Archive for the ‘No nukes’ Category

Obama: Prevent nuclear war!

January 18, 2017

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To US President Barack Obama:
We call on you to help the world avoid nuclear war by signing an executive order to remove the US’s nuclear missiles from “high alert” status.

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696,670 have signed. Let’s get to 750,000
What’s the scariest thing about Trump?? He’s completely unpredictable, and if he decides to launch US nuclear weapons — there’s nothing that can stop him.

That’s cause once the President says “go”, there’s just 4 minutes til launch. It’s a crazy dangerous system that started in the Cold War and is totally unnecessary today — which is why when Obama was elected he said it was dangerous and that he’d change it.

But if he doesn’t do it in the next couple days, Obama turns our safety over to the whims of unstable Donald Trump. With just days left in office and competing priorities, he won’t get around to it without massive global pressure. Respected politicians, government officials and military figures have already joined the call — now if we get a petition in the millions and deliver it in Washington with a big splash, our community can put this issue at the top of the US news in his final week.

But we need to move FAST — he needs to hear from everyone who could be in danger (which is…literally everyone!!!). Add your name and then share the page on Facebook, Twitter, everywhere.
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Barack Obama urged to take nuclear weapons off high alert to stop Donald Trump ‘blowing up planet’

January 18, 2017

The President-elect has made a series of controversial comments about nuclear weapons

Andrew Buncombe New York @AndrewBuncombe Friday 6 January 2017515 comments

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The Independent Online
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Experts want Mr Obama to act before Mr Trump takes office AP
A group of arms control experts has urged President Barack Obama to take America’s nuclear weapons off a state of high alert before Donald Trump takes office to stop him “impulsively blowing up the planet”.

The Ploughshares Fund, which was established at the height of the Cold War, has started a petition asking Mr Obama to move the weapons from their hair-trigger status. It said the ever-present risk of a nuclear exchange being triggered erroneously, combined with Mr Trump’s incendiary comments and temperament, could risk the “worst disaster imaginable”.

The demand has received the support of politicians, retired military officers and government officials. Former US Defence Secretary William Perry told The Independent he was “worried about” both Mr Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

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The petition, which has more than 60,000 signatures, says: “President Trump could launch 140 warheads in the time it takes to write 140 characters. The grave difference is: a tweet can be deleted, but the devastation of a nuclear warhead can never be undone.”

Tom Collina, the group’s director of policy, said the petition had been started amid concerns about Mr Trump’s temperament. The President-elect has startled policy observers by his calls to expand America’s nuclear arsenal, to encourage countries such as South Korea to develop its own weapons and even his apparent willingness to engage in an arms race.

“Our proposals would build in some extra time, and to make take longer to launch,” said Mr Collina. “The concern is mainly about false alarms. That is when you need cool heads. If you have someone who is impulsive… ”

The group, which is made up of scientists and policy experts, has for many years urged Mr Obama to take US weapons off high alert. They argue having almost 1,000 land-based missiles ready to launch in minutes is a dangerous holdover from the Cold War, when deterrent theory postulated that the US had to be able to respond to a Soviet launch within minutes, or else its own weapons could be destroyed.

But given that many nuclear weapons are now carried in submarines and bombers, not vulnerable to a Russian strike on the US mainland, the need for such rapid response is greatly reduced.

Donald Trump says ‘let it be an arms race’ after nuclear expansion tweet
Indeed, keeping them in such a state increases the danger of a missile being launched by mistake. There have been numerous reported incidents over the past 30 years of the US believing it was under attack from the Russians, only to discover – with just minutes before a potential counter-strike – the “Russian launch” was was in truth a computer glitch or else a Scandinavian weather satellite.

“On January 20, the military officer carrying the codes for America’s nuclear arsenal will follow President Barack Obama to the inaugural platform. When he leaves, the officer will follow President Donald Trump,” says the petition.

“We will then have a president who reportedly said, ‘If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them’. Will he really order a nuclear attack in the next four years? No one knows. But if he does, no one can stop him.”

It adds: “President Trump will be able to launch, within minutes, one or one thousand nuclear warheads without any vote, any check, or even any serious deliberation. Just one missile could kill millions. Once launched, the missiles could not be recalled.”

Last summer, a group of ten Democratic senators, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Al Franken, wrote to Mr Obama, urging him to review spending on nuclear weapons. They also asked him to remove the weapons from high alert status by cancelling so-called “launch-on-warning plans”.

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Since the election victory of Mr Trump, such concerns have grown.

The President-elect has raised the eyebrows of many nuclear experts with comments that broke with decades of US strategic policy. Last month, he sparked fears of a new global nuclear arms race with a tweet that reverberated around the world in which he called on the US to expand its nuclear arsenal until “the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.

He also suggested that the “better off” other countries, including Japan and South Korea, should have nuclear capabilities. He subsequently said: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

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Mr Perry, who served as Bill Clinton’s defence secretary between 1994 to 1997, has emerged as an expert on disarmament issues and long advocated a restructuring of America’s nuclear arsenal. He said this included greater reliance on missiles carried by submarines and planes.

Asked about the threat potentially posed by Mr Trump, he said: “What is dangerous is the build up forces and then flaunting it. He talks about it, and that can start an arms race, and he has said he would be prepared to use nuclear weapons on a first-strike basis.”

He said there were “always concerns” about the temperament of Russian and US leaders. “I don’t have any personal knowledge of Putin or Trump, but I worry about both of them.”

Last month, Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, wrote an opinion article for the Huffington Post, in which he said: “It’s too late to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. But it is not too late to stop him from impulsively blowing up the planet.

READ MORE
Trump confident North Korea won’t be able to hit US with nuke
Donald Trump’s dramatic and hypocritical u-turn on nuclear weapons
Bernie Sanders asks Congress to stop Trump launching nuclear arms race
“With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama could take our nuclear missiles off high alert, making sure that President Trump could not launch them rashly. If he doesn’t do this, we will all regret it.”

James McKeon, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council for a Livable World, said the need to reduce such risks was pressing, regardless of who was commander-in-chief. “We don’t think such weapons should be on a high-trigger alert,” he said.

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The closing of Indian Point and the future of nuclear power plants

January 12, 2017

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Environment
The closing of Indian Point and the future of nuclear power plants
This comes in the face of nuclear power plant accidents­ ­and competitive power being less expensive including renewable and safe solar and wind energy.

By Karl Grossman – January 12, 2017 | News Analysis 1 Comment 65
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The good – ­the very good­ – energy news is that the Indian Point nuclear power plants 26 miles north of New York City will be closed in the next few years under an agreement reached between New York State and the plants’ owner, Entergy.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has long been calling for the plants to be shut down because, as the New York Times related in its story on the pact, they pose “too great a risk to New York City.” Environmental and safe-energy organizations have been highly active for decades in working for the shutdown of the plants. Under the agreement, one Indian Point plant will shut down by April 2020, the second by April 2021.

They would be among the many nuclear power plants in the U.S. which their owners have in recent years decided to close or have announced will be shut down in a few years.

This comes in the face of nuclear power plant accidents­ – the most recent the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan – ­and competitive power being less expensive including renewable and safe solar and wind energy.

Last year the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska closed following the shutdowns of Kewanee in Wisconsin, Vermont Yankee in Vermont, Crystal River 3 in Florida and both San Onofre 2 and 3 in California. Nuclear plant operators say they will close Palisades in Michigan next year and then Oyster Creek in New Jersey and Pilgrim in Massachusetts in 2019 and California’s Diablo Canyon 1 in 2024 and Diablo Canyon 3 in 2025.

This brings the number of nuclear plants down to a few more than 90­a far cry from President Richard Nixon’s scheme to have 1,000 nuclear plants in the U.S. by the year 2000.

But the bad – ­the very bad­ – energy news is that there are still many promoters of nuclear power in industry and government still pushing and, most importantly, the transition team of incoming President Donald Trump has been “asking for ways to keep nuclear power alive,” as Bloomberg news reported last month.

As I was reading last week the first reports on the Indian Point agreement, I received a phone call from an engineer who has been in the nuclear industry for more than 30 years­with his view of the situation.

The engineer, employed at nuclear plants and for a major nuclear plant manufacturer, wanted to relate that even with the Indian Point news­“and I’d keep my fingers crossed that there is no disaster involving those aged Indian Point plants in those next three or four years”­nuclear power remains a “ticking time bomb.” Concerned about retaliation, he asked his name not be published.

Here is some of the information he passed on­a story of experiences of an engineer in the nuclear power industry for more than three decades and his warnings and expectations.

The secretive INPO report system

Several months after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in March 1979, the nuclear industry set up the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) based in Atlanta, Georgia. The idea was to have a nuclear industry group that “would share information” on problems and incidents at nuclear power plants, he said.

If there is a problem at one nuclear power plant, through an INPO report it is communicated to other nuclear plant operators. Thus the various plant operators could “cross-reference” happenings at other plants and determine if they might apply to them.

The reports are “coded by color,” explained the engineer. Those which are “green” involve an incident or condition that might or might not indicate a wider problem. A “yellow” report is on an occurrence “that could cause significant problems down the road.” A “red” report is the most serious and represents “a problem that could have led to a core meltdown”­and could be present widely among nuclear plants and for which action needs to be taken immediately.

The engineer said he has read more than 100 “Code Red” reports. What they reflect, he said, is that “we’ve been very, very lucky so far!”

If the general public would see these “red” reports, its view on nuclear power would turn strongly negative, said the engineer.

But this is prevented by INPO, “created and solely funded by the nuclear industry,” thus its reports “are not covered by the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and are regarded as highly secretive.” The reports should be required to be made public, said the engineer. “It’s high time the country wakes up to the dangers we undergo with nuclear power plants.”

The NRC inspection farce

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is supposed to be the federal agency that is the watchdog over nuclear power plants and it frequently boasts of how it has “two resident inspectors” at each nuclear power plant in the nation, he noted.

However, explained the engineer, “the NRC inspectors are not allowed to go into the plant on their own. They have to be escorted. There can be no surprise inspections. Indeed, the only inspections that can be made are those that come after the NRC inspectors “get permission from upper management at the plant.”

The inspectors “have to contact upper management and say they want to inspect an area. The word is then passed down from management that inspectors are coming­so ‘clean up’ whatever is the situation is.”

“The inspectors hands are tied,” said the engineer.

The 60- and now 80-year operating delusion

When nuclear power plants were first designed decades ago, explained the engineer, the extent of their mechanical life was established at 40 years. The engineer is highly familiar with these calculations having worked for a leading manufacturer of nuclear plants, General Electric.

The components in nuclear plants, particularly their steel parts, “have an inherent working shelf life,” said the engineer.

In determining the 40-year total operating time, the engineer said that calculated were elements that included the wear and tear of refueling cycles, emergency shutdowns and the “nuclear embrittlement from radioactivity that impacts on the nuclear reactor vessel itself including the head bolts and other related piping, and what the entire system can handle. Further, the reactor vessel is the one component in a nuclear plant that can never be replaced because it becomes so hot with radioactivity. If a reactor vessel cracks, there is no way of repairing it and any certainty of containment of radioactivity is not guaranteed.”

Thus the U.S. government limited the operating licenses it issued for all nuclear power plants to 40 years. However, in recent times the NRC has “rubber-stamped license extensions” of an additional 20 years now to more than 85 of the nuclear plants in the country­permitting them to run for 60 years. Moreover, a push is now on, led by nuclear plant owners Exelon and Dominion, to have the NRC grant license extensions of 20 additional years­to let nuclear plants run for 80 years.

Exelon, the owner of the largest number of nuclear plants in the U.S., last year announced it would ask the NRC to extend the operating licenses of its two Peach Bottom plants in Pennsylvania to 80 years. Dominion declared earlier that it would seek NRC approval to run its two Surry nuclear power plants in Virginia for 80 years.

“That a nuclear plant can run for 60 years or 80 years is wishful thinking,” said the engineer. “The industry has thrown out the window all the data developed about the lifetime of a nuclear plant. It would ignore the standards to benefit their wallets, for greed, with total disregard for the country’s safety.”

The engineer went on that since “Day One” of nuclear power, because of the danger of the technology, “they’ve been playing Russian roulette­putting one bullet in the chamber and hoping that it would not fire. By going to 60 years and now possibly to 80 years, “they’re putting all the bullets in every chamber­and taking out only one and pulling the trigger.”

Further, what the NRC has also been doing is not only letting nuclear plants operate longer but “uprating” them­allowing them to run “hotter and harder” to generate more electricity and ostensibly more profit. “Catastrophe is being invited,” said the engineer.

The carbon-free myth

A big argument of nuclear promoters in a period of global warming and climate change is that “reactors aren’t putting greenhouse gases out into the atmosphere,” noted the engineer.

But this “completely ignores” the “nuclear chain”­the cycle of the nuclear power process that begins with the mining of uranium and continues with milling, enrichment and fabrication of nuclear fuel “and all of this is carbon intensive.” There are the greenhouse gasses discharged during the construction of the steel and formation of the concrete used in nuclear plants, transportation that is required, and in the construction of the plants themselves.

“It comes back to a net gain of zero,” said the engineer.

Meanwhile, “we have so many ways of generating electric power that are far more truly carbon-free.”

The bottom line

“The bottom line,” said the engineer, “is that radioactivity is the deadliest material which exists on the face of this planet­and we have no way of controlling it once it is out. With radioactivity, you can’t see it, smell it, touch it or hear it­and you can’t clean it up. There is nothing with which we can suck up radiation.”

Once in the atmosphere­once having been emitted from a nuclear plant through routine operation or in an accident­“that radiation is out there killing living tissue whether it be plant, animal or human life and causing illness and death.”

What about the claim by the nuclear industry and promoters of nuclear power within the federal government of a “new generation” of nuclear power plants that would be safer? The only difference, said the engineer, is that it might be a “different kind of gun­but it will have the same bullets: radioactivity that kills.”

The engineer said “I’d like to see every nuclear plant shut down­yesterday.”

In announcing the agreement on the closing of Indian Point, Governor Cuomo described it as a “ticking time bomb.” There are more of them. Nuclear power overall remains, as the experienced engineer from the nuclear industry said, a “ticking time bomb.”

And every nuclear power plant needs to be shut down.

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Karl Grossman
Karl Grossman is an author for NationofChange.

We stop at zero: Stop nuclear holocaust!

December 31, 2016

Global Zero Team globalzero@globalzero.org via mail.salsalabs.net
10:36 AM (4 hours ago)

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Dear Friend,

Global Zero is on the frontlines of a grassroots uprising. One that rejects the zealous cynicism that props up nuclear weapons and our leaders’ willingness to use them. One that says without reservation that holding entire nations at risk can no longer be tolerated for the sake of “deterrence” and “security.”

One that insists: We will not be complicit. This cannot be done in our name. It does not have to be this way.

Generations from now, people are going to look back and recall that the greatest advances in the human condition — from the end of apartheid to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to marriage equality and climate justice — were driven by people-powered movements that fought the status quo.

They’ll say the same of nuclear weapons.

With hope,
Derek, Meredith, Mary, Lilly and the rest of the Global Zero team

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Under Nuclear Shadow of Trump, Abe’s Pearl Harbor Visit Mixes Business and Penitence

December 28, 2016

Published on
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
byCommon Dreams

Veteran’s peace group issues apology to people of Japan and the world for 1945 nuclear attacks
byLauren McCauley, staff writer

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presents a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Hono­lulu on Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo: Hugh Gentry/Reuters)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presents a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Hono­lulu on Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo: Hugh Gentry/Reuters)
Overshadowed by the threats of a renewed nuclear arms race under incoming President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama made a historic visit to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday in a symbolic show of unity and reconciliation.

Daniel Kritenbrink, Obama’s top Asia adviser in the White House, said the visit was part of an effort to “directly deal with even the most sensitive aspects of our shared history.”

Although Japanese leaders have visited Oahu’s Pearl Harbor before, “Abe will be the first to visit the memorial constructed on the hallowed waters above the sunken USS Arizona,” AP notes, where more than 2,300 Americans died during the Dec. 7, 1941 bombing, spurring U.S. engagement in World War II.

Last spring, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, where U.S. forces dropped an atomic bomb, killing 140,000 people and effectively ending the war.

“Abe will not apologize for Pearl Harbor, his government has said. Nor did Obama apologize at Hiroshima in May,” AP noted, which many observers saw as a slight, given the United States’ vast nuclear weapons arsenal.

We need you

Despite the leaders’ unrepentance, national military organization Veterans for Peace issued a statement of atonement on Tuesday to the people of Japan “and to all the people of the world” for U.S.’ usage of nuclear weapons.

“This hugely atrocious crime against humanity should never have happened,” the group stated. “As military veterans who have come to see the tragic futility of war, we promise that we will continue working for peace and disarmament.”

While recognizing “the historic significance” of the two visits, the group says they “continue to be dismayed at the lack of accountability that the U.S. has taken towards unleashing the most devastating attack the world has ever seen.”

To date, the “U.S. remains the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons, of which the side effects are still being felt today, seventy years later,” the veterans note.

Tuesday’s ceremony comes against the troubling backdrop of a potentially renewed nuclear arms race after the president-elect declared on Twitter last week that the U.S. “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability,” and later expanded on those comments, saying: “Let it be an arms race.”

What’s more, Washington Post’s David Nakamura adn Brittany Lyte reported Tuesday, “the geopolitical backdrop for the event has been clouded by President-elect Donald Trump’s pugnacious and unpredictable foreign-policy pronouncements. During the campaign, Trump raised alarms in both countries when he questioned the value of the U.S. military’s basing agreements in Japan and suggested the island nation consider developing its own nuclear weapons.”

Abe was the first national leader to visit Trump following his November victory and, according to the Japan Times, the Japanese leader “hopes his trip will be seen favorably by Trump and his advisers as they begin to address the U.S.-Japan relationship.”

As Sheila Smith, a Japan expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Post: “What Abe will want to do with Trump is to hug him close, and teach him about Japan and Asia.”

“I suspect they’re holding their breath a little bit,” Smith added. “But I do think in Mr. Abe’s personal visit and his subsequent follow-up, he’s trying to be the ally of choice for Mr. Trump.”

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“Let it be an arms race:” The Nuclear Nighmare holds the world hostage

December 27, 2016

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The Cold War for Kids: Arms Race
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It would take only a few hundred nukes to kill almost all the people on earth, who live on 12% of the landmass. The US has more than enough to annihilate humanity many times over…..more nukes does not mean more safety but more risk.

“A recently declassified document shared by nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein gives the verdict that scientists at the Los Alamos laboratory and test site reached in 1945. They found that “it would require only in the neighborhood of 10 to 100 Supers of this type” to put the human race in peril.”

Today’s bombs are incredibly more lethal. North Korea has deterred attacks with only a handful of nukes, but enough to wipe out Seoul and Tokyo. The beneficiaries of more nukes is the military/industrial complex which trades the risk of annihilation for more profits.

War is a racket (Smedley Butler).Never forget that essential fact.

The CBO has been banned from making a cost estimate on the Nuclear Modernization Act, meaning a blank check for the merchants of death. In all other nuclear nations, nuclear capacity will be increased as a response to an obvious threat.

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As a Chrismas present to the world, a few days ago, a man not yet President and lacking popular support, brought into focus the threat of nuclear annihilation in one tweet: “Let it be an arms race.”

This was in response to the game of ego-driven chicken he was playing with Putin who had warned that Russia could not be defeated with nuclear threats, from NATO, the US, or anywhere. I decided to look into the scale of the terror that Trump has unleashed, as tho waking up from one of the recurrent nightmares of my youth that indeed, nuclear war had started. Below I explore the scale of the threat and the rationality of the fear.

One current nuclear bomb has the force of 15,000 kilotons, compared to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which had 15.

So the current active US arsenal of 2000 bombs had this much more force than the first bomb dropped: 2000 x 15000 =30 million kilotons. This is enough to flatten 2 million large cities. This is enough to kill every living thing on earth.

Why would anyone in his right mind think it makes sense to have more capacity?

Here is the kind of “defense” that Trump supporters are promoting (from OEN discussion forum): “These statements about upgrading nuclear arsenals could be jockeying for eventual arms reduction negotiations.”

This brings to mind Einstein’s insight that “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”

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Albert Einstein quotes – Quote Coyote page 2
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Against this insight is the Nixon Madman Theory which Trump has adopted: “I call it the Madman Theory, Bob (Haldeman) . I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry–and he has his hand on the nuclear button” and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.”

new-nix-tv

The man who inspires Trump to use the Madman Theory…….

“In October 1969, the Nixon administration indicated to the Soviet Union that “the madman was loose” when the United States military was ordered to full global war readiness alert (unbeknownst to the majority of the American population), and bombers armed with thermonuclear weapons flew patterns near the Soviet border for three consecutive days” Wikipedia

If Trump had been reading history instead of Hitler’s speeches, he might have realized that the Madman theory led only to more slaughter, never to peace.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Santayana

Those who defend state terrorism fail to understand that it is not only the tool of Tyrants but leads to death and destruction.

Why would anyone in his right mind support a man who wants more capacity to destroy the earth not 30 times but more? To argue that this is a “negotiating tactic” is like claiming a man brandishing an assault weapon is negotiating.

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Hiroshima after the bomb
Hiroshima after the bomb
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150,000 died in Hiroshima, almost all women, children, the elderly, and the wounded. Today, we have the power to destroy 2 million Hiroshimas….do we need more?

It is not the people but the new Trump regime which seeks to reverse the decline in nuclear weapons and begin an arms race.

” In a 2002 CCFR survey, 22% of Americans said that the US should never use nuclear weapons under any circumstances, 55% said only in response to a nuclear attack, and 21% said that in certain circumstances, the US should use nuclear weapons even if it has not suffered a nuclear attack. These numbers remained remarkably consistent over the next decade, with replies in 2010 being exactly the same 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll found that 35% most fear a nuclear war putting an end to humanity, compared to 23% who worry about a deadly virus, 15% the Rapture, 15% global warming, and 8% an asteroid hitting the Earth.

And to round out the subject, in a 2010 Pew survey 64% approved of Barack’s Obama’s declaration that the US would never use nuclear weapons against a nation that did not have them, but 30% did not want to take that option off the table” source: Roper Center

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.Storax Sedan. underground nuclear test – July 1962
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Underground test 1962. The next year, JFK signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Three months later, he was murdered.

So a robust majority of Americans do not support first strike or escalating the risk with threats. This highlights the fact that Trump does not represent most people but a minority which includes those who fear the Rapture more than a Nuclear War.

When the minority takes power and promotes programs that the vast majority oppose, that is tyranny. The only responses are revolution…or surrender.

The Roper article reports: ” A look back into history, however, shows that the idea of starting a nuclear war has not always been unthinkable to many Americans.”

The public has changed its view, but tragically, our new leadership is a step backward towards a world at risk of nuclear annihilation.

As I read the latest book about the assassination of JFK (Mary’s Mosaic), I am reminded that one of the reasons the Pentagon and CIA hated Kennedy enough to kill him was that he had rejected two proposals to use nukes, in Vietnam and against Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The US build-up of nukes reached a peak in 1965 with 31,000 When JFK took office, the stockpile was 18,500. He had led the campaign to end nuclear testing and rejecting using nukes except in self-defense.

On August 5, 1963, after more than eight years of difficult negotiations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

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JFK MURDER SOLVED
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Three months after the Test Ban Treaty was signed……..the Day that changed history…..all hopes for peace died.

The JFKLibrary reports: “John F. Kennedy had supported a ban on nuclear weapons testing since 1956. He believed a ban would prevent other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons, and took a strong stand on the issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. Once elected, President Kennedy pledged not to resume testing in the air and promised to pursue all diplomatic efforts for a test ban treaty before resuming underground testing. He envisioned the test ban as a first step to nuclear disarmament.”

Three months after signing the Test Ban Treaty, he was murdered.

Months after the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed…………

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52 years later, his dreams have been destroyed by a usurper, whose views contradict the views of the American public and 40 years of de-escalation.

At the time of JFK, the USSR only has 8% the nukes of the US, enough to destroy the planet. Under LBJ the US arsenal doubled which provoked the Soviet Union to quadruple its arsenal.

Trump’s tweet to begin a reversal of the nuclear nightmare is a repudiation of the Start Treaty:The (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994.

The New Start Treaty was signed on 8 April 2010 and, after ratification entered into force on 5 February 2011.[1] It is expected to last at least until 2021.”

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New START – Wikipedia
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Obama and Medvedev sign Start II to reduce nuclear arms;in the meantime a one trillion moderniation program (no new nukes but expensive new delivery ssystems and upgrades to existing weapons) has been approved, with a blank check, as the CBO was banned from conducting a cost analysis.

Trump, who ran on improving relations with Russia, has announced he will scrap the the New Start Treaty. Incompetence or insanity? Putin does not want an arms race and continues to cut defense. The friendship is a charade, as both men know.

One knee-jerk tweet by a man who 5 months ago did not know what the nuclear triad is, has destroyed the safety provided by the reduction of nuclear weapons. History teaches us that those who rule without consent, without popular support, must rely on force, intimidation, and lies. One of the most effective ways to short-circuit rational thinking is through fear, or state terrorism. We know have a man, unprepared to take power, who is both irrational, impulsive, and ignorant of nuclear strategy and policy. Fear is used to control the masses by Trump, and by activating this fear, has shown, before taking office, and having already angered China, Russia, and their ally Iran, that he will use the threat of state terrorism, backed up by the “negotiating tactic”: of brandishing a world-ending arsenal, that he is a grave danger to all humanity.

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Putin’s .Modern Love. – The New Yorker
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The question is: who will restrain him. Will Putin’s careful flattery and moderation calm the waters, or will Trump’s provocations only embolden the hard-liners in Russia, whom Putin has so far restrained? Will the majority of Americans who disapprove of Trump stand up or……………….surrender? Will the legacy of our martyred President Kennedy be once more betrayed by a man intent on proving he has the biggest bombs? Enough not only to destroy the enemy (his friend, Putin) but all humanity many times over?

98% of arms races end in war. What are the chances that a nuclear arms race would defy the odds? It assumes rational leaders: do we have a rational leader, a man who would reverse 40 years of policy in a tweet?

Today I awoke not from a nuclear nightmare but to one. Merry Christmas!

(Article changed on December 27, 2016 at 18:20)

retired, working radical egalitarian/libertarian socialist old school independent, vegan, survivor

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

[ICAN] UNGA officially adopts ban treaty resolution!

December 24, 2016

Dec. 24, 2016

Hello everyone!

The United Nations General Assembly just formally adopted the resolution to start negotiations for the ban treaty!

The resolution was adopted by a large majority, with 113 UN member states voting in favour, 35 voting against and 13 abstaining. Several governments even switched to ‘Yes’ from the October vote. You can be sure that this was down to the efforts of ICAN campaigners in those countries to get their governments back onside.

You might notice that the ‘Yes’ numbers were a bit lower than for the First Committee vote, but that is mainly down to the fact that the vote took place late at night on Friday before the Christmas holiday. Many government missions were apparently already closed for the holidays. The vote came much later than expected, and we know now that this was due to the UN’s bureaucratic processes, as well as attempts by the United States to withdraw funding for the resolution.

Fortunately the momentum was unstoppable and the path is now clear for negotiations!

Please read and share ICAN’s article about the vote and the next steps: http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/un-general-assembly-approves-historic-resolution/

ICAN’s Press Release was just released to our international media contacts. Feel free to translate and adapt for your local contexts as well. It is attached in Word form below.

Congratulations again to all you ICAN campaigners out there who made this happen. History is in the making and we wouldn’t be in this position without your tireless efforts. The ban is coming!

An extra happy holidays to all!

Daniel

Sole Control of the Use of Our Nuclear Weapons

December 3, 2016

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A mushroom cloud. (photo: Medium)

Sole Control of the Use of Our Nuclear Weapons
By Ronnie Dugger, Reader Supported News
02 December 16

he American president decides entirely alone whether to explode our nation’s nuclear weapons on foreign targets. This has been true ever since President Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but not of a third Japanese city because of, he said in a cabinet meeting, “all those kids.” Strategy and targeting are worked out in advance under the president’s control. Like every president since Truman, President-elect Donald Trump will soon be our elected dictator over our atom-splitting bombs.

The other seven more-and-less democracies and one dictatorship that are nuclear-armed vary in their arrangements for who fires off their nuclear weapons. In Russia, whose chief on-media propagandist now brags that his country can reduce the United States to ashes, President Vladimir Putin, the defense minister, and the chief of the general staff share control over the nation’s nuclear codes. In Pakistan also three persons, the prime minister, the president, and a third person who is not identified, must agree on it before launching their nuclear bombs. If the British prime minister can’t do it, two of her deputies can. The heads of state in China, India, France, and Israel control their nations’ nuclear warheads, as presumably the dictator of North Korea does too.

Last March a senior fellow in foreign policy at the respected Brookings Institution, Michael E. O’Hanlon, focused on this solitary power of the American president “to kill tens or hundreds of millions” of people and proposed that the awesome fact should be focused on and changed.

On the use of nuclear weapons in war, O’Hanlon wrote, the U.S. “needs additional checks and balances” and “a model” that we should share with other nuclear-armed nations. He proposed the president should be required to consult in advance with leaders of Congress, and he provisionally suggested requiring approval of such use by a majority of six other officials, the House Speaker, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the majority and minority leaders of both chambers.

O’Hanlon explained that the U.S. president “can, in theory, launch nuclear warfare by personal decision – without any checks or balances” and added that “a President could push the button all by himself or herself, legally- and constitutionally-speaking.” If the secretary of Defense, the chief of the Strategic Command, or lower-down military personnel, charged to carry out a president’s order to launch nuclear bombs, refused to do it, O’Hanlon wrote, that would be “open insubordination, subject to dismissal and court-martial.”

The War Powers Act of 1973 requires Congressional approval of a president’s military action within 60 days of its inception, but if that action was nuclear bombs, after two months millions, even billions, could be dead.

It is unlikely, O’Hanlon wrote, but we “could have a mentally ill President who chose to do the unthinkable,” with “the possibility of completely intentional nuclear war initiated by a psychotic, schizophrenic, or otherwise unbalanced leader. Again, for all his barbs and insults and affected anger, Trump is likely not such a person. But his candidacy is enough to at least raise the salience of the question.”

President-elect Trump, soon to have sole total authority over the use of the nation’s 4,500 nuclear weapons – many more than a thousand of them on hair-trigger launch-on-warning alert – has been thinking intensely about nuclear weapons for at least four decades and has five clearly-declared convictions concerning them.

One, Trump believes nuclear weapons and their proliferation are the most important issue in the world. “[I]t’s unthinkable, the power,” he says. “The biggest risk for this world or this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons.”

Two, for him the strong taboo against more nations getting nuclear weapons no longer holds: South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia should probably – it would be OK with him – get national nuclear arsenals of their own. Speaking about South Korea and Japan he said, “If they do, they do. Good luck. Enjoy yourselves, folks.” Japan will do it whether we like it or not, in his opinion, and, he said this year, “I would rather have Japan have some form of defense or even offense against that maniac who runs North Korea,” the president, Kim Jong-un.

Three, campaigning for president, he said he does not want to be the one to detonate nuclear weapons first and that only as “an absolute last step” would he order the military to fire them off. But he added, “I’m never going to rule anything out,” and, as for other nations, “at a minimum I want them to think maybe we would use them.”

Four, Trump believes that deterrence theory, the mutual-assured-destruction foundation of the 20th century nuclear arms race, does not prevent nuclear war among rival lesser nuclear-armed nations as it has between the U.S. and Russia. When he was 38, in 1987, he told reporter Ron Rosenbaum, “The deterrence of mutual assured destruction that prevents the United States and the USSR from nuking each other won’t work on the level of an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange. Or a madman dictator with a briefcase-bomb team. The only answer,” he advocated passionately, “is for the Big Two [the U.S. and the Soviet Union then] to make a deal now to step in and prevent the next generation of nations about to go nuclear from doing so. By whatever means necessary.”

As I reported on Reader Supported News last July 15th, approaching his 40th year Trump seriously wanted to be the chief United States negotiator with the Soviet Union to make that deal. His plan was to sell the USSR his idea and proposal that, via trade maneuvers by the U.S. and Soviet “retaliation,” the “Big Two” should gang up on lesser nuclear nations to coerce and force them to give up their nuclear weapons. “You do whatever is necessary,” he said, “so these people will have riots in the street, so they can’t get water, so they can’t get Band-Aids, so they can’t get food. Because that’s the only thing that’s going to do it – the people, the riots.” He said his plan applied against France, too, if France would not give up its nuclear bombs.

Five, Trump, running for president, said that nuclear weapons are going to be used now in the present world. “We’re dealing with people in the world that would use [nuclear weapons], OK?” he told the board of The New York Times. “You have many people that would use it right now in this world.” Characterizing North Korea’s Kim as “like a maniac” and “a madman,” Trump said this year Kim “is sick enough” to use his nuclear weapons.

Yet Trump also has said he is willing to meet with Kim, and he declared during a policy conference he had with his now-chief strategist Steve Bannon last December that if he was elected, he would have U.S. citizens who were imprisoned in North Korea back on American shores before his swearing-in.

It would seem as a logical matter that because of Trump’s fifth conviction that nuclear weapons will be used, if as president he comes into a war-potential situation with another nuclear-armed nation other than Russia or perhaps China, he is likelier than he would be without that conviction to launch U.S. nuclear weapons first against that adversary, thinking that if he did not, the adversary nation well might launch them against us first.

Beyond that, during his campaign Trump displayed and enacted his lifelong rule to always seek revenge; his impulsiveness and quickness to anger; his apparent indifference to the pain he causes others; and his huge ego, his statement that just about meant that on foreign policy he confers most respectfully with himself. These and related considerations led some prominent citizens to exclaim that he should not get his hands on the nuclear codes.

But, Six, Trump also said in passing this year on his way to becoming the most powerful person on earth next January that bad things will happen for us with nuclear weapons “if we don’t eliminate them.” That, too, is in his mind. Let’s go bold and call this his sixth line of thought about all the nuclear warheads.

One Man With All Humanity at His Mercy

Who controls our nuclear arsenal is so important for the continuing life and existence of humanity, I suggest, for my part, that President Obama and the Congress now meeting in its final session, and if and as necessary then President Trump and the new Congress next year, take up this subject to have the launching of our nuclear arsenal not for only the president to decide, but rather for the control to belong to the collective deciding power of a small group of our national leaders.

Concerning those who defend limiting to the one person the power to kill millions of us and possibly escalate us into the end of humanity, in self-defense we citizens, as if channeling the Captain of the Good Ship Enterprise, should tell Congress and the president of this new plan, “Make it so.”

Barack Obama, the most powerful person on earth for seven more weeks, as surprised as most are who is the new president, could and I dare to say should himself simply by presidential executive order distribute his present control over nuclear weapons among a group of five or seven including himself and in a day or a few have created a communications system for them, setting a high example and precedent for his successors. He and Trump have an evidently civil relationship; Obama could handle this with him politely (as if politeness has any business here).

For an example alternative to Brookings fellow O’Hanlon’s postulation of a five-person nuclear control group, the permanent committee on the nuclear arsenal might, after reflection and debate, be composed of five, the president, the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and one majority or minority leader of each chamber chosen to accomplish a balance in those two between the two main parties.

Or, a Republican Congress might want a permanent committee of the president, the vice-president, the speaker, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If, say to achieve bipartisanship adding one of the majority or minority leaders of both chambers balanced as to parties, there would be a permanent committee of seven, or if all four of those, nine. The leaders and Congress could in good faith just work this out together and make it law.

Since our detonation of our nuclear weapons on cities, nations, or “military targets” (but not ones like Truman said Hiroshima was!) for a tactical or otherwise limited purpose can readily escalate into the end of life on the earth, it seems to me the decision to launch nuclear weapons should require the unanimous agreement of the members of a permanent committee who can be consulted in time. The president and Congress might compromise, if necessary, on requiring 4 out of 5, or 5 or 6 out of 7 … on which, humanity in the cosmos might depend.

In my opinion all members of the permanent committee (what the communists used to call the presidium) governing our nuclear arsenal should justly be legally required, in fidelity to their primary human duty to humanity, to submit their personal autonomy and tranquility to being continuously connected all to each other by fail-safe-as-possible secure communication.

Something like this would also provide a practical, although ethically monstrous assistance for the president’s unbelievable ethical problem if suddenly his national security adviser told him (or, soon, her) that a nuclear attack from X direction, according to our possibly hacked messages from NORAD, is about to explode upon us: the problem of his or her 10 or 15 or so minutes to decide whether to retaliate by mass murder, slaughtering and maiming many millions of totally innocent people as ostensibly ruling deterrence-theory requires and we have cross-our-hearts promised.

The president being commander-in-chief, if all the president’s nuclear presidium members contacted have approved a launch of H-bombs to retaliate and the president is alive and able, then at that final point only the president could give that order, or, the president alone retaining the ultimate power not to commit the mass murder of millions in indefensible before-our-deaths revenge, the president could decide to not retaliate.

This is one form of the rising danger we are all in.

No attention has been given in media I have seen to O’Hanlon’s Brookings posting calling for limitations on the president’s sole control of nuclear weapons, but two years ago the subject was considered publicly to a limited extent in some reviews of W.W. Norton’s remarkable book, Thermonuclear Monarchy, Choosing Between Democracy and Doom, by Elaine Scarry, a professor of ethics and value at Harvard University.

Scarry’s basic theme is that nuclear weapons, in matters concerning them, have in reality abolished Congress and therefore American democracy. She contends that the specific and unqualified requirement in the Constitution that only Congress declare war and its Second Amendment postulating citizens’ right to take up arms in militias to defend the country mean that given the nature of nuclear weapons the only constitutional remedy against them is to abolish them.

H-bombs, “designed to be fired by a small number of persons,” are, Scarry wrote, “the literal technology for killing entire populations at will,” and “the essential feature” of the technology is that “it locates in the hands of a solitary person the power to kill millions of people,” “the capacity to annihilate all the peoples on earth.” The president has “genocidal injuring power at his personal disposal through nuclear weapons…. [T]he people of earth … can be dispatched all at a blow.”

Comprehending, somehow, the total destructive power in the U.S. nuclear arsenal directly bears on whether control over it should be held by only one person. By Scarry’s “conservative” estimates, Obama now personally controls and next January 20th President-elect Trump will personally control the more than one billion tons of equivalent TNT-blastpower that is in our nuclear warheads.

The Harvard professor writes that each one of our U.S. Trident nuclear-armed submarines carries eight times the total blastpower exploded by all the sides in World War II. Each sub has the power of 4,000 Hiroshima-power blasts in 24 missiles containing between 8 and 17 warheads. Any one of the subs can “destroy the people of an entire continent,” there are seven continents, and we have 14 Tridents.

Under the one person’s control, as Scarry writes “we own,” in the pointed-outward tubes in our Trident fleet, 3,100 nuclear warheads with a total blastpower of 273 million tons of TNT, in our land-based ICBM warheads we own another 503 million tons of TNT blast, and then in our nuclear warheads for our bombers we own another 410 million tons of TNT power; in all, we together own about 1,186 million tons of TNT blastpower.

How whimsical and how weird this God-like power is, handed over to one person just because he’s or she’s won our presidency! Since early 1963 the nuclear briefcase, the “football” containing the nuclear codes for the use of only the president, has been carried continuously by an officer in the room the president is in or an adjacent one, as Scarry reports. It is always near the president, including when he is traveling, except for some freak incidents. When President Carter, who once sent his codes to the cleaners in a suit jacket, went rafting in Idaho, another raft followed his down the river with an officer on it carrying the briefcase. When Ronald Reagan was shot, a car containing an officer carrying the codes followed him to the hospital. President Clinton, who sometimes, anyway, kept the codes attached to his credit cards with a rubber band, lost them for several months and didn’t tell the Pentagon.

Does it matter, this one-person power of launch-and-gone? If citizens realized how often since Hiroshima we have been close to again attacking other nations with our nuclear weapons they would know that it really does. Scarry reports that since 1945 our presidents have frequently considered using them, although the official admissions of this don’t reach the public for several decades.

Eisenhower left instructions to officers that if he was out of communication they were to launch nuclear weapons if we came under attack whether nuclear or conventional. Twice he considered launching them himself, over the Taiwan Straits, 1954, and the Berlin crisis, 1959. President Kennedy considered their use three times (40 years after Kennedy’s murder, Robert McNamara said the U.S. came “three times within a hair’s breadth of nuclear war with the Soviet Union”). President Johnson considered a nuclear attack on China to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. President Nixon advocated to Henry Kissinger that the U.S. should use nuclear bombs in the Vietnam War, and, he said 13 years after his presidency, he contemplated using them three other times and not about Vietnam.

As Scarry also points out, only John Kennedy brought the people in on these nuclear-weapons-and-considering-their-use close calls. From since about Reagan, but also earlier, much top-secret truth about our slick missiles of mass death is yet to be made available to the people by their government. If the people knew what they should, they might at least think about the case for pluralizing control of our nuclear arsenal.

7 Weeks, 4 Years … Perry: “Time Is Not on Our Side”

In the later sixties, having dinner for about six in a tiny White House dining room that faces onto Lafayette Square, I sitting by President Johnson, I said to him that, since he had said publicly that in the first half-hour of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear exchange 40 million people would die, what were we reporters supposed to tell the people out there (gesturing leftward to the square) about it?

After a silence, the president said he knew exactly what I was asking (which, in my guarded intent, was, would he himself actually fire off our nuclear weapons?). After telling a long story about how a little Brown & Root airplane he was on made it bouncingly through a lightning storm back down to earth, and he woke up as they landed, he grew angry that I had asked him about this – you and you liberals who don’t have all the secret facts! – and then suddenly in his rising rage he shouted at me, “I’m the one who has to mash the button!” as he mashed his stiffened thumb down in the air bending rightward almost to the floor.

Reportedly President Nixon was preoccupied with his power over the nuclear weapons. A historian has recorded that Nixon told Senator Alan Cranston, “Why, I can go into my office and pick up the telephone and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.”

Reliable journalistic sources recorded that Nixon ordered a tactical nuclear strike against North Vietnam which Kissinger had the Joint Chiefs of Staff stop until Nixon sobered up overnight. During Arab nations’ war on Israel in October 1972 the Soviet Union appeared to be planning to come in on the side of the Arabs. One night the one man didn’t do. USSR premier Leonid Brezhnev sent Nixon a threatening message. Nixon was deemed by those near him too drunk asleep to awaken, and in the morning his inner circle sent Brezhnev a threatening reply signed as if by Nixon, who was in fact dead-drunk asleep. Brezhnev backed off.

In another case with Nixon at least three high officials intervened, perhaps at risk of their prosecution if Nixon had so chosen, to check him. A few weeks before Nixon resigned his secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger, ordered the chairman of the Joint Chiefs that any emergency order coming from Nixon had to be shown to Schlesinger before it was acted on.

President Reagan, after having called the USSR an evil empire, pivoted sharply by his 1984 State of the Union address in which he said, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought…. [W]ould it not be better to do away with [nuclear weapons] entirely?” He and Mikhail Gorbachev almost did that, but failed.

Since then Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, in their 2002 and 2010 official nuclear policy documents, explicitly declared that the U.S. may make first use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances, which of course the U.S. would define. The U.S. arsenal now contains or is to contain new nuclear weapons that are smaller to make them “more usable,” including one, the B61-12, that is called “dial-a-yield” because the sender of it can adjust it to explode at any of four different levels of destruction.

Russia and the U.S. together have about 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. Putin has declared Russia will use its stock of them if necessary to preserve the existence of the state. Showing increased interest in them for battlefield combat, Russian officials indicated they are prepared to use them, and first, whether or not it is a nuclear threat that they are under.

William J. Perry, the secretary of Defense under President Clinton, has now dedicated the rest of his life to educating and arousing the people to the rapidly rising danger of nuclear war. Perry warns in his revelatory new book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, published by Stanford University Press, that “time is not on our side.”

Thus do we Americans, all of us but one, find ourselves concerning the 4,500 nuclear weapons we own still totally inert in the hands of our presidents, one after the other, in this new world of mass murder by codes, because one man commanding in battle and war came down to us through centuries, tribal chiefs, kings, emperors, presidents. This became the way of war because the side whose fighters were commanded by the one brave and shrewder man often won or his forces survived to fight again. Our evolved genetic instinct to follow one man in battle and war is very deep. It is now also obsolete because our nuclear weapons are not for battles or wars but for mass murders and for the first time in our history can and may kill us all.

No one person in any nation on earth should have the sole power to decide alone to launch nuclear weapons in the name and authority of the country he or she is of. Perhaps in this next seven weeks and the ensuing administration we can face down in our own nation those who, perhaps seeing this subject as a political ploy against Trump, will want to continue giving just one person among us the power to end life on earth. Changing this horror in the United States, by Obama or Trump or Congress or all of them, could become a first step to changing it in the world.

Ronnie Dugger received the George Polk career award for journalism in 2012. Founding editor of The Texas Observer, he has published biographical books about Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, other books about Hiroshima and universities, articles for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other periodicals, and is now in Austin writing a book about nuclear war. ronniedugger@gmail.com
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

——————-

Comment: This is the most urgently solution-requiring issue by mankind – actually and eventually by everyone (deluded by ego fiction and destroying eco). Where is the equality of all men, while a man can annihilate not only men, but all life forms? We must awaken to the fiction of “sovereign state, self, etc.” in the truth/ethic of the interdependent and intertwined life-world!!!

Now Is the High Time to Cooperate for Peace, Not to Complain for Pandemonium

November 9, 2016

Now We Can Finally Get to Work

By David Swanson
http://davidswanson.org/node/5341

Dear Democrats,

Are you finding yourselves suddenly a bit doubtful of the wisdom of drone wars? Presidential wars without Congress? Massive investment in new, smaller, “more usable” nuclear weapons? The expansion of bases across Africa and Asia? Are you disturbed by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen? Can total surveillance and the persecution of whistleblowers hit a point where they’ve gone too far? Is the new Cold War with Russia looking less than ideal now? How about the militarization of U.S. police: is it time to consider alternatives to that?

I hear you. I’m with you. Let’s build a movement together to end the madness of constantly overthrowing governments with bombs. Let’s propose nonviolent alternatives to a culture gone mad with war. Let’s end the mindset that creates war in the first place.

We have opportunities as well as dangers. A President Trump is unpredictable. He wants to proliferate nuclear weapons, bomb people, kill people, stir up hatred of people, and increase yet further military spending. But he also said the new Cold War was a bad idea. He said he wanted to end NATO, not to mention NAFTA, as well as breaking the habit of overthrowing countries left and right. Trump seems to immediately back off such positions under the slightest pressure. Will he adhere to them under massive pressure from across the political spectrum? It’s worth a try.

We have an opportunity to build a movement that includes a focus on and participation from refugees/immigrants. We have a chance to create opposition to racist wars and racism at home. We may just discover that what’s left of the U.S. labor movement is suddenly more open to opposing wars. Environmental groups may find a willingness to oppose the world’s top destroyer of the environment: the U.S. military. Civil liberties groups may at long last be willing to take on the militarism that creates the atrocities they oppose. We have to work for such a broader movement. We have to build on the trend of protesting the national anthem and make it a trend of actively resisting the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.

I know you’re feeling a little beat down at the moment. You shouldn’t. You had a winning candidate in Bernie Sanders. Your party cheated him out of the nomination. All that stuff you tell yourselves about encouraging demographic trends and the better positions of young people is all true. You just looked for love in all the wrong places. Running an unpopular candidate in a broken election system is not the way to change the world. Even a working election system would not be the central means by which to improve anything. There’s no getting back the mountains of money and energy invested in this election. But activism is an unlimited resource. Directing your energies now in more strategic directions can inspire others who in turn can re-inspire you.

Dear Republicans,

Your outsider is threatening insiderness. He’s got the same tribe of DC corporate lobbyists planning his nominations that Hillary Clinton had lined up for hers. Can we resist that trend? Can we insist that the wars be ended? Can those moments of off-the-cuff honesty about dinosaurs like NATO be turned into actual action? Donald Trump took a lot of heat for proposing to be fair to Palestinians as well as Israelis, and he backed off fast. Can we encourage him to stand behind that initial inclination?

Can we stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership and end NAFTA as well? We heard a million speeches about how bad NAFTA is. How about actually ending it? Can we stop the looming war supplemental spending bill? Can we put a swift halt to efforts in Congress to repeal the right to sue Saudi Arabia and other nations for their wars and lesser acts of terrorism?

How about all that well deserved disgust with the corporate media? Can we actually break up that cartel and allow opportunities for media entrepreneurs?

Dear United States,

Donald Trump admitted we had a broken election system and for a while pretended that he would operate outside of it by funding his own campaign. It’s time to actually fix it. It’s time to end the system of legalized bribery, fund elections, make registration automatic, make election day a holiday, end gerrymandering, eliminate the electoral college, create the right to vote, create the public hand-counting of paper ballots at every polling place, and create ranked choice voting as Maine just did.

Voter suppression efforts in this year’s elections should be prosecuted in each state. And any indications of fraud in vote counting by machines should be investigated. We should take the opportunity created by all the McCarthyist nonsense allegations of Russian interference to get rid of unverifiable voting.

There are also areas in which localities and states, as well as international organizations and alliances, must now step up to take the lead. First and foremost is investing in a serious effort to avoid climate catastrophe. Second is addressing inequality that has surpassed the Middle Ages: both taxing the overclass and upholding the underclass must be pursued creatively. Mass incarceration and militarized police are problems that states can solve.

But we can advance a positive agenda across the board by understanding this election in the way that much of the world will understand it: as a vote against endless war. Let’s end the wars, end the weapons dealing, close the bases, and cut the $1 trillion a year going into the military. Hell, why not demand that a businessman president for the first time ever audit the Pentagon and find out what it’s spending money on?

Dear World,

We apologize for having elected President Trump as well as for nearly electing President Clinton. Many of you believe we defeated the representative of the enlightenment in favor of the sexist racist buffoon. This may be a good thing. Or at least it may be preferable to your eight-year-long delusion that President Obama was a man of peace and justice.

I hate to break it to you, but the United States government has been intent on dominating the rest of you since the day it was formed. If electing an obnoxious president helps you understand that, so much the better. Stop joining in U.S. “humanitarian wars” please. They never were humanitarian, and if you can recognize that now, so much the better. The new guy openly wants to “steal their oil.” So did the last several presidents, although none of them said so. Are we awake now?

Shut down the U.S. bases in your country. They represent your subservience to Donald Trump. Close them.

Want to save the earth’s climate? Build a nonviolent movement that resists destructive agendas coming out of the United States.

Want to uphold the rule of law, diplomacy, aid, decency, and humanitarianism? Stop making exceptions for U.S. crimes. Tell the International Criminal Court to indict a non-African. Prosecute the crime and crimes of war in your own courts. Stop cooperating in the surrounding and threatening of Russia, China, and Iran. Clinton wanted to send weapons to Ukraine and bomb Syria. Make sure Trump doesn’t. Make peace in Ukraine and Syria before January.

It’s time that we all began treating the institution of war as the unacceptable vestige of barbarism that it can appear when given an openly racist, sexist, bigoted face. We have the ability to use nonviolent tools to direct the world where we want it to go. We have to stop believing the two big lies: that we are generally powerless, and that our only power lies in elections. Let’s finally get active. Let’s start by ending war making.

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Establish Global Ethic: Abolish Nukes, Abandon Olympic Games

November 4, 2016

4 November 2016

Dear friends,
   
It is indeed regrettable that Japan, the world’s sole victim of atomic bombings should have voted against the UN resolution of 28 October,
a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. Survivers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have naturally expressed their anger and disappointment. Conscientious Japanese people will all agree that it is a historic mission of Japan to contribute to the accomplishment of true denuclearization, both civilian and military.
The will of the majority of the Japanese people has once again been belittled. This makes one question the governability of Japan.

We are reminded of the immoral realities of the present world.

The preset crisis the world is confronted with is neither an economic crisis nor a monetary one. It is a crisis of civilization. The solution requires the mobilization of human wisdom on the widest global scale. Mankind faces a change of way of life not only in Japan, but the entire world.

The deeply-rooted cause of this crisis is the universally prevalent lack of ethics. It is against fundamental ethics to abuse and exhaust natural resources that belong to future generations and leave behind permanently poisonous nuclear waste and enormous financial debts. It is a matter of great urgency to put an end to this civilization based on greed.

Now is the time for us to transform it into a civilization based on “maternal culture” that gives the supreme value to life, and not to economy as heretofore. It can be defined as a maternal civilization based on ethics and solidarity that respects the environment and the interests of future generations.

Under such circumstances, it is badly needed to hold a United Nations Ethics Summit as early as possible and to create an “International Day for Global Ethics” that will enable all nations, year by year, to reflect on the importance of ethics.

The will of heavens and the earth(the law of history) tells us that immorality cannot last long. The main stream of the world has started to change.
The shift from the current paternal civilization, based on power and domination, to a maternal civilization, based on harmony and solidarity, is now becoming visible with increasing female top leaders.

The retreat from the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 will start changing Japan.
It is simply immoral to continue to rely on the false assertion that Fukushima is under control. The IOC has not yet responded to the request
of verification coming from the civil society. It is deplored that the departure from the spirit of the Olympic Games is attaining its limitations due to its
excessive commercialization more and more disclosed recently in connection with Governor Yuriko Koike’s new initiative to reduce the Olympic expenditure.

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

With warmest regards,

Mitsuhei Murata
(Former Ambassador to Switzerland)

____________

4 November 2016

Dear Friends,

I have received many reactions to my last message.
I am sending you some of them.I am hopeful for the solidarity of civil society on a global scale to better the world.

Toward the end of the message I wrote “ The IOC has not yet responded to the request of verification coming from the civil society. It is to be deplored that the departure from the spirit of the Olympic Games is attaining its limitations due to its excessive commercialization …..”
For instance, Governor Yuriko Koike is actually facing the pressure from the IOC and the Organizing Committee to to prepare 20.000 seats at the swimming pool in stead of 15.000 and this to secure their earnings.Only the Olympic can mobilize as many spectators.The Japanese public will not allow such extravagance.

Japan times of 3 November has published an article of Brian Victoria”Japan should stay out of U.S. sailors’ lawsuit against Tepco”
which chalenges the ongoing attempt to play down and hide the consequenses of the Fukushima nuclear accident.The support fund
created by Former Prime Minister Koizumi is approaching its goal of 1 million dollars.

With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murta
(Former Ambassador to Switzerland)

Some reactions;

(From a British economist)

Thank you Murata-san, it is indeed appalling that Japan opposed the UN resolution of Oct.28th – even North Korea voted in favour! This will go down in history as a huge mistake, with ethical and strategic.
I hope we can keep in touch.

(From Dr. Martin Vosseler,Co-Founder of IPPNW/Switzerland,Guiness record holder for crossing the Atlantic Ocean by a solar boat)

Dear Mitsuhei,

my hope is that all that – the Japanese vote against negotiations about nuclear abolition, disastrous politicians like Trump, Erdogan, Putin, the denial of the Fukushima catastrophe, the Olympic games in Japan etc. are the negative reflection of the dawn of a new consciousness, with global ethics, with responsibility for the future generations, with respect for nature, for animals, with the growth of a maternal civilization. Thanks so much for your midwife service catalyzing this new consciousness!

With warmest greetings,

Martin

(From an eminent Swiss banker)

Merci, cher ami, de cette triste communication.
Nous sommes revenus à une période de guerre froide qui n’augure rien de bon.
Chaque jour, nous voyons que les budgets militaires des grandes puissances prennent l’ascenseur.
C’est vraiment inquiétant surtout si l’on pense qu’une partie non négligeable de ces budgets sont consacrés à des armements atomiques .
Le retour à des valeurs morales serait vraiment souhaitable mais qui des grands de ce monde s’en soucie

Amicalement