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Guest Post from Gordon Frederick Coggon – a Nuclear Test Veteran’s Experience — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

Gordon Frederick Coggon ·26 Nov 21,  

Guest Post from Gordon Frederick Coggon – a Nuclear Test Veteran’s Experience — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/331643/posts/3682558618       During 1957 and 1958 I was one of 20,000 British serviceman sent to the central Pacific testing ground of British Hydrogen bomb tests which in my own case involved being at Christmas Island.(now named Kiritimati). During my year there I was subjected to radiation contamination. I witnessed two hydrogen bombs, the first being Operation Grapple X with a 1.8 megaton yield on Nov 8th. 1957 and the second bomb being on 28th. April 1958. Which had a yield of 3 megatons.( Both these devices were dropped by a Valient ‘V’ bomber about 20 miles off the southern tip of the Island.)

After the Grapple X test I was sent to hand wash a Canberra Aircraft,s engine nacelles after it had flown through the cloud of the hydrogen bomb collecting samples. I was set to work using a small bore hosepipe and a scrubbing brush, (the Aircraft had been hosed down with high pressure jets of water before I was employed on a gantry cleaning where the jets of water were not directed at the intakes of the engines.) Initially, I was given a pair of denims, wellingtons, rubber gloves and a remote breathing apparatus (which consisted of a face mask attached to 38 feet of corrugated rubber hose and connected to a fresh air filter which was fastened down as far away as possible from the aircraft. The face mask head straps were broken so the man in the white suit and gas mask said it was useless for the job in hand so I was given a crude homemade mask made from cotton wool sandwiched between a silver paper foil.

Whilst working on the gantry the mask got wet through and I wasnt able to breathe, so I had to move it from my mouth and nose to enable myself to breathe. I continued to work for between 20 to 30 minutes before I was replaced by someone else and I was then sent to the decontamination tent where I showered several times until the man in the white suit and Geiger counter said I was ok to get dressed in the clean side of the tent and was given a new set of kd shorts and shirt. This showering and decontamination took at least one and a half hours, My contaminated clothing was put in a yellow barrel marked with radiation signs in the dirty side of the facility. I have to say also that some of us were given other dangerous tasks like picking up dead fish and birds after the tests and some guys had to dump contaminated equipment in the ocean or bulldoze contaminated earth. After the Grapple Y bomb on 28th.April 1958, there was a massive downpour of rain, which came from the bomb cloud, a lot of the young innocent troops stood outside bathing in it like one normally did during the rain showers, but unlike the normal rain this was said to be contaminated because there was no other clouds in the sky at the time.

At that time I was 18 years old (picture of me above whilst there) and most of us had no idea what radiation was. Nor was I told anything about it until later in my career when I remustered into the Fire, Crash and rescue trade, where I was trained up to an advanced stage about radiation and biological warfare and every Monday I was teaching an induction course to new arrivals on the station that I was posted too. That was when I began to worry about my own health. Had I been put at an high risk of radiation whilst on Christmas Island ??. The Aircraft that I had helped to decontaminate was still emitting Gamma radiation, to what extent?? Also, did I swallow, inhale Alpha particles.?? ( Alpha radiation cannot penetrate human skin but they can be swallowed in water droplets, eaten if on food, or more commonly inhaled.)

These Alpha particles may remain inside your body for your whole life, attacking cells of your body for decades and could take many years before irrepairable damage becomes apparent. Recently it has been associated with radiation caused diseases and malformities in new born descendants of nuclear test veterans. I have had Cancer and several other illnesses which most lightly have been caused by atomic radiation, so far, even after seventy years, the successive British Governments have continued to deny that their troops were subjected to radiation during their atomic and hydrogen tests in the fifties and sixties. And yet, many of the nuclear armed countries have acknowledged the troops that was sent to take part in their experiments with nuclear fission and have been recognised by being given a medal and/or compensation.

I have only mentioned my own experience at Christmas Island (Kiritimati) but during a period 1952 – 1968 there have been many such tests in Australia, other testing areas of the Pacific where a lot of fellow veterans were irradiated by atomic fallout and nuclear poisoning from various clean-up operations after the tests, many of these young men never got to grow old because of their contamination from the tests. Many test sites were carried out where local people lived, these same people have since lost their homes and way of life by the poisoning effects of radiation . Since; atomic radiation contamination illnesses have continually been killing test veterans and clean-up veterans nothing has been done so far to help the families of these brave innocent troops and civilians by the British Government, who were subjected to experiments during the trials.

It is now becoming more alarming by the number of offspring who have also inherited their veteran father’ s damaged cells genetically. * reference to these tests are also available in two books that I have published on Amazon. The first one is titled :- ‘ Christmas Island 1957-1958 ‘ an Ebook on Kindle. The other is a paperback, titled:-‘ The Life of a Yorkshire Lad’ on Amazon and an ebook on kindle.

All royalties for the (latter paperback/ebook have been donated to LABRATS INTERNATIONAL for their continued valuable work in helping test veterans and their descendants come together from all over the world in their fight for justice.

November 27, 2021 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA rehearsed dropping nuclear weapons 20km from Russian border

US rehearsed dropping nuclear weapons 20km from Russian border – Moscow

US rehearsed dropping nuclear weapons 20km from Russian border – Moscow, Rt.com23 Nov, 2021 ,  American nuclear-capable bombers have flown dozens of sorties across Eastern Europe in the past few weeks as part of drills designed to probe Russian readiness in case of an atomic war, Russia’s defense minister has claimed.

Speaking after a meeting his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, in Moscow on Tuesday, Sergey Shoigu said that there has been “a significant intensification of activity from US strategic bomber aviation near the borders of Russia.”

According to him, “over the past month, around 30 missions have been flown near the borders of the Russian federation, around two and a half times more than in the same time period last year.”

Shoigu added that recent American exercises, codenamed Global Thunder, saw “ten strategic bombers practicing their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia at almost the same time from the west and the east. The minimum distance from our border was 20km.”

………..  Both Russia and NATO have accused each other of stepping up warplane flights close to the border, and last year Moscow blasted a “provocative” move from Washington to dispatch American B-1B nuclear bombers into Ukrainian airspace for the first time in history. Russian fighter jets and anti-air rockets were scrambled in response.  https://www.rt.com/russia/541089-us-testing-ability-nuclear-attack-moscow/

November 27, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s Ministry of Defence makes unprecedented attempt to dismantle dead nuclear submarines.

SafeEnergy E Journal  No.92. December 21 , Submarine Dismantling The UK’s Submarine Dismantling Project hopes to dismantle 27 of the UK’s de-fuelled, nuclearpowered submarines after they have left service with the Royal Navy. 

A demonstrator submarine is being used to define and refine the dismantling process. At Rosyth, the removal of low-level radioactive waste from the first two submarines, Swiftsure and Resolution, has been successfully and safely completed. As the unique approach is developed, work continues with the removal of low-level radioactive waste from a third submarine, Revenge. A fully developed process for steady state submarine dismantling should be ready by 2026. As the demonstrator programme progresses, the outcomes will provide more certainty in the future costs to dismantle the Devonport-based submarines. It is not MoD policy to pre-announce the funding of its projects for reasons of protecting commercial interests.”  

  REVENGE, entered the dry dock in Rosyth in late March 2020 to commence its LLW removal. The intent is to remove all LLW including large components such as steam generators and pressurisers. No nation has yet attempted this complex and challenging undertaking, so the MoD is currently putting in place the techniques necessary to remove all LLW for the first time to comply with safety and sustainability standards. https://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/SafeEnergy_No92.pdf

November 27, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA rehearsing launching nuclear attack on Russia


US rehearsing nuclear strike: Russia, 7 News, 

Andrew Osborn and Phil StewartReuters  Wednesday, 24 November 2021  The US has been criticised for rehearsing a nuclear strike on Russia from two different directions earlier this month, with the planes coming within 20km of the Russian border.

The Pentagon responded by saying its drills were announced publicly at the time and adhered to international protocols.

Moscow’s accusation comes at a time of high tension with Washington over Ukraine, with US officials voicing concerns about a possible Russian attack on its southern neighbour – a suggestion the Kremlin has dismissed.

Moscow has in turn accused the United States, NATO and Ukraine of provocative and irresponsible behaviour, pointing to US arms supplies to Ukraine, Kiev’s use of Turkish strike drones against Russian-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine, and NATO military exercises close to its borders.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow had noted a significant increase in the activity by US strategic bombers, which he said had carried out 30 flights close to Russia this month.

That, he said, was more than twice as many as over the same period last year.

Shoigu complained in particular of what he said was a simulated US nuclear strike against Russia earlier this month.

“The defence minister underlined that during the US military exercises ‘Global Thunder’, 10 American strategic bombers rehearsed launching nuclear weapons against Russia from the western and eastern directions,” Shoigu was quoted as saying in a defence ministry statement.

…………………………  https://7news.com.au/politics/security/us-rehearsing-nuclear-strike-russia-c-4681215

November 25, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

This world of pandemic and climate change can no longer afford the luxury of nuclear weapons proliferation

Aotearoa must stand apart as others amass nuclear weapons https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/127065066/aotearoa-must-stand-apart-as-others-amass-nuclear-weapons, Nov 23 2021 EDITORIAL You’d be forgiven for not thinking about the threat of nuclear war during the past couple of years.

The pandemic, climate change – it seems there are enough dangers threatening our existence, without adding a nuclear holocaust to the list.

Unfortunately, ignoring the steady proliferation of nuclear weapons is a luxury we can no longer afford.

As geopolitical tensions rise, many of them centred on our own Indo-Pacific region, so do nuclear arsenals

Russia and the US continue to own more than 90 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons, and it seems they have no plan to give those up. Earlier this month, the Pentagon estimated China will have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. Estimates currently put its arsenal at about 350.

Meanwhile, the UK has reversed a policy of reducing the country’s nuclear arsenal, increasing the planned cap on nuclear warheads. There are reports that India, Pakistan and North Korea are also expanding their capabilities

At the same time, our traditional allies, Australia, the US and the UK, have a new strategic agreement enabling Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines. While they won’t carry nuclear arms, they are not without risk/

It’s no wonder Phil Twyford, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, says the risk of nuclear warfare is as bad – if not worse – now than at vany time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. In a recent speech, he was blunt in his criticism of nuclear states the US, France, China, Russia and the UK for their lack of efforts to work towards disarmament. But one speech does not a meaningful security policy make.

Aotearoa has long prided itself on its independent foreign policy, and nuclear-free stance. Lest we forget the great Lange speech from the 1985 Oxford Union debate.

Aside from his memorable uranium comment, the late prime minister was clear in communicating the position of the New Zealand people: the nuclear weapons which would defend us caused more alarm, and accordingly, we deemed it pointless to be defended by them.

Over the years, Kiwis have become disconnected from this element of our foreign policy. We assume we are safe, and that with the end of the Cold War came the end of the imminent threat of nuclear war.

But with the threat on our doorstep, thanks to the US, North Korea and China, now is the time to start caring again.

November 23, 2021 Posted by | New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Will Germany’s Next Government Ditch U.S. Nuclear Bombs?

Explainer: Will Germany’s Next Government Ditch U.S. Nuclear Bombs? U.S. News, By Reuters|Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Editing by William Maclean, Nov. 22, 2021,  BERLIN (Reuters) – NATO allies will be scouring the policies of Germany’s next federal government for one crucial detail: Will Berlin remain part of NATO’s nuclear sharing agreement?

Or will it drop out and ask the United States to remove its nuclear bombs from German soil?

While such a move might be popular among some Germans, it would reveal a rift within NATO at a time when the alliance’s relations with Russia are at their lowest since the end of the Cold War.

WHAT IS NATO’S NUCLEAR SHARING?

As part of NATO’s deterrence, the United States has deployed nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey – all NATO allies that do not have their own nuclear weapons. In the case of a conflict, the air forces of these countries are meant to carry the American nuclear bombs.

WHAT EXACTLY IS GERMANY’S ROLE?

Around 20 U.S. nuclear bombs are estimated to be stored at the German air base of Buechel, in a remote area of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The base is also home to a squadron of Tornado fighter jets belonging to the German air force, the only German jets fitted to carry the nuclear bombs.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE TORNADO FIGHTER JETS?

The German air force has been flying the Tornado jets since the 1980s, and it has become increasingly expensive to maintain them and difficult to find spare parts to keep the plane in the air. The German defence ministry plans to phase out the jet between 2025 and 2030. Should Berlin not purchase new jets fitted for the task of carrying U.S. nuclear weapons, Germany would simply drop out of nuclear sharing when the last Tornado retires around 2030.

WHAT CHANGES MAY THE NEW GERMAN GOVERNMENT BRING?

In spring 2020, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, proposed replacing the Tornado jets in Buechel with F-18s made by Boeing, but the decision was later pushed into 2022.

Now, the likely new German government will be led by the Social Democrats, a party that has some lawmakers who would like to get rid of U.S. nuclear weapons on German soil. The Greens, who are expected to be part of the coalition, also have some lawmakers who take that view………https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-11-22/explainer-will-germanys-next-government-ditch-u-s-nuclear-bombs

November 23, 2021 Posted by | Germany, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China calls on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make Southeast Asia a nuclear-weapons-free zone


China pushes for nuclear-weapon-free Southeast Asia, KhmerTimes, Aandolu Agency  ISTANBUL 22 Nov 1 
– China on Monday said it is ready to work with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) towards a nuclear-weapon-free region besides ensuring stability in the disputed South China Sea.

“China supports ASEAN’s efforts to build a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and is prepared to sign the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone as early as possible,” President Xi Jinping told the China-Asia summit marking 30 years of the relations between two sides.

Beijing’s demand for a nuclear-free Southeast Asia comes as the US and UK empower their ally Australia with nuclear-armed submarines under a deal called AUKUS signed in September………..

The bilateral trade between China and ASEAN has skyrocketed by 85 times to $684.6 billion in 2020 from less than $8 billion in 1991, making the two sides each other’s largest trading partners. https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50975461/china-pushes-for-nuclear-weapon-free-southeast-asia/

November 23, 2021 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders” 

Biggest US nuclear bomb test destroyed an island—and this man’s life,  https://nypost.com/2021/11/20/biggest-us-nuclear-bomb-test-destroyed-an-island-and-lives/ By Eric Spitznagel   The US bomb tested near John Anjain’s (right) home in the Marshall Islands in 1954 was 1,000 times stronger than at Hiroshima, and left his wife and kids with debilitating and deadly health problems, as detailed in a new book. November 20, 2021

Just before dawn on March 1, 1954, John Anjain was enjoying coffee on the beach in the South Pacific when he heard a thunderous blast, and saw something in the sky that he said “looked like a second sun was rising in the west.”

Later that day, “something began falling upon our island,” said Anjain, who at the time was 32 and chief magistrate of the Rongelap atoll, part of the Marshall Islands. “It looked like ash from a fire. It fell on me, it fell on my wife, it fell on our infant son.”

It wasn’t a paranormal experience. Anjain and his five young sons, along with the 82 other inhabitants of Rongelap, were collateral damage from a “deadly radioactive fallout from a hydrogen bomb test… detonated by American scientists and military personnel,” writes Walter Pincus in his new book, “Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders” (Diversion Books), out now.

In 1946, the US started testing atomic weapons began in Bikini Atoll, 125 miles west of Rongelap. Known as Operation Crossroads, the tests were moved to the islands from the US because officials feared “radioactive fallout could not be safely contained at
any site in the United States,” writes Pincus.

During those early tests, the Rongelapians were relocated to another island a safe distance away.

But the 1954 test was different. Not only were there no evacuations, but “Castle
Bravo,” as it was dubbed, was also the largest of the thermonuclear devices detonated during the military’s 67 tests, “a thousand times as large as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima,” writes Pincus.

It took just hours for fallout to reach the shores of Rongelap, where it blanketed the island with radioactive material, covering houses and coconut palm trees. On some parts of the isle, the white radioactive ash was “an inch and a half deep on the ground,” writes Pincus.

The natives, who often went barefoot and shirtless, were covered in the toxic debris. It stuck to their hair and bodies and even between their toes.

“Some people put it in their mouths and tasted it,” Anjain recalled at a Washington DC hearing run by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to investigate the incident in 1977. “One man rubbed it into his eye to see if it would cure an old ailment. People walked in it, and children played with it.”

Rain followed, which dissolved the ash and carried it “down drains and into the barrels that provided water for each household,” writes Pincus.

It took three days before American officials finally evacuated the island, taking the natives to nearby Kwajalein for medical tests. Many Rongelapians were already suffering health effects, like vomiting, hair loss, and all-over body burns and blisters. Tests showed their white blood cell counts plummeting, and high levels of radioactive strontium in their systems. No one died, at least not immediately. That would come later.

After three years, the Rongelapians were allowed to return home, assured by officials that conditions were safe. But by 1957, the rate of miscarriages and stillbirths on the island doubled, and by 1963 the first residents began to develop thyroid tumors.

Though they continued to conduct annual medical tests, the US military admitted no culpability, other than awarding each islander $10,800 in 1964 as compensation for the inconvenience.

In fact, some — including the islanders — have speculated that the US government had used the Rongelapians as “convenient guinea pigs” to study the effects of high-level radiation.

For Anjain and his family, the effects were devastating. His wife and four of his children developed cancer. A sixth child, born after the fallout, developed poliomyelitis and had to use a crutch after one of his legs became paralyzed.

But the biggest tragedy befell his fifth child Lekoj, who was just one year old when Castle Bravo covered their island in nuclear dust. As a child, he was mostly healthy, other than the occasional mysterious bruise. Soon after his 18th birthday, Lekoj was flown to an American hospital, where doctors discovered he had acute myelogenous leukemia.

Anjain stayed at his son’s bedside for weeks as he underwent chemo, holding his dying son’s hand and watching him disappear.

He recounted Lekoj’s final days in a letter to the Friends of Micronesia newsletter in 1973. “Bleeding started in his ears, mouth and nose and he seemed to be losing his mind,” Anjain wrote of his son. “When I would ask him questions he gave me no
answer except ‘Bad Luck.’”

Lekoj passed away on November 15, 1972, at just 19. Newsweek called him “the first, and so far only leukemia victim of an H-bomb,” and said his death was proof that nuclear fallout “could be even more lethal to human life than the great fireball itself.”

After burying his son at a spot overlooking Rongelap Lagoon, Anjain continued to battle for financial restitution for his family and other Rongelapian survivors. In 2004, just months before his death (of undisclosed causes) at 81, he marched with 2,000 people in Japan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1954 hydrogen bomb test that slowly killed his son.

In 2007, a Nuclear Claims Tribunal awarded Rongelap more than $1 billion in damages, but not a penny of it has yet been paid. And according to a 2019 Columbia University study, radiation levels on Rongelap are still higher than Chernobyl or Fukushima.

For Anjain, it was never really about the money. “I know that money cannot bring back my son,” he once said. “It cannot give me back 23 years of my life. It cannot take the poison from the coconut crabs. It cannot make us stop being afraid.” 

November 22, 2021 Posted by | children, environment, OCEANIA, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

New film: The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons

The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons,   The doc ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ chronicles the women who spent years protesting the nukes at RAF Greenham Common. One of those brave women, Rebecca Johnson, tells their story.   Daily Beast, Rebecca Johnson Nov. 21, 2021  In September 1981, a ten-day walk from Wales under the banner of Women for Life on Earth arrived at the main gate of RAF Greenham Common, sixty miles west of London. Home to the 501st Tactical Missile Wing of the U.S. Air Force, this nuclear base was designated by NATO to deploy nuclear-armed cruise missiles in Europe. We called for this decision to be publicly debated.

When ignored, Women for Life on Earth grew into the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. I began living there in 1982 and stayed until the 1987 U.S.-Soviet Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned and eliminated all land-based medium-range nuclear weapons from Europe, including Cruise, Pershing and SS20s.

After years of being airbrushed out of histories of the Cold War, Greenham’s actions, struggles and legacy are being spotlighted in a new film, Mothers of the Revolution, from acclaimed New Zealand director Briar March. Showing contemporaneous news footage from the 1980s along with dramatized vignettes and reflections from women who got involved with the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s, the film weaves an illustrative narrative from the experiences of a small cross section of activists—not only from Britain, but Russia, East and West Europe, the United States, and the Pacific.

Though it’s taken a long time for our contribution to the INF Treaty to be publicly recognized, other treaties have been influenced by Greenham’s feminist-humanitarian activism and strategies, most notably the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into international law in January 2021.

While living at Greenham for five years I came to understand what we really need: Not weapons and power over others, but communities that are empowered to love, question and create. We took forward new theories and practices of nonviolence that were feminist and assertive. We didn’t suppress deep human emotions like fear, love and anger, but channelled them into power for change. We needed to be activist and analytical, passionate and diplomatic, stubborn and flexible, courageous and truthful—no matter who tried to silence us.

The cruise missiles arrived in November 1983, which felt like a bitter defeat at first. Yet we refused to give up. …………….

Were we mothers of a revolution? If anything, I think we were part of a long continuum of struggles for women’s rights and safety, following in the footsteps of the women who fought so hard to vote and live free from oppression, slavery, and misogyny. Not mothers but daughters—of all those brave feminist revolutionaries.

I’m so glad Mothers of the Revolution ends with such an inspiring call to action showing the faces and voices of a new generation of fierce Daughters who are campaigning for girls’ education, climate justice, peace, and women’s rights to live free of patriarchal perpetrators and their greedy, oppressive systems of violence. Together we can stop the destroyers and strengthen the naturally diverse, interdependent lives that share and protect our beautiful Mother Earth. That’s our revolution, and we are not finished yet. https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-mothers-of-the-revolution-who-stared-down-nuclear-weapons?ref=scroll

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Reference, Resources -audiovicual, UK, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

The global nuclear weapons race is back on: New Zealand needs to continue its stance for disarmament.

Nuclear weapons back ‘in’ as countries up stakes in complex global tussle, Stuff, Lucy Craymer, Nov 22 2021  China is believed to be building missile silos and accelerating its nuclear programme; the UK has increased the cap on its overall nuclear weapon stockpile; and the US is undertaking a multibillion-dollar nuclear modernisation programme. Are we seeing a new weapons race, and what is nuclear-free New Zealand doing to cool the situation? National Correspondent Lucy Craymer reports.

A worrying global trend is emerging that indicates disarmament is stalling and in some cases countries are now accumulating more weapons. In 2020, despite an overall decline in the number of nuclear warheads, more have been deployed with operational forces, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) year book.

Furthermore, earlier this month a US Pentagon report found China was accelerating its nuclear armament programme and is on track to have 1000 warheads by 2030. This follows the release of satellite imagery of north-central China that shows, according to analysts, the appearance of at least three vast missile silo fields under construction. China has not confirmed the facilities or increases in arsenal.

The build-up is against a backdrop of geopolitical competition. Rivalry between the US and China continues to simmer; tensions between China and India are getting worse, with skirmishes reported at their border; and the relationship between India and Pakistan remains volatile.

“The risk of nuclear warfare is as bad – if not worse – now than at any time since the Cuban Missile crisis,” says Phil Twyford, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control.

Renewed interest in nuclear weapons heralds a shift away from a period little more than a decade ago when US President Barack Obama spoke publicly about his deep interest in reducing nuclear arms, and broadly there was an appetite for disarmament.

Maria Rost Rublee, associate professor in international relations at Monash University says in the past decade geopolitics have shifted. Now, the likes of Russia are relying more heavily on their nuclear stockpiles for military security.

“What’s different today [from during the Cold War] is that we don’t just have two countries facing off, we have a lot more countries with nuclear weapons, including countries that might be more willing to use them,” Rublee says.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon estimated China will have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. It currently has around 350, according to the Pentagon estimates.

However, Russia and the US continue to own over 90 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

The US and Russia had more warheads in operation in January 2021 than a year earlier, even though they had reduced the overall number of weapons they had, according to SIPRI, an independent institute that does research in disarmament.

This year, the UK reversed a policy of reducing the country’s nuclear arsenal and increased the planned cap on nuclear warheads; and there are reports that India, Pakistan and North Korea are expanding their capabilities……………..

Tanya Ogilvie-White, senior research adviser at the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, says China’s decision to expand its nuclear arsenal is a worrying development. But, she says, it’s partly a response to the nuclear modernisation going on in the likes of the US and Russia. Beijing has refrained from fielding some of the riskiest nuclear weapons, such as nuclear-capable cruise missiles, even though it has the capability to do so.

Ogilvie-White adds there has been a shift recently in the thinking of some decision makers globally, who now think actually firing a small nuclear weapon could de-escalate a situation as it would show a willingness to use such weapons.

“It’s deeply troubling,” says Ogilvie-White, who studies nuclear deterrence. “You don’t need many nuclear weapons to cause total havoc and kill millions of people. The idea that you could use them to win wars is a dangerous fallacy.”…….

How does Aukus fit within this?

Australia, the US and the UK have announced a new strategic partnership. As part of the agreement, Australia will get the technology required to build nuclear-powered submarines.

These are not nuclear weapons. However, it does raise concerns. Accidents happen. An increase in nuclear-propelled submarines boosts the risk that something could go wrong. It also raises questions about whether other countries could reach agreements for similar types of hardware.

It’s not all bad news

In January, a United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons came into force. The treaty has been ratified by more than 55 countries – none of the nuclear powers have signed it.

Angela Woodward, who is deputy executive director of non-profit Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (Vertic), says while the treaty applies only to those who sign it, it makes nuclear weapons less acceptable and will hopefully create pressure in the same way treaty bans on chemical weapons and cluster munitions did.

According to an ICAN report, 127 financial institutions stopped investing in nuclear weapons this year, many due to the pressure that came about as a result of the treaty.

“The power of this treaty is only just starting to be realised,” says Woodward, who specialises in arms control and disarmament………………..

But is there more New Zealand can do?

New Zealand remains globally respected on nuclear issues due to its strong, and long-standing, stance against such weapons. Analysts say that New Zealand needs to continue to add its voice to concerns about non-proliferation and to speak out against activities by all nuclear-powered countries.

Twyford says he also believes New Zealand needs to continue to call out the nuclear weapon states for what they’re doing and not allow the diplomatic niceties or friendships and alliances to mute our voice. We do this, he says, in both multinational and bilateral forums.

“We are trying to build a renewed commitment to disarm. We’ve got to get out of this downward spiral.”  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/explained/127039453/nuclear-weapons-back-in-as-countries-up-stakes-in-complex-global-tu

November 22, 2021 Posted by | New Zealand, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/voices-for-a-world-free-of-nuclear-weapons-takes-a-new-approach-with-informative-videos-for-children-and-young-adults-301412004.htmlNov 01, 2021,

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, recently launched three nuclear disarmament videos for children and young adults. They are inviting educational institutions, religious communities, nuclear disarmament groups, and other grassroots organizations to post these videos on their websites and social media platforms.

“We realized there was a lack of educational videos about the threats of nuclear weapons for children and young adults. So, the Education Team at Voices decided to take it on. We produced videos that would inform children in an age-appropriate manner, as well as the general public, on this important topic.” said Carolyn MacKenzie, Voices Education Team Lead.

“Many children and young adults know nothing about nuclear weapons. Yet, they pose one of the greatest threats to all life on earth. We wanted to inform youth about nuclear weapons, and also inspire them to get involved by taking simple actions that will allow them to be the change that is needed,” said MacKenzie.

Voices’ goal is for these videos to be widely shared around the world. We recognize we cannot do this alone which is why we are inviting other nuclear disarmament and grassroots groups to give these videos a permanent home on their websites.

The Threat of Nuclear Weapons – A Call to Action Video = 10:54 minutes
Appropriate for young adults and the public.
Description: Brief summary of nuclear weapons history and why we all need to work to eliminate these weapons. Also includes a call to action and a description of what interested individuals can do help the cause.

Captain No-NukesAnimation = 3 minutes
Appropriate for children ages 8 and under.
Description: Short animation of Captain No-Nukes working to rid the world of nuclear weapons with concrete suggestions about how children can help.

The Evolution of Weapons in the World Animation = 1:15 minute
Appropriate for children of all ages.
Description: Brief animation on the history of conflicts and how to solve problems non-violently.

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons is part of United Religions Initiative (URI), the largest grassroots interfaith network in the world. URI builds bridges by encouraging members to work together on practical projects that enhance civil communities and promote understanding between people of different religious and cultural traditions.

Contact : Julie Schelling
322397@email4pr.com
P: 347.719.1518

November 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian TV blatantly advertises weapons sales, in absurd claims about China invading Australia

Australian War Propaganda Goes Off the Rails https://consortiumnews.com/2021/11/17/australian-war-propaganda-goes-off-the-rails/ November 17, 2021 In a blatant advert for arms sales masquerading as news, 60 Minutes tries to tie Taiwan to the fantasy of China randomly invading a continent of white foreigners thousands of miles away, writes Caity Johnstone. By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

60 Minutes Australia has churned out yet another fear-mongering war propaganda piece on China, this one so ham-fisted in its call to beef up military spending that it goes so far as to run a brazen advertisement for an actual Australian weapons manufacturer disguised as news reporting. 

This round of psychological conformity-making features Australian former major general Jim “The Butcher of Fallujah” Molan saying that in three to ten years a war will be fought against China over Taiwan and that Australians are going to have to fight in that war to prevent a future Chinese invasion of the land down under.

He argues Australia will need to greatly increase its military spending in order to accomplish this, because it can’t be certain the United States will protect it from Chinese aggression.

“Australia is monstrously vulnerable at the moment; we have this naive faith that American military power is infinite, and it’s not,” says Molan, who is a contributor to government/arms industry-funded think tanks Lowy Institute and Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Decrying what he calls “panda huggers” (meaning people who aren’t China hawks), Molan claims that “the Chinese Communist Party’s aim is to be dominant in this region and perhaps dominant in the world.” Asked when war might break out, he claims “Given the power that they have in their military they could act any time from now on, and that’s what frightens me more than anything.”

“The next war is not going to be ten or twenty years away, it’s going to be in the next three to ten years,” Molan asserts.

“My estimate is that in a serious fight the Australian Defense Force only has enough missiles for days. This is not going to be resolved in days. And of course we’re not big enough. We should expand the defense force significantly… We should fund defense now based on our assessment of the national security strategy which is based on the war that we want to win.”

“In short do you think Australia needs to prepare for war tomorrow?” the interviewer asks Molan.

“Absolutely,” he replies.

Molan makes the ridiculous argument that if Australia does not to commit to defending Taiwan from the mainland then it won’t be long before they can expect a Chinese invasion at home, as though there’s any line that could be drawn between the resolution to a decades-old Chinese civil war and China deciding to invade a random continent full of white foreigners thousands of miles away.

Suppose we said okay Taiwan you’re on your own up there and the Chinese snapped it up, and the Chinese started looking around the world and they might snap up other liberal democracies like Australia,” Molan argues. “And we might then turn to America and say America well could you give us a bit of a hand here? And the Americans might say what we said to Taiwan. Where do you draw the line? This situation that is developing now is an existential threat to Australia as a liberal democracy.”

Incredibly, the 60 Minutes segment then plunges into several minutes of blatant advertising for Australian defense technology company Defendtex which manufactures weaponized drones designed to be used in clusters, saying such systems could handily be used to defeat China militarily in a cost-effective manner.

The segment also promotes bare-faced lies which have become commonplace in anti-China propaganda, repeating the false claim that Chinese fighter planes have been “breaching Taiwanese airspace” and repeating a mistranslation of comments by Xi Jinping which it used in a previous anti-China segment made to sound more aggressive than they actually were.

This segment follows a cartoonishly hysterical fear porn piece on China put out by the same program this past September which featured Australian Strategic Policy Institute ghouls insisting that Australians must be prepared to fight and die in defense of Taiwan and that a Chinese invasion of Australia is a very real threat. That 60 Minutes segment was preceded by an equally crazy one in May which branded New Zealand “New Xi-Land” for refusing to perfectly align with U.S. dictates on one small foreign policy issue.

To be perfectly clear, there is no evidence of any kind that China will ever have any interest in an unprovoked attack on Australia, much less an invasion, and attempts to tie that imaginary nonsense threat to Beijing’s interest in an island right off its coast which calls itself the Republic of China are absurd.

As we’ve discussed previously, anyone who’d support entering into a war against China over Taiwan is a crazy idiot. In the unfortunate event that tensions between Beijing and Taipei cannot be resolved peacefully in the future there is no justification whatsoever for the U.S. and its allies to enter into a world war between nuclear powers to determine who governs Taiwan.

The cost-to-benefit ratio in a conflict which would easily kill tens of millions and could lead to the deaths of billions if it goes nuclear makes such a war very, very, very far from being worth entering into, especially since there’s no actual evidence that Beijing has any interest in attacking nations it doesn’t see as Chinese territory.

There’s so much propaganda going toward generating China hysteria in westerners generally and Australians in particular, and it’s been depressingly successful toward that end.

Watching these mass-scale psyops take control of people’s minds one after another has been like watching a zombie outbreak in real time; people’s critical thinking faculties just fall out their ears and then all of a sudden they’re all about cranking up military spending and sending other people’s kids off to die defending U.S. interests in some island.

Please don’t become a zombie. Keep your brain. Stay conscious.

November 20, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The British public wants NATO to renounce the “first use” of nuclear weapons

The British public wants NATO to renounce the “first use” of nuclear weapons, Bulletin 19 Nov 21,

A recent survey of British public opinion revealed a two-thirds opposition to NATO retaining the first-use option for nuclear weapons. These responses are in direct opposition to official UK policy…………..https://thebulletin.org/2021/11/the-british-public-wants-nato-to-renounce-the-first-use-of-nuclear-weapons/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ThursdayNewsletter11182021&utm_content=NuclearRisk_NATOrenounce_11182021

November 20, 2021 Posted by | public opinion, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russian diplomat calls for coordinated global efforts to enact Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


Russian diplomat calls for coordinated global efforts to enact Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

According to Maria Zakharova, the Preparatory Commission has been taking effective steps to create conditions and infrastructure facilities necessary for the treaty’s effective operation

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. The international community needs to coordinate its steps to make sure that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty becomes an effective legal tool, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Friday.

“Unfortunately, despite some undeniable achievements, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has not yet become an effective international legal tool. Well-coordinated steps by the international community are crucial for achieving this goal. Another eight nations from the so-called list of 44 need to ratify the treaty for it to come into force,” she pointed out. “We expect that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization will continue large-scale activities aimed at facilitating the early achievement of this goal based on a mandate enshrined in a resolution on the commission’s establishment and the treaty itself,” she added…………….

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on September 10, 1996. On September 24, 1996, the document was opened for signing, but it still hasn’t taken effect as it needs to be ratified by the 44 countries listed in the treaty’s annex. The United States, China, Egypt, Israel and Iran have signed the treaty but haven’t ratified it yet, while three new nuclear powers – India, North Korea and Pakistan – have not signed the document.  https://tass.com/politics/1363719

November 20, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian Parliament should urgently review the potentially dangerous AUKUS deal

Australian Federal Parliament Should Urgently Review the Potentially Dangerous AUKUS Deal   https://worldbeyondwar.org/australian-federal-parliament-should-urgently-review-the-potentially-dangerous-aukus-deal/

By Australians for War Powers Reform, November 17, 2021

On September 15 2021, with no public consultation, Australia entered into a trilateral security arrangement with Britain and the United States, known as the AUKUS Partnership. This is expected to become a Treaty in 2022.

At short notice, Australia cancelled its contract with France to purchase and build 12 submarines on 16 September 2021 and replaced it with an arrangement to buy eight nuclear submarines from either Britain or the United States or both. The first of these submarines is unlikely to be available until 2040 at the earliest, with major uncertainties in relation to cost, delivery schedule and the ability of Australia to support such a capability.

Australians for War Powers Reform sees the public announcement of AUKUS as a smokescreen for other undertakings between Australia and the United States, the details of which are vague but which have major implications for Australia’s security and Independence.

Australia said the United States had requested increased use of Australian defence facilities. The US would like to base more bomber and escort aircraft in the north of Australia, presumably at Tindale. The US wants to increase the number of marines deployed in Darwin, which would see numbers rise to around 6,000. The US wants greater home porting of its vessels in Darwin and Fremantle, including nuclear-powered and armed submarines.

Pine Gap is in the process of significantly expanding its listening and war directing capabilities.

Acquiescing to these requests or demands considerably undermines Australian sovereignty.

The US is likely to want oversight, amounting to control, of northern air space and shipping lanes.

If the US deploys Cold War tactics against China, for that is what this military build-up is all about, it is likely to conduct aggressive flight missions up to the edge of Chinese air space with nuclear armed bombers, just as it did against the USSR. The US will patrol shipping lanes with greater frequency and intensity, knowing it has secure home bases only a short distance away, protected by surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles which are soon to be installed.

Any one of these flights or naval patrols could trigger a warlike response directed against Australian and US defence facilities and other assets of strategic value, such as oil, fresh water and infrastructure, or a cyber-attack on Australian communications and infrastructure.

Australia could be at war before most Australian politicians are aware of what is happening. In such an event, Parliament will have no say on going to war nor on the conduct of hostilities. Australia will be on a war footing as soon as these arrangements are in place.

AUKUS will be detrimental to national security. The ADF will lose its capacity to act independently.

Australians for War Power Reform believes these arrangements should not come into force, and that AUKUS should not become a Treaty.

We deplore the lack of consultation with neighbours, friends and allies, particularly relating to the storage and home porting of nuclear weapons and other US arms, ammunition and materiel.

We deplore the hostile profile adopted against our recent friend and major trading partner China.

We deplore the activities of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), funded by foreign arms manufacturers and the US State Department, in blind-siding the Australian people with its advocacy for such a deleterious outcome.

November 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment