Ukrainian government threatens nuclear weapons proliferation


This video from the USA is called Noam Chomsky (2014) “How To Solve Nuclear Proliferation?”

As if the continuing Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, and the non-nuclear weapons are not already killing far too many people in Ukraine

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday 16th September 2014

Ukrainian Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey warned on Sunday night that his country could restart its own nuclear programme.

The minister said that the programme would be revived if Kiev does not receive satisfactory military support against what he alleged was a nuclear threat from Russia.

“If we fail to defend Ukraine today, if the world does not help us, we will have to get back to the creation of such weapons which will defend us from Russia,” he threatened.

Mr Heletey stressed that his country sought military support from Nato, the United States and Britain in particular.

And he claimed that his country was already receiving arms from Nato.

Those claims were repeated by another senior official but were later denied by four of the five Nato countries he mentioned.

Meanwhile, government troops resumed shelling rebel-held Donetsk.

Shelling killed six people and wounded 15 others in the city, its council reported yesterday — the worst violation yet of the ceasefire that took effect on September 5.

The city had been heavily shelled on Sunday, damaging both residential and administrative buildings, the council said.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said that they had been only 650 feet away from where four shells burst in the embattled city.

Nevertheless, prisoner exchanges continued despite the hostilities and another 73 Ukrainian soldiers were freed late on Sunday night in an exchange with the rebels.

Donetsk rebel leader Andrei Purgin confirmed that 73 rebels had been released in return.

USA: ‘MAJOR RENEWAL IN NUCLEAR ARMS’ “It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars. This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for ‘a nuclear-free world’ and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy.” [NYT]

Nagasaki mayor criticizes Japanese government militarism


This video is called Shock Doctrine in Japan: Shinzo Abe‘s Rightward Shift to Militarism, Secrecy in Fukushima’s Wake.

From Associated Press:

Japanese defence policy questioned on 69th anniversary of atomic bombing

Mari Yamaguchi

Published Saturday, August 9, 2014 7:59AM EDT

TOKYO — The mayor of Nagasaki on Saturday criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s push toward Japan’s more assertive defence policy, as the city marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

In his “peace declaration” speech at the ceremony in Nagasaki’s Peace Park, Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged Abe’s government to listen to growing public concerns over Japan’s commitment to its pacifist pledge.

Thousands of attendants, including U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and a record number of representatives from 51 countries, offered a minute of silence and prayed for the victims at 11:02 a.m., the moment the bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, as bells rang. They also laid wreaths of white and yellow chrysanthemums at the Statue of Peace.

The U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, prompting Tokyo’s World War II surrender. The first on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people and the Nagasaki bomb killed another 70,000.

The anniversary comes as Japan is divided over the government’s decision to allow its military to defend foreign countries and play greater roles overseas by exercising what is referred to as collective self-defence. To achieve that goal, Abe’s Cabinet revised its interpretation of Japan’s war-renouncing constitution.

Pacifism, enshrined in the constitution, is the “founding principle” of postwar Japan and Nagasaki, Taue said.

“However, the rushed debate over collective self-defence has prompted concern that this principle is shaking,” he said. “I strongly request that the Japanese government take note of the situation and carefully listen to the voices of distress and concerns.”

Polls show more than half of respondents are opposed to the decision, mainly because of sensitivity over Japan’s wartime past and devastation at home.

Representing the Nagasaki survivors, Miyako Jodai, 75, said that Abe’s government was not living up to expectations.

Jodai, a retired teacher who was exposed to radiation just 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) from ground zero, said that the defence policy that puts more weight on military power was “outrageous” and a shift away from pacifism.

“Please stand by our commitment to peace. Please do not forget the sufferings of the atomic bombing survivors,” Jodai said at the ceremony.

The number of surviving victims, known as “hibakusha,” was just more than 190,000 this year across Japan. Their average age is 79. In Nagasaki, 3,355 survivors died over the past year, while 5,507 passed away in Hiroshima.

Abe kept his eyes closed and sat motionless as he listened to the outright criticism, rare at a solemn ceremony.

In his speech, he did not mention his defence policy or the pacifist constitution. He repeated his sympathy to the victims and said Japan as the sole victim of nuclear attacks has the duty to take leadership in achieving a nuclear-free society, while telling the world of the inhumane side of nuclear weapons.

The speech had minor tweaks from last year’s, after Abe faced criticism that the speech he delivered in Hiroshima on Thursday was almost identical to the one from the previous year, Kyodo News reported.

The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released its latest defence white paper this week, setting the stage for further boosting Japan’s military capacities, directed unmistakeably against China: here.

World War I dead, Hiroshima dead and British nuclear weapons


This video from the USA says about itself:

On August 6, 2007, activists in Syracuse, NY, marched for a nuclear free future. As part of this Hiroshima Day parade they called for an end to nuclear weapons, an end to nuclear power, and for a responsible energy policy.

By Symon Hill in Britain:

An insult to the dead

Wednesday 6th August 2014

Today, on Hiroshima Day, SYMON HILL calls on our political leaders to mark WWI by doing the decent thing – abolishing Trident

FEW things illustrate the absurdity of British political debate more than the row over the notes attached to wreaths from party leaders to mark the World War I centenary.

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were accused of insulting the people killed in war because they did not write personal messages on their wreaths.

David Cameron’s wreath came with a handwritten note and signature.

This is a row drummed up by politicians and commentators utterly detached from the realities of war.

Cameron and Clegg insult the victims of war every day by ploughing billions into the sixth-highest military budget in the world.

Just as we should “never forget” World War I, today we mark the anniversary of another event that should always be remembered.

At 8.15am on August 6 1945, US forces, with the backing of the British government, dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. Around 70,000 — 80,000 people were killed instantly.

Numbers are difficult to estimate, but the death toll by the end of the year may been double this figure.

Some died of radiation and injuries. With over two-thirds of the city’s buildings destroyed, many became homeless and slowly died of starvation or hypothermia.

Three days after the bombing, the US dropped a similar bomb on Nagasaki.

It is a chilling thought that those bombs were relatively small in their impact compared to what some of today’s nuclear arms can do.

If Cameron were serious about honouring the dead of past wars, he would not have just spent millions upgrading the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire, where major parts of Trident nuclear weapons are developed.

The payment implies an arrogant assumption that MPs will back Cameron’s plan of renewing Trident when the decision comes before Parliament in 2016.

If Miliband wants to honour the dead, he still has time to speak up for a different approach to the world.

This would include reduced military spending and an end to arms exports to oppressive regimes.

It would have to include opposition to the renewal of the British government’s nuclear arsenal.

If he took such a stance, Miliband would be aligning himself with public opinion.

Trident is an issue on which the British public are well to the left of most politicians.

A poll in 2010 showed 63 per cent opposed to Trident renewal. This had risen to 79 per cent by April this year.

Protests and blockades are becoming ever more frequent at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, many co-ordinated by the diverse activist group Action AWE.

Along with CND, Action AWE will mark the Nagasaki anniversary on Saturday by unfurling a seven-mile scarf between the two AWE bases of Aldermaston and Burghfield.

Over 4,000 people have knitted parts of this scarf. The novelty of their action has triggered local media interest where the knitting is taking place and brought the anti-Trident message to people who may not otherwise have heard it.

History shows time and again that the build-up of arms makes war more likely, not less.

In the early years of the 20th century, right-wing politicians were keen to quote the Roman saying, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

As we remember both World War I and the Hiroshima bombing, it should be obvious that if we prepare for war, we will get what we have prepared for.

Symon Hill is a socialist Christian writer and campaigner. He is teaching about the peace movement in World War I for the Workers’ Educational Association.

Political and military leaders from Europe and the US used commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I to press for new wars: here.

An extraordinary pro-war propaganda juggernaut has been set in motion in Australia this week, with commemorations held across the country to mark the centenary of World War I: here.

A remarkable document published July 31 on US military planning calls for the Pentagon to prepare to wage as many as half a dozen wars at the same time, including wars in which the antagonist possesses nuclear weapons: here.

Japan marks 69th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing: here.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui challenges world leaders to see atomic bomb-scarred cities first-hand to be convinced that nuclear weapons should not exist: here.

“War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing: here.

NOAM CHOMSKY TACKLES THE NUCLEAR ERA: “If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but — so the evidence suggests — not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.” [HuffPost]

United States scientist sacked for opposition to nuclear weapons


This video from Japan about nuclear destruction is called George Takei Remembers Hiroshima.

By Tom Hall in the USA:

US researcher victimized over article opposing nuclear weapons

5 August 2014

The Los Alamos National Laboratory fired James E. Doyle, a respected nuclear security expert, in early July after more than a year of persecution stemming from a scholarly article he had published calling for nuclear disarmament, according to an account published Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity.

The fact that a US government laboratory victimized a researcher for expressing opposition to nuclear weapons, a view shared by the overwhelming majority of the world’s population, testifies to the crisis-ridden character of American foreign policy. In case after case around the world, the US is attempting to shore up its declining supremacy through increasingly reckless and brazen acts of aggression, up to and including stoking conflict with Russia and China, both nuclear powers.

Located in New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is a Department of Energy facility that researches and develops nuclear weapons. It is one of the largest research facilities in the world and has an annual budget of over $2 billion. Doyle had worked for 17 years as a contractor in the lab’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Division.

In February 2013, Doyle published a front-page article in Survival, the journal of the UK-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Titled “Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?”, the piece argued that nuclear deterrence was a “myth” that damaged the ability of world governments to “meet the mutual global challenges of the twenty-first century.”

Doyle’s article dismantles the various official legends surrounding nuclear weapons. He disputes the shopworn assertion that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in World War II saved tens of thousands of lives by precluding an invasion of the Japanese mainland, citing the “emerging view among historians that the entry of the Soviet Union into the Pacific War on 9 August 1945 was more decisive in Japan’s decision to surrender than the threat of further atomic bombings.”

Moreover, Doyle points to the various near-misses during the Cold War, as well as the recklessness of American and Soviet politicians and military leaders during the Cuban missile crisis, as contradicting the theory that nuclear deterrence “induces caution during crises, [making] leaders more risk-adverse.” From this he concludes, “It is clearly unreasonable to assert that evidence supports the claim that nuclear deterrence was the major cause of war-avoidance [in the post-war era]. This assertion is a belief, unsupported by anything approaching a strong, clear body of historically documented evidence.” He ends by appealing to the “international community” to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100-year anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan.

Doyle submitted his article, prepared over months in his spare time, for review by the laboratory’s censors, although he was not required to do so. While his supervisors encouraged him to adopt a more “moderate” stance to avoid hurting the interests of the laboratory, they did not raise any concerns about classified information and did not attempt to prevent him from publishing the article.

Less than a week after publication, however, Doyle’s superiors declared that the article contained classified information. As part of a phony investigation, they demanded that Doyle hand over copies of every article he had ever published.

Demonstrating the politically motivated character of the investigation, Los Alamos’ Chief Classification Officer Daniel Gerth overruled three subordinates who advised him that they had found no classified material in the article. Despite making no effort to remove the article from circulation, which is still freely available on the IISS’s website, security officials at the laboratory demanded access to Doyle’s home computer in order to delete Doyle’s personal copies of the article from his hard drive.

The Laboratory administration suspended Doyle’s security clearance for one month. In addition, they suspended, rather than revoked, Doyle’s access to information on foreign nuclear programs, a method of proceeding that prevented him from appealing their action. Such information was crucial to Doyle’s work as a nuclear nonproliferation expert. Finally, on July 8, 2014, the Laboratory fired him.

There are indications that the campaign against Doyle originated from sections of Congress. The Center for Public Integrity cites Doyle’s former supervisor, Scott Gibbs, as saying that the lab’s government relations office in Washington had told him that Doyle’s article had upset someone on the House Armed Services Committee. Gibbs refused to comment further, and Washington officials contacted by the Center for Public Integrity declined to confirm or deny Gibb’s allegations.

However, the fact that all four of the complaints lodged by Doyle with numerous government agencies were summarily dismissed despite the obviously political character of the case suggests widespread collusion to punish Doyle for his remarks.

Doyle is a solidly establishment figure. Before working 17 years at Los Alamos, he wrote the Department of Energy’s plan for securing nuclear material in Russia in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is a well-known researcher in nuclear non-proliferation and wrote a textbook on the subject that is used in more than 30 universities around the world. Indeed, his article opposes nuclear proliferation from the standpoint of safeguarding American “national security” and quotes Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

Yet clearly he is aware of the suicidal implications of contemporary American foreign policy and brought those concerns to the public at large in his article. This was considered a red line by sections of the US security apparatus.

The article clearly touched a nerve in government circles when it declared, “Current US nuclear posture with respect to Russia seems to be completely out of step with declared policy. In 1994, Russia and the United States reached a bilateral de-targeting agreement…but if Russia is not presumed to be a potential adversary, [the] fundamental features of the current US nuclear force structure and operating posture make little sense.” Although he holds back from any conclusions, the evidence Doyle offers makes clear that the real aim of US nuclear policy is maintaining an aggressive war footing, primarily against Russia, with an eye toward asserting its dominance over every area of the globe.

The government is clearly fearful of the examples set by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Because of the immense dangers involved and the complete lack of any support for these policies among the population, the ruling elite cannot tolerate any dissension in the ranks of the military-industrial complex.

The author also recommends:

Are you ready for nuclear war?
[30 July 2014]