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France forced Polynesians to accept nuclear tests – they finally admit this!

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May 25, 2019 Posted by | France, indigenous issues, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Book: ‘From Mad to Madness’- an Inside Account of US Nuclear Weapons Strategy

This Madness Deserves a Protest: an Inside Account at US Nuclear Weapons Strategy, CounterPunch,  By Joan Roelofs ,April 5, 2017

“In contrast to the Soviet Union, the United States has always maintained its ‘right’ to carry out a nuclear first strike. This has never changed and was reaffirmed by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter . . . on September 27, 2016.”  – Diana Johnstone, From MAD to Madness.

There is not much hope for the retraction of this threat. On March 21, Reuters reported “Trump has said that while he would like to see nuclear weapons abolished, he wants the United States to have an unrivaled arsenal. He also said that the United States has ‘fallen behind’ in its nuclear capabilities, even though it is in the midst of a 30-year, $1.3 trillion drive to modernize what most experts agree is the world’s most powerful nuclear force.”

An insider’s memoir, From MAD to Madness, by Paul H. Johnstone, describing the persistence of the US nuclear threat has recently been published by Clarity Press. Johnstone was a senior analyst in the Strategic Weapons Evaluation Group in the Department of Defense, directing studies on the probable consequences of nuclear war, to us and to them, and also an author of The Pentagon Papers.

He died in 1981, leaving his memoir to his daughter, author (and CounterPunch contributor) Diana Johnstone. He had previously served in World War II as an evaluator of Japanese enemy targets, but as Diana says here: “Hiroshima changed the nature of targeting dramatically, and that is the story my father tells in his memoir.”

In this book Diana has finally published his “Memoir of a Humanist in the Pentagon,” along with her added commentary and a foreword by Paul Craig Roberts. Roberts expresses in a nutshell the contemporary horrific relevance of the book: “The neoconservatives in pursuit of their goal of US world hegemony have resurrected the possibility of nuclear war. The neocons have taken us from MAD to madness.”

The neocons are not some far-right fringe group; they represent the mainstream of US foreign policy in recent Democratic and Republican administrations. The political use of the nuclear threat has a long history. It was inaugurated by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a political decision opposed by the military. Admiral Leahy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote: “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. . .

” The Truman Doctrine (1947) indicated that there were no regrets. It stated in effect that any country that appeared to be adopting a communist form of government, whether through outside intervention, civil war, or ordinary elections, would be subject to whatever punishment the United States chose to inflict, not excluding nuclear attack.

Johnstone traces the “breather” in our policy characterized by MAD—the idea that Mutually Assured Destruction: a path to mutual suicide—was a deterrent to the use of nuclear weapons. This realization by our government occurred once Soviet nuclear capability became obvious. However, as Roberts notes, after the Soviet collapse in the 1990s the US “resurrected nuclear weapons as usable weapons of war. The Obama regime . . . authorized a trillion dollar expenditure for nuclear weapons, and US war doctrine elevated nukes from a retaliatory role to pre-emptive first strike.”

Roberts, who was United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan in 1981, maintains that Reagan and Gorbachev “eliminated the risk of Armageddon by negotiating the end of the Cold War.”…….

The military and the increasingly gigantic industries equipping it wanted bases everywhere, and somewhat plausible threats that would justify annual upgrading of the lethal arsenal. Wars now and then that would enable testing and destruction of weapons were also useful for the advancement of warriors and profits of contractors. Furthermore, revolutions that were allowed to succeed and improve the lives of people might create imitators in our land of vast wealth accompanied by astounding poverty and misery.

Yet neither Roberts nor Johnstone discusses the role of multinational corporations and the military- industrial complex in motivating and perpetuating the post-WWII Cold War. They attributed major influence on US policy to anti-Soviet émigrés (Kissinger, Brzezinski and others) from Eastern Europe. A high-level Air Force intelligence “Special Studies Group,” headed by a Hungarian émigré “expert” predicted in every annual appraisal that there would be “a massive Russian land attack on Western Europe the following year.”

The worldwide cold war between capitalism and socialism continues—in Cuba, among other places—and there is now also the megalomaniac goal of world hegemony. The projected attack by the now-capitalist Russia is still awaited, despite indications that the Russians want to eliminate the specter of civilization’s total nuclear destruction.

Johnstone’s sober prediction in From MAD to Madness: “there can be no victor in a nuclear war” must be given priority by the newly-awakened activists. The abolition of nuclear weapons would be a step towards sanity.: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/05/this-madness-deserves-a-protest-an-inside-account-at-us-nuclear-weapons-strategy/

May 25, 2019 Posted by | resources - print, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile 

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s planned nuclear weapons spending at a cost of $1.2 trillion

May 25, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Design problems delay development of Russia’s High-Tech Nuclear Submarine

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Despite misogyny, women continue to fight the reckless spending on nuclear weapons

May 25, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

Washington now a great place for warmongers

Donald Trump needs to reclaim control over his policy toward Iran.  National Interest, by Paul R. Pillar  22 May 19, The current crisis atmosphere in U.S.-Iranian relations, in which the risk of open warfare appears greater than it has been in years, is solely, unequivocally due to the policies and actions of the Trump administration. To point this out does not mean that actions of the Iranian regime have not come to be part of the crisis atmosphere as well. It instead means that such an atmosphere would never have existed in the first place if the administration had not turned its obsession with Iran into the relentless campaign of stoking hostility and tension that has become one of the single most prominent threads of the administration’s foreign policy.Without that campaign, and without the administration’s assault on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the agreement that restricts Iran’s nuclear program—Iran would continue to comply with its obligations under the JCPOA and all possible paths to an Iranian nuclear weapon would remain closed.

The channels of communication established during negotiation of the JCPOA would continue to be available to address other issues and to defuse any incidents that threatened to escalate into war (as was done during the previous U.S. administration). Whatever Iran has been doing for years in the Middle East, such as assisting Iraq in defeating the Islamic State and assisting its longtime ally in Syria, it would continue to do. In short, there would be no new threat and no crisis.

Some of the current discourse about Iran nonetheless makes it sound not only as if there is something new and threatening but that the Iranian regime is the initiator of the threat. At least seven reasons account for this misconception.

One is the demonization of Iran that is rooted in genuinely nefarious things the Iranian regime did in the past and dates back to when Ted Koppel was talking to Americans every weeknight about U.S. diplomats held hostage in Tehran. Over the years other factors have contributed to the demonization, including domestic American political pressures connected to certain regional rivals of Iran that want to keep it weak and isolated. The result is lasting and pervasive suspicion that colors American perceptions of everything involving Iran, regardless of the facts of whatever is the issue at hand………. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/washington-has-become-warmongers-paradise-58832

May 23, 2019 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hibakusha: Nagasaki activist, 79, looks to entrust nuclear movement to next generation

May 23, 2019 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nothing to stop angry, entitled Donald Trump, from making a nuclear attack

There Is No Check on Trump’s Rage Going Nuclear  An angry, entitled man has total control over devastating weapons. Foreign Policy, BY ANNE HARRINGTON, CHERYL ROFER,  MAY 22, 2019, DONALD TRUMP IS TAKING THE UNITED STATES BACK TO AN EARLIER TIME – ONE MOST PEOPLE THOUGHT HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND. HIS AGGRESSIVE BOORISHNESS, ENTITLEMENT, AND BELIEF THAT HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS ARE QUALITIES FROM AN AGE WHEN MEN’S CONTROL WAS ASSUMED, AND OTHERS STAYED SILENT. AND NOWHERE IS HIS RETROGRADE MASCULINITY MORE DANGEROUS THAN IN HIS CONTROL OF THE NUCLEAR BUTTON.

As president of the United States, Trump has absolute authority to launch nuclear weapons – without anyone else’s consent. In the past, it was taken for granted that the president would follow an established protocol that included consultation with the military, his cabinet, and others before taking such a grave step, but Trump is not legally bound to these procedures. Presidential launch authority is a matter of directive and precedent rather than specific law.

Trump’s bravado, penchant for inflated rhetoric, and impulsive decision-making style—including catching his leadership off guard by informing them of policy directives via tweet—have stoked old fears about placing the authority to launch in the wrong hands. So has his constant violation of once cherished presidential norms, including refusing to make public his tax returns and failing to read his daily intelligence brief.

Debates about launch authority have always been intimately bound up with whether we consider nukes’ function to be primarily military or political. Nuclear weapons are so destructive that, since the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even the explicit threat of their use has been sparing. They have been used as political deterrents and levers, instead of direct weapons of war.

Reserving launch authority for the president was a key way to emphasize the political nature of the nuclear mission.

Historians trace the precedent of presidential launch authority to President Harry Truman’s decision to check his generals’ use of nuclear weapons.

After destroying  Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they planned to bomb a third Japanese city, but Truman forbade them to carry out the attack without his express consent and ultimately decided against it. According to Truman’s commerce secretary, Henry Wallace, the president thought killing “another 100,000 people was too horrible.” By assuming personal responsibility for the launch order, Truman started a tradition of differentiating this new technology from conventional weapons.

Reserving launch authority for the president not only underscored the special status of nuclear weapons as a political asset, but it also took them out of the hands of the generals—men like Gen. Curtis LeMay. LeMay was a laconic man’s man, known for his ruthlessness and impolitic statements. During World War II, he directed the firebombing of 63 Japanese cities, killing hundreds of thousands of people. It was LeMay who relayed the orders for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and later, as the head of Strategic Air Command (SAC), oversaw the war plans for an all-out nuclear attack against the Soviet Union. LeMay had no patience for subordinating operational effectiveness to moral concerns, or what he referred to as an American “phobia” against the use of nuclear weapons.

LeMay resented the fact that SAC was subject to presidential launch authority. According to the historian Richard Rhodes, he had his own launch plans, ignoring national policy. While LeMay continued to believe that the United States could obliterate the Soviet Union while minimizing its own losses, in the civilian world ideas about the use of nuclear weapons were evolving. A new breed of defense intellectual was pushing the idea that the primary purpose of nuclear weapons was not to decimate U.S. adversaries but to prevent such weapons being used at all. Anchored in a game theoretic approach, these intellectuals assumed that the holders of nuclear weapons would be rational and that what each side believed about the other—credibility—was central to deterring nuclear use.

Robert McNamara, who served as President John F. Kennedy’s defense secretary, was emblematic of this new approach and responsible for introducing this new breed of defense intellectual into the Pentagon. …….

Where LeMay’s approach openly celebrated slaughter, McNamara’s bloodlessness could lead to just as much destruction. The fact that teams of scientists provided mathematical justifications for the Cold War buildup in nuclear arms did not make the possibility of their use any less brutal……….

McNamara’s approach prevailed—not only politically but culturally. The 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove rejected LeMay’s approach to nuclear weapons. The cigar-chomping Gen. Jack D. Ripper is portrayed as insane, his paranoia leading him to release an airborne nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. Maj. T.J. “King” Kong rides the bomb down, brandishing his cowboy hat.

LeMay and McNamara not only represent two different approaches to nuclear strategy but two different ideals of masculinity.  The election of Trump has reversed the usual stereotypes of generals and civilians. In the Trump White House, generals like H.R. McMaster and James Mattis inspired confidence in their respect for social norms and display of restraint, while Trump represents the rejected LeMay model of masculinity—without the virtues of actual service and endurance that LeMay also exemplified.

Trump’s personal manner is like LeMay’s—belligerent, inarticulate, refusing meaningful discussion, and deflecting criticism. And, like LeMay, his statements about nuclear weapons prioritize use over doctrine………

Trump’s focus on the individual, the leader is not just narcissistic but also deeply patriarchal. For Trump’s supporters, it is precisely the hope that Trump might “make America great again” by restoring their social world to its “natural” order, one in which the (white) man’s home is once again his castle. His masculine bravado and willingness to eschew social norms in favor of social aggression and emotional combativeness are his attractive qualities, but it is precisely these characteristics that lead to senseless and irrational conflicts—conflicts that could quickly become global catastrophes in the nuclear era. These days Trump not only brags about grabbing women by the pussy but also boasts about how his nuclear button is bigger than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s………..
Would Trump be willing to use nuclear weapons? That’s unknowable—but he certainly doesn’t need your, or anyone else’s, consent to do it.
Anne Harrington is a Lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University.
Cheryl Rofer writes scientific and political commentary. She was a chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 35 years. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/22/theres-no-check-on-trumps-rage-going-nuclear/

May 23, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UN arms research c hief warns that nuclear war risk is at highest since WWII

May 23, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Illness and death legacy of employment in America’s nuclear weapons business

Government workers were kept in the dark about their toxic workplace
As US modernizes its nuclear weapons, NCR looks at the legacy of one Cold War-era plant,
National Catholic Reporter, May 20, 2019 by Claire Schaeffer-Duffy   

May 21, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, Reference, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Danger of war – Israel vs Russia – could lead to nuclear war

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Donald Trump says he would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons

May 21, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Warning to U.S. govt to pull U.S. nuclear weapons out of Turkey

Washington must pull U.S. nuclear weapons out of Turkey – analyst   https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/washington-must-pull-us-nuclear-weapons-out-turkey-analyst#  19 May 19,

The United States must quickly reconsider storing nuclear weapons in Turkey and giving Ankara a shared finger on the nuclear trigger under the NATO nuclear sharing programme, wrote Harvey M. Sapolsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT and the former Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, for Defense One website.

The NATO nuclear sharing programme keeps American nuclear bombs in five NATO countries, namely Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey, while training host air forces to use them, Sapolsky highlighted.

As tensions continue to rise between Washington and Ankara over an array of issues, including war-torn Syria and Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, the United States must make changes to current arrangements with its NATO ally, it said.

Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, located 100 miles from the Syrian border, stores 20 to 80 B61 U.S. nuclear weapons for delivery by Turkish or American aircraft, the article highlighted, noting that is time for Washington to bring them home.

Nuclear sharing began in the 1960s as a way to assure European members of NATO of America’s commitment to their defense, and to ward off any temptation to acquire nuclear weapons of their own,’’ the article highlighted, adding however that decades later much has changed globally.

Nuclear weapons aren’t the temptation they once were for Europeans, it noted, and sharing of the weapons’ delivery would give these countries a direct role in the nuclear enterprise without requiring them to actually build weapons.

Particularly a Turkey that is flirting with Russia and has list of issues with the United States

May 20, 2019 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S Air Force is not Testing an ‘Earth-Penetrating’ Nuclear Bomb

May 20, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment