WINSLOW MYERS – Which of these parallel universes of thought will prevail? Putin’s brutality, whatever its outcome, has only pointed up the stupidity and futility of violence and the perennial possibility of its opposite—a world that chooses survival, takes the risk of cooperation, and ensures a further stage in the unfolding human story.
BRIAN GARVEY – Cohesive opposition that demands an end to the violence and bloodshed in Ukraine must be the top priority of advocates for peace.
INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS FOR THE PREVENTION OF WAR – American and Russian physicians representing IPPNW are warning that the war in Ukraine could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe as a result of conventional fighting and the attendant risks to that countryâ€™s nuclear power facilities and of escalation to nuclear war.
ALEXANDRA TOPPING – Forty years ago a small group of women, along with a few men and children in buggies in tow, left their homes in Wales to protest against the arrival of US nuclear warheads at RAF Greenham Common. The steps they took that day would lead to the establishment of the Greenham womenâ€™s peace camp, which at its height gathered more than 70,000 women for direct action and became the biggest female-led protest since womenâ€™s suffrage.
DR. MARC PILISUK – After a war has ended, historians, elected officials, and faith leaders, no less than the people involved, often raise doubts over whether the outcomes were worth the many horrific costs. But mourning diminishes over time and life for the survivors goes on. Such a recovery from destruction is no longer assured or even likely in the age of nuclear weapons. World leaders, however, continue to play the game of war in ways that risk the war that could end life on earth.
ROBERT LEVERING – Without the friendships he forged in the antiwar movement, Daniel Ellsberg might not have found the courage and support he needed to help end the Vietnam War.
JOHN MIKSAD – Earth Day has meant many things to us since its inaugural year, 1970. Now, more than ever, its legacy must include opposition to militarism and war.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Free of charge, Joe, here is an action plan that will get you from Election Night through your first two weeks in office. Follow this plan and by your 100th day in the White House observers will be comparing you to at least one President Roosevelt, if not both.
By Vladimir Kozin On 2 June 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 355 on the Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Area of Nuclear Deterrence.Â The adopted document, which has the status of a…
Despite the ability to destroy civilization several times over with our existing nukes, America is embarking on an expenditure of $1.7 trillion to â€œmake more and more usableâ€ nuclear weapons. The US Senate just approved an $82 billion increase for the Pentagon that alone exceeds the entire annual defense budget of Russia.
FRIDA BERRIGAN – The problem isnâ€™t that we are spending more on the military â€” itâ€™s that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable. Over the next decade, the Republican-held White House and Congress are planning over $5 trillion in cuts to the safety net.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – On Aug. 6th, sixty-nine years ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 80-140 thousand people immediately. Three days later on August 9th, a second U.S. nuclear bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, killing an additional 74,000 people. From that week to the present moment the world has been held hostage to the insane threat and potential annihilation by these weapons that now number in excess of 17,000 worldwide. However daunting, we have witnessed this past year some of the most significant progress and awareness of this threat and work to eliminate nuclear weapons, thus realizing the long standing desires of people everywhere, to live in a world free of nuclear weapons. It is time for our elected officials to support the international efforts toward this end.
JON RAINWATER – When people hear “the Army is being cut to pre-World War II levels,” they are thinking about military forces as a whole. But the Air Force didn’t even exist in 1940. The Marine Corps has grown exponentially since that earlier era. After the post- 9/11 spike is trimmed, a force far larger than before World War II remains. But the bigger problem with the reduction narrative is that the proposed $496 billion for the Department of Defense represents historically sky-high spending.
KENT SHIFFERD – What could be worse than a nuclear war? A nuclear famine following a nuclear war. And what follows famine is epidemic disease. What can you do? The only way to assure ourselves this global disaster will not happen is to join the global movement to abolish all weapons of mass destruction.
WINSLOW MYERS – Eric Schlosserâ€™s hair-raising new book about actual and potential accidents with nuclear weapons, â€œCommand and Control,â€ sharpens the dialogue, such as it is, between the anti-nuclear peace movement and nuclear strategists who maintain that these weapons still enhance the security of nations.
RETHINK MEDIA – The public has conflicted opinions about nuclear weapons. They donâ€™t like them, but they see them as necessary and essential. They like the idea of eliminating them, but donâ€™t see that as realistic. The challenge is to build public confidence in a process of reductions.
PETER G. COHEN – As of November, 2012, New York, New Jersey and other states are reeling from the overwhelming property damage done by the storm. At this point we cannot even estimate how many billions of dollars will be required to assist the devastated areas in their rebuilding, or the new and unknown infrastructure needed to reduce the damage of such storms in the future. What we do know is that without very substantial help from the already strained federal budget this highly productive area of the U.S. will be unable to rebuild itself for a long time.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the midst of a nationwide election campaign in which many politicians trumpet their support for the buildup and employment of U.S. military power around the world, the American publicâ€™s disagreement with such measures is quite remarkable. Indeed, many signs point to the fact that most Americans want to avoid new wars, reduce military spending, and support international cooperation.
JOSHUA J. MCELWEE – Three Catholics broke into a guarded nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee on Saturday in an act of civil disobedience and made their way outside of its most secure facilities before they were arrested. The three, an 82-year-old religious sister and two middle-aged men connected with the Catholic Worker movement, were able to enter the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge early Saturday before a guard found them outside the complex’s storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.
DR. ROBERT DODGE – This week marks the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the combined initial death toll of approximately 200,000 and thousands more in the years that followed. As Albert Einstein famously said, â€œWith the dawn of the nuclear age everything changed save [except] our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”
REBECCA GRIFFIN – Last week, the House of Representatives took a small but important step toward reining in Pentagon spending. Thank you to all of you who responded to our call to tell your representative to support amendments to cut the military budget and end the war in Afghanistan.
JACKIE CABASSO – At the close of its 80th annual meeting in Orlando Florida, on June 16, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) unanimously adopted a strong, comprehensive, new Mayors for Peace resolution: “Calling for U.S. Leadership in Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Urgent Needs of Cities.”
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Itâ€™s often said that nuclear weapons have protected nations from military attack. But is there any solid evidence to bolster this contention? Without such evidence, the argument that nuclear weapons prevented something that never occurred is simply a counter-factual abstraction that cannot be proved.
PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernmentâ€™s Civil Defense Branch produced the film Duck and Cover. … Even at that time the usefulness of the proposed duck-and-cover maneuver in the face of the utter annihilation arising from a nuclear blast was questioned.
EDITOR’S NOTE – This article adds to the peace movementâ€™s usual analysis, which views control of oil supplies as the driving force behind U.S. policy toward Iran, the notion that nuclear nonproliferation might actually be the prime objective. Whether or not you believe that nonproliferation is the most important aspect, it is reasonable to believe that it does play an important role, as author Jonathan Schell maintains.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – On February 8, 2012, Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to introduce the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act (H.R. 3974).
MALOU INNOCENT & JONATHAN OWEN – The Republican presidential hopefuls, Ron Paul excepted, would prefer a more bellicose response to Iranâ€™s nuclear aspirations than President Obamaâ€™s current stance. Cato Institute staff argue that this is approach is flawed.
SUSI SNYDER – The European Union, as a key actor in global non-proliferation and disarmament discussions, and charged with facilitating dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program, bears a specific responsibility to encourage a peaceful negotiated solution based on mutual trust and respect for all parties.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – In the midst of the current stampede to slash federal spending, Congress might want to take a look at two unnecessary (and dangerous) “national security” programs that, if cut, would save the United States over a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade.
ROBERT DODGE, MD – The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Youth. This is in recognition of childrenâ€™s rights throughout the world and to realize the potential of children everywhere. The resolution proclaiming the Year signifies the importance the international community places on integrating youth-related issues into global, regional, and national development agendas. Under the theme â€œDialogue and Mutual Understanding,â€ the Year aims to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilizations.
LAWRENCE A. WITTNER – The discussion of the Tucson tragedy should be familiar, as we witness similar massacres in U.S. schools, shopping centers, and other public places played out periodically. Each time, the NRA and other gun apologists tell us that the easy accessibility of firearms, including assault weapons, had nothing to do with it. Indeed, they argue that the key to our safety is to obtain more guns. But does the fact that nearly 100,000 Americans are shot with guns and nearly 10,000 Americans are killed with them each year really have no connection to the remarkable availability of guns in the United States?
LAWRENCE WITTNER – With U.S. Senate ratification of the New START treaty on December 22, supporters of nuclear disarmament won an important victory. Signed by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last April, the treaty commits the two nations to cut the number of their deployed strategic (i.e. long-range) nuclear warheads to 1,550 each â€” a reduction of 30 percent in the number of these weapons of mass destruction. By providing for both a cutback in nuclear weapons and an elaborate inspection system to enforce it, New START is the most important nuclear disarmament treaty for a generation.
DON KRAUS – The United States Senate has agreed to the New START Treaty. The bilateral nuclear arms treaty passed with bipartisan support by a 71 to 26 margin. The roll call vote came after months of highly partisan debate and despite a packed Senate schedule.
LAWRENCE WITTNER — One of the ironies of the current international situation is that, although some government leaders now talk of building a nuclear weapons-free world, there has been limited public mobilization around that goal â€” at least compared to the action-packed 1980s.
WINSLOW MYERS — Two strategic goals of the U.S. are an apparent desire to control Middle East oil and the expressed commitment to help keep Israel safe. This requires the U.S. to refuse the laudable vision of the Middle East as a nuclear weapons-free zone, which would demand that Israel dismantle its nuclear arsenal. Instead, news reports indicate that Israel may be gearing up for a pre-emptive attack on Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities.
RUSSELL VANDENBROUCKE — Every August, as the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approach, comments resume about American decisions at the end of World War II. Despite the passage of 65 years, heated opinions are repeated as fact and myths become immortalized as truths. Beyond distorting the historical record, wishful thinking about it leads us to repeat past mistakes in new ways against new enemies.
LAWRENCE WITTNER — For some time now, it has been clear that nuclear weapons threaten the existence not only of humanity, but of all life on Earth. Thus, Barack Obama’s pledge to work for a nuclear weapons-free worldâ€”made during his 2008 presidential campaign and subsequently in public statementsâ€”has resonated nicely with supporters of nuclear disarmament and with the general public.
JUDITH LEBLANC AND KEVIN MARTIN — Barack Obama is undoubtedly the U.S. president most committed to nuclear disarmament since Kennedy. People all over the world have cheered President Obama’s commitment to move toward nuclear disarmament.
One of the most popular muckraking American journalists of the late twentieth century, I.F. Stone, once remarked: “All governments lie.” Even a prominent government official — Andrei Gromyko, the veteran Soviet diplomat — once admitted, in a weak moment: “Governments are never sincere.” This gloomy assessment appears all too true when it comes to national security policy, and particularly so with respect to nuclear weapons.
NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW: The New York Times’ lead editorial on Sunday, February 28, 2010 laid out some of the major nuclear issues very well.
LAWRENCE WITTNER: Does the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, really provide a beginning toward a nuclear-free world? That’s what Obama implied in a statement two weeks earlier. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he described the treaty as an historic step toward “a world without nuclear weapons.”
LYNN BERRY: A senior Kremlin official says the United States and Russia have reached an agreement on “all documents” necessary to sign a new nuclear arms treaty.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: The Golden Rule is in danger. No, not the famed ethical code — though proponents of selfishness certainly have ignored it — but a thirty-foot sailing ship of the same name that rose to prominence about half a century ago.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: The recent furor over an unsuccessful terrorist attempt to blow up an airliner is distracting us from considering the possibility of a vastly more destructive terrorist act: exploding a nuclear weapon in a heavily-populated area.
Here is the actual text of the understanding between the U.S. and Russia. As you can see, there is a lot to be worked out, which I hear is supposed to be done by December. There may be a temporary understanding between the time START expires and when the Senate ratifies in the first quarter of next year. â€” Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action.
FRIDA BERRIGAN: It’s not on the front pages of what is left of U.S. newspapers. The headlines are dominated by violence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, by Miss America’s semi-nude photo scandal, and by cyber war-games and coal-fires power plans in China. But just about everyone who is anyone is talking about nuclear weapons this week. (Written May 11, 2009.)
JOHN LORETZ: Pick a number. Any number. How about 1,500? That’s how many nuclear weapons General Nikolai Solovtsov wants to keep in the Russian arsenal at the conclusion of the next round of START negotiations with the U.S.