The Hypocrisy Of Obama’s Speech

Nuclear-free aspirations of Obama, Abe conflict with reality
5b8a0a39c0f743cbb648224559952942-1020x772
Originally published May 25, 2016 at 11:31 pm Updated May 26, 2016 at 7:26 am
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Ujibashi bridge as they visit the Ise Jingu shrine in Ise, Mie prefecture, Japan Thursday, May 26, 2016 , ahead of the first session of the G-7 summit meetings. (Toru Hanai/Pool Photo via AP)
By FOSTER KLUG
The Associated Press
TOBA, Japan (AP) — There is the soaring rhetoric. And then there’s the messy reality.
When U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe make a historic visit to Hiroshima on Friday — the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the site of the first atomic bomb attack — their words advocating nuclear disarmament will clash with real-world security necessities.
Far from backing up the vision of a world without nuclear bombs that Obama laid out in a 2009 speech that helped secure a Nobel Peace Prize, his near-finished presidency has seen a multibillion-dollar modernization of the U.S. nuclear force.
Japan’s long postwar commitment to disarmament, meanwhile, is only possible because of its reliance on the so-called American “nuclear umbrella” that protects it from antagonistic North Korea and China. Tokyo, should it choose, could probably easily convert its advanced civilian nuclear program into a weapons program, and some conservatives in Abe’s ruling party have argued that the country’s pacifist constitution technically allows nuclear weapons.
In advance of flying to Hiroshima, Obama said Thursday that the dropping of the atomic bomb was an inflection point in modern history and something everybody must deal with.
“I do think that part of the reason I’m going is because I want to once again underscore the very real risks that are out there, and the sense of urgency that we all should have,” Obama told reporters in Shima, Japan, after meeting with leaders of major advanced economies. “It’s not only a reminder of the terrible toll of World War II and the death of innocents across continents, but it’s also to remind ourselves that the job’s not done.”
Despite his own mixed record on nukes, Obama likely sees his Hiroshima visit as a worthwhile expenditure of political capital in order to shore up a global nonproliferation effort that seems at times to be crumbling.
Before the most recent of a series of nuclear security summits meant to reduce and protect nuclear material, Obama wrote in March that eliminating all nuclear weapons may not happen in his lifetime. “But we have begun. As the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them. Still, no one nation can realize this vision alone. It must be the work of the world.”
Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons was challenged almost immediately.
His April 2009 speech in Prague happened within hours of North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket that outsiders, including the United Nations, called a cover for a test of banned missile technology. Pyongyang is still barreling ahead in its push for nuclear-armed missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland.
Obama secured a deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program, if it can be implemented amid mistrust on both sides. But Pakistan and India are still locked in a nuclear standoff. The United States and Russia, which have most of the world’s nuclear weapons, often see their geopolitical jockeying for position interfere with disarmament efforts. And there are growing worries about the security of nuclear fuel sites around the world.
Obama’s trip to Hiroshima also comes amid anxiety that North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile capabilities could lead to the top U.S. allies in Asia, Japan and South Korea, starting their own nuclear weapons programs.
It is highly unlikely either country will go nuclear. It could cause huge political and economic damage — crippling sanctions, global condemnation — and jeopardize their alliances with the United States.
But a small group in South Korea, including some conservative members of the ruling party, and some in Japan see the North Korean danger as too grave to rely only on the protection of another country. They also question whether, despite rhetoric from U.S. officials about an “ironclad” alliance, Washington would really use nuclear weapons and risk the lives of thousands of American troops should a belligerent North Korea attack.
The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s top newspaper by circulation, said in an editorial weeks after North Korea’s nuclear test in January that discussions in Seoul on acquiring nuclear weapons were inevitable.
Judging by the level of American involvement in crises in Ukraine and Syria, for example, the newspaper said any U.S. help would come only after Seoul is turned into a “pile of ashes” by a North Korean nuclear attack.
This fear has been highlighted by Donald Trump, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican party in the United States. He has questioned the amount of money the U.S. military is forced to spend to protect its allies, and has suggested that Japan and South Korea should be allowed to develop their own nuclear weapons.
Japan prides itself on its pacifism and disarmament, but it is only through U.S. nuclear deterrence that the country can live alongside nuclear-armed North Korea, China and Russia, without going nuclear itself.
“Some say this is hypocritical,” said Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank, “but I think it is just common sense and good national security policy. The Japanese would certainly be happier if no one had nuclear weapons, but as long as several of its neighbors have them, they welcome being under America’s nuclear umbrella.”
Yukio Okamoto, a former Japanese diplomat, said Tokyo “is in the most difficult position” because it is a nuclear bomb victim, surrounded by potentially hostile nuclear-armed states and dependent for its survival on U.S. nuclear deterrence.
“We have to walk through a very narrow passage of trying our sincere efforts toward total elimination in the long term, but at the same time trying to preserve the alliance with the United States and not to tarnish the security relationship, especially the nuclear deterrence,” Okamoto said.
Obama finds himself divided between his anti-nuclear vision and the realities of leading a global power.
Worries about Japan and South Korea producing nuclear weapons mean the United States must offer them nuclear protection, thereby “going against Obama’s own call for global denuclearization,” Charles Armstrong, an Asia expert at Columbia University, said. “At the same time, the U.S. is modernizing its own nuclear arsenal. Thus, U.S. actions and goals are not entirely consistent.”
Obama’s trip to Hiroshima will be filled with images of the horrors of nuclear war, and lofty statements about the need to eliminate those weapons. But some argue that for the visit to be successful, it must highlight Asia’s real nuclear dangers.
Michael Auslin, an analyst with the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, told The Japan Times: “Asia is concerned about how Washington will deal with a more assertive China and a nuclear North Korea, not with an unrealistic aspiration to rid the world of nuclear weapons.”
Obama may not be able to escape criticism from all sides.
Many conservatives in the United States believe a Hiroshima visit will be a failure because it will be seen as an apology. Nonproliferation activists believe he has not gone far enough in efforts to “earn” his Nobel Prize.
“I did think Obama was serious about his nuclear-free world, but that was six or seven years ago. We are no closer today than we were when he took office to achieving that end,” said Bruce Cumings, an Asia expert at the University of Chicago. “I’m sure he will bring up getting rid of nukes in his speech, but he’s in a much weaker position today, because of the ongoing upgrading of American nuclear weapons.”
___
AP writer Ken Moritsugu contributed to this report from Tokyo.

This Is Babylon The Great? (Revelation 18)

103665653-atomicdisk.530x298 

The U.S. Is Running Part of Its Nuclear Forces on 8-Inch Floppy Drives

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a startling report on the state of the government’s information technology infrastructure on Wednesday. According to the report, the Department of Defense (DOD) “coordinates the operational functions of the United States’ nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts” with a 1970s computer system that uses 8-inch floppy disks.

The total amount that the government requested for information technology services in 2017 is $89 billion. The government plans to spend the vast majority of this IT budget on operations and maintenance, the report says.

Ever seen one of these? The Strategic Automated Command and Control System for U.S. nuclear weapons at the Department of Defense still uses them. gao.gov 
 
In some cases, agencies have been forced to hire retired employees to maintain systems that are decades out of date.

At the Department of the Treasury, for instance, the Individual Master File, the “authoritative data source for individual taxpayers where accounts are updated, taxes are assessed, and refunds are generated,” was programmed to run in assembly language, an expensive, hard to maintain programming language that runs on an IBM mainframe.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) tracks “claims filed by veterans for benefits, eligibility, and dates of death,” using COBOL, a computer language several decades beyond its prime.

While the DOD is planning to upgrade the system that uses floppy disks by the end of 2017, both the Treasury and the VA don’t have any plans to replace their systems, which means more maintenance costs in the long run, the report says.

The report recommends that Office of Budget Management call on individual agencies to identify and prioritize legacy information systems that are in need of replacement or modernization.

A Sign of the End: Visiting The Crime Scene (Ezekiel 17)

Obama to make first Presidential visit to US atomic bomb attack site in Hiroshima

ee3
WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Barack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit the site of the US atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, Japan, later this month, the White House said Tuesday.The visit fulfills a wish Obama expressed early in his presidency to visit the charged location where tens of thousands of Japanese civilians were killed in a nuclear blast at the end of World War II.
 ee1 
Weighing the visit, the White House officials faced a careful balance of whether Obama’s presence would amount to an apology for using nuclear weapons, a move many historians consider essential to ending the war, the CNN reported. 
 
Today Hiroshima is the site of a park and museum dedicated to memorializing the victims of the attack and promoting peace and nuclear disarmament. The president’s visit will “highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the White House said in a statement.

According to the White House, the United States does not owe Japan a formal apology for using the atomic bomb in August 1945. But officials say the visit will serve as a reminder the terrible destruction that nuclear weapons can inflict.

rrr12
“He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, wrote on Medium Tuesday. “Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”

Rhodes said Obama would deliver remarks on nuclear non-proliferation – a central tenet of the President’s foreign policy – during the stop in Hiroshima, which is scheduled for May 27.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would accompany Obama on the stop, which comes after a meeting of the Group of 7 in Ise-Shima.

ee2
Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-ranking US official to pay respects at the site, and hinted that Obama would soon make his own visit.

Obama and his aides have long debated making a presidential stop in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, where the US dropped a second atomic bomb three days after the Hiroshima attack.

On his first visit to Japan in 2009, Obama expressed a desire to stop in one of the cities before leaving office. “The memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are etched in the minds of the world, and I would be honored to have the opportunity to visit those cities at some point during my presidency,” he said.

Hiroshi Harada, a 75-year-old atomic bomb survivor and former head of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan.–File photo

Hiroshi Harada, a 75-year-old atomic bomb survivor and former head of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan.–File photo

But even in Tokyo, a visit by a US president to the site of the nuclear destruction hasn’t always been welcome. Ahead of Obama’s first trip to Japan in 2009, a Japanese government official said “it would be premature to include a visit to Hiroshima,” recommending instead that Obama remain near the capital.

But as the United States and Japan have worked through other World War II-era grievances, a visit to the location became more tenable.

Why Hiroshima Never Should Have Happened

Kerry says Hiroshima ‘gut-wrenching’ reminder world should abandon nuclear weapons

Kerry says Hiroshima ‘gut-wrenching’ reminder world should abandon nuclear weapons
HIROSHIMA: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called his visit to a memorial to victims of the 1945 US nuclear attack on Hiroshima “gut-wrenching” and said it was a reminder of the need to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons.

The first US secretary of state to visit Hiroshima, Kerry said President Barack Obama also wanted to travel to the city in southern Japan but he did not know whether the leader’s complex schedule would allow him to do so when he visits the country for a Group of Seven (G7) summit in May.

Kerry toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum, whose haunting displays include photographs of badly burned victims, the tattered and stained clothes they wore and statues depicting them with flesh melting from their limbs.

“It is a stunning display. It is a gut-wrenching display,” he said. “It is a reminder of the depth of the obligation everyone of us in public life carries…to create and pursue a world free from nuclear weapons,” he told a news conference.

After the tour by Kerry and his fellow G7 foreign ministers, the group issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to building a world without nuclear arms but said the push had been made more complex by North Korea’s repeated “provocations” and by worsening security in Syria and Ukraine.
The ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States laid white wreaths at a cenotaph to the victims of the August 6, 1945, bombing, which reduced the city to ashes and killed some 140,000 people by the end of that year.

While he is not the highest-ranking US official to have toured the museum and memorial park, a distinction that belongs to then-US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in 2008, Kerry is the most senior executive branch official to visit.

“Everyone in the world should see and feel the power of this memorial. It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself,” the chief US diplomat wrote in a guest book.

Asked later if this meant Obama should come, Kerry said: “Everyone means everyone. So I hope one day the president of the United States will be among the everyone who is able to come here. Whether or not he can come as president, I don’t know.”

‘First step’

At Kerry’s suggestion, the ministers also made an impromptu visit to the Atomic Bomb Dome, the skeletal remains of the only structure left standing near the hypocentre of the bomb explosion and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Three days after a US warplane dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945. Japan surrendered six days later.

A visit by Obama could be controversial in America if it were viewed as an apology.

A majority of Americans view the bombings as justified to end the war and save US lives, while the vast majority of Japanese believe it was not justified.

Hopes for Obama’s visit to Hiroshima were raised after an April 2009 speech in Prague when he called for a world without nuclear weapons.

He later said that he would be honoured to visit the two nuclear-attacked cities.

The G7 foreign ministers’ trip to the museum and memorial is part of Japan’s effort to send a strong nuclear disarmament message from Hiroshima, the world’s first city to suffer atomic bombing.
“I think this first-ever visit by G7 foreign ministers to the peace memorial park is a historic first step towards reviving momentum toward a world without nuclear weapons,” Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement.

He later told a news conference that it was “inconceivable” that Japan would ever decide to have nuclear weapons.

Last month, US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Japan and South Korea should build such weapons to deter enemies.

In a separate, detailed statement, the G7 ministers singled out North Korea for sharp criticism, condemning its recent nuclear test and launches using ballistic missile technology.

And in a statement on maritime security, they voiced their strong opposition to provocative attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas, an apparent reference to China, which is locked in territorial disputes with other nations including the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.

Babylon the Great Will Pay For Hiroshima (Revelation 17)


Kerry plans no apology for wartime atomic bomb on Hiroshima visit


By Arshad Mohammed and Kiyoshi Takenaka

HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – John Kerry will not offer an apology for the United States’ use of the atomic bomb against Japan when he becomes the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Monday, a senior U.S. official said.

Kerry is visiting the city, which was obliterated by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, to attend gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies that Japan opened on Sunday with a call to end nuclear weapons.

The U.S. diplomat is to join his counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan on Monday to tour the city’s atomic bomb museum and to lay flowers at a cenotaph for its victims, becoming the first in his post to do so.

“If you are asking whether the secretary of state came to Hiroshima to apologise, the answer is no,” a senior U.S. official told reporters late on Sunday.

“If you are asking whether the secretary and I think all Americans and all Japanese are filled with sorrow at the tragedies that befell so many of our countrymen, the answer is yes,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.

Kerry’s trip could pave the way for an unprecedented visit to Hiroshima by a sitting U.S. president when Barack Obama attends the annual G7 summit to be held in Japan next month.

While saying the White House has yet to make a decision, the senior U.S. official said Obama has shown he is willing to do controversial things such as visiting Havana last month.

The official suggested there was no “great or insurmountable angst about the optics or the politics of a visit to Hiroshima.”

He also said there was no Japanese effort to seek a U.S. apology, “nor is there any interest in reopening the question of blame for the sequence of events that culminated in the use of the atomic bomb.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who presides over the two-day meeting, on Sunday said ministers will discuss anti-terrorism steps, maritime security and issues related to North Korea, Ukraine and the Middle East.

Last Days Before The End (Revelation 16)

THREE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT: CLOSER TO NUCLEAR CONFLICT THAN WE THINK
 

DAVID BARNO AND NORA BENSAHEL
MARCH 8, 2016

While at Stanford last month, we had a long conversation with former Secretary of Defense William Perry about the nuclear dangers facing the world. We were struck by his provocative and frightening outlook: that the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War. North Korea’s recent bluster only underlines the dangers.

Perry knows whereof he speaks, since he has devoted most of his career to preventing nuclear conflict. (Full disclosure: One of us was his student and research assistant at Stanford.) His recent book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, explains why he focused so much on these issues, and why he concluded that nuclear weapons endanger U.S. national security far more than they preserve it.
After our conversation with Perry, we attended a lecture that he gave on today’s nuclear dangers. It is well worth watching in its entirety, for he offered a nuanced analysis of the nuclear policies and capabilities of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan. After this sweeping tour of the world, he concluded that there are three main nuclear dangers today that, taken together, make the current world even more dangerous than during most of the Cold War. He pointed out that the Doomsday Clock is currently set at three minutes to midnight — the closest to midnight it has been since the height of the Cold War in 1984, and only one minute ahead of its lowest setting ever, in 1953.
The first danger is the possibility of a nuclear war with Russia, either by accident or miscalculation. Perry argued that today’s situation is “comparable to the dark days of the Cold War,” not only because Russia is modernizing its nuclear arsenal but also because Russian President Vladimir Putin might consider using nuclear weapons if the survival of his regime is at stake. Putin faces many domestic challenges, including the drastic decline of oil prices that is forcing the state to rapidly consume its capital reserves, and aggressive nationalist policies are one way to divert domestic attention from those problems. Russia is not deliberately seeking a military conflict with the United States or NATO, Perry said, but the key danger is that Putin “will take actions that will cause him to blunder into a conflict.” He argued that over time, Russia would inevitably lose any such conventional conflict, which might lead it to use its tactical nuclear weapons (which it refers to surreally as a “de-escalatory strike”). And if that were to happen, it would be impossible to predict or control the resulting escalation.

The second danger is a regional nuclear war — a danger that did not exist during the Cold War. Though he discussed possible future threats from North Korea, Perry rightly described a possible nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan as “the poster child” of this scenario. We’ve written about this danger before. Pakistan and India remain locked in a frozen conflict that is the legacy of nearly 70 years of unresolved issues — including Kashmir — and three bloody wars. Today, both nations possess more than 100 nuclear weapons. The Pakistanis have recently begun developing and fielding tactical nuclear weapons, ostensibly to offset India’s sizable conventional superiority. These short-range weapons are inherently less easy to secure and control, and clearly lower the threshold for actual use on the battlefield.

Perry noted that both Indians and Pakistanis expect and fear future attacks similar to the 2013 Mumbai terrorist massacre — and neither side expects New Delhi to exercise similar military restraint in response. Thus, the stage is set for a conventional military confrontation that could rapidly escalate into an Indo-Pakistani nuclear war — first at the tactical level, but one that could spiral unpredictably into a strategic exchange. In Perry’s words: “This is the nightmare of how a regional nuclear war would start — a nightmare that would involve tens of millions of deaths, along with the possibility of stimulating a nuclear winter that would cause widespread tragedies all over the planet.”
The third nuclear danger is the prospect of nuclear terrorism, which also did not exist during the Cold War — and which he argued is far more dangerous than most people understand. He showed a chilling video of what he called the Nightmare Scenario. It involves a rogue group of scientists operating on the fringes of a state’s nuclear weapons program smuggling out enough plutonium and bomb-making knowledge to create a single nuclear device, which they then transfer to a waiting terrorist group. This group then uses commercial air, sea, and land transport to infiltrate the bomb into the United States and detonate it in downtown Washington, D.C. — inflicting tens of thousands of casualties and effectively decapitating the U.S. government. The terrorists threaten further attacks on other major American cities if all U.S. troops deployed overseas are not immediately brought home. The resultant chaos plunges the nation into a paroxysm of civil disorder, mass roundups of thousands of suspects, and martial law.

This scenario may be unlikely, but it is both credible and chilling — and a little-discussed danger for the United States. Its dangers lie not just in tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties from such a devastating attack here at home, but in the potential for the United States to plunge into chaos and respond in ways that forever alter the essence of what it means to be an American. Both the catastrophic destruction and the breakdown of U.S. civil liberties depicted in the film suggest the imminent dangers associated with this nuclear threat today — one aimed within the United States itself, not just constrained to some distant region.

Perry suggested a series of steps to help reduce the growing risks of nuclear war in this century. Foremost among them was the very purpose of his book and lecture: to “educate the public on today’s nuclear dangers, and to promote policies that can reduce those dangers.” He is a tireless advocate of improving relations between the United States and Russia, because he believes that restoring cooperation in areas of mutual interest is the first step towards reducing the dependence on nuclear weapons. He also reinforced the need to raise global awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and remain focused here at home on the very real dangers of a terrorist group detonating a weapon in the United States.

Perry, who is 88 years old, ended his talk on a much-needed note of optimism. He continues to work tirelessly to reduce the threat of nuclear conflict and towards a world free of nuclear weapons. But he does not believe he is a “naïve idealist,” as he has been called, for promoting such unrealistic goals. Instead, he noted that the famous Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov spent his whole life working toward political reform in the Soviet Union, which also seemed to be a hopeless task. When told he was being too idealistic, Sakharov replied, “There is a need to create ideals, even when you cannot see a path to achieving them. Because when there are no ideals, then there is no hope.”
“We must pursue our ideals,” Perry concluded, “in order to keep alive our hope — hope for a safer world for our children and for our grandchildren.”

Lt. General David W. Barno, USA (Ret.) is a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, and Dr. Nora Bensahel is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence, at the School of International Service at American University. Both also serve as Nonresident Senior Fellows at the Atlantic Council. Their column appears in War on the Rocks every other Tuesday. To sign up for Barno and Bensahel’s Strategic Outpost newsletter, where you can track their articles as well as their public events, click here.

The Judgment: The Nuclear Holocaust Is Very Near (Rev 15:2)

Nuclear scientists: The end is near for humanity
1200px-Castle_Bravo_Blast-635x357
US group founded by creators of atomic bomb move ‘Doomsday Clock’ ahead two minutes; not so fast, other scientists say

By Seth Borenstein January 25, 2015

A US nuclear bomb test at the Marshall Islands, 1954 (photo credit: Wikicommons/United States Department of Energy)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it has been in more than 30 years because of global warming and nuclear weaponry. But other experts say that’s much too gloomy.

The US advocacy group founded by the creators of the atomic bomb moved their famed “Doomsday Clock” ahead two minutes on Thursday. It said the world is now three minutes from a catastrophic midnight, instead of five minutes.

This is about doomsday; this is about the end of civilization as we know it,” bulletin executive director Kennette Benedict said at a news conference in Washington.

She called both climate change and modernization of nuclear weaponry equal but undeniable threats to humanity’s continued existence that triggered the 20 scientists on the board to decide to move the clock closer to midnight.

The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon,” Benedict said.

But other scientists aren’t quite so pessimistic.

Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of both geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, said in an email: “I suspect that humans will ‘muddle through’ the climate situation much as we have muddled through the nuclear weapons situation — limiting the risk with cooperative international action and parallel domestic policies.”

The bulletin has included climate change in its doomsday clock since 2007.

“The fact that the Doomsday clock-setters changed their definition of ‘doomsday’ shows how profoundly the world has changed — they have to find a new source of doom because global thermonuclear war is now so unlikely,” Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker wrote in an email. Pinker in his book “The Better Angels of our Nature” uses statistics to argue that the world has become less war-like, less violent and more tolerant in recent decades and centuries.

Richard Somerville, a member of the Bulletin’s board who is a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said the trend in heat-trapping emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will “lead to major climatic disruption globally. The urgency has nothing to do with politics or ideology. It arises from the laws of physics and biology and chemistry. These laws are non-negotiable.”

But Somerville agreed that the threat from climate change isn’t quite as all-or-nothing as it is with nuclear war.

Even with the end of the cold war, the lack of progress in the dismantling of nuclear weapons and countries like the United States and Russia spending hundreds of billions of dollars on modernizing nuclear weaponry makes an atomic bomb explosion — either accidental or on purpose — a continuing and more urgent threat, Benedict said.

But Benedict did acknowledge the group has been warning of imminent nuclear disaster with its clock since 1947 and it hasn’t happened yet.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Read more: Nuclear scientists: The end is near for humanity | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/nuclear-scientists-the-end-is-near-for-humanity/#ixzz3PnmYqaPT
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

Why Nuclear Armageddon Will Happen (Revelation 15:2)


Why nuclear Armageddon is a very real danger

Kyle Mizokami
ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 24, 2015

At the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at each other, many of them on hair-trigger alert. The prospect of nuclear war was a grim specter that hung over the entire civilized world.

As a teenager in the 1980s, I would lay in bed at nights thinking about Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles lifting off from the Kartaly Missile Field, arcing over the North Pole, and landing in the United States. I knew the journey would take, more or less, 20 minutes.
Those that lived through the Cold War — myself included — were glad when it ended. Yet the nuclear danger never really went away, just the antagonism between the United States and what is now Russia. Now, slowly, that antagonism is creeping back — and with it, the possibility of nuclear war.

Since the end of the Cold War, the world has largely forgotten about nuclear weapons. Yet the United States still has 1,597 nuclear weapons deployed on submarines, aircraft, and missiles, the majority of them pointed at Russia. Russia has 1,582 nuclear weapons deployed — the majority aimed at the United States.

Tensions between the United States and Russia are the highest they’ve been in more than 20 years. Differences over Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, intervention on behalf of Syria’s Assad regime, and support for other unpopular, authoritarian governments have pushed the two countries farther apart than they’ve been in decades.

That tension has been reflected in recent missile tests on both sides. In early November, Russia staged nuclear war games that saw the the launch of two submarine-launched ballistic missiles, a land-based ICBM, and nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles.

In late October and early November, the United States Strategic Command — the joint U.S. military command responsible for all things nuclear — tested a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, two Trident II D-5 submarine launched ballistic missiles, and flew strategic bombers to Spain and the South China Sea. That’s all three legs of the nuclear triad — the force of missiles, submarines, and bombers — that ensures the U.S. strategic arsenal cannot be completely destroyed in nuclear attack.

Not to be outdone, on Nov. 14, Russia countered by firing two of its newest missiles, Bulavas, from its newest nuclear submarine the Vladimir Momomakh.

Both countries claim that such missile tests are to ensure the reliability of the existing stockpile. A missile is picked at random and launched — in the case of the United States, at Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. Missiles are complex systems, and periodic testing is warranted.

Is this flurry of nuclear tests linked? Almost undoubtedly. Russia advertised that it was ready for nuclear war, and then the United States did the same. If tensions between the two continue to rise, we’ll almost certainly see a renewed interest in keeping a larger proportion of missiles in both countries on regular alert — ready to fire.

Intentional nuclear war is rarely discussed. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction — which holds that a state can deter nuclear destruction by ensuring any attacker would also be destroyed — makes choosing nuclear war an irrational, downright crazy proposition.

Instead, accidental nuclear war — particularly in times of crisis — has always been the most likely way a nuclear war would start. Under intense pressure to use nuclear weapons before they are destroyed by an enemy’s first strike, a country may “launch on warning” — a warning that could turn out to be phony.

In 1983 Stanislav Petrov, a military officer at a Soviet early warning base, was on watch when he received automated word the United States had launched a nuclear attack. Petrov could have passed word of the “attack” up to his superiors, who might have retaliated by launching the Soviet Union’s own missiles.

Despite howling sirens and an urge to panic, Petrov, relying on his gut and knowing the system was prone to fault, instead reported the warnings as a malfunction. He was right: There were no American missiles, the system had indeed malfunctioned.

Tensions between the United States and Russia don’t automatically make intentional nuclear war more likely. But unless the urge to put nuclear forces closer to a war footing is avoided now, it will be harder to avoid doing so in the future.

The harder it is to start the process of a nuclear strike, the harder it will be to trigger accidentally. Next time, there may not be a Stanislav Petrov to stop a technical glitch from turning into Armageddon.

The Judgment: The Nuclear Holocaust Is Very Near (Rev 15:2)

Nuclear scientists: The end is near for humanity
1200px-Castle_Bravo_Blast-635x357
US group founded by creators of atomic bomb move ‘Doomsday Clock’ ahead two minutes; not so fast, other scientists say

By Seth Borenstein January 25, 2015

A US nuclear bomb test at the Marshall Islands, 1954 (photo credit: Wikicommons/United States Department of Energy)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it has been in more than 30 years because of global warming and nuclear weaponry. But other experts say that’s much too gloomy.

The US advocacy group founded by the creators of the atomic bomb moved their famed “Doomsday Clock” ahead two minutes on Thursday. It said the world is now three minutes from a catastrophic midnight, instead of five minutes.

This is about doomsday; this is about the end of civilization as we know it,” bulletin executive director Kennette Benedict said at a news conference in Washington.
She called both climate change and modernization of nuclear weaponry equal but undeniable threats to humanity’s continued existence that triggered the 20 scientists on the board to decide to move the clock closer to midnight.

The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon,” Benedict said.

But other scientists aren’t quite so pessimistic.

Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of both geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, said in an email: “I suspect that humans will ‘muddle through’ the climate situation much as we have muddled through the nuclear weapons situation — limiting the risk with cooperative international action and parallel domestic policies.”

The bulletin has included climate change in its doomsday clock since 2007.

“The fact that the Doomsday clock-setters changed their definition of ‘doomsday’ shows how profoundly the world has changed — they have to find a new source of doom because global thermonuclear war is now so unlikely,” Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker wrote in an email. Pinker in his book “The Better Angels of our Nature” uses statistics to argue that the world has become less war-like, less violent and more tolerant in recent decades and centuries.

Richard Somerville, a member of the Bulletin’s board who is a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said the trend in heat-trapping emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will “lead to major climatic disruption globally. The urgency has nothing to do with politics or ideology. It arises from the laws of physics and biology and chemistry. These laws are non-negotiable.”

But Somerville agreed that the threat from climate change isn’t quite as all-or-nothing as it is with nuclear war.

Even with the end of the cold war, the lack of progress in the dismantling of nuclear weapons and countries like the United States and Russia spending hundreds of billions of dollars on modernizing nuclear weaponry makes an atomic bomb explosion — either accidental or on purpose — a continuing and more urgent threat, Benedict said.

But Benedict did acknowledge the group has been warning of imminent nuclear disaster with its clock since 1947 and it hasn’t happened yet.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Read more: Nuclear scientists: The end is near for humanity | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/nuclear-scientists-the-end-is-near-for-humanity/#ixzz3PnmYqaPT
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

ISIS Will Eventually Start The Nuclear Holocaust (Revelation 15:2)ISIS Will Eventually Start The Nuclear Holocaust (Revelation 15:2)

ISIS nuke fears: Brit Army expert says world is at risk

By Jeremy Culley / Published 18th October 2015

BLAST: ISIS will inevitably use nuclear weapons

Tensions with Russia, which culminated in Vladimir Putin’s ongoing bombing campaign in Syria, have made it more likely ISIS will look to obliterate a foreign city.ISIS already has mustard gas and “it is only a matter of time” before it manages to launch an attack capable of destroying a substantial part of a city.This chilling prophecy was outlined by Dr Hamish de Bretton-Gordon as he addressed the Global Resilience conference in London on Thursday.
 

DEADLY: WMDs in the hands of ISIS could have unthinkable consequences

ISIS has boffins able to develop chemical and nuclear weapons, and can afford thr £26 million needed to buy a single kilo of enriched uranium.He also accused Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, of “bluster”, saying the Eastern powerhouse is not very effective militarily.He said: “Isis have made it known they want to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
  “They run a sophisticated and successful psychological warfare campaign and are now basing that on CBRN weaponry – the ultimate weapon in the terrorist arsenal.”

Dr Bretton-Gordon said cities in Iraq and Moscow were “extremely vulnerable”, but Britain is more secure because of the “high quality” of its intelligence services.

VLAD: Cities are more at risk from nuclear attack because of Putin’s offensive

WORSE: Putin’s air strikes have ‘increased the likelihood of ISIS acquiring nuclear weapons’

The FBI has already foiled four attempts by Russian organised crime gangs to supply radioactive material to jihadist extremists.Russia racheted up tensions recently when it pledged jets to support Syrian government ground troops fighting opposition groups and IS.Dr Bretton-Gordon added: “The problem is that, for all Vladimir Putin’s bluster, Russia is not very effective militarily.“Not only is Moscow a target to extremists but its poor performance by its own intelligence agencies, as shown by the fact that it’s the FBI breaking up these attempts in eastern Europe, means the chances of Russian organised crime succeeding are much greater.”