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Ain’t it great? New U.S. nuclear warheads to be stored in UK – keeping the war fervour going, making pre-emptive strike possible.

It’s so exciting! This Ukraine war could go on for months, years. And without a single Western casualty! (The Ukrainians don’t count). Those British bunkers were being wasted. Now they’re going to house American nuclear warheads,

That’ll help show the Russians that we mean business!

No more sissy diplomacy, or arms control agreements. The Biden administration’s 2023 defence budget request adds Britain to the list of European countries to store ”special weapons” (they mean B61 nuclear bombs) British chests can swell with pride, (never mind that the nuclear weapons stores could be targets, too)

And, most exciting of all, the U.S, review leaves open the option of using nuclear arms to respond to non-nuclear threats as well.

April 14, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

Kyiv Independent news is anything but independent. It’s a mouthpiece for NATO-USA-Azov-nazi propaganda and unverified atrocity stories

NED Finances Key Ukrainian Propaganda Organ, the Kyiv Independent, Covert Action Magazine, By Evan Reif, April 13, 2022  One NED-sponsored journalist even fights with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and openly advocates for the commission of war crimes.

hroughout this war, one of the most prolific voices has been the Kyiv Independent. Through both its website and its Twitter account, it has been posting a nearly endless stream of unconfirmed and often fantastical pro-Ukrainian propaganda along with unverified, and often unattributed tales of the latest Russian atrocities.

Despite never offering even a scrap of evidence, however, it exploded from a few thousand followers before the war to several million now, with millions more following its individual reporters. It is routinely promoted by some of the biggest names in media, such as CNN and Fox News.

Let’s take a look at one tweet in particular, as an example of this. On March 30, the Kyiv Independent tweeted this:

We can see here a blending between truth and lies. While strikes would hit the warehouse, and the Red Cross would confirm that (and also, that it had been abandoned for more than two weeks by that time and all aid was distributed), no evidence was given that the strikes were Russian and the Red Cross did not comment on it.

The only source for the claim that the attacks were Russian is the Azov Battalion, putting the credibility of the statement into serious doubt. Kyiv Independent does not tell you this.

Despite this being posted with no evidence in the first place, the tweet was re-tweeted 12,000 times. How many people could this piece of literal Nazi propaganda have reached?

This outfit is well-funded and well-run. They can and do produce large amounts of good-quality English-language content very quickly. The market for this content, obviously, is not Ukrainians, but the West.

It is important to understand just how a propaganda network like this works. This blending of truth and lie is very common. The terrible realities of war mean that there is always plenty of information to report. Attacks and counterattacks. Bombs falling here. Shells there. Deaths and fires.

It is important to understand just how a propaganda network like this works. This blending of truth and lie is very common. The terrible realities of war mean that there is always plenty of information to report. Attacks and counterattacks. Bombs falling here. Shells there. Deaths and fires.

Much of this is probably accurate information. The sheer volume of it, combined with all the promotion, paid or otherwise, means that soon you will see Kyiv Independent reports on every screen, every day.

However, you only get one side of the issue. It is illegal to report on Ukrainian military casualties. This means that all you will see is dead Russians, burning Russian tanks and the wreckage of Russian aircraft. This creates an image of an invincible Ukrainian Army, killing Russians by the thousands with no losses of their own…………..

Meanwhile, every shell and bomb that hits a Ukrainian city is relentlessly covered. This means that the Russians are simultaneously portrayed as an omnipresent bogeyman, but also as incompetent cowards. Umberto Eco’s words about shifting rhetorical focus are relevant here.

Peppered in the endless streams of more mundane reporting, however, are the increasingly unhinged calls for escalation. Worse yet, at some points the mask comes off entirely, such as in this bizarre article which seems to both downplay nuclear war, and cast it as an acceptable price to pay for Ukrainian victory, all while accusing Putin of being the nuclear threat.

It is clear that the editorial position of this paper is that the war should escalate, more people should die and, if necessary, Russia, and therefore the Russian people, should be annihilated with nuclear weapons. More than that, their position seems to be that we cannot afford NOT to do so.

No one would win World War III. Not even the reporters at Kyiv Independent. No one except the arms dealers. This outfit has greatly outsized reach with which to spread these ideas…….

Foreign Funding

The paper was founded in 2021 after the staff of the Kyiv Post walked out en masse after the paper came under new ownership. While it is presented as a valiant attempt to retain editorial control, the seed funding the Post received from the Canadian Government and European Endowment for Democracy (the EU equivalent of the NED) tells another tale.

Indeed, if you look more closely at the staff, a pattern of collaboration with NATO regime-change operations becomes very clear.

Meet the team:………………………………………………………………….

In later articles, I will elaborate on this, but the network is quite extensive. As you can see from their documents, they are in up to their heads in NATO regime-change cash.…………………….

(Article also shows links of the journalists to USA militaristic think tanks, and to uKraine’s AZOV brigade and NAZI groups…..

In a new low even for him, journalist Illia Pomonarenko, on March 27, 2022, in response to widely circulated videos of Ukrainian fascists torturing and kneecapping Russian prisoners, Illia not only made no apologies for their crimes, but called for further atrocities……………………………………… https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/04/13/ned-finances-key-ukrainian-propaganda-organ-the-kyiv-independent/#comment-4881

April 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear and gas in EU taxonomy slammed as ‘greenwashing’.


Nuclear and gas in EU taxonomy slammed as ‘greenwashing’,   

  • The controversial decision to include gas and nuclear in the EU’s taxonomy was the outcome of a lengthy and highly-politicised process    EU Observer By ELENA SÁNCHEZ NICOLÁS BRUSSELS, 14 Apr 22,  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and EU plans to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil-fuel imports, have raised more questions over the fate of the European Commission’s controversial taxonomy proposal.

EU member states were already split over the role of gas and nuclear in the energy transition and, thus, in green finance — even before the war in Ukraine……….

Critics say the proposal undermines the credibility of the EU taxonomy as a science-based investment tool, gives credence to claims of greenwashing, creates confusion in financial markets, and will cause major delays in the much-needed transition away from fossil fuels.

The taxonomy does not ban outright investment in activities not included in the guidelines — but it is designed to steer investments away from companies and investors which falsely claim to be environmentally sustainable.

‘Gold standard’ gone

Experts have warned that including natural gas (with a higher threshold than the one recommended by experts) and nuclear power in the EU’s sustainable finance rules may lead to further greenwashing in financial markets.

University College Dublin professor Andreas Hoepner, who has been one of those leading academic opposition on the taxonomy, describes it as probably “the biggest greenwash ever.”

The proposal, he said, ignores rigorous scientific analysis and weakens the credibility of the whole EU sustainable finance agenda. And it may even lead to an increase in emissions incompatible with the Fit-for-55 package and the EU’s climate targets.

The rules were meant to create common standards for classifying taxonomy-aligned economic activities as environmentally sustainable.

But Laurence Tubiana, one of the key architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement, has warned that investors may go elsewhere to seek more “more reliable science-based criteria” to classify their investments.

“The whole idea of creating a ‘gold standard’ is gone” with gas and nuclear power included in the EU taxonomy, Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout told EUobserver in an interview.

With the credibility of the whole taxonomy hanging by a thread, Eickhout warned of the impact on green bonds, given that funds raised from these bonds could be used for gas and nuclear projects. The transition towards net-zero emissions will require massive investment, but not enough money is currently going into projects delivering climate neutrality, he said.

“If we now lower the standard in order to mobilise the money, then we are still fooling ourselves,” he said, because the taxonomy must be “a credible standard” to fulfil its goal…………………..

“The EU should rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, fossil-fuel investments and subsidies to deliver climate stability,” added Ursula Woodburn from the UK’s cross-sector group of business leaders, CLG Europe,

The decision to include gas and nuclear in the taxonomy was slammed as the outcome of a both lengthy and highly-politicised process.

But the European Commission has also come under fire for looking at this tool purely through a domestic prism — despite its impact beyond EU borders.  https://euobserver.com/war-peace-green-economy/154585

April 14, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Glenn Greenwald: The Censorship Campaign Against Western Criticism of NATO’s Ukraine Policy Is Extreme

This war has been very good indeed for the permanent Washington political and media class. And although it was taboo for weeks to say so, it is now beyond clear that the only goal that the U.S. and its allies have when it comes to the war in Ukraine is to keep it dragging on for as long as possible.

One can spread as many lies and as much disinformation as one wants provided that it is designed to advance the NATO agenda in Ukraine

It is not a mystery who is benefiting from this orgy of military spending. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that “the Pentagon will host leaders from the top eight U.S. weapons manufacturers on Wednesday to discuss the industry’s capacity to meet Ukraine’s weapons needs if the war with Russia lasts years.” Among those participating in this meeting about the need to increase weapons manufacturing to feed the proxy war in Ukraine is Raytheon, which is fortunate to have retired General Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary, a position to which he ascended from the Raytheon Board of Directors. It is virtually impossible to imagine an event more favorable to the weapons manufacturer industry than this war in Ukraine:

https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/13/glenn-greenwald-the-censorship-campaign-against-western-criticism-of-natos-ukraine-policy-is-extreme/ April 13, 2022 Preventing populations from asking who benefits from a protracted proxy war, and who pays the price, is paramount. A closed propaganda system achieves that. By Glenn Greenwald

If one wishes to be exposed to news, information or perspective that contravenes the prevailing US/NATO view on the war in Ukraine, a rigorous search is required. And there is no guarantee that search will succeed. That is because the state/corporate censorship regime that has been imposed in the West with regard to this war is stunningly aggressive, rapid and comprehensive.

On a virtually daily basis, any off-key news agency, independent platform or individual citizen is liable to be banished from the internet. In early March, barely a week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the twenty-seven nation European Union — citing “disinformation” and “public order and security” — officially banned the Russian state-news outlets RT and Sputnik from being heard anywhere in Europe. In what Reuters called “an unprecedented move,” all television and online platforms were barred by force of law from airing content from those two outlets. Even prior to that censorship order from the state, Facebook and Google were already banning those outlets, and Twitter immediately announced they would as well, in compliance with the new EU law.

But what was “unprecedented” just six weeks ago has now become commonplace, even normalized. Any platform devoted to offering inconvenient-to-NATO news or alternative perspectives is guaranteed a very short lifespan. Less than two weeks after the EU’s decree, Google announced that it was voluntarily banning all Russian-affiliated media worldwide, meaning Americans and all other non-Europeans were now blocked from viewing those channels on YouTube if they wished to. As so often happens with Big Tech censorship, much of the pressure on Google to more aggressively censor content about the war in Ukraine came from its own workforce: “Workers across Google had been urging YouTube to take additional punitive measures against Russian channels.”

So prolific and fast-moving is this censorship regime that it is virtually impossible to count how many platforms, agencies and individuals have been banished for the crime of expressing views deemed “pro-Russian.” On Tuesday, Twitter, with no explanation as usual, suddenly banned one of the most informative, reliable and careful dissident accounts, named “Russians With Attitude.” Created in late 2020 by two English-speaking Russians, the account exploded in popularity since the start of the war, from roughly 20,000 followers before the invasion to more than 125,000 followers at the time Twitter banned it. An accompanying podcast with the same name also exploded in popularity and, at least as of now, can still be heard on Patreon.

What makes this outburst of Western censorship so notable — and what is at least partially driving it — is that there is a clear, demonstrable hunger in the West for news and information that is banished by Western news sources, ones which loyally and unquestioningly mimic claims from the U.S. government, NATO, and Ukrainian officials. As The Washington Post acknowledged when reporting Big Tech’s “unprecedented” banning of RT, Sputnik and other Russian sources of news: “In the first four days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, viewership of more than a dozen Russian state-backed propaganda channels on YouTube spiked to unusually high levels.”

Note that this censorship regime is completely one-sided and, as usual, entirely aligned with U.S. foreign policy. Western news outlets and social media platforms have been flooded with pro-Ukrainian propaganda and outright lies from the start of the war. A New York Times article from early March put it very delicately in its headline: “Fact and Mythmaking Blend in Ukraine’s Information War.” Axios was similarly understated in recognizing this fact

Ukraine misinformation is spreading — and not just from Russia.” Members of the U.S. Congress have gleefully spread fabrications that went viral to millions of people, with no action from censorship-happy Silicon Valley corporations. That is not a surprise: all participants in war use disinformation and propaganda to manipulate public opinion in their favor, and that certainly includes all direct and proxy-war belligerents in the war in Ukraine.

Yet there is little to no censorship — either by Western states or by Silicon Valley monopolies — of pro-Ukrainian disinformation, propaganda and lies. The censorship goes only in one direction: to silence any voices deemed “pro-Russian,” regardless of whether they spread disinformation. The “Russians With Attitude” Twitter account became popular in part because they sometimes criticized Russia, in part because they were more careful with facts and viral claims that most U.S. corporate media outlets, and in part because there is such a paucity of outlets that are willing to offer any information that undercuts what the U.S. Government and NATO want you to believe about the war.

Their crime, like the crime of so many other banished accounts, was not disinformation but skepticism about the US/NATO propaganda campaign. Put another way, it is not “disinformation” but rather viewpoint-error that is targeted for silencing. One can spread as many lies and as much disinformation as one wants provided that it is designed to advance the NATO agenda in Ukraine (just as one is free to spread disinformation provided that its purpose is to strengthen the Democratic Party, which wields its majoritarian power in Washington to demand greater censorship and commands the support of most of Silicon Valley). But what one cannot do is question the NATO/Ukrainian propaganda framework without running a very substantial risk of banishment.

It is unsurprising that Silicon Valley monopolies exercise their censorship power in full alignment with the foreign policy interests of the U.S. Government. Many of the key tech monopolies — such as Google and Amazon — routinely seek and obtain highly lucrative contracts with the U.S. security state, including both the CIA and NSA. Their top executives enjoy very close relationships with top Democratic Party officials. And Congressional Democrats have repeatedly hauled tech executives before their various Committees to explicitly threaten them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they do not censor more in accordance with the policy goals and political interests of that party.

But one question lingers: why is there so much urgency about silencing the small pockets of dissenting voices about the war in Ukraine? This war has united the establishment wings of both parties and virtually the entire corporate media with a lockstep consensus not seen since the days and weeks after the 9/11 attack. One can count on both hands the number of prominent political and media figures who have been willing to dissent even minimally from that bipartisan Washington consensus — dissent that instantly provokes vilification in the form of attacks on one’s patriotism and loyalties. Why is there such fear of allowing these isolated and demonized voices to be heard at all?

The answer seems clear. The benefits from this war for multiple key Washington power centers cannot be overstated. The billions of dollars in aid and weapons being sent by the U.S. to Ukraine are flying so fast and with such seeming randomness that it is difficult to track. “Biden approves $350 million in military aid for Ukraine,” Reuters said on February 26; “Biden announces $800 million in military aid for Ukraine,” announced The New York Times on March 16; on March 30, NBC’s headline read: “Ukraine to receive additional $500 million in aid from U.S., Biden announces”; on Tuesday, Reuters announced: “U.S. to announce $750 million more in weapons for Ukraine, officials say.” By design, these gigantic numbers have long ago lost any meaning and provoke barely a peep of questioning let alone objection.

It is not a mystery who is benefiting from this orgy of military spending. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that “the Pentagon will host leaders from the top eight U.S. weapons manufacturers on Wednesday to discuss the industry’s capacity to meet Ukraine’s weapons needs if the war with Russia lasts years.” Among those participating in this meeting about the need to increase weapons manufacturing to feed the proxy war in Ukraine is Raytheon, which is fortunate to have retired General Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary, a position to which he ascended from the Raytheon Board of Directors. It is virtually impossible to imagine an event more favorable to the weapons manufacturer industry than this war in Ukraine:

Demand for weapons has shot up after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24 spurred U.S. and allied weapons transfers to Ukraine. Resupplying as well as planning for a longer war is expected to be discussed at the meeting, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. . .

Resupplying as well as planning for a longer war is expected to be discussed at the meeting. . . . The White House said last week that it has provided more than $1.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the invasion, including over 5,000 Javelins and more than 1,400 Stingers.

This permanent power faction is far from the only one to be reaping benefits from the war in Ukraine and to have its fortunes depend upon prolonging the war as long as possible. The union of the U.S. security state, Democratic Party neocons, and their media allies has not been riding this high since the glory days of 2002. One of MSNBC’s most vocal DNC boosters, Chris Hayes, gushed that the war in Ukraine has revitalized faith and trust in the CIA and intelligence community more than any event in recent memory — deservedly so, he said: “The last few weeks have been like the Iraq War in reverse for US intelligence.” One can barely read a mainstream newspaper or watch a corporate news outlet without seeing the nation’s most bloodthirsty warmongering band of neocons — David Frum, Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, Wesley Clark, Anne Applebaum, Adam Kinzinger — being celebrated as wise experts and heroic warriors for freedom.

This war has been very good indeed for the permanent Washington political and media class. And although it was taboo for weeks to say so, it is now beyond clear that the only goal that the U.S. and its allies have when it comes to the war in Ukraine is to keep it dragging on for as long as possible. Not only are there no serious American diplomatic efforts to end the war, but the goal is to ensure that does not happen. They are now saying that explicitly, and it is not hard to understand why.

The benefits from endless quagmire in Ukraine are as immense as they are obvious. The military budget skyrockets. Punishment is imposed on the arch-nemesis of the Democratic Party — Russia and Putin — while they are bogged down in a war from which Ukrainians suffer most. The citizenry unites behind their leaders and is distracted

from their collective deprivations. The emotions provoked by the horrors of this war — unprecedentedly shown to the public by the Western media which typically ignores carnage and victims of wars waged by Western countries and their allies — is a very potent tool to maintain unity and demonize domestic adversaries. The pundit class finds strength, purpose and resolve, able to feign a Churchillian posture without any of the risks. Prior sins and crimes of American elites are absolved and forgotten at the altar of maximalist claims about Putin’s unprecedented evils — just as they were absolved and forgotten through the script which maintained that the U.S. had never encountered a threat as grave or malignant as Trump. After all, if Putin and Trump are Hitler or even worse, then anyone who opposes them is heroic and noble regardless of all their prior malignant acts.

And that is why even small pockets of dissent cannot be tolerated. It is vital that Americans and Europeans remain entrapped inside a completely closed system of propaganda about the war, just as Russians are kept entrapped inside their own. Keeping these populations united in support of fighting a proxy war against Russia is far too valuable on too many levels to permit any questioning or alternative perspectives. Preventing people from asking who this war benefits, and who is paying the price for it, is paramount.

Big Tech has long proven to be a reliable instrument of censorship and dissent-quashing for the U.S. Government (much to the chagrin of corporate media employees, Russian outlets still remain available on free speech alternatives such as Rumble and Telegram, which is why so much ire is now directed at them). A rapid series of ostensible “crises” — Russiagate, 1/6, the COVID pandemic — were all exploited to condition Westerners to believe that censorship was not only justified but necessary for their own good. In the West, censorship now provokes not anger but gratitude. All of that laid the perfect foundation for this new escalation of a censorship regime in which dissent, on a virtually daily basis, is increasingly more difficult to locate.

No matter one’s views on Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the war, it should be deeply alarming to watch such a concerted, united campaign on the part of the most powerful public and private entities to stomp out any and all dissent, while so aggressively demonizing what little manages to slip by. No matter how smart or critically minded or sophisticated we fancy ourselves to be, none of us is immune to official propaganda campaigns, studied and perfected over decades. Nor is any of us immune to the pressures of group-think and herd behavior and hive minds: these are embedded in our psyches and thus easily exploitable.

That is precisely the objective of restricting and closing the information system available to us. It makes it extremely difficult to remain skeptical or critical of the bombardment of approved messaging we receive every day from every direction in every form. And that is precisely the reason to oppose such censorship regimes. An opinion or belief adopted due to propaganda and reflex rather than autonomy and critical evaluation has no value.

April 14, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Nonstop Corporate News on Ukraine Is Fueling Support for Unchecked US Militarism

The U.S. public is being fed continuous nonstop images of technologically sophisticated weapons being used in Ukraine — in effect this appears to function as a sort of advertisement for the weapons industry, coupled with the sensational presentation of gratuitous violence

Talking heads in the dominant media landscape churn out cheap binarisms about good and evil, democracy versus authoritarianism. In doing so, they reinforce the mythic narrative that the U.S., a model of liberal innocence, is furthering the global fight for democracy, untainted in its false assertion that fascism is always elsewhere — in this case exclusively in Russia.

There is almost no talk about the role of the military-industrial complex, both in its push for war, and how it usually emerges as the only winner. Nor is there any talk about who profits from an embrace of war talk, the spectacularization of war and war itself.

Henry A. GirouxTruthout,  13 Apr 22,    The drums of fascism are beating louder. The catastrophe of war and outpouring of support for the millions of Ukrainians suffering under the brutal attacks by Russia has morphed into increased warmongering from the West. The shock of war has been transformed into a cinematic spectacle used to fan the flames of militarism. The sheer boldness, violence and ruthlessness of Russia’s attack on Ukraine has created a global political crisis accentuated by both a crisis of ideas and a crisis of historical reckoning, at least in the Western mainstream media.

The wider public’s inability to reflect on the underlying causes of the war is due at least in the United States to its long-standing dominant belief in its own exceptionalism, reinforced by a moral righteousness endlessly reproduced in the mainstream media.

Tragic pictures of the agonizing hardships faced by the Ukrainian people too often appear with little or no critical commentary in the corporate-controlled cultural apparatuses. Endless images of unfathomable agony by the Ukrainian people dominate the conventional news outlets and other monopolies of information governed by the spectacle of 24/7 coverage, matched almost entirely by a lack of historical analysis. While widespread moral repulsion to the tragedies of the war are understandable, what is not acceptable is the refusal of the mainstream media to reflect on the historical, political and economic conditions leading up to the war.

The U.S. public is being fed continuous nonstop images of technologically sophisticated weapons being used in Ukraine — in effect this appears to function as a sort of advertisement for the weapons industry, coupled with the sensational presentation of gratuitous violence.

 Within this militarized aesthetic, operating in the service of permanent war, as cultural critic Rustom Bharucha writes, “there is an echo of the pornographic in maximizing the pleasure of violence.” The corporate media are thus rendering war as riveting, emotional and free from demanding intellectual complexities since it emerges out of an either/or view of good and evil.

Images of violence are replayed in the mainstream media over and over again, making violence not only more visible but also rootless. The sheer monopoly of such images gives them a fascist edge, all the while dissolving politics into a cinematic pathology. Writer and philosopher Susan Sontag’s observation about war coverage, made in a different historical context, is even more relevant today. According to Sontag, the endless images of war and suffering, removed from the context of rigorous historical analysis, represent a contempt for “all that is reflective, critical and pluralistic [and are] linked to forms of rabid masculinity [that] glamorizes death.”

Talking heads in the dominant media landscape churn out cheap binarisms about good and evil, democracy versus authoritarianism. In doing so, they reinforce the mythic narrative that the U.S., a model of liberal innocence, is furthering the global fight for democracy, untainted in its false assertion that fascism is always elsewhere — in this case exclusively in Russia. There is almost no talk about the role of the military-industrial complex, both in its push for war, and how it usually emerges as the only winner. Nor is there any talk about who profits from an embrace of war talk, the spectacularization of war and war itself.

When more critical explanations of the war appear, especially from those criticizing the eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which created one set of conditions for the conflict, they are often mocked, ignored, or at worst, accused of being treasonous. In this instance, a rampant militarism collapses the difference between a critical analysis and a justification for Russia’s actions………….

We have seen a similar shutting down of dissent before in the face of catastrophic events, especially in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing “war on terror.” Yet, the frenetic opposition to dissent today seems more dangerous, especially given the multiple cultural platforms calling for “virtual war, for participating in it, and being manipulated by it, [including] crowd funding urban militias on Twitter, posting videos of captured tanks or ‘army cats’ to Instagram and TikTok.”

The need for community is too often now organized around a bristling war fever feeding on militaristic language in mainstream outlets such as The Atlantic, The New Republic, New Yorker, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. In all cases, rightful moral outrage over the brutality of Russia’s unlawful invasion morphed quickly into a fog-of-war hysteria demanding more military aid, more punitive sanctions and bolstered by the discourse of unchecked jingoism. The call for peace or a diplomatic solution is barely mentioned.

With the war in Ukraine raging, more nuanced analyses along with dissent disappear in the suffocating discourses of hyper-nationalism and the growing bonfire of militarism fueled by what Indian essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra, writing in the London Review of Books, calls “an infotainment media [that] works up citizens into a state of paranoid patriotism.” The military-industrial-intellectual-academic complex has reasserted itself in the face of Russia’s violation of international law, accelerating the prospect, if not welcoming, the potential of another looming Cold War, aided greatly by media apparatuses that bask in the comfort of moral certainty and patriotic inanity. In this atmosphere of hyper-war culture, military victories become synonymous with moral victories as language becomes weaponized and matters of ethics no longer inform the urgent call for peace.

In the face of the brutal Russian invasion, the concept of militarization is being amplified and put into service as a call for more upgraded weapons. Talk of war, not peace, dominates the mainstream media landscapes both at home and abroad. Such talk also fuels a global arms industry, oil and gas monopolies, and the weaponization of language itself. Militarism as a tool of unchecked nationalism and patriotism drives the mainstream and right-wing disimagination machines. Both fuel a global war fever through different degrees of misrepresentation and create what intellectual historian Jackson Lears writing in the London Review of Books calls “an atmosphere “poisoned by militarist rants.” He goes further in regarding his critique of the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine, writing in the New York Review of Books:

Yet the US has failed to put a cease-fire and a neutral Ukraine at the forefront of its policy agenda there. Quite the contrary: it has dramatically increased the flow of weapons to Ukraine, which had already been deployed for eight years to suppress the separatist uprising in the Donbas. US policy prolongs the war and creates the likelihood of a protracted insurgency after a Russian victory, which seems probable at this writing. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has refused to address Russia’s fear of NATO encirclement. Sometimes we must conduct diplomacy with nations whose actions we deplore. How does one negotiate with any potential diplomatic partner while ignoring its security concerns? The answer, of course, is that one does not. Without serious American diplomacy, the Ukraine war, too, may well become endless.

The horrific events in Ukraine have mobilized a global response against the brutal acts of violence inflicted on the Ukrainian people, but such massive acts of violence have also taken place in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen without eliciting comparable condemnations or humanitarian aid from the U.S. and Europe. Moreover, while public outrage in the U.S. is warranted in light of the “horrendous crimes by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians—massacre, murder, and rape, among them,” memory fades, and the line between fantasy and historical consciousness disappears, “erasing the brutalizing crimes committed during America’s Global War on Terror.”……………………………………..

Historical amnesia and a prolonged military conflict combine making it easier to sell war rather than peace, which would demand not only condemnation of Russia but also an exercise in self-scrutiny with a particular focus on the military optic that has been driving U.S. foreign policy since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in the 1950s of the danger of the military-industrial complex.

The Ukrainian war is truly insidious and rouses the deepest sympathies and robust moral outrage, but the calls to punish Russia overlook the equally crucial need to call for peace. In doing so, such actions ignore a crucial history and mode of analysis that make clear that behind this war are long-standing anti-democratic ideologies that have given us massive inequality, disastrous climate change, poverty, racial apartheid and the increasing threat of nuclear war.

The horrific events in Ukraine have mobilized a global response against the brutal acts of violence inflicted on the Ukrainian people, but such massive acts of violence have also taken place in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen without eliciting comparable condemnations or humanitarian aid from the U.S. and Europe. Moreover, while public outrage in the U.S. is warranted in light of the “horrendous crimes by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians—massacre, murder, and rape, among them,” memory fades, and the line between fantasy and historical consciousness disappears, “erasing the brutalizing crimes committed during America’s Global War on Terror.”……………………………………..

Historical amnesia and a prolonged military conflict combine making it easier to sell war rather than peace, which would demand not only condemnation of Russia but also an exercise in self-scrutiny with a particular focus on the military optic that has been driving U.S. foreign policy since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in the 1950s of the danger of the military-industrial complex.

The Ukrainian war is truly insidious and rouses the deepest sympathies and robust moral outrage, but the calls to punish Russia overlook the equally crucial need to call for peace. In doing so, such actions ignore a crucial history and mode of analysis that make clear that behind this war are long-standing anti-democratic ideologies that have given us massive inequality, disastrous climate change, poverty, racial apartheid and the increasing threat of nuclear war.

War never escapes the tragedies it produces and is almost always an outgrowth of the dreams of the powerful — which always guarantees a world draped in suffering and death. Peace is difficult in an age when culture is organized around the interrelated discourse of militarism and state violence. War has become the only mirror in which alleged democratic capitalist and authoritarian societies recognize themselves. Rather than defined as a crisis, war for authoritarian rulers and the soulless arms industries becomes an opportunity for power and profits, however ill-conceived.

Peace demands a different assertion of collective identity, a different ethical posture and value system that takes seriously Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s admonition that human beings must do everything not to “spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear annihilation.” This is not merely a matter of conscience or resistance but of survival itself.


April 14, 2022 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | 7 Comments

French presidential election – Macron and LePen have differing pro-nuclear policies – but in both cases, very costly.

French presidential election: Future of nuclear power and EDF down to voters, Euractiv By Nelly Moussu | EURACTIV.fr | translated by Anne-Sophie Gayet, 13 Apr 2022

Both Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the candidates that qualified for the second round of the French presidential election, support the revival of nuclear energy. However, they differ in their ambitions, strategies and modus operandi. EURACTIV France reports.

EDF, the French multinational electric utility company, is looking to diversify its energy sources – in particular, focusing its core business on nuclear power. This progress has so far been hampered, however, by a number of difficulties that have challenged the energy giant’s finances: the shutdown of reactors for maintenance and the obligation to lower its prices, as mandated by the state.

With Macron and Le Pen’s pro-nuclear energy programmes, the company is likely to face increased financial pressure, presented with high investment costs for maintenance and the building of reactors.

Two pro-nuclear politicians

Presenting his electoral programme in Belfort on February 10, Macron outlined his plan to build six new nuclear reactors of the EPR 2 type, examine eight other projects, and extend existing plants. “I am asking EDF to study the conditions of extension beyond 50 years, in conjunction with the nuclear safety authority”, Macron said.

An “inter-ministerial programme directorate dedicated to new nuclear power” would be set up to “ensure the management, coordinate administrative procedures, and ensure that the costs and deadlines of the projects are respected”, he continued.

Macron also announced a new regulation for nuclear electricity, replacing the Regulated Access to Historic Nuclear Electricity (Accès Régulé à l’Electricité Nucléaire Historique, ARENH). This system, which allows all energy suppliers to purchase electricity from EDF under conditions set by the State, will expire in 2025.

……….   Le Pen has broad nuclear ambitions too. In her plan, named ‘Marie Curie’, the candidate announced that she wanted to extend the life of existing power plants to 60 years, reopen the Fessenheim plant (which was closed in 2020), build five pairs of EPRs by 2031 and five pairs of EPR 2s by 2036.

However, these forecasts are not necessarily credible, said Nicolas Goldberg, an energy expert at Terra Nova.   In a note published by the Terra Nova think tank on Monday (April 11), he emphasised that Le Pen’s announcements “are contradictory to what the nuclear industry advocates: according to independent audits carried out on behalf of the State, deciding today on a nuclear revival would mean that at best a first pair of EPRs could be available between 2035 and 2037 […]. It should also be remembered that the industry itself has expressed some doubts about its ability to build more than 14 EPRs by 2050.”

Towards a nationalisation of EDF?

To implement their nuclear projects, Macron and Le Pen would rely on EDF, 84% of which is currently owned by the state.

………………..“The state will take its responsibilities to secure EDF’s financial situation and its financing capacity in the short and medium-term, as much as to allow it to pursue its strategy of profitable development within the framework of the energy transition”, Macron announced in February during his speech in Belfort.

Some have interpreted this statement as an open door to nationalisation. “Emmanuel Macron knows very well that in order to have a cheap nuclear power, public funding is required”, Goldberg said. By nationalising, EDF’s borrowing rates would not be the same; nor would the sharing of risks……………..

“For Emmanuel Macron, I feel that it is complicated,” Goldberg said. “There is, at the same time, the will to keep an integrated group, to give public financing for nuclear power, and to remain in the European markets”. Nationalisation is uncertain on Macron’s side, and it could be only partial.

Nationalisation is less of an uncertainty for Le Pen, Goldberg said. “It’s a nationalisation no matter what it costs,” the expert says. However, the candidate has not given any details on this issue in her programme. Contacted by EURACTIV on this for more details, her campaign team did not respond……..   https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/french-presidential-election-future-of-nuclear-power-and-edf-down-to-voters/

April 14, 2022 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

UK to get ”special weapons”storage sites for USA nuclear weapons, – making a pre-emptive strike easier.

Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the upgrade of the UK storage facilities is “an early sign that the US and Nato are preparing to engage in a protracted and maybe heightened standoff with Putin’s Russia”.

UK military vaults upgraded to store new US nuclear weapons  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/12/uk-military-vaults-upgraded-to-store-new-us-nuclear-weapons

A US 2023 budget request shows the UK is one of several European countries where investment is under way at ‘special weapons’ storage sites    Julian Borger in Washington and Dan Sabbagh, Wed 13 Apr 2022

Military bunkers in the UK are being upgraded so they can be used to store US nuclear weapons again after 14 years of standing empty, according to US defence budget documents.

In the Biden administration’s 2023 defence budget request, the UK was added to the list of countries where infrastructure investment is under way at “special weapons” storage sites, alongside Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey – all countries where the US stores an estimated 100 B61 nuclear bombs.

Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), who first reported on the budget item, said he believed the British site being upgraded is the US airbase at RAF Lakenheath, 100 km north-east of London.

The US withdrew its B61 munitions from Lakenheath in 2008, marking the end of more than half a century of maintaining a US nuclear stockpile in the UK. At the time of the withdrawal, the gravity bombs were widely seen as militarily obsolete and hopes were higher for further disarmament by the nuclear weapons powers.

That optimism has since been dashed, against the backdrop of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, his regime’s nuclear threats against Nato, and extensive nuclear weapon modernisation programmes pursued by both the US and Russia. As part of the US plan, the B61 has been given a new lease of life with a guidance system, the B61-12 variant, due to go into full production in May.

The 2023 budget request says that Nato “is wrapping up a 13-year, $384m infrastructure investment program at storage sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, and Turkey to upgrade security measures, communication systems, and facilities”.

In the 1990s, RAF Lakenheath had 33 underground storage vaults, where 110 B61 bombs were stored, according to the FAS. Since their withdrawal the vaults have been mothballed. Kristensen said he believes the vaults are now being upgraded so the new B61-12 bombs can be stored there, if needed.

The Biden administration has been careful not to make any moves that might be seen as escalatory in the nuclear arena in response to Putin’s announcement he would put Russia’s nuclear forces on higher alert a few days after his invasion of Ukraine. The US has cancelled scheduled tests of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, for example.

For the same reason, Kristensen said he doubted the Biden administration is planning to increase the US nuclear stockpile in Europe. When the new B61-12 bombs are delivered, expected next year, they will replace older models already there. Instead, he thought the Lakenheath upgrade is intended to provided more flexibility to move the nuclear weapons around Europe.

“One of the things they have talked about is protecting the deterrent against Russia’s improved cruise missiles capabilities,” Kristensen said. “So they could be trying to beef up the readiness of more sites without them necessarily receiving nukes, so that they have the options to move things around in a contingency if they need to.”

Britain has become keen to take a more assertive role when it comes to its own nuclear deterrent, and last year announced it would increase its own stockpile of Trident nuclear warheads by 40% to 260, the first such increase since the end of the cold war. Whitehall sources say the UK has “a clearer appreciation” of its role as a nuclear weapons state in a renewed era of state competition with Russia and China.

The UK Ministry of Defence did not comment on the upgrade mentioned in the US budget. One British official said: “We won’t provide anything on this as it relates to the storage of nuclear weapons.” But the news comes just four months after the arrival in Lakenheath of the first of a new generation of nuclear-capable US combat aircraft, the F-35A Lightning II, the first such deployment in Europe.

Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the upgrade of the UK storage facilities is “an early sign that the US and Nato are preparing to engage in a protracted and maybe heightened standoff with Putin’s Russia”.

“The administration should provide some clarity about the military necessity and goals of possibly bringing nuclear weapons back to the UK,” Kimball added.

The developments in Europe are part of a broader retreat from arms control. The Biden administration’s nuclear posture review, which has been sent to Congress but not yet declassified, is reported not to contain the changes the president pledged during his campaign.

In 2020, he said he would formally declare the sole purpose of nuclear weapons to be deterrence of a nuclear attack against the United States or its allies. But the review leaves open the option of using nuclear arms to respond to non-nuclear threats as well.

The nuclear disarmament group CND said the “quiet announcement” by the US amounted to more militarisation at a time of growing risk and would add to the risks faced by the British public. Kate Hudson, the general secretary of CND, said she feared it could lead to US warheads being redeployed in the UK. “Nuclear weapons don’t make us safe – they make us a target,” she added.

April 14, 2022 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Nuclear energy should not be part of the global solution to climate change

Nuclear energy should not be part of the global solution to climate change, April 12, 2022 . By Amory B. Lovins,  recent opinion piece in Utility Dive touting the merits of nuclear power favors a “technology-inclusive approach” over reliance “solely” on desirable-but-inadequate renewables. This framing avoids comparing technologies by claiming all are needed, and even makes comparisons sound unjustly discriminatory by echoing social-inclusion language. It condenses the exuberantly diverse renewable portfolio to “just one technology.” It also omits the biggest, cheapest resource — energy efficiency. Yet the piece evades nuclear power’s actual status, economics, prospects and operational role.

Nuclear power’s one-tenth share of global electricity is stagnant and slipping. In 2020, nuclear power added 0.4 GW more capacity than it retired — 782 times less than renewables’ 278 GW, equivalent to about 232 times less added annual output. In 2021, its capacity dropped for the seventh year in the past 13. The global fleet averages 32 years old, so retirements are outpacing additions. Nuclear culture, skills, vendors and prospects are shriveling — mostly due to bad economics. Sun and wind are now the cheapest bulk source for at least 91% of world electricity, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), so they’re winning about 10–20 times more investment. 

Claims of “competitive” foreign nuclear plants are cited to a 2016 report that was convincingly debunked—even by the opinion piece’s own author. In fact, BNEF finds the cheapest reactors, in China, cost at least twice as much per kWh as the Chinese wind and solar that outgenerate them 2:1, so China’s 2020 renewable investments at least matched the previous 12 years’ cumulative nuclear investment decisions…………

Competing climate solutions

In over 24,000 actual market projects, new unsubsidized renewables make electricity 5–13 times cheaper than nuclear newbuild according to BNEF; merchant bank Lazard analysis finds 3–8 times. Per dollar, renewables therefore provide 3–13 times more kWh and can displace 313 times more fossil-fueled generation. Still-cheaper efficiency is even more climate-effective……………………    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/nuclear-energy-should-not-be-part-of-the-global-solution-to-climate-change/620392/

April 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Able Archer: The NATO exercise that almost went nuclear

Able Archer: The NATO exercise that almost went nuclear. 

Able Archer was a 1983 NATO military exercise that nearly triggered war with the Soviet Union

Able Archer was an annual NATO military exercise that involved thousands of military personnel and equipment. The goal of the exercise was to simulate an escalation in a conflict between NATO countries and the USSR, culminating in a co-ordinated nuclear attack. 

 Live Science, By Callum McKelvie , 13 Apr 22,

In 1983, the annual exercise almost triggered the outbreak of war between NATO and the Soviet Union, when miscommunication led the Soviet government to believe the West was in fact mounting an invasion. 

Able Archer, was an annual NATO exercise and the culmination the culmination of the Autumn Forger maneuvers that involved 100,000 personnel, some 16,000 of which were flown in from the United States according to The Atomic Heritage Foundation. The exercise was designed to end with a simulated nuclear strike following a theoretical Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe.

Although the Soviet Union was aware that the annual event was due to take place, in 1983 Able Archer  differed in many ways from previous exercises. 

First, there were large periods of radio silence, as well as encrypted messages among the NATO forces. 

Second, the imaginary forces were moved to high alert and there were even reports of fake missiles being taxied out of hangers with dummy warheads. 

Finally, senior officials were involved with even President Ronald Reagan himself scheduled to participate, although in reality he dropped out, according to the BBC.   In the buildup to the 1983 Able Archer exercise the Warsaw Pact countries had become increasingly paranoid about the potential of a U.S. nuclear attack. 

In 1981 Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of the United States and quickly proved himself aggressive in his approach towards the USSR. In March 1983, just a few short months before Able Archer, Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”, according to Voices of Democracy and announced his intent to build the “Star Wars” space-based anti-missile program, according to the Atomic Heritage Foundation. 

That same year, the U.S. deployed Pershing II Nuclear Missiles at their bases in West Germany, able to reach a Soviet target in less than 10 minutes, according to Missile Threat.  

As a result of the this threat and the fear of a nuclear strike, the KGB created Project RYaN, which stood for “Raketno-Yadernoe Napadenie” — translated meaning “Nuclear Missile Attack” — according to the Wilson Center

“The Soviet Intelligence community was still traumatized by its failure to anticipate the German attack in 1941 and was determined not to be taken by surprise again,” Colonel Robert E Hamilton wrote in his article “Able Archer At 35: Lessons from the 1983 War Scare“.

As well as using traditional intelligence methods, including human agents, RYaN also utilized computers in a bid to monitor indicators from both NATO and the United States that a nuclear attack was imminent.

On Sept. 26, the Soviet Early Warning Satellite System registered a warning that five American minuteman missiles were on their way to Russian soil, according to Stanford University. The warning was revealed to be a false alarm. 

“1983 was a supremely dangerous year in which a series of events seriously raised the temperature between East and West,” historian Taylor Downing told All About History Magazine “Most obvious here was the shooting down of a Korean civilian airliner, flight KAL 007, by a Soviet fighter plane after it had strayed off course by about 350 miles and ended up crossing Soviet airspace above a sensitive military area.


“Reagan could not believe this was a case of mistaken identity, a tragic accident that caused the death of 269 innocent people, ” Downing continued. “He called the Soviet Union “a terrorist state” that showed no regard for human life. I argue that at this point the Cold War nearly went hot as some in Washington demanded a military retaliation against the Soviet Union.”

As tensions between the two sides began to rise, so did the danger of a possible nuclear conflict. According to the strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction, if this occurred then both sides would annihilate each other.

“When situations are this tense it is always possible that one side will misinterpret what the other side is doing,” Downing said. “In the end, the safety of all nuclear systems is reliant upon the human factor — it is a politician or military leader who finally has to respond to threats perceived or real and press the nuclear button. So, no matter how sophisticated the failsafe systems are, it is down to a person to make the final decision — and all humans are fallible.”

When the Able Archer exercise began on Nov. 7, 1983, the Soviet response was unprecedented………………………………………….

In 1990 the President’s Foreign Advisory Board crafted a top secret report entitled “The Soviet War Scare” which makes clear the threat posed by Able Archer, stating that the US “may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger.”…………….  https://www.livescience.com/able-archer

April 14, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense  Gates says it’s most unlikely that Russia would use chemical weapons in Ukraine

Gates says chances of Russia using chemical or nuclear weapons ‘pretty low’, The Hill, 13 Apr 22

…………………………………..   Gates said there are also no military reasons for Putin to use targeted nuclear weapons in Ukraine. 

“Again, what’s the military value of it? It’s really more of a terror weapon, at this point and the consequences of crossing that threshold are, I think, pretty consequential,” he said, also noting the geographical risk of such weapons. 

“The winds there blow from the west.  So radiation from the use of a tactical nuclear weapons in eastern Ukraine is going to end up in Russia,” Gates said……… https://thehill.com/policy/international/3266833-gates-says-chances-of-russia-using-chemical-or-nuclear-weapons-pretty-low/

April 14, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. foreign policy, corporate news on Ukraine and elsewhere is steeped in racism

Nonstop Corporate News on Ukraine Is Fueling Support for Unchecked US Militarism,  
Henry A. GirouxTruthout, 13 Apr 22 ”…………………………………….    

U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood; torture; the violations of civil rights; abductions; kidnappings; targeted assassinations; illegal black holes; the scorched bodies of members of a wedding party in Yemen killed by a drone attack; and hundreds of women, children and old men brutally murdered by U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam village of My Lai.

In a war culture, memory fades, violence is elevated to its most visible and mediating force, and logic is refigured to feed a totalitarian sensibility. Under such circumstances, as London School of Economics Professor Mary Kaldor has argued, we live at a time in which the relationship between politics and violence is changing. She states: “Rather than politics being pursued through violent means, violence becomes politics. It is not conflict that leads to war but war itself that creates conflict.”

Behind this disproportionate response by the international community and its media platforms lies the ghosts of colonialism and the merging of culture and the undercurrents of white supremacy. For example, the general indifference to comparable acts of war and unspeakable violence can be in part explained by the fact that the Ukrainian victims appearing on the mass media are white Europeans. What is not shown are “Black people being refused at border crossings in favor of white Ukrainians, leaving them stuck at borders for days in brutal conditions [or] Black people being pushed off trains.” The mainstream media celebrate Poland’s welcoming of Ukrainian refugees but are silent about the Polish government boasting about building walls and “creating a ‘fortress’ to keep out refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.”

The war in Ukraine makes clear that racism is not deterred by global boundaries. Empathy in this war only runs skin deep. It is easy for white people in the media to sympathize with people who look just like them. This was made clear when CBS News Senior Correspondent Charlie D’Agata, reporting on the war, stated that it was hard to watch the violence waged against Ukrainians because Ukraine “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European [country] … one where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to happen.” In this case, “civilized,” is code for white. D’Agata simply echoed the obvious normalization of racism as is clear in a number of comments that appeared in the mainstream press. The Guardian offered a summary of just a few, which include the following:

The BBC interviewed a former deputy prosecutor general of Ukraine, who told the network: ‘It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blond hair … being killed every day.’ Rather than question or challenge the comment, the BBC host flatly replied, ‘I understand and respect the emotion.’ On France’s BFM TV, journalist Phillipe Corbé stated this about Ukraine: ‘We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing the bombing of the Syrian regime backed by Putin. We’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours to save their lives…. And writing in the Telegraph, Daniel Hannan explained: ‘They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking. Ukraine is a European country. Its people watch Netflix and have Instagram accounts, vote in free elections and read uncensored newspapers. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations.’

There is more here than a slip of the tongue; there is also the repressed history of white supremacy. As City University of New York Professor Moustafa Bayoumi writing in The Guardian observes, all of these comments point to a deeply ingrained and “pernicious racism that permeates today’s war coverage and seeps into its fabric like a stain that won’t go away. The implication is clear: war is a natural state for people of color, while white people naturally gravitate toward peace.”

Clearly, in the age of Western colonialism, a larger public is taught to take for granted that justice should weigh largely in favor of people whose skin color is the same as those who have the power to define whose lives count and whose do not. These comments are also emblematic of the propaganda machines that have resurfaced with the scourge of racism on their hands, indifferent to the legacy of racism with which they are complicit……………… https://truthout.org/articles/nonstop-corporate-news-on-ukraine-is-fueling-support-for-unchecked-us-militarism/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=77fff940-46b2-4233-a46f-c6b8512452b6

April 14, 2022 Posted by | indigenous issues, politics international, USA | 1 Comment

Rolls Royce shares dive as JP Morgan warns that small nuclear reactors will not be profitable

 The new markets business of Rolls-Royce, focusing on electrical power for
small aircraft and taxpayer-backed small modular nuclear reactors, could be
lossmaking into the 2030s, a broker has warned, pushing the engineering
group’s share price lower.

Rolls-Royce announced changes to its reporting
structure at its full-year results in February, including the creation of
its new markets unit, which is pursuing opportunities from the transition
to net zero.

In an equity research note to clients yesterday, JP Morgan
Cazenove said the venture “offers good long-term sales potential but
there is no guarantee of good profits”. Rolls-Royce secured £490 million
of funding last year, including about £50 million provided by the company
and £210 million from the government, to help to support investment in the
design of the small modular reactors (SMRs). JP Morgan said demand could
“grow strongly as countries seek to cut emissions and increase ‘energy
security’.

But SMRs need to compete with other energy sources and we see
a high risk of the first SMRs being well over budget.”

Times 13th April 2022

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/shares-slide-as-broker-casts-doubt-on-rolls-royces-green-venture-dv2wx8b3q

 Rolls-Royce dives as JP Morgan casts doubt on its plans for mini nuclear
power stations and electric planes.

 This is Money 12th April 2022

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-10712161/MARKET-REPORT-Rolls-Royce-dives-JP-Morgan-downgrade.html

April 14, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Japanese groups voice growing opposition, organize rallies over govt’s nuclear-contaminated water dumping plan decided one year before

Japanese groups voice growing opposition, organize rallies over govt’s nuclear-contaminated water dumping plan decided one year before

BZhang Hui, Xing Xiaojing and Zhang Changyue, Global Times, Apr 13, 2022  Several Japanese groups voiced growing opposition and organized rallies on Wednesday against Japan’s plan to release contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, marking one year after Japan’s decision. 
The Japanese government turned a deaf ear to waves of opposition from Japan and surrounding countries including China and South Korea, as it aims to move ahead with the plan, Chinese experts said, noting that international society should request the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an advisory opinion on the illegality of the planned release and collect scientific evidence such as nuclear-related data. 

April 14, 2022 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

For the Middle East, the introduction of nuclear reactors poses dangers at every turn

Should Middle East climate change be tackled with nuclear energy?……. for Middle East nations there are dangers at every turn.  Aljzaeera,  By Sanam Mahoozi, 12 Apr 2022,   If history is any indication, nuclear accidents can happen and when they do, they have deadly outcomes for humans as well as for the environment.  Chernobyl and Fukushima are still paying the price for the nuclear mishaps that exposed them to radioactive material.

……………… For most countries in the Middle East, fossil fuels play a dominant role and replacing them with cleaner sources is crucial.

But some experts say transitioning to nuclear energy represents an even higher risk.

‘Risks must be considered’

As Ghena Alhanaee, a researcher in the field of civil and environmental engineering, told Al Jazeera, “there are many layers of implications if an incident were to occur in the Gulf, given the uniqueness of the region”.

Most of the countries in the region fund their economies almost exclusively through oil and gas revenues, and any disruption to these trading activities by a nuclear accident would lead to calamitous financial losses.

About half of the world’s desalination capacity is found in the region. Studies show that Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait get more than 90 percent of their drinking water from desalination, a process that removes salt from the seawater.

“So if you get any nuclear accident in that environment you can start to say goodbye to Gulf desalination plants,” Paul Dorfman, associate fellow at the University of Sussex and chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group, told Al Jazeera.

Simply put, a nuclear incident could endanger the security of energy, water and food sectors in the region.

“All such risks must be considered by the nations sharing this very unique natural treasure,” said Kaveh Madani of United Nations University, the former deputy head of Iran’s environment department.

When it comes to nuclear power generation, “the appealing side of it is clear, as is the side that could be harmful to the health and environment of its surroundings”, Madani said.

The nuclear industry in the Gulf region is expanding, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) currently helping some countries develop their nuclear programmes. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of them.

As it stands, there are only two active nuclear power facilities in the region: the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, and the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. Bushehr has one operational reactor and another one under construction, and Barakah has two operational reactors with two more on the way.

Nuclear energy development in the Middle East is still in its early stages, but the number of plants is expected to increase given Saudi Arabia’s plans to take forward its own capabilities.

…………..   the risks may indeed outweigh the benefits if something were to go wrong with any of the facilities.

“There is this paradox about nuclear; one never knows whether it would help you or damage you,” Dorfman pointed out.

………….. Extreme weather can also damage nuclear facilities and result in radiation footprints that last thousands of years. The European heatwaves that either shut down or slowed down the nuclear reactors in France and Germany in 2003 and  2019 are evidence of this possibility.

The region is rife with rivalries between countries, also making nuclear power dangerous.

“They can use one nuclear power programme to build up the infrastructure to at least send a signal that they could eventually develop the capability for nuclear weapons, so there are strategic reasons to want to move in that direction,” Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told Al Jazeera.

When faced with the prospect of going nuclear for whatever reason, countries around the Gulf “need to always think about the unthinkable and should have a chronic unease because this technology, by its nature, is a safety-critical technology and its accident is characterised as low-probability, high consequence,” said Najmedin Meshkati, civil environmental engineering professor specialising in nuclear safety at the University of Southern California.

“If something goes wrong,” said Meshkati, “these consequences will have a punishing impact for the workers, for the company, for the country, and for the entire region.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/12/should-middle-east-climate-change-be-tackled-with-nuclear-energy

April 14, 2022 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, politics international | Leave a comment

Oregon regulators have doubts about Natrium nuclear schedule for Kemmerer

Oregon regulators question nuclear schedule for Kemmerer

Public utility officials in Oregon say they support PacifiCorp’s plan to add the Natrium plant to its power fleet, but declined to formally recognize it as a viable project this early.

by Dustin BleizefferApril 13, 2022  TerraPower’s Natrium nuclear power plant in Kemmerer might help Oregon accomplish its climate action plan by helping to replace coal power, but state regulators, concerned by the project’s unprecedented timeline, aren’t yet willing to bet on it. TerraPower’s Natrium nuclear power plant in Kemmerer might help Oregon accomplish its climate action plan by helping to replace coal power, but state regulators, concerned by the project’s unprecedented timeline, aren’t yet willing to bet on it.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission in March declined to formally acknowledge PacifiCorp’s plans for Natrium to be a part of its future electrical generation portfolio.

“This project is just so early that we don’t really feel like we can give it that kind of weight,” Oregon PUC Commissioner Mark Thompson said. “That’s not because PacifiCorp has done something wrong. I just think it’s just not knowable. It’s so early on.”

The commission approved the balance of PacifiCorp’s “integrated resource plan” for how it will meet future power needs for its Oregon customers. Commissioners said they remain open to including Natrium in future filings from PacifiCorp.

Why it matters

Natrium skeptics have noted that crucial federal funding for the project is tied to meeting aggressive deadlines. The commission’s decision appears to be the first instance of a regulatory body acting on similar concerns. 

PacifiCorp, which operates as Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming, is a regulated utility providing electrical power to customers in six western states, including Oregon. State public utility authorities must approve plans for new electrical generation facilities before a utility is allowed to tap ratepayers to cover the cost………….

“PacifiCorp and TerraPower understand that PacifiCorp will only move forward if the Natrium demonstration project brings value to our customers,” PacifiCorp spokeswoman Tiffany Erickson said. https://wyofile.com/oregon-regulators-question-nuclear-schedule-for-kemmerer/

April 14, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment