NATO’s Steadfast Noon Is Ready-Made Doom

On October 16, during the NATO-supplied, nuclear-armed hot war in Ukraine, the alliance began its annual nuclear attack rehearsal dubbed “Steadfast Noon.” This practice involves air forces from 13 countries, the “exercising” of fighter jets and U.S. B-52s, lasts until October 26, and will be roaring over Italy, Croatia and the eastern Mediterranean — not far from two aircraft carrier battle groups charging toward the war over the Gaza Strip.

A hundred people joined an October 13 protest outside Germany’s Nörvenich Air Base calling for cancellation of the rehearsal, to no avail.

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Second US Citizen Headed to German Prison for Anti-Nuclear Weapons Actions

While dread of nuclear war between Russia and NATO states over Ukraine have reached new heights, especially in Europe, a second U.S. citizen has been ordered to serve prison time in Germany for protest actions demanding that US nuclear bombs stationed at Germany’s Büchel NATO base, southeast of Cologne, be withdrawn.

Dennis DuVall, 81, member of Veterans for Peace, US Air Force veteran of the war in Vietnam, and veteran anti-nuclear activist, is to report to the federal prison in Bautzen, Germany, 32 miles east of Dresden (JVA Bautzen, Breitscheid Str. 4, 02625 Bautzen, Germany), on Thursday March 23 to begin a 60-day sentence.

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Hypocrisies and Successes at UN Meeting To Ban Nuclear Weapons

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been ratified by 65 governments, known in diplomatic circles as States Parties. The treaty’s first Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) concluded here June 23, after painstakingly working out – in the words of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – "a blueprint for the end of nuclear weapons." The new Treaty is the extraordinary, crowning achievement of ICAN, which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts.

At 1MSP, The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – all three of whom use U.S. nuclear weapons on their air force bases – participated as Observer States. The three have not ratified the TPNW, having acquiesced with a string of US administrations – Obama’s, Trump’s, and Biden’s – that conspired at every opportunity to derail, prevent, delay, weaken, and boycott the new ban – in spite of broad public support for nuclear disarmament. Mr. Trump demanded that States Parties withdraw their ratifications. None did. Biden’s White House reportedly urged Japan not to attend the 1MSP as an Observer, and they stayed away.

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Russia Can Get In Line: Investigate US Atrocities First

Before the International Criminal Court is asked to confront the criminal outrages currently being committed by Putin’s forces in Ukraine, there are scores of alleged U.S. war crimes to be investigated.

In view of the relentlessness of US wars and the outpouring of legitimate, agonized of grief for civilian victims of Russia’s illegal war, an updated compilation is in order.

The US military has a long record of apparent atrocities during its attacks and its unprovoked wars of aggression or occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Yugoslavia and elsewhere. Like Russia in Ukraine today, the crimes include bombing hospitals, desecrating corpses, attacks on civilians and civilian objects, attacking allied troops, torturing and executing prisoners, and using banned cluster bombs.

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US and NATO Nuclear Lunacy Still Raving

While Civil Society and a global movement work steadfastly across dozens of fields for the abolition of nuclear weapons, planning, preparations, and rehearsals for attacks using deployed H-bombs and nuclear missiles are routine in the US military and NATO. Two years ago, the US Joint Chief of Staff published online, then quickly deleted, its thermonuclear mass destruction titled "Nuclear Operations, Joint Publication 3-72."

Before the Joint Chiefs took it down, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists managed to preserve a copy. The manual relies on abstractions and euphemism to depict the unthinkable. It says, "The employment of nuclear weapons could have a significant influence on ground operations." Of course "employment" means detonation, and "significant influence" means searing fireballs, vaporized victims, blast and shock-wave devastation, demolished hospitals and schools, vast firestorms, and permanent radioactive contamination of water, soil, and the food chain.

The manual explains that nuclear attacks create "conditions" without describing them. It says, "Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability." Then, as if US presidents had never said, "Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," the report pretends it can and should. "[T]he use of a nuclear weapon will…create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict."

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Trump’s Ministry of No Information

The Trump administration has halted, without explanation, the routine practice of reporting the current number of nuclear weapons in the US arsenal, the AP and United Press International report. The new secrecy will make it nearly impossible to estimate the true cost of nuclear weapons, to show adherence to arms control treaties, or to pressure others nuclear weapons states to disclose the size of their arsenals.

The secrecy decision was revealed in an April 5 letter from the Department of Energy’s Office of Classification to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Hans M. Kristensen, director of the group’s Nuclear Information Project, said the FAS regularly asks for the information and that it’s been made public for decades.

"The decision walks back nearly a decade of US nuclear weapons transparency policy-in fact, longer if including stockpile transparency initiatives in the late 1990s," Kristensen wrote in an April 17 memo, according to the AP.

There is no national security rationale for keeping the number secret, Kristensen told the AP, adding that it is "unnecessary and counterproductive."

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