Senator Warren against nuclear war, chickenhawks angry


This 7 August 2019 video from the USA is called [Washington] DC Cretins Chastise [senator and Democratic party presidential candidate Elizabeth] Warren For Ruling Out Offensive Nuclear Strikes.

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Donald Trump’s nuclear weapons across Europe


This 22 July 2019 video says about itself:

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Hidden Across Europe

The Belgian newspaper De Morgen pointed out that nuclear bombs are stored in 6 European and US bases.

De Morgen quotes a NATO document:

“In the context of NATO, the United States is deploying around 150 nuclear weapons in Europe, particularly B61 gravity bombs, which can be deployed by both US and Allied planes. These bombs are stored in six American and European bases: Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Inçirlik in Turkey.”

Nuclear weapons proliferation, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia?


This 20 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Admin’s Secretive Talks to Sell Saudi Arabia Nuclear Technology Spark New Fear of Arms Race

House Democrats are accusing the Trump administration of moving toward transferring highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of U.S. law. Critics say the deal could endanger national security while enriching close allies of President Trump. Saudi Arabia is considering building as many as 16 nuclear power plants by 2030, but many critics fear the kingdom could use the technology to develop nuclear weapons and trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

We speak with Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna of California and Isaac Arnsdorf, a reporter with ProPublica. Arnsdorf first wrote about the intense and secretive lobbying effort to give nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in 2017. His reporting was cited in the House report.

After the threats of Donald Trump proliferating nuclear weapons to the Saudi absolute monarchy, and to his right-wing crony Shinzo Abe in Japan … now Australia?

By Peter Symonds in Australia:

Prominent Australian academic suggests building nuclear weapons

11 July 2019

Strategic analyst Hugh White has reignited a debate in media and security circles about building nuclear weapons to defend the country against the alleged threat posed by nuclear-armed powers, particularly China. His recently published book, How to Defend Australia, argues that nuclear weapons need to be considered because the United States is in relative decline and can no longer be relied upon to defend Australia in a “more contested and more dangerous” region.

This discussion is taking place in the context of a broader dispute in the political establishment over how to position Australian capitalism amid the increasingly belligerent US confrontation with China over economic issues and the US military build-up in the Indo-Pacific in preparation for war.

The dominant position in ruling circles is that Australia has no choice but to stick with the US military alliance, even if it damages relations with its top trading partner, China. Indeed, since US President Barack Obama announced his aggressive “pivot to Asia” against China in the Australian parliament in 2011, Australian military and military bases have been integrated ever more closely with the US, and governments—Labor and Coalition—have toed the line from Washington.

White, a former senior defence official, Labor government adviser and now professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, is one of the dissident voices. He has previously advocated for the US to strike a power-sharing deal with China to defuse tensions, but now suggests that Australia has to be prepared to go it alone. Amid the rising dangers of a US-China war, White lines up with others who, either directly or indirectly, advocate for a more “independent” foreign policy.

White makes clear that the necessary corollary of a so-called independent foreign policy is a huge build-up in the Australian military. He calls for a virtual doubling of military spending—from 2 percent to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product. Such an increase would be extracted from the working class via the further gutting of essential social services.

White’s argument—in public at least—is based on the hoary old lie that the military build-up is purely defensive in character. In reality, the military’s mission has always been to prosecute the economic and strategic interests of Australian imperialism, which, in more recent times, has included interventions in East Timor and Solomon Islands. Australian participation in British and US-led wars has always sought to secure the backing of the major powers for its own regional and international interests. Now, White is arguing, Australia requires more military muscle to do the same.

White claims he is not advocating the acquisition of nuclear weapons but merely encouraging a debate, which he is now fostering with the assistance of the media. It is not the first time that White has advanced this proposal, but the publication of his book has become the occasion for his appearance on a number of TV and radio programs, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s high-profile “Q&A” last Monday night.

Well aware that any decision to build nuclear weapons would face huge public opposition, White was at pains to stress that it was “the hardest issue I’ve ever dealt with in 40 years of thinking about the unpleasant business of war.” White, however, is doing far more than just encouraging a general discussion. He is outlining an entire agenda, including what would be needed to build nuclear weapons and the necessary delivery systems. He advocates creating a nuclear arsenal along the lines of Britain and France, based on submarine-launched missiles.

For all his attempts to disguise the provocative character of his arguments, White was adamant on the central point, saying: “At the moment, we depend on US nuclear weapons to deter any possible nuclear attack on Australia. The less confident we are of that, the less confident we are that we can rely on America to do that, the stronger the arguments for Australia to acquire its own.” Asked whether China or other powers were a future existential threat, he declared they could pose “at least a very, very serious threat, and one which we can no longer rely on America to defend us from.”

White is standing reality on its head. While it is true that the US faces a historic decline vis-a-vis China and other powers, the response of Obama and now Donald Trump has not been to withdraw from Asia but to confront China on all fronts—diplomatically, economically and militarily—to maintain American domination. US imperialism has no intention of being eclipsed in Asia or any other region of the world and is recklessly engaged in an economic war and military provocations in contested waters close to the Chinese mainland that could trigger open conflict. The danger to Australia’s population is not primarily from Chinese aggression, but from being dragged by the US into a war on China that would have incalculable consequences.

Rising geopolitical tensions and rivalries, and the growing danger of a global conflict, have sparked debate not only in Canberra but in other capitals, including Tokyo, Berlin and Seoul, about building nuclear weapons. A nuclear arms race would multiple many-fold the danger of a nuclear war. This prospect barely rated a mention among the politicians and commentators on the “Q&A” program. Both Liberal Senate President Scott Ryan and Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong differed with the need for nuclear weapons, but did not emphatically rule out building a nuclear arsenal. They praised White, in Wong’s words, for grappling with “the most challenging set of external circumstances since World War II.”

Scant reference was made to the fact that acquiring nuclear weapons would be a clear breach of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty that Australia has signed. Diana Sayed, a human rights lawyer, declared that it was “astonishing” that the issue was being canvassed. After branding nuclear weapons as “inhumane and indiscriminate” and an environmental disaster, Sayed said: “The fact that Australia would even be entertaining this thought is unfathomable and unconscionable to me, and it goes against everything in international law.” Her remarks were quickly brushed aside.

The growing prominence being afforded in the media to building nuclear weapons is a sure sign that behind the scenes a more intense discussion is underway. This would concern not only the advisability of a nuclear arsenal, but also how to overcome the intense public opposition and anti-war sentiment that such a decision would trigger. The debate is another warning of the advanced preparations being made in capitals around the world for war, not decades down the track, but in the not-too-distant future.

The author also recommends:

Renewed push for Australia to building nuclear weapons
[30 January 2018]

Nuclear bomb tests damage deep-sea animals


This video from the USA says about itself:

Color footage of atomic bomb tests with active duty military personnel at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada Test Site, Nevada.

Shows soldiers in foxholes as nuclear detonation occurs nearby; light and shockwaves; blowing dust; soldiers climbing out of foxholes and running towards mushroom cloud.

Some of this footage is familiar by virtue of having been seen in the film Atomic Cafe. Many soldiers who were present were exposed to high levels of radiation.

From the American Geophysical Union in the USA:

Radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests found in deep ocean trenches

May 8, 2019

Radioactive carbon released into the atmosphere from 20th-century nuclear bomb tests has reached the deepest parts of the ocean, new research finds.

A new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the first evidence of radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests in muscle tissues of crustaceans that inhabit Earth’s ocean trenches, including the Mariana Trench, home to the deepest spot in the ocean.

Organisms at the ocean surface have incorporated this “bomb carbon” into the molecules that make up their bodies since the late 1950s. The new study finds crustaceans in deep ocean trenches are feeding on organic matter from these organisms when it falls to the ocean floor. The results show human pollution can quickly enter the food web and make its way to the deep ocean, according to the study’s authors.

“Although the oceanic circulation takes hundreds of years to bring water containing bomb [carbon] to the deepest trench, the food chain achieves this much faster,” said Ning Wang, a geochemist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, China, and lead author of the new study.

“There’s a very strong interaction between the surface and the bottom, in terms of biologic systems, and human activities can affect the biosystems even down to 11,000 meters, so we need to be careful about our future behaviors,” said Weidong Sun, a geochemist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Qingdao, China, and co-author of the new study. “It’s not expected, but it’s understandable, because it’s controlled by the food chain.”

The results also help scientists better understand how creatures have adapted to living in the nutrient-poor environment of the deep ocean, according to the authors. The crustaceans they studied live for an unexpectedly long time by having extremely slow metabolisms, which the authors suspect may be an adaptation to living in this impoverished and harsh environment.

Creating radioactive particles

Carbon-14 is radioactive carbon that is created naturally when cosmic rays interact with nitrogen in the atmosphere. Carbon-14 is much less abundant than non-radioactive carbon, but scientists can detect it in nearly all living organisms and use it to determine the ages of archeological and geological samples.

Thermonuclear weapons tests conducted during the 1950s and 1960s doubled the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere when neutrons released from the bombs reacted with nitrogen in the air. Levels of this “bomb carbon” peaked in the mid-1960s and then dropped when atmospheric nuclear tests stopped. By the 1990s, carbon-14 levels in the atmosphere had dropped to about 20 percent above their pre-test levels.

This bomb carbon quickly fell out of the atmosphere and mixed into the ocean surface. Marine organisms that have lived in the decades since this time have used bomb carbon to build molecules within their cells, and scientists have seen elevated levels of carbon-14 in marine organisms since shortly after the bomb tests began.

Life at the bottom of the sea

The deepest parts of the ocean are the hadal trenches, those areas where the ocean floor is more than 6 kilometers (4 miles) below the surface. These areas form when one tectonic plate subducts beneath another. Creatures that inhabit these trenches have had to adapt to the intense pressures, extreme cold, and lack of light and nutrients.

In the new study, researchers wanted to use bomb carbon as a tracer for organic material in hadal trenches to better understand the organisms that live there. Wang and her colleagues analyzed amphipods collected in 2017 from the Mariana, Mussau, and New Britain Trenches in the tropical West Pacific Ocean, as far down as 11 kilometers (7 miles) below the surface. Amphipods are a type of small crustacean that live in the ocean and get food from scavenging dead organisms or consuming marine detritus.

Surprisingly, the researchers found carbon-14 levels in the amphipods’ muscle tissues were much greater than levels of carbon-14 in organic matter found in deep ocean water. They then analyzed the amphipods’ gut contents and found those levels matched estimated carbon-14 levels from samples of organic material taken from the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This suggests the amphipods are selectively feeding on detritus from the ocean surface that falls to the ocean floor.

Adapting to the deep ocean environment

The new findings allow researchers to better understand the longevity of organisms that inhabit hadal trenches and how they have adapted to this unique environment.

Interestingly, the researchers found the amphipods living in these trenches grow larger and live longer than their counterparts in shallower waters. Amphipods that live in shallow water typically live for less than two years and grow to an average length of 20 millimeters (0.8 inches). But the researchers found amphipods in the deep trenches that were more than 10 years old and had grown to 91 millimeters (3.6 inches) long.

The study authors suspect the amphipods’ large size and long life are likely the byproducts of their evolution to living in the environment of low temperatures, high pressure and a limited food supply. They suspect the animals have slow metabolisms and low cell turnover, which allows them to store energy for long periods of time. The long life time also suggests pollutants can bioaccumulate in these unusual organisms.

“Besides the fact that material mostly comes from the surface, the age-related bioaccumulation also increases these pollutant concentrations, bringing more threat to these most remote ecosystems,” Wang said.

The new study shows deep ocean trenches are not isolated from human activities, Rose Cory, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the new research, said in an email. The research shows that by using “bomb” carbon, scientists can detect the fingerprint of human activity in the most remote, deepest depths of the ocean, she added.

The authors also use “bomb” carbon to show that the main source of food for these organisms is carbon produced in the surface ocean, rather than more local sources of carbon deposited from nearby sediments, Cory said. The new study also suggests that the amphipods in the deep trenches have adapted to the harsh conditions in deep trenches, she added.

“What is really novel here is not just that carbon from the surface ocean can reach the deep ocean on relatively short timescales, but that the ‘young’ carbon produced in the surface ocean is fueling, or sustaining, life in the deepest trenches,” Cory said.

Trump wants nuclear weapons for Saudi royals


This 1 April 2019 video by United States Congresswoman and Democratic party presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii says about itself:

Trump’s Mind-Blowing Approval of Nuclear Tech Sale to Saudis

President Trump’s recent decision to allow U.S. companies to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear technology is both mind-blowing and inexplicable. How does it serve our interests to help Saudi Arabia develop nuclear weapons?

Nuclear weapons for the Saudi crown prince not only do not serve the interests of the people of the USA, but neither do they serve the interests of the oppressed people of Saudi Arabia, many of them poor while the royals are very rich. Or of the people of Saudi occupied Bahrain. Or of the people of Saudi massacred Yemen.

TRUMP VETOES TO SUPPORT SAUDI WAR President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a resolution to end U.S. support of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, which has been blamed for tens of thousands of deaths in the region. He called the resolution “an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.” [HuffPost]

Court of Appeal to consider legality of British arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Campaign Against Arms Trade is appealing to overturn a 2017 High Court judgement allowing the British government to continue to export arms to the absolute monarchy: here.

THE WOMAN TAX A tricky gender pay gap emerging in the race for donor dollars in the 2020 Democratic presidential race is seeing woman candidates lose out. The number of women running means they’re losing any advantage that being the sole female candidate would confer. They are also coping with broader sexism in the fundraising process, with some sponsors seeing women as risky bets. [HuffPost]

SAUDI ARABIA DETAINS 2 U.S. CITIZENS Saudi Arabia detained eight people, including two dual U.S.-Saudi citizens, in a new round of arrests in the kingdom targeting individuals supportive of women’s rights and those with ties to jailed activists. It marks the first sweep targeting individuals perceived as critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since the slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi. [HuffPost]

Anti-NATO protest in London, 2 April


This 24 May 2012 video from the USA says about itself:

NATO Protest Chicago 2012

It was estimated that about 10,000 – 15,000 people participated in the NATO protest in Chicago. Video includes Tom Morello, Vermin Supreme, interviews with protesters.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Nato protest to take place next week

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners will stage a “70 years too many” protest to mark the anniversary of Nato next week.

Protesters will carry No To Nato placards and deliver a letter to the organisation’s headquarters on Tuesday April 2 calling for it to be disbanded.

The event, called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Stop the War Coalition, will take place between 11am and noon at Nato’s Allied Maritime Command.

That is in London.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “Since the end of the cold war, Nato has expanded territorially, changed its mission statement from a defensive to an aggressive posture and embarked on a series of wars, of which their intervention in Afghanistan is getting on for two decades long.

“Nato’s activities have turned the end of the cold war from a unique opportunity for new diplomacy and peaceful development into a new era of global tension, encircling Russia and China thereby creating the conditions for a new cold war, tearing up international legal norms, notably around national sovereignty and introducing bogus notions of ‘humanitarian war’.”