Sunday 25th of September 2022

time to reassess our future sticks and stones...


Einstein said it, or did he?

Einstein was, in other words, well aware of how nuclear weapons could affect the world.  However, although he did repeatedly warn the world about the dangers of nuclear weapons, this quote doesn’t appear to be an exact record of the physicist’s words and even the earliest records appear to be anecdotal. In March 1947, reports appeared about an exchange that Einstein reportedly had with a group of friends at a dinner party:

Professor Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a recent dinner party what new weapons might be employed in World War III. Appalled at the implications, he shook his head.

After several minutes of meditation, he said. “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.”

“And what are those?” a guest asked.

“Stone spears,” said Einstein.

Although these reports appear to be more anecdotal than factual, an account of Einstein saying something similar is reportedly documented in the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1949, Liberal Judaism published an interview entitled “Einstein at 70” between Einstein and his contemporary Alfred Werner, which purportedly contains a similar exchange. 

Even if Einstein expressed this exact sentiment, he was not the first to do so. In September 1946, more than six months before the quote was first attributed to Einstein, a reporter attributed this quip to an unnamed Army lieutenant:

Joe Laitin reports that reporters at Bikini were questioning an Army Lt. about what weapons would be used in the next war. I dunno, he said, but in the war after the next war, sure as hell, they’ll be using spears!

Einstein may have been paraphrasing something he had heard earlier during his interview with Werner — or this may simply be an anecdote relaying the physicist’s attitude toward nuclear weapons. Einstein was, after all, a signatory on the Russel-Einstein Manifesto, which warned about the potentially world-altering devastation of nuclear weaponry:

It is stated on very good authority that a bomb can now be manufactured which will be 2,500 times as powerful as that which destroyed Hiroshima.

Such a bomb, if exploded near the ground or under water, sends radio-active particles into the upper air. They sink gradually and reach the surface of the earth in the form of a deadly dust or rain. It was this dust which infected the Japanese fishermen and their catch of fish.

No one knows how widely such lethal radio-active particles might be diffused, but the best authorities are unanimous in saying that a war with H-bombs might possibly put an end to the human race.

We found several other instances of people making similar statements at around the same time, indicating that this was a popular opinion at that time that was evidently shared by Albert Einstein. However, we have been unable to find a direct quote from the physicist that matches this particular meme.

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So. Where are we? The human species has a lot to answer for in the mismanagement of stuff on this planet, including global warming. War is a nasty business. An all out war would be the end of us. Trump knows it, even if he is as dumb as a Christmas fruitcake. The US military is preparing for such war nonetheless. The US military is supported by both the Republicans and the Democrats in the USA. Yet, Trump hates the military despite having used it in his loose-cannon madness. 

At this stage, World War "two and a half" has been waged by the previous presidents, including Obama — mostly in the Middle East and Africa. The Extremist Muslims are using the old guerrilla tactics of the Germanic tribes against the Roman Empire. But this time some of these tribes have been sponsored by the US Empire to reshape the Middle East according to an annoying map which is based on the old dictum, divide and conquer, while in Africa, they are pushed by the Saudis, the duplicitous friends of the US.

Meanwhile the Russians and the Chinese are watching carefully this realignment. The Russians so far have thwarted the US destruction of Syria and the Russian are patient enough not to antagonise the US theft of the eastern Syria oil fields. But according to all calculations, the US might have to get out eventually. 

Meanwhile the “revelations” of Russia paying for dead American soldiers in Afghanistan was a fake news item specifically released to prevent the military retreat that Trump was in the process of negotiating. The Pentagon wants to stay in Afghanistan until the Taliban learns its lesson, which is never. 

So, the messy bits of Empire influences are still happening here and there… The massive weaponry of the 20th-21st century is still being sharpened… It’s ugly in its scope, possibly worse than what Einstein or the Army Lt. said about what weapons would be used in the next war. There would not be a WW4. A full-blown World War III would be the extinction of us all. Simple as that.

This is what we are facing. No joke. The "woke" movement, the Black Matters movement, the Chinese repression of Muslims, the deceptive moods of Turkey’s Erdogan, the killings in Africa of Catholics by Muslim extremists, etc.. are but tiny symptoms of a greater game being played by players with no human conscience, but a limited belief in a god-(or allah)-given-right to be arseholes — and the power of their military.

Imagine, India and Pakistan being equipped with nuclear weapons. And we send food parcels to their poor, mostly because our conscience has been hurt by our former colonial sin. At the top of the scale, Bill Gates want to give everyone more comforts via near fascist interventions such as vaccines, rather than herd people into concentration camps. It’s like a universal caring big brother.

So, where to now? Are we so near to self-destruction as counted by some scientists with the doomsday clock? I have a few more years to live (I hope) and would not mind seeing relative peace oozing in the world… I know we cannot seek absolutism on this score… But we should, please… Hold your fire… and destroy your massive weapons.

The Pentagon is gearing up big to destroy something, the Chinese are gearing up to take over Taiwan, the Russians want to protect their territory which is now encircled by US nukes in Germany, Italy and other moving places under the seas, in subs. The Russians have developed hypersonic delivery missiles. The US is trying to catch up. The Chinese have numbers and other weapons to use. Yet, everyone has massive stakes to loose.

Meanwhile, we the comfortable bogans in Uselessland can only utter: “she’ll be right, mate…”

The nuclear treaty with Russia has been diced by The Donald. He wants a new one that involves all the nuclear powers, including China. It’s a high risk proposal but possibly the only one to make. Who knows...

All we don’t need is a Cecil Rhodes character taking over the PNAC’s heir to start launching missiles in the wrong direction and begin the big blow up.

Some people have estimated that between 300,000 and 600,000 Americans have lost their life because of US experiments with nukes in the Nevada desert… That's at least twice as many as the number Covid19 has killed. Covid19 killed mostly old folks. Radiation has not been so selective: like in Australia with the UK experiments, many kids have died from iodine 131. Many people have also suffered from ailments that should not have happened in normal circumstances.

Some US nuclear bomb experiments are well-known to have gone “wrong”. Such experiment as the "Castle Bravo" and subsequent blow ups in the region, geared for a five megaton explosions went rogue to nearly ten times the damage. Same with the Banneberry tests… Since the early 1960s, the US have bombers flying the skies 24/7 with nukes on board with trained crews ready to drop them on demand by a US president. We know of Doctor Strangelove satire. Yes, we’re only one mad human-being — a warmongering general or president — removed from this eventuality. Of all the mad loonies in the presidential job, Trump is the least likely to press the red button. Biden is the most likely, either by design or by accident… such as falling asleep at the desk, incrementally. Because, the US has by far the biggest military in the world, they are at the forefront of the next damage — with NATO being the bastard child of this US military as well... 

Am I wrong? I hope so… I hope no one thinks one can win...

Note: KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury. The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to (dangerous) radioactive iodine.

they don't like being bullshitted...

I know people like Trump. If you are smart enough and present solid arguments and observations they can change their mind on some critical subjects. The problem is that some people don't want Trump to appear "smarter" or be more knowledgeable, thus they feed him bullshit... Meanwhile someone like Biden isn't much adaptable. They think they are right outright (that is the Catholic mantra). Strangely enough, Trump knows he can be wrong. A weird situation. This will play out more and more the closer we get to the presidential elections...


Trump-like people don't like to be bullshitted, but they often don't know how to capture the correct information... People don't like to give the correct information to him: they want Trump to fail.


We shall see some annoying-for-some Trumpish improvements soon...

one of the democrats' dreams...



Climate change is a global emergency. We have no time to waste in taking action to protect Americans’ lives and futures. From Houston, Texas, to Paradise, California; from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Davenport, Iowa, the last four years have seen record-breaking storms, devastating wildfires, and historic floods. Urban and rural communities alike have suffered tens of billions of dollars in economic losses. Dams have failed catastrophically in Michigan. Neighborhoods have been all but wiped off the map in Florida. Farmers’ crops have been drowned in their fields across the Midwest. Thousands of Americans have died.

Like so many crises facing the United States, the impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed in our society or our economy. Communities of color, low-income families, and indigenous communities have long suffered disproportionate and cumulative harm from air pollution, water pollution, and toxic sites. Highways have been built to enforce racial segregation in our cities, with federal dollars and federal policy support. Coal companies have been allowed to reduce or ignore their obligations to fund retirees’ promised health care benefits and pensions. From Flint, Michigan, to the Navajo Nation, to Lowndes County, Alabama, millions of Americans have been denied access to clean, safe drinking water and even the most basic wastewater infrastructure. And although the youngest generations of Americans have contributed the least to this calamity, they stand to lose the most as they suffer from the impacts of runaway carbon pollution for decades to come.

Scientists inform us we must achieve net-zero carbon emissions across our economy as quickly as possible in order to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. The United States— and the world—is currently heading well over the remaining carbon budget allowed to achieve that goal.

Democrats believe there is a better way. We can and must build a thriving, equitable, and globally competitive clean energy economy that puts workers and communities first and leaves no one behind.

historic, transformative public and private investments to launch a clean energy revolution. We will use federal resources and authorities across all agencies to accelerate development of a clean energy economy and deploy proven clean energy solutions; create millions of family-supporting and union jobs; upgrade and make resilient our energy, water, wastewater, and transportation infrastructure; and develop and manufacture next- generation technologies to address the climate crisis right here in the United States. And we will do all this with an eye to equity, access, benefits, and ownership opportunities for frontline communities—because Democrats believe we must embed environmental justice and climate justice at the heart of our policy and governing agenda.

We will take immediate action to reverse the Trump Administration’s dangerous and destructive rollbacks of critical climate and environmental protections. We will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and, on Day One, seek higher ambition from nations around the world, putting the United States back in the position of global leadership where we belong. We will restore protections for irreplaceable public lands and waters, from Bears Ears National Monument to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We will follow science and the law by reducing harmful methane and carbon pollution from the energy sector.

Democrats will make investments to create millions of family-supporting and union jobs in clean energy generation, energy efficiency, clean transportation, advanced manufacturing, and sustainable agriculture across America. We believe that federal investments in infrastructure should help cut carbon pollution, build resilience and protect communities from the impacts of climate change, promote racial equity and sustainable economic development, and come with livable wages and robust labor protections that empower workers.

All jobs in the clean energy economy should provide an opportunity to join a union. Democrats will restore and protect workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. We will build a diverse pipeline of talent in the clean energy economy by increasing access to industry-based credentialing programs and registered apprenticeships.

The clean energy economy must represent the diversity of America. We will invest in the

education and training of underrepresented groups, including people of color, low-income

Americans, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and unemployed energy workers for jobs

in clean energy-related industries.

Democrats will also mobilize a diverse new generation of young workers through a corps and

cohort challenged to conserve our public lands; deliver new clean energy, including to low-

income communities and communities of color; and address the changing climate, including

through pre-apprenticeship opportunities, joint labor-management registered apprenticeships for

training, and direct-hire programs that put good-paying and union jobs within reach for more


We agree with scientists and public health experts that the United States—and the world—must achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and no later than 2050.

To reach net-zero emissions as rapidly as possible, Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035 through technology-neutral standards for clean energy and energy efficiency. We will dramatically expand solar and wind energy deployment through community-based and utility-scale systems. Within five years, we will install 500 million solar panels, including eight million solar roofs and community solar energy systems, and 60,000 made-in-America wind turbines.

Democrats believe that any clean energy infrastructure project financed with federal support, including through the tax code, should come with robust wage and labor requirements. We will build a modern electric grid by investing in interstate transmission projects and advanced, 21st century grid technologies to power communities with clean electricity, including federal support to build sustainable and resilient energy grids in rural America and in tribal areas lacking energy infrastructure. We will reduce methane pollution through robust federal standards and targeted support for repairing and replacing aging distribution systems, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, including for the same pipefitters, insulators, and other workers who built the systems in the first place and who know best how to protect our communities from methane pollution.

Democrats will lower families’ energy bills by making energy-saving upgrades to up to two million low-income households and affordable and public housing units within five years, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and promoting safe, healthy and efficient homes. To address the nationwide shortage of affordable housing, we will supercharge investment through the Housing Trust Fund to greatly increase the number of energy-efficient affordable housing units on the market and create jobs. We will address barriers and increase funding for programs that enable energy efficiency improvements for low-income families in urban and rural areas, including through the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Rural Utilities Service.

We will set a bold, national goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings by 2030, on the pathway to creating a 100 percent clean building sector. Within five years, we will incentivize tens of billions of dollars in private-sector investment to retrofit four million buildings, including helping local governments save money and cut pollution by weatherizing and upgrading energy systems in hospitals, schools, public housing, and municipal buildings. Democrats will encourage states and cities to adopt energy-efficient building codes and address barriers to energy efficiency upgrades, and leverage the federal footprint to model net-zero and 100 percent clean energy building solutions.

Democrats affirm California’s statutory authority under the Clean Air Act to set its own emissions standards for cars and trucks. We will immediately convene California and other states with labor, auto industry, and environmental leaders to inform ambitious executive actions that will enable the United States to lead the way in building a clean, 21st-century transportation system and stronger domestic manufacturing base powered byconsider the most recent advances in technology, and accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the United States while reclaiming market share for domestically-produced vehicles.

We will reduce harmful air pollution and protect our children’s health by transitioning the entire fleet of 500,000 school buses to American-made, zero-emission alternatives within five years. We will lead by example in the public sector by transitioning the 3 million vehicles in the federal, state, and local fleets to zero-emission vehicles. Democrats will additionally support private adoption of affordable low-pollution and zero-emission vehicles by partnering with state and local governments to install at least 500,000 public charging stations from coast to coast. We will increase investments in public transportation, understanding that the United States currently lags behind many other developed countries in the quality and availability of clean, efficient, accessible public transportation. We will recommit America to the task of protecting our citizens from dangerous pollution and work to clean our air, our water, and eliminate toxins emitted from port facilities, which disproportionately harm low-income communities and communities of color.

Democrats believe we can build the clean energy infrastructure of the future using American- made materials. We will support measures to build a clean, equitable, and globally competitive manufacturing sector, including national Buy Clean and Buy America standards to incentivize production of low-carbon building and construction materials, like steel and cement, here in the United States.

Democrats will partner with farmers to make the American agriculture sector the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, opening up new sources of income for farmers in the process. We will expand federal programs to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners pursue high-productivity, lower-emission, and regenerative agricultural practices in order to help build more resilient, vibrant, local and regional food systems. We will substantially increase investments in voluntary conservation programs, which generate economic and environmental benefits for farmers and their surrounding communities.

Every American has the right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live without fear of exposure to toxic waste. And all Americans should benefit from the clean energy economy— especially those who have been left out and left behind for generations.


Democrats will work with affected frontline communities to develop a screening and mapping tool to ensure racial and socioeconomic equity in federal climate, energy, and infrastructure programs. We will support locally-driven economic development and commit to directing a significant portion of clean energy and sustainable infrastructure investments to historically marginalized communities to help create local jobs and reduce energy poverty, install clean energy technologies including community solar, build resilience to climate change impacts, expand access to green space and outdoor recreation opportunities, improve public health, and restore ecosystems.

communities and marine ecosystems to sustain and enhance our economic well-being, including

We will support healthy coastal in the fishing, tourism and clean energy industries.

Democrats will create an environmental justice fund to make historic investments across federal agencies aimed at communities of color, low-income communities, and indigenous communities, including eliminating legacy pollution, which disproportionately causes illness and premature death in protecting children’s health by replacing lead service lines and remediating lead paint in homes and schools; remediating Superfund and other contaminated sites; and ensuring housing and schools have adequate plumbing and safe wastewater disposal systems.

Democrats recognize the historic wrongs that have been perpetrated against Native American

tribes and communities, including with respect to infrastructure permitting decisions. We commit

to managing federal actions and federal undertakings in a manner that honors the trust

responsibility; respects the nation-to-nation relationship and sovereignty of tribes; and protects

treaty and other reserved rights, natural and cultural resources, and sacred sites of federally-

recognized Indian tribes. We commit to upholding leasing and rights-of-way regulations that

strengthen tribal sovereignty and ensure tribal consent on projects involving land in which tribes

own even a fractional interest. We additionally commit to creating a more robust and meaningful

consultation process that is consistent across all federal agencies. Democrats commit to early and

ongoing consultation with tribes to identify and work to appropriately mitigate or address

concerns regarding major infrastructure projects.


Already, the impacts of climate change are being felt in communities across the country, and the American people are paying the price. Democrats commit to reducing climate risks and building back better after disasters and climate-fueled catastrophes in a resilient, green and just manner. In doing so, we will prioritize disproportionately exposed, frontline and vulnerable communities and rectify the inequities and inefficiencies of disaster response, including transparent and timely reporting and oversight. We will empower local communities to become more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis. We will partner with states and local communities to make smart investments to avoid the loss of life and property, prevent flooding, mitigate disaster risks and adapt to costly, growing climate impacts.

Democrats will empower and stand with workers and communities who have put their health and lives on the line and who have been impacted by the changing energy market, including by fighting to protect retirees’ health and pension benefits, shoring up the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and increasing funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission to support locally-driven economic development priorities. We will hold fossil fuel companies accountable for cleaning up abandoned mine lands, oil and gas wells, and industrial sites, so these facilities no longer pollute local environments and can be safely repurposed to support new economic activity, including in the heart of coal country.

Democrats will support the most historically far reaching public investments, in addition to private sector incentives, for research, development, demonstration, and deployment of next- generation technologies, once again making the United States the world’s leader in innovation. We will challenge the best and brightest scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs in the world to pursue breakthrough opportunities in energy storage, heavy-duty trucking and freight solutions, sustainable aviation fuels, and direct air capture and net-negative emissions technologies. We will advance innovative technologies that create cost-effective pathways for industries to decarbonize, including carbon capture and sequestration that permanently stores greenhouse gases and advanced nuclear that eliminates risks associated with conventional nuclear technology, while ensuring environmental justice and other overburdened communities are protected from increases in cumulative pollution. All of these investments will create jobs for blue-collar workers, including in fenceline communities, help decarbonize American industries, and create valuable new exports to help mitigate climate change around the world.

America’s system of national parks and monuments, public lands, and marine protected areas are treasures that should be held in trust for future generations. Democrats will immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s harmful rollbacks of protections for national monuments like Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Democrats will protect wildlife habitats and biodiversity, slow extinction rates, and grow America’s natural carbon sinks by ensuring 30 percent of our lands and waters are conserved by 2030. We support fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund to increase resources for conserving public lands and waters and incentivizing voluntary conservation efforts on private lands.

Finally, Democrats recognize that the United States does not stand alone in the fight against climate change and global environmental degradation. Beyond immediately rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, including the Green Climate Fund, and encouraging our partners and allies to increase their ambition to reduce their own carbon pollution, Democrats will work to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and move expeditiously to phase out super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons in the United States.

We will restore U.S. global climate leadership by working with world leaders to catalyze increased global investments in clean energy solutions and climate resilience, including to help low-income countries move along a more sustainable development path. Democrats will also ensure that America’s service missions abroad, including those through the Peace Corps, Fulbright fellowships, and USAID, expand their calls to action to include reducing carbon pollution, safeguarding vulnerable populations from climate impacts, and ensuring a sustainable planet for all.


Fmr. Sec. of State John Kerry,

Co-chair Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,

Co-chair Rep. Kathy Castor

Kerry Duggan

Catherine Flowers Rep. Conor Lamb

Gina McCarthy

Rep. Donald McEachin Varshini Prakash



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unbefitting of grand old nations...

The "terrible" state of relations between the US and Russia is not what other nations expect from the two countries with the world's biggest nuclear arsenals, a Kremlin spokesman has said.

"Our relationship remains at almost-bottom point. The situation is terrible both in bilateral aspects and in terms of our responsibility for multilateral affairs, first of all, in arms control and strategic stability," Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Russian TV.

He noted that "shy" expert contacts between the two nations have been failing to preserve strategic arms control agreements, like the now-defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which was scrapped on Washington's call last year.

The US has been working on dismantling arms control mechanisms for years. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was scrapped under George W. Bush, purportedly to protect the US and its allies from possible attacks by Iran and North Korea.

The INF was axed after the US accused Russia of failing to meet its obligations under the pact. Moscow denied these accusations and said they were simply being used as a pretext to shift responsibility for an escalatory move, which the US didn't want to own.


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under the mountains...



Isolating Personnel, ‘Driving Risk to Zero’ at Cheyenne Mountain

May 5, 2020 | By Brian W. Everstine

U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Demand personnel who work in certain “no fail” missions are sequestered inside the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado to avoid any possible contact with the new coronavirus and ensure the homeland is protected, the head of NORTHCOM said.

Starting in February, NORTHCOM and NORAD moved critical personnel into Cheyenne Mountain, a 5.1-acre complex situated under 1,800 feet of rock. There are 12 three-story and three two-story buildings isolated inside the mountain behind blast doors, serving as an alternate command center backing up the main facility at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. NORTHCOM boss Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said this command and control function is a mission that cannot fail, so the command looked at areas that do not have a “comfortable” level of redundancy and resilience and moved them to Cheyenne Mountain.

“What I’ve been trying to do is … drive risk to zero,” O’Shaughnessy said during a May 5 AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies virtual event. “Not to have low risk, not medium risk, but zero risk. And the only way to get zero risk in the COVID environment is to isolate your team.”

The personnel selected to work in Cheyenne Mountain are rotated in, going into isolation and then tested for the virus before going to work for weeks. The goal is to “separate them from society” and move them to an “area that has not been exposed, and will not be exposed” to the virus.

About 130 service members are working 12-hour watch shifts inside the mountain. Then they return to access-controlled locations at Peterson and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where they do not encounter others—picking up food from separate dining facilities, for example, Brig. Gen. Pete Fesler, a commander at Cheyenne Mountain, told The Washington Post.

O’Shaughnessy said these precautions are not just at Cheyenne Mountain. Other locations across the country, such as at missile defense sites and fighter units that are on aerospace control alert, are being extra careful and “doing what needs to be done to drive risk to zero.”





What do they know?... Read from top.

sabotage and incitement to barbaric acts...


The minister argued that "praising the illegal assassination of nuclear scientists and encouraging sabotage in Iran's infrastructures amounts to what are inhumane, barbaric acts that promote violence and terrorism".


He was apparently referring to an extract from Lake's article in which the author mentioned developments in the early 2010s, when "Israel’s Mossad conducted a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists".

Miryousefi, for his part, warned that "such measures do nothing less than keeping tensions high, and could ignite a full range escalation". Concerning the Natanz incident, the minister recalled that Tehran had pledged to "respond decisively", if "it's concluded that a regime or a government had a hand in the incident, directly or indirectly".

Additionally, the Iranian UN mission spokesman lambasted Lake over his allegations that one of the recent incidents in Iran ostensibly targeted "an underground research facility for chemical weapons".

According to Miryousefi, the Islamic Republic has been "the biggest victim of chemical weapons attacks in contemporary history", which he argued came "courtesy" of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and were accompanied by "the shameful aid of Western countries".

"Iran has no programme or plans to produce chemical weapons, and the claim made in the opinion piece is not just bizarre, but completely fallacious", Miryousefi underlined.

Separately, he touted the "historic" 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), recalling that it was the Trump administration who unilaterally pulled out from "this international accord [in May 2018] and violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which enshrined it in international law".

The US withdrawal from the JCPOA sparked simmering tensions between Tehran and Washington which escalated after top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani died in a US drone strike authorised by President Trump in early January.

As far as the Natanz incident is concerned, there are unconfirmed reports about the US or Israel being behind the explosion. Tehran, in turn, warned that if its probe into the issue finds out "foreign elements" were involved in the blast, there will be consequences.


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increasing the risk of crap...

The Trump administration is considering renewing nuclear weapons testing (1), a move that could increase the risk of another nuclear arms race as well as an inadvertent or intentional nuclear war. Following in the long tradition of scientists opposing nuclear weapons due to their harmful effects on both humanity and the planet (2), we ask the U.S. government to desist from plans to conduct nuclear tests.

During the Cold War, the United States conducted 1030 nuclear weapons tests, more than all other nuclear-armed nations combined (3). In 1996, the United States signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), agreeing not to conduct a nuclear weapons test of any yield (4). The United States has not yet ratified the CTBT but did spearhead the 2016 adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2310, which calls upon all countries to uphold the object and purpose of the CTBT by not conducting nuclear tests (5).

Eight of the nine nuclear-armed states, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, have observed a moratorium on nuclear testing since 1998 (3, 4). The ninth, North Korea, responding to international pressure, stopped testing warhead detonations (as opposed to missile flights) in 2017 (6). If the United States ratified the CTBT, joining the 168 countries who have already done so (4), there is a good chance that the other holdout countries would ratify the treaty as well (7).

In contrast, restarting U.S. nuclear weapons tests of any size, underground or aboveground, would give license to other countries, such as North Korea, India, and Pakistan, to resume testing. If the tests are underground, radioactive materials could leak into the local environment, including water supplies (8); if in the atmosphere, which is currently prohibited by the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (9), such tests would spread radioactivity, sometimes very widely (8). Once the United States breaches the treaty, there will be no way to prevent other nations from carrying out tests of larger warheads or to control leaks into the environment and atmosphere. Even a “limited” nuclear exchange between nuclear-armed nations can cause untold local death and destruction, as well as global climate and agricultural catastrophes stemming from the climate impacts of smoke from fires ignited by nuclear weapons (10).

The current U.S. arsenal includes thousands of warheads, together capable of obliterating every major city in any country on Earth. Yet the United States has embarked on a $1.7 trillion nuclear weapons enhancement program (11), of which the proposed testing would be one small—but dangerous—component. All nations, including the United States, should continue to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in the world's arsenals, not increase their efficacy or develop more lethal versions. Senator Edward Markey and Senate colleagues recently announced the Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosives Testing (PLANET) Act, which would deny funding for and thereby prevent the renewal of testing (12). We urge the Senate to pass this bill and to ratify the CTBT immediately.

Read more:

Science  17 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6501, pp. 262




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lego killing machines...

Lego has been forced to abruptly scrap the planned launch of a new aircraft set amid an online backlash, after a German NGO pointed out that the model’s real-life counterpart was used by the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new motorized kit, featuring a Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, was due to hit the shelves on August 10. However, activist group the German Peace Society – United War Resisters launched an online petition calling for the Denmark-based company to scrap the set.

The group pointed out that the aircraft is only used for military purposes and has been deployed on combat missions in places like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The activists also claimed that, due to Lego’s licensing deals with Boeing and Bell, “who buys this set, funds arms companies.”

“Companies that produce weapons, which in many countries of the world cause human suffering and death, should not be cooperating with LEGO,” the group said.

The activists also argued that the Osprey model violates the company’s own standards of avoiding “realistic weapons and military equipment that children may recognize from hot spots around the world.”


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The Left has praised toymaker LEGO after it asked shops to hide sets related to police and the White House. But critics suspect a typical corporate wish to distance itself from controversy was at the core of the firm's decision.

LEGO is “taking a firm stand in support of protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement,” according to New York magazine's pop culture news site Vulture. The praise comes after the company decided to pull police-themed sets from shelves and pledged to donate $4 million to supporting black children.

“Well done, LEGO,” left-wing Twitter users cried in delight. “You've dropped this, king.”


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too close for comfort...

75 Years after Hiroshima

The Nuclear Risk Is "Higher Than it has been since the Darkest Days of the Cold War"

In an interview, Izumi Nakamitsu, the United Nations' leading disarmament official, warns that the risk of a nuclear war is greater than ever. She says that the lack of dialogue between nations has created an extremely dangerous situation today.


Japanese diplomat Izumi Nakamitsu, 57, holds degrees in law and international relations from universities in Washington, D.C., and Tokyo. After her studies, she began working for the United Nations. She has also taught international relations at Tokyo’s Hitotsubashi University. Nakamitsu has served as the UN under-secretary-general of disarmament affairs since 2017.


Interview Conducted By Dietmar Pieper

DER SPIEGEL: The global system of nuclear arms treaties is eroding. The INF treaty is history. The ongoing negotiations surrounding the New START treaty have been difficult. There is even talk of new nuclear testing in the United States. Are we about to lose everything that has been achieved during the Cold War and the time since?

Nakamitsu: Arms control and disarmament instruments provide tangible security and stability benefits. It is highly concerning that some governments appear to forget this lesson. Instead, we should work together to maintain what we have. And there are some important elements still standing.

DER SPIEGEL: What are you thinking of?

Nakamitsu: We are encouraging the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the New START treaty, which limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads. The norm against nuclear testing is also one of the greatest achievements of the post-Cold War era. We consistently encourage countries to identify means that will accelerate the entry into force and universalization process of the treaty banning nuclear tests.

DER SPIEGEL: The famous Doomsday Clock, published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is now closer to midnight than ever. Do you think the underlying assessment of nuclear risk is correct? 

Nakamitsu: The Doomsday Clock is a very effective way of informing the public about how dangerous things have become. I share the concern. The risk of use of nuclear weapons, whether intentional or by accident, is higher than it has been since the darkest days of the Cold War. But the greatest danger is through miscalculation.


Nakamitsu: After the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, the U.S. and the Soviet Union installed special communication channels. One very important factor is: We don’t have the same dialogue channels for risk management between Washington and Moscow that existed during the Cold War, especially at a working level. The lack of dialogue today creates a very dangerous situation.

DER SPIEGEL: So, the risk of a misunderstanding between two traditional nuclear powers is greater than unforeseen action by a nuclear upstart like North Korea?

Nakamitsu: That the dialogue between the U.S. and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) does not seem to be moving forward is also quite worrying. We consistently encourage them to return to negotiations. Another source of concern is that the dialogue channels between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea seem to be suspended. Mechanisms that create confidence and transparency are critical for risk reduction.

DER SPIEGEL: What can the UN do to promote nuclear arms control?

Nakamitsu: The situation in the Security Council is difficult because of a lack of great power cooperation. But the vast majority of UN member states are still committed to the goals of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. The UN can and does play an important role as a trusted and neutral broker. We bring the different parties together: our member states and also other actors. While we must safeguard the great gains made to date, there is a need for more creativity, for a new vision and new approaches in arms control and disarmament. The UN is ready and willing to facilitate new thinking on such a vision.

DER SPIEGEL: The U.S. is asking China to enter into nuclear arms control negotiations. Do you support this endeavor?

Nakamitsu: As I mentioned before, we need a new vision for nuclear disarmament. The security environment surrounding nuclear weapons has dramatically changed in several ways. We have massive advancements in technology, artificial intelligence and autonomy, means of cyber, missiles, the use of outer space. These changes require a new approach, which will take time. One of the reasons why we are encouraging the U.S. and Russia to extend New START is to avoid unconstrained nuclear competition and gain time to discuss the new approach, also with other nations.

DER SPIEGEL: This is where China could play a role?

Nakamitsu: The world is no longer bipolar. The great powers are in competition with each other. The U.S. and Russia still have the largest stockpiles. So, there are immediate disarmament responsibilities that are required from those two states. I very much hope that, as a global power, China wants to be a responsible actor and engage in future arms control talks. It is also in China’s interest to have strategic stability, to avoid miscalculations and ensure common security.

DER SPIEGEL: How important is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that came into force in 1970 for achieving a stable world order?

Nakamitsu: With 191 states as parties, it is a crucial pillar of international security and stability. It contains the only legally binding commitment to nuclear disarmament. Also, very important are the verifiable non-proliferation obligations. The NPT was crucial for maintaining peace on a global scale for 50 years and has to stay strong and healthy.

DER SPIEGEL: Should there be more international pressure on the states that are not parties to the NPT and possess nuclear weapons?

Nakamitsu: In nuclear disarmament and arms control, there is no panacea. If you just apply pressure, would it work? No, it wouldn’t. States like India, Pakistan and also Israel, which has never confirmed or denied the possession of nuclear weapons, have security concerns that are related to their regions. So, it is not just pressure that will work. We also need dialogue, to build confidence, and to increase transparency. We need to have better arguments for why nuclear disarmament bolsters their security rather than the other way around.

DER SPIEGEL: Should we differentiate between those countries which have been in possession of the atomic bomb for a long time now - and a nuclear upstart like North Korea?

Nakamitsu: This is not about the length of possession. The DPRK is a very special case because it is subject to several Security Council resolutions, which are legally binding. According to these resolutions, the DPRK has to abandon its nuclear weapons program. We always encourage this country to return to full compliance with its international obligations.

DER SPIEGEL: The NPT requires in Article 6 that the "P5 nations” – the U.S., Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom – pursue "complete disarmament” of nuclear weapons. Are all of these countries fulfilling their obligation?

Nakamitsu: Historically, they have been making progress. There were massive reductions in nuclear stockpiles, from more than 70,000 down to about 14,000 today. But the movement toward nuclear disarmament has stalled and is now going backward. All of the five powers, including France and the United Kingdom, are modernizing their nuclear arsenals. Some say this modernization is simply maintenance. But we know from a lot of research that it goes beyond that and is actually about a qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons. This is very unfortunate.

DER SPIEGEL: Are they violating the treaty?

Nakamitsu: We still hope that they will return to the disarmament path. There was a small but important gesture in March, 50 years after the entry into force of the NPT, when the P5 adopted a joint statement expressing their commitment to the treaty.

DER SPIEGEL: They also jointly expressed their strong opposition to another international agreement, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), saying "It contradicts, and risks undermining, the NPT.” Do you support the TPNW in spite of the fundamental criticism?

Nakamitsu: Yes, definitely. It came about because non-nuclear weapons states were frustrated to see that there was a stall in and reversal of the required nuclear disarmament under Article 6 of the NPT.

DER SPIEGEL: The TNPW was adopted in 2017 and has been ratified by 40 countries so far. It needs 50 ratifications to enter into force. What will happen then?

Nakamitsu: Many people think we will have 50 ratifications sometime next year, but I do not speculate. The TPNW will become a very important part of the nuclear disarmament regime. The core group of TPNW states continue to say that it does not undermine the NPT, but was made to complement and strengthen it. Both treaties have the common objective of pursuing a world without nuclear weapons.

DER SPIEGEL: How dangerous is the deployment of "smart bombs,” smaller, more flexible nuclear weapons?

Nakamitsu: Extremely dangerous. First, there is the perception danger: Because of their supposed "low yield,” people might think that limited use of these weapons in a conflict is a possibility. Then you have the escalation danger: What might begin under the notion of limited exchange will almost automatically evolve into nuclear war on a much bigger scale.

DER SPIEGEL: A large proportion of the nuclear stockpile during the Cold War consisted of so-called tactical weapons. But not a single one was ever used in combat.

Nakamitsu: This shouldn’t calm us down. With weapons that are considered to be merely tactical, military commanders might have a delegated authority to use them. The command and control structures would come under a lot of pressure. And, the last point, these so-called tactical weapons run a high risk of theft, including by terrorist groups.

DER SPIEGEL: This week, the world is remembering what happened to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago. Are there still lessons to be learned?

Nakamitsu: Yes, of course. The average age of the Hibakusha, the survivors, is now about 82 years. The United Nations and civil society organizations are making sure that their message to eliminate all nuclear weapons is shared and passed on to younger generations all over the globe.

DER SPIEGEL: What are your feelings when you visit the memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Nakamitsu: It is very moving and emotional and gives me a strong sense of commitment: Why we at the United Nations must maintain nuclear disarmament as a priority. Why we have to make absolutely sure that no major war will happen.

DER SPIEGEL: Are you optimistic that there will be a world without nuclear weapons in maybe 20 or 30 years?

Nakamitsu: We remain 100 percent committed to achieving this goal. Many of the world leaders during the height of the very difficult Cold War understood the danger of nuclear weapons. If world leaders today will reaffirm the objective of a world free of these weapons, then we will again have momentum toward their elimination. We talked about risk reduction, which is a very important pragmatic idea. But for real steps toward elimination, we need more than pragmatism. They require a very strong political will. And those who shape the political will are the citizens and, in most nations, parliaments. We as United Nations cannot tell governments what to do. The citizens can.



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