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Nuclear Weapons

Beyond Nuclear advocates for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and argues that removing them can only make us safer, not more vulnerable. The expansion of commercial nuclear power across the globe only increases the chance that more nuclear weapons will be built and is counterproductive to disarmament.

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Friday
Jan052018

NYT op-ed: The Perils of Mixing Masculinity and Missiles

An op-ed published in the New York Times, written by Carol Cohn.

Carol Cohn is the director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

"The Perils of Mixing Masculinity and Missiles" is reminiscent of Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War, the great title of seminal book written by Helen Caldicott in the 1980s.

Helen Caldicott is the founding president of Beyond Nuclear.

Wednesday
Jan032018

Markey, Lieu Push No ‘First Strike’ Bill After Trump Taunts North Korea's Kim

As reported by John T. Bennett in The Hill.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey (Democrat-MA) and U.S. Representative Ted Lieu's (Democrat-CA) companion bills, H.R. 669 in the U.S. House, and S. 200 in the U.S. Senate, are entitled the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017."

Please urge your U.S. Rep. to support H.R. 669. You can phone your U.S. Rep.'s D.C. office via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. And you can look up your U.S. Rep.'s direct contact info. here, by entering your zip code, clicking the FIND YOUR REP BY ZIP button, and following the links.

Please urge both your U.S. Senators to support S. 200. You can phone your U.S. Sens.' D.C. offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. And you can look up your U.S. Sens.' direct contact info. here, by clicking on your state in the scroll down menu labeled "Find Your Senators" in the upper left hand side of the screen.

Wednesday
Jan032018

DN!: Trump may use Iranian protests as pretext to further undermine Iran Nuclear Deal

As reported by Democracy Now! in a segment entitled "Trump's Vow to Support Iran Opposition Carries 'No Credibility' as Demonstrations Enter Sixth Day."

DN!'s introduction to the interview states:

As anti-government demonstrations enter their second week in Iran and spread to several key cities, President Donald Trump tweeted it’s ”TIME FOR CHANGE!” and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley called for an emergency meeting to discuss the developments. “Despite the attention that these anti-government protesters have gotten over the past week, there was no indication … that this was a repeat of 2009. … This was not a mass uprising,” says Tehran-based reporter Reza Sayah. We also speak with Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, who notes a new budget deal in Iran’s parliament that would cut government payments to the poor and raise fuel prices 50 percent was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” prior to the protests. (emphasis added)

It was Parsi who, midway through the interview, speaks to the risk that President Trump will use these protests in Iran in an attempt to further undermine the Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump has a deadline coming up in just over a week, requiring recertification of Iran's compliance with the Deal. As Parsi points out, ironically enough, if Trump refuses to acknowledge Iran's compliance, despite its clear compliance, that would then put the United States in non-compliance with its end of the Deal.

Parsi is the author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy, just published on August 1, 2017.

Wednesday
Jan032018

DN!: "President Trump took to social media to make a threat of nuclear war steeped in sexual bravado"

As reported by Democracy Now!:

In North Korea, leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the reopening of a hotline with South Korea’s leaders—bringing the biggest thaw in relations between the two Koreas in years. The overture came as South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he’s open to talks next week in the so-called truce village in the Demilitarized Zone. The moves came as President Trump took to social media to make a threat of nuclear war steeped in sexual bravado. Trump tweeted from the White House, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump’s tweet was among a torrent of 16 messages he posted to Twitter on his first full day of work in the new year, with attacks on Pakistan, the Palestinians, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, James Comey and The New York Times. (emphasis added)

New York Times coverage also commented along similar lines:

The president’s tone also generated a mix of scorn and alarm among lawmakers, diplomats and national security experts who called it juvenile and frightening for a president handling a foreign policy challenge with world-wrecking consequences. The language was reminiscent of Mr. Trump’s boast during the 2016 presidential campaign that his hands, and by extension his genitals, were in fact big enough.


The Washington Post's James Hohmann has taken an even deeper dive on Trump's fixation on size.

Tuesday
Jan022018

Trump to North Korean leader Kim: My ‘Nuclear Button’ is ‘much bigger & more powerful’

As reported by Philip Rucker in the Washington Post.

Peter Baker and Michael Tackett have also reported on this story in the New York Times, including the following responses by both Democrat and Republican political leaders:

“I guess the president regards this as a show of strength,” Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN. “But as everybody who’s ever been in a, you know, first grade playground recognizes, it’s usually the person who’s most aggressively pounding their chest that is in fact the weak one on the playground.”

Eliot A. Cohen, who was counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under President George W. Bush, said the tweet demonstrated an immaturity that is dangerous in a commander in chief.

“Spoken like a petulant ten year old,” Mr. Cohen wrote on Twitter. “But one with nuclear weapons — for real — at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me.”

(That, from the counselor to Condoleezza Rice, whose infamous, false "mushroom cloud" Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) warning about Iraq led to the unnecessary, highly controversial U.S. invasion of 2003, ultimately claiming many thousands of American lives, and many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and led to the instability that eventually spawned the rise of ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, resulting in yet more unspeakable carnage.

Of course, a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea -- even a non-nuclear one -- is predicted to result in many hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths within just the first days, as in Seoul under North Korean artillery attack alone. And very large numbers of U.S. military personnel are based in South Korea, vulnerable to North Korean bombardment as well.)

The New York Times article also reported the following:

Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the president’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in the Russia investigation, said Mr. Trump’s tweet was “just awesome.” He added on Twitter: “This is why Trump was elected. A no bulls#t leader not afraid to stand up for his country.”

Joy Reid, and Lawrence O'Donnell, on MSNBC, have also reported on this story. 

O'Donnell's coverage includes a citation of a Politico article, quoting international diplomats as saying "Trump is insane."  Trump's my-nuke-is-bigger-than-your-nuke tweet is O'Donnell's Exhibit A, re: Trump's alleged insanity.

In short, this Trump tweet seems well suited for the "No Comment" section of the Progressive magazine!