Sunflower Newsletter: January 2018

Why the “Merchants of Death” Survive and Prosper
January 3, 2018
My Meeting with Pope Francis
January 5, 2018
Show all

Sunflower Newsletter: January 2018

Issue #246 – January 2018

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  • Perspectives
    • Ten Nuclear Wishes for the New Year by David Krieger
    • Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech by Beatrice Fihn
    • Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech by Setsuko Thurlow
  • U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
    • Trump Explicitly Threatens Nuclear War Via Twitter
    • Member of Congress Introduces Bill on No First Use of Nuclear Weapons
    • More Hanford Workers Possibly Exposed to Plutonium
  • Nuclear Disarmament
    • Pope Francis Shows the Fruit of War
    • ICAN Honored with Nobel Peace Prize
  • War and Peace
    • Kim Jong-un Claims to Have “Nuclear Button,” Reaches Out to South Korea
    • Nikki Haley Displays Missile to Allege Iran Is Violating Deal
  • Nuclear “Modernization”
    • $1.24 Trillion “Modernization” Price Tag Omits Environmental Cleanup
  • Resources
    • This Month in Nuclear Threat History
    • TEDx Talk: The Insanity of Nuclear Deterrence
    • Come On: Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet
    • Vote for the Arms Control Person of the Year
  • Foundation Activities
    • NAPF Intern Stories
    • Preventing War: Crisis and Opportunity with North Korea
    • NAPF Peace Leadership 2017 Highlights and 2018 Preview
  • Take Action
    • Congratulate ICAN on the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Quotes

 

Perspectives

Ten Nuclear Wishes for the New Year

1) That Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s past will not become any other city’s future.

2) That the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will get at least 50 ratifications and enter into force.

3) That there will be no further proliferation of nuclear weapons to other countries.

4) That no insane leader will initiate a nuclear war and leaders of nuclear-armed countries will stop taunting each other.

To read more, click here.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Nuclear weapons, like chemical weapons, biological weapons, cluster munitions and land mines before them, are now illegal. Their existence is immoral. Their abolishment is in our hands.

The end is inevitable. But will that end be the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us? We must choose one.

We are a movement for rationality. For democracy. For freedom from fear.

We are campaigners from 468 organizations who are working to safeguard the future, and we are representative of the moral majority: the billions of people who choose life over death, who together will see the end of nuclear weapons.

To read more, click here.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

I speak as a member of the family of hibakusha – those of us who, by some miraculous chance, survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For more than seven decades, we have worked for the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

On the seventh of July this year, I was overwhelmed with joy when a great majority of the world’s nations voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Having witnessed humanity at its worst, I witnessed, that day, humanity at its best. We hibakusha had been waiting for the ban for seventy-two years. Let this be the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.

All responsible leaders will sign this treaty. And history will judge harshly those who reject it. No longer shall their abstract theories mask the genocidal reality of their practices. No longer shall “deterrence” be viewed as anything but a deterrent to disarmament. No longer shall we live under a mushroom cloud of fear.

To the officials of nuclear-armed nations – and to their accomplices under the so-called “nuclear umbrella” – I say this: Listen to our testimony. Heed our warning. And know that your actions are consequential. You are each an integral part of a system of violence that is endangering humankind. Let us all be alert to the banality of evil.

To read more, click here.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

Trump Explicitly Threatens Nuclear War Via Twitter

On the evening of January 2, U.S. President Donald Trump used his Twitter account to make an explicit threat of nuclear war to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump wrote in part, “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump’s language and use of Twitter are uniquely and clearly dangerous. No one knows what would push Kim Jong-un over the edge.

According to former arms-control official Robert Joseph, every U.S. president since Harry Truman “has sought to maintain, in the words of John F. Kennedy, a nuclear-weapons capability ‘second to none’.”

Uri Friedman, “The Terrifying Truth of Trump’s ‘Nuclear Button’ Tweet,” The Atlantic, January 3, 2018.

Member of Congress Introduces Bill on No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced bill H.R. 4415 to the House of Representatives. The bill would make it the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first.

Rep. Smith said, “A declaratory policy of not using nuclear weapons first will increase strategic stability, particularly in a crisis, reducing the risk of miscalculation that could lead to an unintended all-out nuclear war.”

Smith Introduces Bill Establishing ‘No First Use’ Policy for Nuclear Weapons,” Office of Rep. Adam Smith, November 15, 2017.

More Hanford Workers Possibly Exposed to Plutonium

On December 13, the government contractor CH2M Hill stopped demolition work at the Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford Site in Washington State. Monitors worn by employees revealed high levels of radiation exposure. Testing showed the particles contained the radioactive isotopes of plutonium and americium.

A few months earlier, on June 8, a release of radioactive particles led to at least 31 workers ingesting or inhaling radioactive particles.

Susannah Frame, “More Hanford Workers Possibly Contaminated with Plutonium,” KING 5, December 14, 2017.

Nuclear Disarmament

Pope Francis Shows the Fruit of War

Pope Francis distributed cards featuring an image of a young boy standing in line at a crematorium following the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The boy is carrying his dead brother. On the back of the cards, Pope Francis included the phrase “the fruit of war” along with his signature.

The photo was taken in 1945 by American photographer Joseph Roger O’Donnell, a Marine who worked for four years after the atomic blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki documenting their impact.

John L. Allen, Jr., “Pope Circulates Nagasaki Image Under Heading ‘The Fruit of War’,” Crux, December 30, 2017.

ICAN Honored with Nobel Peace Prize

On December 10, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and was accepted on behalf of the Campaign by its executive director, Beatrice Fihn, and by Setsuko Thurlow, an ICAN campaigner and survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing. Both spoke for the thousands of campaigners from over 450 organizations in more than 100 countries who succeeded this fall in working with friendly governments to move a majority of states at the United Nations to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, making their possession, use, or threat of use unlawful.

It has been just 10 years since ICAN first launched its campaign to ban nuclear weapons, just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned, along with land mines and cluster bombs.

Alice Slater, “The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Is Honored with a Nobel Peace Prize,” The Nation, December 22, 2017.

War and Peace

Kim Jong-un Claims to Have “Nuclear Button,” Reaches Out to South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a new year message in which he claimed to have a nuclear button on his desk, which he would only use if threatened. He said that the United States “should properly know that the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office, and this is just a reality, not a threat.”

Kim also raised the possibility of sending a delegation of North Korean athletes to the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, which will take place in South Korea in February. Kim said, “North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people, and we wish the Games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility.”

Simon Denyer, “North Korean Leader Says He Has ‘Nuclear Button’ but Won’t Use It Unless Threatened,” Washington Post, January 1, 2018.

Nikki Haley Displays Missile to Allege Iran Is Violating Deal

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, held a press conference on December 14 to allege that Iran is violating the nuclear deal. Amb. Haley displayed a missile that she claimed was fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen toward the Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia.

“The weapons might as well have ‘Made in Iran’ stickers on them,” she said. Iran denied the accusation.

“Make no mistake: What Nikki Haley is doing right now is laying the groundwork for a U.S.-Iran war on behalf of Saudi Arabia,” concluded Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council.

Jake Johnson, “With Theatrical Missile Speech, Critics Say Nikki Haley ‘Laying Groundwork’ for War With Iran,” Common Dreams, December 14, 2017.

Nuclear “Modernization”

$1.24 Trillion “Modernization” Price Tag Omits Environmental Cleanup

In its recent cost estimate for the United States’ 30-year nuclear “modernization” effort, the Congressional Budget Office excluded $541 billion in projected costs to clean up nuclear weapons production sites.

The largest of these cleanup costs, at $179.5 billion, is attributed to the stabilization and disposal of high-level radioactive wastes generated from the production of plutonium. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) informed Congress in 2013 that these wastes are “considered one of the most hazardous substances on earth.”

Robert Alvarez, “CBO Cost Estimation of Nuclear Modernization Omits Hazardous Cleanup,” The Washington Spectator, December 20, 2017.

 Resources

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 threats that have taken place in the month of January, including the January 24, 1961 crash of a B-52G Stratofortress bomber carrying two 2.5-megaton Mark 39 thermonuclear bombs near Goldsboro, North Carolina.

To read Mason’s full article, click here.

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

TEDx Talk: The Insanity of Nuclear Deterrence

When nuclear-armed nations face off, the threat of mutually assured destruction is expected to keep the worst from happening. But is this a rational strategy? Or is it one that is doomed to failure? In this eye-opening and powerful talk, Commander Robert Green shares his experience piloting nuclear-armed aircraft and his shift to becoming a staunch opponent of nuclear deterrence.

Commander Robert Green served for twenty years in the British Royal Navy. As a bombardier-navigator, he flew in Buccaneer nuclear strike aircraft and anti-submarine helicopters equipped with nuclear depth-bombs. His final appointment was as Staff Officer (Intelligence) to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet during the 1982 Falklands War.

To watch this TEDx talk, click here.

Come On: Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet

The Club of Rome has published a new book entitled Come On: Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet. The book contains contributions from 30 members of the Club of Rome, including NAPF President David Krieger, who contributed to a section entitled “Nuclear Weapons: The Forgotten Threat.”

Click here to order from Amazon, or find it at your local bookshop.

Vote for the Arms Control Person of the Year

The Arms Control Association is holding an online vote for the 2017 Arms Control Person of the Year. This year’s nominees are individuals and institutions that have advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions or raised awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.

Among the nominees are Pope Francis and the team of ambassadors who led the negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The 2016 Arms Control Person of the Year was the government of the Marshall Islands and its former Foreign Minister, Tony de Brum. They received the distinction for pursuing a formal legal case in the International Court of Justice in The Hague against the world’s nuclear-armed states for their failure to initiate nuclear disarmament negotiations in violation of Article VI of the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law.

Voting for the 2017 Arms Control Person of the Year ends on January 5. For more information and to cast your vote, click here.

Foundation Activities

NAPF Intern Stories

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has a great internship program, empowering students and recent graduates by giving them the opportunity to lead important projects for peace and nuclear disarmament.

Click here to read what two of our 2017 interns have to say about their experiences at the Foundation, and how it has helped to shape their futures.

If you know any current students or recent graduates who might be interested in working with us, the application deadline for our full-time, paid summer internships is March 1, 2018.

Preventing War: Crisis and Opportunity with North Korea

On March 7, 2018, Christine Ahn will deliver the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 17th Annual Frank K. Kelly Lecture on Humanity’s Future. Ahn’s lecture is entitled “Preventing War: Crisis and Opportunity with North Korea.”

Christine Ahn is the Founder and International Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War, reunite families, and ensure women’s leadership in peace building. She is co-founder of the Korea Peace Network, Korea Policy Institute and Global Campaign to Save Jeju Island.

The event is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. For more information, call (805) 965-3443.

NAPF Peace Leadership 2017 Highlights and 2018 Preview

In 2017, NAPF Peace Leadership Director Paul K. Chappell gave over 90 talks in 16 states and one Canadian province. He directly reached well over 5,000 people through his lectures and workshops on peace literacy and peace leadership. Paul has worked closely with an outstanding group of educators to revamp the Peace Literacy website and publish a groundbreaking new curriculum for students of most ages.

In 2017, Paul also published his sixth book, Soldiers of Peace: How to Wield the Weapon of Nonviolence with Maximum Force.

Paul has a full schedule of talks, workshops, and curriculum development in 2018. To learn more about this exciting initiative, click here.

Take Action

Congratulate ICAN on the Nobel Peace Prize

On December 10, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The Nobel Committee awarded ICAN “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

ICAN is made up of over 450 Partner Organizations, including the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, from 101 countries.

ICAN stands in stark contrast with those national leaders and their allies who possess nuclear weapons and have been unwilling to give up their claim on them for their own perceived national security. But ICAN is on the right side of history, because those with nuclear weapons threaten the future of civilization, including their own populations.

ICAN well deserves the Nobel Peace prize. The campaign is effective. It is youthful. It is hopeful. It is necessary. May the Nobel Peace Prize propel it to even greater accomplishments. And may it awaken people everywhere to the threat posed by nuclear weapons, and the need to ban and eliminate them.

Please join us in congratulating ICAN on this historic achievement!

Quotes

 

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall. This quote appears in the book Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action, which is available to purchase in the NAPF Peace Store.

 

“I consider non-violence to be compassion in action. It doesn’t mean weakness, cowering in fear, or simply doing nothing. It is to act without violence, motivated by compassion, recognizing the rights of others.”

His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, a member of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Advisory Council, in a December 15 tweet.

 

“With participation by both Koreas, we believe the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games can help build a peaceful Korean Peninsula and a peaceful global community.”

PyeongChang Joint Statement for Peace, issued at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea on December 19, 2017.

 

“On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert — a red alert for our world. Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.”

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a January 1, 2018 video message.

Editorial Team

 

David Krieger
Carol Warner
Rick Wayman

Rick Wayman
Rick Wayman
Rick Wayman is Director of Programs & Operations at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

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