Reactor 2 crisis

February 14, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am transmitting you Mr. Akio Matsumura’s article.
As a member of the International Advisory Council for the Nuclear Emergency Action Alliance,
I am cooperating with him.
Dr.Norio Iriguchi,Honorary Professor of Kumamoto University,in his Face book site,introduces the
suggestion of Dr.Chris Busby. Scientific Secretary, European Committee on Radiation Risk, to construct
a sarcophagus that could cost 100 trillion yen.His point of view as to the dangers of the debris capable
of reaching the critical state is frightening.We are led to wonder why there is no attempt to materialize
a international project,as was the case with the Chernobyl accident,to construct a sarcophagus to stop
the ongoing radioactive contamination in all directions.
Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

With warmest regars,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

From: Akio Matsumura
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:41 PM

Dear International Advisory Council Members:

I am pleased to inform you that my most recent article, The Potential Catastrophe of Reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichii, which featured comments from Dr. Shuzo Takemoto, has been viewed over 3,500 times in the past two day in English and Japanese. An excerpted version is currently the top article on ENENews, an energy news website. Besides U.S. and Japanese visitors, readers have logged on in the triple digits from Australia, the UK, and Canada, and in double-digits from France, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, India, Thailand, South Korea, Brazil, and New Zealand. ” in the first paragraph.
It is clear there is a large appetite for news, context, and independent analysis on Fukushima. Our mission as the advisory council for the Nuclear Emergency Action Alliance is to continue to provide such analysis in a timely fashion from our many expert perspectives.
I am encouraged by even this relatively small readership and am working to leverage this dispiriting news into a larger call for action.
Yours truly,
Akio
http://www.akiomatsumura.com

Expert: “Potential Global Catastrophe” from Fukushima Unit 2 highly radioactive fuel

February 14, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews
Expert: “Potential Global Catastrophe” from Fukushima Unit 2 highly radioactive fuel… Reactor could be destroyed, “making Tokyo area uninhabitable”… This is “most dreaded” scenario — Already “partially liquefying” below reactors
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 12:30 PM PST

Noam Chomsky’s “Responsibility of Intellectuals” after 50 years: It’s an even heavier responsibility now

February 12, 2017

SATURDAY, FEB 11, 2017 01:00 PM CST

Written amid rising opposition to the Vietnam War, Chomsky’s greatest essay has added resonance in the age of Trump
JAY PARINI SKIP TO COMMENTS
TOPICS: 1960S, DONALD TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP RESISTANCE, FOREIGN POLICY, GEORGE W. BUSH, IRAQ WAR, LEFTISTS, NOAM CHOMSKY, THE LEFT, U.S. FOREIGN POLICY, VIETNAM WAR, POLITICS NEWS

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Noam Chomsky’s “Responsibility of Intellectuals” after 50 years: It’s an even heavier responsibility now
Noam Chomsky (Credit: Getty/William B. Plowman)
There are determining events, especially when we’re young and formulating our sense of the world: Times when we learn how to take ourselves, where to stand, how to move forward in a fresh way. For me, a key moment was stepping into the periodicals room of my college library in late February of 1967 — I was a sophomore — and reading an article in the New York Review of Books that caught my eye. It was “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” written by Noam Chomsky.

Nothing was quite the same for me after reading that piece, which I’ve reread periodically throughout my life, finding things to challenge me each time. I always finish the essay feeling reawakened, aware that I’ve not done enough to make the world a better place by using whatever gifts I may have. Chomsky spurs me to more intense reading and thinking, driving me into action, which might take the form of writing an op-ed piece, joining a march or protest, sending money to a special cause, or just committing myself to further study a political issue.

The main point of Chomsky’s essay is beautifully framed after a personal introduction in which he alludes to his early admiration for Dwight Macdonald, an influential writer and editor from the generation before him:

Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom of expression. For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology, and class interest through which the events of current history are presented to us.

For those who think of Chomsky as tediously anti-American, I would note that here and countless times in the course of his voluminous writing he says that it is only within a relatively free society that intellectuals have the elbow room to work. In a kind of totalizing line shortly after the above quotation, he writes: “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.”

This imposes a heavy burden on those of us who think of ourselves as “intellectuals,” a term rarely used now, as it sounds like something Lenin or Trotsky would have used and does, indeed, smack of self-satisfaction, even smugness; but (at least in my own head) it remains useful, embracing anyone who has access to good information, who can read this material critically, analyze data logically, and respond frankly in clear and persuasive language to what is discovered.

Chomsky’s essay appeared at the height of the Vietnam War, and was written mainly in response to that conflict, which ultimately left a poor and rural country in a state of complete disarray, with more than 2 million dead, millions more wounded, and the population’s basic infrastructure decimated. I recall flying over the northern parts of Vietnam some years after the war had ended, and seeing unimaginably vast stretches of denuded forest, the result of herbicidal dumps – 20 million tons of the stuff, including Agent Orange, which has had ongoing health consequences for the Vietnamese.

The complete picture of this devastation was unavailable to Chomsky, or anyone, at the time; but he saw clearly that the so-called experts who defended this ill-conceived and immoral war before congressional committees had evaded their responsibility to speak the truth.

In his usual systematic way, Chomsky seems to delight in citing any number of obsequious authorities, who repeatedly imply that the spread of American-style democracy abroad by force is justified, even if it means destroying this or that particular country in the effort to make them appreciate the benefits of our system. He quotes one expert from the Institute of Far Eastern Studies who tells Congress blithely that the North Vietnamese “would be perfectly happy to be bombed to be free.”

“In no small measure,” Chomsky writes in the penultimate paragraph of his essay, “it is attitudes like this that lie behind the butchery in Vietnam, and we had better face up to them with candor, or we will find our government leading us towards a ‘final solution’ in Vietnam, and in the many Vietnams that inevitably lie ahead.”

Chomsky, of course, was right to say this, anticipating American military interventions in such places as Lebanon (1982-1984), Grenada (1983), Libya (1986), Panama (1989), the Persian Gulf (1990-1991) and, most disastrously, Iraq (2003-2011), the folly of which led to the creation of ISIS and the catastrophe of Syria.

Needless to say, he has remained a striking commentator on these and countless other American interventions over the past half century, a writer with an astonishing command of modern history. For me, his writing has been consistently cogent, if marred by occasional exaggeration and an ironic tone (fueled by anger or frustration) that occasionally gets out of hand, making him an easy target for opponents who wish to dismiss him as a crackpot or somebody so blinded by anti-American sentiment that he can’t ever give the U.S. government a break.

I like “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” and other essays from this period by Chomsky, because one feels him discovering his voice and forging a method: that relentlessly logical drive, the use of memorable and shocking quotations by authorities, the effortless placing of the argument within historical boundaries and the furious moral edge, which — even in this early essay — sometimes tips over from irony into sarcasm (a swerve that will not serve him well in later years).

Here, however, even the sarcasm seems well-positioned. He begins one paragraph, for instance, by saying: “It is the responsibility of the intellectuals to insist upon the truth, it is also his duty to see events in their historical perspective.” He then refers to the 1938 Munich Agreement, wherein Britain and other European nations allowed the Nazis to annex the Sudetenland — one of the great errors of appeasement in modern times. He goes on to quote Adlai Stevenson on this error, where the former presidential candidate notes how “expansive powers push at more and more doors” until they break open, one by one, and finally resistance becomes necessary, whereupon “major war breaks out.” Chomsky comments: “Of course, the aggressiveness of liberal imperialism is not that of Nazi Germany, though the distinction may seem rather academic to a Vietnamese peasant who is being gassed or incinerated.”

What he says about the gassed, incinerated victims of American military violence plucks our attention. It’s good polemical writing that forces us to confront the realities at hand.

What really got to me when I first read this essay was the astonishing idea that Americans didn’t always act out of purity of motives, wishing the best for everyone. That was what I had been taught by a generation of teachers who had served in World War II, but the Vietnam War forced many in my generation to begin the painful quest to understand American motives in a more complex way. Chomsky writes that it’s “an article of faith that American motives are pure and not subject to analysis.” He goes on to say with almost mock reticence: “We are hardly the first power in history to combine material interests, great technological capacity, and an utter disregard for the suffering and misery of the lower orders.”

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The sardonic tone, as in “the lower orders,” disfigures the writing; but at the time this sentence hit me hard. I hadn’t thought about American imperialism until then, and I assumed that Americans worked with benign intent, using our spectacular might to further democratic ends. In fact, American power is utilized almost exclusively to protect American economic interests abroad and to parry blows that come when our behavior creates a huge kickback, as with radical Islamic terrorism.

One of the features of this early essay that will play out expansively in Chomsky’s voluminous later writing is the manner in which he sets up “experts,” quickly to deride them. Famously the Kennedy and Johnson administrations surrounded themselves with the “best and the brightest,” and this continued through the Nixon years, with Henry Kissinger, a Harvard professor, becoming secretary of state. Chomsky skewers a range of these technocrats in this essay, people who in theory are “intellectuals,” from Walter Robinson through Walt Rostow and Kissinger, among many others, each of whom accepts a “fundamental axiom,” which is that “the United States has the right to extend its power and control without limit, insofar as is feasible.” The “responsible” critics, he says, don’t challenge this assumption but suggest that Americans probably can’t “get away with it,” whatever “it” is, at this or that particular time or place.

Chomsky cites a recent article on Vietnam by Irving Kristol in Encounter (which was soon to be exposed as a recipient of CIA funding) where the “teach-in movement” is criticized: Professors and students would sit together and talk about the war outside of class times and classrooms. (I had myself attended several of these events, so I sat to attention while reading.) Kristol was an early neocon, a proponent of realpolitik who contrasted college professor-intellectuals against the war as “unreasonable, ideological types” motived by “simple, virtuous ‘anti-imperialism’” with sober experts like himself.

Chomsky dives in: “I am not interested here in whether Kristol’s characterization of protest and dissent is accurate, but rather in the assumptions that it expresses with respect to such questions as these: Is the purity of American motives a matter that is beyond discussion, or that is irrelevant to discussion? Should decisions be left to ‘experts’ with Washington contacts?” He questions the whole notion of “expertise” here, the assumption that these men (there were almost no women “experts” in the mid-’60s) possessed relevant information that was “not in the public domain,” and that they would make the “best” decisions on matters of policy.

Chomsky was, and remains, a lay analyst of foreign affairs, with no academic degrees in the field. He was not an “expert” on Southeast Asia at the time, just a highly informed and very smart person who could access the relevant data and make judgments. He would go on, over the next five decades, to apply his relentless form of criticism to a dizzying array of domestic and foreign policy issues — at times making sweeping statements and severe judgments that would challenge and inspire many but also create a minor cottage industry devoted to debunking Chomsky.

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This is not the place to defend Chomsky against his critics, as this ground has been endlessly rehashed. It’s enough to say that many intelligent critics over the years would find Chomsky self-righteous and splenetic, quick to accuse American power brokers of evil motives, too easy to grant a pass to mass murderers like Pol Pot or, during the period before the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein.

I take it for granted, as I suspect Chomsky does, that in foreign affairs there are so many moving parts that it’s difficult to pin blame anywhere. One may see George W. Bush, for instance, as the propelling force behind the catastrophe of the Iraq War, but surely even that blunder was a complex matter, with a mix of oil interests (represented by Dick Cheney) and perhaps naive political motives as well. One recalls “experts” like Paul Wolfowitz, who told a congressional committee on Feb. 27, 2003, that he was “reasonably certain” that the Iraqi people would “greet us as liberators.”

Fifty years after writing “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” Chomsky remains vigorous and shockingly productive, and — in the dawning age of President Donald Trump — one can only hope he has a few more years left. In a recent interview, he said (with an intentional hyperbole that has always been a key weapon in his arsenal of rhetorical moves) that the election of Trump “placed total control of the government — executive, Congress, the Supreme Court — in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.”

Chomsky acknowledged that the “last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous,” but went on to explain that he believes that the denial of global warming means “racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life.” As he would, he laid out in some detail the threat of climate change, pointing to the tens of millions in Bangladesh who will soon have to flee from “low-lying plains … because of sea level rise and more severe weather, creating a migrant crisis that will make today’s pale in significance.”

I don’t know that, in fact, the Republican Party of today is really more dangerous than, say, the Nazi or Stalinist or Maoist dictatorships that left tens of millions dead. But, as ever, Chomsky makes his point memorably, and forces us to confront an uncomfortable situation.

As I reread Chomsky’s essay on the responsibility of intellectuals, it strikes me forcefully that not one of us who has been trained to think critically and to write lucidly has the option to remain silent now. Too much is at stake, including the survival of some form of American democracy and decency itself, if not an entire ecosystem. With a dangerously ill-informed bully in the White House, a man almost immune to facts and rational thought, we who have training in critical thought and exposition must tirelessly call a spade a spade, a demagogue a demagogue. And the lies that emanate from the Trump administration must be patiently, insistently and thoroughly deconstructed. This is the responsibility of the intellectual, now more than ever.

Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College. His most recent book is New and Collected Poems, 1975-2015.”
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“Massive blast” rips through nuclear plant — “Smoke billowed from building as explosion led to massive fire”

February 11, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews:

“Massive blast” rips through nuclear plant — “Smoke billowed from building as explosion led to massive fire” — Expert: Incident “very serious” — “Number of people have been left feeling unwell” (VIDEOS)
Posted: 10 Feb 2017 12:50 PM PST

COVER-UP: GE handled Fukushima’s nuclear reactor design, knew it was faulty … “so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident”

February 10, 2017

COVER-UP: GE handled Fukushima’s nuclear reactor design, knew it was faulty … “so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident”

Thursday, February 09, 2017 by: Vicki Batts
Tags: Fukushima, GE, nuclear accidents, nuclear reactor, priority
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http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-02-09-coverup-ge-handled-fukushimas-nuclear-reactor-design-knew-it-was-faulty-so-flawed-it-could-lead-to-a-devastating-accident.html

Image: COVER-UP: GE handled Fukushima’s nuclear reactor design, knew it was faulty … “so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident”

(Natural News) General Electric, commonly referred to as “GE,” doesn’t have the best reputation; the company’s history is rife with criminal, civil, ethical and political offenses. But perhaps one of the most morally questionable aspects of GE centers on an event that happened across the globe: the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The corporate giant designed five of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant — General Electric Mark 1 reactors; a design the company knew was faulty decades ago. The potential for disaster was ignored, and the end result was a catastrophe that has unleashed immeasurable harm on the environment.

GE workers resigned over reactor flaws

Just over 40 years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues resigned from their jobs at GE, due to their increasing concerns about the Mark 1 nuclear reactor. They were growing more and more convinced that the design was so flawed that it could inevitably lead to a “devastating accident.”

In a 2011 interview with ABC News, Bridenbaugh explained, “The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant.”

“The impact loads the containment would receive by this very rapid release of energy could tear the containment apart and create an uncontrolled release,” he added.

Questions about the safety of the Mark 1 and its ability to handle the immense pressures that would result if cooling power was lost continued to persist for decades. (RELATED: Follow more news on Fukushima at FukushimaWatch.com)

The Mark 1 has been heavily criticized

In the years after Bridenbaugh came forward, others would go on to speak critically of the Mark 1 reactor. In 1986, then- director of NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, Harold Denton spoke out about the concerning design at an industry conference.

“I don’t have the same warm feeling about GE containment that I do about the larger dry containments,” Denton said.

“There is a wide spectrum of ability to cope with severe accidents at GE plants,” Denton said. “And I urge you to think seriously about the ability to cope with such an event if it occurred at your plant.”

Global Research also reports that when Denton was asked “if [the remedial measures performed on the Fukushima reactors by GE before 2011] was sufficient,” it gave him pause. His response?

“What I would say is, the Mark 1 is still a little more susceptible to an accident that would result in a loss of containment.”

It seems that Denton was none too confident in the stability of the Mark 1 reactor, either.

The New York Times has even reported on the hefty criticisms of GE’s creation. The Times noted that in 1972, a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, Stephen H. Hanauer recommended that the Mark 1 system be discontinued because it presented unacceptable safety risks. The smaller containment design was cited as a concern, because it would be more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a hydrogen build-up — something that is believed to have actually happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Reactors explode in Fukushima

On March 11, 2011, an explosion ripped the roof right off of reactor 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. On March 14, another explosion at reactor 3 inured 11 workers, and another “sound like an explosion” was also heard near the suppression pool of reactor 2.

All three incidents were thought to be related to the build-up of hydrogen gas. Scientific American explains that partial meltdowns caused the hydrogen explosions.

To put it simply: Fukushima was a disaster in every sense of the word. It will take years for scientists to develop the technology to even get near some of the ruins, let alone to try and clean up the horrendous aftermath. Even robots cannot be protected against radiation that strong.

Following the shocking 9.0 earthquake that rattled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, ABC News reported on March 15, 2011 that GE said the reactors had ‘a proven track record of performing reliably and safely for more than 40 years’ and that they “performed as designed,” even among the explosions and evident radiation leaks.

Was it all a cover up? Who knows. But unfortunately for GE, no amount of denial will wash away nuclear radiation. Stay informed about nuclear radiation news and science at RadiationScience.com.

Sources:

GlobalResearch.ca

CleanUpGE.org

ABCNews.go.com

ScientificAmerican.com

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Fukushima and the Tokyo Olympic Games

February 10, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am sending you the following excerpts of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on February 6, 2017 .

“ Tepco said after analyzing video images taken inside the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex that they had detected a record radiation level of up to 530 sieverts per hour. —- I believe any responsible government will pay continuous and high attention to the impact of the nuclear leakage on the marine environment, food safety and people’s health. We also hope that the Japanese government will give a responsible explanation on how will they offset the impact of the leakage. This is their obligation to not only the Japanese people, but also people from the rest of the world, its neighbors included.—-The Chinese Foreign Ministry has issued relevant safety alert. We believe our Chinese fellows will make proper travel plans and take protective measures.”

Tepco announced on 9 February that radiation levels inside the reactor were estimated at up to 650 sieverts per hour, much higher than the record 530 sieverts per hour marked by the previous survey.

In addition to the above-mentioned deterioration of the situation in Fukushima,the followig article of the Asahi News Paper of 9 Februay will negatively influence the holding of the Tokyo Olymic Games 2020.

“Prosecutors questioned Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda over payments to a Singapore-based consulting firm during Tokyo’s bid process for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, sources said. Takeda, 69, is believed to have stood by his denials of wrongdoing. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, acting at the request of French prosecutors, asked Takeda to submit to voluntary questioning. Takeda was head of the Olympic bid committee in 2013 when 230 million yen ($2.1 million) was paid to the Black Tidings consultancy. Takeda told reporters on Feb. 8, “I talked about the facts last week in voluntarily cooperating with the French investigation.”The JOC investigation has been completed and a report was released. I have also talked about this in the Diet and at news conferences. There were no new questions and I did not add anything further.”

French prosecutors are looking into whether the funds were used to buy votes for the Tokyo bid. They are also investigating the flow of funds to Lamine Diack, then-president of the International Association of Athletics Federation and a voting member of the International Olympic Committee, as well as his son Papa Massata Diack, who is said to have had close ties to the consulting company.—-Under Japanese criminal law, individuals in the private sector are not subject to bribery charges even if they received money. However, they are subject to bribery charges under French criminal law, leading to the need to question Takeda about the intent behind the payments to Black Tidings.—

The international community is expected to play a greater role to play than hitherto.

Mitsuhei Murata

Former Ambassador to Switzerland

The Coming War on China

February 10, 2017

DECEMBER 2, 2016

by JOHN PILGER

Email

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When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of 6 August, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, “disappeared”, a political embarrassment.

I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

The great danger this beckons is not news, or it is buried and distorted: a drumbeat of mainstream fake news that echoes the psychopathic fear embedded in public consciousness during much of the 20th century.

Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an “existential threat” to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.

To counter this, in 2011 President Obama announced a “pivot to Asia”, which meant that almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, says one US strategist, “the perfect noose”.

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled, War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the cold war when RAND made notorious the catch cry of its chief strategist, Herman Kahn — “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

Today, his apocalyptic view is shared by those holding real power in the United States: the militarists and neo-conservatives in the executive, the Pentagon, the intelligence and “national security” establishment and Congress.

The current Secretary of Defense, Ashley Carter, a verbose provocateur, says US policy is to confront those “who see America’s dominance and want to take that away from us”.

For all the attempts to detect a departure in foreign policy, this is almost certainly the view of Donald Trump, whose abuse of China during the election campaign included that of “rapist” of the American economy. On 2 December, in a direct provocation of China, President-elect Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province of the mainland. Armed with American missiles, Taiwan is an enduring flashpoint between Washington and Beijing.

“The United States,” wrote Amitai Etzioni, professor of international Affairs at George Washington University, “is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress.” This war would begin with a “blinding attack against Chinese anti-access facilities, including land and sea-based missile launchers … satellite and anti-satellite weapons”.

The incalculable risk is that “deep inland strikes could be mistakenly perceived by the Chinese as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into ‘a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma’ [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2015, the Pentagon released its Law of War Manual. “The United States,” it says, “has not accepted a treaty rule that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons per se, and thus nuclear weapons are lawful weapons for the United States.”

In China, a strategist told me, “We are not your enemy, but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.” China’s military and arsenal are small compared to America’s. However, “for the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack … This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy … Indeed, the nuclear weapon policies of the United States are the most prominent external factor influencing Chinese advocates for raising the alert level of China’s nuclear forces.”

Professor Ted Postol was scientific adviser to the head of US naval operations. An authority on nuclear weapons, he told me, “Everybody here wants to look like they’re tough. See I got to be tough … I’m not afraid of doing anything military, I’m not afraid of threatening; I’m a hairy-chested gorilla. And we have gotten into a state, the United States has gotten into a situation where there’s a lot of sabre-rattling, and it’s really being orchestrated from the top.”

I said, “This seems incredibly dangerous.”

“That’s an understatement.”

In 2015, in considerable secrecy, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War. This was Talisman Sabre; an armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB — blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is such a provocation, and the fear of a US Navy blockade, that has seen China feverishly building strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Last July, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China’s claim of sovereignty over these islands. Although the action was brought by the Philippines, it was presented by leading American and British lawyers and could be traced to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2010, Clinton flew to Manila. She demanded that America’s former colony reopen the US military bases closed down in the 1990s following a popular campaign against the violence they generated, especially against Filipino women. She declared China’s claim on the Spratly Islands – which lie more than 7,500 miles from the United States – a threat to US “national security” and to “freedom of navigation”.

Handed millions of dollars in arms and military equipment, the then government of President Benigno Aquino broke off bilateral talks with China and signed a secretive Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement with the US. This established five rotating US bases and restored a hated colonial provision that American forces and contractors were immune from Philippine law.

The election of Rodrigo Duterte in April has unnerved Washington. Calling himself a socialist, he declared, “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy” and noted that the United States had not apologized for its colonial atrocities. “I will break up with America,” he said, and promised to expel US troops. But the US remains in the Philippines; and joint military exercises continue.

In 2014, under the rubric of “information dominance” – the jargon for media manipulation, or fake news, on which the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion – the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that cast China, the world’s greatest trading nation, as a threat to “freedom of navigation”.

CNN led the way, its “national security reporter” reporting excitedly from on board a US Navy surveillance flight over the Spratlys. The BBC persuaded frightened Filipino pilots to fly a single-engine Cessna over the disputed islands “to see how the Chinese would react”. None of these reporters questioned why the Chinese were building airstrips off their own coastline, or why American military forces were massing on China’s doorstep.

The designated chief propagandist is Admiral Harry Harris, the US military commander in Asia and the Pacific. “My responsibilities,” he told the New York Times, “cover Bollywood to Hollywood, from polar bears to penguins.” Never was imperial domination described as pithily.

Harris is one of a brace of Pentagon admirals and generals briefing selected, malleable journalists and broadcasters, with the aim of justifying a threat as specious as that with which George W Bush and Tony Blair justified the destruction of Iraq and much of the Middle East.

In Los Angeles in September, Harris declared he was “ready to confront a revanchist Russia and an assertive China …If we have to fight tonight, I don’t want it to be a fair fight. If it’s a knife fight, I want to bring a gun. If it’s a gun fight, I want to bring in the artillery … and all our partners with their artillery.”

These “partners” include South Korea, the launch pad for the Pentagon’s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system, known as THAAD, ostensibly aimed at North Korea. As Professor Postol points out, it targets China.

In Sydney, Australia, Harris called on China to “tear down its Great Wall in the South China Sea”. The imagery was front page news. Australia is America’s most obsequious “partner”; its political elite, military, intelligence agencies and the media are integrated into what is known as the “alliance”. Closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the motorcade of a visiting American government “dignitary” is not uncommon. The war criminal Dick Cheney was afforded this honour.

Although China is Australia’s biggest trader, on which much of the national economy relies, “confronting China” is the diktat from Washington. The few political dissenters in Canberra risk McCarthyite smears in the Murdoch press. “You in Australia are with us come what may,” said one of the architects of the Vietnam war, McGeorge Bundy. One of the most important US bases is Pine Gap near Alice Springs. Founded by the CIA, it spies on China and all of Asia, and is a vital contributor to Washington’s murderous war by drone in the Middle East.

In October, Richard Marles, the defence spokesman of the main Australian opposition party, the Labor Party, demanded that “operational decisions” in provocative acts against China be left to military commanders in the South China Sea. In other words, a decision that could mean war with a nuclear power should not be taken by an elected leader or a parliament but by an admiral or a general.

This is the Pentagon line, a historic departure for any state calling itself a democracy. The ascendancy of the Pentagon in Washington – which Daniel Ellsberg has called a silent coup — is reflected in the record $5 trillion America has spent on aggressive wars since 9/11, according to a study by Brown University. The million dead in Iraq and the flight of 12 million refugees from at least four countries are the consequence.

The Japanese island of Okinawa has 32 military installations, from which Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq have been attacked by the United States. Today, the principal target is China, with whom Okinawans have close cultural and trade ties.

There are military aircraft constantly in the sky over Okinawa; they sometimes crash into homes and schools. People cannot sleep, teachers cannot teach. Wherever they go in their own country, they are fenced in and told to keep out.

A popular Okinawan anti-base movement has been growing since a 12-year-old girl was gang-raped by US troops in 1995. It was one of hundreds of such crimes, many of them never prosecuted. Barely acknowledged in the wider world, the resistance has seen the election of Japan’s first anti-base governor, Takeshi Onaga, and presented an unfamiliar hurdle to the Tokyo government and the ultra-nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to repeal Japan’s “peace constitution”.

The resistance includes Fumiko Shimabukuro, aged 87, a survivor of the Second World War when a quarter of Okinawans died in the American invasion. Fumiko and hundreds of others took refuge in beautiful Henoko Bay, which she is now fighting to save. The US wants to destroy the bay in order to extend runways for its bombers. “We have a choice,” she said, “silence or life.” As we gathered peacefully outside the US base, Camp Schwab, giant Sea Stallion helicopters hovered over us for no reason other than to intimidate.

Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a semi- tropical sanctuary and World Heritage Site declared “an island of world peace”. On this island of world peace has been built one of the most provocative military bases in the world, less than 400 miles from Shanghai. The fishing village of Gangjeong is dominated by a South Korean naval base purpose-built for US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile system, aimed at China.

A people’s resistance to these war preparations has been a presence on Jeju for almost a decade. Every day, often twice a day, villagers, Catholic priests and supporters from all over the world stage a religious mass that blocks the gates of the base. In a country where political demonstrations are often banned, unlike powerful religions, the tactic has produced an inspiring spectacle.

One of the leaders, Father Mun Jeong-hyeon, told me, “I sing four songs every day at the base, regardless of the weather. I sing in typhoons — no exception. To build this base, they destroyed the environment, and the life of the villagers, and we should be a witness to that. They want to rule the Pacific. They want to make China isolated in the world. They want to be emperor of the world.”

I flew from Jeju to Shanghai for the first time in more than a generation. When I was last in China, the loudest noise I remember was the tinkling of bicycle bells; Mao Zedong had recently died, and the cities seemed dark places, in which foreboding and expectation competed. Within a few years, Deng Xiopeng, the “man who changed China”, was the “paramount leader”. Nothing prepared me for the astonishing changes today.

China presents exquisite ironies, not least the house in Shanghai where Mao and his comrades secretly founded the Communist Party of China in 1921. Today, it stands in the heart of a very capitalist shipping district; you walk out of this communist shrine with your Little Red Book and your plastic bust of Mao into the embrace of Starbucks, Apple, Cartier, Prada.

Would Mao be shocked? I doubt it. Five years before his great revolution in 1949, he sent this secret message to Washington. “China must industrialise.” he wrote, “This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict.”

Mao offered to meet Franklin Roosevelt in the White House, and his successor Harry Truman, and his successor Dwight Eisenhower. He was rebuffed, or willfully ignored. The opportunity that might have changed contemporary history, prevented wars in Asia and saved countless lives was lost because the truth of these overtures was denied in 1950s Washington “when the catatonic Cold War trance,” wrote the critic James Naremore, “held our country in its rigid grip”.

The fake mainstream news that once again presents China as a threat is of the same mentality.

The world is inexorably shifting east; but the astonishing vision of Eurasia from China is barely understood in the West. The “New Silk Road” is a ribbon of trade, ports, pipelines and high-speed trains all the way to Europe. The world’s leader in rail technology, China is negotiating with 28 countries for routes on which trains will reach up to 400 kms an hour. This opening to the world has the approval of much of humanity and, along the way, is uniting China and Russia.

“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Barack Obama, evoking the fetishism of the 1930s. This modern cult of superiority is Americanism, the world’s dominant predator. Under the liberal Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, nuclear warhead spending has risen higher than under any president since the end of the Cold War. A mini nuclear weapon is planned. Known as the B61 Model 12, it will mean, says General James Cartwright, former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

In September, the Atlantic Council, a mainstream US geopolitical thinktank, published a report that predicted a Hobbesian world “marked by the breakdown of order, violent extremism [and] an era of perpetual war”. The new enemies were a “resurgent” Russia and an “increasingly aggressive” China. Only heroic America can save us.

There is a demented quality about this war mongering. It is as if the “American Century” — proclaimed in 1941 by the American imperialist Henry Luce, owner of Time magazine — has ended without notice and no one has had the courage to tell the emperor to take his guns and go home.

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John Pilger can be reached through his website: http://www.johnpilger.com

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Radiation at Japan’s Fukushima Reactor Is Now at ‘Unimaginable’ Levels

February 9, 2017

Fox News: Breaking… “New fuel leaks have been discovered” at Fukushima — “Experts believe melted fuel is leaking” — Radiation levels could be over 5,000 sieverts — “Wow, this is a crazy story”… it only continues to get worse (VIDEO)
Posted: 08 Feb 2017 03:46 PM PST

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Radiation at Japan’s Fukushima Reactor Is Now at ‘Unimaginable’ Levels
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Feb 08, 2017 // 11:58am

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As seen on Happening Now

The radiation levels at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are now at “unimaginable” levels.

Adam Housley, who reported from the area in 2011 following the catastrophic triple-meltdown, said this morning that new fuel leaks have been discovered.

He said the radiation levels – as high as 530 sieverts per hour – are now the highest they’ve been since 2011 when a tsunami hit the coastal reactor.

“To put this in very simple terms. Four sieverts can kill a handful of people,” he explained.

He said that critics, including the U.S. military in 2011, have long questioned whether Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and officials have been providing accurate information on the severity of the radiation.

TEPCO maintains that the radiation is confined to the site and not a risk to the public. It’s expected to take at least $300 billion and four decades to fix it.

Housley said small levels of radiation are still being detected off the coasts of California and Oregon and scientists fear it could get worse.

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5 years later, Fukushima radiation continues to seep into the Pacific Ocean http://ln.is/www.pbs.org/newshour/sKfnI … via @NewsHour
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5 years later, Fukushima radiation continues to seep into the Pacific Ocean
it is incorrect to say that Fukushima is under control when levels of radioactivity in the ocean indicate ongoing leaks, caused by groundwater flowing through the site and, we think, enhanced after…
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“The worry is with 300 tons of radioactive water going into the Pacific every day Read the rest of this entry »

[ICAN] Norwegian activities for ICAN Global Week of Action

February 8, 2017

Akira Kawasaki kawasaki@peaceboat.gr.jp via post.freeml.com
7:50 AM (6 hours ago)

to abolition-japan
世界行動週間におけるノルウェーでの動きです!
川崎哲

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Thea katrin Mjelstad
Date: 2017-02-08 22:31 GMT+09:00
Subject: [ICAN] Norwegian activities for ICAN Global Week of Action
To: ican-campaigners@googlegroups.com

​Hi everyone,

First of all, we just want to say that the Thunderclap is a great idea and we’re trying to spread it as much as we can!

In Norway, we have some fun plans for the ICAN Global Week of Action. A lot of it is aimed at social media and to spread information about a nuclear weapon ban. These are the activities we have planned for the coming week:

We have worked together with a Norwegian illustrator who have made some really cool cartoons for ICAN to use on Facebook during the action week (and as we want after the week). We will post a new photo every day with information that is relevant for the photo. Quite many Norwegian youth NGOs and youth parties have agreed to use one of the cartoons as their Facebook cover during the Global Week of Action. We have already translated them into Spanish, English, French and Dutch (working on Swedish and German). If anyone wants them translated into another language, just send us the translation and we’ll fix it 🙂 You’ll find one of them below. Send us an email if you want to see them all.
We are making some short videos that we can spread at social media during the week, with different subjects and information.
We are arranging an event on the 15th of February, where we will show the documentary “Embracing Hiroshima”. The documentary follows a large cast of international dancers, singers and musicians on its journey across Japan to perform the piece “Will this moment ever let go?,” about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
And just to let you know, a very good article was posed recently by Agenda, a Norwegian think thank that focuses on Norwegian domestic politics and international affairs. The article concludes with saying that Norway as a NATO country can support a ban. Agenda is hosting an event about the article and the issue in general tonight with a panel of Grethe Østern (Norwegian Peoples Aid), Sveinung Rotevatn (Liberal Party) and Michale Tetzschner (Conservative Party).

We wish everyone good luck for the ICAN action week!

Best,
Anne Marte, Frode and Thea

February 6, 2017

The Finger on the Nuclear Button
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDFEB. 5, 2017
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Credit Illustration by Joan Wong; Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times
Scientists who study the risk of nuclear war recently moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2½ minutes before midnight — meaning they believe that the world is closer to nuclear catastrophe than it has been since 1953 after the United States and Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which created the clock in 1947, says that President Trump is the main reason for this worrisome development.

Mr. Trump came to office with little knowledge of the vast nuclear arsenal and the missiles, bombers and submarines it contains. He has spoken, alarmingly, about deploying this weaponry against terrorists and about expanding America’s nuclear capabilities. He has said he values unpredictability, meaning presumably that he wants to keep other nations on edge about whether he will use nuclear weapons.

“Let it be an arms race,” he told a television interviewer in December. During a debate three months earlier he contradicted himself, saying that “I would certainly not do first strike,” then adding, “I can’t take anything off the table.” What’s worrisome about all this is that it is the opposite of what Republican and Democratic presidents have long sought, which is to ensure that these weapons are not used precipitously if at all.

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It is the fear of such precipitous action that has led Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Ted Lieu of California, both Democrats, to propose legislation to prohibit any president from launching a first-strike nuclear weapon without a declaration of war from Congress.

The bill would not undercut Mr. Trump’s ability to respond on his own authority to a nuclear attack, an authority all presidents have had and should have. It has support from leading arms control advocates, including former Defense Secretary William Perry. And while it won’t go anywhere in this Republican-led Congress, it sends a clear message to Mr. Trump that he should not be the first since World War II to use nuclear weapons. Mr. Trump could more usefully deploy his energies engaging with Russia to further reduce both countries’ nuclear arsenals, maintaining the Iran nuclear deal and finding new ways to curb North Korea’s nuclear program.

A Pentagon advisory board recently proposed that the United States consider building more lower-yield nuclear weapons to provide an option for “limited use” in a regional conflict. The only legitimate role for nuclear weapons is deterrence. The absurd notion of a “limited” nuclear war, which could make it easier for a president to use lower-yield weapons, needs to be rejected. The country has enough advanced conventional weapons to defend against most threats.

Mr. Trump commands about 4,000 weapons that he alone is empowered to launch. Any decision responding to an attack would have to be made quickly. That kind of life-or-death choice would test any leader, even those well-schooled in arcane nuclear doctrine, the intricacies of power politics and the importance of not letting tensions get to the point where a nuclear exchange becomes likely. But none of Mr. Trump’s closest advisers are known to be nuclear experts, the president has yet to put together a nuclear strategy and, as the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board warned last month, Mr. Trump “has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice.”

With Mr. Trump, sound decision-making may be an even greater challenge, given his disruptive, impulsive style. There is also the fact that he has assumed office at a particularly unstable time, with the Middle East in turmoil and Russia and China acting more aggressively. This is a time for restraint and careful deliberation, and for leaders who clearly understand that nuclear weapons are too dangerous to be brandished as a cudgel.

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A version of this editorial appears in print on February 6, 2017, on Page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: The Finger on the Nuclear Button. Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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