Tuesday 26th of September 2023

the beginning of a new reality: teaching others the lessons we never learnt...

churchill  The US has made Russia an offer it hopes she won’t refuse: accept a new arms control deal including no limits on NATO weapons in Europe, or deal with a modernized American nuclear arsenal on its doorstep.

Following the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty last year, the 2011 New START treaty remains the only arms control deal in force between Moscow and Washington. However, it’s due to expire in February, and negotiations to replace it remain deadlocked.

Now the US says it wants to extend new START by less than five years, and only by a memorandum of intent, rather than a binding treaty, according to Marshall Billingslea, US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, who spoke with the Russian daily Kommersant on Sunday.

However, when it comes to hammering out a new deal, Washington has some demands. The first of these demands is that China be made a party to the deal. Russia has no opposition to this in theory, but insists that if China be rolled in, so too should Britain and France. 

“We think it is necessary to specifically mention China,” Billingsea told Kommersant. “Our position is that when speaking about a future treaty, we should keep in mind a tripartite treaty.” Billingsea added that Washington will keep the UK and France out of the deal, as neither are “actively developing and deploying” nukes on the same scale as China. Beijing, for its part, has refused to join such a treaty.

Russia has also pushed the US to scale back its nuclear arsenal in Europe, but Billingsea said that this is a no-go. “We are certainly ready to talk with Russia about NATO and about our nuclear deterrence guarantees,”he said. “But we will not remove nuclear weapons from any of the storage sites.”

Further sticking points include the issue of tactical missiles, which Russian officials have refused to discuss in the past, and Russian inspection of American tactical weapons. On this second point, Billingsea said that the US is “certainly ready to discuss” this with Moscow.


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Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War and leader of the Conservative opposition after the conflict, believed that the atomic bomb should be used against several cities in the USSR to intimidate the Kremlin and keep "communism" in check.

British historian Richard Toye has discovered in the New York Times archives several pieces concerning a memorandum that Julius Ochs Adler - a former US Army officer who became the newspaper’s editor-in-chief after the war - had written about his interview with Churchill in January 1951, that is 6 years after the end of the war and only 6 months before Churchill’s second term as prime minister.

According to Julius Ochs Adler, Churchill thought the atomic bomb should be dropped on at least one out of 30 Soviet cities.

The nuclear strikes advocated by Churchill did not concern the Soviet Union alone. He believed that the atomic bomb should also be used against China, which was then ruled by Mao Zedong.

- "La Seconde Guerre mondiale aurait pu prendre fin en 1943" (The Second World War could have ended in 1943), by Viktor Litovkine, Réseau Voltaire, 30 March 2005.

- "Si l’Armée rouge n’avait pas pris Berlin..." (If the Red Army had not captured Berlin), by Viktor Litovkine, Réseau Voltaire, 1 April 2005.


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All the Russians have to do is place nukes on Cuba or submerged stations around the USA.... Back to the days of NK and JFK...

it's only money... and bombs... and pestilence...


The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new research.

Carbon dioxide emissions rose by 60% over the 25-year period, but the increase in emissions from the richest 1% was three times greater than the increase in emissions from the poorest half.

The report, compiled by Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute, warned that rampant overconsumption and the rich world’s addiction to high-carbon transport are exhausting the world’s “carbon budget”.

Such a concentration of carbon emissions in the hands of the rich means that despite taking the world to the brink of climate catastrophe, through burning fossil fuels, we have still failed to improve the lives of billions, said Tim Gore, head of policy, advocacy and research at Oxfam International.

“The global carbon budget has been squandered to expand the consumption of the already rich, rather than to improve humanity,” he told the Guardian. “A finite amount of carbon can be added to the atmosphere if we want to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We need to ensure that carbon is used for the best.”

The richest 10% of the global population, comprising about 630 million people, were responsible for about 52% of global emissions over the 25-year period, the study showed.

Globally, the richest 10% are those with incomes above about $35,000 (£27,000) a year, and the richest 1% are people earning more than about $100,000.


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Meanwhile at the world bank...


Ian Taylor sells high-end jet skis from his four-bedroom waterfront townhouse in a quiet suburban cul-de-sac on the Gold Coast.

Key points:

  • A leak of highly secretive US Treasury documents reveals the world's banks alerted watchdogs to about $US2 trillion ($2.7 trillion) worth of suspicious transactions in seven years
  • The documents were obtained by Buzzfeed News and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
  • Ian Taylor is just one of the Australians mentioned by name in the leaked suspicious activity reports

What the 43-year-old does not advertise is that his other source of income has come from setting up shell companies, which have been used by money launderers, arms dealers and Mexican drug cartels.

His business allowed customers to hide their true identity by providing nominee directors and shareholders to obscure who was really behind the shell company.

These directors and shareholders included his current and former wives, friends, associates and residents of tax-haven countries.

"Often the shell companies are used simply to open up bank accounts in other parts of the world," says Gerard Ryle, the director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

What Mr Taylor did is not illegal, but some of the companies he helped set up, under the control of third parties, have been tied to crimes around the world.

"He's never been able to be stopped because he's never actually done anything illegal," Ryle says.

"There is a flaw in the system … he's driving a bulldozer through that flaw."

Mr Taylor is just one of the Australians mentioned in a leak of highly secret United States Treasury documents.

These documents reveal the world's biggest banks have defied money-laundering crackdowns by moving staggering sums of illicit cash for criminal networks and shadowy characters.

The leaked files show more than $US2 trillion ($2.7 trillion) in suspected dirty money moving through the global financial system.

That includes more than $200 million in transactions flowing through Australian banks.

The records show five global banks — JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players, even after US authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.

US Treasury leak of 'suspicious activity reports'

The leaked documents include more than 2,100 highly secret suspicious activity reports (SARS) which are created by financial institutions and sent to the US Department of Treasury bureau, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN.



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of statues and subjects...

Downing Street has said it is up to Joe Biden how he decorates the Oval Office, after it was reported that a bust of Winston Churchill, lent by the UK government, has been removed.

“The Oval Office is the president’s private office, and it’s up to the president to decorate it as he wishes,” Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said, adding: “We’re in no doubt about the importance President Biden places on the UK-US relationship, and the prime minister looks forward to having that close relationship with him.”

Johnson’s relaxed attitude is in marked contrast to his criticism of Barack Obama, when the former president moved the Churchill bust aside.

Writing in the Sun in 2016, Johnson, then London mayor, and the author of a Churchill biography, called Obama’s decision a “snub,” suggesting it may have been because of “the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire”.

A bust of Mexican American labour rights leader Cesar Chavez was visible in pictures of Biden signing executive orders on Wednesday.


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Despite having been a formidable politician, Churchill was also a colonialist, a racist and misogynist... 

nuking china...

A previously censored account of the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis that was sponsored by the Pentagon has been published in full by the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg. The report provides a hair-raising portrait of a reckless U.S. military leadership relentlessly pressing President Dwight Eisenhower for the authority to carry out nuclear attacks on communist China.

After holding the still-classified version of the account in his possession for 50 years, Ellsberg said he decided to release it because of the growing threat of U.S. war with China over Taiwan, and the danger that such a conflict could escalate into a nuclear exchange.

May 22 New York Times report on the account offered only general details of the role the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff played in the run-up to the 1958 Taiwan crisis. However, it is clear from the original highly classified documents as well as other evidence now available that from the beginning, the Joint Chiefs aimed first and foremost to exploit the tensions to carry out nuclear strikes against Chinese nuclear military targets deep in highly-populated areas.

Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist Kuomintang regime and the Joint Chiefs were allies in wanting to embroil the United States in a war with China.

Deputy Secretary of State Christian Herter feared that the Nationalist regime was determined to drag the U.S. into conflict, according to the Pentagon-sponsored account. The reason, according to the author of the account, Morton Halperin, was that involving the United States in a war with the Chinese communists “was clearly their only hope for a return to the mainland.”

Quemoy and Matsu, the two main offshore islands occupied by Nationalist troops, were less than five miles from the mainland and had been used by Chiang’s forces as bases to mount unsuccessful commando raids inside the mainland. And Chiang, who was still committed to reconquering the mainland China with the ostensible support of the United States, had stationed a third of his 350,000-man army on those two islands.

In May 1958, the Joint Chiefs adopted a new plan (OPS PLAN 25-58), ostensibly for the defense of the offshore islands. In fact, the plan provided a basis for attacking China with atomic weapons.

It was to begin with a brief preliminary “Phase I,” which it called “patrol and reconnaissance” and was said to be already underway. “Phase II,” which would have been triggered by a Chinese attack on the offshore islands, would involve U.S. air forces wiping out the attacking forces.

But the new plan envisioned a possible third phase, in which the Strategic Air Command and forces under the command of the U.S. Pacific Command would carry out strategic attacks with 10 to 15 kiloton tactical nuclear weapons “to destroy the war-making capability” of China.

According to the account authored by Halperin, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Air Force Gen. Nathan Twining, told State Department officials in an August meeting that the third phase would require nuclear strikes on Chinese bases as far north as Shanghai.

The Joint Chiefs played down the threat to civilian casualties from such tactical atomic weapons, emphasizing that an airburst of tactical atomic explosions would generate little radioactive fallout. But the account indicates that they provided no concrete information on expected civilian casualties.

Given that both the Chinese gun emplacements across the Taiwan Strait and a key airbase serving the Chinese military forces in any conflict over the offshore islands would have been located close to significant population centers, such atomic explosions would have certainly caused civilian casualties on a massive scale.


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See also: did we create the monster?...


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NPT meeting...


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Representatives from the five Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), or “P5", met in Paris on 2-3 December 2021 for the 10th P5 Conference, to discuss the preparations for the upcoming 10th NPT Review Conference and related matters.

For over fifty years since its entry into force, the NPT has made invaluable contributions to humanity as a whole by providing an international framework that is indispensable to curbing the threat of nuclear proliferation. At the Paris Conference, the NWS reaffirmed their enduring commitment to the NPT across all three pillars, and their unconditional support for its universalisation. They emphasised the primacy of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.

Just one month ahead of the 10th NPT Review Conference (4-28 January 2022), they reiterated their active determination to approach this milestone event in the most positive and constructive manner. In this regard, they expressed their full support to President-designate Gustavo Zlauvinen in his endeavour to achieve a meaningful outcome.

The Paris Conference gave an opportunity to reflect and take stock of NWS efforts and the contribution of this work to the strengthening of the NPT. Twelve years after the establishment of the P5 process, the NWS firmly believe that this forum has proved useful, and will continue to be a key mechanism for fostering a better mutual understanding among NWS and to examine the means through which they can collectively help facilitate the goals of the NPT.

They reaffirmed their commitment under the NPT to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. They support the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all. By helping to ease international tensions and create conditions of stability, security and trust among nations, the NPT has made a vital contribution to nuclear disarmament and to reducing proliferation of nuclear weapons. The NPT continues to help create conditions that are essential for further progress on nuclear disarmament.

They also recalled the instrumental role of the NPT in providing confidence that, in line with article III of the Treaty, nuclear energy is not diverted from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The NPT provides a foundation for the promotion and sharing of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, to the benefit of all. In this regard, they reiterated their full and continued support to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in implementing the safeguards agreements and Additional Protocols, in promoting the benefits of peaceful uses and in verifying States’ compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

They also reflected on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the importance of its entry into force, twenty-five years after it was opened for signature, and recalled the importance of moratoria on nuclear tests to the achievement of disarmament and non-proliferation objectives.

They reviewed progress achieved concerning the different workstreams under the P5 Process in preparation for the 10th NPT Review Conference:

 a) They exchanged updates on their respective nuclear doctrines and policies and reiterated their commitment to the ongoing discussions in this area that contribute to strengthening predictability, confidence and mutual understanding among the NWS. In this regard, they consider this workstream as a tangible risk reduction measure, and reaffirmed their willingness to pursue these discussions, as well as to host a dedicated side-event on nuclear doctrines and policies at the Review Conference; 
 b) They recognised their responsibility to work collaboratively to reduce the risk of nuclear conflict. They intend to build on their fruitful work on strategic risk reduction within the P5 Process in the course of the next NPT review cycle, in order to reduce the likelihood of nuclear weapons use. This is complementary to the NPT’s overarching goals and is consistent with the NWS’ long-term efforts towards disarmament and the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all; 
 c) They endorsed the second edition of the P5 Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms, which contributes to enhancing mutual trust and understanding among the NWS. They decided to submit the Glossary as a P5 working paper to the 10th NPT Review Conference and hold a side-event during the Conference; 
 d) They reaffirmed their commitment to the objectives of the Nuclear-Weapon- Free-Zones, including the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone, and recalled the importance of advancing discussions between the NWS and the ASEAN countries on the Protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty. They also recalled their support to the establishment of a Middle-East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery; 
 e) They reiterated their support for the negotiation of a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) – baning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices - on the basis of the Shannon mandate and with the participation of all countries in the Conference on Disarmament; 
 f) They stressed the shared benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the need to strengthen this pillar of the NPT. As such, they reaffirmed their strong support for broadening access within the NPT community to the numerous benefits of nuclear energy, science and technology and their applications for peaceful purposes, their support for the role of nuclear energy in addressing climate change and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. They will promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy during the 10th NPT Review Conference.

9. The Paris Conference also provided an opportunity for substantial discussions among the NWS on the international security environment, non-proliferation issues and the importance of strategic stability. They agreed on the urgency of a full return to the JCPoA and on the need to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

10. They emphasised the importance of transparency and outreach. In that regard, they conducted fruitful dialogues with the NPT Bureau, Non-Nuclear Weapon States and civil society representatives, and intend to keep open all communications channels to contribute to a positive outcome of the NPT Review Conference. They decided to launch a pilot project to develop a Young Professionals Network of P5 academics.




 Read more: https://www.voltairenet.org/article214962.html







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