Lies on French Polynesia nuclear bombs admitted


Demonstrators against a French nuclear bomb test on Mururoa, in september 1995. AFP photo

This AFP photo shows demonstrators against a French nuclear bomb test on Mururoa island in French Polynesia, in september 1995.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

President of French Polynesia admits lies about nuclear testing

President Fritch of French Polynesia has acknowledged in the parliament in Tahiti that the population has been lied to for 30 years about the dangers of the nuclear tests that were held there. Between 1960 and 1996, France held 193 tests with atomic bombs in the overseas territory in the South Pacific.

The images of the mushroom cloud that rose above the Mururoa atoll were increasingly leading to international protests. In 2010, the French government released hundreds of millions of euros to compensate the residents of French Polynesia. The money was also destined for Algeria, where nuclear tests were also held.

“I can not be surprised that I have been called a liar for thirty years, we lied to the people that the nuclear tests were clean. We lied”, was the statement by President Edouard Fritch. Unknown is what brought Fritch to this confession.

On request, the United States news agency AP received no response from the French government to the statements by Fritch.

Radioactive radiation

The whistleblower Bruno Barrillot, who died last year, revealed that thyroid cancer and leukemia occur excessively among the 280,000 inhabitants of French Polynesia.

President Hollande visited French Polynesia two years ago. He acknowledged on that occasion that the nuclear tests had a harmful effect on human health and the environment. But he also praised the contribution that French Polynesia made to the fact that France became an international nuclear power.

Three years earlier, French newspapers reported on the basis of official documents released that the nuclear tests were much more harmful than the authorities had admitted.

Tahiti, the most famous Polynesian island that is often depicted on the paintings of Paul Gauguin, was exposed to radioactive radiation 500 times as high as the maximum permitted level.

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Pacific sea otters and nuclear bombs


This Associated Press video says about itself:

(7 Nov 1971) Protest demonstrations in Washington, Toronto, and Tokyo against the US American five megaton nuclear bomb test on Amchitka.

By Bethany Brookshire in the USA, 11:30am, November 7, 2018:

50 years ago, atomic testing created otter refugees

When the [Atomic Energy Commission] first cast its eye on the island of Amchitka as a possible site for the testing of underground nuclear explosions, howls of anguish went up; the island is part of the Aleutians National Wildlife Refuge, created to preserve the colonies of nesting birds and some 2,500 sea otters that live there…— Science News, November 9, 1968

Update

The commission said underground nuclear testing would not harm the otters, but the fears of conservationists were well-founded: A test in 1971 killed more than 900 otters on the Aleutian island.

Some otters remained around Amchitka, but 602 otters were relocated in 1965–1972 to Oregon, southeast Alaska, Washington and British Columbia — areas where hunting had wiped them out. All but the Oregon population thrived, and today more than 25,000 otters live near the coastal shores where once they were extinct.

This 2015 video says about itself:

The Sea Otter’s Enchanted Forest | America’s National Parks

Endangered sea otters protect the kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which would otherwise overpopulate.

Noam Chomsky on Trump’s nuclear escalation


This 5 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

A March to Disaster: Noam Chomsky Condemns Trump for Pulling Out of Landmark Nuclear Arms Treaty

President Donald Trump recently announced plans to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear arms pact with Russia in a move that could spark a new arms race. President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987. The INF banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges. The treaty helped to eliminate thousands of land-based missiles.

We speak to world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky about the significance of the INF treaty and the impact of Trump’s plan to pull out.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a blunt ultimatum to Moscow Tuesday, vowing that the US will unilaterally abrogate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, one of the last remaining arms control agreements from the Cold War, within 60 days unless Russia submits to what Washington defines as compliance with the pact. The move represents a major escalation of the threat of global nuclear war: here.

Trump’s escalation threatens nuclear war


This video from the USA says about itself:

[Donald Trump’s] Withdrawal From INF Nuclear Treaty Brings us “Closer to Doomsday” Than any Time Since 1950’s

24 October 2018

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement is one of the most important international treaties and its cancellation will mean a full return to the nuclear arms race and closer to nuclear disaster, says Peter Kuznick of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University.

Trump too militarist even for Macron


Macron and Trump, AFP photo

This July 2018 AFP photo shows Macron and Trump behaving like buddies at the NATO conference in Brussels.

However, now it seems that Trump with his nuclear escalation has gone too far even for fellow militarists like Macron.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Macron: security of Europe is at issue as Trump tears up treaty

French President Macron has expressed concern about his American colleague Trump’s plan to withdraw from the INF nuclear missile treaty. …

Macron pointed out to Trump the importance of the treaty, which bans nuclear missiles for the medium distance. Especially for European security and “our strategic stability”, the treaty concluded after the Cold War by the US and Russia is important, said the French president.

Trump announced Saturday that the United States will produce nuclear missiles again. According to him, Russia is violating the treaty. He did not adstruct that statement …

Germany also responded to Trump’s speech. The government regrets the American decision, says a spokesperson. “NATO partners must consult on this.”

The threat of an arms race comes after the White House announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia because Moscow had violated the Cold War-era agreement. Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev slammed the U.S. decision as “not the work of a great mind.” [HuffPost]

Trump’s threat to tear up nuclear pact with Russia met with alarm in Europe, silence from Democrats: here.

France to send aircraft carrier to South China Sea to threaten China: here.

As he prepares to host US President Donald Trump on Saturday in Paris for the centenary of the armistice that ended World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a long interview last week to Ouest France: here.

Donald Trump’s nuclear escalation


This video from Australia says about itself:

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump and the prospect of nuclear war

7 February 2018

American intellectual and public figure Noam Chomsky is well-known for his articulate criticisms of US politics, foreign interference, and the global economy. Professor Chomsky is a long-time professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT and more recently the University of Arizona. He sat down to discuss the rise of US President Donald Trump with the ABC’s The World program, as well as the tough decisions Australia must make moving forward.

By Alex Lantier:

Trump says US will withdraw from Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty

22 October 2018

Speaking at a campaign rally in Nevada on Saturday, President Donald Trump said Washington will repudiate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and develop intermediate range nuclear missiles. “We’ll have to develop those weapons”, he said. “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”

With this decision, Washington is scrapping the entire nuclear arms control framework that emerged from the Cold War. In 2001, Washington repudiated the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, so it could begin working on a “Star Wars” anti-ballistic missile system to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles. Now it is scrapping the 1987 treaty that bans US or Russian manufacture and deployment of nuclear missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kilometers (310-3,420 miles). For the first time since 1972, there is to be no treaty limiting the major powers’ deployment of nuclear arms.

Washington is aggressively stoking a nuclear arms race, with Russia and China first in its gun-sights, which would provoke stepped-up missile deployments across Europe and East Asia. It points to the immediate and growing risk of nuclear war between the major powers.

Trump blamed his decision to scrap the INF treaty on Moscow and Beijing: “Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years and I don’t know why President Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. … Unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and they say, ‘Let’s all of us get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons’, but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable. So we have a tremendous amount of money to play with with our military.”

Moscow condemned Trump’s statement as “blackmail” against Russia. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS: “At first glance, I can say that apparently the INF Treaty creates problems for pursuing the line towards the US total domination in military sphere…This would be a very dangerous step, which, I’m sure, won’t be just understood by the international community, but arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community.”

Ryabkov said he would discuss it with US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who supports killing the INF treaty. Bolton arrived yesterday in Moscow for two days of talks starting today.

Trump’s attempt to blame Moscow and Beijing for his decision is a transparent political fraud. The US repudiation of nuclear arms control treaties is part of a longstanding, aggressive foreign policy aiming to exploit US military supremacy in the aftermath of the Stalinist dissolution of the Soviet Union to counterbalance the effects of its accelerating economic decline in world affairs. The 2001 repudiation of the ABM treaty was part of the Bush administration’s turn to war, including the illegal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, to dominate the Eurasian landmass.

The Democratic Party escalated this policy, launching wars in Libya and Syria while initiating a “pivot to Asia” to confront China in Barack Obama’s first term. In his second term, together with its European allies, Obama backed a far-right coup in Ukraine that toppled a pro-Russian government and provoked an all-out military confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe. Washington and its European allies have deployed tens of thousands of troops on the very borders of Russia.

The coup in Ukraine and the resulting escalation by Washington and the European imperialist powers in Eastern Europe set the world on course towards nuclear war. Amid the NATO military build-up against Russia, Washington first alleged in July 2014 that Moscow was developing a ground-launched cruise missile system violating the INF treaty. Recently, on October 2, US Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson took the extraordinary step of threatening to bomb Russia to “take out” these missiles, after again denouncing Russia for violating the INF treaty.

It is not Russian but US aggression that is driving Washington’s decision to scrap the INF treaty. In fact, powerful factions of the US military and foreign policy establishment have been campaigning for years to scrap the INF treaty—not because of Russia, but to threaten China.

After Obama launched the “pivot to Asia” in 2011, Beijing sought to develop intermediate-range missiles capable of hitting US aircraft carriers and military bases in the Western Pacific, to deter Washington from using them to attack China. As the balance of power in that region shifted ever more in China’s favor, voices in US ruling elite began to call for scrapping the INF treaty, using tensions with Russia as a cover for a policy designed to target China.

In 2014, the National Interest published an article, “China’s Missile Forces Are Growing: Is It Time to Modify the INF Treaty?” It wrote that “forward-based missile forces could be a partial solution to emerging operational problems in the Western Pacific.” However, the INF treaty bans Washington and Moscow from having the type of missiles the Pentagon would deploy to the Western Pacific to target China. So, it added, “How might Washington leverage current tensions with Moscow to improve its long-term military posture vis-à-vis Beijing? One option is to abrogate INF.”

Admiral Harry Harris, who recently stepped down as commander of the US Pacific Fleet, became an aggressive proponent of renegotiating or scrapping the INF treaty. Last year, Harris said that he considered arms control “problematic”, as the INF treaty limits “our ability to counter Chinese and other countries’ cruise missiles, land-based missiles.”

Testifying to the US Senate this March, Harris made clear that scrapping the INF treaty as critical to trying to re-establish full US military dominance of the Pacific Ocean. “We are at a disadvantage with regard to China today in the sense that China has ground-based ballistic missiles that threaten our basing in the western Pacific and our ships”, he said. “We have no ground-based capability that can threaten China because of, among other things, our rigid adherence…to the INF treaty.”

Washington’s repudiation of nuclear arms control as it seeks to maintain global military dominance is a warning to the working class in America and worldwide.

With the major powers pledge to spend massive sums on their arsenals of missiles and nuclear warheads, led by Washington, who pledged in 2014 to spend $1 trillion to modernize its nuclear arms, untold social resources are being squandered on creating conditions for a nuclear war. Governments internationally are determined that the costs of this insane policy are to be borne by workers, through austerity and attacks on living standards.

The construction of an anti-war movement based in the working class is a critical necessity, objectively posed by the rapid development of the danger of wars that could end in a nuclear conflagration.

US missile treaty withdrawal: “Prepare for nuclear war”: here.