War with China: A Propaganda Delusion

A dangerous delusion has taken hold in US political and media circles regarding the prospect of a war with China. In order to avoid the calamitous outcome that would ensue from such a war, the public should be aware of the historic and technical facts that argue against such folly. The following discussion will provide this information and explain the perverse incentives motivating US business, political, military, and media elites in their efforts to present China as a hostile power that must be confronted militarily.

Historical Background

China emerged as a powerful modern state after a long period of suffering at the hands of exploitative foreign powers (1840-1945) followed by a bitter civil war (1937-1949), and a major war against the US in Korea (1950-1953). Adding to the challenges of repeated warfare was the internal political turmoil of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Only after the death of Mao in 1976 did China adopt a political system that enabled rapid modernization and economic growth, resulting in China’s emergence as a major world power.

Unlike the United States, which has not experienced the suffering of war on its own soil since 1865, the Chinese have a long history of episodic bloody conflict, external and internal, covering the last century, including border wars with Russia, India, and Vietnam. China is not a nation that backs down from war if its vital interests are threatened.

The large and rapidly growing Chinese economy, which is on course to surpass the GDP of the United States within the next 10 years, has enabled China to modernize its armed forces. China has a small but potent nuclear deterrent, a Navy with more ships than the US, and a large, well-equipped standing army double the size of that of the US. Although the US military has many high-tech advantages, such as stealth technology and naval aviation, the Chinese have developed offsetting advanced weapons systems, such as precision-guided ballistic missiles capable of sinking warships.


Chinese DF-26 “Carrier Killer” missiles – Est. unit Cost: $2 million

China views the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland as the most important unfinished business of the restoration of China to its historic position as the dominant power in Asia. US support of Taiwan, the break-away state established by the defeated faction in the Chinese Civil war, is a major point of contention between the two nations, and a possible cause of armed conflict. The other likely cause of conflict is territorial claims over the waters of the South China Sea, an area encompassing strategic waterways and rich with natural resources. Forcible attempts by the US to block Chinese unification with Taiwan or occupy islands claimed by China in the South China Sea would likely trigger a war. What would this war look like?

The Realities of War with China

Americans have grown accustomed to swift initial victory in warfare against weak adversaries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, but the US has not fought a war with a peer power armed with equivalent weaponry since 1945. Thus, the US risks encountering serious unfavorable technical and operational surprises should it undertake a war with China. Although military planners make estimates of adversary capabilities in simulations and exercises, the test of combat is the final determinant of outcomes. No one in the US military knows if the Chinese missiles designed to sink US aircraft carriers can do so in a shooting war, and no one knows if the complex logistics infrastructure required by US high-tech weapons deployed in the Western Pacific can survive in a high-tempo combat environment. Why, then would US leaders contemplate such a war?


USS Nimitz Aircraft Carrier – Est. cost: $13 Billion

There have been many historical instances of outdated military thinking leading to catastrophe. Perhaps the most terrible is that of WWI, a conflict that resulted in far more carnage than political and military leaders expected. On the eve of WWI, there was enthusiasm on all sides for what was expected to be a short and decisive war. The opposing generals has clever plans for swiftly defeating their adversaries. What they failed to understand was the radical transformation of the battlefield that advances in antipersonnel weaponry would cause. The devastating effects of massed artillery and machine gun fire would result in infantry casualties in the millions and a bloody, exhausting war of attrition that left deep scars in European politics and created the conditions for WWII.

What is known about a potential war with China is that the logistical constraints imposed by geography overwhelmingly favor the Chinese in a war fought off their coast against an adversary from other side of the Pacific. In such a war, the US would be heavily reliant on a small number of Western Pacific bases such as Guam and Okinawa. These bases are likely to be attacked and destroyed in the early days of hostilities, leaving US naval forces stranded with uncertain prospects of support from nervous Asian allies. Long-range stealth bombers flying from the US could inflict some damage on China, but the sortie rate (the number of strike missions flown) would be too low to be decisive.

The Chinese, on the other hand, could swarm Taiwan and the South China Sea with naval and aviation assets, absorbing heavy losses and still sweep US forces out of the theater. At that point, escalation to a nuclear exchange would be the only remaining military option for the US, but the relatively small Chinese nuclear force would still be capable of destroying dozens of US cities, an unacceptable outcome for any sane US President.

The general public is poorly informed regarding the characteristics of modern missile warfare. Despite decades of costly efforts to develop missile interceptors, the US has not been able to overcome the basic problem of missile defense. The defender must protect all vulnerable assets with costly systems that can intercept a high percentage of incoming missiles, but the attacker can make concentrated attacks selectively, using surprise, decoys, and overwhelming numbers, to score precise hits that damage or destroy targets. (This imbalance was demonstrated recently in successful missile attacks on Saudi petroleum facilities and US airbases in Iraq.) The US simply lacks the resources to put an impenetrable missile defense umbrella over every vulnerable ship, airbase, and supply depot in the Western Pacific, and the Chinese have a lot of missiles to throw against these targets.

The damage to the US from defeat in a war with China would be far-reaching. Apart from the military casualties and material losses, the economic impact of disrupting trade and communications in Asia would be enormous, probably triggering a global recession. The diplomatic impact would likely be the destruction of long-standing US alliances with other Asian powers, including India, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philipines, and the Southeast Asian nations

The US Military has conducted many simulations of an armed conflict with China involving Taiwan and the South China Sea, and China wins (at a heavy cost) in most of these exercises, mainly because of geographical and logistical advantages. If war with China is a losing proposition from an analytical perspective, what sustains the delusion?

Cui Bono

The Latin expression “Cui Bono” (To whom is it a benefit?) is the name of a method that has been used since ancient times to analyze motives behind political actions. Consider who benefits from sustaining the propaganda delusion of war with China:

Defense Contractors benefit from the incessant arms purchases associated with preparations for war. Because the Chinese can afford to steadily modernize their armed forces, the US defense industry can successfully market new weapons to counter actual and perceived advantages in Chinese weaponry. The US defense industry has enormous political influence because of large campaign donations and support for institutions and academics promoting bellicose foreign policies.

Military Professionals benefit from improved opportunities for command and promotion in growing organizations, such as the newly established Space Force. More surface ships and aircraft squadrons require more officers and commanders. New high-tech weapons projects require military managers who can look forward to high-salaried jobs with defense contractors after taking early retirement.

Politicians benefit from Xenophobia and war fever, particularly if there is a racist component involved. In WWII, the US had no compunction in putting Japanese Americans into internment camps, while German Americans were left unmolested. By depicting the Chinese as totalitarian Communists bent on world domination, politicians can easily whip up war fever among a large segment of the electorate. President Trump has already begun building up anti-Chinese sentiment by referring to COVID-19 as the “China Virus.”

Media Corporations benefit by generating Internet clicks and TV ratings from an audience excited by wars and rumors of wars. Danger and violence sell, and tensions threatening a major war are a sure winner for elevating viewership. The concentration of US media power in a handful of major corporations makes it easier for governments and arms makers to influence “news” coverage in a bellicose manner. Government-friendly US media companies now routinely employ ex-military and former intelligence agency personnel as commentators on foreign affairs, thus strengthening what is effectively a pro-war propaganda collaboration with the national security establishment.

The above players are engaged in an alliance of convenience to promote a war that cannot be waged successfully. Nevertheless, by keeping the danger of this delusional war before the public, they succeed in selling costly weapons, advancing military careers, winning elections, and earning media profits.

Conclusion

The rational arguments against the US engaging in a war with China are overwhelming, and it is only the power of the US political/media propaganda apparatus that has given this idea public credibility. Perverse incentives motivate arms makers, politicians, the military, and media leaders to sustain this delusion and run the risk of the accidental or intentional outbreak of a war which would have ruinous consequences for the US. Citizens should act to persuade their leaders to stop the drum beat of war before a propaganda delusion turns into a military disaster.

Haig Hovaness
GPAX Secretary
September 3, 2020

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings Student Resources

Student Resources about the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki (H/N)

By Dianne Blais for the GREEN PARTY PEACE ACTION COMMITTEE (GPAX)

These Resources include: 

Intro – info about the H/N bombings

Aug. 6-9, 2020 EVENTS

Anti-Nuclear Organizations that include H/N bombings remembrance

Webinars about the H/N bombings

Books about the bombings

Articles about the bombings

Films about the bombings

Miscellaneous:  Photos,  Sample Program to Remember H/N and petition

 

A good intro to the H/N bombings is “The Untold History of the U.S.”

Oliver Stone’s 2012 12-part series (free on Netflix and supplemented by a 750-page companion book) is a condensed analysis of WWII and the H/N bombings.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – US section created this online 1945 timeline. https://www.vtwilpfgathering.com/timeline

WebsiteUN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

https://www.un.org/disarmament/education/slideshow/hibakusha/ Links to many resources, including Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs collection of testimonies from Hibakusha

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/un/disarmament/arms/testimony_of_hibakusha/index.html

 

Hiroshima – “Original Child Bomb” by Thomas Merton (1961 poem has 41 sections) https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/hiroshima-original-child-bomb-by-thomas-merton/

 

 

FOR AUGUST 6-9, 2020

https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/  more than 160 organizations working together to create 18 hours of video streaming on August 6 and 9

 

From August 6 at 8:15am, the time that the nuclear bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, until August 9 at 11:02am, the time the nuclear bomb was detonated over Nagasaki, peace activists around the world will undertake individual and/or group actions as part of a ‘Peace Wave’

ReThinkMedia.org is a media company that is a gathering place for organizations to share resources for the 75th Anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

75 Years and Counting: From Hiroshima to Hope –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE6hCc6Mo2Q&feature=youtu.be

film featuring performances and readings, interviews with hibakusha, and traditional koto and shakuhachi flute along with beautiful images of candle-lit lanterns floating on Green Lake (Seattle, Wash).

 

Groups against nuclear weapons that support remembering the H/N bombings.

Go to these groups’ web-sites for videos, articles, and links to further information.

From Wikipedia:  Nuclear disarmament groups include the Campaign for Nuclear DisarmamentPeace ActionPugwash Conferences on Science and World AffairsGreenpeaceSoka Gakkai InternationalInternational Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear WarMayors for PeaceGlobal Zero, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

U.S. elder statesmen Sam NunnWilliam PerryHenry Kissinger, and George Shultz have called upon governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons & have created the Nuclear Security Project to advance this agenda. Organizations such as Global Zero, an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving nuclear disarmament, have also been established.

 

Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons www.abolition2000.org

 

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (PSR) mobilizes physicians and health professionals to advocate for climate solutions and a nuclear weapons-free world.  Is local /state/national/international organization.,

The Council for a Livable World promotes policies to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and to minimize the risk of war through lobbying and by helping elect and support Members of Congress who share our goals.

 

United for Peace & Justice www.unitedforpeace.org a multi-issue network that takes nuclear weapons dangers seriously

 

Prevent Nuclear War.org Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War is a national grassroots campaign seeking to lead us away from the dangerous path we are on – lays out five common-sense steps that the United States should take to reform its nuclear policy.

 

UNFOLD ZERO is a platform for United Nations (UN) focused initiatives and actions for the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world. UNFOLD ZERO aims to unfold the path to zero nuclear weapons through effective steps and measures facilitated by the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General and other UN bodies.

 

Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) has info & documentary films   https://www.nti.org/

 

The World Peace Council (WPC) is an international organization that advocates universal disarmament,  The U.S. Peace Council  represents its American section.

 

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty.

 

World BEYOND War is a global nonviolent movement to advance the idea of not just preventing any particular war but abolishing the entire institution (2014).

Mayors for Peace “No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03aRCUSsyCg

 

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

WILPF was founded in 1915 during World War I, with Jane Addams as its first president.

 

LOCAL GROUPS

Tri-Valley CAREs Communities Against a Radioactive Environment From Hiroshima to a Healthy Tomorrow: Embracing Our Common Humanity —Annual protest and rally held at the gates of Livermore Laboratory,

 

Since 1982, the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area has been organizing for the abolition of nuclear weapons and power and in support of nuclear victims.

 

Prevent Nuclear War.org Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War is a national grassroots campaign seeking to lead us away from the dangerous path we are on – lays out five common-sense steps that the United States should take to reform its nuclear policy.

 

Hiroshima City University (HCU) contains the affiliated Hiroshima Peace Institute (HPI)

 

Minneapolis St. Paul Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemoration Committee (HNCC)

No More Bombs based in Washington state

Webinars about the H/N bombings

7/25/2020 – Four historians explained that the US didn’t need to drop the bomb, we’ve been told a myth.   https://youtu.be/7hJVHsQ7f0k   What Every Global Citizen Needs to Know About the Decision to A-Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Hiroshima Symposium Hibakusha Testimony: Hiroshima 1945 to the U.S. 2020  (March 5, 2020). Recording available to watch online.  Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis  https://iu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/playlist/details/1_k83bkcoj

IUPUI’s Japanese Studies Program hosted “Hiroshima Nagasaki A-bomb Poster Exhibition,” which includes the testimony of Dr. Hideko Tamura, an A-bomb survivor and Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, followed by a symposium with guests, Dr. Roy Tamashiro, Professor Emeritus from Webster University and specialist in Peace Studies, as well as Ari Beser, the grandson of the only crew member who participated in both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Books about the bombings

One Sunny Day by Atomic bomb survivor Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider (1996)

Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard (Viking 2015) — tells the story of five survivors, all of whom where teenagers in 1945, and the life of the entire city, over the next 70 years. Documents the enduring impact of nuclear war. www.susansouthard.com

Choosing Life: My father’s journey from Hollywood to Hiroshima by Leslie A. Sussan https://hiroshima-choosinglife.com/  The ripples of one bomb on four generations and two continents seen at a level of human compassion.

 

African Americans Against the Bomb

Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement

By Vincent Intondi   https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=23490

The Atomic Bomb on my Back.  Hibakusha (atomic bomb sufferer/survivor), Taniguchi, at age 16, was badly burned by the blast, and spent ten years in recovery. This account of his life, during which he lived with “the atomic bomb on his back,” is a moving tale of survival and activism, as he dedicated his life to the abolition of nuclear weapons.  https://www.rootstockpublishing.com/rootstock-books/the-atomic-bomb-on-my-back he would often show the photo of his burns to illustrate the intense suffering that resulted from the bombings. He spent a total of more than three-and-a-half years in the hospital after the bombing.

Dr. Joseph Gerson is Executive Director of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security and Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau. His most recent book is Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World. His previous books include The Sun Never Sets and With Hiroshima Eyes.

 

Articles about the bombings

“Intersectionality of the bomb” https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2020-07/features/reflections-injustice-racism-bomb

 

Films about the bombings

Hibakusha, Our Life to Live and Article 9 Comes to America by David Rothauser
Hibakusha
https://youtu.be/goiKsKgsYdM
Article 9
https://youtu.be/yui6xLdX3Aw

The Moment in Time: The Manhattan Project | 2000 | 56min | Directed by John Bass |
This Library of Congress and Los Alamos National Laboratory co-production uses interviews and oral histories with many of the key Manhattan Project scientists who helped build the bomb. The film charts the fear that the Nazis were working on an atomic bomb, and follows its development up to the explosion of the ‘Trinity” bomb on July 16, 1945 with scarce consideration given to the population living in the vicinity.

 

ICAN Film: The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons http://theendofnuclearweapons.com

This documentary film about the efforts to bring about a nuclear weapon ban treaty into international law and the role of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is told through the voices of leading activists that are part of the coalition of ICAN. This 56 minute documentary is available by contacting the producer through the website listed. It includes a brief history of the bomb and anti-nuclear activism and moves to the historic steps taken since 2010 to turn the treaty from a dream into a reality.

Hiroshima: BBC History of World War II  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0475296/

The docudrama recounts the world’s first nuclear attack and examines the repercussions. Covering a three-week period from the Trinity test to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the program chronicles America’s political gamble and the planning for the momentous event. Archival film, dramatizations, and special effects depict what occurred aboard the Enola Gay and inside the nuclear blast.

 

White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0911010/ Using extensive interviews with survivors and archival footage, an examination reveals the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:  Photos,  Sample Program  & petition

Photo Essay

https://time.com/after-the-bomb/  Powerful Photos of Survivors paired with their personal stories.  A selection of the work of Photographer Haruka Sakaguchi.  Suitable for posters, handouts, display and readings.

 

Sample Program to raise awareness of Hiroshima/Nagasaki w/ Readings, Songs & Film

Hiroshima Day  (original by Barbara Taft, Greater Phoenix AZ)

7:00     Program begins with Song – “Blowin’ in the Wind”,  “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

Film Excerpts: “White Light, Black Rain :

7:20     Slide Show on Hiroshima, until mostly finished, then begin:

Songs:  “Song of Peace (Findlandia),  “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream”

Poem:  “I Come and Stand at Every Door,” by Nazim Hikmet

7:40     Reading of Toyomi Hashimoto from play “Most Dangerous Women” written by Jan Maher

VOICE  (Narrator)
August 6, 1945.  Hiroshima.  Perhaps the darkest day in a dark decade. Three days later the United States drops a second bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

Toyomi Hashimoto remembers that day: Though at each anniversary the skies over our city are blue and peaceful, the memory of that day in 1945 still troubles my body and soul. In spite of the wartime conditions, my husband and our little son and I lived a happy life. On the morning of August 9, 1945, I walked to the gate to see my husband off to work.  My three-year-old boy, Takashi, went out to play. I was alone in the house when, in the distance, I heard an approaching airplane. “Japanese?” I wondered.  I stepped outside to see my son running to me, calling, “Airplane! Airplane!”

The moment we reentered the house, there was a blinding flash followed by a tremendous explosion.  The roof of the house caved in, pinning us under a mountain of debris.  Hours passed.  I do not know how many.

Then I heard my son crying softly and calling for mother and father.  He was alive.  I tried to reach for him, but a huge beam immobilized me.  I could not break free. Though I screamed for help, no one came.

Soon I heard voices calling names of neighbors. My son was bravely trying to crawl from under a heap of clay that had been one of the walls. When he turned and faced me, I saw that his right eye was obliterated with blood.  Once again, I tried to move, but the beam would not budge. I screamed so loud and long that I must have lost my voice.  I called to the people I could see scurrying about, but they did not hear me.  No one answered until the lady next door finally pulled my son out of the wreckage.

I suddenly became aware of a sharp pain in my breast, left hand, and stomach. As I tried again to crawl out, I saw that a huge nail was stuck in my stomach. “Fire! Fire!” I could hear people shouting around me. It was either break free or burn to death. With a violent wrench, I pulled myself from under the beam.  In doing so, I ripped the flesh of my stomach. Blood spurted from an agonizing gash in my body.

I was at last out of the ruined house.  Still, my son was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the kind lady next door had led him to safety. I had to search for him, but I could only limp slowly because of the pain in my stomach. As I crept slowly along, people more seriously injured than I clutched at my feet and pleaded for help and water. I heard loud voices shouting, “Leave the old people!  Help the children first!”  All I could do was promise to come back with water, if it was possible.

“Thank heaven you’re alive!” I heard a familiar voice saying.  Turning, with intense happiness, I saw my husband, who was holding our son in his arms. We climbed to the top of a hill together, walking among countless corpses.

On the hilltop, a kind man gave us bed sheets, candles, sugar, and other useful things. At once we began to try to do something for Takashi, who had lost consciousness.  After a while, as we dripped sugar water into his mouth, he awakened.  He had already lost the sight of his right eye. Myriad slivers of        glass were embedded in his head, face, body, arms, and legs. An air-raid alarm, still in effect, prohibited lighting candles. In the pitch darkness, my husband and I picked out as many pieces of glass from his body as we could find.  So full of life and energy until that moment!  Now blind in one eye and covered with blood and dirt!

Still he bore everything bravely and only asked, “Am I being a good boy?”

SHE stands quietly, head bowed.

 

Petition:  Join the Hibakusha in calling for an end to nuclear weapons by signing their petition here: https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/hibakusha-appeal

 

 

 

Yemen, Historic Political Coverage, Will the Stockholm Ceasefire in Yemen Hold?

Will the Stockholm Ceasefire in Yemen Hold?

BRAVE NEW WORLD

John Harrison

A fragile truce between the Hadi government and Houthi forces in Yemen was secured in December after weeklong negotiations in Sweden. A small UN monitoring mission was rushed to the Yemeni port of Al Hudaydah to observe the agreement. Will the ceasefire hold in the context of Yemen’s very complex history?

Jay Tharappel, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Sydney explains the situation.

Jay says that according to the UN’s envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, both sides are largely adhering to the ceasefire… For the UN, the ceasefire is successful as it is allowing aid workers to come in and help the millions of Yemenis who are starving. “…As to whether the ceasefire will hold until late January when the next talks are held in Kuwait, I believe that it can even though there are constant violations it can still hold as long as the front line does not change much.”

One major issue is whether the customs revenues from the Al Hudaydah port are to go to the Yemen central bank in Aden run by the Hadi government, or instead to remain with Houthis’ banks. Jay says: “Let’s be very clear here, what ‘mutual troop withdrawal’ amounts to is the ending of the National Salvation Government (NSG); that is demanding that the Houthis concede control of the only port city that they have under their control. At present, most of the city is controlled by Houthis, which means that they have an interest in maintaining the ceasefire as long as possible, because that will allow food aid to flow in, whereas the Saudis have different interests, they want to seize control of Al Hudaydah because that would allow them to cut the NSG off from the sea. Roughly 75% of the population in Yemen lives under the control of the NSG, and they rely on the Al Hudaydah port for access to the sea. The Saudis would therefore like a ‘mutual troop withdrawal’  …The NSG has every right to believe that if they move out of Al Hudaydah, the Saudis will move in, as the Saudis have a track record of believing that might is right….The major issue is one of trust, whether the NSG can trust the Saudis or not. If they pull out, how do they know that the Saudis will not use their 150,000 troops to storm in claim victory?”

In the second part of the program, Jay gives a very concise history of Yemen starting with pre-WWI days when Yemen was to all intents and purpose split into two, with the Ottoman Empire controlling the northern part and the southern part being a British protectorate, right through to the present day. Jay also discusses the way that different cultural practices between peoples in different parts of Yemen manifest in varying religious practices and the way that people make money.

Jay denounces the claim that the outcome of the Yemen war is decided upon exclusively by outside forces. “Let’s ask the question: Which side can claim greater indigenous support? The Hadi government is based in Saudi Arabia, whereas the NSG is based in Yemen. The plain reality is that the bulk of the Yemeni state is behind the Houthis. The NSG is entirely indigenous. Some 150,000 troops are fighting alongside some 20,000 Al-Qaida fighters with weapons flown in from the US., Australia, Canada, and Britain, even the AP was forced to admit the following: ‘To win the Civil War against the Houthis, Al-Qaida are effectively on the same side as the United States.’ But how many people in the west know that? You have to ask yourself: Which side is more indigenous, and by far the largest side are native people, called rebels. But it is not a rebellion, it is a unification government.” Host John Harrison points out that semantics are very powerful, and once the word: ‘rebel’ is used, then all sorts of negative connotations are automatically assumed, and these connotations usually last for a long time whether justified or not.

We’d love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

original post: https://sputniknews.com/radio_brave_new_world/201901111071393719-stockholm-ceasefire-yemen/

Protest War and Racism, in Chicago, on August 25th

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention Protests

(This article is posted here.)

The following is the prepared text of remarks Rich Whitney made on behalf of the Chicago Committee Against War and Racism at a press conference on July 24th, 2018 in Grant Park in Chicago, near the statue of John A. Logan, General John Logan Statue in Grant Park, scene of one of the most iconic protests against the Vietnam War during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. 

The CCAWR has issued a Call for a demonstration against war and police violence on August 25th, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, when the movement against the Vietnam War was suppressed inside the convention hall, and brutally attacked by Mayor Richard Daley’s police on the streets of Chicago. If you can, won’t you please come to Chicago, and help change the world, on August 25th!

In calling for this demonstration, the Chicago Committee Against War and Racism declares that in many respects we are confronting worse evils today than we were 50 years ago — but we are still confronting the same institutional barriers to peace and progress.

Just 11 days ago, U.S.-led coalition warplanes in Syria conducted intensive airstrikes near Abu Kamal in the Deir ez-Zor province, with estimates of civilian casualties ranging from 30 to 54, the higher estimate coming from The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. All too typically, this received little media attention. It was not part of the so-called “national conversation.” But acts like these, occurring on a regular basis, need to become part of the national conversation, and that is part of what motivates us to call for this protest. These acts of aggressive war are not somehow magically transformed into moral acts simply because relatively few U.S. personnel are at risk of harm.

In 1968, the U.S. government was engaged in one illegal war. Now the U.S. illegally bombs, drone-strikes and/or occupies territory in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. It is responsible for millions of casualties, horrific devastation and suffering, and the displacement of millions of refugees. It has also been financing covert destabilization, “regime change” and support for repressive governments in much of Central and South America –and then it cruelly imprisons and punishes the hundreds of thousands of refugees who come to this country seeking safety and the opportunity to work. It spends $10.3 million a day of our tax dollars in military support for the repressive, now officially apartheid regime in Israel.

Every single one of these attacks on countries that never attacked the United States are illegal under established international law, including the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Nuremberg Charter and the United Nations Charter. As in 1968, we have no right to attack other nations that never attacked us.

Let us be clear. These wars are not only thoroughly immoral and illegal in their direct impacts, they are also part of a war at home against the American working class, and especially its most oppressed members, people of color. We spend over $1.3 trillion a year on wars and maintaining a military machine, including about 1,000 military bases in about 135 different countries — while working people and students are being driven into poverty and debt, and while millions of people go without access to health care, decent schools, higher education, decent and affordable housing, safe drinking water, decent public transportation and other necessities. And our government spends these colossal sums on what amounts to corporate welfare, to help ensure the continued profits of giant energy corporations, weapons manufacturers and others, to maintain an empire and continue policies of global domination that actually make us all less safe.

Read the rest of the article here or continue reading below.

Continue reading “Protest War and Racism, in Chicago, on August 25th”

Armistice Day, Not Weapons Day

The Green Party of the United States has endorsed actions called for by a coalition of peace organizations in opposition to President Trump’s plan for a military parade to be held in Washington, DC on November 10th.

Stop Trump’s Military Parade in Washington on November 10. Celebrate Armistice Day and Peace Everywhere on November 11.

 

If you can be in Washington, D.C., to oppose the Trump military parade, please sign up at notrumpmilitaryparade.us. There will be family-friendly, permitted, pro-peace events. There may also be opportunities to try to prevent the weapons parade. Or our public commitment to be there may discourage the parade planners from holding it. So it is important that we commit now en masse.

Other Events
Click here to read on the GPUS site or continue reading below.

Continue reading “Armistice Day, Not Weapons Day”

Bipartisan Dysfunctionality Puts The World At Risk

It is an imperative for US foreign policy to seek cooperation between Russia and the US to make a more safe, healthy and secure world. To accomplish that the stranglehold of the duopoly war parties must be broken.

All of humanity is being put at risk by the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans opposition to dialogue with Russia. The combination of Russophobia and the Democratic Party’s compulsion to criticize Trump’s every action, even when he accidentally does something sensible, is preventing the two largest nuclear powers, with the two most advanced militaries in the world, from working together to create a safer and more secure world.

President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin finally met for a lengthy meeting. Not much was accomplished, but it might be the beginning of an important dialogue, which could have significant positive impacts.

Russia and the United States are involved in many conflicts where de-escalation is possible if a working relationship is established. There are global crisis situations that could be reduced if the two nations work together, and bring other nations with them, to confront those problems.

Unfortunately, the reaction by members of the political duopoly and media to the Trump and Putin meeting is preventing progress urgently needed by the world. Hurdles are being created to prevent continued dialogue. For example, Russiagate delayed this first meeting and is making detente difficult to achieve.

Partisan Democrats are calling Trump a traitor for even meeting with Putin. They treat Robert Mueller’s indictment, timed just before their meeting, of Russian intelligence officials as if it were a conviction, not an accusation. It is unlikely these cases will ever be brought to trial so we are unlikely to see the evidence. Robert Mueller has a history of “misleading the public as he did when he was FBI director and claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

There are too many potential conflicts that could lead to war and too many crisis situations impacting millions for the United States and Russia not to be talking. Presidents Trump and Putin should meet again. Before their next meeting the two governments should negotiate progress on at least the following issues so their talks will be meaningful:

These are seven top priorities for diplomacy between the United States and Russia. There are many other crisis issues that the world is facing that a positive relationship between Russia and the US could ameliorate if not resolve — imagine the potential of a world where peace broke-out.

Continue reading “Bipartisan Dysfunctionality Puts The World At Risk”

Antinuclear Resisters at Büchel Airbase in Germany

By Pat Elder, July 4, 2018

The German Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado fighter jet.

WBW’s Pat Elder is encamped with antinuclear resisters just outside the gate of Büchel Airbase in Germany and he sends us this report.

Early in the morning, when I approached this sprawling airbase that employs 2,000 civilians and soldiers, the bucolic setting was reminiscent of the rolling foothills of the Blueridge Mountains in western Maryland and Virginia. Scattered large, well-kept farmhouses amid the beautiful rolling land planted in wheat and corn reflected this prosperous and peaceful country.

The Airbase (Der Fliegerhorst Büchel) is located in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of western Germany, about 60 km from the border with Belgium and Luxembourg. About 20 US thermonuclear nuclear weapons, fitted to the German Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado fighter jet, are ready to be deployed in a moment’s notice. German pilots will take off with these weapons if the order comes from President Trump through NATO. The Germans will drop them on their targets, presumably in Russia.  The Tornado is capable of delivering the B-61 nuclear bomb with a yield of up to 180 kilotons.  That’s 12 times the size of the Hiroshima blast.

Everything seemed normal very early this morning until I reached the access road to the main gate of the base located off a sleepy country road. A stream of cars carrying German soldiers and civilians proceeded into the base at a snail’s pace. As the traffic that engulfed me inched closer, I heard the deafening noise of the Tornado as it lifted off the runway just a few hundred meters away. It is a ghastly and frightening assault to the ears, Like Dylan described,

I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world.

After several minutes of single-lane bumper-to-bumper traffic I came within a hundred meters of the main gate and took a sudden and sharp right into the Peace Camp. This is one of the most extraordinary places on earth.

A prototype B61-12 with its newly designed GPS-guided tail-kit.

The Peace Camp is located on public land adjacent to the base, completely shrouded by a healthy hedge of brush and trees. It has been here, on an acre of land, for five years. There are several camper-trailers and a few large tents with bathrooms and a kitchen. The place has a solar panel that provides electricity to power the satellite and electronic devices. The internet these peaceniks have developed is lightning fast.  Leave it to Germans. I’m impressed with this country. Everything is better here.

I think this Peace Camp and the Peace Park, on the corner at the entrance to the base, demonstrate the guilty conscience of the German people. These great people, perhaps the pinnacle of human civilization, have learned many lessons in their tumultuous history, but this may be beyond their comprehension and/or resolve. They don’t have the courage to stand up to the American empire.

The organization behind the Peace Camp and the Peace Park is the Nonviolent Action Nuclear Weapons Abolition (Gewaltfreien Aktion Atomwaffen Abschaffen, GAAA). It has organized a remarkable twenty weeks of actions to represent the twenty nuclear bombs readied to kill millions. Vigils, rallies, prayer services, flyering, mass demonstrations and civil disobedience actions have been planned for the period that extends to August 9, 2018, Nagasaki Day. People and groups from throughout the continent check in and out. These peace warriors and prophets were greatly encouraged by the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The leaders, including Marion Kuepker, say they are emboldened by the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This coming weekend a half-dozen local churches, with a healthy mix of Catholics and Protestants, are expected to bring 500 parishioners to the main gate for religious services. Last year, a Catholic Mass brought 60 to the main gate.

The Peace Park is positioned on the corner off the main road that all traffic must pass when it enters the base. The Peace Park carries a strong religious message, reflecting the region’s Catholic identity.

This Catholic shrine in the Peace Park is seen by 2,000 soldiers and civilians as they enter Büchel every day. It is just 200 meters from the main gate.

The shrine depicts Jesus breaking a gun in two. It says, “Think – Atomic weapons are a crime against God and Humanity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trump administration is in the process of  upgrading the nuclear arsenal at Büchel. The Americans plan to produce the new B 61-12 nuclear weapon by 2020. The B 61-12 will also be deployed with NATO forces in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, and Turkey.

The B 61-12’s thermonuclear warhead will reportedly have a maximum yield of approximately 50 kilotons, (three times Hiroshima) but war planners are expected to be able to reduce that using a so-called “dial-a-yield” feature that effectively limits the extent of the nuclear reaction when the weapon detonates. The weapons may be as small as 0.3 kilotons – about 2% of the size of the 15-kiloton bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima. This feature makes nuclear warfare much more likely – and much more attractive for use as a strategic weapon.

There is often confusion between “tactical” nuclear weapons and the traditional “strategic” nuclear weapon. The new B 61-12 may be considered a tactical nuclear weapon because its blast is generally smaller, and it is designed to be used on a battlefield after a ground war has begun. A strategic nuclear weapon may be several hundred times larger than a tactical weapon and is designed to completely destroy an enemy’s ability to exist or wage war. The largest strategic weapon in the US stockpile is the B-83 with a yield of 1.2 megatons, about 80 times the size of the Hiroshima bomb.

Since the end of World War II, the Germans have dealt heavily with matters of conscience. Germany committed itself in the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 and all fractions of the Bundestag voted in 2010 for the disarmament of nuclear weapons. Last year 122 states voted for a UN nuclear weapons ban, while Germany abstained.

Nonviolent Action Nuclear Weapons Abolition calls for the German federal government to withdraw all nuclear weapons from Büchel and all nuclear weapons from German soil.  The overwhelming majority of Germans – a staggering 93%  – want nuclear weapons to be banned just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned, according to an opinion poll commissioned by the German chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

About 50 German peace groups are involved in a long-term campaign to prevent the switch to the more user-friendly B 61-12. There is a deep and genuine fear of this new weapon. The core element of the campaign is the Declaration of Commitment signature campaign where people declare
on the website:

I will come to Büchel once a year and take part in an action until nuclear weapons are withdrawn, and I will actively commit to seeking a nuclear weapons-free world in the place where I am living.”

The brilliant German organizers are holding an international week of action next week, from July 10th to the 18th.  If you are interested in joining, please contact: Marion Kuepker: mariongaaa@gmx.de

World BEYOND War is honored to be associated with these actions.

Speaking of nuclear weapons, Pope Francis has categorically condemned not only “the threat of their use” but also “their very possession.”

Original article here: https://worldbeyondwar.org/antinuclear-resisters-at-buchel-airbase-in-germany