China’s Next Nuclear Weapon (Daniel 8:8)

SCIENCE

Operation Z machine: China’s next big weapon in the nuclear ‘arms race’ could create clean fuel – or deadly bombs

• The Chinese military is building a test facility to simulate thermonuclear explosions on a much greater scale than comparable US centres

• Information from the experiments could give scientists a much clearer picture of how weapons perform under extreme conditions

Stephen Chen

UPDATED : Thursday, 13 Dec 2018, 2:03PM

Deep in the heart of southwest China’s mountainous Sichuan province, the military is building a machine to simulate thermonuclear explosions on an unprecedented scale.

It’s been described as a Chinese version of America’s “Z machine” – formally known as the Z Pulsed Power Facility – a giant wheel-like device developed by the United States to see how particles react under extreme radiation and magnetic pressure.

Z machines have been used in the development of nuclear weapons, from conventional warheads to the pure fusion bomb – a hydrogen bomb that can in theory be made in any size, cost a fraction of today’s nuclear stockpile and burn “cleanly” without producing radioactive fallout.

And for decades, the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has led the way in the field.

But now Chinese researchers are trying to build a machine that will produce much more electricity to create much more extreme environments for testing weapons, allowing scientists to delve deeper into the nuclear unknown.

More Children Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Palestinian toddler dies from wounds in Gaza as premature Israeli baby killed after West Bank shooting | The Independent

1 day ago

Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza attended the funeral of a four-year-old boy who died after being injured by Israeli gunfire during a protest at the border, health officials have said.

On the same day 70 miles away a baby, who was delivered prematurely to an Israeli woman wounded in a Palestinian drive-by shooting in the West Bank, also died.

Israeli pregnant mother Shira Ish-Ran, her husband and five others were injured in an attack at a bus stop outside the illegal Israeli settlement of Ofra in the West Bank on Sunday.

Doctors said she was shot in the abdomen and that her son was born in critical condition. The Palestinian gunman apparently fled the scene.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Wednesday evening that the baby, who was delivered by emergency Caesarean section, had died in hospital.

“My heart, our hearts, are with Shira and Avihai at the death of a four-day-old baby who does not even have a name,” Mr Netanyahu told foreign media and diplomats in a speech. “The security forces are in pursuit of the murderer.”

Meanwhile in Gaza, Palestinian health officials reported that Ahmed Abu Abed, 4, had succumbed to his injuries apparently sustained by Israeli fire. He was buried in Khan Younis, at the southern end of the strip on Wednesday afternoon.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said he “was hit by shrapnel from Israeli gunfire” during protests near to the border fence with Israel on Friday.

Reuters footage from the protest showed the boy being carried by a medic into a field hospital not far from the border after being injured.

“There was one piece of bullet shrapnel in the eye that settled at the bottom of the brain, that was the most serious of all, and that what most likely killed him,” said Mohammad Abu Hilal, director of emergency department at Khan Younis hospital.

The boy’s father, Yasser Abu Abed, who suffered a leg injury, said they were among a hundred other protesters nearly 300 metres from the fence when Israeli forces opened fire. “We did not expect anything bad would happen as things were calm,” he said.

Israel’s military said it did “everything possible to avoid harming children” and accused Hamas, the militant group that runs the strip, of “cynically” using Gaza’s residents as human shields.

“[It] places them at the forefront of the violent riots, terrorist attacks and the terror of arson, demonstrating their contempt for human life,” the statement added.

Hamas denies the allegations and together with rights groups has accused Israel of using excessive force against protesters

More than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops since March according to health ministry in Gaza.

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Palestinians have been marching regularly on the border since March, protesting against an 11-year-old Israeli siege of Gaza and for the right to return to the ancestral land they fled or were forced from during the 1948 conflict that surrounded the creation of Israel.

After Mr Netanyahu spoke about the West Bank incident, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said troops shot and wounded a suspected militant who tried to evade arrest near the Palestinian city of Ramallah. It said he was in custody, but did not immediately confirm or deny Israeli media reports that he was sought in connection with the Ofra attack.

More Children Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

The sister of Palestinian boy Ahmed Abed is comforted as she mourns during his funeral in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip December 12, 2018.

Gaza boy, 4, dies from Israeli fire: Palestinian medics

Nidal al-Mughrabi

REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA

Relatives of Palestinian boy Ahmed Abed mourn during his funeral in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip December 12, 2018.

REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA

GAZA (Reuters) – Hundreds of Gazans on Wednesday attended the funeral of a four-year-old boy who died after being hit by Israeli shrapnel at a border protest last week, according to Palestinian medical officials.

Wrapped in a Palestinian flag, the body of Ahmed Abu Abed was carried on people’s shoulders as mourners threw flowers into the procession in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.

Reuters footage from the protest last Friday showed the boy being carried by a medic into a field hospital not far from the border after being injured.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said he “was hit by shrapnel from Israeli gunfire”.

“There was one piece of bullet shrapnel in the eye that settled at the bottom of the brain, that was the most serious of all, and that what most likely killed him,” Mohammad Abu Hilal, director of emergency department at Khan Younis hospital, told Reuters.

Gaza’s health ministry, run by the Islamist militant group Hamas, said more than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops since March at border protests demanding an end to an Israeli-led blockade of the coastal strip.

Israel’s military said it did “everything possible to avoid harming children,” and accused Hamas of endangering the lives of civilians by orchestrating the protests.

“The Hamas terrorist organization cynically uses Gaza residents, especially women and children, as human shields and places them at the forefront of the violent riots, terrorist attacks and the terror of arson, demonstrating their contempt for human life,” the military statement said.

Hamas denies the allegation and Palestinians accuse Israel of using excessive force against protesters.

The boy’s father, Yasser Abu Abed, who suffered a leg injury, said they were among a hundred other protesters nearly 300 metres (1,000 feet) from the fence when Israeli forces opened fire. “We did not expect anything bad would happen as things were calm,” he said.

(Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Russian Doomsday Nuclear Plan (Revelation 16)

Russia’s “Dead Hand” Nuclear Doomsday Weapon is Back

Russia has a knack for developing weapons that—at least on paper—are terrifying: nuclear-powered cruise missiles, robot subs with 100-megaton warheads .

Perhaps the most terrifying was a Cold War doomsday system that would automatically launch missiles—without the need for a human to push the button—during a nuclear attack.

But the system, known as “Perimeter” or “Dead Hand,” may be back and deadlier than ever.

This comes after the Trump administration announced that the United States is withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which eliminated the once-massive American and Russian stockpiles of short- and medium-range missiles. Donald Trump alleges that Russia has violated the treaty by developing and deploying new, prohibited cruise missiles.

This has left Moscow furious and fearful that America will once again, as it did during the Cold War, deploy nuclear missiles in Europe. Because of geographic fate, Russia needs ICBMs launched from Russian soil, or launched from submarines, to strike the continental United States. But shorter-range U.S. missiles based in, say, Germany or Poland could reach the Russian heartland.

Viktor Yesin, who commanded Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces in the 1990s, spoke of Perimeter/Dead Hand during an interview last month in the Russian newspaper Zvezda [Google English translation here]. Yesin said that if the United States starts deploying intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will consider adopting a doctrine of a preemptive nuclear strike. But he also added this:

Zvezda: “Will we have time to answer if the flight time is reduced to two to three minutes when deploying medium-range missiles near our borders? In this version, all hope is only on Perimeter. And for a retaliatory strike. Or was Perimeter also disassembled for parts?

Yesin: “The Perimeter system is functioning, it has even been improved. But when it works, we will have little left – we can only launch those missiles that will survive after the first attack of the aggressor.”

It is not clear what Yesin meant when he said the system has been “improved,” or even exactly what he meant by “functioning.” Perimeter works by launching specially modified SS-17 ICBMs, which transmit a launch signal to regular nuclear-tipped ICBMs in their silos.

David Hoffman, author of “The Dead Hand,” the definitive book on Perimeter, describes Perimeter in this way:

“Higher authority” would flip the switch if they feared they were under nuclear attack. This was to give the “permission sanction.” Duty officers would rush to their deep underground bunkers, the hardened concrete globes, the shariki. If the permission sanction were given ahead of time, if there were seismic evidence of nuclear strikes hitting the ground, and if all communications were lost, then the duty officers in the bunker could launch the command rockets. If so ordered, the command rockets would zoom across the country, broadcasting the signal “launch” to the intercontinental ballistic missiles. The big missiles would then fly and carry out their retaliatory mission.

There have been cryptic clues over the years that Perimeter still exists. Which illustrates one of the curiosities of this system, which is that the Soviet Union kept its existence secret from the American enemy whom it was supposed to deter.

What is unmistakable is that Perimeter is a fear-based solution. Fear of a U.S. first-strike that would decapitate the Russian leadership before it could give the order to retaliate. Fear that a Russian leader might lose his nerve and not give the order.

And if Russia is now discussing Perimeter publicly, that’s reason for the rest of us to worry.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Creative Commons. 

Even Kushner Recognizes the Battle Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)


 

President Donald Trump’s advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner stated during his interview with Sean Hannity on Monday night that the living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza are not acceptable.

“We are focused on the broader region, which is figuring out how to hopefully bring a deal together between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That conflict has gone on for way too long. The president has been very focused on trying to bring all of the different parties together,” Kushner began.

“We are hopeful in the next couple of months we will put out our plan which, again, not every side is [going to] love, but there is enough in it and enough reasons why people should take it and move forward. This plan will keep the Israeli people safe, give them a good future, but also give a real opportunity and hope for the Palestinian people so that they can live much better lives,” he continued. “I’ve been saying a lot that there … you should not be hijacking your children’s future because of your grandparents’ conflict.”

Last week, a U.S.-sponsored resolution to condemn the Gaza-based terror organization Hamas failed to receive the necessary votes.

“This is a conflict that has been going on for way too long. And the way the people are living in Gaza and West Bank right now is not acceptable,” Kushner added. “There is a lot that we could be doing to improve the quality of life, but it comes with resolving some of these core issues. And it is not just the Israelis that want it, it’s not just the Palestinian people who want it, it is all of the people I speak to throughout the entire Middle East who would like to see the issue resolved so they can start focusing on a brighter future.”

Palestinians Trampled Under Foot Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Scores of amputations in Gaza as Israeli troops aim at legs

Gaza’s Health Ministry has carried out 94 amputations since protests began in March, 82 of those involving lower limbs.

Raed Abu Khader, right, holds a wet cloth on the forehead of his 12-year-old son Mohammed in Gaza City; Mohammed was shot in the leg at one of the demonstrations in Gaza by the perimeter fence with Israel [Associated Press]

Israeli forces deployed along the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations demanding the right to return began in March.

And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other – the legs.

The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. It says it opens fire only as a last resort and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.

Still, 175 Palestinians have been shot dead, according to a count by the Associated Press news agency. And the number of wounded has reached colossal proportions.

Of the 10,511 protesters treated at hospitals and field clinics in Gaza so far, at least 6,392, or roughly 60 percent, have been struck in the lower limbs, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. At least 5,884 of those casualties were hit by live ammunition; others have been hit by rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters.

Mahmoud Abu Assi, who was shot in the leg during a demonstration, has his bandage changed in a clinic run by MSF in Gaza City [Associated Press]

The upsurge in violence has left a visible mark on Gaza that will likely remain for decades to come. It is now common to see young men walking through dilapidated streets on crutches. Most have legs bandaged or fitted with a metal frame called a fixator, which uses pins or screws that are inserted into fractured bones to help stabilize them.

The wounded can often be seen gathering at a treatment clinic run by the Paris-based medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Gaza City, where Associated Press photographer Felipe Dana took portraits of some of them.

Some of those he photographed acknowledged throwing stones towards Israeli troops during the demonstrations. One said he had hurled a firebomb. But others said they were unarmed bystanders; one paramedic said he was helping rescue the wounded, while another man said he was waving a Palestinian flag and another said he was selling coffee and tea.

Patients with leg injuries they attained during demonstrations, gather outside a clinic run by MSF  in Gaza City in September 2018 [Associated Press]

International human rights groups have said the military’s open-fire rules are unlawful because they allow the use of potentially lethal force in situations where soldiers’ lives are not in immediate danger.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, rejected international criticism that Israel’s response has been excessive. Instead, he said that firing at people’s legs was a sign of restraint.

Hamas is responsible for orchestrating violent riots where thousands of Palestinians assault our borders with the goal of breaching our defensive lines and attacking Israeli forces and civilian communities,” he said.

“Israeli soldiers use live fire only as a last resort, after written and verbal warnings, as well as extensive use of tear gas and other non-lethal means have been exhausted. It is our duty to defend our civilians and sovereignty, and we do it with the minimal use of force possible,” he said.

Raed Abu Khader, right, carries his 12-year-old son Mohammed as they return from the hospital in Gaza City [Associated Press]

MSF said this month that the huge number of patients was overwhelming Gaza’s healthcare system, which has already been severely weakened by a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that has fueled economic stagnation and rampant unemployment, and devastated water and electricity supplies.

The aid group said the majority of the 3,117 patients it has treated have been shot in the legs, and many will need follow-up surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

“These are complex and serious injuries that do not quickly heal,” the group said. “Their severity and the lack of appropriate treatment in Gaza’s crippled health system means that infection is a high risk, especially for patients with open fractures.”

“The consequences of these wounds … will be lifelong disability for many,” the aid group said. “And if infections are not tackled, then the results could be amputation or even death.”

Gaza’s Health Ministry says it has carried out 94 amputations since the protests began, 82 of them involving lower limbs.

Russia Builds Up Forces in Crimea

Two weeks after Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels in the contested Kerch Strait, satellite images obtained exclusively by Fox News on Sunday show that additional forces may be headed to the region.

In the images taken on Saturday, three Russian Ilyushin -76 cargo planes were spotted in the Dzhankoi airbase in Crimea.

The images, captured by Imagesat International, appear to show that Russia is continuing to step up and consolidate its military forces in the Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

According to social media reports in Russia, Four IL-76 planes departed on December 6 from Anapa airport in Novorossiysk and landed in Dzhankoi.

© FoxNews.com 24 Ukrainian sailors held by Russia near Crimea have reportedly been extensively questioned and will appear before a Russian court; Trey Yingst reports.

One of those airplanes returned Saturday to Anapa, while the three remain on base.

Ilushin-76 cargo planes are used by the Russian Army to deliver outsized or heavy cargo unable to be carried on the ground. The cargo planes are also used for mobilizing large numbers of troops.

The base of the elite unit of the Russia Airborne troops, the 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division is located in Novorossiysk, not far from Anapa.

The division’s troop participated in the last round of violence between Ukraine and Russia in August 2014, in addition to the fighting in Syria.

The IL-76 were spotted in the same airbase where the fourth S-400 surface-to-air missile battery was deployed, Fox News has previously reported.

The mobile S-400 missile has a range of up to almost 250 miles and can climb to an altitude of almost 19 miles. It’s intended to bring down a variety of aerial threats, from aircraft to cruise and ballistic missiles.

The apparent troop buildup comes as Ukraine’s defense ministry warned Friday that it will soon send naval ships through the Kerch Strait.

Ukraine has responded to the actions by Russia by introducing martial law for 30 days, a measure Kiev did not take even after Crimea’s annexation and amid large-scale fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in 2014-2015.

As part of martial law, Ukraine has beefed up its forces on the border with Russia and called up reservists for training. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told reporters on Friday that his country intends to send naval ships through the Kerch Strait soon, saying that “otherwise Russia will fully occupy the Sea of Azov.”

India Widens It’s Nuclear Horn

India Test Fires Agni-V Nuclear-Capable ICBM

Franz-Stefan Gady

India has successfully test fired its most advanced nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Agni-V, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement. The missile was fired from a canister on a road mobile launcher at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the eastern Indian state of Odisha on December 10.

“The launch operations were carried out and monitored by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) in presence of Scientists from Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and other associated officials,” the MoD statement reads.  The flight performance of the Agni-V was tracked and monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations. According to the MoD, the user trial of the new ICBM was successful. All test objectives were met.

The December 10 test firing constitutes the seventh test launch of the three-stage Agni-V ICBM, officially designated as an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), and the third launch in 2018. The last test of the missile took place on June 3. A previous test occurred on January 18. In both instances, the ICBM was launched in deliverable configuration from a hermetically sealed canister mounted on a mobile transporter erector launcher.

The missile was fired in a similar configuration in December 2016 and January 2015. The former launch included testing the missile for its full range. Two other tests that took place in April 2012 and September 2013 respectively, involved the launch of the Agni-V in ‘open configuration.’ The Agni-V is expected to be inducted into service in the coming months. (Earlier media reports suggested a December 2018 induction date.) An operational deployment of the new ICBM would require at least two additional test firings by the SFC.

Development of the Agni-V began in 2008. The ICBM features indigenously designed navigation and guidance systems including a ring laser gyroscope based inertial navigation system. The missile has been primarily developed as a strategic nuclear deterrent against China. As I noted previously:

While previous nuclear-capable missiles of the series (Agni-I, Agni-II, and Agni-III) were developed to offset Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the Agni-IV, [and] Agni-V (…) given their longer ranges, are designed to provide a credible nuclear deterrent against China.

Additionally, I explained:

The Agni-V, a three-stage solid fueled missile, has an approximate range of 5,500-5,800 kilometers [the exact range remains classified, but it is assumed that the missile has a range of 6,000-7,500 kilometers], and can carry a 1,500-kilogram (3,300-pound) nuclear warhead. India has reportedly also been working on multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) for the Agni-V in order to ensure a credible second-strike capability.

The Agni-V’s increased accuracy could pose a problem for long-term strategic stability in South Asia.  The missile’s reduced launch time, paired with India’s burgeoning maneuverable reentry vehicle (MaRV) and MIRV technology, can reduce decision-making time in crisis situations and invite miscalculation.

Russia Spreads Her Nuclear Horn

Russia sends 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela

The Associated Press

FILE – In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, a supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber with Russian President Vladimir Putin aboard flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk. The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions. (Alexei Panov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)more +

Two Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers arrived in Venezuela on Monday, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said a pair Tu-160 bombers landed at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas on Monday following a 10,000-kilometer (6,200-mile) flight. It didn’t say if the bombers were carrying any weapons and didn’t say how long they will stay in Venezuela.

The ministry said the bombers were shadowed by Norwegian F-18 fighter jets during part of their flight. It added that a heavy-lift An-124 Ruslan cargo plane and an Il-62 passenger plane accompanied the bombers to Maiquetia.

The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500 kilometers (3,410 miles). Such bombers took part in Russia’s campaign in Syria, where they launched conventionally-armed Kh-101 cruise missiles for the first time in combat.

Code-named Blackjack by NATO, the massive warplane is capable of flying at a speed twice exceeding the speed of sound. Russia has upgraded its Tu-160 fleet with new weapons and electronics and plans to produce a modernized version of the bomber.

The bombers’ deployment follows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s visit to Moscow last week in a bid to shore up political and economic assistance even as his country has been struggling to pay billions of dollars owed to Russia.

Russia is a major political ally of Venezuela, which has become increasingly isolated in the world under growing sanctions led by the U.S. and the European Union, which accuse Maduro of undermining democratic institutions to hold onto power, while overseeing an economic and political crisis that is worse than the Great Depression.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at last week’s meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez that Russia would continue to send its military aircraft and warships to visit Venezuela as part of bilateral military cooperation.

Russia sent its Tu-160 strategic bombers and a missile cruiser to visit Venezuela in 2008 amid tensions with the U.S. after Russia’s brief war with Georgia. A pair of Tu-160s also visited Venezuela in 2013.

Russia-U.S. relations are currently at post-Cold War lows over Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Russia has bristled at U.S. and other NATO allies deploying their troops and weapons near its borders.

Asked about the Russian bombers, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said he had no specific information about the deployment.

However, Manning cited the humanitarian assistance provided in Central and South American by a U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, in the past eight weeks. Numerous Venezuelan migrants were among the people who received medical and dental treatment.

“Contrast this with Russia, whose approach to the man-made disaster in Venezuela is to send bomber aircraft instead of humanitarian assistance,” Manning said.

———

Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.

Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Winter (Revelation 16)

Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change Threaten Human Survival

Ramesh Jaura09 December 2018

Photo credit: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Shigeo Hayashi – RA119-RA134

John Avery interviews David Krieger

COPENHAGEN | SANTA BARBARA, CA (IDN) – One of the five “M’s” can trigger a nuclear war any time: malice, madness, mistake, miscalculation and manipulation. “Of these five, only malice is subject to possibly being prevented by nuclear deterrence and of this there is no certainty. But nuclear deterrence (threat of nuclear retaliation) will not be at all effective against madness, mistake, miscalculation or manipulation (hacking),” David Krieger tells John Scales Avery in an exceptional interview.

Krieger is the Founder and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) that has been committed to a world free of nuclear weapons since 1982. He has been working steadily and unwaveringly for peace and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Avery is an eminent academician and scientist, and an impassioned peace activist.

As reflected in this Q&A, Avery and Krieger have great admiration for each other, which has not been filtered out. Nor have the style and content been confined in an editorial straitjacket.

The following is the full text of the interview:

John Avery (JA): Dear David, I have long admired your dedicated and heroic life-long work for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. You did me the great honor of making me an advisor to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). Could you tell us a little about your family, and your early life and education? What are the steps that led you to become one of the world’s most famous advocates of the complete abolition of nuclear weapons?

David Krieger (DK): John, you have honored us by being an advisor to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. You are one of the most knowledgeable people I know on the dangers of nuclear and other technologies to the future of life on our planet, and you have written brilliantly about these threats.

Regarding my family, early life and education, I was born three years before the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by nuclear weapons. My father was a pediatrician, and my mother a housewife and hospital volunteer. Both were very peace oriented, and both rejected militarism unreservedly.

I would describe my early years as largely uneventful. I attended Occidental College, where I received a good liberal arts education. After graduating from Occidental, I visited Japan, and was awakened by seeing the devastation suffered by Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I realized that in the U.S., we viewed these bombings from above the mushroom cloud as technological achievements, while in Japan the bombings were viewed from beneath the mushroom cloud as tragic events of indiscriminate mass annihilation.

After returning from Japan, I went to the graduate school at the University of Hawaii and earned a Ph.D. in political science. I was also drafted into the military, but was able to join the reserves as an alternate way of fulfilling my military obligation. Unfortunately, I was later called to active duty.

In the military, I refused orders for Vietnam and filed for conscientious objector status. I believed that the Vietnam War was an illegal and immoral war, and I was unwilling as a matter of conscience to serve there. I took my case to federal court and eventually was honorably discharged from the military. My experiences in Japan and in the U.S. Army helped shape my views toward peace and nuclear weapons. I came to believe that peace was an imperative of the Nuclear Age and that nuclear weapons must be abolished.

JA: Humanity and the biosphere are threatened by the danger of an all-destroying thermonuclear war. It could occur through a technical or human failure, or through uncontrollable escalation of a war fought with conventional weapons. Can you say something about this great danger?

DK: There are many ways in which a nuclear war could start. I like to talk about the five “M’s”. These are: malice, madness, mistake, miscalculation and manipulation. Of these five, only malice is subject to possibly being prevented by nuclear deterrence and of this there is no certainty. But nuclear deterrence (threat of nuclear retaliation) will not be at all effective against madness, mistake, miscalculation or manipulation (hacking).

As you suggest, any war in the nuclear age could escalate into a nuclear war. I believe that a nuclear war, no matter how it would start, poses the greatest danger confronting humankind, and can only be prevented by the total abolition of nuclear weapons, achieved through negotiations that are phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent.

JA: Can you describe the effects of a nuclear war on the ozone layer, on global temperatures, and on agriculture? Could nuclear war produce a large-scale famine?

DK: My understanding is that a nuclear war would largely destroy the ozone layer allowing extreme levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the earth’s surface. Additionally, a nuclear war would dramatically lower temperatures, possibly throwing the planet into a new Ice Age. The effects of a nuclear war on agriculture would be very marked.

Atmospheric scientists tell us that even a “small” nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side used 50 nuclear weapons on the other side’s cities would put enough soot into the stratosphere to block warming sunlight, shorten growing seasons, and cause mass starvation leading to some two billion human deaths. A major nuclear war would produce even more severe effects, including the possibility of destroying most complex life on the planet.

JA: What about the effects of radiation from fallout? Can you describe the effects of the Bikini tests on the people of the Marshall Islands and other nearby islands?

DK: Radiation fallout is one of the unique dangers of nuclear weapons. Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. conducted 67 of its nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, with the equivalent power of detonating 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for a twelve-year period. Of these tests, 23 were conducted in the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Some of these tests contaminated islands and fishing vessels hundreds of miles away from the test sites. Some islands are still too contaminated for the residents to return. The U.S. shamefully treated the people of the Marshall Islands who suffered the effects of radioactive fallout like guinea pigs, studying them to learn more about the effects of radiation on human health.

Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. conducted 67 of its nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, with the equivalent power of detonating 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for a twelve-year period. Of these tests, 23 were conducted in the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

JA: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation cooperated with the Marshall Islands in suing all of the nations which signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] and which currently possess nuclear weapons for violating Article VI of the NPT. Can you describe what has happened? The Marshall Islands’ foreign minister, Tony de Brunn, received the Right Livelihood Award for his part in the lawsuit. Can you tell us something about this?

DK: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation consulted with the Marshall Islands on their heroic lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed countries (U.S., Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea). The lawsuits in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague were against the first five of these countries for their failure to fulfill their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT for negotiations to end the nuclear arms race and achieve nuclear disarmament. The other four nuclear-armed countries, those not parties to the NPT, were sued for the same failures to negotiate, but under customary international law. The U.S. was sued additionally in U.S. federal court.

Of the nine countries, only the UK, India and Pakistan accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. In these three cases the Court ruled that there was not a sufficient controversy between the parties and dismissed the cases without getting to the substance of the lawsuits. The votes of the 16 judges on the ICJ were very close: in the case of the UK the judges split 8 to 8 and the case was decided by the casting vote of the president of the Court, who was French.

The case in U.S. federal court was also dismissed before getting to the merits of the case. The Marshall Islands was the only country in the world willing to challenge the nine nuclear-armed states in these lawsuits, and did so under the courageous leadership of Tony de Brunn, who received many awards for his leadership on this issue. It was an honor for us to work with him on these lawsuits. Sadly, Tony passed away in 2017.

JA: On July 7, 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was passed by an overwhelming majority by the United Nations General Assembly. This was a great victory in the struggle to rid the world of the danger of nuclear annihilation. Can you tell us something about the current status of the Treaty?

DK: The Treaty is still in the process of attaining signatures and ratifications. It will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country deposits its ratification or accession to it. At present, 69 countries have signed and 19 have ratified or acceded to the treaty, but these numbers change frequently. ICAN [the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons] and its partner organizations continue to lobby states to join the treaty.

JA: ICAN received a Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts leading to the establishment of the TPNW. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is one of the 468 organizations that make up ICAN, and therefore, in a sense, you have already received a Nobel Peace Prize. I have several times nominated you, personally, and the NAPF as an organization for the Nobel Peace Prize. Can you review for us the activities that might qualify you for the award?

DK: John, you have kindly nominated me and NAPF several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, for which I deeply thank you. I would say that my greatest accomplishment has been to found and lead the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and to have worked steadily and unwaveringly for peace and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. I don’t know if this would qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize, but it has been good and decent work that I am proud of. I also feel that our work at the Foundation, though international, focuses largely on the United States, and that is a particularly difficult country in which to make progress.

But I would say this. It has been gratifying to work for such meaningful goals for all humanity and, in doing such work, I have come across many, many dedicated people who deserve to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, including you. There are many talented and committed people in the peace and nuclear abolition movements, and I bow to them all. It is the work that is most important, not prizes, even the Nobel, although the recognition that comes with the Nobel can help with making further progress. I think this has been the case with ICAN, which we joined at the beginning and have worked closely with over the years. So, we are happy to share in this award.

JA: Military-industrial complexes throughout the world need dangerous confrontations to justify their enormous budgets. Can you say something about the dangers of the resulting brinkmanship?

DK: Yes, the military-industrial complexes throughout the world are extremely dangerous. It is not only their brinkmanship which is a problem, but the enormous funding they receive that takes away from social programs for health care, education, housing, and protecting the environment. The amount of funds going to the military-industrial complex in many countries, and particularly in the U.S., is obscene.

I have recently been reading a great book, titled Strength through Peace, written by Judith Eve Lipton and David P. Barash. It is a book about Costa Rica, a country that gave up its military in 1948 and has lived mostly in peace in a dangerous part of the world since then. The book’s subtitle is “How Demilitarization Led to Peace and Happiness in Costa Rica, & What the Rest of the World can Learn from a Tiny Tropical Nation.”

The Romans said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The Costa Rican example says, “If you want peace, prepare for peace.” It is a much more sensible and decent path to peace.

It is a wonderful book that shows there are better ways of pursuing peace than through military strength. It turns the old Roman dictum on its head. The Romans said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The Costa Rican example says, “If you want peace, prepare for peace.” It is a much more sensible and decent path to peace.

JA: Has Donald Trump’s administration contributed to the danger of nuclear war?

DK: I think that Donald Trump himself has contributed to the danger of nuclear war. He is narcissistic, mercurial, and generally uncompromising, which is a terrible combination of traits for someone in charge of the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenal. He is also surrounded by Yes men, who generally seem to tell him what he wants to hear. Further, Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the agreement with Iran, and has announced his intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty [INF Treaty] with Russia. Trump’s control of the U.S. nuclear arsenal may be the most dangerous threat of nuclear war since the beginning of the Nuclear Age.

JA: Could you say something about the current wildfires in California? Is catastrophic climate change a danger comparable to the danger of a nuclear catastrophe?

DK: The wildfires in California have been horrendous, the worst in California history. These terrible fires are yet another manifestation of global warming, just as are the increased intensity of hurricanes, typhoons and other weather-related events. I believe that catastrophic climate change is a danger comparable to the danger of nuclear catastrophe. A nuclear catastrophe could happen at any time. With climate change we are approaching a point from which there will be no return to normalcy and our sacred earth will become uninhabitable by humans. [IDN-InDepthNews – 09 December 2018]

Photo (top): David Krieger, Founder and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Credit: NAPF

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