Peace, not another Hiroshima


This 2015 video says is called Hiroshima atomic bomb: Survivor recalls horrors – BBC News.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain, 6 August 2020:

75 years after Hiroshima, campaigners call for peace and disarmament

CALLS for the British government to abolish its obscene arsenal of nuclear weapons will intensify today as the world marks Hiroshima Day — 75 years since US forces dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city, killing 140,000 people.

The calls come amid progress on the criminalisation of nuclear weapons by the United Nations, where three more countries have voted to ratify the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty needs 50 countries to ratify it, at which point it would become international law — though the pact is binding only on those countries which are party to it.

By last month, 40 countries had signed, with Sudan, Fiji and Botswana being the most recent signatories.

Britain, the United States and other nuclear powers have refused to sign and did not attend the 2017 session of the UN general assembly which voted for the treaty.

The abolition calls also come against the background of intensifying belligerence and military threats from United States President Donald Trump.

Campaigners against nuclear weapons said the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was bombed three days later, remain relevant today in a world where nuclear bomb stockpiles cast the shadow of potential global obliteration.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament secretary Kate Hudson said: “We are facing an increasingly dangerous military situation driven most alarmingly by Trump’s policies.

His withdrawal from key treaties, the possibility of the resumption of nuclear testing, all increase the risk of nuclear war.

“Of course, we understand the context for this: the US is a declining power economically and seeks to assert itself militarily.

“This has been the case for some time — noticeable under the Bush administration, which sought to compel non-compliant states to bend to the US will.

“Trump’s drive to war is far more dangerous. The US National Security Strategy focuses on what it describes as strategic rivals or competitors, notably China and Russia. Its goal is to be able to defeat them militarily, to prepare for war on a massive scale.”

She said that “so-called usable nuclear weapons” have been deployed.

“Taking these two strategies together, it is clear that there is a significant danger of a US war on China and that opposing this is a fundamental task for the movement today,” she said.

“This is a conflict where nuclear weapons will be used and we need to work with all our strength to prevent such a war.”

She said the world today is “closer to tragedy” than it has ever been.

“On this anniversary, we must recommit to working together, in unity, to ensure that those hands never reach midnight.”

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings: “We must never forget these atrocities, and we must never give up on the mission to rid our world of nuclear weapons.”

Stop the War Campaign convenor Lindsey German said: “For my generation, Hiroshima meant that there could never be another major war without the destruction of all humanity.

“We still see this terrible barbarism everywhere today. The major states are nuclear-armed and there is the ever-present threat of conflict, now growing between the US and China in particular.

“Today, August 6, we should redouble our efforts to oppose war and all nuclear weapons.”

CND Cymru chairwoman Jill Evans said: “People in Wales and internationally are marking this anniversary by joining the many events online.

“We cannot hold our planned event at the National Eisteddfod, but we can still raise our voices to call on governments to act. I urge everyone to take some time this week to listen to the powerful testimony of nuclear survivors.”

How Nato promotes its nuclear agenda. The supposed ‘defensive alliance’ is anything but – as RAE STREET reminds us.

See also here.

‘Nuclear weapons worsen global warming problem’


This 24 July 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

Interview with Susi Snyder, from the Don’t Bank on the Bomb campaign

Susi Snyder is the project lead for the PAX No Nukes project, she also coordinates the Don’t Bank on the Bomb research and campaign.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 3 August 2020:

Nuclear weapons are incompatible with action on climate,’ report warns

CAMPAIGNERS called for a “vigorous and united” movement to abolish nuclear weapons today, as a new report warned of the bomb’s role in climate catastrophe.

Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks later this week, Don’t Bank on the Bomb’s study argues that ridding Britain of its nuclear stockpile is essential in addressing climate change.

Nuclear Weapons, the Climate and Our Environment warns that the combination of a new arms race and increasing disruption from climate change make nuclear war more likely.

Greenham Common, from nuclear weapons to wildlife


Peace campaigners protest against nuclear weapons being stored at Greenham Common

By Peter Frost in Britain, 26 June 2020:

From bombs to vipers on Greenham Common

Twenty years ago Greenham Common ceased to be a cold-war bomber base — but it’s now returned to nature. PETER FROST goes snake hunting on the site

NOW, this is an interesting story. If I was a hippie (my wife Ann says “if you were still a hippie”), I might see a strange mystical connection between Greenham Common, once home of deadly nuclear weapons now being one of the best places to see Britain’s only venomous snake — the adder (Vipera berus).

The words Greenham Common hold all kinds of meanings — not least to readers of the Morning Star.

For much of the last half-century, Greenham Common was the home of nuclear weapons on an airbase shared by British and US forces.

This 2018 video is called Adder – the UK’s only VENOMOUS snake.

US nuclear weapons in Europe, who decides?


This 9 August 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear weapons are alarming.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Secret US documents: The Netherlands had nothing to say about stored nuclear weapons

Recently, top-secret 1961 documents from the United States military revealed new information about the storage and role of nuclear weapons in the Netherlands. This shows that the Netherlands had no say in what happened to those weapons. It is not clear why this is because the Dutch government has never confirmed or denied the presence of nuclear weapons.

The United States National Security Archives have published the documents “to spark a broad discussion about the different facets of nuclear history.”

The documents reveal an “unmistakable nuclear hierarchy”, writes geopolitical expert Ko Colijn in Clingendael Spectator. The United States was allowed to decide whether to use nuclear weapons in the Netherlands, without our country having any say in that. The same was true for the weapons in Denmark, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Other countries, such as France, the United Kingdom, … Japan and Canada, did have this authority. “They always negotiated a kind of veto and could have their say if circumstances allowed,” writes Colijn. Eg, the documents state that the British Prime Minister must be called before the weapons are used.

Volkel

It has long been an open secret that US American nuclear weapons are stored in Volkel in North Brabant, but the Dutch government has never confirmed this.

German government spends billions on militarism


This 27 March 2020 video is called Germany Proposes Buying 90 Eurofighters, 45 Boeing F/A-18s To Replace Tornado Jets.

Coronavirus crisis or no coronavirus crisis

By Gregor Link and Johannes Stern in Germany:

German government plans purchase of 138 fighter jets and prepares for nuclear war

7 May 2020

Germany’s government is preparing to purchase 93 Eurofighters and 45 US-made F-18 fighter jets for a total cost of almost €20 billion. The Eurofighter is produced by Airbus, while Boeing makes the F-18.

Among the latter type are 30 “Super Hornet” jets, whose purpose is to guarantee Germany’s involvement in atomic warfare and make possible the deployment of US nuclear weapons located on German territory in the event of a nuclear war. Tornado strike bombers have been used for the purpose, but they need to be removed from service by 2030 and replaced.

Der Spiegel reported last month that German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (Christian Democrats, CDU) offered the deal to US Defence Secretary Mark Esper in an email. The extra-parliamentary move apparently took place with the approval of the CDU’s coalition partners, the Social Democrats. In a statement, the Defence Ministry noted that the SPD had been involved in the process for weeks. Der Spiegel also reported that secret agreements were struck with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (both SPD).

On Monday, government officials reiterated Germany’s commitment to the “nuclear participation” as part of NATO. It is “an important component of a credible deterrence strategy in the alliance,” stressed government spokesman Stefan Seibert in Berlin.

Foreign Minister Maas distanced himself from other SPD members, including SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans, who over previous days criticised Germany’s purchase of US-made planes and the close nuclear alliance with Washington. “One-sided steps that undermine the trust of our close partners and European neighbours weaken our alliances,” Maas declared.

On Sunday, SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich told German daily Tagesspiegel, “the nuclear weapons on German territory do not heighten our security, on the contrary.” It is “high time for Germany to rule out future stationing. Other states have done this without calling NATO into question.” He then added, “As Germans, we should confidently demand to influence NATO’s nuclear strategy, even when no nuclear weapons are stored on our territory.”

The criticism of the government from sections of the SPD, who are being supported by the Left Party, has nothing to do with pacifism. Its goal is to develop a foreign and nuclear policy that is more independent of the United States and dominated by Germany and the EU. In the past, the SPD demanded that the Tornados be replaced exclusively with repurposed Eurofighters to “promote domestic production and prevent too great a reliance on the United States,” as a report from the news channel N-TV noted.

Regardless of which fighter jet model the German government ends up choosing, what is taking place is the largest rearmament of the German air force since the end of the Second World War, and, in the final analysis, the nuclear arming of Germany. According to the Defence Ministry, the government’s desire to purchase F-18 fighter jets is merely seen as a “temporary solution for nuclear participation and air-supported electronic combat.” The development of “[Future Combat Air System (FCAS)] should not be endangered.”

The FCAS is a European system composed of manned multi-purpose fighter jets, several unmanned aircraft (remote carriers), and new weapons and communications systems. The plan is for an integrated combat system incorporating drones, fighter jets, satellites, and command-and-control aircraft, potentially linked to an independent nuclear capability.

In a keynote foreign policy address in February, French President Emmanuel Macron appealed for a “strategic dialogue” on Europe’s nuclear deterrence. In the face of a nuclear arms race, Macron declared that the Europeans cannot restrict themselves “to the role of spectators.”

FCAS is part of the Franco-German led drive to transform the European Union into a military power capable of waging war independently of, and if necessary, in opposition to, the United States. Under conditions of mounting conflicts between the major powers, the development of the project is being pushed ahead aggressively. After Germany, France and Spain officially launched FCAS last June, there will “now be a shift to the technological development and demonstration over the next 18 months with a German investment of €78 million,” noted a report from the Defence Ministry on February 13.

In a press statement from April 22, Kramp-Karrenbauer also noted that the fighter jets were “a transition… to the future goal-oriented technology of FCAS.” The issue with the replacement of the Tornado fleet is to “equip the air force of the armed forces in the future in such a way that all of the capabilities of the Tornado, the capability of air combat, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and also the capability for nuclear participation, can be covered in the future.” In this process, it is “important that we retain the industrial policy capabilities here in Germany and Europe. We need a solution that ensures that the major European air system of the future, namely FCAS, is not put at risk in the period after 2040.”

The sums of money set aside for the project are gigantic. With the cost for each F-18 standing at $93 million (€85 million) and each Eurofighter costing $170 million (€156 million), the total cost for 138 jets amounts to $20 billion or €18.5 billion, although the cost for new rearmament programmes generally turn out to cost many multiples of the original figure.

The cost of the European air system is substantially higher. In total, costs will rise above €100 billion. Handelsblatt reported last year that by mid-century, the system will gobble up “up to €500 billion.”

In the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the financing of this project is a social and political crime. As the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and the International Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War noted, the cost for the F-18 jets alone (€7.47 billion) would be sufficient to establish 100,000 intensive care beds, purchase 30,000 ventilators, and pay 60,000 nurses and 25,000 doctors for an entire year.

The purchase price for these weapons of mass destruction would suffice to finance the work of the World Health Organisation for four-and-a-half years.

The German government’s plans make clear that 75 years after the end of the Second World War, German imperialism and militarism is once again reviving its criminal traditions. The German ruling elite is responding to a nuclear arms buildup by the United States and the mounting tensions between the major powers by preparing their own plans for annihilation.

Influential think tanks, commentators, newspapers, and politicians have been demanding Germany’s own weapons of mass destruction for some time.

Recently, the president of the German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP) and former head of Europe’s second large arms company EADS, Tom Enders, called, in a piece entitled, “We must talk about nuclear weapons” for collaboration with France or the creation of Germany’s own nuclear deterrent. “A responsible German security and foreign policy” must consider “the Federal Republic of Germany’s nuclear options soberly and with regard to reapolitik.” This discussion should “not exclude any option from the outset as taboo,” including “the seemingly unthinkable: does Germany need its own nuclear weapons?” The “building of a combat-ready European defence union is hard to imagine without nuclear backing.”

The only way to avert this arms race and the extermination of humanity in a third world war fought with nuclear weapons is by mobilising the working class against rearmament, war and its source—the capitalist profit system. Workers and young people must fight for the expropriation without compensation of the arms companies, the banks, and the super-rich oligarchy so that these vast resources can be deployed to combat the pandemic and meet the social needs of the vast majority. These demands are inseparable from the establishing of workers’ power and the socialist transformation of society.

The author also recommends:

European Union rearms for World War III
[21 June 2019]

German right demands nuclear “weapons of mass extermination”
[31 July 2018]

Conservative daily promotes Germany’s nuclear armament
[2 August 2017]

Military-industrial complex and nuclear weapons, video


This 28 April 2020 video says about itself:

In a response to the new SIPRI Data on Military Expenditure for 2019, the International Peace Bureau held a number of online press conferences. Here is one which was held by IPB’s two co-presidents, Lisa Clark and Philip Jennings, as well as Distinguished Associate Fellow at SIPRI and former MEP, Tarja Cronberg.

More info: here.

This 28 April 2020 video says about itself:

As part of our GDAMS Campaign (see demilitarize.org) we hosted a webinar on Nuclear Weapons in Europe:

The tensions between nuclear weapons possessors states have worsened dramatically these last months, and Europe is at the centre of the storm. The suspension of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia has directly exposed Europe to a new nuclear arms race and there is no indication that a successor to the US-Russian New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) will be negotiated before the February 2021 deadline. What is the situation from different perspectives in Europe? How can civil society bring its contribution? This Webinar replacing a Side Event due the 2020 NPT session will host experts and activists to discuss with the participants how to challenge the nuclear weapons in Europe.

– Reiner Braun IPB Executive Director
– Hans Kristensen, Director Nuclear Project -Federation of American Scientists
– Oleg Bodrov, Director Coalition for a Clean Baltic/Russia
– Kate Hudson, Executive Director CND
– Bastien Lachaud, French MP
– Kathrine Vogler, German MP
– Daniel Högsta, ICAN Campaign Coordinator
– Owen Tudor, ITUC Deputy General Secretary
– Susi Snyder, Pax Project Leader -Don’t Bank On the Bomb campaign
– Philip Jennings, IPB Co-President- Building coalition with the social movements

Whale sharks and nuclear bombs


This 2019 video says about itself:

Whale Sharks: Meet The Gentle Giants Of The Sea! | The Blue Realm

Scientists are racing against time to save the whale shark. Utilizing space-age technology from NASA and the Hubble Telescope, researchers are able to identify, catalogue and track individual animals.

From the Australian Institute of Marine Science:

Cold War nuclear bomb tests reveal true age of whale sharks

The radioactive legacy of the arms race solves a mystery about the world’s largest fish

April 6, 2020

Atomic bomb tests conducted during the Cold War have helped scientists for the first time correctly determine the age of whale sharks.

The discovery, published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, will help ensure the survival of the species — the largest fish in the world — which is classified as endangered.

Measuring the age of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) has been difficult because, like all sharks and rays, they lack bony structures called otoliths that are used to assess the age of other fish.

Whale shark vertebrae feature distinct bands — a little like the rings of a tree trunk — and it was known that these increased in number as the animal grew older. However, some studies suggested that a new ring was formed every year, while others concluded that it happened every six months.

To resolve the question, researchers led by researchers led by Joyce Ong from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, Steven Campana from the University of Iceland, and Mark Meekan from the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth, Western Australia, turned to the radioactive legacy of the Cold War’s nuclear arms race.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the USA, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and China conducted tests of nuclear weapons. Many of these were explosions detonated several kilometres in the air.

One powerful result of the blasts was the temporary atmospheric doubling of an isotope called carbon-14.

Carbon-14 is a naturally occurring radioactive element that is often used by archaeologists and historians to date ancient bones and artefacts. Its rate of decay is constant and easily measured, making it ideal for providing age estimates for anything over 300 years old.

However, it is also a by-product of nuclear explosions. Fallout from the Cold War tests saturated first the air, and then the oceans. The isotope gradually moved through food webs into every living thing on the planet, producing an elevated carbon-14 label, or signature, which still persists.

This additional radioisotope also decays at a steady rate — meaning that the amount contained in bone formed at one point in time will be slightly greater than that contained in otherwise identical bone formed more recently.

Using bomb radiocarbon data prepared by Steven Campana, Ong, Meekan, and colleagues set about testing the carbon-14 levels in the growth rings of two long-dead whale sharks stored in Pakistan and Taiwan. Measuring the radioisotope levels in successive growth rings allowed a clear determination of how often they were created — and thus the age of the animal.

“We found that one growth ring was definitely deposited every year,” Dr Meekan said.

“This is very important, because if you over- or under-estimate growth rates you will inevitably end up with a management strategy that doesn’t work, and you’ll see the population crash.”

One of the specimens was conclusively established as 50 years old at death — the first time such an age has been unambiguously verified.

“Earlier modelling studies have suggested that the largest whale sharks may live as long as 100 years,” Dr Meekan said.

“However, although our understanding of the movements, behaviour, connectivity and distribution of whale sharks have improved dramatically over the last 10 years, basic life history traits such as age, longevity and mortality remain largely unknown.

“Our study shows that adult sharks can indeed attain great age and that long lifespans are probably a feature of the species. Now we have another piece of the jigsaw added.”

Whale sharks are today protected across their global range and are regarded as a high-value species for eco-tourism. AIMS is the world’s leading whale shark research body, and the animal is the marine emblem of Dr Meekan’s home state, Western Australia.

Drs Ong, Meekan, and Campana were aided by Dr Hua Hsun Hsu from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, and Dr Paul Fanning from the Pakistan node of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation.

Rolls-Royce giving Erdogan Turkey nuclear weapons?


This 2014 video is called Turkey: Anti-nuclear protest in Sinop.

By Steve Sweeney:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fears over nuclear Turkey after Rolls Royce reactor deal

ENGINEERING firm Rolls-Royce has struck a deal with Turkey for the production of nuclear mini-reactors, sparking fears that the British company and its international consortium partners are helping pave the way for Ankara to develop a nuclear bomb.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce said that its overseas holding EUAS International ICC had signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Turkish government to “help develop low-carbon energy systems opening an exciting new chapter in the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey.”

It is part of a consortium including BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Atkins and others. They will work together on designing the new power plant.

US Trump administration threatens nuclear war


This 7 February 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Risk of Nuclear War Rises as U.S. Deploys a New Nuclear Weapon for the First Time Since the Cold War

The Federation of American Scientists revealed in late January that the U.S. Navy had deployed for the first time a submarine armed with a low-yield Trident nuclear warhead. The USS Tennessee deployed from Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia in late 2019. The W76-2 warhead, which is facing criticism at home and abroad, is estimated to have about a third of the explosive power of the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) called the news “an alarming development that heightens the risk of nuclear war.”

We’re joined by William Arkin, longtime reporter focused on military and nuclear policy, author of numerous books, including “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.” He broke the story about the deployment of the new low-yield nuclear weapon in an article he co-wrote for Federation of American Scientists. He also recently wrote a cover piece for Newsweek titled “With a New Weapon in Donald Trump’s Hands, the Iran Crisis Risks Going Nuclear.” “What surprised me in my reporting … was a story that was just as important, if not more important, than what was going on in the political world,” Arkin says.

As more than 20,000 US troops and 20,000 military vehicles began to arrive in Europe for the massive “Defender 2020” exercise targeting Russia, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper took part in a war game at US Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska involving the simulated use of nuclear weapons against Russian troops: here.

The Australian government underlined its commitment to
the US war preparations against China last Friday by announcing a further $1.1 billion upgrade to the Tindal air force base in northern Australia, primarily to provide access for US warplanes, including nuclear-capable bombers: here.

Trump attacks Medicaid for more nuclear weapons


This 30 January 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Donald Trump Moves To Cut Medicaid As His Deficit Is Projected to Hit $1 Trillion

On Thursday, the Trump administration unveiled a change in the Medicaid program that will potentially slash benefits for millions of recipients, while opening the door for a broader assault on other entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. The announcement received little attention in Washington, which is fixated on the Trump impeachment trial in the Senate: here.

Almost half of cancer patients in the US deplete entire life assets by second year of treatment: here.

This 9 August 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear weapons are alarming.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

US deploys “usable” nuclear weapon amid continuing war threats against Iran

1 February 2020

The Pentagon deployed a new, smaller nuclear warhead aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee as it sailed into the Atlantic last month in the midst of the spiraling crisis with Iran. The weapon, known as the W76-2 warhead, has an explosive yield of roughly five kilotons, a third of the destructive power of the “Little Boy” bomb that claimed the lives of some 140,000 people in Hiroshima in 1945.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) revealed the deployment this week, citing unnamed civilian and military figures. It stated that two of the 20 Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles on board the USS Tennessee and other subs will be armed with the W76-2 warheads. Each missile can be loaded with as many as eight such warheads, capable of striking multiple targets.

The new weapon has been rolled out with remarkable speed. The Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review called for the development of “a low-yield SLBM [submarine-launched ballistic missile] warhead to ensure a prompt response option that is able to penetrate adversary defenses” and close “an exploitable ‘gap’ in US regional deterrence capabilities.”

The pretext for the warhead’s deployment was the unsubstantiated claim that Russia is developing similar weapons and has adopted a doctrine of “escalate to de-escalate” or “escalate to win” by utilizing low-yield nuclear weapons, with the expectation that Washington would not retaliate with strategic warheads for fear of initiating an all-out thermonuclear war. The Pentagon’s argument has been that a low-yield and rapid reaction ballistic missile is needed to “restore deterrence.”

The report by the FAS strongly suggests, however, that this alleged Russian doctrine is a pretext and that “it is much more likely that the new low-yield weapon is intended to facilitate first-use of nuclear weapons against North Korea or Iran.”

It points out that both the US National Security Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) envision the use of nuclear weapons in response to “non-nuclear attacks, and large-scale conventional aggression”, and that the NPR explicitly stated that the W76-2 warhead was designed to “expand the range of credible US options for responding to nuclear or non-nuclear strategic attack.” Washington does not rule out a nuclear strike, including against non-nuclear armed countries like Iran.

The deployment of the USS Tennessee with its new “usable” nuclear warheads came at roughly the same time as President Donald Trump huddled with his top aides on December 29 at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, ordering the criminal drone missile assassination of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, one of Iran’s top officials. The drone killing was carried out at Baghdad’s international airport five days later.

In a report Thursday, NBC News, citing unnamed senior US officials, established that at the same meeting in Florida, “Trump also authorized the bombing of Iranian ships, missile launchers and air defense systems… Technically, the military can now hit those targets without further presidential authorization, though in practice, it would consult with the White House before any such action.”

The report warned that “the two sides remain in a dangerous boxer’s clench, in which the smallest miscalculation, some officials believe, could lead to disaster.”

In other words, for all the talk of war having been averted following the act of war and war crime carried out by Washington in the murder of Suleimani, the reality is that the world remains on the knife’s edge of a catastrophic military confrontation, which could rapidly escalate into the first use of nuclear weapons in three-quarters of a century.

The threat against Iran is part of far broader buildup to global war through which US imperialism is seeking to offset the erosion of its previously hegemonic domination of the global economy by resorting to the criminal use of overwhelming military force.

After securing a $738 billion military budget for 2020 with the support of an overwhelming majority—Democratic and Republican alike—in the US Congress, the Trump administration is now preparing to push through a 20 percent increase in the budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the agency overseeing the buildup of the US nuclear arsenal. This $20 billion budget proposal, made public this week, represents only a fraction of the more than $1 trillion the US is projected to spend on “modernizing” the arsenal over the next three decades—plans that were set into motion under the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, before Trump took office.

Trump is a war criminal. His threats to carry out the “obliteration” of Iran and to rain “fire and fury” upon North Korea are not merely hyperbole. The “usable” nuclear weapons to commit such atrocities have already been placed in his hands.

As the Senate impeachment trial of the US president limps to an ignominious close, it is striking that Trump’s greatest crimes, including acts of war and his threat to drag the world into a nuclear war, feature in no way in the charges against him. On the contrary, the articles of impeachment center on allegations that he withheld lethal military aid to Ukraine and has been insufficiently aggressive in confronting Russia.

This charge is made, as Newsweek pointed out this week, after the Pentagon staged an unprecedented 93 separate military exercises between May and the end of September of last year, all of them simulating or preparing for war against Russia. This includes practice bombing runs less than 500 miles from the Russian border and the steady build-up of ground forces in the three Baltic states and Poland, together with escalating US air deployments described as “bomber assurance” and “theater security” programs.

The drive to war has its source not in the diseased mind of Donald Trump, but rather in the insoluble crisis of global capitalism. There exists no antiwar faction within the US ruling class, including its Democratic representatives, only tactical differences over how US imperialist interests should best be pursued on the global arena.

The struggle against a new imperialist world war and the threat it poses to the survival of humanity can be based only upon the struggles of the working class, which is engaged in a wave of strikes and social upheavals across the planet. These emerging mass struggles must be armed with a socialist and internationalist program to unify workers in the common fight to put an end to the source of war and social inequality, the capitalist system.

The most ominous feature of the new budget document issued Monday by the Trump administration is the prominent place given to the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including so-called low-yield weapons, smaller than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which are widely regarded as more likely to actually be used in combat: here.