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Is space for wonder or for war?

By Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear International, 20 June 2018

“What country is that?” asked Congressman Elijah Cummings on Tuesday, outrage choking his voice with emotion.

Cummings, a Congressman from Maryland, could have been asking his question about any number of policies. In this case it was about the internment of children at the US border. But it applies almost universally. And certainly to the prospect of provoking, even encouraging, war in space. But that’s also what the Trump administration is now doing.

“Space is a warfighting domain,” said the White House statement this week. It came as the Trump administration once again proclaimed that it plans to create a “Space Force.” What country is that?

Last time the Trump White House tried this, Pentagon officials objected, saying it would... read more

The Malfeasance of the US Military. Fallible and Negligent Men Armed to the Teeth with Missiles and Nuclear Bombs

By Dr. Helen Caldicott, Global Research, 8 June 2018

In 2015, ninety-two American missile officers were suspended because they had been cheating, taking drugs, or sleeping in the missile silos. These men are employed to guard and to operate 150 nuclear missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming which constitutes one-third of the 400 Minuteman 3 missiles that stand “on hair trigger alert” 24 hours a day in silos which are scattered across the northern Great Plains.

Two officers aged between 22 and 27 are in charge of each missile silo, and each man is armed with a pistol to shoot the other if one shows signs of deviant behaviour.

The missile silos are equipped with antiquated equipment including floppy disks and... read more

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

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