Category: struggle against nuclear war
‘Return to sanity’: Gorbachev calls for US-Russia summit amid fears of nuclear treaty collapse Published time: 12 Oct, 2017 12:52
| October 12, 2017 | 8:21 pm | Analysis, Russia, struggle against nuclear war, USSR | No comments

https://www.rt.com/news/406472-mikhail-gorbachev-nuclear-treaty/

‘Return to sanity’: Gorbachev calls for US-Russia summit amid fears of nuclear treaty collapse

'Return to sanity': Gorbachev calls for US-Russia summit amid fears of nuclear treaty collapse
Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the treaty signed between the US and the Soviet Union on the elimination of nuclear and conventional missiles is “in jeopardy,” stressing that scrapping the 1987 deal could end in “disastrous” consequences.

“This December will mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the treaty between the Soviet Union and United States on the elimination of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles…” the former Soviet leader wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post, referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

He went on to note the merits of the deal, citing the fact that Russia and the US reported in 2015 that 80 percent of the nuclear warheads accumulated during the Cold War had been decommissioned or destroyed.

However, Gorbachev – who led the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991 – said the agreement is now “in jeopardy.”

“It has proved to be the most vulnerable link in the system of limiting and reducing weapons of mass destruction. There have been calls on both sides for scrapping the agreement,” he wrote.

Gorbachev stated that both Russia and the US have “raised issues of compliance, accusing the other of violating or circumventing the Treaty’s key provisions…”

“Relations between the two nations are in a severe crisis,” he said, noting the importance of establishing “a dialogue based on mutual respect.”

The former Soviet leader said that it is up to US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “take action,” and called on both countries to hold a summit to focus on “the problems of reducing nuclear weapons and strengthening strategic stability.” 

Once again noting the importance of the INF Treaty, Gorbachev warned that scrapping the deal could result in a collapse of the “system of nuclear arms control,” which would lead to “disastrous” consequences.

Gorbachev referred to today’s “troubled world” and said it was “disturbing” that US-Russia relations have “become a serious source of tensions and a hostage to domestic politics.” 

“It is time to return to sanity,” he wrote.

Signed at a 1987 summit meeting between Gorbachev and then-US President Ronald Reagan, the INF Treaty obligated both sides to eliminate their short- and intermediate-range missiles. It came into force on June 1, 1988.

The Treaty allowed for hundreds of nuclear-tipped missiles that were deployed in Europe to be scrapped amid the Cold War arms race.

The editorial comes just days after former US Defense Secretary William Perry warned that relations between Washington and Moscow have entered a “new Cold War,” and that current conditions could lead to global conflict.

Trump’s Mini-Nuke Plan: Idea Nuclear War Could Be Limited is ‘Clinically Insane’

 

US nuclear weapons test in Nevada in 1957

Trump’s Mini-Nuke Plan: Idea Nuclear War Could Be Limited is ‘Clinically Insane’

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The Trump administration is reviewing its options on the development and deployment of new low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. In an interview with Sputnik, renowned author and anti-nuclear activist Helen Mary Caldicott outlined what she feels is the real reason behind Washington’s new mini-nuke ambitions.

President Trump has created a panel to review Obama-era policy on the development of new nuclear weapons systems, and the prospects for creating new low-yield nukes for battlefield use, according to Politico.

In a written interview for Sputnik, Dr. Helen Caldicott, a well-known leader of the anti-nuclear movement in Australia and the United States during the Cold War, described the thinking behind the idea of a ‘limited nuclear war’ as ‘insane’.

“Of course everyone knows that once one nuclear weapon is used, it could well trigger a global nuclear war. This kind of thinking [by some military planners] is clinically insane,” she stressed.

In its story, Politico said the new low-yield nuke review was aimed at “deter[ring] Russia, North Korea and [the US’s] other potential nuclear adversaries.” Asked what she thought was the real reason behind this move, Caldicott said that “there is no real reason…except that it gives more money and business to the US weapons makers and the military-industrial complex.”In any case, the activist warned that if the US goes ahead with the creation of new tactical nukes, other nuclear powers will be sure to go along.

“The US is the model for all other countries in the world, and what the US does with its nuclear weapons policy is sure to be emulated by other nations equipped with facilities to make nuclear weapons; hence it makes nuclear war more likely,” Caldicott said.

Well-known as a passionate critic of nuclear weapons, even as a means of deterrence, Caldicott described the policy of nuclear deterrence as “a policy of nuclear madness.””The fact that we have not yet experienced nuclear extinction is a matter of sheer luck. But considering the present political situation with volatile political leaders threatening each other with nuclear weapons, I think that we are closer to nuclear annihilation than we have ever been,” Caldicott concluded.

KKE: Statement on the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

KKE: Statement on the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/kke-statement-on-dangerous-developments.html
The Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following statement regarding the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula:
 
“The KKE expresses its intense concern about the dangerous situation in the Korean Peninsular. The developments reflect the escalation of the economic and military competition and inter-imperialist contradictions in the entire Asia and Pacific region between powerful capitalist states and business interests, at an international and regional level. 

It is not the result of choices of the allegedly “crazy” leaders of the USA and North Korea, as is being deliberately cultivated by the mass media in order to conceal the real causes of the confrontation.These antagonisms between the USA, Japan, China, Russia etc. are related in particular to the new division of the markets, the exploitation of the energy resources, which are to be found in regions such as the Korean Peninsula, the South and East China Sea, the Arctic and elsewhere. All this results in the constant intensification of the dangerous arms race and even the possibility of a military conflict. The USA is also paving the way for the increase of the sales of modern armaments to Japan and South Korea, while maintaining powerful military forces (28,000 troops) and military hardware in their bases in South Korea. It is constantly conducting major military exercises with provocative scenarios for the invasion of North Korea.

It is no accident that from the very first moment, the new US administration of Trump, together with the goal of renegotiating large scale economic agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), turned its attention to this specific region, which is in the under-belly of China and Russia and is considered by China to be a region vital to its interests, as well as other regions of Asia that are on the “Silk Route”.All the above, together with USA’s large trade deficits in relation to China, influence the formation of an aggressive political line in order to defend the US monopolies.

The USA is in the dominant position amongst the capitalist states with a nuclear arsenal, which it has already used, while it is characteristic that very recently the USA, Britain and France absented themselves from negotiations for the signing of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, with the excuse that this is not compatible with the realities of the international security environment. At the same time, NATO is talking openly at its summits about the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Consequently, the USA’s entreaties about the nuclear programme of North Korea are enormously hypocritical and serve as an alibi, the moment when the USA and other capitalist states, like Britain, France, Pakistan, India etc possess nuclear weapons.
 

The USA invokes the nuclear threat from both North Korea and Iran in order to install its so-called “anti-missile shield” both in the Pacific and in Europe, while in collaboration with the EU it follows the path of overthrowing or supporting governments in line with its own interests and imposes sanctions that target the peoples. In addition, it is once again reinforcing its military presence in Afghanistan, with its attention turned towards China and also Russia. The same is also true regarding the concentration of NATO troops in the Baltic.

On its part, Russia is taking a position against these plans, which objectively serve the aim of impeding a possible response by Russia, in the instance when the USA and NATO alliance attempt a “first nuclear strike”.

The USA is utilizing the stance of North Korea to develop its own nuclear programme, to promote its geostrategic interests in the region and more generally. However, the brutal crime the USA committed 72 years ago, with the nuclear destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the long-term consequences of this crime, demonstrate that the solution is not to be found in the development of nuclear weapons. It is no accident the first workers’ state in the world, the USSR, had abandoned the first nuclear strike and played a leading role for a world without nuclear weapons.

The exacerbation of the situation in the Korean Peninsular will not change or reduce the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. This is not only because the consequences of a possible military clash, with the use of nuclear weapons indeed, will be global, but because in the final analysis we are talking about fragile inter-imperialist “balances” and a geopolitical “domino set” that is unfolding on an international level, from the Baltic, Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean to Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

This is not the first time the USA has focused on this region. It played the leading role in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, which led to over half a million dead and to the dismemberment of the country. In any case, it should not be forgotten that Greece sent troops to participate in the imperialist military intervention in Korea, with over 180 Greeks being killed and 600 wounded. This was the choice of the Greek bourgeois class and its representatives.

The Greek government, with the support of the official opposition and the other bourgeois parties, is undertaking enormous responsibilities, as it participates in and agrees with the decisions and dangerous plans of NATO, serving the interests of the local bourgeois class, as all the bourgeois governments have done up until today. It places enormous emphasis on the role of Greece in the framework of the alliance, in the name of the country’s “geostrategic enhancement”.It has just recently agreed to expand the base at Souda and other military bases and infrastructure for the operations of the USA, NATO and the EU. It continues Greece’s contribution to the enormous NATO budget and integrates the armed forces even more deeply into the imperialist plans, intensifying the competition with Turkey.

Various mass media, as well as politicians, utilize the situation around the nuclear issue related to North Korea, not only slandering the struggle of the peoples for a world without the exploitation of man by man as a whole, but also in order to prepare the ground so that our people accept a military intervention by the USA and NATO in North Korea, under the pretexts of “restoring democracy” and “dealing with weapons of mass destruction”, which were also utilized in other imperialist interventions, such as in Iraq. The KKE supports the position that it is exclusively a matter for the people of each country to decide on the economic, social and political regime they will have, and also whether they will change it, through their own organization and struggle.

The developments impose vigilance, the intensification of internationalist solidarity and the strengthening of the struggle against the imperialist interventions and wars, against nuclear weapons. This struggle is integrally linked to the struggle for bread and wages, against capital and its governments, whatever shade of bourgeois government they may be. It is linked to the struggle against the imperialist unions, like NATO, the EU, as well as against others in Asia and elsewhere, against the capitalist system of exploitation and the power of capital, which, as history has shown, does not hesitate to commit all kinds of crimes against the peoples in order to overcome the sharpening contradictions and major problems, in order to achieve its goals and to safeguard its dominance.”

12.09.2017.

KKE: Statement on the 72 years since the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Sunday, August 6, 2017

KKE: Statement on the 72 years since the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/kke-statement-on-72-years-since.html
On the occasion of the 72 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued the following statement:
 
“This year marks the 72nd anniversary since the U.S. imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an act which did not serve any military need against the- already defeated- Japan, but the intimidation of the people, of the Soviet Union and the then rising socialist system and communist movement. Thousands of people lost their lives from the dropping of the atomic bombs, while thousands continue dying every year as a result of radioactivity’s consequences. 
Today, 72 years later, the people continue facing the most repulsive product of capitalist barbarity, the imperialist war. The sharpening of the antagonisms between states and monopolies, for the distribution of markets and energy resources, across the world and especially in our region, consist the cause of military interventions, of the dozens local and regional wars, of borders’ redrawing, with the people being the victims and thousands of refugees and uprooted ones. They increase the risk of a generalized imperialist war. They confirm the need for the workers-people’s movement to be firmly in the direction of the struggle against imperialist war and its causes. 
 
All the above prove how fake and misleading is the argument of the SYRIZA-ANEL government that Greece consists “an ‘islet’ of securityand stability” in a burning region. And all these when the current government, like the previous ones, willingly and actively participates in all the dangerous plans of the USA, NATO, EU in the region. The government has legitimized NATO’s presence in the Aegean, expands NATO’s bases in Greece and has supported all NATO’s decisions which, within the context of competion especially with Russia, move towards actions that can cause a real holocaust to the people of Europe and general. 
 
Capitalism cannot be humanited, it can neither give solutions to the basic problems of the people nor secure peace for the people. The imperialist wars will exist as long as the power is in the hands of the capitalists.
 
For that reason, the struggle for disengagement from NATO and all the imperialist organisations, the struggle for the defense of the country’s borders and sovereign rights, for the disengagement from imperialist wars and interventions, is inseparable from the struggle for the overthrow of the capital’s power, with the sovereign peoples and their power. 
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
 
* On the 72nd anniversary of the imperialist crime in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Greek Committee of International Detente and Peace (EEDYE) organises in Athens an event in honor of the victims, Tuesday 8 August 2017, at 8 pm at the Acropolis. A similar political event will take place in Thessaloniki, also on Tuesday 8/8. 
Nuclear Strike Would Be ‘As Grave a War Crime as It is Possible to Conceive’
| June 29, 2017 | 8:26 pm | Analysis, struggle against nuclear war, UK | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201706291055094146-uk-lawsuit-on-use-of-nukes/

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Nuclear Strike Would Be ‘As Grave a War Crime as It is Possible to Conceive’

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Britain’s Attorney General is looking into an indictment brought forth against Prime Minister Theresa May by a group of peace activists over her government’s plans to use the UK’s Trident nuclear arsenal in the event of war. Speaking to Sputnik, Public Interest Case Against Trident (PICAT) organizer Robert Manson laid out the group’s case.

An alliance of nearly four hundred activists under the PICAT banner has presented the Attorney General’s Office with an indictment against Prime Minister May and Defense Secretary Michael Fallon amid statements by the officials regarding their readiness to use nuclear weapons, including on a first strike basis.

PICAT says the statements indicate planning for “indiscriminate mass slaughter,” which they say is a violation of section 51(1) of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 on war crimes and crimes against humanity, and section 1 of the UK Criminal Law Act 1977 on conspiracy to commit such crimes.The case now needs to be approved by the Attorney General’s Office in order to proceed.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik, PICAT organizer and retired solicitor Robert Manson laid out the basis for the group’s case.

According to Manson, the unlawful nature of the government’s position stems from the fact that it proposes “the indiscriminate mass slaughter of countless of millions of innocent civilian Muscovite citizens.”

Use of nuclear weapons, he added, would amount to “the blasting to death of the elderly, incineration of the children, the lethal irradiation of mothers who are with child, and of course the radiogenomic malformation of generations as yet to come.”

“This is as grave a war crime as it is possible to conceive if committed,” Manson stressed.

Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland
© AFP 2017/ Andy Buchanan
Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland

The activist admitted that it is unlikely that the Attorney General’s Office will allow for legal action to be brought forth against the top government officials. “He is bound to reject it. There is simply no prospect of a government-appointed law officer in this country with the independence of mind and the judicial objectivity to consent to a trial of our long-standing national nuclear defense strategy.”

Nevertheless, Manson emphasized that the group would fight to contest the decision if their case was dismissed without explanation. The rejection would have to be “made on legal grounds, and not on political grounds, and he must be tested to come up with such valid legal grounds,” the activist said. “If successful on a matter of law, our challenge would force the UK government to petition our parliament in London to change that law in order to exempt nuclear weapons.”

Asked how long he expected the appeal to the Attorney General to last, Manson explained that the anti-nuclear campaigners had made the application for the Attorney General’s consent to prosecute last January, and that they are still awaiting a formal response. “If we don’t receive a response in the next few days or weeks, we’ll have no alternative but to go to court and challenge him simply for his delay,” the activist said.

Finally, asked what implications the UK would face if May and Fallon were prosecuted, Manson emphasized that “the political implications of such an unimaginable litigation would of course be unparalleled in the constitutional history of our country since King Charles II was tried for treason after the English Civil War. Under the relevant statute, the sentence for such a crime is imprisonment up to life.”

Ultimately, the activist lamented that “the country is nowhere near as informed as it ought to be” when it comes to PICAT’s case. “The popular media, newspapers, and television simply aren’t interested in the subject matter. When approached, they choose not to believe such a contention is possibly valid. Labour, the principle opposition party in London, continues to be hopelessly divided over the merit of our nuclear weapons defense policy. Many, probably most leading legal minds remain utterly wedded to the concept of our national survival being dependent on our ability and preparedness to realistically threaten mass omnicide, especially of the innocents of Moscow,” Manson concluded.

China’s Xi urges restraint during Trump call as ‘USS Carl Vinson’ heads for Korean waters

https://www.rt.com/news/385941-china-restraint-trump-north-korea/

China’s Xi urges restraint during Trump call as ‘USS Carl Vinson’ heads for Korean waters
The Chinese president called for all sides to exercise restraint during a phone call with US leader Donald Trump on the issue of Pyongyang. It came as North Korean state media warned the US of “catastrophic consequences” of its deployment of the ‘USS Carl Vinson.’

President Xi Jinping told Trump during the call that China strongly opposes North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to CCTV.

He also said that Beijing opposes any actions that run counter to UN Security Council resolutions, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, as cited by Reuters.

Xi added that Beijing “hopes that all relevant sides exercise restraint, and avoid doing anything to worsen the tense situation on the peninsula,” the ministry said, paraphrasing the president.

The Chinese leader said the nuclear issue can only be resolved quickly if all relevant countries are pulling in the same direction, adding that Beijing is willing to work with all parties – including the US – to ensure peace.

Commenting on the call between the two leaders, the White House said Monday that Trump criticized North Korea’s “belligerence” and “destabilizing” actions during the conversation.

It went on to state that Trump and Xi reaffirmed the urgency of the perceived threats posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs during the call, and committed to stronger coordination between Washington and Beijing.

The phone call between the two leaders comes as Trump continues to press Xi to exert greater pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program. China is North Korea’s main economic lifeline and sole major ally.

Trump has long criticized China when it comes to Pyongyang, stating earlier this month that the US will “solve the problem” of North Korea with or without Beijing’s help. The president has warned that all options are on the table when it comes to dealing with Pyongyang, including a military strike.

The US president has, however, recently praised China’s efforts to rein in the “menace of North Korea.”

Despite being an ally to the North, China has been recently angered by its nuclear and missile programs, and is frustrated by Pyongyang’s belligerence on the world stage.

The Monday call took place amid speculation that Pyongyang could be planning to hold a sixth nuclear test this week.

‘Catastrophic consequences’

As the ‘USS Carl Vinson’ moves closer towards Pyongyang, a commentary in Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ party, called the aircraft carrier’s deployment “an extremely dangerous act by those who plan a nuclear war to invade.”

“The United States should not run amok and should consider carefully any catastrophic consequence from its foolish military provocative act,” the commentary said.

“What’s only laid for aggressors is dead bodies,” it continued.

It comes just one day after a commentary in the same paper said that North Korea is ready to illustrate its “military force” by sinking the “nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike.”

The ‘Carl Vinson’ was deployed to the waters off the Korean Peninsula in response to mounting concern over the North’s nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the US and its Asian allies.

Although Washington has not specified where the vessel is as it approaches the area, US Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday that it would “arrive in days.”

Two Japanese destroyers have joined the carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific, according to Reuters. South Korea has also said it is in talks about holding joint naval exercises.

Trump also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday, as the two countries participate in the joint exercises. Abe told reporters that the two sides “agreed to strongly demand that North Korea, which is repeating its provocation, show restraint.”

As Battle of Words Rages, Threat of Nuclear ‘Accident’ on the Rise
Nuclear explosion

As Battle of Words Rages, Threat of Nuclear ‘Accident’ on the Rise

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As the Pentagon is set to begin a review that will determine the future of the US’ nuclear weapons program, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNDR) warns that mixed signals sent on a technologically crowded modern battlefield increase the likelihood of a nuclear accident.

“A greater reliance on automated systems can lead to misplaced confidence while introducing new points of vulnerability,” the report reads, explaining that “hidden interactions” between the drones, satellites, networks and sensors that now make up the military landscape could lead to catastrophic misunderstandings.

Such an incident nearly unfolded in 1983 when a Soviet nuclear early warning system detected five missiles headed toward Moscow, ostensibly launched from the US. The man in charge of informing Soviet authorities of an attack, Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, reasoned that the system must have malfunctioned, as it wouldn’t make sense for the US to conduct an attack that would all but guarantee retaliation. Luckily, Petrov was correct, Defense One reported.

Today, the UN report’s authors write, “The complex interactions and tightly coupled systems linked to nuclear arsenals (like those for early warning, and launch command and control) have made ‘accidental war more likely.'”

More nuclear nations, and more nukes in those nations, exacerbates the risk. Washington, for instance, is planning to develop a nuclear cruise missile — a long-range standoff weapon (LRSO) that can be fired from a fighter jet — and is considering developing remote-controlled nuclear-armed drones.

In the report, Russian arms expert Pavel Podvig wrote, “The spread of other systems, such as cruise missiles and drones, and their increasingly frequent use in military conflicts can also add to the complexity of the situation, as can the development of capabilities to detect missiles.”

Podvig also noted that “The intensity of interactions between the United States and Russian militaries, although lower than during the height of the Cold War, does not show signs of decreasing.”

US President Donald Trump, who mandated the arsenal review in a late January memo, recently told reporters, “We’re not getting along with Russia at all … we may be at an all-time low.”

In the memo Trump called for a review to assess “readiness, conditions, including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization, and infrastructure,” adding that, “The Secretary shall initiate a new Ballistic Missile Defense Review to identify ways of strengthening missile-defense capabilities, rebalancing homeland and theater defense priorities, and highlighting priority funding areas.”