By Jonathan Power
December 19th. 2017
The nuclear weapon missile business is contradictory, full of missteps, highly dangerous and prepared in its madness (Mutually Assured Destruction, aka MAD, they used to call it in Cold War days) to plunge the world into a nuclear war that will reduce most of the world to dust.
A new book, “The Doomsday Machine” by Daniel Ellsberg tells the whole nuclear bomb story in detail. No one has done it better. The only rival is the movie, “Dr Strangelove”, that got the essentials right without being privy to much of the Ellsberg’s knowledge.
Ellsberg is the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon papers, an expose of the US role in the Vietnam War. In this book he tells of his time in the 1960s as consultant to the Department of Defence and the White House.
He drafted Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war- McNamara was secretary of defence during the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy.
Five years ago, after he had finished the book, he tried 17 different publishers and it was rejected. Earlier this year he found a home with Bloomsbury, the publisher of Harry Potter, a book that was also rejected many times.
Why, at last? “The world got scarier”, he said in a long interview in the Financial Times last month. “The only silver lining to today’s world is that people now want to read my book”.
Read More »
By Gareth Porter
In September 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a building in eastern Syria that the Israelis claimed held a covert nuclear reactor that had been built with North Korean assistance. Seven months later, the CIA released an extraordinary 11-minute video and mounted press and Congressional briefings that supported that claim.
But nothing about that alleged reactor in the Syrian desert turns out to be what it appeared at the time. The evidence now available shows that there was no such nuclear reactor, and that the Israelis had misled George W. Bush’s administration into believing that it was in order to draw the United States into bombing missile storage sites in Syria. Other evidence now suggests, moreover, that the Syrian government had led the Israelis to believe wrongly that it was a key storage site for Hezbollah missiles and rockets.
Continue reading Porter’s investigative report at ConsortiumNews.com
By Jan Oberg*
Part 1 about the risks here
Fact is that we are dealing here with a conflict that is the most threatening to humankind’s survival and it would be rather more easy to solve than most other conflicts.
This has recently been pointed out by TFF Board Member and former Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IPPNW, 2004-2008, Gunnar Westberg, in a short analysis.
• The West – the EU or NATO, if not the US itself – takes a serious mediation initiative. As long as people talk, they don’t start wars. That in itself would de-escalate the tensions and risks in sharp contrast to continued tit-for-tat sandbox thinking and reckless statements, last by defence secretary Mad Dog Mattis at the border between the North and South.
• The vastly superior side stops every military activity in the waters close to the North while South Korea’s leadership take up contact with the leadership of the North.
• The type of provisions of Jimmy Carter’s old deal with the North Koreans are dusted off and used as inspiration for more: Give the North Koreans all the economic assistance they believe they need and give them civilian energy technology too – as a quid-pro-quo for very tight IAEA inspections and a written guarantee that it will not acquire nuclear weapons as long as the West keeps its side of such a deal. (President George W. Bush just destroyed that deal and thought it appropriate to include North Korea in his Axis Of Evil speech).
• Sign a non-aggression or non-attack pact between North and South Korea and between North Korea and the US. That is, undermine any fears the North Koreans may have. The overwhelming superiority of the adversaries of the North implies that such a pact would be risk-free to write and sign.
• Let North and South Korea freely decide if they want to unify. They have a perfect human and international legal right to do so, it’s nobody’s business but the Korean people’s. The world should assist them in doing so if they want.
• The US and North Korea sign a peace treaty (what exists today is only the 1953 ceasefire agreement).Read More »
By Jan Oberg*
Part II here.
That’s what I hold quite likely in case the present US administration under Donald Trump’s formal leadership continues down the path its in-fighting militarist fractions seem to have chosen.
We’re in the worst, most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Sitting down and hoping for the best is neither responsible nor viable or wise.
I can only hope that I will be proved wrong. That the present extremely dangerous tension-building will die down by some kind of unforeseen events or attention being directed elsewhere.
The world could quite well be drifting toward what Albert Einstein called ’unparalleled catastrophe’. It’s something we may – or may not – know more about when President Trump returns from his trip to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam (APEC where he also likely to meet Russian President Putin) and the Philippines.
Except for 93-year old Jimmy Carter offering to go to North Korea, we witness nobody taking any mediation initiative – not the UN’ S-G Guterres, not the EU, not European NATO countries, not BRICS, not single countries like Sweden, not… well, you name them.
It’s about denial, about heads deep down in the sand, people hoping for the best at the moment when humanity’s future is in the hands of a couple of leaders from whom they would probably not buy a used bicycle.
That this silence all around is a roaring fact, is about as tragic and dangerous as the situation itself. Read More »
Jan Oberg Comment
A short comment on the news about readying B-52 bombers for – well, you know what. On PressTV, October 23, 2017.
By Gareth Porter
U.S-Iran policy is closer to Israel than it has been in years.
President Donald Trump’s new Iran policy clearly represents a dangerous rejection of diplomacy in favor of confrontation. But it’s more than that: It’s a major shift toward a much closer alignment of U.S. policy with that of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Whether explicitly or not, Trump’s vow to work with Congress to renegotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, and his explicit threat to withdraw from the deal if no renegotiation takes place, appear to be satisfying the hardline demands Netanyahu has made of Washington’s policy toward Tehran.
Specifically, Netanyahu has continued to demand…
Continue reading Porter’s article here.
October 19, 2017
Comments on EU leaders stating their support for the nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA) and sending strong signals to Trump: But more is needed now.
Oberg also asks: Where is the similar statement from NATO, the allegedly peace and security organisation when its leader, the U.S., is moving towards war with Iran?
By David Swanson
October 6, 2017
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) — listen to my radio show with one of ICAN’s leaders two years ago here.
It’s conceivable that some Americans will now learn, because of this award, about the new treaty that bans the possession of nuclear weapons.
This treaty has been years in the works. This past summer 122 nations agreed on the language of it, including these words…
Continue to the original here
By Jan Oberg
Jan Oberg’s comments to Iran’s PressTV on this happy occasion.
By Richard Falk
Professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara, board member of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and TFF Associate since 1985
Finally, the committee in Oslo that picks a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize each year selected in 2017 an awardee that is a true embodiment of the intended legacy of Alfred Nobel when he established the prize more than a century ago.
It is also a long overdue acknowledgement of the extraordinary dedication of anti-nuclear activists around the planet who for decades have done all in their power to rid the world of this infernal weaponry before it inflicts catastrophe upon all living beings even more unspeakable that what befell the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on two infamous days in August 1945.
Such a prize result was actually anticipated days before the announcement by Fredrik Heffermehl, a crusading Norwegian critic of past departures from Nobel’s vision by the prize committee.
In making the prediction that the 2017 prize would be given in recognition of anti-nuclear activism Heffermehl prophetically relied on the outlook of the current chair of the Nobel selection committee, a distinguished Norwegian lawyer, Berit Reiss-Andersen, who has publicly affirmed her belief in the correlation between adherence to international law and world peace.
The recipient of the prize is ICAN, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of more than 450 civil society groups around the world that is justly credited with spreading an awareness of the dire humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and of making the heroic effort to generate grassroots pressure sufficient to allow for the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by 122 UN members on 7 July 2017 (known as the ‘BAN Treaty’). Read More »