Nuclear weapons, from Hiroshima to Trump

This music video from England says about itself:

Liverpool Socialist Singers perform at Merseyside C.N.D.’s Nagasaki and Hiroshima Day on 9th August 2014 at St. John’s Gardens, Liverpool.

By Kate Hudson in Britain:

August 6, 2018

A day to recommit to a world without nuclear weapons

On the 73rd anniversary of the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb, KATE HUDSON looks at how Trump’s volatile and increasingly militaristic presidency is making nuclear war more likely

AS we remember the terrible events that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 73 years ago, we cannot avoid the awful realisation that we are closer to nuclear war than at any time since the height of the cold war.

Earlier this year, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, the closest they’ve been since the 1950s. To understand much of the reason we need look no further than the US White House.

Already this year we’ve heard the media talk of the possibility of World War III. As we pull back from the nuclear brink one week, we veer closer to it the next.

This seems to be the new normal under President Donald Trump, currently on a roller coaster of wildly conflicting messages — simultaneously bringer of peace to East Asia and harbinger of war in the Middle East.

Of course, this is what we’ve come to expect from Trump, but whatever occasional perks his unpredictability may seem to throw up, the reality is that the trajectory of his foreign and military policy is bad and dangerous.

Trump’s presidency has ushered in a new era of militarism and recent policy documents indicate preparation for high-tech massively violent wars against Russia and China.

Trump’s new defence strategy states that the US will compete for dominance against its long-term strategic competitors — Russia and China — now designated as “revisionist powers” that wish to reshape the world consistent with their “authoritarian model.”

“Rogue regimes” are still a focus for concern, but the “war on terror” is downgraded — no longer the central military priority.

The new approach shifts the big picture focus away from the Middle East and extends Barack Obama’s focus on China to encompass the entire Eurasian landmass.

With the emphasis now away from asymmetrical warfare with non-state actors to war with major powers, the risk of nuclear confrontation and war is increased.

The recently published new US nuclear posture review develops this framework and makes nuclear war more likely.

It takes the lid off the restraints on both new-build and nuclear weapons use.

The most significant element of the review is commitment to a whole new generation of nuclear weapons, with the emphasis on low-yield, often described as “usable”, nuclear weapons. It should be pointed out here that the bombs used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki are technically low-yield in today’s parlance, so we are not talking about something small.

This goes hand in hand with the recently announced $1.2 trillion programme for nuclear weapons “modernisation.” Of course, the US is not the only one to “modernise” its nukes.

Russia is also undertaking such a programme, although it is worth noting that its goal is to phase out and replace all Soviet-era strategic nuclear weapons systems.

This process, which has been under way since the late 1990s, is around 70 per cent complete, due to be finished in the mid-2020s.

Compare that to Britain, which is currently in the Trident replacement modernisation process, where we are now onto our second post-cold war system — Trident and now Dreadnought.

China too is modernising and expanding, albeit from a very small start — its arsenal hovers, size-wise, between those of France and Britain.

Perceived threats to China, resulting from the US military build-up and “pivot” towards Asia, following on from decades of Nato expansion and now exacerbated by Trump’s new defence strategy, mean that China may seek to be a greater nuclear force, linked with Russia to counter the US drive to dominate Eurasia.

When they moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, the atomic scientists cited nuclear risk, climate change and emerging technologies as the key drivers for catastrophe. But of those three, they put nuclear centre stage, highlighting “reckless language”, spending on new nukes and provocative military exercises.

It’s easy to point the finger at the US in this regard, with Russia following close behind. But again, if you look at Britain’s record, we’re up there with the worst of them. How eager are some of our ministers, and indeed Prime Minister, to assert that they would press the nuclear button? Surely this too is “reckless language.”

In terms of spending on new nukes, the lifetime cost of Trident replacement is £205 billion and rising. And when it comes to provocative military exercises, Britain has significant involvement in Nato exercises that take place on an enormous scale — around 100 in 2017 alone.

Major exercises have taken place in Scotland and recent B52 exercises over the North Sea were run from UK bases.

If the first year of Trumpism is anything to go by, there is a dynamic in world politics that seems to be inexorably leading towards greater global tension, conflict and war.

This is bad enough, but, if you add the possibility of nuclear war, it becomes a vision too terrible to contemplate. At this time, when our thoughts turn to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there can be no more fitting tribute to the hibakusha survivors of those bombings than to recommit ourselves to working for a world of peace and justice, for a world without nuclear weapons.

Here in Britain, that means scrapping Trident and cancelling its replacement. No ifs, no buts.

Kate Hudson is general secretary of CND.

FOX NEWS HAILS DEFEAT OF ‘COMMUNIST JAPAN’ Ainsley Earhardt, the one stuck between the two potted plants on the “Fox & Friends” sofa, has delivered a Churchillian rallying cry for America, reminding the country of the republic’s glorious defeat of “communist Japan.” [HuffPost]

12 thoughts on “Nuclear weapons, from Hiroshima to Trump

    • The most bloody wars in history, World War I and II, were basically European wars. Auschwitz was European.

      The criminal bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima was the US American government.


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  2. Japan herdenkt atoombom op Hiroshima

    Tienduizenden mensen hebben maandag in Japan de nucleaire aanval op Hiroshima herdacht. Ook elders werd stil gestaan bij de massamoord van 73 jaar geleden uitgevoerd door de Amerikanen.

    Aan de jaarlijkse ceremonie in Hiroshima namen 50.000 Japanners deel, onder wie vertegenwoordigers van 85 landen. Op 6 augustus 1945 liet de Amerikaanse bommenwerper Enola Gay een atoombom vallen op Hiroshima. Drie dagen later viel een tweede atoombom op de havenstad Nagasaki. Als gevolg hiervan kwamen honderdduizenden mensen om, een vergeldingsactie voor de Slag van Okinama in 1945 en indirect de Japanse aanval op Pearl Harbor in 1941.

    Burgemeester Kazumi Matsui van Hiroshima hekelde maandagochtend tijdens de ceremonie het feit dat kernwapens worden gebruikt als afschrikmiddel om „de internationale orde te handhaven door rivaliserende landen angst aan te jagen.” Hij noemde die praktijk „inherent instabiel en extreem gevaarlijk.” De aanwezigen namen een minuut stilte in acht op het tijdstip waarop 73 jaar geleden de bom viel. Ook het verkeer viel stil.

    Matsui had verder kritiek op de houding van de Japanse overheid die weigert het VN-verdrag te ondertekenen om te komen tot een wereldwijd verbod op kernwapens. Op 7 juli 2017 stemden 122 landen voor het verdrag. De overeenkomst verbiedt landen om kernwapens te ontwikkelen, testen, fabriceren, bezitten, op te slaan, te verplaatsen, te gebruiken of met het gebruik ervan te dreigen of de plaatsing van kernwapens op het grondgebied toe te staan.

    Enschede voor Vrede herdacht maandag de Japanse slachtoffers met een symbolische die-in op de Oude Markt van de Overijsselse stad. De opkomst voor de herdenking in het Belgische Gent was indrukwekkender. Zondagavond lieten honderden vredesactivisten lampionnen te water voor de slachtoffers en riepen op tot een wereldwijd totaal verbod op kernwapens. Ook in de Belgische steden Bergen en Leuven vonden herdenkingsbijeenkomsten plaats.

    Bron: Ravage Webzine 07-08-2018


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