Activists from the Defuse Nuclear War coalition on Sunday launched a week of action to demand the U.S. government take steps to reduce the existential threat of thermonuclear annihilation, including by reinstating arms control treaties, shutting down hair-trigger missiles, and engaging in "genuine diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine." Defuse Nuclear War is organizing around 40 events across the United States. Demonstrations are planned in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Tucson, Fresno, and Salt Lake City, pickets are scheduled across Washington state, vigils are set to take place in Hawaii and California, activists plan to unfurl a banner at a Lockheed Martin facility in Pennsylvania, and an interfaith gathering will be held outside United Nations headquarters in New York.
Is likely that billions of people around the world view the conflict in Ukraine as a proxy war being waged by the U.S. against Russia. US President Joe Biden has pledged to aid Ukraine’s pursuit of victory “for as long as it takes,” without defining what the end state might be. Russian President Vladimir Putin has interpreted U.S. intentions to mean a fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Anyone with a discernible pulse is aware of the danger that the conflict could escalate into a conflagration large and destructive enough to morph into World War III. The threshold would likely be crossed once nuclear weapons were unleashed.
The United States has articulated a policy that it wishes to continue this war to severely ‘weaken Russia’ – as US defence secretary Lloyd Austin and other high officials have been explicitly stating – and, it is claimed, to place Ukraine in a stronger bargaining position for eventual negotiations (or in a weaker position, if the Russian offensive makes an impact, a strong likelihood that is quietly ignored). The policy of trying to ‘weaken Russia’ through the escalation of the war in Ukraine is the position of the United States and the United Kingdom, and with some variation, their European allies (France, as usual, demurs here and there, but when push comes to shove, lines up with Washington).
It’s 10 p.m. at Montrose Harbor in Chicago. Kiko and Tamar help me step from the dock into the wobbly rowboat. Kiko rows us out to the Golden Rule and I climb aboard in wonder. Oh my God! This is it – the 30-foot, anti-nuke sailboat with a history going back almost seven decades . . . back to the era of atmospheric nuclear testing and the Cold War at its simmering height. The Golden Rule: “Floating for sanity in an insane world.” Well, somebody’s got to do it! The United Nations has tried. In 2017 it passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was finally ratified (by 50 countries) in 2021. Technically, nuclear weapons are now “illegal” – what a joke. The possibility of nuclear war, i.e., Armageddon, is more alive than ever. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is now set at 90 seconds to midnight.
The United States is gunning for war with China. By cozying up to Taiwan and arming it to the teeth, President Joe Biden is undermining the “One China” policy which has been the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations since 1979. The Biden administration is enlisting South Korea and Japan to encircle China. The U.S. military is conducting provocative military maneuvers that exacerbate the conflict in the South China Sea. Biden is escalating tensions with China and intensifying the danger of nuclear war in the Asia-Pacific. And Republican presidential candidates are also fanning the flames of war with China.
Daniel Ellsberg died on June 16, 2023 at the age of 92. In his final months of life, he spoke out about the importance of whistleblowing and the risk of nuclear war resulting from US aggression against Russia and China. Ellsberg urged people not to wait to take action. Clearing the FOG spoke with Jack Cohen-Joppa, co-coordinator of the Nuclear Resister and steering committee member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, about the long history of and ongoing resistance to nuclear weapons. Cohen-Joppa also talks about actions targeting Raytheon and depleted uranium use in Ukraine. He provides information about actions people can take to create a nuclear-free world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for a lot of things — his “in your face” speeches, his marathon unscripted press conferences and his stoic impassiveness in the face of adversity come to mind. One thing that doesn’t jump out at the average observer is his earthy sense of humor. Long-time Putin watchers know that the Russian leader on occasion spices up his formal presentations with off-color quips which, unless one is well versed in colloquial Russian of the back-alley variety, can get missed by the casual listener. During the June 16 discussion period of the plenary session of the 2023 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian leader was asked about his views on the potential use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict.
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity honored the late Dan Ellsberg with our annual award for fearless integrity on April 11, 2023. It was clear that Dan summoned much of his remaining strength to leave an unambiguous message to people of conscience as to why they should blow the whistle on government lies, as he did, but NOW, not later. The private ceremony was filmed by a friend of Dan and Patricia. Dan saved his parting plea for the last three minutes. Those wishing to go directly to that segment can start at minute 19:32. Dan’s words speak for themselves.
When Japan invited the leaders of Brazil, India and Indonesia to attend the G7 summit in Hiroshima, there were glimmers of hope that it might be a forum for these rising economic powers from the Global South to discuss their advocacy for peace in Ukraine with the wealthy Western G7 countries that are militarily allied with Ukraine and have so far remained deaf to pleas for peace. But it was not to be. Instead, the Global South leaders were forced to sit and listen as their hosts announced their latest plans to tighten sanctions against Russia and further escalate the war by sending U.S.-built F-16 warplanes to Ukraine.
Taiwan’s foreign minister said last week that the US and Taiwan are in talks on the possibility of the island being brought under Washington’s nuclear umbrella, a step that would make a catastrophic war between the US and China much more likely. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu made the comments before Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan. Wu declined to detail the talks when pressed if Taiwan had asked the US to bring the island into its nuclear umbrella. “Regarding the discussion of this issue with the United States, it is not suitable for me to make it public here,” Wu said, according to The South China Morning Post.
The legendary Daniel Ellsberg has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In a March 1 email to friends, Dan wrote, “I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live … it might be more, or less.” He will turn 92 on April 7. Dan displayed uncommon courage in 1971 when he publicized the 7,000-page top-secret Pentagon Papers while working at the Rand Corporation. As a consultant to the Department of Defense, Dan drafted Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war. In his book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, Dan wrote that the Pentagon Papers exposed the “secrets five presidents had withheld and the lies they told” about U.S. decision-making in Vietnam.
Sixty years ago, a crowd of us young people anxiously massed around a black-and-white TV in my college student union building. The US and the USSR were in an existential standoff. The US had deployed ballistic nuclear missiles in Turkey. When the Soviets responded by placing missiles in Cuba, the US demanded their removal or face dire consequences. We all breathed an enormous collective sigh of relief when Nikita Khruschev publicly agreed to withdraw the Soviet missiles from Cuba. John F. Kennedy secretly reciprocated by removing US missiles from Turkey aimed at the Soviet Union. The whole world rejoiced. A close encounter with a war, which could have threatened civilization, had been avoided. In the aftermath, a robust international peace movement demanded and achieved some successes including the Anti-Ballistic Missile and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaties.
Thank you to the many Cuban people who have welcomed us to their beautiful country. Thank you to ICAP for hosting our press conference. And thank you to the members of the media who are here today to listen to our message of peace, love and solidarity. We are a diverse group of people from the United States and Hawai’i. We are from the US states of California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island. And several of us are from the island nation of Hawai’i. We are the crew and supporters of the historic anti-nuclear sailboat Golden Rule. Many of us are members of Veterans For Peace, an organization of former soldiers who are dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons, and to abolishing war.
As Western countries are floating the theory that Russia could escalate its conflict with Ukraine to a nuclear war, many Western governments continue to turn a blind eye to Israel’s own nuclear weapons capabilities. Luckily, many countries around the world do not subscribe to this endemic Western hypocrisy. “The Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction” was held between Nov. 14-18, with the sole purpose of creating new standards of accountability that, as should have always been the case, be applied equally to all Middle Eastern countries. The debate regarding nuclear weapons in the Middle East could not possibly be any more pertinent or urgent. International observers rightly note that the period following the Russia-Ukraine war is likely to accelerate the quest for nuclear weapons throughout the world.
On the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world is closer than ever to nuclear apocalypse, with the NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. Historian and political scientist Aaron Good joined Multipolarista host Ben Norton to discuss the important lessons to learn from this dangerous historical episode. The US Department of Defense reported on November 3, 2022: The current conflict in Ukraine is not the worst that the U.S. should be prepared for. Around the corner, said the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, the U.S. must be prepared for much more. “This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” Navy Adm. Charles A. Richard, commander of Stratcom, said. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested a long time.”