.

It sets out corrective actions that Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL – the source of the waste drum that exploded) and WIPP must take to resolve permit violations. The US$74 million settlement is in lieu of fines imposed on the federal government by the state of New Mexico for the two incidents.

Given that the February 2014 fire and explosion exposed multiple levels of mismanagement and slack regulation, it was no surprise that the immediate response to the incidents was problematic. As discussed previously in The Ecologist, everything that was supposed to happen, didn’t – and everything that wasn’t supposed to happen, did.

And in light of the systemic problems with management and regulation, it is no surprise that clean-up operations over the past 2.5 years have been problematic.

GAO identifies a host of problems

An August 2016 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the federal Department of Energy (DOE) did not meet its initial cost and schedule estimates for restarting nuclear waste disposal operations at WIPP, resulting in a cost increase of about US$64 million (€57m) and a delay of nine months.

Worse still, mismanagement of the clean-up has involved poor safety practices. Last year, the DOE’s Independent Office of Enterprise Assessments released a report that found that WIPP clean-up operations were being rushed to meet the scheduled reopening date and that this pressure was contributing to poor safety practices.

The report states: “The EA analysis considered operational events and reviews conducted during May 2014 through May 2015 and identified a significant negative trend in performance of work. During this period, strong and unrealistic schedule pressures on the workforce contributed to poor safety performance and incidents during that time are indicators of the potential for a future serious safety incident.”

The report points to “serious issues in conduct of operations, job hazard analysis, and safety basis.” Specific problems identified in the report include:

The Office of Enterprise Assessments’ report concludes: “The issues discussed above could be leading indicators of a potentially serious incident in the future. Many more issues involving conduct of operations, maintenance, and inadequate controls also raise concerns about the possibility of a serious incident.”

Earlier this year, clean-up work in two underground areas was suspended for one month due to poor air quality. Work was stopped on February 22 after equipment detected elevated levels of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds.

Radioactive contamination of the underground remains a problem, albeit the case that the size of the restricted area has been significantly reduced. “The facility was never designed to operate in a contaminated state,” said Don Hancock from the Southwest Research and Information Center.

“It was supposed to open clean and stay clean, but now it will have to operate dirty. Nobody at the Energy Department wants to consider the potential that it isn’t fixable.”

Los Alamos National Laboratory at fault as well

While a number of reports have exposed problems at WIPP, others have exposed serious problems at LANL. An April 2015 report by DOE’s Accident Investigation Board (AIB) concluded that a culture of lax oversight and inadequate safety protocols and training at LANL led to the February 2014 explosion at WIPP.

“If LANL had adequately developed and implemented repackaging and treatment procedures that incorporated suitable hazard controls and included a rigorous review and approval process, the [February 2014] release would have been preventable”, the AIB report states.

“The ineffectiveness and weaknesses in the oversight activities were at all levels,” said Ted Wyka, the DOE safety expert who led the investigation.

The AIB report points to the failure of LANL to effectively review and control waste packaging, train contractors and identify weaknesses in waste handling. The board also found that LANL, contractor EnergySolutions and the National Nuclear Security Administration office at LANL failed to ensure that a strong safety culture existed at the lab.

The AIB found that workers did not feel comfortable raising safety issues and felt pressured to “get it done at all costs.” LANL employees also raised concerns that workers were brought in with little or no experience and rushed through an inadequate training program.

“As a result,” the AIB report states, “there was a failure to adequately resolve employee concerns which could have identified the generation of non compliant waste prior to shipment” to WIPP.

‘Lessons were not learned’

The immediate cause of the 14 February 2014 explosion ‒ mixing nitrate wastes with an organic absorbent (kitty litter) ‒ was recognised as a potential problem in 2012, if not earlier. One worker told the AIB that when concerns were raised over the use of organic kitty litter as an absorbent, the employee was told to “focus on their area of expertise and not to worry about the other areas of the procedure.”

Workers noticed foaming chemicals and orange smoke rising from containers of nuclear waste at LANL, but supervisors told them to “simply wait out the reaction and return to work once the foaming ceased and the smoke subsided,” the AIB report states. “Lessons were not learned.”

No doubt some lessons have been learned as a result of the underground explosion at WIPP. But Greg Mello from the Los Alamos Study Group points to a problem that is likely to recur. LANL receives bonuses from the DOE for meeting goals such as removing nuclear waste by a certain deadline.

That deadline pressure was very much in evidence at LANL in the lead-up to the WIPP accident and it will likely weaken safety practices in future. “You can’t just say everyone has to try harder,” Mello said. “Mixing profit, deadlines and dangerous radioactive waste is incompatible.”

A February 2016 report from the DOE’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was equally scathing of LANL. “Overall, we found LANL’s corrective action program did not always adequately address issues, did not effectively prevent their recurrence, and did not consistently identify systemic problems,” the report said.

Systemic problems

LANL managers said they agreed with the OIG findings and were working to resolve problems. “The Laboratory is working closely with National Nuclear Safety Administration to address the findings of the audit report”, LANL said in a statement.

But the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) – a semi-autonomous agency within the DOE – is itself a big part of the problem of systemic mismanagement of nuclear sites. A June 2015 Government Accountability Office report strongly criticised NNSA oversight of contractors who manage the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities.

The report points to a litany of ongoing failures to properly oversee private contractors at eight nuclear sites, including those managing LANL. The report found that the NNSA lacked enough qualified staff members to oversee contractors, and it lacked guidelines for evaluating its contractors.

Greg Mello from the Los Alamos Study Group was blunt in his criticism of the NNSA: “An agency that is more than 90 percent privatized, with barely enough federal employees to sign the checks and answer the phones, is never going to be able to properly oversee billion-dollar nuclear facilities of vast complexity and danger.”



Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and editor of the newsletter, where a version of this article was originally published.

Nuclear Monitor, published 20 times a year, has been publishing deeply researched, often critical articles on all aspects of the nuclear cycle since 1978. A must-read for all those who work on this issue!



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Company Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline Spills More Oil Than Any Other Pipeline Operator in US

September 24, 2016

Protesters hold up their arms as they are threatened by private security guards near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. (photo: Robyn Beck/AFP)

By Liz Hampton, Reuters

23 September 16


unoco Logistics (SXL.N), the future operator of the oil pipeline delayed this month after Native American protests in North Dakota, spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010, according to a Reuters analysis of government data.

The lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sit a half mile south of the proposed route of the Dakota Access pipeline. The tribe fears the line could destroy sacred sites during construction and that a future oil spill might pollute its drinking water.

A tribal protest over the $3.7 billion project drew broad support from other Native American tribes, domestic and international environmental groups and Hollywood celebrities.

In response to the tribe’s objections, the U.S. government earlier this month called for a temporary halt to construction along a section of the 1,100 mile line in North Dakota near the Missouri River.

While environmental concerns are at the heart of the Standing Rock Sioux protest, there is no reference to the frequency of leaks by Sunoco or its parent Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N) in a legal complaint filed by the tribe, nor has Sunoco’s spill record informed the public debate on the line.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II told Reuters the tribe was aware of the safety record of Energy Transfer, but declined to elaborate.

Sunoco Logistics is one of the largest pipeline operators in the United States. Energy Transfer is constructing the Dakota Access pipeline to pump crude produced at North Dakota’s Bakken shale fields to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Once completed, it will hand over the pipeline’s operation to Sunoco.

Sunoco acknowledged the data and told Reuters it had taken measures to reduce its spill rate.

“Since the current leadership team took over in 2012, Sunoco Pipeline has enhanced and improved our integrity management program,” Sunoco spokesman Jeffrey Shields told Reuters by email.

This significantly cut the amount of barrels lost during incidents, he said.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not make any reference to the company’s spill rate when it decided to stall the project. It highlighted the need for reform in the way companies building infrastructure consult with Native American tribes.

Spokespeople for the Departments of Justice and the Interior, and the Army Corps declined to comment to Reuters on whether they were aware of Energy Transfer’s leak statistics when they jointly decided to halt construction of the line.

High Spill Rate

Reuters analyzed data that companies are obliged to disclose to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) when they suffer spills and found that Sunoco leaked crude from onshore pipelines at least 203 times over the last six years.

PHMSA data became more detailed in 2010. In its examination, Reuters tallied leaks in the past six years along dedicated onshore crude oil lines and excluded systems that carry natural gas and refined products. The Sunoco data include two of its pipeline units, the West Texas Gulf and Mid-Valley Pipeline.

That made it the operator with the highest number of crude leak incidents, ahead of at least 190 recorded by Enterprise Products Partners (EPD.N) and 167 by Plains All American Pipeline (PAA.N), according to the spill data reported to PHMSA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Enterprise said it has comprehensive safety and integrity programs in place and that many spills happened at its terminals.

Sunoco and Enterprise both said most leaks take place within company facilities and are therefore contained.

Plains All American did not respond to a request for comment.

Sunoco’s spill rate shows protestors may have reason to be concerned about potential leaks.

The main option that was considered for routing the line away from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation was previously discarded because it would involve crossing more water-sensitive areas north of the capital Bismarck, according to the project’s environmental assessment.

To be sure, most pipeline spills are small and pipelines are widely seen as a safer way to move fuel than alternatives such as rail.

Sunoco and its units leaked a total of 3,406 net barrels of crude in all the leaks over the last six years, only a fraction of the more than 3 million barrels lost in the largest spill in U.S. history, BP Plc’s (BP.L) Macondo well disaster in 2010.

Sunoco said it found that crude lines not in constant use were a significant source of leaks, so it had shut or repaired some of those arteries.

In 2015, 71 percent of pipeline incidents were contained within the operator’s facility, according to a report by the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, a trade group.

While total pipeline incidents have increased by 31 percent in the last five years, large spills of 500 barrels or more are down by 32 percent over the same time, the report said.

Sunoco accounted for about 8 percent of the more than 2,600 reported liquids pipeline leaks in the past six years in the United States.

Safety Overhaul

The company has made previous efforts to improve safety, a former Sunoco employee who declined to be identified said. It overhauled safety culture after a spill in 2000, and did so again another in 2005 that dumped some 6,000 barrels of crude into the Kentucky River from its Mid-Valley Pipeline.

Sunoco acknowledged that some of its pipeline equipment dates back to the 1950s.

A 2014 corrective measure regulators issued for Sunoco’s Mid-Valley Pipeline cited “some history of internal corrosion failures” as a potential factor in a leak that sent crude into a Louisiana bayou near an area used for drinking water.

Crude spills on Sunoco’s lines in 2009 and 2011 drew a rebuke from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a settlement announced this year.

The EPA said the settlement aimed to “improve the safety of Sunoco’s practices and to enhance its oil spill preparedness and response.”

In September, Sunoco received another corrective measure for its newly constructed Permian Express II line in Texas, which leaked 800 barrels of oil earlier this month. The company is already contesting a proposed $1.3 million fine from regulators for violations related to welding on that line.


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Austria announces UN resolution to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017

September 24, 2016


Austria announces UN resolution to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017

September 22, 2016

Austria’s foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz, announced on Wednesday that his country would join other UN member states in tabling a resolution next month to convene negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017.

Speaking in the high-level debate of the UN General Assembly in New York, he said that “experience shows that the first step to eliminate weapons of mass destruction is to prohibit them through legally binding norms”.

The announcement follows a landmark recommendation last month by a UN working group in Geneva for the General Assembly to convene a conference in 2017 to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

The Austrian-sponsored resolution would take forward this recommendation by establishing a formal mandate for negotiations. The deadline for tabling the resolution in the General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament matters, is 13 October.

Following the tabling, nations will debate the resolution, then vote on whether to adopt it in the final week of October or first week of November. A second, confirmatory vote will take place in a plenary session of the General Assembly early in December.

ICAN warmly welcomes Austria’s announcement. “This is a major breakthrough in global efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The resolution will be of enormous historical importance,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN.

“The proposed treaty will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been prohibited under international law. It will be a major step towards the goal of elimination,” she said.

In 2014 Austria hosted an intergovernmental conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, at which it launched a diplomatic pledge, supported by 127 nations, “to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons”.


Excerpt from Austria’s statement:

“In a world that is less and less secure and faced with more and more tensions between big powers, nuclear disarmament remains the number one unfinished business. The recent nuclear tests by DPRK [North Korea] should be a warning signal. We all agree that the humanitarian consequences of the explosion of nuclear weapons would be unacceptable, and therefore we have to finally get rid of all these nuclear weapons. Experience shows that the first step to eliminate weapons of mass destruction is to prohibit them through legally binding norms. Together with other member states, Austria will table a draft resolution to convene negotiations on a legally binding comprehensive instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017.”

Akira Kawasaki via 

4:00 AM (1 hour ago)

to abolition-japan




●9月25日(日)国連大学にて 14:00~16:30


●10月第一週 ヒバクシャ国際署名の国連総会第一委員会に対する提出行動
●10月20~21日 ピースボート、ニューヨークに寄港。被爆者と共にアク
ション <>

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Re-Indigenizing and Re-Animating the Wor

September 22, 2016
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The internet has catalyzed billions of people to transition from primarily top down to more bottom up– minded, socially, business-wise. People born after 1980 have been marinating in the internet since they were teens and it’s changed their brains– their neurobiology– so they perceive and process experiences and relationships differently.

The top down mind is a relatively recent phenomenon, a symptom of agriculture and civilization, along with hierarchy, centralization, domination, disconnection and a lot more. Some people were exposed to civilization 10,000 years ago and some were exposed four or five hundred years ago.

Before then, for 99% of the time that humans existed, they lived bottom up lives in bottom up cultures with bottom up brains. The few hundred thousand indigenous people living on the planet today STILL live bottom up lives.

The thing is, humans evolved, over a course of several million years, to function with bottom up cultures and bottom up brains, to be raised in bottom up parenting situations. Psychologist Darcia Narvaez describes in her William James Award winning book, Neurobiology of the Development of Human Morality, how hundreds of different neurobiological pathways and connections evolved to optimally blossom and unfold when they are stimulated by bottom up parenting and a “nest” that was the usual way that small hunter gatherer bands raised children.

Now, as we return to bottom up ways, it is time for us to revisit indigenous wisdom, knowhow and values. That’s why Dr. Narvaez organized the conference, Sustainable Wisdom : Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing . The idea of re-indigenization was frequently brought up as the answer to the unsustainable ways of relating to the world, to the use of energy, to nature, to each other.

I attended and participated in the conference, offering a paper in the poster session, titled, Now Is the Perfect Time To Bring Indigenous Wisdom to Western Culture.. Here’s what it said:

A bottom up revolution is sweeping western culture, catalyzed by the internet and smart phones. This revolution has changed the brain functions of people born after 1980 and has made all people and businesses far more amenable to bottom up ideas–and Indigenous ways and wisdom are bottom up in so many ways. Framing indigenous wisdom as bottom up can help make them more acceptable and embraceable by mainstream, even corporate audiences. Bottom is a concept that has been trending more and more according to Google trends. It’s producing trillions in new businesses yet also catalyzing connection consciousness–awareness of values that are similar to those at the core of Indigenous wisdom.

For a long time, the Hobbesian, dog-eat-dog, law-of-the-jungle, Darwinian view of aboriginals, characterizing them as “uncivilized” as brutal savages living lives of constant struggle to survive. But we know that aboriginal live in harmony with nature. People like the San Bushmen of Africa work 2-3 hours a day to subsist. Subsist! We talk about subsistence living as a form of deprivation, while actually, in the world of indigenous people still alive, primarily in rain forests, subsistence living works. They have 21-22 free hours a day. There is no unemployment, no mental illness. People are happy. Now, some say the indigenous peoples of the world are the truly affluent.

We have much to learn from the few surviving aboriginal peoples of the earth– their ways of living, relating, working, their values and beliefs. It would be nice to know how the hundreds of thousands of extinct aboriginal bands and tribes viewed the world because we could use their perspectives to gracefully undergo our transition, the revolution we are experiencing, moving from top down industrial era to bottom up connection era. But we CAN learn from the living Indigenous peoples.

Where we’re heading is in many ways where indigenous cultures already live. And that can be a very good thing. We need to develop ways to make it clear to “Digital Natives” who have lived all their lives, or their adolescent and adult lives immersed in bottom up technologies and cultures that indigenous wisdom and knowhow offers a pre-existing, readily available collection of insights, values, practices and teachings which can make life, work, relationships and business more moral, meaningful and sustainable.

Indigenous people can benefit from learning to use the digital vocabulary associated with bottom and top down ideas, so they can more easily and effectively communicate their ideas, values, practices and teachings TO digital natives.

The conference presentations reinforced my belief. They took me further along in thinking about Animism– a spiritual way of relating to nature that western religions criticize and treat as uncivilized, heretic, sacrilegious, blasphemous.

I realized that animism is the natural way, the healthier way to relate to nature, to all living and natural parts of our world, including rocks, trees, air, wind, as well as non-human living beings. Robin Kimmerer suggested that we stop calling our non human relatives in nature “it,” and that we start realizing that “it” is a disrespectful way to address fellow spirits of mother earth. If we are going to relate to earth in a sustainable way we need to start waking up to our connection to all aspects of nature. We need to let go of the western, pathological way of seeing humans as better and more deserving of special privilege and treatment than trees or other living members of our earth community. She suggests that instead of saying “it” we say “ki” which has roots in many languages relating to life force (like chi) and that the plural would be “kin.”

Respecting nature while not essential to the future of a sustainable world, is a very valuable, more whole way to go, in terms of adopting a way of relating to nature that produces a sustainable outcome.

This is a simple idea. Of course, critics of all sorts, from religious or political perspectives will call it tree hugging. The characterization of nature as something to be dominated, like a slave or machine is controlled, is a central part of top down civilization. Knee jerk reflexes to the contrary way, the natural way that existed before civilization, are to be expected. Resist them.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer– first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978– Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story– each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people’s consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded— which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up– The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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What You Can Do to End War on the International Day of Peace

September 21, 2016

David Swanson via

What You Can Do to End War on the International Day of Peace
By David Swanson, telesur

If you want to find peace in your heart, knock yourself out. Seriously, knock yourself out, there’s nothing more peaceful. Or if you want to find peace in your family or your neighborhood, or on the sidelines of a football game during the playing of the National Anthem, there may be no better way to do it than to pledge your allegiance to permanent war on poor foreign countries.

A school board member in Virginia once agreed to support a celebration of the International Day of Peace “as long as everyone understands that I’m not opposing any wars.”

But what if you want to find peace through the abolition of war? Then what do you do? Well, then you do the long, hard, exciting, fulfilling, nonviolent, community building work that may very well bring peace to everything from your heart to your local police department in the process, but which is aimed at reducing and eliminating the arms trade and militarism.

Have you noticed how outraged U.S. liberals can become when they discover that the U.S. National Anthem has various ties to racism? Imagine! A song that celebrates the mass slaughter of human beings during an inane quest to take over Canada (which instead got the White House burned) — that glorious treasure might be marred by a cruel and unenlightened ideology!

Did you see the news story this week about the U.S. government compensating the family of an Italian they’d blown up in a war with a payment of $1 million? What if Iraqis were given that treatment? As many families are gone entirely, let’s round down to 1 million victims with survivors left to be compensated. What’s a million times $1 million? It’s $1 trillion. What the U.S. government spends on militarism in 1 year could treat Iraqis as if they were Europeans. The next year’s funding could start in on compensating Afghans, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Libyans, Somalis, Syrians, etc.

There is an educational project needed that you can help with. It involves persuading people that war can’t be mended, that it must be ended. You might begin by sitting out a playing of the National Anthem and then explaining to people why. If you don’t want to do that alone, do it with a small group. If you don’t have a small group, Campaign Nonviolence has over 650 nonviolent war-abolition events of all sorts planned all over the place this week. Find the nearest event.

For more events all over the world, check out our events page at World Beyond War. There are art exhibitions, ship voyages, anti-nuclear lobby events, protest rallies, vigils, conferences, festivals, and long-distance walks.

Have you ever dreamed of seeing a peace movement, much less a war abolition movement, on television? Now you can. On September 23rd and 24th point your web browser and hook your computer up to your television screen to see the No War 2016 conference. (Or just watch it on your computer.) Here’s the detailed agenda of what you’ll see at what time, and bios and photos of all the speakers. This event will be three days of making the case for alternatives to war, including activist workshops on the third day, and on the next morning (Monday, the 26th) a 9 a.m. protest at the Pentagon. Come join us!

We will also be delivering to the Pentagon a petition simultaneously being delivered by U.S. whistleblowers and Germans to the German government in Berlin asking for the closure of Ramstein Air Base. On the 23rd/24th you can also catch a live stream World Beyond Warevent from Malaysia. Other events all over the world will be viewing the live stream from Washington, D.C., including this one in Berlin. Protests are also planned on the 26th inCalifornia, at West Point, and in Australia.

Wherever you are, you should catch a screening of Paying the Price for Peace and ofSnowden. The International Peace Bureau World Congress is in Berlin from September 29 to October 3rd. If you can be in Ireland or England or Germany, join the big events on October 8th. Keep Space for Peace Week is October 1 to 8, and has events everywhere.

You can always organize your own event anywhere, and World Beyond War will be glad to help you promote it. If you are looking for a tool for studying, teaching, or leading discussions, we’re just now publishing the 2016 version of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. Or use any of these videos, power points, or speakers.

Want to lobby the U.S. government for something immediately achievable? Call Congress and tell them to halt the next pending sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia to be used killing people in Yemen. Sign this petition too. There is also an opportunity right now to ban cluster bombs, and after those nuclear bombs.

If you’re convinced that activism is best directed at the edges of a broken presidential election system, here’s a useful approach: demand that debates, like the one on September 26th, include more candidates, so that the pro-war consensus gets challenged.

Another debate is underway in the world right now on the question of whether “Just War” theory is of any value. Even the Catholic Church, the creator of Just War theory, is debating whether to formally reject it. I’ve just published my argument on the topic and will be debating a Just War advocate in October. Get involved in this discussion. Ask someone on September 21st, the International Day of Peace, whether they’d like there to be peace everywhere every day. Ask them if they’d like to help make that happen.

Also, you can join a skype call with Afghan peace activists on September 21st.

There is peace in most places most of the time. Adding the last bit of the earth to that peaceful status would not violate any laws of nature. It would only violate the irrational drives and profiting greed of those who oppose peace. This will take more than a day, but we can do it.

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World War Two Was Not a Just War  

September 21, 2016

David Swanson via

World War Two Was Not a Just War

By David Swanson

Excerpted from the just released book War Is Never Just.

World War II is often called “the good war,” and has been since the U.S. war on Vietnam to which it was then contrasted. World War II so dominates U.S. and therefore Western entertainment and education, that “good” often comes to mean something more than “just.” The winner of the “Miss Italy” beauty pageant earlier this year got herself into a bit of a scandal by declaring that she would have liked to live through World War II. While she was mocked, she was clearly not alone. Many would like to be part of something widely depicted as noble, heroic, and exciting. Should they actually find a time machine, I recommend they read the statements of some actual WWII veterans and survivors before they head back to join the fun.[i] For purposes of this book, however, I am going to look only at the claim that WWII was morally just.

No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you’ve advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question. This belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is a large part of what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there’s a good war next year,[ii] even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there’s general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq or China would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me. And of course the funding generated by the Good War legend leads to more bad wars, rather than preventing them. I’ve written on this topic at great length in many articles and books, especially War Is A Lie.[iii] But I’ll offer here a few key points that ought to at least place a few seeds of doubt in the minds of most U.S. supporters of WWII as a Just War.

Mark Allman and Tobias Winright, the “Just War” authors discussed in previous chapters, are not very forthcoming with their list of Just Wars, but they do mention in passing numerous unjust elements of the U.S. role in WWII, including U.S. and U.K. efforts to wipe out the populations of German cities[iv] and the insistence on unconditional surrenders.[v] However, they also suggest that they may believe this war was justly engaged in, unjustly conducted, and justly followed through on via the Marshall Plan, etc.[vi] I’m not sure Germany’s role as host of U.S. troops, weapons, and communications stations, and as collaborator in unjust U.S. wars over the years is included in the calculation.

Here are what I think of as the top 12 reasons the Good War wasn’t good/just.

  1. World War II could not have happened without World War I, without the stupid manner of starting World War I and the even stupider manner of ending World War I which led numerous wise people to predict World War II on the spot, or without Wall Street’s funding of Nazi Germany for decades (as preferable to communists), or without the arms race and numerous bad decisions that do not need to be repeated in the future.
  2. The U.S. government was not hit with a surprise attack. President Franklin Roosevelt had quietly promised Churchill that the United States would work hard to provoke Japan into staging an attack. FDR knew the attack was coming, and initially drafted a declaration of war against both Germany and Japan on the evening of Pearl Harbor. Prior to Pearl Harbor, FDR had built up bases in the U.S. and multiple oceans, traded weapons to the Brits for bases, started the draft, created a list of every Japanese American person in the country, provided planes, trainers, and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the U.S. military that a war with Japan was beginning. He told his top advisers he expected an attack on December 1st, which was six days off. Here’s an entry in Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s diary following a November 25, 1941, White House meeting: “The President said the Japanese were notorious for making an attack without warning and stated that we might be attacked, say next Monday, for example.”
  3. The war was not humanitarian and was not even marketed as such until after it was over. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was chased away from Miami by the Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations refused to accept Jewish refugees, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa. Although this point has nothing to do with a serious historian’s case for WWII as a Just War, it is so central to U.S. mythology that I’ll include here a key passage from Nicholson Baker: “Anthony Eden, Britain’s foreign secretary, who’d been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was ‘fantastically impossible.’ On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that ‘Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.’ Churchill agreed. ‘Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,’ he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, ‘transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.’ Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere.”[vii] Perhaps it does go to the question of “Right Intention” that the “good” side of the war simply did not give a damn about what would become the central example of the badness of the “bad” side of the war.
  4. The war was not defensive. FDR lied that he had a map of Nazi plans to carve up South America, that he had a Nazi plan to eliminate religion, that U.S. ships (covertly assisting British war planes) were innocently attacked by Nazis, that Germany was a threat to the United States.[viii] A case can be made that the U.S. needed to enter the war in Europe to defend other nations, which had entered to defend yet other nations, but a case could also be made that the U.S. escalated the targeting of civilians, extended the war, and inflicted more damage than might have occurred, had the U.S. done nothing, attempted diplomacy, or invested in nonviolence. To claim that a Nazi empire could have grown to someday include an occupation of the United States is wildly far fetched and not borne out by any earlier or later examples from other wars.
  5. We now know much more widely and with much more data that nonviolent resistance to occupation and injustice is more likely to succeed—and that success more likely to last—than violent resistance. With this knowledge, we can look back at the stunning successes of nonviolent actions against the Nazis that were not well organized or built on beyond their initial successes.[ix]
  6. The Good War was not good for the troops. Lacking intense modern training and psychological conditioning to prepare soldiers to engage in the unnatural act of murder, some 80 percent of U.S. and other troops in World War II did not fire their weapons at “the enemy.”[x] The fact that veterans of WWII were treated better after the war than other soldiers before or since, was the result of the pressure created by the Bonus Army after the previous war. That veterans were given free college, healthcare, and pensions was not due to the merits of the war or in some way a result of the war. Without the war, everyone could have been given free college for many years. If we provided free college to everyone today, it would then require much more than Hollywoodized World War II stories to get many people into military recruiting stations.
  7. Several times the number of people killed in German camps were killed outside of them in the war. The majority of those people were civilians. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made WWII the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in a short space of time. We imagine the allies were somehow “opposed” to the far lesser killing in the camps. But that can’t justify the cure that was worse than the disease.
  8. Escalating the war to include the all-out destruction of civilians and cities, culminating in the completely indefensible nuking of cities took WWII out of the realm of defensible projects for many who had defended its initiation—and rightly so. Demanding unconditional surrender and seeking to maximize death and suffering did immense damage and left a grim and foreboding legacy.
  9. Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the “good” side in a war, but not for the “bad” side. The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had a long history as an apartheid state. U.S. traditions of oppressing African Americans, practicing genocide against Native Americans, and now interning Japanese Americans also gave rise to specific programs that inspired Germany’s Nazis—these included camps for Native Americans, and programs of eugenics and human experimentation that existed before, during, and after the war. One of these programs included giving syphilis to people in Guatemala at the same time the Nuremberg trials were taking place.[xi] The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war; they fit right in.[xii] The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since. German neo-Nazis today, forbidden to wave the Nazi flag, sometimes wave the flag of the Confederate States of America instead.
  10. The “good” side of the “good war,” the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn’t make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish Washington’s and Hollywood’s tales of triumph for “democracy.”[xiii]
  11. World War II still hasn’t ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn’t have their incomes taxed until World War II and that’s never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary.[xiv] WWII-era bases built around the world have never closed. U.S. troops have never left Germany or Japan.[xv] There are more than 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing.[xvi]
  12. Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn’t attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I’ve got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you’ve still got to explain how an event from the early 1940s justifies dumping a trillion 2017 dollars into war funding that could have been spent to feed, clothe, cure, and shelter millions of people, and to environmentally protect the earth.


[i] Studs Terkel, The Good War: An Oral History of World War II (The New Press: 1997).

[ii] Chris Hellman, TomDispatch, “$1.2 Trillion for National Security,” March 1, 2011,

[iii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).

[iv] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 46.

[v] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 14.

[vi] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 97.

[vii] War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing, edited by Lawrence Rosendwald.

[viii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).

[ix] Book and Film: A Force More Powerful,

[x] Dave Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society(Back Bay Books: 1996).

[xi] Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times, “U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Tests in Guatemala,” October 1, 2010,

[xii] Annie Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (Little, Brown and Company, 2014).

[xiii] Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States (Gallery Books, 2013).

[xiv] Steven A. Bank, Kirk J. Stark, and Joseph J. Thorndike, War and Taxes (Urban Institute Press, 2008).

[xv], “Move Away from Nonstop War. Close the Ramstein Air Base,”

[xvi] David Swanson, “The United States Just Bombed Germany,”

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Protesting at the Pentagon Next Monday

September 21, 2016

David Swanson via

It’s time to protest war at the Pentagon. Please try to come, and forward this to everyone you know who might!

Sunday, September 25: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Planning/Training Session for the Next Day’s Nonviolent Action. Meet at American University Kay Center Chapel. Find it here. This meeting is part of a conference that is full to capacity, but this and other events Sunday afternoon and evening have extra space. Events in the Founders Room are full, but workshops and events in other locations are not.

Monday, September 26: 9:00 a.m. Nonviolent Action at Pentagon. Our gathering will begin outside The Pentagon near the top of the Metro subway escalators (the Pentagon stop) next to the bus bay. Bring your signs and banners and join our spirited nonviolent witness against war!Here’s why. We will also be delivering to the Pentagon a petition to close Ramstein Air Base in Germany, as U.S. whistleblowers and Germans together deliver it to the German government in Berlin.

This action is one of over 650 nonviolent actions planned around the country this week. See the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions. And see World Beyond War’s events page.

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