Belgians say away with NATO nuclear weapons

This video from Belgium says about itself:

Bombspotters entering the military base of Kleine Brogel in 2001 for a war crimes inspection. Bombspotting campaigns against nuclear weapons, which are as illegal for NATO as for ‘rogue states’ like Saddam’s Iraq.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Top Belgian politicians call on Nato to get rid of nuclear weapons

Friday 19 February 2010

Four senior Belgian politicians have called on their government to press Nato to get rid of its nuclear arsenal.

“We appeal to our government to take active steps in Nato to secure the quick removal of these nuclear arms,” said ex-foreign minister Willy Claes, who served as Nato secretary-general in the 1990s, ex-premiers Jean-Luc Dehaene and Guy Verhofstadt and former foreign minister Louis Michel.

Nato’s nuclear arms no longer serve a military purpose and encourage other nations to acquire atomic weapons, the four insisted.

Getting rid of nuclear arms would send “an extremely positive signal” to non-nuclear nations prior to a scheduled May review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they said.

The four said the time seemed right, pointing to positive signals from the Obama administration.

Washington maintains nuclear bombs at air bases in several European nations including Belgium.

Willy Claes belongs to the right wing of the Belgian social democrats (NATO would not have accepted him as its secretary-general if he would have belonged to the party’s left wing).

Guy Verhofstadt and Louis Michel are members of the pro-capitalist “Liberal” parties in Belgium (“Liberal” not in the United States sense, but in the West European sense of pro-capitalist. Verhofstadt even used to admire Margaret Thatcher).

Jean-Luc Dehaene is a member of the rather conservative Christian Democrats.

So, neither of these four politicians is a far Leftist (or any sort of Leftist).

Unfortunately, it would have been better if these four politicians would have pushed these anti nuclear weapons policies while they were still in office. It reminds me of other politicians who start showing sanity after leaving office (Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, Dutch ex-Prime Minister Dries van Agt, etc.)

Nevertheless, it is to be hoped that politicians, presently in office, will listen to the words of these four (ex-)colleagues; and will put them into practice.

Top Bush adviser [John Yoo] defends allowing president to massacre, nuke civilians: here.

The US army has said that it was missing a deadline to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile and proposed to blow some of them up to save time: here.

U.S. Navy Conceals Nuclear Weapons Production in California: here.

US President Barack Obama has renounced the development of any new nuclear weapons tearing up former president George W Bush’s threat to launch a nuclear attack against countries that used chemical or biological weapons against the US.


Red-crested pochard in the Hague city center

The Hofvijver in the center of The Hague is a pond next to the Dutch parliament. These days, this area is not just interesting because the Dutch government may break up because of their disunity about the Afghan war.

It is also interesting because there is ice on three quarters of the Hofvijver. On the ice floes and in the open water, many birds gather, as daily Trouw reports.

Many moorhens, coots, black-headed gulls. A common pochard. And a red-crested pochard, a rare bird in the Netherlands.

This is a video from January 2010 of the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen nature reserve near Zandvoort in the Netherlands, and fallow deer and birds there; including red-crested pochards.