Celebrating for Nothing (Revelation 15)

https://i2.wp.com/leftopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Nuclear-powers-rebuked-as-122-nations-adopt-U.N.-ban-696x365.jpgCelebration as UN adopts historic nuclear weapons ban
Tim Wright
For more than seven decades, the international community has grappled with the threat of nuclear weapons. At the United Nations on Friday, July 7th, the vast majority of the world’s governments made clear their total rejection of these abhorrent devices, concluding a treaty to prohibit them, categorically, for all time. It was a moment of great historical significance.
Prolonged applause broke out as the president of the negotiating conference, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, gavelled through the landmark accord. “We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons,” she said. Diplomats and campaigners who had worked tirelessly over many years to make the treaty a reality embraced in celebration of the extraordinary achievement.
Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and long-time champion of disarmament, became overwhelmed with emotion as she welcomed the formal adoption of the treaty, backed by 122 nations. She asked delegates to pause to feel the witness of those who perished in 1945 or died later from radiation-related illnesses. She was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when hell descended on earth.
“Each person who died had a name. Each person was loved by someone,” she told the crowded conference room. “I’ve been waiting for this day for seven decades, and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived. This is the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.” She urged nations never to return to the failed policy of nuclear deterrence, and never to return to funding nuclear violence instead of meeting human needs.
The treaty recognizes the harm suffered both from nuclear weapons use and the two-thousand-plus nuclear test explosions that have been conducted across the globe since 1945. It obliges nations to provide assistance to the victims of these heinous acts. Its overriding mission, as reflected in the preamble, is to ensure that no one else ever suffers as they have.
Abacca Anjain-Maddison, from the Marshall Islands—a Pacific nation devastated by US nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s—delivered a powerful closing statement on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, whose 400 non-governmental organizations in 100 nations worked for more than a decade to bring about the treaty.
“The adoption of this landmark agreement today fills us with hope that the mistakes of the past will never be repeated,” she said, emphasizing the special meaning that it has for those who have suffered nuclear harm. “The international community has at last acknowledged what we have always known: that nuclear weapons are abhorrent and immoral.”
Governments, too, delivered impassioned statements in celebration of the treaty’s adoption. Among them was South Africa, which played a pivotal role during the negotiations and is the only nation to have built a nuclear arsenal before eliminating it completely. “Working hand in hand with civil society, [we] took an extraordinary step [today] to save humanity from the frightful specter of nuclear weapons,” its ambassador, Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, said. “For us, as a country, it was a duty to vote ‘yes’ for this treaty … to have voted ‘no’ would have been a slap in the face to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
One nation participating in ban negotations, the Netherlands—which hosts US nuclear weapons on its territory—did opt to vote against the treaty. Its government opposes meaningful disarmament efforts, despite overwhelming public support.
All nine nuclear-armed nations boycotted the negotiations, and therefore were absent for the vote. Some had exerted great pressure on other nations not to participate. But ultimately they failed to thwart the process. The commitment and resolve of the international community to declare nuclear weapons illegal was evident from the beginning of negotiations.
The treaty prohibits its state parties 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, and they must not permit nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.
A nation that possesses nuclear weapons may join the treaty, so long as it agrees to remove them from operational status immediately and destroy them in accordance with a legally binding, time-bound plan. One that hosts another nation’s nuclear weapons on its territory may also join the treaty on condition that it will remove them by a specified deadline.
The treaty will open for signature in New York on September 20th, when world leaders meet for the annual opening of the UN General Assembly. “If you love this planet, you will sign this treaty,” said Setsuko Thurlow. Fifty nations will need to ratify it before it can enter into full legal force. Much work will then be needed to ensure that it is implemented and becomes universal.
With close to 15,000 nuclear weapons remaining in the world—and efforts underway in all nuclear-armed nations to bolster their arsenals—the ultimate goal of eliminating this paramount threat to humanity is far from being realized. But now, the United Nations has established the foundations for making a nuclear-weapon-free world possible.
The treaty establishes a powerful norm that, many expect, will prove transformative. It closes a major gap in international law. Nuclear weapons—like other indiscriminate weapons, including biological and chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions—are now categorically and permanently banned.
This post is part of Ban Brief, a series of updates on the historic 2017 negotiations to create a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Ban Brief is written by Tim Wright, Asia-Pacific director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Ray Acheson, director of Reaching Critical Will.

Too Little Too Late (Revelation 15)

More than 120 nations adopted the first international treaty banning nuclear weapons on Friday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The initiative—led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and New Zealand—was approved by 122 votes, with only the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining. The nine countries generally recognized as possessing nuclear weapons—the U.S., Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel—were noticeably absent from the negotiations, as were most members of NATO.
Despite being a victim of atomic attacks in 1945, Japan also boycotted the meeting. Nevertheless, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki informed Friday’s dialogue—and the conversation thereafter. “It’s been seven decades since the world knew the power of destruction of nuclear weapons,” the president of the UN conference, Elayne Whyte Gómez, told The Guardian. The agreement, she added, “is a very clear statement that the international community wants to move to a completely different security paradigm that does not include nuclear weapons.”
Friday’s ten-page treaty is extensive in its demands, prohibiting signatories from developing, testing, manufacturing, possessing, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Nations are also prohibited from transferring nuclear weapons to one another. Having now been approved by the UN, the treaty will be open for signatures on September 20, at which point it will need to be ratified by 50 states before entering into international law.The major obstacle, of course, is that many prominent members of the international community—and their allies—remain vocally opposed. In a joint statement on Friday, the UN ambassadors for the U.S., Britain, and France said they had no intention of joining the treaty, arguing that it “clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment.” Of particular concern, they said, was the fact that the treaty failed to address of the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Earlier this week, North Korea claimed to have tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say may be capable of striking Hawaii and Alaska. The nation has also conducted five nuclear tests since 2006—and could be preparing for its sixth.Rather than ban nuclear weapons and risk vulnerability to a North Korean attack, the U.S., Britain, and France hope to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which provides nations other than the five original nuclear powers—the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China—from pursuing nuclear programs. In exchange, the five powers have pledged to make steps toward nuclear disarmament and give non-nuclear states access to nuclear technology for producing energy. But many nations have criticized the NPT for failing to elicit a speedy disarmament. At the very least, Friday’s treaty introduces the concept of a nuclear-free world, and could even put pressure on nuclear powers to adopt a new set of standards. “The key thing is that it changes the legal landscape,” Richard Moyes, the managing director of Article 36, a U.K.-based organization that aims to prevent harm caused by nuclear weapons, told Agence France-Presse. As Moyes sees it, the newly-approved treaty “stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal.”

World War 3 Will Soon Happen (Revelation 15)

Donald Trump’s attack on the Syrian regime could be viewed as a direct affront to Moscow
Could World War 3 actually happen? How chemical warfare and nuclear weapons could lead to a global conflict

By Neal Baker, Tom Gillespie and Mark Hodge
Tensions between the US, Russia, China and North Korea continue to escalate
TENSIONS between the US, Russia, China and North Korea continue to escalate, with each power refusing to back down.

And after Kim Jong-un tested the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile – are these signs of an outbreak of World War 3?
Tensions between US, Russia, China and North Korea are increasing.
Kim Jong-un laughed as he fired North Korea’s first ICBM declaring it was a special “gift for American b******s” on July 4 – the nation’s Independence Day.
It launched the Hwasong-14 – said to be capable of hitting the US – as Donald Trump warned of “severe consequences” for his “bad behaviour”.
Prior to that, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests in 2016 alone, defying six UN Security Council resolutions banning any testing.
And this year, one of the nation’s additional missile tests failed when it blew up soon after launching.
The secretive country has shown no signs of slowing down, warning that it is ready for “full out war”.
It has even warned that it would be a “piece of cake” to nuke Japan – and that anyone supporting their detractors would also be in the firing line.
The hermit state has threatened that “nuclear war could break out at any moment”, but most experts believe it would not launch an attack as it would not survive a revenge strike by the US.
Paranoid Kim Jong-un has even dubbed America’s leaders a bunch of “rats sneaking around in the dark” amid claims the CIA plotted to wipe him out.
The tyrannical country has threatened the US with a “full-scale” nuclear war and claims the superpower is running scared of Kim Jong-un’s missiles.
Russia, along with China, is said to have sent a spy ship to the area to ward off the task force amid rising tensions in the region.
And Putin urged the US to show “restraint”.
There was a time when it seemed like the prospect of war with the likes of Russia and China had disappeared with the end of the Cold War.
But tense relationships between the world’s major military players means the outbreak of another global conflict has been raised higher than ever before.

Kim Jong-un

Russia and America’s involvement in the war in Syria has created a situation where the two nations’ planes are reportedly flying dangerously close to each other on bombing runs.
Putin threatened in June to shoot down all RAF and US jets in western Syria in retaliation for a US Navy fighter downing a Syrian plane.
If World War Three does kick off it seems the Russians could have something to do with it.
But it is more likely that if it ever did happen, it would be sparked hundreds of miles away from Syria.
One expert claimed Latvia will be Ground Zero — the country where the next global conflict will begin.
Professor Paul D Miller of the National Defence University in Washington DC — who predicted the invasion of Crimea and the Ukraine conflict — said the Baltic state is next on Russia’s hit list.
But Putin won’t use conventional troops. Instead, he will recreate what happened in Ukraine and stir up the patriotism of ethnic Russians in the country.
“Putin will instigate an ambiguous militarised crisis using deniable proxies, probably in the next two years”, he said.
A Russian jet came within just five feet of a US reconnaissance plane in the Baltic in June, reports claimed, with one official quoted as saying the SU-27 was “provocative”, “unsafe” and flying “erratically”.

A missile is driven past the Kim Jong-un during a military parade in Pyongyang

It is impossible to say who would win with any certainty, but the US has the best arsenal.
The US is the only country in possession of fifth-gen fighter jets – 187 F-22s and an F-35 that is not yet out of the testing phase.
Russia is developing one stealth fighter and China is working on four.
In terms of submarines the US Navy has 14 ballistic missile submarines with a combined 280 nuclear missiles.
They also possess four guided missile submarines with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each and 54 nuclear attack submarines.
Russia has only 60 submarines but they are said to have outstanding stealth capabilities.
They are also developing a 100-megaton nuclear torpedo.
China has five nuclear attack submarines, 53 diesel attack submarines, and four nuclear ballistic missile submarines to date.
But the emerging superpower is developing more.

North Korea say U.S. bombers push tension ‘to the brink of nuclear war’
On the brink

Of Course There Will Be a Nuclear Armageddon (Revelation 15)

https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/nuclear_armageddon.gif
FactCheck Q&A: Could there be a nuclear Armageddon?

By Martin Williams
4 JUL 2017
After a successful missile test, North Korea claims it is now a “full-fledged nuclear power” which is “capable of hitting any part of the world”.
Russia and the US believe this is a slight exaggeration, saying the missile actually had a medium-range and posed no immediate threat to either country.
But the development has scared many about the prospect of nuclear war. So how likely is it?
Who’s got nuclear weapons?
The US and Russia both reduced their nuclear weapon arsenal after the Cold War. But since the 1990s, the speed of this reduction has slowed down.
What’s more, because of constantly improving technology, the potential impact of each warhead is now far greater than it once was.
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) says: “Comparing today’s inventory with that of the 1950s is like comparing apples and oranges; today’s forces are vastly more capable.
“The pace of reduction has slowed significantly. Instead of planning for nuclear disarmament, the nuclear-armed states appear to plan to retain large arsenals for the indefinite future.”
As far as we know, nine countries have nuclear weapons: Russia, the US, France, China, the UK, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. Between them, they are thought to have around 15,000 nuclear weapons.
Of these, Russia and the US have by far the most. But the FAS says that China, Pakistan, India and North Korea appear to have been increasing their stockpiles, while the others are either reducing the numbers or making no significant changes.
We can’t be sure of exact numbers because of the high level of secrecy, not least in North Korea.
Israel has also refused to confirm or deny its arsenal, but it is widely suspected to have about 80 nuclear warheads and enough plutonium to make many more.
Out of the 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, the majority are not immediately deployable. A report by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in 2012 estimated that the US, UK, France and Russia had around 1,940 warheads which were “ready for use on short notice”.
The report said the numbers were so high because of “circular (though flawed) logic”.
“US nuclear forces are maintained on alert because Russian nuclear forces are on alert, and vice versa for Russian forces. Put in another way, if nuclear forces were not on alert, there would be no requirement to keep nuclear forces on alert.”
What would happen in a nuclear war?
After the US dropped a nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, an initial report said that two-thirds of the people who were within half a mile of the blasts had been killed. People suffered skin burns up to two miles away.
The final death toll of Hiroshima alone is now estimated to be between 66,000 and 150,000.
That was more than 70 years ago, though. Nuclear weapons today can be many, many times more powerful.
And that’s to say nothing of the economic, political and social consequences, which could potentially be monumental.
Bill Perry, a nuclear weapons expert who served as President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense spoke to Vice earlier this year. He said a worst case scenario would now mean nothing short of a total Armageddon.
“An all-out general nuclear war between the United States and Russia would mean no less than the end of civilisation,” Perry said. “That’s not being dramatic; that’s not being hyperbolic. That’s just what would happen.”
How likely is a nuclear war?
The world survived the Cold War without nuclear weapons being used. And with the main two nuclear powers reducing their arsenals, it might be tempting to think the risk is reducing.
But global security threats are very different to what they once were. And one bomb could lead to retaliation strikes.
Bill Perry said he believes the most likely scenario for a nuclear attack would be if a terrorist group got hold of a small amount of enriched uranium, allowing them to make an improvised nuclear bomb.
“Of all of the nuclear catastrophes that could happen, this is the most probable,” he said. “I think I would say it’s probably an even chance that this will happen sometime in the next ten years.”
He added: “We have the possibility of a regional nuclear war, between Pakistan and India, for example. Even if they used only half of their nuclear arsenal, those bombs would put enough smoke in the air – enough dust in the air – that will go up and settle in the stratosphere and then distribute itself around the planet and would block the rays of the sun for years to come.
“It could be millions of people who die from that alone.”

Russia is Ready for Nuclear Holocaust (Revelation 15)

“A deep underground facility at the Kremlin and an enormous underground leadership bunker adjacent to Moscow State University are intended for the national command authority in wartime,” says the report, according to the Times of London.
“Highly effective life-support systems may permit independent operations for many months following a nuclear attack.”
The Defense Intelligence Agency report on Moscow’s military might — the first since the Cold War — says the “enormous” bunkers are 985 feet underground and can house as many as 10,000 people in the case of nuclear Armageddon, according to the paper.
The shelters are linked to other bunkers outside of the city — as well as the VIP terminal at Vnukovo airfield, in case the honchos need to flee, the report said.
The report, which predates President Trump’s election but was released Wednesday, says Putin believes the U.S. is intent on regime change as part of our “efforts to promote democracy around the world.”
“The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime-change in Russia,” the report says.

Russia Spreads Nukes Into Europe

REUTERS

“Crimea was turned into a military base … We even have information that there are now six nuclear warheads,” he said, LIGA.net reports.
Dzhemilev also noted that it is dangerous to deploy any military operations in the peninsula.
Experts stated earlier that the militarization of Crimea led to its high subsidization and decline in tourism.
UNIAN memo. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in March 2014 after its troops had occupied the peninsula. An illegal referendum was held for Crimeans to decide on accession to Russia. De-facto Crimean authorities reported that allegedly 96.77% of the Crimean population had voted for joining Russia.
On March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia was signed in the Kremlin. The West did not recognize the annexation in response to which sanctions against Russia were introduced.
Ukraine’s parliament voted to designate February 20, 2014, as the official date when the temporary occupation of Crimea began.

Russia Prepares For Nuclear War in Arctic

The Russian Delta IV-class submarine Yekaterinburg, photographed in 2010. Photo credit: AP

Russia has deployed 215 more nuclear warheads than allowed by the New START treaty, setting itself up to violate a provision that goes into effect next year. Surely this will end well.
New START allows 1,500 deployed warheads, with that goal supposed to be reached in February 2018, and it’s designed to help both the U.S. and Russia know what each country has as far as its stockpiles. It also allows verification to ensure both nations are honoring their obligations, with on-site inspections and data exchanges are required. The regime is extremely intrusive and, arguably, has helped avoid another Cold War, if you consider how unstable relations would be if neither Washington nor Moscow knew what the other country had.
And right now, the two parties are supposed to be working to reduce their number of deployed warheads, not actively increasing them. But it looks like Russia is doing the latter

New satellite images reveal extensive construction of two Northern Fleet facilities for warheads and ballistic missiles on the Kola Peninsula in far northwest Russia, according to The Barents Observer, which analyzed satellite images via Google Earth along with open-source data on Russia’s nuclear weapons stockpiles. There are four storage areas for nuclear weapons on the peninsula, all of which are in close proximity to Norway. The nearest weapons storage area is Zaozersk, which is around 40 miles from the Norwegian town of Grense Jakobselv. All four are within an 118-mile radius away from Norway, a NATO member state.

To put this context for folks stateside, Norway is roughly 4,463 miles away from the United States.

One of the satellite images (below) shows Yegelnaya Bay, where the Gadzhiyevo naval base is located. Based there are six Delta IV-class ballistic missile submarines and the Yury Dolgoruky of the Borei-class. Three more Borei-class submarines, the most advanced in the Russian ballistic missile submarine fleet, are expected to arrive there soon.

Here are more details of the kinds of construction that are going on at the base, per The Barents Observer:

It is possible to date the image to late summer 2016 by counting the 81 reactor compartments stored in the nearby Saida Bay where also the “Itarus” transport barge can been seen. This barge was tranferred from Italy to the Kola Peninsula last spring.
At the jetty in the bay, a Delta-IV class submarine is visible dockside the crane for loading and unloading ballistic missiles. The missiles are driven to the jetty from the storage in the valley behind where both the original storage and the new under construction are visible. The nuclear warheads are, for the most, stored inside the mountain to the left.
Three new reinforced bunkers and five similar bunkers under construction are visible. In the end of the valley, the entrance to an underground storage can be seen. The entrance to another underground storage is visible also at the first nuclear weapon storage facility. A nuclear missile transit hangar is located on the road towards the loading jetty.

The Barents Observer analyzed other sites on the Kola Peninsula, but the developments mean one thing for U.S. national security: the Russians are well ahead of the U.S. in their Arctic strategy and are solidifying their supremacy with nuclear weapons. As we’ve noted before, Washington has long been asleep at the wheel when it comes to prioritizing the Arctic Circle from a geopolitical standpoint. The United States Coast Guard, for example, is the primary service that oversees all issues Arctic. Yet, President Donald Trump’s current budget proposal calls for a 14 percent cut to the Coast Guard.
At the most basic level, Congress seems unwilling to invest in heavy icebreakers that provide critical access to the Arctic Circle. During a recent trip to Seattle, I had an opportunity to tour America’s only heavy icebreaker, the USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10); the engineers have done a great job maintaining it, but it should have been retired more than ten years ago. The Coast Guard has to use it due to lack of funding over the years to build new ones. Russia, on the other hand, has 40 icebreakers.
Indeed, Russia’s northern border lines the Arctic area, so it makes sense for it to command the region. But, it appears that the United States isn’t even trying to counter the Kremlin for some significant presence. The increase of nuclear weapons facilities in the Arctic region is just another major geopolitical step in Moscow securing the area as its own.
Right now, some 60 percent of Russia’s 700 sea-based strategic nuclear warheads are on the Kola Peninsula, according to The Barents Observer; the remaining 40 percent are with the Pacific Fleet at Kamchatka. Russia isn’t technically violating the New START treaty, however: as long as it reduces the number of deployed warheads to the agreed-upon limit before February 2018, it should be fine, Kristian Åtland, a senior researcher with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, told the publication.
The main issue is whether or not New START is a major policy item for President Trump. It doesn’t appear to be. During his first official phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump didn’t even know what the treaty was. He has also blasted the treaty as a one-sided deal, which is simply not true, as not only does it limit warhead deployment and increase transparency for the Russians, but it does exactly the same for the Americans.
So far, the current administration has not signaled that it is ready to make a move on New START or the Arctic Circle. Russia, on the other hand, has certainly made theirs. Several of them, in fact.