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."
Continue reading “Trump’s Ministry of No Information”
After Trump’s Sept. 23 bombast at the United Nations where he claimed the US might "have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," the propagandists in Pyongyang responded quickly, calling him a "mentally deranged dotard." During Trump’s 2017 visit to South Korea, an editorial in the Minju Joson, a state-run newspaper published in Pyongyang, said the president’s speech to the South’s parliament was a "load of rubbish spouted by the old lunatic Trump" and "was all nonsense."
"Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors," the North’s President Kim Jong-un said after Trump’s UN bomb threat.
Of course the imbecility of Trump’s speech was unprecedented rude nonsense, but his predecessors have been nearly as bloodthirsty in their overt threats against North Korea. While the White House oaf certainly speaks like a mentally deranged dotard, his threat to totally destroy a country of 25 million people is only as deranged as his predecessors in the White Houses.
Continue reading “Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction Are ‘Mentally Deranged’”
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its successful effort to establish a global treaty that bans nuclear weapons. Peace, disarmament, and civil society groups around the world celebrated the announcement and congratulated ICAN for its landmark treaty accomplishment.
In a statement, ICAN called the prize "a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth." By employing grassroots organizing and ordinary citizen diplomacy, ICAN, with 468 partner organizations from 100 countries, has permanently stigmatized nuclear weapons and their possessor governments, and helped to achieve their eventual elimination.
Continue reading “Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Abolitionists While US Conducts Nuclear War Games”
Donald Trump denounced North Korea and its president Kim Jong-un as "depraved" before the United Nations Sept. 19, saying the nation "threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of life." Of course North Korea can barely feed itself, and yet has to defend itself against an onslaught of Western hostility, UN sanctions, and ongoing US/South Korean war games which are rehearsals for an invasion of the North. It tests rockets and bombs to be sure, just as the US and its allies and adversaries do all year round. It’s big business.
Trump’s claim that North Korea is threatening is preposterous since it has no deliverable nuclear weapons at all. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said last week that North Korea is no danger to the United States. In June 2016, the Institute for Science and International Security reported that Pyongyang may have between 13 and 21 warheads. The CIA, whose job it is find hostile weapons (even where they don’t exist) says Pyongyang has at most about 21. US intelligence agencies’ combined estimates are that while it may have miniaturized a nuclear warhead, North Korea has no missile that can drop them on the United States. The Federation of American Scientists is more skeptical and estimates it has "potentially produce[d] 10-20 nuclear warheads."
Continue reading “Presidential Bomb Threats at the UN”
A series of anti-nuclear weapons actions between March and August at Air Base Büchel in Germany brought widespread media attention to the 20 US nuclear weapons still deployed there. Surprising demands for the bombs’ removal soon came from high-ranking political leaders including Germany’s foreign minister. A timeline of events between July 12 and 18, involving a Nukewatch-organized delegation of 11 US peace activists, shows how the work may have moved the officials to speak out.
July 12 – Upon its arrival, four members of the US group held a press conference in Frankfurt accompanied by Marion Küpker, international coordinator for DFG-VK – Germany’s oldest antiwar group – and organizer of the five-month peace camp. News of the unprecedented US group was reported in the daily Frankfurt Journal ("Activists from the US land in Frankfurt: Campaign against US nuclear weapons"), the online magazine FOCUS ("Nuclear fighters receive support from the US") and picked up around the country.
Continue reading “‘Top German Politicians Want US Nuclear Weapons Out’ – Did Anti-Nuclear Actions Propel Issue Into National Elections?”
A June 27 Pew Research Center poll says world opinion of the United States has plummeted since Donald Trump took office. Surveying people in 37 countries, 49 percent held a positive view of the United States, down from 65 percent at the end of 2016. Maybe we could cancel the fireworks this 4th of July considering the insensitive symbolism of vicariously enjoying war.
With the Pentagon’s rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air smashing seven majority Muslim countries – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen – negativity toward the United States is easy to understand. US drone attacks originating in Nevada, 7,200 miles from Iraq, and jet fighter-bomber strikes launched from supercarriers in the Persian Gulf are killing hundreds of frightened bystanders month after month. At least 25 civilians were killed in Mosul, Iraq on Sat., June 24 when US bombs destroyed four houses.
Continue reading “Rockets’ Red Glare and Bombs Bursting in Air”