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]