Friday 26th of February 2021

signature of a madman: more nuclear weapons on the planet...


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's nuclear policy is "catastrophic", the White House says, as world powers meet to debate the future of nuclear weapons.

Key points:
  • Trump suggests Asian allies should develop nuclear weapons
  • White House says US should focus on preventing nuclear proliferation
  • Trump's team calls abortion comments "simple misspeak"

A major nuclear summit in Washington DC is discussing the threat of terrorism and North Korea.

But it was Mr Trump's comments raising the prospect of returning fire with a nuke if the Islamic State group was to attack the US that raised concerns.

"I'm afraid this kind of talk in an election is bluntly irresponsible and is detrimental to our and all of our allies' security posture," US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

The Republican frontrunner also declared that, as president, he would withdraw troops from South Korea and Japan and allow those two countries, as well as others like Saudi Arabia, to develop nukes.

It drew a scathing rebuke from the US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes.

"The entire premise of American foreign policy as it relates to nuclear weapons for the last 70 years has been focused on preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons," said Mr Rhodes, one of President Barack Obama's closest aides.

"That has been the position of bipartisan administrations, of everybody who has occupied the Oval Office.

"It would be catastrophic for the United States to shift its position and indicate that we somehow support the proliferation of nuclear weapons."


"it's better to kill people with nukes" — donald dumb...


Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has quickly clarified his position on abortion after sparking a torrent of criticism when he said women who end pregnancies should face punishment if the United States bans abortion.

Key points:
  • Donald Trump says "there has to be some form of punishment"
  • Trump backtracks, says doctor should be punished and abortion issue handled by states
  • Remarks draw criticism from John Kasich, Hillary Clinton


The comments drew the ire of critics, including his White House rivals.

After MSNBC broadcast a clip of an interview with Mr Trump's comments, the billionaire appeared to backtrack on his remarks by saying that if abortion were illegal the doctor should be punished and that the abortion issue should be handled by states.

Mr Trump said in the excerpt that even if abortions are banned, some women would access the procedure illegally.

"There has to be some form of punishment," he said. But asked what form he would advocate, Mr Trump said: "I don't know".

Mr Trump's comments unleashed a flurry of criticism, and his campaign quickly emailed a statement to Reuters in which Mr Trump moderated his view.

"This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination," Mr Trump said in the statement.

Mr Trump later followed up with a second statement saying a doctor carrying out the illegal act would be responsible and not the woman.

"The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb," he said.


trump practises the bear hug, obama: nukular armament...


The recent “Open Letter”, signed by a host of self-proclaimed US “Foreign Policy Experts”, demonstrates the real reason why the Washington Power Elite is virtually apoplectic over fear of a Trump Presidency. Trump threatens to reverse many of the aggressive policies, which have been a source of fun and profit for the Beltway Establishment almost since 9/11!

Just last year, these “experts” and their media mouthpieces were anticipating an election matchup between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. This would have ensured a continuation of the murderous status quo across the Middle East and around the Globe, regardless of election’s outcome. Instead, a “wildcard” named Trump has bucked the Republican Party, thumped his competition and now threatens to throw a wrench into the entire war machine.

Trump speaks of working with Vladimir Putin; pledges “neutrality” in regard to Israel; and promises to bring an end to our “stupid wars”. This poses a direct challenge to the power, incomes and, in some case, their entire raison d’etre of the letter’s signatories.

That Trump might usher in a new era of détente with Russia is particularly scary, since Peace Prize President Obama has quietly approved a major new nuclear rearmament program. This 30-year, $1 Trillion Nuclear Program is already well underway and is expected to rain money in both Washington and Israel for many years to come!

Still, none of this can be justified without a “New Cold War” in which Vladimir Putin is seen as the “new Hitler”, while the evil specter of the Russian Bear is once again raised to terrorize the American People into supporting nuclear rearmament for “defense”.


Meanwhile, trump's nuclear policy for all is deranged nonetheless... Why do I feel we're going to be totally screwed...?

madpersons with nukes...

Barack Obama used his final nuclear security summit to deliver the stark warning that “madmen” could kill and injure hundreds of thousands of innocent people using only plutonium the size of an apple.


Of course this has not stopped Obama to improve and extend the US nuclear arsenal... You're welcome. Boom. As well, we've also got Pakistan and India equipped with nukes and we all know about the "poverty" in these two countries. As a rule, most rulers are sociopaths with a power agenda. Lucky, most of us are sane... Ahahahahahaha....

we all turn into pumpkins at midnight...

Donald Trump’s comments as a candidate and president-elect about the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear proliferation had long rattled arms-control advocates about how his administration might change half a century of policy and posture.

On Thursday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists weighed in with its annual assessment of the Doomsday Clock, a metaphorical measure of how close the world is to “midnight,” or a worldwide catastrophe.

read more:


See toon at top... Note this is not exclusive to Trump. Obama lied about it and La femme Clinton would be on the same path with weasel words...

more nukes was in his policy arsenal...

President Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

In a Reuters interview, Trump also complained about Russian deployment of a cruise missile in violation of an arms control treaty and said he would raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when and if they meet.

On another front, Trump said China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.

Speaking from behind his desk in the Oval Office, Trump also declared himself “very angry” at North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and said accelerating a missile defense system for U.S. allies Japan and South Korea was among many options available.

read more:

See toon at top...


the aussie weasels...

Scott Ludlam was scouring his memory, looking for a word.

The Greens senator was grilling Government officials about why Australia had decided not to take part in nuclear disarmament negotiations, but a word was eluding him.

Finally, he landed on it.

"I remember the word we were referred to by," he said.

"Weasels. They called us weasels.

"Did other delegates refer to the Australian delegates as weasels?"

It was an unusual question, but officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) sitting opposite the Senator did not look confused. They knew exactly what he was talking about.

And the exchange that followed briefly illuminated the most recent global negotiations to end nuclear weapons — and Australia's role in them.

What's the new agreement?

Right now, more than 120 nations are trying to introduce a ban on nuclear weapons.

A United Nations panel has now released a draft treaty. States who sign it would be forbidden from developing or manufacturing nuclear weapons. They would also have to get rid of any weapons they already possess.

The treaty's champions argue the proliferation of nuclear weapons is an existential threat to humankind. And they say the woeful pace of global disarmament proves there is a compelling need for a new agreement that would exert moral pressure on states to disarm.

But there are plenty of problems.

First, none of the nine nuclear powers — including the US, Russia, China and the UK — support the new treaty.

Neither does Australia. The Federal Government has refused to take part in the treaty negotiations.

read more:

from professor keating...


A Survival Guide for the Twenty-first Century
P J Keating
University of New South Wales
25 November 1998


Paul Keating saw the end of the Cold War, that epiphany at the end of the twentieth century, as an unprecedented and probably unrepeatable opportunity to create a new international strategic environment—one free of nuclear weapons. With the Cold War over, a concrete program of weapons elimination was possible; lacking was the imagination and the will. But no government had ever contemplated yet put its name to a report urging the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The Labor government in Australia was the first to do so. In 1995 Paul Keating established the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The Commission produced the first ever handbook of practical measures to move the world down the path to better nuclear safety and to a point of full nuclear elimination. The Report stressed that there could be no nuclear non-proliferation without de-proliferation—the notion that some states could have nuclear weapons but others not. The Report was a milestone in the international debate. Upon completion it was presented to the Howard government, which refused to promote its recommendations.


In earlier lectures at this university I have spoken mostly about Australia and its place in the world. Tonight I want to discuss a darker and more dangerous subject, one that threatens to cast a long shadow over the twenty-first century.

I am talking about the continuing inability of the international community, and more particularly the great powers, to take the steps necessary to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world.

In some ways, I suppose, I am an unexpected campaigner for nuclear disarmament. I am a realist about international affairs and I don’t have great faith in the inherent goodwill of the nation state. I have never seen much point in the politics of symbolism. During the Cold War I thought ideas of unilateral disarmament were naïve and dangerous.

And yet the issue of nuclear weapons worries me more than any other when I think about the sort of world young Australians will inherit.

Over the past decade the world has undergone deep changes. The Cold War, which defined our international system for 50 years, has ended and the information revolution is transforming our lives and societies. But in many ways our institutions, and our ways of thinking, have not adjusted. As a result, we find ourselves on the verge of the twenty-first century dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of this one.

One reason for this is the human tendency to avert our eyes from problems, to hope that if we do not look directly at them, they will disappear.

In the aftermath of the Cold War, this was what we did. No image in the twentieth century has seared our collective consciousness like that of the mushroom cloud. And in our minds that image of the bomb defined the Cold War. So although nuclear weapons had originally been conceived for a different conflict, we assumed that because the Cold War was over, the weapons that defined it had miraculously disappeared as well.

For most Australians, the realisation that this was not so came with the announcement by President Chirac, on 13 June 1995, that France would conduct a series of eight underground nuclear-weapons tests at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia.

In making this decision the newly elected President was following China in breaking an international moratorium on testing that had been in place since January 1993.

The resumption had been foreshadowed during the French election campaign, so it was not unexpected. But the outcry in Australia was immediate and strong.

In response to the tests, the government I led took a series of measures including recalling the Ambassador to France, curtailing defence contacts, and coordinating protest action in the United Nations and other international bodies, including the South Pacific Forum, which Australia was chairing that year.

This did not much diminish the public clamour. The government was being urged to break diplomatic relations with France, cut off all trade, and dispatch Australian warships to stop the tests. Sections of the media, especially commercial radio, were running a campaign that became more anti-French than anti-nuclear. It seemed at times as if the smoke of the Battle of Agincourt had only just cleared. At several points I had to underline publicly that our opposition was to the nuclear tests, not to the people of France.

The selfishness and cynicism of the Chirac decision appalled me and I was deeply concerned by the provocation it provided to some of the threshold nuclear states. But I was not interested in the sort of theatrical and ultimately pointless gestures that were being urged upon us. Trade sanctions would have harmed Australia more than France. I was certainly not prepared to permit Australia’s military forces to be used for symbolic reasons. Short of going to war with France, which was absurd, the only option for the warships would have been to steam around in circles while the French exploded their bombs. This would have underlined not Australia’s strength but our impotence.

The more I thought about the French tests, the more I came to feel that the understandable public outrage was in a sense directed at a symptom rather than a cause of the problem.

The French had reminded everyone of what we all wanted to forget—the unique, sickening sense of insecurity which comes from knowing that weapons exist in the arsenals of governments which have the capacity to destroy humankind. The problem, in other words, was the continued existence of nuclear weapons in the world.

As I reflected on this, I thought we had an unprecedented and possibly unrepeatable opportunity to begin to move to a new strategic environment which offered not just a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons, but their elimination. The Gulf War had shown that new, accurate, conventional weapons could accomplish the military purposes for which nuclear weapons had once been intended, but without such appalling, indiscriminate consequences. The Cold War had ended, all the declared nuclear powers were at least on speaking terms, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons had, for the time being, been reasonably contained. There was no prospect, however, that this situation would continue into the indefinite future.

The goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world was not new. It had been a long-term aim of the Labor Party and a goal that had been articulated forcefully by others.

But as long as the Cold War raged, the ambition was unachievable. Now, however, we had an opportunity to develop a concrete program to achieve a nuclear weapons-free world.

The successful negotiation of the chemical weapons convention in which Australia had played an important diplomatic role had shown that it was possible to put the genie back in the bottle; that a whole class of weapons of mass destruction could be abolished. And Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which had only recently been indefinitely extended, committed the nuclear-weapons states to ‘pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament’.

But of course the task of ridding the world of nuclear weapons was not something Australia could accomplish unilaterally. We had none of our own to eliminate and we were committed not to get them. We were well respected internationally for our arms control expertise. But we were now entering a domain where the deepest national security interests of the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France were involved.

Every country was directly affected by the nuclear threat, but nothing could happen without the five nuclear powers.

We decided, therefore, that the most useful thing we could do was to try to shape the international debate. Anti-nuclear groups had written many reports about the problems of nuclear weapons but, until that time, no government had ever put its name behind a report committed to their elimination. I wanted to put the authority of a sovereign government behind the push to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

So in October 1995 we announced the formation of a commission comprising a group of eminent scientists, disarmament experts, military strategists and statesmen and asked them to develop ‘concrete and realistic steps for achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world’.

The emphasis was to be on ‘concrete and realistic’. I saw no point in another rhetorical statement that nuclear weapons were evil and should be abolished. Any report which was to have a chance of convincing the hard-headed defence establishments of North America and Europe to change their positions had to be grounded in a deep understanding of what elimination meant, both technically and strategically.

These are matters of the greatest complexity and profundity. They are not easily resolved. The problems include verification—that is, how you can be sure everyone abides by an agreement; dealing with break-outs—situations in which one country tries to snatch strategic advantage by breaking the agreement; and the broader implications of such a major change in the global-security environment for issues such as the deterrence of chemical and biological weapons and of conventional war.

We were very lucky to get together an outstanding group of commissioners. The members included Joseph Rotblat, who had won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Pugwash Foundation; General Lee Butler, who had been responsible until 1994 for all United States strategic nuclear forces; Field Marshal Lord Carver, the former chief of the British Defence Staff; Robert McNamara, the former US Secretary of Defense and President of the World Bank; and a number of internationally regarded disarmament experts. The distinguished Australian strategic thinker, Professor Robert O’Neill, was a member, as was Richard Butler, then the Australian Ambassador to the United Nations, now the UN’s Chief Weapons Inspector. I believed the group should also include someone with direct political experience, so I invited Michel Rocard, the former French Prime Minister, to participate.

These were not people who had come down in the last shower. They had very different backgrounds and brought different assumptions about nuclear weapons to their work. Some were long-time peace activists; some had had nuclear weapons directly in their control. If this diverse and distinguished group could agree on the road ahead, we hoped they would be able to persuade others.

We provided resources to permit the group to commission more detailed papers from expert advisers on specific dimensions of the move to a nuclear-weapons-free world. This brought a range of international scholars into the project. Their work has provided a rich resource lode for further debate about this issue.

By the time the commission reported in August 1996, it was made to the conservative Howard government which replaced mine in March 1996.

The recommendations were based on the fundamental assumption that ‘the proposition that large numbers of nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used—accidentally or by decision— defies credibility. The only complete defence is the elimination of nuclear weapons and the assurance that they will never be produced again’.

The report recommended a number of immediate steps to reduce the dangers of nuclear war as well as longer-term moves towards the larger goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The immediate steps proposed included taking nuclear forces off alert; removing warheads from delivery vehicles; ending the deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons; ending nuclear testing; initiating another round of negotiations between the US and Russia to reduce their arsenals; and a joint agreement by nuclear-weapons states not to be the first to use nuclear weapons.

The commissioners also recommended a series of reinforcing steps to build on these foundations. These included measures to prevent further horizontal proliferation, not only by countries but by terrorist groups, the development of verification arrangements for a nuclear-weapons-free world, and the cessation of the production of fissile materials for nuclear explosive purposes.

As we hoped, the recommendations were realistic and practical. The commissioners did not ask for unilateral disarmament or suggest any measure that might threaten security during the process. However, they did make the fundamentally important point that, in the end, the decisions that need to be taken are not technical decisions but political ones.

It was a good start. But many excellent reports lie languishing on shelves in ministries around the world. The next step was the diplomatic one of trying to persuade others to embrace the ideas and adopt the policies.

One of my regrets about losing the 1996 election—and I have several—is the opportunity I lost to pursue the report’s recommendations as Prime Minister. I would have taken the report to the United Nations General Assembly to launch it myself. It would have been high on my agenda for discussions with President Clinton and the leaders of the other nuclear states.

But beyond receiving the report in August and lodging it at the United Nations, the Howard government did not endorse its recommendations or try to sell them more widely. The Canberra Commission was associated with the government I led, and it had been labelled a ‘stunt’ by the foreign minister, Alexander Downer, in the political atmosphere of the time. So the political momentum—at least on Australia’s part—lapsed.

This is a great pity, and not just for Australia. But other governments, I am glad to say, have taken up the cause.

In June this year the foreign ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden formed a new international coalition—called the New Agenda Coalition—to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. They explicitly drew inspiration from the Canberra Commission.

In August, in another parallel with the Canberra Commission, Japan convened the Tokyo Forum, a meeting of eighteen prominent diplomatic and strategic experts from sixteen countries to discuss the impact of nuclear testing and issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I think I can reasonably say that the Canberra Commission Report brought a new atmosphere to the debate, an optimism that something better was possible.

Three years after we convened the Canberra Commission report, what is the international environment for such initiatives? I want to turn now to the current situation and the prospects for the future.

On the positive side, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was finally adopted in 1996 and some progress has been made in opening the way for negotiations on a treaty to limit the production of fissile material for weapons.

But almost all other news on the nuclear front has been bad. Twenty thousand nuclear warheads still have the capacity to destroy the world many times. Two of the states on the nuclear threshold, India and Pakistan, have now stepped over it. Another regime with a known nuclear program, North Korea, tested a medium-range ballistic missile in August. Meanwhile, Russia’s capacity to control and store its existing nuclear arsenal is atrophying. And the strategic arms negotiations between the major nuclear powers are not going anywhere. Russia has still not ratified START II. Russia, China and the United States have still not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Across the board, in other words, the impetus for change has stalled.

After years of developing its nuclear capability yet never declaring itself a nuclear power, the new Indian government openly tested weapons on 11 and 13 May this year. India can undoubtedly deploy reliable fission weapons on a wide range of delivery systems including ballistic missiles. It probably has 60 to 80 weapons.

Pakistan, India’s long-standing rival, responded with its own tests on 28 and 30 May. Pakistan’s nuclear arms are not as sophisticated or numerous as India’s, but it has technical capacities which at some time it may be tempted to share with its Middle Eastern neighbours.

Then in August we saw the successful test by North Korea of a three-stage missile capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads over 5500 kilometres. The test suggested North Korea has also made progress on a longer-range missile that would enable it to strike targets throughout Asia.

The 1994 Framework Agreement, under which North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for heavy fuel oil, help in building two light-water nuclear reactors and an eventual end to the economic embargo, is now under pressure again. North Korea has reportedly continued to work on missile launch facilities, and just this week we have seen Pyongyang deny the United States access to an underground facility that Americans believe to be a nuclear installation.

After the Indian nuclear tests, President Clinton said forcefully and accurately that ‘to think that you have to manifest your greatness by behaviour that recalls the worst events of the twentieth century on the edge of the twenty-first, when everybody else is trying to leave the nuclear age behind, is just wrong’.

But the problem, of course, is that no one else does seem to be trying to leave the nuclear age behind, or not at least with any noticeable degree of urgency. And this, the non-nuclear powers note, is despite the fact that in order to secure the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995, the five declared nuclear weapons states recommitted themselves to pursue measures of complete and general nuclear disarmament.

The essential issue here is that you can’t have non-proliferation without de-proliferation.

It is not just states that we need to worry about as a source of new nuclear threats, but terrorists and other groups as well.

Nuclear weapons are not hard to make. You can get instructions for a workable device off the Internet. Graham Allison, Director of the Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, put it this way: if a state or a terrorist group obtained as little as 30 pounds of highly enriched uranium, or less than half that weight in plutonium, they could produce a nuclear device in a matter of a month or two with design information that is publicly available, equipment that is readily available in the commercial market, and modest levels of technical competence represented in graduates of any respectable engineering program.

The only difficulty is access to fissile material. That is why we need to address much more comprehensively the problems of ‘nuclear over-hang’—essentially the security of stored nuclear weapons and excess fissile material in Russia. This is a second area that has become more dangerous since the Canberra Commission report.

At more than 90 sites across Russia, 715 tons of nuclear material are stored. This is enough to fuel 40,000 weapons.

Guarding this deadly treasure are military officers and soldiers whose morale is low and who have sometimes not been paid for months. In 1996 the then Director of Central Intelligence, John Deutch, told the U.S. Congress that of the tons of weapons-useable nuclear material distributed to various centres around Russia over the past 40 years, none had what would be regarded in the United States as sufficient accountability.

Last July, thousands of scientists at the nuclear city of Arzamas-16 went on strike after months without pay. The Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy MINATOM has told its personnel that they can no longer rely on government funds to support them and that they need to market their goods and services.

The dangers are real. In November 1993, a Russian naval officer walked out of a shipyard in Murmansk with about 10 pounds of highly enriched uranium and went looking for a buyer while it was stored in his garage. In August 1994, almost a pound of weapons-useable plutonium was seized by German police in Munich.

It is not just in Russia: the reported theft of approximately 130 barrels of enriched uranium waste from storage in South Africa was reported in the press in August 1994.

Through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program of 1991— named the Nunn–Lugar program after the senators who co-sponsored the bill—the United States provides about $400 million a year to help secure poorly guarded Russian nuclear facilities and to help destroy weapons earmarked for destruction under current arms-control negotiations. But this accounts for only one-sixth of 1 per cent of the US defence budget. The Nunn–Lugar program is a solid investment, producing lasting security dividends. It could easily be doubled or tripled. And if the build-down is to continue, it will have to be.

Some people willingly concede the dangers that nuclear material could be diverted to rogue states or terrorists. But that just proves we need nuclear weapons, they say, in order to protect ourselves against these very prospects.

But the argument is circular. It is the argument that we need nuclear weapons because we have nuclear weapons. It is not an argument we think persuasive when applied to biological or chemical weapons.

In an outstanding article in a new collection of essays called The Force of Reason to be published shortly in honour of Joseph Rotblat, a leading member of the Canberra Commission, Professor John Holdren of Harvard University, says that such criminal threats ‘could well be the dominant nuclear threat in the next century’. He argues that the threat is not only ‘greatly aggravated by the continued existence of national nuclear arsenals, but nuclear deterrence is likely to be useless against it (because terrorists and other criminals may not be locatable, or if locatable, could not responsibly be attacked with nuclear weapons)’.

The state of the Russian nuclear arsenal has other dangerous consequences. Thousands of Russian nuclear systems are on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch at the United States in fifteen minutes. The deteriorating condition of Russian early-warning systems and the erosion of military command and control heightens the danger of an accidental or unauthorised launch. It increases the incentive for the Russians to adopt a ‘use them or lose them’ strategy for their strategic arsenal. We reportedly came very close to such a situation in 1995 when a Norwegian research rocket was mistaken for a United States missile attack and the whole Russian system went on alert.

The economic collapse and the decline in conventional military capabilities tempts Russia to place extra weight on its nuclear forces to compensate. This is the reason Moscow has abandoned its long-standing declaratory policy of ‘No First Use’ of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the strategic nuclear negotiations are stalled. The burst of activity from the conclusion of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty of 1987, through START I in 1991, which halved long-range missiles, to START II in January 1993, which imposed a further 50 per cent cut in strategic nuclear forces, has run into the sand. And Russian hardliners are pointing to the expansion of NATO to the borders of the old Soviet Union as a reason for Russia to maintain its nuclear capabilities. The Russian Parliament has refused to ratify the START II treaty, which it believes advantages the United States. Russia cannot afford to modernise and replace ageing and decaying nuclear forces and it is slipping inexorably further behind the United States’ numbers and capabilities. It simply cannot afford its vast nuclear arsenal and is seeking much larger cuts.

In the United States political pressure is growing for a National Missile Defense System to respond to a perceived evolving ballistic missile threat. This would certainly mean abrogating the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and would cause the Russians to walk away from START I and II, fearing that the United States could quickly upgrade a missile defence system into a shield behind which it could launch a first strike.

In this depressing landscape—a period in arms control negotiations that some have called ‘the great frustration’—the agenda for action set out in the Canberra Commission report remains highly relevant.

First we need to urge the steps recommended by the Canberra Commission to de-alert the nuclear arsenals—to lengthen the fuse by extending real launch preparation time. This means removing vital parts of the systems. An agreement between the Russians and the Americans in 1994 to de-target missiles was essentially meaningless.

Original targets can be fed back into the computer in seconds. But de-alerting—in other words, standing the missiles down—will require an effective and intrusive inspection system.

Second, we need to press speedily ahead with negotiation of the fission material cut-off treaty which will halt the production of fissile material (that is, weapons-grade plutonium and uranium) for nuclear weapons. This treaty will begin negotiations next January in the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, but the scale and scope of the negotiations are still not agreed.

The fissile cut-off treaty will be a companion to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Banning tests constrains technological improvements. The fission treaty will constrain the production of the material that goes in them.

Third, we need to urge Russia and the United States to move as quickly as possible to leap-frog START II with a new and radical START III which rectifies the emerging numerical inequality in favour of the United States and gets nuclear numbers down so low that the other nuclear weapons states are brought into the negotiations.

For my part, however, I do not think such measures will be enough.

I don’t believe that any objective short of zero will be able to generate the political consensus necessary to stop an eventual break-out. Even if only a handful of weapons are held by Washington and Moscow and Beijing, even if they are held in ‘strategic escrow’ under some form of international supervision as General Stansfield Turner and others have suggested, I find it impossible to imagine why a future South American government, or some future African leader, convinced that Africa has been abused and marginalised, will not understand the disproportionate strategic advantages that accrue to states with even crude nuclear weapons and will not ask: why not us?

And there is no defensible answer to that question. That is why I believe only a full commitment to, and an active program to secure, the elimination of nuclear weapons will ever be sufficient to secure our safety.

Even so, the goal of elimination can’t be accomplished by the arms control route alone.

It is also—even essentially—a debate about global power and influence and I believe it will only be resolved in that context. We have come to see nuclear weapons as the ultimate global status symbol. Membership of the United Nations Security Council remains coterminous with the possession of nuclear weapons. And United Nations reform, so high on everyone’s agenda when the Cold War ended, has faltered.

The senior adviser to the Indian Prime Minister on security issues defended India’s decision to declare itself a nuclear state by writing that his country was ‘assigned a particular place in the world order and not treated as a subject responding to our own interests’. That frustration lies at the heart of India’s decision to test. I’m not arguing that countries should be rewarded for flouting international norms. But I do not think we can create an adequate architecture for the world without finding a place in it for the democratic government that speaks for the one billion people of India.

More broadly, a larger and more sustainable role has to be found for China, India and Japan. And with the EU’s expansion, and the creation of the euro, Europe urgently needs to address the fundamentals of its own structure to see how it can act more effectively beyond its own continent.

The link between nuclear weapons and the broad strategic environment is particularly important to Australia and its region.

In North Asia, more than any other part of the world—more, even, than the Middle East—a combination of historical animosities, unresolved relationships, territorial disputes and technologically sophisticated economies makes it distressingly plausible to envisage conditions emerging which might induce Japan or South Korea or Taiwan to seek nuclear weapons. The further introduction of nuclear weapons into the North Asian strategic equation would be catastrophic.

A very senior Chinese leader once told me—decisively and with great passion—that China would never permit Japan to possess nuclear weapons. It would act to pre-empt such a situation arising.

This raises again the urgent need for a more structured defence and security framework in the Asia Pacific, one which can provide transparency and reassurance at a time of growing uncertainty. The ASEAN Regional Forum has been a good first step, but it can’t carry us through pressures ahead. I had hoped the APEC Leaders’ Meeting might be able to develop as an umbrella on top of a regional security forum, but that hope is dimming as APEC membership expands and its energy diminishes. This is an issue of the highest priority for the region, and a program to eliminate nuclear weapons globally must also comprehend the more general problem of regional security.

People might well say this is an argument about which Australians can do little. Our capacity to influence the world is limited.

But Australia has shown it can play an active part in the global debate. We have an internationally regarded body of officials working on arms control issues. They form a national—in fact, an international—asset whose expertise should be preserved.

We can raise our voice. Both major Australian political parties are committed to the alliance relationship with the United States. This allows us at least the privilege of having our arguments heard. We should be using our voice as powerfully and persuasively as we can, and not just with the administration but with Congress as well.

I believe the government should seriously consider suggestions that have been made to reconvene the Canberra Commission, probably with a different membership, to re-examine in current circumstances its practical and realistic program for moving to a world without nuclear weapons. As a firm ally of the United States, with a high reputation in international arms control negotiations, Australia has a better chance than any other country to refocus international debate on the final goal of abolishing nuclear weapons. The government would have my enthusiastic support for such an initiative.

But this is not just a matter for governments. Increasingly, the international agenda can be shaped from outside. We have seen this with the success of the international campaign against landmines.

We face a long struggle to get rid of nuclear weapons and we might not succeed. But you can be absolutely sure that if the pressure is not kept on governments, if the issues and alternatives are not debated, if the voice of public opinion is not raised, then the line of least resistance will be taken.

And that line will always be to let things slide—to hope that in the next hundred years some new, more ruthless or more able Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong-Il won’t emerge, that somehow the skills of Russian nuclear scientists now on the market will not be made available to some terrorist group, and that we will get through it all unscathed.

I want to end this lecture by quoting not a politician or an anti-nuclear activist but a man from the heart of the nuclear establishment. General Lee Butler was the former head of United States Strategic Nuclear Command, and a key member of the Canberra Commission panel.

Accepting the prestigious Henry L Stimson award for distinguished public service last year, General Butler said he was dismayed that:

‘even among more serious commentators, the lessons of fifty years at the nuclear brink can be so grievously misread, that the assertions and assumptions underpinning an era of desperate threats and risks prevail unchallenged, that a handful of nations cling to the impossible notion that the power of nuclear weapons is so immense their use can be threatened with impunity, yet their proliferation contained. Albert Einstein recognised this hazardous but very human tendency many years ago, when he warned that ‘the power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.’

I hope that is wrong. But drifting is the right word to describe what all of us—nuclear and non-nuclear powers alike—have been doing over the past few years.

And those who think there are no risks, who believe we are sure to glide safely past the rocks and shoals because we have done so before, should at least reflect on the history of the last issue I spoke of in this auditorium—the Asian economic crisis. The economic, social and political uncertainty we are seeing around us seemed unimaginable in 1997, to even the most informed and sober observers. Just so, ten years earlier, would the disappearance of the Soviet Union have seemed unimaginable.

And however unlikely nuclear catastrophe may seem to us now, here in Sydney on this peaceful November evening, if our judgements are wrong, the consequences will be terrible and ineradicable.

Our challenge—as always, in everything—is one of imagination.


Gus was in the audience...


Guess what? This lecture actually gives the clue as to why the US Empire does not want to deal with Russia, except as an "enemy". Trump to his credit has tried to sell the concept of "detente", but even the Democrats, especially the Democrats and the Republican hawks don't want a bar of it, because Cold War Mark II is a boon for defence spending and manufacturing. The detente with Russia was the only saving grace of the Donald. Had the mad woman won, Damascus would have been bombed by now and we could be at war with Russia for no other reason than the "we don't like Putin" mantra.


See toon at top.


back to diving under the table and kiss your arse goodbye...


Americans of a certain age remember things about their youth—Bert the Turtle and the ditty “Duck and Cover” (1951), Pat Frank’s apocalyptic novel Alas, Babylon(1959), and Sidney Lumet’s film Fail Safe, from Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler’s novel of the same name (1964 and 1962, respectively). “There was a Turtle by the name of Bert, and Bert the Turtle was very alert”; that song was whistled by kids like myself, ironically often at the same time we whistled the catchy tune from Peter and the Wolf, Sergei Prokofiev’s classic children’s story adapted by Walt Disney and very popular at the time.

My father, a career Air Force officer who spent the first part of his career with the fighter-interceptor squadrons of North American Air Defense Command, had borrowed Frank’s biblical reference in crafting his own nuclear war warning for my mother. It took me awhile to figure out what they were talking about, and when I finally did, it was terrifying. The delta-winged fighters that futilely chase down the errant nuclear-armed bombers in Fail Safe were identical to the F-106 Delta Darts my father’s squadrons flew to shield America from similarly armed Soviet bombers that probed our borders on a daily basis, and I was able to figure this out quickly the first time I saw the movie.

Nuclear Armageddon was a pervasive reality during the Cold War, and America had an arsenal and doctrine to make it a reality. Again, flashbacks from my childhood make it all-too real: F-100 fighter-bombers carried nuclear bombs on air-strip alert at an air base in Turkey. F-106 fighter-interceptors armed with nuclear “Genie” air-to-air missiles were on constant air patrol over the skies of Michigan. My father told my mother how he never wanted to be assigned to Strategic Air Command because the “Chrome Dome” mission was insane—packs of nuclear-armed B-52 bombers constantly in the air, flying towards the Soviet Union only to be called back on a routine basis.

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Mind you, Obama was on the same page of modernising nukes...

the obama nukes...

From Chris Floyd...

Trump Forges Ahead on Costly Nuclear Overhaul, Sweeping Aside Doubts (NYT). This is a remarkable story. Its import is that Trump is plunging forward with a reckless overhaul and expansion of the nuclear arsenal. Then it notes that in doing so, he's continuing plans & contracts designed by Obama. Then it tells us, with a straight face, that Obama designed this $1 trillion "upgrade" of the nuclear arsenal ... because he thought Clinton would win in 2016 and "drastically cut back" the plans. The spin here is a brazen insult to the readers' intelligence.

Yes, the "updgrade" of the nuclear arsenal is a reckless, costly, unnecessary and dangerous boondoggle. Many of us wrote about it in these terms when Obama set it in motion. But the absurd lengths to which the Times goes here in order to obfuscate the fact that in this case Trump is merely implementing Obama's plan are breathtaking. We're asked to believe that the highly intelligent and competent Barack Obama spent months, years, putting together a $1 TRILLION upgrade of the nation's nuclear arsenal in the belief that his successor would then slice it to bits. This is Trump-level nonsense from the Times. Why not simply report the truth? Trump is continuing a reckless, risky boondoggle concocted by Obama. He's carrying out the planet-threatening, war-profiteering agenda of the "bipartisan foreign policy establishment" so beloved by our media mavens. I'm sure the "serious" and "savvy" General Kelly and General Mattis -- increasingly beloved by our mavens for bringing "order and structure" to the wild Trump White House -- were in full agreement with Trump's move to continue Obama's plan.

Of course, I'm glad to see the NYT drawing attention to this lunacy. And it's good to see that they didn't just ignore outright the origin of the plan. But the brazen BS of the spin -- "Oh, Obama didn't really MEAN to expand the nuclear arsenal with his plan to, uh, expand the nuclear arsenal; he was sure Hillary would stop his plan later" -- is staggering.

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see also of course: Obama was on the same page of modernising nukes...



The Trump administration is reviewing its options on the development and deployment of new low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. In an interview with Sputnik, renowned author and anti-nuclear activist Helen Mary Caldicott outlined what she feels is the real reason behind Washington's new mini-nuke ambitions.

President Trump has created a panel to review Obama-era policy on the development of new nuclear weapons systems, and the prospects for creating new low-yield nukes for battlefield use, according to Politico.

In a written interview for Sputnik, Dr. Helen Caldicott, a well-known leader of the anti-nuclear movement in Australia and the United States during the Cold War, described the thinking behind the idea of a 'limited nuclear war' as 'insane'.

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Unfortunately, this plan of "limited nuke warfare" has been on America's book since the days Adam and Eve invented the atom bomb — and Obama was in on it as well. And unfortunately, Hillary Clinton was on the same page as well... See:

See toon at top...

insane but loony...

Although the US has not tested a nuclear weapon since 1992, the administration of US President Donald Trump has quietly ordered that the Pentagon’s Nevada National Security test site put itself in a state of readiness to detonate a nuclear bomb within a time frame of as little as six months, according to reports.

After proposing a $1.2 trillion deal to modify and redesign America's entire nuclear-weapons program, Trump, in authorizing the development and manufacture of the first new US nuclear warhead in 34 years, has also requested that the long dormant testing facility some 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas be put on a speeded-up timetable for detonation readiness: to six months from the Department of Energy's earlier forecast of two to three years.

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Read from top, especially: 

from professor keating...

loony and insanely mad...

Commenting on the nuclear posture review recently released by Washington, the diplomat said Sunday that the decision is likely to result in a deterioration of the global security situation.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated that the US plan to develop new tactical nuclear weapons sends the wrong signal and poses a serious challenge to Europe.

"The US government's new nuclear posture shows that the spiral of a new nuclear arms race is already under way," Gabriel said Sunday. "As in the days of the Cold War, this poses a serious threat to us in Europe," the diplomat added.

According to him, Europe must take new measures aimed at arms control and disarmament.

"Instead of new weapon systems, we need new disarmament initiatives," Gabriel stated.


The German foreign minister also pointed out that the situation in regard to global security in recent years has significantly deteriorated.

In particular, he mentioned a "sharp loss of confidence in Russia." According to the diplomat, "there is clear evidence that it [Russia] is building up not only conventional weapons, but also a nuclear arsenal."

"The global order is increasingly being called into question," Gabriel said, reminding that the situation in countries south of the European Union is extremely unstable. "For all these challenges, we must find answers together with our partners and allies. But they [the answers] shouldn't consist of merely building up nuclear capabilities," the minister stated.

On Friday, the US released its nuclear posture review which paves the way for modernization and expansion of US nuclear capabilities.
The document stipulates the integration of nuclear capability on F-35 fighter jets, deploying low-yield warheads at sea, developing new silo-based strategic weapons, as well as other initiatives.


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Note: this nuclear initiative was started under OBAMA...

deranged USA...

China has followed Russia in criticizing a recent US government report which describes the two countries as potential nuclear threats, saying Washington needs to drop its “cold war mentality.”

China firmly rejected the claim in Washington's latest Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that Beijing is engaging in increasingly aggressive behavior.

The 74-page report, which is the first review of US nuclear policy since 2010, labels China “a major challenge to US interests in Asia.”

The NPR states that both China and Russia have “added new types of nuclear capabilities to their arsenals, increased the salience of nuclear forces in their strategies and plans, and engaged in increasingly aggressive behaviours, including in outer space and cyberspace.”

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more nukes...

US President Donald Trump said that he will pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, media reported.

Donald Trump claimed that Russia violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States, an that he will pull out of it.

The treaty was signed in 1987 by USSR an US, which stipulated the elimination of nuclear and conventional missiles and their launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 km (310–620 mi) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi).

Commenting on his decision, Donald Trump said that the United States needs to develop this type of military equipment.


“We’ll have to develop those weapons,” the US president said commenting on his announcement.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was preparing to exit the three-decade-old Cold War-era treaty next week.

A source within Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the situation saying that Trump bade such move because of Washington's dreams of unipolar world.

“The main motive is the dream of the unipolar world. Will that come true? No,” the source said.

Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty. The previous administration of Former US President Barack Obama however, decided not to leave the treaty.

Previous year, a senior Russian senator warned that Russia may prepare an adequate response to ensure the country's protection If the United States decides to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

READ MORE: Russian Embassy in US Debunks Accusations of Alleged INF Treaty Violation

Meanwhile, Europe stands for the extension of the Russia-US 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated previous year that the European security can encounter a significant threat should it not be resumed by 2021.


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READ MORE: Russian Embassy in US Debunks Accusations of Alleged INF Treaty Violation


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mixing vectors with nuclear substance...

If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct."

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia and China.


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Read from top. Note that the Donald is mixing the concept of delivery with the actual content. The invention of new method of bomb delivery is not illegal under the treaty. What is illegal is increasing the number of nuclear warheads. The new Russian bombing vectors such as the hypersonic rockets are not illegal under the treaty — and are used to deliver either conventional bomb material or plainly their own kinetic energy that is enough to destroy a big ship. Ditching the nuclear treaty will lead to war, eventually.


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several million hiroshima bombs...


Trump just threatened to increase the U.S. nuclear arsenal:

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that the United States would increase its nuclear arsenal until other nations “come to their senses,” threatening an arms race days after he said he would withdraw the US from a Cold War nuclear treaty.

“Until people come to their senses, we will build it up,” Trump said from outside the White House.

The U.S. doesn’t need to build more nuclear weapons, and increasing the arsenal will not make America or the world the slightest bit safer. On the contrary, a new nuclear arms buildup would cause other nuclear weapons powers to increase their own arsenals. Building more nukes would be extremely expensive, and it would make the world less secure by heightening international tensions, casting aside decades of arms control and arms reduction work, and encouraging more states to develop nuclear weapons for their own protection. This wouldn’t cause other governments to “come to their senses,” but it would show the world that our government has completely lost its own. 

Trump seems to think that other states will be intimidated by a new buildup of nuclear weapons, but it is much more likely that they will be terrified into responding in kind. There is no way that the U.S. will be able to make any progress with North Korea if our government is simultaneously developing new kinds of nuclear weapons and increasing the number of weapons that it possesses. Other would-be proliferators may take this as a cue to pursue their own weapons programs. If reneging on the JCPOA was a body blow to the cause of nonproliferation, a new arms race could prove to be a fatal blow.

The cost of what Trump is proposing would be exorbitant at a time when the U.S. already spends far too much on the military. There could nothing more senseless and gratuitously militaristic than expanding a nuclear arsenal for its own sake. The U.S. needs to be be building on the successes of existing arms control agreements to get the world’s largest nuclear weapons states to cut back on their arsenals. It won’t be able to do that if it is throwing countless billions of dollars down a black hole of wasteful spending on new weapons that the U.S. doesn’t need.


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At present the world has about 5 million times the nuclear power that destroyed Hiroshima, at the fingers of psychopaths. This after some 'restraint" (read "nuclear treaties") from the nuclear powers. With Trump's (mad Bolton leading the crap) desire to resume building more nuclear bombs, the planet is not going to last "that" long.

I'm sorry to say your kids won't see the dire effects of global warming. Not because global warming is not happening (it's happening) but because the morons in charge of countries are at the forefront of crapping on you, these destroyers of your hopes and the controllers of your piddley little lives — as ever they were during the era of kings, queens, emperors, dictators and popes who used to rule your souls and your allegiances — will blow the planet up. WWI was a picnic...

Welcome to the future. And please don't worry. Trump or Hillary would deal the same outcome.


Read from top.


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as time goes by....

from the province of psychopaths...

The United States Strategic Command (Stratcom) ‒ a nuclear-capable branch of the US military ‒ tweeted an ominous video message on the eve of 2019 that seemed to threaten to bomb Times Square, sending Twitter into one final frenzy before the brain boggler that was 2018 finally culminates.

The tweet was deleted hours later but can still be viewed here. Stratcom offered an apology after taking it down, tweeting "Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values. We apologize. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies."

The video features a Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber deploying large, conventional bombs on various targets while percussion-heavy music plays in the background. The words "STEALTH," "READY" and "LETHAL" flash on the screen.

Some Twitter users pointed out that the tweet was in potential violation of Twitter's policies against threatening violence. One user tweeted to the company's CEO Jack Dorsey that "this account is threatening violence." Another asked "how is this not a violation of twitter policy LOL what do you have to do to be able to get away with threatening dropping bombs on here."

"Military Twitter accounts increasingly being run by call of duty forum posters," one Twitter user responded. "Weird flex but okay," another replied. "More signs of a nation completely obsessed with death, war and military might," journalist Tim Shorrock commented. Journalist Chris Hooks said that US Strategic Air Command and Stratcom have "historically been the province of psychopaths since old boy LeMay, but the most alarming thing about stuff like this is that they don't understand how deranged they sound."


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strangelove is a comedy no more...

Today, humanity is confronted with an ugly paradox in that the world’s foremost peacekeepers are nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. One bad move on the geopolitical chessboard, however, could trigger a global catastrophe.

On July 25, 1945, in the waning moments of World War II, then US President Harry S. Truman jotted the following words in his diary, “We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world.” But not terrible enough to employ them, it seems.

Just weeks later, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese industrial cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, indiscriminately killing some 200,000 civilians in, literally, a flash. Many others died in the years that followed from radiation poisoning and other associated illnesses. If there is a special place in hell for those who would expose the planet to such horrific weapons, Truman must certainly be there.

The historic tragedy is not without some dark irony. Albert Einstein, whose theory of relativity spearheaded the development of atomic weapons, was worried that Adolf Hitler would acquire the deadly know-how before the West. This prompted him in 1939 to write a letter to Truman’s predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, advising him to expedite research into nuclear fission. American scientists, working in the secret Manhattan Project, succeeded beyond Einstein’s wildest dreams.

The famous physicist, appalled by the devastation visited upon the two Japanese cities, expressed regret over his fateful decision to warn the Americans.

“Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,” he said, “I would have never lifted a finger.”

Since then, the world has been forced to live with the knowledge that all life on earth could be quickly extinguished in the event of some mishap or conflict. Yet this knowledge has not stopped most governments from coveting nuclear weapons because they understand this technology is their best life insurance policy, so to speak.

Indeed, only the simple-minded could have failed to take away lessons with regards to the West’s top hits list. A brief glance at the candidates designated for US-led regime change – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Syria as the most obvious – demonstrated an obvious fact: only unarmed countries need to worry about foreign actors determining their ‘democratic’ future.

In marked contrast to those weaker countries that ‘suffer what they must’, members of the nuclear club (US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea, while it is generally recognized that Israel possesses nuclear weapons although it does not officially acknowledge them) can rest easy in the belief that they are safe from outside attack.


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USA, hollier than thou....

The United States believes Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear testing in violation of a moratorium on such tests, the head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency has said.

Key points:
  • Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley says Russia actions have strained international arms control agreements
  • There has been no immediate response from the Russian government, but Russia's defence committee head says the statement is irresponsible 
  • Nuclear tests would help Russia improve weapons capabilities, Lieutenant General Ashley says


"The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the zero-yield standard," Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley said at an arms control forum.

Negotiated in the 1990s, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) enjoys wide global support but must be ratified by eight more nuclear technology states — among them Israel, Iran, Egypt and the US — to come into force.

Russia ratified the treaty in 2000.

"We believe they have the capability in the way they are set up" to conduct low-level nuclear tests that exceed the zero-yield limit set in the CTBT, Lieutenant General Ashley said.

Russia's nuclear activities would help it to improve its weapons capabilities, according to Lieutenant General Ashley.

He said the US, by contrast, has foregone such benefits by adhering to a testing moratorium.

More broadly, Lieutenant General Ashley asserted that Russian actions have "strained" key pillars of a network of international arms control agreements, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Open Skies Treaty.

'Nuclear tests cannot be carried out secretly'

There was no immediate response from the Russian government.

But the head of the Russian State Duma Defence Committee, Vladimir Shamanov, told the Interfax news agency that Lieutenant General Ashley "could not have made a more irresponsible statement".


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...may be conducting low-level nuclear testing?.... Bullshit... Read from top about the mad USA and their IQ mad President...

iran does not want the A-bomb...


What is the real nuclear threat in the Middle East?

by Manlio Dinucci

The announcement by Iran of its withdrawal from the 5+1 nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) in response to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani will mean nothing since the United States have already cancelled their participation. It is far more worrying that Israël has its own genuine nuclear arsenal, and could be tempted to use it in case of a withdrawal of American troops from the Middle East.

« Iran is not respecting the nuclear agreements » (Il Tempo), « Iran withdraws from the nuclear agreements – a step towards the atomic bomb » (Corriere della Sera), « Iran is preparing atomic bombs – goodbye to the nuclear agreement » (Libero) . This is the way that almost all of the media have presented Iran’s decision, after the assassination of General Soleimani ordered by President Trump, to no longer accept the limitations on the enrichment of uranium planned in 2015 by the 5+1Group (United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, plus Germany).

So these organs of « information » are obviously in no doubt as to the source of the nuclear threat in the Middle East. They are forgetting that it was President Trump, in 2018, who withdrew the USA from the agreement, which Israël had described as « the surrender of the West to the Axis of Evil guided by Iran ». They do not say a word about the fact that there is only one nuclear power in the Middle East – Israël - which is not submitted to any form of control because it does not adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is, however, signed by Iran.

The Israëli arsenal, shielded by a dense cloak of secrecy and omertà, is estimated at between 80 and 400 nuclear warheads, plus sufficient plutonium to build hundreds of others. Israël certainly also produces tritium, a radioactive gas with which it is building new generation nuclear weapons. Among these are mini-nukes and neutron bombs which, since they cause minimal radioactive contamination, would be more adapted to targets close to Israël. The Israëli nuclear warheads are ready for launching on ballistic missiles which, with the Jericho 3, have a range of 8 to 9,000 kilometres. Germany supplied Israël (in the form of a gift or for knock-down prices) with four Dolphin submarines modified for launching Popeye Turbo nuclear missiles, with a range of approximately 1,500 kilometres. Silent, and with the capacity to remain under water for a week, the Dolphins are cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, ready on twenty-four hour alert for a nuclear attack.

The United States, which have already supplied Israël with more than 350 F-15 and F-16 fighter-bombers, are currently delivering at least 75 F-35 fighters, which also have both conventional and nuclear capacity. The first squadron of Israëli F-35’s became operational in December 2017. Israël Aerospace Industries produce wing components which make the F-35’s invisible to radar. With this technology, which will also be applied to Italian F-35’s, Israël is potentiating the attack capacities of its nuclear forces.

Israël, with 200 nuclear weapons permanently aimed at Iran, as was indicated by ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2015 [1], is determined to maintain its monopoly of the Bomb in the Middle East, by preventing Iran from developing a civil nuclear programme which might one day enable the construction of nuclear weapons, a capacity which is today possessed by dozens of countries throughout the world. In the cycle of the exploitation of uranium, there is no clear line between civil and military use of fissile material. In order to block the Iranian nuclear programme, Israël is determined to use whatever means it can. The assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012 was most probably the work of Mossad.

Israëli nuclear forces are integrated in NATO’s electronic system, in the framework of the « Individual Cooperation Programme » with Israël, a country which is not a member of the Alliance, but has a permanent mission at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. According to the plan tested during the USA-Israël exercise Juniper Cobra 2018, US forces would arrive via Europe (especially from bases in Italy) to support Israël in a war against Iran [2], a war which could start with an Israëli attack on Iranian nuclear sites, like the one made on the Iranian site of Osiraq. The Jerusalem Post  [3] confirms that Israël possesses non-nuclear anti-bunker bombs, which can be used particularly with the F-35’s, able to hit the Iranian nuclear site at Fordow. But Iran, although it has no nuclear weapons, has a military riposte capacity, which Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya did not possess at the moment of the attacks by the USA and NATO. In this case, Israël could use a nuclear weapon by triggering a chain reaction causing unforeseeable results.

Manlio Dinucci


Pete Kimberley


Il Manifesto (Italy)


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a dangerous nuclear timezone

To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: Closer than ever: It is 100 seconds to midnight
Date: January 23, 2020

Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.

In the nuclear realm, national leaders have ended or undermined several major arms control treaties and negotiations during the last year, creating an environment conducive to a renewed nuclear arms race, to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to lowered barriers to nuclear war. Political conflicts regarding nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea remain unresolved and are, if anything, worsening. US-Russia cooperation on arms control and disarmament is all but nonexistent.

Public awareness of the climate crisis grew over the course of 2019, largely because of mass protests by young people around the world. Just the same, governmental action on climate change still falls far short of meeting the challenge at hand. At UN climate meetings last year, national delegates made fine speeches but put forward few concrete plans to further limit the carbon dioxide emissions that are disrupting Earth’s climate. This limited political response came during a year when the effects of manmade climate change were manifested by one of the warmest years on record, extensive wildfires, and quicker-than-expected melting of glacial ice.

Continued corruption of the information ecosphere on which democracy and public decision making depend has heightened the nuclear and climate threats. In the last year, many governments used cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns to sow distrust in institutions and among nations, undermining domestic and international efforts to foster peace and protect the planet.

This situation—two major threats to human civilization, amplified by sophisticated, technology-propelled propaganda—would be serious enough if leaders around the world were focused on managing the danger and reducing the risk of catastrophe. Instead, over the last two years, we have seen influential leaders denigrate and discard the most effective methods for addressing complex threats—international agreements with strong verification regimes—in favor of their own narrow interests and domestic political gain. By undermining cooperative, science- and law-based approaches to managing the most urgent threats to humanity, these leaders have helped to create a situation that will, if unaddressed, lead to catastrophe, sooner rather than later.

Faced with this daunting threat landscape and a new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board today moves the Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight—closer to apocalypse than ever. In so doing, board members are explicitly warning leaders and citizens around the world that the international security situation is now more dangerous than it has ever been, even at the height of the Cold War.

Civilization-ending nuclear war—whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication—is a genuine possibility. Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge.

The Bulletin believes that human beings can manage the dangers posed by the technology that humans create. Indeed, in the 1990s leaders in the United States and the Soviet Union took bold actions that made nuclear war markedly less likely—and as a result the Bulletin moved the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock the farthest it has been from midnight.

But given the inaction—and in too many cases counterproductive actions—of international leaders, the members of the Science and Security Board are compelled to declare a state of emergency that requires the immediate, focused, and unrelenting attention of the entire world. It is 100 seconds to midnight. The Clock continues to tick. Immediate action is required.

A retreat from arms control creates a dangerous nuclear reality

The world is sleepwalking its way through a newly unstable nuclear landscape. The arms control boundaries that have helped prevent nuclear catastrophe for the last half century are being steadily dismantled.


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