Activists Challenge US Nukes In Germany

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By John LaForge for CounterPunch. Buchel, Germany – The fairy tale that nuclear weapons provide state security is a fiction believed by millions. On July 17, five of us proved that state guarantees of “highly secure” nuclear weapon facilities are just as fictitious. After nightfall, an international group of five peace activists, me included, got deep inside the Büchel Air Base here, and for the first time in a 21-year long series of protests against its deployment of US nuclear bombs, we occupied the top of one of the large bunkers potentially used for storing nuclear weapons. The US still deploys up to 20 B61 gravity bombs at the air base and German pilots train to use them in war from their Tornado jet fighter bombers.

U.S. Citizens Take Action Against U.S. Nuclear Bombs In Europe

by Bonnie Urfer

By Ralph Hutchison for The Nuclear Resister – A delegation of eleven U.S. citizens joined with activists from China, Russia, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, Belgium and Britain at a peace encampment at the German airbase in Büchel, Germany, where U.S. B61 bombs are deployed. On Sunday, July 16, following the celebration of a Christian liturgy, Dutch and U.S. citizens removed the fence blocking the main entrance to the airbase and proceeded on site, the Dutch delegation carrying bread for a “Bread Not Bombs” action and the U.S. delegation carrying the text of the Nuclear Ban Treaty passed on July 7 at the United Nations in New York City. More than thirty activists entered the site without incident, passing through the security gate that was accidentally left unlocked and unstaffed. The Dutch delegation placed loaves of bread on the wings of jet fighters; the U.S. delegation lowered the U.S. flag from the flagpole, requested a meeting with the base commander, and read the text of the U.N. Treaty to soldiers at the base. After forty-five minutes, guards ran to seal the gates and police were summoned. Eventually, all activists were expelled from the facility without being charged. On Monday, July 17, activists woke to find themselves prisoners in the peace camp as those attempting to approach the base with banners were rebuffed by police. More than a dozen police vans ringed the roundabout at the gate.

U.S., UK And France Denounce Nuclear Ban Treaty

By MAPW Australia | CC BY 2.0

By David Krieger for Counter Punch – The U.S., UK and France have never shown enthusiasm for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons. It is not surprising, therefore, that they did not participate in the United Nations negotiations leading to the recent adoption of the nuclear ban treaty, or that they joined together in expressing their outright defiance of the newly-adopted treaty. In a joint press statement, issued on July 7, 2017, the day the treaty was adopted, the U.S., UK and France stated, “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.” Seriously? Rather than supporting the countries that came together and hammered out the treaty, the three countries argued: “This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment.” Rather than taking a leadership role in the negotiations, they protested the talks and the resulting treaty banning nuclear weapons. They chose hubris over wisdom, might over right. They based their opposition on their belief that the treaty is “incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years.”

North Korea Tested Mid-Range Missile, Not ICBM

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By Russia Today. The evidence, compiled by the Russian Defense Ministry, was sent to the UN after a fierce Security Council debate over North Korea’s missile launch earlier this week, in which the UN’s assistant secretary-general backed the US assessment that the Hwasong-14 missile does, indeed, possess the technical characteristics to be called an ICBM. “According to these parameters, the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 kilometers [4,163 miles] if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) according to a widely used definition,” the UN official said on Wednesday. Based on North Korea’s claim and the Pentagon’s assessment that the rocket poses a new level of threat to the US and the region, the US ambassador to the UN dedicated the entire UNSC meeting to scrambling together a new set of sanctions to impose on Pyongyang. The Pentagon failed to share its own tracking data, however.

North Korea Does Not Threaten World Peace, The US Does

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By William Boardman for Reader Supported News. President Donald Trump is 71 and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is 27, but if they ever met, would there be a grown-up in the room? One of them knows full well that North Korea is not a threat to world peace and is not even a serious threat to South Korea. The one who knows that is not Donald Trump. Or if he does know it, he’s choosing to inflate the North Korean “threat” even more than some of his predecessors. But wait, didn’t North Korea just fire a missile in the general direction of the United States? Yes indeed, and like every other North Korean missile (except the ones that blew up on launch), it hit smack dab in the Sea of Japan, unpleasantly for aquatic life but a danger to no one else. This is, after all, exactly what the US does periodically to the Pacific Ocean from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, generally causing yawns around the world.

The United Nations Prohibits Nuclear Weapons

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By Staff of ICAN – On 7 July 2017, the United Nations adopted a landmark agreement to ban nuclear weapons, known officially as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Here we answer some frequently asked questions about how the treaty will operate. + What activities does the treaty prohibit? The treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of those activities. In addition, nations must not allow nuclear weapons to be stationed or deployed on their territory. + Is the treaty legally binding? Yes. The treaty is legally binding on those nations that join it. + How many nations must join before it enters into force? Fifty nations must sign and ratify the treaty before it can enter into legal force. Signing is a relatively simple act performed by the executive branch of a government. Ratifying typically involves a legislative process. Once the treaty has entered force, further nations can join it at any stage.

The Real Reason Washington Is Worried About North Korea’s ICBM Test

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By Stephen Gowans for What’s Left – A number of countries have recently tested ballistic or cruise missiles and a handful, not least Russia and China, possess nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States. And yet the missiles and nuclear weapons program of only one of these countries, North Korea, arouses consternation in Washington. What makes tiny North Korea, within its miniscule defense budget, and rudimentary nuclear arsenal and missile capability, a threat so menacing that “worry has spread in Washington and the United Nations”? [1] “The truth,” it has been said, “is often buried on the front page of The New York Times.” [2] This is no less true of the real reason Washington frets about North Korea’s missile tests. In a July 4, 2017 article titled “What can Trump do about North Korea? His options are few and risky,” reporter David E. Sanger, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the unofficial think-tank of the US State Department, reveals why Washington is alarmed by North Korea’s recent test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. “The fear,” writes Sanger, “is not that [North Korean leader] Mr. Kim would launch a pre-emptive attack on the West Coast; that would be suicidal, and if the North’s 33-year-old leader has demonstrated anything in his five years in office, he is all about survival.”

First Cross Border Anti-Nuclear Action

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By the Intermountain West Uranium Summit. ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Intermountain West Uranium Summit participants are inviting affinity groups everywhere to take part on July 15-16 in our first Cross-Border AntiNuclear Action (CBAN), commemorating the anniversary of the largest radioactive accident in U.S. history and the explosion of the first atomic bomb. Members are holding events in our locales to raise awareness that the entire nuclear industry, from cradle to grave, is one deadly chain. Beginning with extraction of uranium, proceeding to refinement of yellow cake, through transportation on public routes, operation of nuclear power plants, and weapons manufacture, to waste disposal issues, the nuclear process releases lethal radiation to air, land and water. It history is fraught with accidents, illness and threats to life on earth. It must stop before it kills more humans and other living things.

Women March Around The World To Demand Nuclear Disarmament

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By the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The Women’s March to Ban the Bomb took place as around 130 governments resumed negotiations in the United Nations on a ground breaking new treaty that will ban nuclear weapons. When adopted, such a treaty will make it illegal for any signatory country to possess nuclear weapons and will impose economic, legal, political, and social barriers to nuclear weapon possession. It will further stigmatize nuclear weapons and help compel their elimination. “The sufferings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continued through generations. It is time for the governments to listen to the voices of women calling for elimination of nuclear weapons, and this is why you will find us on the streets today” stated Kozue Akibayashi, the President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), which is hosting the march.

Ban Nuclear Weapons? We Need To Ban U.S. Arrogance

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By Diana Johnstone for CounterPunch. The nuclear war peril is manmade, and some of the men who made it can even be named, such as James Byrnes, Harry Truman and General Lester Groves. The United States government consciously and deliberately created this danger to human life on earth. Faced with the United States’ demonstrated capacity and moral readiness to wipe out whole cities with their devices, other countries built their own deadly devices as deterrents. Those deterrents have never been used, which lulls the public into believing the danger is past. But the United States, the only power already guilty of nuclear manslaughter, continues to perfect its nuclear arsenal and to proclaim its “right” to launch a “first strike” whenever it chooses. The United States naturally calls for boycotting the nuclear arms ban conference.

No Nukes, No Wars, No Walls, No Warning

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By Mike Bass for Peace and Planet – A conference making the links between nuclear abolition, social and economic justice and moving the global economy to a path in balance with the planet’s ecosystems. The process that initiated negotiations for a ban on nuclear weapons has raised awareness of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons. But despite growing mobilizations for social and economic justice and moving the global economy to a path in balance with the planet’s ecosystems, in the nuclear-armed states there still are no significant movements for the elimination of nuclear weapons. To build a global movement to abolish nuclear weapons, we must also better understand and raise public awareness of the renewed danger that nuclear weapons could be used in warfare. And if this movement is to garner enough power to be successful, it must make common cause with those working for a world that is more fair, more democratic, and more ecologically sustainable.

Block NATO 2017: 140 Arrests

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By Staff for Blockade NATO 2017. One hundred and fifty nonviolent activists, amongst whom are activists from Agir pour la Paix, are currently disturbing the access to the NATO Summit through direct non violent actions. The summit is taking place in Brussels’ brand new headquarters. Their aim is to make themselves visible to the delegations on their way to the summit. Through their radical, direct and nonviolent actions, they want to get across with conviction that NATO is actually a war machine, and that far from ensuring peace and security in the world, it only reinforces its instability through the threat of the use of nuclear arms.

Time To Ban The Bomb

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By Alice Slater for World Beyond War – This week, the Chair of an exciting UN initiative formally named the “United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination” released a draft treaty to ban and prohibit nuclear weapons just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. The Ban Treaty is to be negotiated at the UN from June 15 to July 7 as a follow up to the one week of negotiations that took place this past March, attended by more than 130 governments interacting with civil society. Their input and suggestions were used by the Chair, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the UN, Elayne Whyte Gómez to prepare the draft treaty. It is expected that the world will finally come out of this meeting with a treaty to ban the bomb! This negotiating conference was established after a series of meetings in Norway, Mexico, and Austria with governments and civil society to examine the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. The meetings were inspired by the leadership and urging of the International Red Cross to look at the horror of nuclear weapons…

Nuclear Double Standards: All Nuclear Weapon Tests Send The Same Message

Flickr/ Steve Snodgrass

By Andrew Lichterman for Truth Out – Although such tests are conducted routinely, the timing of this one may not coincidental; the U.S. military sees nuclear delivery system tests as “distinct messaging opportunities”. U.S. Air Force, Doctrine Annex 3-72, Nuclear Operations, May 2015. Regardless of the timing, it is clear that the message intended for North Korea (and the rest of the world) is that the United States has nuclear weapons, and is prepared to use them. In the past, U.S. officials have said so outright. Prior to a similar test in early 2016, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters “That’s exactly why we do this… We and the Russians and the Chinese routinely do test shots to prove that the operational missiles that we have are reliable. And that is a signal … that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons in defense of our country if necessary.” David Alexander, “U.S. test-fires ICBM amid tensions with Russia, North Korea,” Reuters, Feb 26, 2016. It also is hard to see the difference between the intentions behind North Korea’s displays of its nuclear and missile capabilities and those of the United States—aside from the fact North Korea has far more to fear, given that the United States has military and nuclear forces that far exceed those of North Korea, and that are exercised frequently close to North Korea’s shores.

Why So Little Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?

Anti-War/Anti-Nuclear War Protest, May 1, 2005, New York City

By Lawrence S. Wittner for the LA Progressive. The response to the possibility of nuclear was is remarkably subdued. People read about the situation in newspapers or watch it on the television news, while comedians joke about the madness of it all. Oh, yes, peace and disarmament organizations condemn the escalating military confrontation and outline reasonable diplomatic alternatives. But such organizations are unable to mobilize the vast numbers of people around the world necessary to shake some sense into these overwrought government officials. The situation was very different in the 1980s, when organizations like the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign (in the United States), the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (in Britain), and similar groups around the world were able to engage millions of people in protest against the nuclear recklessness of the U.S. and Soviet governments―protest that played a key role in curbing the nuclear arms race and preventing nuclear war. So why is there so little public protest today?