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The Ukraine war: the Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans

The Crimean Bridge attack of October 8 is much more serious. Zelenskyy has crossed a red line that Moscow had repeatedly warned him against

The Americans are cocooned in a surreal world of their self-serving narrative that Russia ‘lost’ the war.

Washington has not yet thrown in the towel and the Biden administration remains obsessed with exhausting the Russian military — even at the cost of Ukraine’s destruction.

A war Russia set to win – The Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans. MK Bhadrakumar, 17 Oct 22,

Former Ambassador

Two massive terrorist strikes misfired spectacularly and a terrible beauty is born in the Ukraine war. These two carefully planned attacks in quick succession — on Nord Stream gas pipelines and Crimean Bridge — were intended as a knockout blow to Russia. According to President Vladimir Putin, people ‘who want to finally sever ties between Russia and the EU, weaken Europe’ are behind the Nord Stream blasts. He named the US, Ukraine and Poland as ‘beneficiaries’.

Last Wednesday, Russia’s domestic intelligence service FSB identified Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, as the mastermind behind the Crimean attack. The New York Times and Washington Post also pointed fingers at Kiev, quoting ‘sources’. While Nord Stream-1 has been crippled, one of the strings of Nord Stream-2 remains intact. Putin said last week that the pipeline could be restored and Russia could deliver about 27 billion cubic metres of gas. ‘The ball is on the side of the European Union, if they want — let’s turn on the tap,’ he said.

But mum’s the word from Brussels. It is a profoundly embarrassing moment for the EU. The triumphalism has vanished as Europe is threatened by years of recession caused by the blowback from sanctions against Russia, where the US insisted on the cut off of energy ties with Moscow.

The EU has now become a captive market for Big Oil and is left to buy LNG from the US at the asking price, which is six to seven times higher than the domestic price in the US. (Contracted price for long-term Russian supply for Germany used to be about $280 per 1,000 cubic metres as against the current market price hovering around $2,000.)

Plainly put, the Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans. India should take note of the US’ sense of entitlement. Basically, the Biden administration created a contrived energy crisis whose real aim is war profiteering.

The Crimean Bridge attack of October 8 is much more serious. Zelenskyy has crossed a red line that Moscow had repeatedly warned him against. Putin has disclosed that there have also been three terrorist attacks against the Kursk NPP. Russians will settle for nothing less than the ouster of the Zelenskyy regime.

Russia’s retaliation against Ukraine’s ‘critical infrastructure’, something Moscow refrained from so far, has serious implications. Since October 9, Russia has begun systematically targeting Ukraine’s power system and railways. Noted Russian military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia that if this tempo was kept up for a week or so, it ‘will disrupt the entire logistics of the Ukrainian military — system for transporting personnel, military equipment, ammunition, related cargo, as well as the functioning of military and repair plants.’

The Americans are cocooned in a surreal world of their self-serving narrative that Russia ‘lost’ the war. In the real world, though, Ivan Tertel, KGB chief in Belarus, who has an insider view of Moscow, said last Tuesday that with Russia boosting its troop strength in the war zone — 3 lakh troops who have been mobilised plus 70,000 volunteers — and the deployment of advanced weaponry, ‘the military operation will enter a key phase. According to our estimates, a turning point will come in the period from November of this year to February of next year.’

Policy-makers and strategists in Delhi should make a careful note of the timeline. The bottom line is, Russia is looking for an all-out victory and will not settle for anything less than a friendly government in Kiev. Western politicians, including Biden, understand that there is nothing stopping the Russians now. The US’ weapon kitty is running dry as Kiev keeps asking for more.

When asked whether he’d meet Biden at the G20 in Bali, Putin derisively remarked on Friday, ‘He (Biden) should be asked whether he is ready to hold such negotiations with me or not. To be honest, I don’t see any need, by and large. There is no platform for any negotiations for the time being.’

However, Washington has not yet thrown in the towel and the Biden administration remains obsessed with exhausting the Russian military — even at the cost of Ukraine’s destruction. And, for the Russians too, there is still much to be worked out on the battlefield: the oppressed Russian populations in Odessa (which suffered unspeakable atrocities from the neo-Nazis), Mykolaiv, Zaporizhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov are expecting ‘liberation’. It’s a highly emotive issue for Russia. Again, the overarching agenda of ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’ of Ukraine must be taken to its logical conclusion.

When all that is over, Putin knows Biden will not even want to meet him. Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said last week, ‘Anyone who seriously believes that the war can be ended through Russian-Ukrainian negotiations lives in another world. Reality looks different. In reality, such issues can only be discussed between Washington and Moscow. Today, Ukraine is able to fight only because it receives military assistance from the United States…

‘At the same time, I do not see President Biden as the person who would really be suitable for such serious negotiations. President Biden has gone too far. Suffice it to recall his statements to Russian President Putin.’

India should expect the defeat of the US and NATO, which completes the transition to a multipolar world order. Sadly, Indian elites are yet to purge their ‘unipolar predicament’. Europe, including Britain, is devastated and there is palpable discontent over the US’s ‘transatlantic leadership’. Indo-Pacific strategy is hopelessly adrift. New power centres are emerging in India’s extended neighbourhood, as the OPEC’s rebuff to Washington shows. A profound adjustment is needed in the Indian strategic calculus.


October 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Elon Musk supports Russia keeping Crimea—because he’s worried about nuclear escalation and World War III

Fortune, BY TRISTAN BOVE, October 18, 2022

The world’s richest man wants the West to more seriously consider the risk of nuclear conflict and World War III breaking out over Ukraine, as Russia’s hold over Crimea—illegally annexed by Russia in 2014—is thrown into question.

“If Russia is faced with the choice of losing Crimea or using battlefield nukes, they will choose the latter,” Elon Musk wrote in a tweet on Monday.

He continued: “We’ve already sanctioned/cutoff Russia in every possible way, so what more do they have left to lose? If we nuke Russia back, they will nuke us and then we have WW3.”…………………………….

Musk and Ukraine

Earlier this month, Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, made waves when he suggested that the two sides reach a compromise before the use of nuclear weapons escalates the conflict into World War III. 

He did so by sharing his view on what a peaceful resolution in Ukraine would look like, including Ukraine remaining neutral and permanently ceding control of Crimea to Russia. 

In his proposal, Musk wrote that this outcome was “highly likely,” and the only question was “how many die before then.” He noted at the time that a nuclear escalation was a “possible, albeit unlikely” outcome……………

In his tweet on Monday predicting World War III, Musk emphasized the strategic and symbolic importance of Crimea to Russia, equating its potential loss to the “USA losing Hawaii and Pearl Harbor.”

Global war threats

If Putin was holding back on nuclear threats in the first few months of the war, he certainly isn’t now. At the end of September, Putin announced he would employ “all means available to us” to defend the four eastern Ukrainian regions Russia had recently annexed, a threat many took to be nuclear in nature. …………………………………………………. more

October 18, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Elon Musk – arguably the world’s biggest conman and egoist

Earta Caln 19 Oct 22, In addition to being the world’s wealthiest man, Elon Musk is also the world’s biggest conman and egoist. He lied about providing starlight internet to ukraine. It was completely subsidized, by the US govt.he didn’t pay a dime to get it going as he has said. Musk  lies about perfecting completely autonomous cars that continue, to catch fire and cause accidents. His Mars colonization is one of the greatest jokes and cons in history.
Musk has birthed nine children in collaboration with four different uteruses His wife’s, his girlfriend’s, a surrogate’s, and a senior employee.
Elon musk brags about  feeding his  his babies fukushima applesausce!

This month, Musk diverted  additional attention to himself. There haven’t been enough headlines about his on-again, off-again purchase of Twitter, his alleged romantic interludes, his dope smoking on Joe Rogan, his Tesla overpromising and all the other publicity stunts to stoke his overloaded ego. Now he has said he has drafted himself as a citizen-diplomat to end the Russian war on Ukraine. Putin says he is lying.

Musk’s diplomatic grandstand, with putin would be admirable, if there were any substance to it. Putin denies it.

Nobody accused Musk of conducting his own foreign policy in late February when he tweeted the news that he had activated his Starlink satellite internet service over Ukraine that was payed for by the usa govt, not him, as he lied about it. Because he is the ultimate govt welfare parasite who receive billions from the usa military industrial complex  from nasa for his self-serving space x projects and finally from his boondoggle Mars colonization lies and tin can Mars rocket, that would not get past the moon.

  His peace plan, bs  and toadying is simplistic grandstanding that hasnt  killed anyone,  but will go nowhere like his other conjobs , whereas Starlink’s activation likely sent thousands of Russian soldiers to their graves by giving the Ukrainian military a decided advantage over its Russian invaders.
Radionuclides are the most mutagenic chemicals on earth! Millions of times more genotoxic than their closest,  chemotoxic relatives. Elon musk brags about  feeding his  his babies, fukushima applesausce!

The never-never frontier
Musk will never have colonies in space. First of all, there is too much cosmic radiation, in space. No hull can protect humans from it, from Cosmic radiation. Cosmic radiation is a hundred times more penetrating, than gamma radiation.
Gamma radiation and neutron bursts are the most deadly radiation, on earth. One concentrated burst, of gamma radiation,, will kill you.
Most astronauts are damaged, by their time in space. There are no known propulsion systems, that will  feasibly take large groups of people to Mars. Musk is such a liar and con. His tin can Mars rocket will never go much anywhere. Musk wants to develop nuclear fission drive for Mars colonization and use nuclear bombs to geoengineer Mars for hellsake! Musk also proposes nuclear propulsion for Mars colonization.

Nuclear propulsion is a mIndscrewingly evil joke, that would probably irradiate, any passengers to Mars to death, before they got to Mars. Any attempt at space colonization will finish the earths atmosphere, from the massive propellants pollution, needed to multiply  shuttle material into orbit for his grandiose schemes.  The earths atmosphere is so chemically polluted, it would be ruined ruined not to mention, the accelerating effects on climate change.  Atmospheric pollution, is so bad from chemical pollution that it is almost unbreathable in many areas on earth.
Musk wants to put more nuclear reactors in space!
Radionuclides are millions of times more, genotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic,.and teratogenic
more so, than the closest nitrogen mustard, or any chemical mutagen and woman’s reproductive systems are a hundred times more sensitive to the than mens.
Musk says people in Japan and the world need to have more babies because, the birth rate is going down.  He never  brings  up the fact about how polluted Japan and the world  world  are now  with hormone interrupting toxic industrial chemicals and radionuclides. Radionuclides are the most mutagenic chemicals on earth! Millions of times more genotoxic than their closest,  chemotoxic relatives. Elon musk brags about  feeding his  his babies fukushima applesausce!
The ongoing  fukushima catastrophe, in japan continues to go on spewing radionuclides into the environment and ocean. 1 million snowcrabs  just disappeared in the artic this year and their will be no snowcrab harvests in alaska, this year.
In Japan, their solution, and one applauded by this psychotic out of touch billionaires Musk and  Bill Gates, is to build more nuclear reactors and flood the already overlooked , nuclearwaste ridden earth, with more nuclear waste .
The old fascist Boobs in Japan that are pushing more reactors, are the ultimate nuclear criminals. They are a scripted part of Japan’s imminent collapse. One more meltdown in Japan,  will mean acute radiation poisoning and death for half of Japan. That is  because, the radionuclide prevalence will be large and “undiluted” enough, to cause visible and widespread death in Japan.

The Japanese continue to open air burn nuclear waste from fukishima. In various parts of japan.

Japanese society continues to have serious problems, with the large initial spewing of radionuclides, as far south as Yokohama , as far East as Fukui, as far north as Hokkaido They have actually been burning nuclear waste from fukushima and spreading, the most deadly radionuclides, all over japan since the initial meltdowns occured and now they want to release millions of gallons, of more radionucled water that they have accumulated, since fukushima into the ocean.
Fukushima continues to pour deadly radionuclides into the environment. Birth defect statistics are suppressed. Cancer rates suppressed. There is putrid malaise, in most of japan.

Musk supports fascism in Japan and elsewhere. He wants to put Trump back on twitter. He supported PM Abe the greatest fukushima denier and suppresor of all time.  Musk supports nuclear power in China and everywhere! Abe was a nasty fascist nationalist.  Bill Gates  and Trump  were  best buds with abe .

Read more: Elon Musk – arguably the world’s biggest conman and egoist

Modern Fascism, is deeply linked to organized crime and corruption.  It is the last stage of political organization, in corrupt, industrial societies. It is antidemocratic. It denies, climate change and industrial pollution. Fascism scapegoats groups of people, as the cause of problems. Fascism ignores the results of climate change, industrial pollution, and declining life expectancies, in declining industrial nations. Fascism denies these industrial ills, that cause climate change and dangerous levels of heavy metal and chemical pollution. In fact, fascists, deregulate toxic substance controls and bans.
Fascists, want to increase fossil fuel extraction and, nuclear energy production.
Suicidal denial, projection, and irrationality, in a very sick society.
Turning to fascism, signals the death-knell, for a decaying, dying nationality, in the anthropocene age because, of it’s reactionary and antidemocratic nature.
Italy’s mafias, have dumped concentrated high-level, nuclear waste, in municipalities dumps in Italy,  for  the past 4 decades. Heavy metal pollution like lead,  arsenic,  radionuclides,  and mercury is widespread and has high prevalence in all industrial societies.  Arsenic and radium, comes from car exhaust, from burning fossil fuels.
Lead and uranium are in water, from fracking and leaded pipes.
Mercury and radiocuclides in foods, comes  from years of mercury pollution, nuclear waste, nuclear accidents, and nuclear power.  
High toxic pollution levels exist, in most capitalist and mixed-economy consumption-based, societies.
The metals cause physical disability and dementia, in already failing societies.
Western countries descending into fascism already suffer parliamentry stalemate, austerity economics, economic decline,  the interference  of other countries in their politics and economies. Pollution, climate change,  and fascism, are sure to lead to  the accelerated, suicidal decline of Italy.
It is a society that will only decline further, with such an irrational political system, until it implodes in this anthropocene age, as Japan is, under the weight of Fukushima. As Ukraine did, under the weight of chernobyl.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, PERSONAL STORIES, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

An Elementary School Near a Nuclear Dump Site Is Teeming With Radioactivity

A recent analysis found dangerous, radioactive compounds at levels as high as 22 times background rates on the Missouri school’s grounds.

Gizmodo By Lauren Leffer 17 Oct 22, [good map and aerial view]

Dangerous, radioactive particles are all over an elementary school in suburban St. Louis, according to a recently published analysis by Boston Chemical Data Corp.

The testing follows an earlier assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers that also found elevated levels of radiation near Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Missouri. However, the new report—which included indoor testing and more extensive samples from the school grounds—is even more startling, confirming fears of contamination.

Based on dust and soil samples collected in August, scientists found harmful, radioactive material in multiple locations inside the school, including the gymnasium, and kitchen—as well as on the grounds. In an outdoor, kindergarten play area the researchers determined levels of the isotope lead-210 were more than 22 times the expected background level. In addition to the radioactive lead isotope, the Boston Chemical scientists also found high levels of radium-266, polonium-210, multiple isotopes of thorium, and other compounds in and around the school.

Inhaling, ingesting, or even simply skin contact with these particles can cause “significant injury to humans,” said the report.

Jana Elementary is bordered by a small stream called Coldwater Creek. And though it may look picturesque, the waterway is polluted by the nuclear legacy of World War II.

A 21.7 acre area upstream from Jana Elementary, called the St. Louis Airport Site (SLAPS), served as a storage and dumping ground for radioactive material produced as part of the Manhattan Project for decades. There, nuclear waste leaked into the ground and headwaters of the Coldwater Creek, and flowed down the tributary of the Missouri River. The stream, which frequently floods, then spread that contamination even more broadly—into soil, buildings, home gardens and elsewhere.

In 2019, a federal report confirmed that people who lived along the creek and in its floodplain between the 1960s and 1990s likely faced an increased risk of leukemia, bone, and blood cancers. And the analysis of Jana Elementary brings renewed concern about ongoing exposure.

When she learned of the report, she “was heartbroken,” said Ashley Bernaugh, president of the Jana parent-teacher association whose son attends the school, to National Public Radio. “It sounds so cliché, but it takes your breath from you.” ………………. more

October 18, 2022 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution – Dr. Arjun Makhijani

Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution -7 Dr. Arjun Makhijani. This is a part
of the recording of “Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution: The devastating
impacts of Pacific nuclear testing, the Fukushima disaster, and radioactive
waste from U.S. nuclear reactors,” a webinar that was hosted by the
Affected Communities and Allies Working Group on March 9, 2022. The webinar
explains why nuclear energy is not a climate solution and shed light on the
underreported impacts of the ongoing nuclear crises in communities impacted
by nuclear testing, nuclear energy, and radioactive waste.

 Affected Communities and Allies Working Group 16th Oct 2022

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | 2 Comments

How Iodine Pills Can—and Can’t—Help Against Radiation

Wired, EMILY MULLIN, OCT 17, 2022

East European governments are starting to distribute the tablets as a precaution, but there are limits to the protection they offer, and who might need them…………………………..

Just because you can go online and stock up on iodine tablets, doesn’t mean you should. And in countries where they are being distributed as a precaution, it’s also important to understand what the pills can and cannot do. First, the pills, which contain potassium iodide, aren’t an antidote for all forms of radiation exposure. Also, they’re only able to protect the thyroid—the small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck.

Nuclear weapons and power plants rely on a process called fission, or the splitting of atoms into fragments, to generate a large amount of energy. During a nuclear strike or plant meltdown, one of the radioactive substances that’s released is iodine-131, a dark purple gas that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Once it enters the body, it’s absorbed by the thyroid. This gland is good at soaking up iodine, because natural iodine is needed to produce essential hormones. But exposure to the radioactive version damages the delicate organ and raises the risk of thyroid cancer.

Children are the most at risk. Following the nuclear accident at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986, there was a marked increase in thyroid cancer cases in children and adolescents in the years following the disaster. (A study 35 years later found that radiation-related gene mutations did not, however, get passed to the future children of those who had been exposed.) The risk is much lower in people 40 and older, and the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally don’t recommend potassium iodide for that age group unless the projected radiation dose is very high.

Iodine pills block the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine by filling it with the regular kind—the gland can only absorb so much at once, and it can’t tell the difference between the two types. “The human thyroid has a finite capacity for iodine. If you overload it with iodine from other sources, it’ll basically be full,” says Edward Geist, a policy researcher on nuclear energy and warfare at the RAND Corporation, a Washington, DC-based think tank. “That means when you encounter this radioactive iodine, you’re much less likely to absorb it in your thyroid and you get a much lower dose from having this iodine in you.”

While the pills can be very effective at preventing thyroid damage, they don’t protect any other part of the body—and they’re not effective against other radiation hazards, including electromagnetic rays and fallout particles that penetrate the body. “It’s not a silver bullet,” Geist says. “If you’re downwind of a surface burst of a nuclear weapon, the pills are only going to make you marginally safer than you otherwise would be.”

The tablets also shouldn’t be overused, or used too early. Health officials say they should not be taken until instructed by authorities, because the effectiveness of potassium iodide depends on the time frame in which the pills are taken, how much radioactive iodine gets into the body, and how quickly the body absorbs it. One dose typically provides protection for about 24 hours. To be most effective, the pills must be taken within 24 hours before, or four hours after, radiation exposure. “It’s a fairly narrow time window,” says Pat Zanzonico, a medical physicist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Zanzonico says potassium iodide is very safe to ingest over a period of several days, but excessive amounts over a prolonged period of time can adversely affect the function of the thyroid. And because the thyroid can only hold so much iodine at once, there’s no benefit to taking a larger dose than recommended.

Outside of Eastern Europe, Zanzonico says people probably won’t need potassium iodide pills in the highly unlikely event of a Russian nuclear attack in Ukraine—or if there is a disaster at Zaporizhzhia……….

October 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

US rehearses dropping nuclear bombs in Europe

WSWS, Andre Damon@Andre__Damon, 17 Oct 22,

The aircraft will rehearse dropping B61 “tactical” thermonuclear bombs, each of which is up to 20 times more powerful than the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II, killing as many as 126,000 civilians.

The aircraft will rehearse dropping B61 “tactical” thermonuclear bombs, each of which is up to 20 times more powerful than the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II, killing as many as 126,000 civilians.

While nuclear training exercises are usually presented as routine, nonthreatening, and not targeting any specific country, this year NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made clear that the exercise is intended as a threat to Russia.

In a speech that mentioned Russia five times, Stoltenberg announced, “Next week, NATO will hold its long-planned deterrence exercise, Steadfast Noon.” He added, “Russia knows that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

As of 2019, the United States had 150 “tactical” nuclear warheads stationed throughout Europe as part of the NATO nuclear arsenal, including in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

On Sunday, one day ahead of the scheduled nuclear drill, China told its citizens living in Ukraine to evacuate the country, citing the “grave security situation.”

In June, the NATO alliance published a document pledging to “deliver the full range of forces” needed “for high-intensity, multi-domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitors.”

In announcing the Steadfast Noon exercise, NATO said the training flights include  “14 countries and up to 60 aircraft of various types, including fourth and fifth generation fighter jets, as well as surveillance and tanker aircraft.” It added that “US B-52 long-range bombers” will “fly from Minot Air Base in North Dakota” to take part in the exercise.

The flights will take place “over Belgium, which is hosting the exercise, as well as over the North Sea and the United Kingdom.”

NATO added, “No live weapons are used,” which is a relief because the weapons involved in the drill would irradiate several hundred square miles and disperse fallout in multiple countries.

On October 7, President Joe Biden said the world is at risk of nuclear “Armageddon,” implying that the rapid escalation of the war in Ukraine could lead to nuclear war between the United States and Russia.

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said.

Biden added that he did not think “there’s any such thing as the ability to easily (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”

In February, he warned that sending offensive weaponry to Ukraine would trigger “World War III.” Since that time, the US has sent hundreds of armored vehicles, advanced long-range missile systems, and other high-end weapons to Ukraine.

In an article published last week in Politico, former CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote that the US intelligence agencies believe the odds of the war in Ukraine spiraling into a nuclear war are as high as one in four.

“Some intelligence analysts now believe that the probability of the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine has risen from 1-5 percent at the start of the war to 20-25 percent today,” Panetta wrote.

On Friday, the Guardian reported that governments are making plans to prevent “panic” should the war in Ukraine escalate into a nuclear conflict. “West makes plans to avoid panic if Russia uses nuclear bomb in Ukraine” was the headline of its report, which cited an unnamed official as saying that governments are carrying out “prudent planning for a range of possible scenarios.”

The NATO nuclear exercise is set to occur at virtually the same time that Russia carries out its “grom” nuclear exercise. While NATO has been loudly announcing its nuclear bombing exercises, no similar announcement has come from Russia.

That has not, however, prevented NATO officials from vocally denouncing the as yet unannounced Russian exercise as a provocative escalation…………………………………….

In this super-heated atmosphere, the US-led nuclear training exercise raises the prospect of a major miscalculation. It is a well-known fact that the annual NATO Able Archer exercise during the Cold War almost led to a full-scale nuclear war in 1983, when the leadership of the Soviet Union became convinced that the United States was actually going to launch a nuclear attack………………

October 18, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New Zealand MP says Rocket Lab launches could betray country’s anti-nuclear stance

The commercial space company rejects criticism of satellite launches for the US military,

Guardian, Eva Corlett in Wellington, @evacorlett 17 Oct 22,

New Zealand commercial space company, Rocket Lab, has faced new opposition to its activities on behalf of foreign militaries, with one New Zealand Green MP saying its actions could fly in the face of the country’s anti-nuclear stance.

The American-New Zealand company, founded by Peter Beck in 2006, provides rockets to deliver payloads into orbit from its launch site on the Māhia Peninsula, in New Zealand’s north. A third of Rocket Lab’s activities have been on behalf of defence and national security agencies. These include launching US and Australian spy satellites, the controversial “Gunsmoke J” satellite, and most recently Nasa’s capstone spacecraft.

The company’s contracts with the US have been flagged as concerning by the Māhia community, the Green party, and Rocket Lab Monitor – a watchdog group.

In 2019, the New Zealand government banned launch activities that were not in the country’s national interest, or were a breach of both domestic and international laws. The minister for economic and regional development, Stuart Nash, who is also the MP for the area that covers the Māhia Peninsula, has the ability to veto space launches that are not considered to be in the national interest, including payloads that contribute to nuclear weapons programmes or support or enable specific defence, security or intelligence operations contrary to government policy.

But the Green party’s security and intelligence spokesperson, Teanau Tuiono warned last week that it is “unclear when the national interest test should be invoked” and that there is no guarantee the satellites will not be used to assist nuclear programmes.

“Weaponising space is not in our national interest and goes against our international commitments to ensuring peace in space,” he said.

“Launching space satellites from Aotearoa could improve the ability of foreign actors to control a nuclear explosive device,” Tuiono said. “But right now, the government is allowing operators like Rocket Lab to put payloads into space for the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the US Space Force.”

Tuiono said that this poses a risk to New Zealand’s nuclear-free stance, which was enshrined in law more than 35 years ago and is considered a defining moment in the country’s history.

“We risk betraying the anti-nuclear generation and handing our kids a less safe world,” Tuiono said………………………………………………………

Watchdog group, Rocket Lab Monitor, has said it’s skeptical that this is a fail-proof system and worries the country’s space agency lacks in-house expertise to assess if satellites are contributing to nuclear weapon programmes.

“It all relies on the ‘intent’ of a payload rather than monitoring what it actually ends up being used for,” its spokesperson Sonya Smith said.

Smith pointed to Rocket Lab’s 2021 launch of the “Gunsmoke-J” satellite – an experimental satellite that, according to the US army, can “provide tactically actionable targeting data” to “warfighters”, and to which Minister Nash admitted he was “unaware of [its] specific military capabilities”.

Last month, the government announced a new aerospace strategy, that includes further financial support for the emerging sector. At the same time, it opened a review to allow the public to give feedback on the future of New Zealand’s space policy.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | New Zealand, space travel | Leave a comment

Marshall Islanders unwilling to sign economic agreement with USA – want redress first of their harmful nuclear legacy

Haunted By 67 Nuclear Tests, US Facing Severe Roadblocks To Renew COFA Pact With Marshall Islands By Ashish Dangwal, October 18, 2022

The United States appears to be facing a severe roadblock in renewing a binding treaty with the Marshall Islands, which have long sought compensation for the dozens of US nuclear tests conducted there between the 1940s and 1950s.

The provisions of a Compact of Free Association (COFA), signed between the Pacific island group and the US in 1986, will be reviewed by the Marshall Islands and the United States later this year.

The COFA’s key components include US immigration benefits for Marshallese citizens, direct economic support, and exclusive American defense and security access to the islands and their territorial waters. 

The Marshall Islands leaders have repeatedly highlighted that the long-term repercussions of the 67 US nuclear tests conducted between 1946 and 1958 on health, the environment, and the economy must be adequately addressed before they consent to a new economic agreement with the US.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Inhabitants of French Polynesian atolls call for support and compensation for the health and environmental harm from nuclear testing.

French Polynesian atolls still wary decades after nuclear tests, RNZ, 17 Oct 22,

The new French High Commissioner to French Polynesia has heard calls for support and compensation for atolls close to the test sites of France’s nuclear weapons tests.

Eric Spitz has been on his first tour of the outer islands since arriving from France last month to discuss France’s efforts to overcome the test legacy in line with an undertaking of President Emmanuel Macron to ‘turn the page’ on the tests.

Spitz has been visiting Mangareva and Tureia, which are among the inhabited atolls closest to the former test sites of Moruroa and Fangataufa, used for more than 190 tests between 1966 and 1996.

The High Commissioner is travelling with the project manager for the French prime minister on the consequences of nuclear tests, Michel Marquer, and the head physician of the monitoring department of the nuclear test centres of the general defence directorate, Marie-Pascale Petit.

The government delegation has been updating the atolls’ residents on the latest findings about residual radiation and the risks emanating from the test sites, weakened by dozens of underground detonations.

The mayor of Tureia, Tevahine Brander, said she would like to have support from France because some locals had given their lives for France getting its nuclear deterrent.

“Perhaps the French state has taken a big step today on the nuclear issue, but my people will always remain vigilant on this subject. Our elders have endured a lot of suffering”, she said.

The mayor of Rikitea on Mangareva Vai Gooding also called for compensation, with locals telling the visitors of ongoing concerns.

Jerry Gooding, who is with the anti-nuclear organisation, Association 193, told Tahiti-infos that “in Rikitea, there are victims who have died, and their children have cancer too, although they were born after the nuclear tests. This is why the Association is asking for a transgenerational study into the genetic impact of the tests.”

“Macron went to ask forgiveness in Algeria but did not ask forgiveness from the Polynesians. He must come and apologise to the Polynesians”, he added.

A resident, Benoit Urarii, said “everyone knows that Hiroshima was catastrophic, and everyone knew that it was dangerous for the population. General De Gaulle was aware and chose Moruroa because there were fewer people. But it is close to us, so we are the first victims. The first test in 1966 was catastrophic for us Mangarevans. And we got infected. Nobody can deny that. We were not asked for our opinion, and we knew exactly how dangerous nuclear tests were.”…………………………

Doubt persists as residents point to the complex and expensive technology in use to monitor the area around Moruroa, which is still a military no-go zone.

Until 2009, France claimed that its tests were clean and caused no harm, but in 2010, under the stewardship of defence minister Herve Morin, a compensation law was passed.

Plans are afoot to build a memorial site in Papeete, but a resident in Tureia said it should be on his atoll.

“The centre should be here, it’s more honest. But not a memorial for those who have taken advantage of all these years of nuclear testing to enrich themselves and stuff their bank accounts”, he said.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Profoundly Stupid Narrative That Nuclear Brinkmanship Is Safety And De-Escalation Is Danger

Substack, Caitlin Johnstone, 18 Oct 22,

Of all the face-meltingly stupid narratives that have been circulated about the US proxy war in Ukraine, the dumbest so far has got to be the increasingly common claim that aggressively escalating nuclear brinkmanship is safety and de-escalation is danger.

We see a prime example of this self-evidently idiotic narrative in a new Business Insider article titled “Putin’s nuclear threats are pushing people like Trump and Elon Musk to press for a Ukraine peace deal. A nuclear expert warns that’s ‘dangerous.’” 

“An understandable desire to avoid a nuclear war could actually make the world more dangerous if it means rushing to implement a ‘peace’ in Ukraine that serves Russian interests,” writes reliable empire apologist Charles Davis. “Such a move, which some influential figures have called for, risks setting a precedent that atomic blackmail is the way to win wars and take territory troops can’t otherwise hold, a model that could be copycatted by even the weakest nuclear-armed states, and may only succeed at delaying another war.”

Davis’ sole source for his article is the UN Institute for Disarmament Research’s Pavel Podvig, who is very openly biased against Russia……………………….

Like other empire apologists currently pushing the ridiculous “de-escalation actually causes escalation” line, Davis and Podvig argue as though nuclear weapons just showed up on the scene a few days ago, as if there haven’t been generations of western policies toward Moscow which have indeed involved backing down and making compromises at times because doing so was seen as preferable to risking a nuclear attack. We survived the Cuban Missile Crisis because Kennedy secretly acquiesced to Khrushchev’s demands that the US remove the Jupiter missiles it had placed in Turkey and Italy, which was what provoked Moscow to move nukes to Cuba in the first place………………

we’re seeing this new “escalation is safety and de-escalation is danger” narrative pushed with increasing forcefulness by imperial spinmeisters, because it would take a lot of force indeed to get people to accept something so self-evidently backwards and nonsensical…………………………………………………………..

It’s absolutely insane that humanity is risking its own extinction over these games of empire-building and planetary domination when we’ve got so many other existential hurdles we need to focus on clearing. ……………..

We could have such a beautiful world. All the energy we pour into competition and conquest could go toward innovation that benefits us all, making sure everyone has enough, eliminating human suffering and the need for human toil. We’re trading heaven on earth for elite ego games.

There’s no valid reason we can’t move from models of competition and domination to models of collaboration and care. Collaboration with each other; care for each other. Collaboration with our ecosystem; care for our ecosystem. We’re throwing it away in exchange for senseless misery and peril.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Iodine Tablets Block Some Nuclear Radiation

Associated Press, News 18,  OCTOBER 18, 2022,

“……………………………………………….This radioactive material can increase the risk of thyroid cancer if it gets into the body, for example by breathing it in or eating contaminated food. It’s especially dangerous for children, and its health risks can last for many years after exposure, according to the World Health Organization.

Iodine tablets work by filling up the thyroid with a stable version of iodine so that the radioactive kind can’t get in. If the thyroid is already packed with potassium iodide, it won’t be able to pick up the harmful iodine that’s left after a nuclear accident.

 what are iodine pills? And what can they do — and what can’t they do — in the case of a nuclear leak or attack?

Potassium iodide, or KI, offers specific protection against one kind exposure. It prevents the thyroid — a hormone-producing gland in the neck — from picking up radioactive iodine, which can be released into the atmosphere in a nuclear accident.

The pills are cheap and sold all over the world, and many countries, including the U.S., stockpile them.

But potassium iodide doesn’t protect against other kinds of radioactive threats. A nuclear bomb, for example, can release many different kinds of radiation and radioactive material that can harm many parts of the body.

Health authorities caution that potassium iodide should only be taken in certain nuclear emergencies, and works best if it’s taken close to the time of exposure. It shouldn’t be taken as a preventive measure ahead of time.

Potassium iodide doses can come with some side effects like rash, inflammation or an upset stomach. Those over 40 years old generally shouldn’t take iodine tablets unless their expected exposure is very high, according to guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | health, Reference | Leave a comment

Doomsday Greenland glacier on the brink as scientist sounds alarm.

 Scientists have issued a dire warning as the Greenland ice sheet, one of
the largest in the world, is far more vulnerable than previously thought.

The enormous body of ice has been critical to global sea level rise and
climate change, and new research suggests that it could be in greater
danger than previously believed.

The climate crisis, triggered by human
activity like burning fossil fuels, has resulted in average global
temperatures rising to dangerous levels, and is beginning to cause, or
aggravate major natural disasters around the world. Scientists now warn
that the rising air temperatures has amplified the effects of melting
caused by the ocean warming, which has led to greater loss of ice from the
Greenland ice sheet.

 Express 16th Oct 2022

October 18, 2022 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

NFLA urges government to distribute iodine tablets to help prepare for nuclear threat

 On the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Jo Biden
has recently warned that the situation today is grave as the world faced in
October 1962. In response, the Nuclear Free Local Authorities have written
to the Energy and Health Secretaries urging them to follow the example of
the Polish and United States Government by acquiring and distributing
iodine tablets to the public as a precautionary protective message should
the war in Ukraine become nuclear.

 NFLA 17th Oct 2022

October 18, 2022 Posted by | health, UK | Leave a comment

Biden’s National Security Strategy Is a Defense of US Domination, Not Democracy

In the new National Security Strategy, Biden also lays out an ambitious plan to adapt the U.S. military to confront China in the Asia Pacific and Russia in Eastern Europe. These entail massive new investments in both conventional and nuclear weaponry. The president’s military budget for 2022 is already about $750 billion, with further increases expected in coming years.

Biden’s National Security Strategy Is a Defense of US Domination, Not Democracy, Ashley SmithTruthout 17 Oct 22.

The Biden administration just released its new National Security Strategy. It is designed to restore and enforce Washington’s domination over global capitalism and the international state system against pretenders to its throne as the imperial hegemon.

As the document puts it, the world order is at an “inflection point;” “the post-Cold War era is definitely over, and a competition is underway between the major powers to shape what comes next.” This is a new predicament for the U.S.

 After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Washington resembled a modern-day Rome with unrivaled geopolitical, economic, and military power to enforce free trade globalization and its attendant inequalities within and between nation states.

Over the last two decades, however, the U.S. has suffered relative decline and now confronts imperial rivals like China and Russia as well as regional ones like Iran among others. Beijing and Moscow are developing their own strategies to pursue their respective imperialist and local assertions of power, most dramatically demonstrated by Beijing’s threat to annex Taiwan and Russia’s horrific colonial war on Ukraine……………………………………………………………….

The New Asymmetric Multipolar World Order

Over the past two decades several developments have cracked this unipolar moment, led to the relative decline of the U.S., and ushered in today’s new asymmetric multipolar world order. The long neoliberal boom from the early 1980s to 2008 led to the rise of new centers of capital accumulation like China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Washington’s attempt to lock in its dominance through wars to control the Middle East and its strategic energy reserves blew up in its face. Its defeat in Iraq led retired General William Odom to call the war “the greatest strategic disaster in United States history.”……………………………………………….

Biden’s New Imperial Strategy

Recognizing this new order, the Biden administration has abandoned the post-Cold War strategy of integrating all states under its umbrella in favor of great power rivalry with China, Russia, and regional adversaries. The president aims to refurbish the U.S. empire to outcompete, contain, confront and weaken these rivals.

Biden’s National Security Strategy disguises a nationalist strategy as a U.S.-led global contest of democracies against autocracies. It includes a new industrial policy meant to increase the competitiveness and security of U.S. corporations. The Biden administration has issued a “Buy American” executive order, pushed to secure supply chains by onshoring manufacturing or “friend shoring” it to strategic allies, and poured money into the high tech industry through the $280 billion CHIPS Act.

Biden wants to pressure states in both the Global North and Global South to fall into line by joining proposed new trade pacts. His administration is currently pushing a new trade agreement in Asia, as well as a “Build Back Better World” plan for development in the Global South — an explicit attempt to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Washington is also cajoling U.S. allies to follow it in banning sales of high end microchips to China and Russia, barring Chinese companies from supplying hardware for their 5G systems, and restricting Chinese access to strategic research and development.

In the new National Security Strategy, Biden also lays out an ambitious plan to adapt the U.S. military to confront China in the Asia Pacific and Russia in Eastern Europe. These entail massive new investments in both conventional and nuclear weaponry. The president’s military budget for 2022 is already about $750 billion, with further increases expected in coming years.

Biden intends to maintain and expand the U.S.’s imperial reach through existing and new military alliances. Thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he has been able revitalize NATO and add both Sweden and Finland to its membership, consolidating Washington’s dominion over Europe.

In the Asia Pacific, the U.S. established a new pact, AUKUS, with Australia and the U.K. to facilitate sales of nuclear submarines to Canberra. Biden has doubled down on pre-existing formations like the QUAD, which in addition to the U.S. includes Australia, India, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the so-called Five Eyes Intelligence Oversight and Review Council made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, and the U.S. He even convinced the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to confront China in Asia.

The U.S. versus China and Russia…………………………………………………….

Biden’s main preoccupation, however, is not Russia, but China. The National Security Strategy declares that China is “the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to advance that objective.” Biden cynically exploits China’s imperial and repressive record in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan to rally the world behind Washington’s trade pacts, development plans and military alliances.

The key flashpoint in the U.S. conflict with China is Taiwan. Beijing threatens to seize the country, while Washington promises to arm it to the teeth and defend it against any invasion. Lost in this imperial battle is the Taiwanese people and their struggle for self-determination free of both powers…………………………………..

Biden’s “Democratic Despotism”

Biden’s new imperial plan is riddled with lies, hypocrisy and contradictions, all characteristics of what W. E. B. Du Bois long ago denounced as the “democratic despotism” of U.S. imperialism. These falsehoods undermine Biden’s claim that his plan is in the interests of the world’s people.

On the domestic front, Biden has prioritized corporate profit and the military over social programs to benefit working class and oppressed people. While he boasts of investing in social reforms, the truth is that aside from stimulus checks most of those promised in the original version of “Build Back Better” fell by the wayside as his administration poured money into the Infrastructure Act and Inflation Reduction Act, both of which will benefit big business and do little to mitigate let alone reverse climate change.

Globally, Biden’s pretension to building a capitalist international of democracies against autocracies is even less convincing. The U.S. itself has a system of elections in which corporate money largely dictates the results, a government that nakedly serves big business, an unelected Supreme Court controlled by far-right appointees…………………

Abroad, Washington’s “democratic” track record includes everything from toppling elected governments in countries like Iran and Guatemala to brutal imperialist wars …………………………………………………more

October 18, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment