The attack on Yemen by US, Britain and other forces is a dangerous escalation of the war in the Middle East. The attack is intended to halt the Houthi support for the people of Gaza that has taken the form of attacks on Israel-bound shipping. But as the Houthis have made clear, the attacks will not end their support for the Palestinians. The only way to stop this unfolding and escalating conflict in the Middle East, is to stop the war on Gaza: to implement an immediate and permanent ceasefire and to ensure freedom and sovereignty for Palestine, as enshrined in UN resolutions and international law.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) went into effect three years ago (on January 22, 2021) making nuclear weapons illegal under international law for the first time in history. The TPNW is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. It specifically prohibits countries from producing, testing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons. It also outlaws the transfer of the weapons and forbids signatories from allowing any nuclear explosive device to be stationed, installed or deployed in their territory.
Ominous trends continue to point the world toward global catastrophe. The war in Ukraine and the widespread and growing reliance on nuclear weapons increase the risk of nuclear escalation. China, Russia, and the United States are all spending huge sums to expand or modernize their nuclear arsenals, adding to the ever-present danger of nuclear war through mistake or miscalculation. In 2023, Earth experienced its hottest year on record, and massive floods, wildfires, and other climate-related disasters affected millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, rapid and worrisome developments in the life sciences and other disruptive technologies accelerated, while governments made only feeble efforts to control them.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) now has seventy “states parties” and two dozen governments moving to see it ratified. The Entry Into Force anniversary will be celebrated all over the world as the best means of preventing accidental or deliberate detonations of the most poisonous and overwhelmingly destructive weapons in human history. (Universalization would also end today’s regular use of nuclear weapons which are employed by nine governments the way bank robbers use a pistol: without pulling the trigger, they still get the loot. It’s no deterrence but armed robbery.)
Bangor, WA - Members of the Resist US-Led War Movement and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action were present, on January 13, at the demonstration against Trident nuclear weapons at the Bangor submarine base. Due to severe cold weather, which caused mechanical difficulties with equipment, the Main Gate at Bangor was closed. About 35 demonstrators braved the 20 degree weather and voiced their desire for a nuclear weapons-free world to drivers and passengers in backed-up traffic entering the Trigger Ave. entrance. Signs with quotations by Dr. King stated, “We Still Have a Choice Today: Nonviolent Coexistence or Violent Annihilation” and “When scientific power outruns spiritual power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”
Most of the world has watched the Israeli assault on Gaza in horror. As tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced, tens of millions of people around the world have poured onto the streets to demand an end to the violence. But a few select others have taken to the pages of our most influential media to demand an escalation of the violence and that the United States help Israel strike not just Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon but Iran as well. “I might have once favored a cease-fire with Hamas, but not now,” wrote Bush-era diplomat Dennis Ross in The New York Times, explaining that “if Hamas is perceived as winning, it will validate the group’s ideology of rejection, give leverage and momentum to Iran and its collaborators and put [our] own governments on the defensive.”
Concerns are rising for peace and sovereignty in the Pacific after strong signals from New Zealand’s new government that it wants to swiftly join the U.S.-led military alliance AUKUS. If New Zealand does join the U.S.-led military bloc it would effectively compromise the country’s long-held anti-nuclear policy, Marco De Jong, historian and co-director of the New Zealand foreign policy group Te Kuaka, told Consortium News. He said the decision would put an end to what is left of the nation’s independent foreign policy, as well as its image as an “honest broker” in a region already divided by increasing militarization.
It’s one thing to burrow beneath the ground, digging to construct a tunnel for refuge, a passage of goods, or to store weapons during a time of war. It’s quite another for a small child to use one hand to dig their way out of the rubble that has collapsed on them. Professor Mustafa Abu Sway, a professor based in Jerusalem, spoke sadly of the reality in Gaza where, he told Vatican News, “one child dies every ten minutes.” “It was not the death of a child,” he said, “but the survival of one, that made me really very, very sad.” He was speaking of a video that had emerged showing a child buried alive under rubble attempting to free herself with one hand.
As military veterans who have experienced the deadly threat of nuclear weapons from the Cuban Missile Crisis onward, as well as being distraught and outraged by what is now going on in Gaza, we must warn against the potential of a wider war in the Middle East, one that could even lead to nuclear war. The massive and relentless Israeli bombing of Gaza has been indiscriminate – if not actually targeting civilians. Over 10,000 Gazan residents have been killed to date, including at least 4,000 children. Many victims remain beneath the rubble. It is almost as if a nuclear bomb had been dropped.
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.
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.
Dropping the atomic bombs on Japan wasn't necessary, didn't save lives and did not end WWII, argues historian Peter Kuznick. On the 78th anniversary of the US dropping two atomic bombs on Japan, Truth Defence spoke to Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, based in Washington D.C. Professor Kuznick discusses how the historical record continues to be distorted to this day and what he feels the new Christopher Nolan film "Oppenheimer" gets right and wrong. Professor Kuznick is the author and co-author of numerous books including co-authoring "The Untold History of the United States" with Oliver Stone.
In the Netherlands, on the morning of August 8, ten peace and climate activists (six from the U.S., three from the Netherlands and a German doctor) entered Volkel Air Base, where about 15 U.S. nuclear bombs are stockpiled. They knelt on the runway, prayed for peace and glued down copies of Article 1 and 2 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on the runway. They were taken into custody and later released with a small fine, which no one paid. This nonviolent resistance action took place as part of an international peace camp at Volkel Air Base. The radical branches of the climate movement and the peace movement have joined together for a week of protest and action.
Eighteen years ago, as Tina Cordova read her local newspaper in the town of Tularosa, New Mexico, she noticed a letter to the editor that made her pause. It was written by the now late Fred Tyler, a fellow New Mexican, about his mother’s recent passing from cancer, after having suffered from several types over the course of her life. “I’m wondering,” Cordova recalled Tyler writing, “when we are going to hold our government accountable for the damage they did by detonating an atomic bomb in our backyard?” In south-central New Mexico, the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945.
It is very common for Western governments and media outlets to tell the rest of the world to be very afraid of North Korea and its nuclear weapons, or to fear the possibility that Iran could one day soon have nukes. But the reality is that there is only one country in human history that has used nuclear weapons against a civilian population – and not once, but twice: the United States. On the 6th and 9th of August, 1945, the US military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Around 200,000 civilians were killed. Today, nearly 80 years later, it is still very common to hear US government officials, journalists, and educators claim that Washington had no choice but to nuke Japan.