Tag: nuclear weapons

Hiroshima – 69 Years Later

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.

Close Scrutiny of Pentagon Budget Shows Lavish Spending

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.

Aftermath Would be Worse than a Nuclear War

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.

What on Earth Are Nuclear Weapons For?

WINSLOW MYERS – Eric Schlosser’s hair-raising new book about actual and potential accidents with nuclear weapons, “Command and Control,” 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.

Will Hurricane Sandy Save the World from Nuclear Catastrophe?

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.

How Hawkish Are Americans?

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 public’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.

Catholic Activists Breach Tennessee Nuclear Weapons Plant in Protest

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.

From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Approaching the Nuclear Tipping Point

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, “With the dawn of the nuclear age everything changed save [except] our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Strong New Mayors for Peace Resolution

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.”

Do Nuclear Weapons Really Deter Aggression?

LAWRENCE WITTNER – It’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.

How to Divest from Armageddon

PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernment’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.

Thinking the Unthinkable on Iran

EDITOR’S NOTE – This article adds to the peace movement’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.

Youth or Nukes – Where Are Our Priorities?

ROBERT DODGE, MD – The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Youth. This is in recognition of children’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 “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding,” the Year aims to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilizations.

It’s Still the Same Old Story — from Guns to Nukes

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?

After New START: Where Does Nuclear Disarmament Go From Here?

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 — 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.

Nuclear Weapons and the Way We Think

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 Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombing Myths Need Correction

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.

Can We Live With the Bomb?

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 world—made during his 2008 presidential campaign and subsequently in public statements—has resonated nicely with supporters of nuclear disarmament and with the general public.

Lying About Nuclear Weapons

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.

Is START Really a Beginning?

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.”

Text of U.S.-Russia Nuclear Understanding

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. — Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action.

The News on Nukes

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.)

The New Nuclear Math

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.