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Thursday
Dec292016

Resistance girds against "new arms race" rhetoric, press to resume nuke weapons testing

"Castle Bravo," March 1, 1954, a 15 mega-ton hydrogen bomb "test" blast carried out by the U.S. on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific OceanWhat a week it's been. It began with Russian president Putin declaring on Dec. 22 that "We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems." Within hours, U.S. president-elect Trump Tweeted a response: "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes". Trump then doubled down the next day, telling a t.v. reporter "Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass...And outlast them all." Resistance to Putin and Trump's reckless "new Cold War" rhetoric was immediate. The very next day, groups such as PSR and ICAN applauded the passage of United Nations Resolution L. 41, "an historic victory for nuclear disarmament advocates, [in which] a large majority of nations voted today in the General Assembly to convene negotiations in 2017 for a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination." Eric Schlosser, author of  Command and Control, warned in a major piece in the New Yorker against "World War Three, by Mistake." Even the destabilizing specter of renewed nuclear weapons blasts at the Nevada Test Site, on Western Shoshone Indian treaty land, has been raised, under Trump's Energy Secretary-appointee, former Texas governor Rick Perry ("Castle Bravo," the largest U.S. hydrogen bomb "test" blast, above left, was carried out on March 1, 1954, devastating the Marshall Islands, as well as a Japanese fishing fleet downwind; it was a thousand times bigger than the Hiroshima atomic bomb). Some hopeful and welcome relief from such fearful and fearsome prospects can be found in a Counterpunch article by John LaForge of Nukewatch Wisconsin, "In Sentencing Radical Pacifists, Judge Miles Lord Assailed 'Worship of the Bomb.'" Learn more at Beyond Nuclear's Nuclear Weapons website section.