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In 1914, the leaders of the world knew the outbreak of a world war would be a total catastrophe.
They assured their people that their confrontational policies would never lead to war.
Yet World War I began anyway, setting in motion a sequence of catastrophic events.
Many people today think it is unlikely for a nuclear war to happen, simply because leaders do not want it to happen.
But often in history, when tensions begin to grow between nations, one event leads to another, until war becomes inevitable.
Cemetery for the Battle of the Somme 1916
Bloodiest Day in British Military History
National security "experts" in England promised a glorious victory
and "homes fit for heroes" for the survivors.
They assured everybody they had everything "under control".
France in July 1916. Britain begins the battle of the Somme.
Just like George Bush in 2007 in Iraq.
Just like Barack Obama in Afghanistan in 2009.
British national security "experts" predicted
that a "surge"
would win the war. Victory was at hand!
20,000 British soldiers died for nothing.
The disaster cost the British Prime Minister
the life of his son
and later his job as things went from bad to worse.
Today, American national security "experts"
on CNN and MSNBC call for confrontation with Russia.
The road to peace? We don't think so.
These dangerous fools are likely to create a disaster that looks like this.
THE VERY REAL DANGER OF NUCLEAR WAR
When the Cold War ended, many people believed that the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse had been averted. And yet today global nuclear weapons spending heads for an all time high. Tensions between the world's nuclear super powers is only increasing. And the specter of nuclear war is actually greater today than it was during the Cold War, because during the Cold War there were security mechanisms put in place to prevent such a disaster from happening. The possibility of nuclear disaster was discussed openly back then, unlike today.
China and India, for the first time, have nuclear weapons programs that could wipe out whole sections of the U.S., and they have nuclear submarines which could strike all parts of America with as little as 10 minutes attack time. And Russia has enough nuclear warheads to wipe America off the face of the Earth in 45 minutes.
President Trump has lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use. There are many signs that President Trump is open to using nuclear weapons as a deterrent. His administration has taken steps to make this more possible. He has endorsed building "smaller, friendlier" low-yield nuclear bombs and putting these new warheads on Trident submarine missiles. The idea behind the low-yield bomb is that since it does less damage than a conventional nuclear weapon, we'll be more likely to use it. So this is supposed to act as some sort of deterrent to other countries. But there are many reasons to to think that this is an act of dangerous insanity, including the fact that this will only encourage other countries to develop more of their own "smaller, friendlier" low-yield bombs.
There is no such thing as a controlled or limited nuclear war. Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis once said: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as a tactical nuclear weapon. Any nuclear weapon used at any time is a strategic game changer.” (The National Interest).
Yet the Trump administration has plans to spend $1.7 trillion to rebuild the nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years. In the Trump Administration's 2019 budget to Congress, there is $50 million allocated to building these new Trident warheads.
What is the height of insanity is the United States' decision to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which brings the U.S. and Russia closer to war.
The INF Treaty eliminated all of the two nations' land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short medium-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not apply to air or sea-launched missiles. By May 1991, the nations had eliminated 2,692 missiles, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.
But on February 2nd, 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the United States would suspend its obligations under the (INF) Treaty.
Another serious mistake was when President Bush pulled out of the AMB treaty that was signed in 1972 (New York Times, 2001). Russian president Putin called this move a serious mistake. Bush's actions in this matter added further stress to the relations between Russia and the U.S. This puts nuclear war on a hair trigger, creating incentives for immediate action in a crisis.
And what is also dangerous is the decision to pull out of key nuclear agreements. In 2018, President Trump declared that he would withdraw from the Iran nuclear treaty. And then the U.S. went on to impose a new round of strict sanctions on Iran. This does not encourage Iran to cooperate with the U.S. on working on a path toward global nuclear security. And this also increases tensions between the U.S., Iran and countries that are allied with Iran. The recent rise of belligerent rhetoric between the U.S. and Iran also doesn't help. War between the U.S. and Iran would be an absolute disaster. Iran is a nation with over 80 million people, with a formidable military of half a million armed forces, three million combat capable reserves and short and medium range missiles. War with Iran would create all out war in the Middle East. And the cost of such a war on the U.S. economy would be devastating.
Meanwhile the Dooms Day Clock (an international device created to measure the possibility of a worldwide disaster) is now at two minutes to midnight, which is the closest it's been to midnight in 66 years.
OBAMA'S DISASTROUS LEGACY
When Democratic voters supported Barack Obama in 2008 they thought they were ending the disastrous neoconservative policies of George W. Bush. They were dead wrong. Obama went and proposed the largest military budgets in constant dollars since 1945. He began a campaign of ruthless military imperialism that brought death and destruction to millions. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are dead in places like Syria, Libya and Yemen as a direct result of Obama.
Most disturbing has been Obama's decision to start a New Cold War with Russia, by backing a coup in the Ukraine and then slapping sanctions on Russia when they decided to protect Russian citizens in Crimea.
An alliance was formed between Obama imperialist like Susan Rice and Samantha Power and neoconservative imperialists like Bob Kagan. After Hillary Clinton was defeated, hatred of Russia reached hysterical dimensions never seen in US history as many in the Democratic Party tried to blame Russia for the failings of Hillary Clinton as a candidate.
Under great political pressure Trump has been forced to change his policy to a stance even more hostile to Russia than Obama in terms of actions.
This is a road to war. Period. It needs to stop. Russia and America need to back away from the abyss. Serious negotiations must start.
THE UNITED STATES' RUNAWAY MILITARY SPENDING
What is also bringing the world closer to world war is America's run away campaign of military imperialism. The United States has military operations in 40 % of the world's nations, and spends more on its military than the next six nations combined.
$8 TRILLION AND COUNTING
FOR THE "WAR AGAINST TERROR"
Since World War II, over 12 million people have died in America's "wars for freedom," and America has been involved in 19 different conflicts around the globe.
And after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, America has launched an international "War on Terror" that has no boundaries or apparent end in sight. This War on Terror has cost America over $8 trillion according to the official figures, and we believe it's probably much higher than that.
Up to 4 million people have been killed in the war on terror. Unworthy victims: Western wars have killed four million Muslims since 1990 (Middle East Eye, 2015)
And around 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.
Not to mention that Iraq and Afghanistan were lost wars. So in terms of money and lives, a very expensive price was paid and it is not very clear that anything was gained from the endeavor.
THE DEVASTATING COST OF ENDLESS WARS
FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
What does America have to show for its near two decades of military imperialism around the globe? America is drowning in $22 trillion dollars of national debt (NPR). Its international trade position has plunged to a negative $10 trillion.
Today, the American working class is in the their worst crisis since the Great Depression. Wages are back to where they were in the 1960's. Debts have soared.
The decline in U.S. life expectancy is unlike anything we've seen in a century. (CDC Report PDF)
A federal survey shows that nearly half of adults can’t cover a $400 emergency expense or save for retirement (CNBC, 5-22-18) Federal Reserve Report
THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC
In addition to the threat of nuclear war, the world is now dealing with a global pandemic. The U.S. is going even deeper into debt than before trying to deal with the Coronavirus. With more than 250,000 dead in the U.S., and more than 1 million dead world wide, building up weapons of mass destruction is not the priority right now. The priority is survival.
We cannot afford spending on a nuclear arms race when much remains to be spent on dealing with the Coronavirus crisis.
The U.S. government needs to amp up spending for universal testing and provide some kind of health care for all on an emergency basis. This plague is a national emergency. It is time to start treating it like one.
DIRE ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS
In addition to economic and nuclear threats, there is the dire environmental threat to consider. Climate scientists have said to the world that we (the human race) have only 20 years before there’s no turning back, before the world reaches a point where climate change will have the most chilling consequences on the survival of humanity itself. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report)
Our planet is a world out of balance. And our leaders are borrowing from the future at a pace unprecedented in history.
Never before has one species alone been responsible for the mass extinction of so many other life forms. A majority of scientists are unanimous in the belief that modern human beings are presiding over a new era of mass extinction comparable to past eras. According to the Living Planet Report put out in 2014 by the World Wildlife Fund, humans have killed up to half of the wildlife on the planet in the last 40 years (World Wildlife Fund). And according to the Living Planet Report put out in 2016, this level of decline could increase to two-thirds by 2020.
There is also the destruction of the world's oceans. There are literally islands of garbage as big as continents clogging the world's oceans. There is an island of garbage in the Pacific Ocean that is now one of the world's largest continents.
Somewhere between 15 trillion and 51 trillion pieces of plastic litter the world's oceans, a recent study has found.
The crisis of plastic in the ocean is one of the most understated in our time. By 2050, the ocean is expected to contain more plastic than fish. The amount of plastic currently in the ocean is set to triple in a decade, unless major reforms are put in place.
The destruction of life on Earth doesn't just have serious consequences for nature, but for humanity itself. We are destroying the resources we need to live. We are rapidly transforming Earth into a planet that is unsustainable for human life.
There needs to be a giant change in direction. We need to start building for a real future. We're not talking about the changes individuals need to make. We're talking about the sweeping changes world governments need to make if humanity wants to have a real chance at survival. This involves completely restructuring our energy systems and basing them around renewable energy resources, along with other resources that have a smaller carbon and methane footprint. What we need is a Manhattan Project on Renewable Energy.
Right now, this is not happening. Since 1980, America has slashed its research funding for renewable energy by over 75%.
And President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement was a huge disaster. There needs to be global solidarity and teamwork on the part of all countries, especially the U.S. (one of the world's largest climate offenders) if we are to correct the problem before it's too late.
Check out our Green New Deal report
FUNDING AN ECONOMY OF LIFE
RATHER THAN AN ECONOMY OF DEATH
So when factoring together the dire nuclear and climate threats facing our planet today, there needs to be a mass mobilization of effort on the part of the U.S. government against these threats. We have some suggestions below for the United States government.
- Rejoin the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
- Rejoin the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
- Begin negotiations with Russia to scale back nuclear weapons.
- Appoint a special ambassador to negotiate with Russia on key crisis points.
- Scale back on military spending.
- Spend more money on building up the Green Energy Economy to provide jobs, protect the environment and catapult the U.S. economy into the future, instead of oblivion.
Life itself is at risk. These are dire stakes. This isn't about the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. This is about the American people. The human race. It's time to put people over politics. It's time to put forth policies that will support an economy of life instead of an economy of death.
Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced a bill on January 17th 2019 to prohibit a nuclear strike against an enemy that did not first launch a nuclear strike against the United States or a U.S. ally, unless Congress expressly authorizes such a strike.
The bill has 59 cosponsors.
Ted Lieu has said the following about his bill:
“Trump’s brand is to be unpredictable and rash, which is exactly what you don’t want the person who possesses the nuclear football to be. We introduced this bill under the Obama Administration but Trump’s Presidency has highlighted just how scary it is that any president has the authority to launch a nuke without Congressional consultation. I believed in 2016 what I still believe now: launching a weapon that has the power to instantly kill millions of people is an obvious act of war. Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, Congress has the constitutional duty to decide when a nuclear first strike is warranted. As we’re now coming to realize, we could be one tweet that insults the president away from catastrophe.”
Read House Bill Here - H.R. 669
Ted Lieu Official Website
Press Release About Bill on Ted Lieu Website
Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced his version of the bill on January 24th 2019.
This bill has 13 cosponsors.
Senator Markey has said the following about the bill:
“No American President, and certainly not Donald Trump, should have the power to launch a first use nuclear first strike absent such an attack without explicit Congressional approval. It would be immoral, it would be disproportionate, and it could only be considered an act of war – something our morals and our Constitution make clear no single person should be able to do alone. I thank Rep. Lieu for his continued partnership on the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, and we will continue to work with our colleagues to get this critical legislation passed.”
Read Senate Bill Here - S.200
Ed Markey Official Website
Read Release About Bill on Ed Markey Website
James Carden: Progressives Should Endorse a ‘No First Use’ Nuclear Weapons Policy (East-West Accord, 8-19-19)
The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (Online Book, links to different sections) Click Here to download entire PDF
This book was prepared and published by the United States Department of Defense and The Energy Research and Development Administration
Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation (Amazon Kindle Edition)
A frightening but necessary assessment of the threat posed by nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century, edited by the world’s leading antinuclear activist
With the world’s attention focused on climate change and terrorism, we are in danger of taking our eyes off the nuclear threat.
But rising tensions between Russia and NATO, proxy wars erupting in Syria and Ukraine, a nuclear-armed Pakistan, and stockpiles of aging weapons
unsecured around the globe make a nuclear attack or a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility arguably the biggest threat facing humanity.
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.
The Interactive Nuke Map
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
The U.S. Military Will Soon Have a New 'Nuclear Sea-Launched Cruise Missile' (National Interest, 9-7-20)
Progressive Groups Pressure Biden and Trump to Include Nuclear Disarmament in Campaign Platforms (Common Dreams, 8-11-20)
Why This New Russian Submarine Could Dominate (Thanks to Nuclear Torpedoes) (National Interest, 6-11-20)
Risk of nuclear war now highest since WWII: UN arms research chief (CNA, 5-22-19)
Shultz, Perry, Nunn Call For U.S.-Russia Re-engagement to Reduce Nuclear Risks (NTI, 4-11-19)
Billions Dead: 5 Times Russia and America Nearly Started a Nuclear War (National Interest, 4-1-19)
Pelosi and McConnell Are Inching Us Closer to Nuclear War (Truthdig, 3-28-19)
Shultz, Perry and Nunn Op Ed
Shultz, Perry, Nunn Call For U.S.-Russia Re-engagement to Reduce Nuclear Risks (NTI, 4-11-19)
The Threat of Nuclear War Is Still With Us (Wall Street Journal, 4-10-19)
Statement from Ernest J. Moniz and Sam Nunn, Co-Chairs of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, On Termination of the INF Treaty (NTI, 8-2-19)
Article by Sam Nunn
The Return of Doomsday - The New Nuclear Arms Race—and How Washington and Moscow Can Stop It (Foreign Affairs, September/October 2019)
Articles Highlighted by East-West Accord
Nuclear Weapons: Still a Threat to Public Health, and Growing (East-West Accord, 8-21-19)
Stanford/FSI: How nuclear war would affect the world climate and human health (East-West Accord, 8-20-19)
TIME: What a Deadly Nuclear Explosion In Russia Tells Us About the World’s New Arms Race (East-West Accord, 8-19-19)