Sunflower Newsletter: January 2015

January: This Month in Nuclear Threat History
January 5, 2015
Strategic Empathy: A Better Strategy in Ukraine and Marriage
January 14, 2015
Show all

Sunflower Newsletter: January 2015


Issue #210 – January 2015

 

The Nuclear Zero Lawsuits are proceeding at the International Court of Justice and U.S. Federal District Court. Sign the petition supporting the Marshall Islands’ courageous stand, and stay up to date on progress at www.nuclearzero.org.
  • Perspectives
    • The Nuclear Zero Lawsuits by David Krieger
    • This Generation Will Ban Nuclear Weapons by Jen Maman
    • Pope Breaks New Ground in Seeking Abolition of Nuclear Weapons by Douglas Roche
  • Nuclear Zero Lawsuits
    • A Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals
    • Five Million Signatures in Support of Nuclear Zero
    • Opinion Column on Lawsuits in the Boston Globe
    • Hearing in U.S. Court Scheduled for January 16
    • Video and Transcripts of Marshall Islands Events in Vienna
  • U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
    • U.S. Government Deems Cleanup too Expensive
    • Throwing Good Billions After Bad
  • Nuclear Insanity
    • Russia Says It Has a Right to Put Nuclear Weapons in Crimea
  • Resources
    • Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speaks About Nuclear Weapons
    • This Month in Nuclear Threat History
    • New from Easton Studio Press
  • Foundation Activities
    • NAPF Peace Leadership Program: 2014 Highlights and 2015 Preview
    • 14th Annual Kelly Lecture Features Dr. Helen Caldicott
    • The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction
  • Quotes

 

Perspectives

The Nuclear Zero Lawsuits

The Nuclear Zero lawsuits, initiated by the Marshall Islands, are about the law, but they are about much more than the law.  They are also about saving humanity from its most destructive capabilities.  They are about saving humanity from itself and about preserving civilization for future generations.

Nuclear weapons do not so much threaten our amazing planet itself, as they threaten the future of humanity and all the creatures, which are subject, for better or worse, to our stewardship.  Over geological time with the passing of hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth will recover from the worst we can do to it.  It is ourselves and civilization that we put at risk with our nuclear arsenals.

To read more, click here.

This Generation Will Ban Nuclear Weapons

Participants in a Civil Society Forum organized by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) before the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons called on governments to urgently start negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The US and other nuclear-armed states may remain strongly opposed, but they can no longer ignore the emerging momentum to jump-start the efforts to reduce nuclear dangers so the world can live safely.

A powerful video shown at the conference by ICAN on behalf of civil society concluded: “Every generation has a chance to change the world. This generation will ban nuclear weapons.”

To read more, click here.

Pope Breaks Ground in Seeking Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

Pope Francis, who has already broken new ground in his outreach to a suffering humanity, has put the weight of the Catholic Church behind a new humanitarian movement to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

In his message, delivered by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, a leading Holy See diplomat, Pope Francis stripped away any lingering moral acceptance of the military doctrine of nuclear deterrence: “Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence.”

To read more, click here.

Nuclear Zero Lawsuits

A Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals

The New York Times published a substantial article about the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits in its Sunday, December 28 edition. The article opens by describing the experiences of Tony de Brum, now the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, as he witnessed many U.S. nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands as a child.

Explaining the Marshall Islands’ reasoning for pursuing the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, Marlise Simons writes, “By turning to the world’s highest tribunal, a civil court that addresses disputes between nations, he [Mr. de Brum] wants to use his own land’s painful history to rekindle global concern about the nuclear arms race.”

Marlise Simons, “A Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals,” The New York Times, December 28, 2014.

Five Million Signatures in Support of Nuclear Zero

In a remarkable show of strength and unity, the Youth Division of Soka Gakkai in Japan presented to Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, more than 5,000,000 signatures in support of the Nuclear Zero campaign. The presentation took place in Vienna at the Civil Society Forum sponsored by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Soka Gakkai Youth Leader, Taro Hashimoto, stated, “We are deeply grateful to the efforts of many youth members and their friends who have helped us gather millions of signatures endorsing the Nuclear Zero campaign…Soka Gakkai International President, Daisaku Ikeda, has repeatedly called for a world youth summit for nuclear abolition. We look forward to connecting with young people around the world committed to abolishing nuclear weapons and making sure that the voices of those who will shoulder the future will be heard by the international community.”

The petition is still open for signatures at www.nuclearzero.org.

Five Million Voices for Nuclear Zero,” Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, December 17, 2014.

Opinion Column on Lawsuits in the Boston Globe

 

Boston Globe columnist James Carroll has published an article about the Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuits. In a piece that was published in the Globe‘s January 5 edition, Carroll wrote, “One of the smallest nations on the planet, yet speaking with the unrivaled moral authority that comes of having been blasted and contaminated, is demanding that the new nuclear threshold not be crossed. The Marshall Islands pose, once again, a challenge to the conscience of humankind.”

James Carroll, “Tiny Pacific Nation Aims to Stop New Nuclear Arms Race,” Boston Globe, January 5, 2015.

Hearing in U.S. Court Scheduled for January 16

A hearing is scheduled in U.S. Federal District Court on January 16 on the U.S. Motion to Dismiss in the Nuclear Zero lawsuit filed by the Marshall Islands. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the Oakland Courthouse, Courtroom 5, Second Floor, 1301 Clay St., in Oakland, California.

We will update the NAPF Facebook and Twitter page as soon as we hear any news about the Motion to Dismiss. You can read all of the relevant court documents in the case at this link.

Video and Transcripts of Marshall Islands Events in Vienna

In December, numerous events took place in Vienna relating to the Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuits. Video and written transcripts of two of the events are below:

Public Forum on the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits: Video 1, Video 2, Transcript of Tony de Brum’s speech, Transcript of David Krieger’s speech.

Sean MacBride Peace Prize Ceremony: Video, Transcript of Tony de Brum’s speech.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

U.S. Government Deems Cleanup Too Expensive

 

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed court documents indicating that cleanup deadlines imposed by the state of Washington at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are too costly and should be rejected. According to the government, the cleanup deadlines at the United States’ most polluted nuclear weapons production site would cost an additional $18 billion over the next 14 years. For decades, Hanford produced plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government is on track to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to modernize its nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

Feds: Nuke Site Cleanup Request is Too Expensive,” Associated Press, December 9, 2014.

Throwing Good Billions After Bad

 

In a recent report on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow reported on U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plan to spend billions of dollars to upgrade nuclear weapon systems, “because there’s nothing like pouring good billions after bad billions to fix a disastrously nonsensical and dangerous system.”

Click the link below to watch Maddow’s full report.

The Rachel Maddow Show, “New Pentagon Head Faces Nuclear Crisis, Wars and More,” MSNBC, December 2, 2014.

Nuclear Insanity

Russia Says It Has a Right to Put Nuclear Weapons in Crimea

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has asserted his country’s “right” to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea. He said, “In accordance with international law, Russia has every reason to dispose of its nuclear arsenal … to suit its interests and international legal obligations.”

Alexander Golts, a Russian defense and political analyst, said that there is no military reason for Russia to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea. Golts said, “Lavrov has brought up this nuclear weapons issue to demonstrate that the Kremlin considers Crimea such an inalienable part of Russia that it may choose to do with it whatever it wants, including the deployment of nukes.”

Russia, along with the other eight nuclear-armed nations, is obligated under international law to end the nuclear arms race and negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament.

Sergei Loiko, “Russia Says It Has a Right to Put Nuclear Weapons in Crimea,” Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2014.

Nuclear Testing

French Polynesia to Sue France Over Nuclear Tests

 

The French Polynesia Assembly is preparing to sue the French government for nearly $1 billion in compensation for damage caused to the islands by nuclear weapons tests.

The Tahoera’a Huiraatira party committee, acting independently of Polynesian President Edouard Fritch, seeks $930 million for environmental damage caused by 210 French nuclear tests conducted from 1966 to 1996 off secluded atolls in the South Pacific.

Rose Troup Buchanan, “South Pacific Islands Prepare to Sue French Government for $1 Billion Over Nuclear Tests,” The Independent, November 24, 2014.

North Korea Threatens Fourth Nuclear Test

 

Reacting to “political provocation” from the United Nations, North Korean officials said that the country had no option but to consider an additional nuclear test so that their “war deterrent will be strengthened infinitely in the face of the United States’ plot for armed interference and invasion.” North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests since 2006, all of which were factors in the UN committee vote urging the Security Council to refer North Korean leaders to the International Criminal Court.

Choe Sang-Hun, “North Korea Threatens to Conduct Nuclear Test,” The New York Times, Nov. 20, 2014.

Resources

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speaks About Nuclear Weapons

 

NAPF Advisor Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent a video message of support to the ICAN Civil Society Forum in Vienna.

Archbishop Tutu said, “Although I could not be with you in Vienna for this important gathering, rest assured that I am right by your side in this noble effort to free the world from nuclear arms. Our task, of course, is not an easy one. But nor was ending Apartheid in South Africa. Through perseverance, conviction and determination, we defeated the forces of injustice and hatred. We won because we stood on the right side of history; we stood for a just and moral cause. And you, too, stand on the right side of history.”

Click here to watch the full video.

This Month in Nuclear Threat History

 

History chronicles many instances when humans have been threatened by nuclear weapons. In this article, Jeffrey Mason outlines some of the most serious threats that have taken place in the month of January, including U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announcing in 1954 the U.S. policy of massive nuclear retaliation “in response to communist aggression anywhere in the world…applied at places and with means of [our] own choosing.”

To read Mason’s full article, click here.

For more information on the history of the Nuclear Age, visit NAPF’s Nuclear Files website.

New From Easton Studio Press

 

Easton Studio Press, publisher of the first four books by NAPF Peace Leadership Director Paul K. Chappell, will publish Chappell’s fifth book, “The Cosmic Ocean,” in 2015. You can learn more about Chappell’s first four books (Will War Ever End?; The End of War; Peaceful Revolution; and The Art of Waging Peace) at this link.

Prospecta Press, part of Easton Studio Press, has also just published a new book by Lionel Delevingne entitled “To the Village Square.” The author stated, “This book is about power. Not just nuclear power but, as I have witnessed, the power of community to force action and make a change.”

Prospecta Press is offering Sunflower readers a special offer of 25% off plus free shipping on Delevingne’s book. Click here for more information.

Foundation Activities

NAPF Peace Leadership Program: 2014 Highlights and 2015 Preview

 

As part of a busy year with more than 50 separate events, the NAPF Peace Leadership Program in 2014 expanded globally, across the country, and into the American heartland, with special keynotes, trainings, and lectures that brought new inspiration to high school and college students, veterans, activists, college professors, and concerned citizens.

Plans are underway for an even busier 2015. NAPF Peace Leadership Director Paul K. Chappell will be returning to the Dayton International Peace Museum for a number of events. Museum co-founder Christine Dull said, “Paul Chappell is a prophet for our times. Would that all thoughtful young people could experience his wisdom, whether from his interactive talks or his beautifully expressed books. Through his fine mind and great heart, Paul shows us that peacemaking requires as much discipline as war, but the motivation is the opposite. It comes from the recognition that we are all one human family.”

To read the full article about the NAPF Peace Leadership Program, click here.

14th Annual Kelly Lecture Features Dr. Helen Caldicott

 

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 14th Annual Frank K. Kelly Lecture on Humanity’s Future will feature Dr. Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and renowned anti-nuclear advocate. Her lecture, entitled “Preserving Humanity’s Future,” will take place on March 5, 2015, at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California.

Tickets start at $10 and will go on sale soon at the Lobero Theatre box office. For more information, call (805) 965-3443.

The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction

 

The Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear Free Future will hold a two-day symposium at the New York Academy of Medicine on February 28 – March 1, 2015. The symposium will address the dynamics of possible nuclear extinction.

NAPF President David Krieger is among a distinguished group of panelists for this event, which is open to the public. For more information and to pre-register online, click here.

Quotes

 

“Law stands on hollow ground where a solid moral conviction is absent….a gap in law is often just a mirror through which we are impelled to gaze into our own ambivalent souls. And so it is the case with nuclear weapons.”

Nobuo Hayashi of the University of Oslo, speaking at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Click here to read his speech.

 

“It underscores the senselessness of pouring funds into modernizing the means for our mutual destruction while we are failing to meet the challenges posed by poverty, climate change, extremism and the destabilizing accumulation of conventional arms.”

— UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Click here to read his full message.

 

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Martin Luther King, Jr. This quote is featured in the book Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action, available from the NAPF Peace Store.

Editorial Team

 

David Krieger
Carol Warner
Rick Wayman