Straight talk from down-under

By Dan Drollette Jr, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 26 April 2018

During the darkest days of World War II, US Army general Joseph Stilwell earned the nickname “Vinegar Joe” for his brilliant, blunt, bracing, leadership style. Stilwell’s tough, honest assessment of a disastrous military campaign in Asia captured the imagination of the American public, and roused the White House to completely re-assess the direction it had been taking: “I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma and it is humiliating as hell. I think we ought to find out what caused it, fix it, then go back and retake it.”

Though she may not enjoy the comparison to a military man, the same tough-but-invigorating observations... read more

US Arms Exports Expansion Result of Military Complex Pressure - Peace Activist

The Trump administration’s easier new rules for high tech weapons sales directly to foreign countries is a victory for giant US defense contractors to increase their profits, international peace activist Dr. Helen Caldicott told Sputnik on Friday.

“Relaxation of restrictions and laws to inhibit the sale of drones and other weapons on an international scale is clearly a result of pressure from the US military industrial complex to increase their profits and to outcompete other countries,” Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization that was the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, said.

On Thursday, the White House relaxed weapons export protocols to allow US defense contractors to more easily sell unmanned aerial vehicles to foreign clients. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Tina Kaidanow said on Thursday the changes were made to ensure that US industry faced fewer... read more

The Fight for Nuclear Deterrence Goes Local

By Alastair Boone & Sarah Holder, Citylab, 26 March 2018

Some cities and states are taking their own initiative to protect the world from a U.S. trigger finger. And they’re mostly led by women.

Dropping an atomic bomb doesn’t happen as fast as it does in the movies. There’s no room with a red, shiny “nuclear button” primed for the pressing. But in the U.S., launching a nuclear weapon does depend on just one trigger finger: The President’s.

Peace builders, activists, and congressional leaders have tried unsuccessfully to take away this unilateral ability since the Cold War, when nuclear war with Russia felt imminent daily. Now, the threat looms again, as tensions between North Korea and the U.S. simmer—and a... read more

The Continuing Relevance of "On the Beach"

“It frightened the hell out of me. I’m still frightened.”

These words mark the reaction of a young Australian named Helen Caldicott to a story of the aftermath of mistaken nuclear war, in which those who never even took sides were faced with the slow advance of deadly nuclear radiation on their shores. On the Beach, first a best-selling novel and then a major Hollywood film, confronts the viewer with a number of questions: How would you behave if—in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse—you knew you only have a few weeks or months left to live?

Would you carouse riotously, knowing the end is near? Deny that the entire thing is happening? Hope against all logic for a miraculous reprieve? Try to maintain a core of... read more

Anti-Nuclear Movement Founder Backs Cancer Crisis Clean-Up at US Base in Azores

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The cancer epidemic sweeping Terceira Island in the Azores, home to the US Air Base at Lajes, is a health crisis that requires an immediate environmental cleanup, Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of a Nobel Peace Prize anti-nuclear movement told Sputnik.

“The situation is a severe public health problem and all necessary facilities should be immediately devoted to helping these poor people,” Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization that was the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, said.

Many inhabitants of Portugal’s Terceira Island on which Lajes is located are suffering from deadly diseases, especially cancer, at rates far higher than the rest of the Azores islands in the eastern Atlantic, the Russia-based Ruptly video agency reported.

Caldicott said the report was consistent with a pattern of environmental... read more

Doomsday Clock ticking but prediction remains difficult

By Tom Switzer, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 January 2018

For seven decades, the Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists group has kept a symbolic device called the Doomsday Clock. Its purpose is to warn humankind about the prospects of apocalypse.

At the onset of the Cold War, in 1947, the clock was set at seven minutes to midnight. Midnight, of course, means the moment we’re all annihilated. Ever since, the minute hand has yo-yoed between two and 17 minutes before catastrophe. It wavers in accordance with the judgment of prominent scientists and strategists about the state of global order. For instance, the clock’s hand was pushed forward to two minutes to midnight in 1953 when the US and the Soviet Union conducted atomic tests; it was pushed... read more

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Trump, press freedom and nuclear secrets on RN Breakfast

Daniel Ellsberg, the man described as the most famous whistleblower of the 20th century talks about Spielberg’s new film The Post, press freedom, Donald Trump, and why he didn’t leak thousands of top-secret nuclear war documents.

Listen to the interview with Radio National’s Fran Kelly at http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgjGBPMbPV?play=true.


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