Issue #253 – August 2018
|As we approach the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, creating a nuclear weapons-free world remains as urgent as ever. Please donate today and join us in working for the only safe number of nuclear weapons in the world: zero.|
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
War and Peace
Prospects for Denuclearization
After the Singapore Summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, Trump was very upbeat about the denuclearization of North Korea. On June 12, 2018, Trump said in a CNN interview, “He’s denuking the whole place and he’s going to start very quickly. I think he’s going to start now.” Seriously?
For Trump to believe that Kim would bend to Trump’s will and denuclearize, Trump would have to be either a fool or an extreme narcissist. Unfortunately, he appears to be both and seems intent on proving this over and over again. Another example is his pulling out of and violating the Iran agreement negotiated with Iran by the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany. Fortunately, none of the other parties to the agreement has joined the U.S. in pulling out.
To read more, click here.
How Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Changed the World
On the one-year anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’ adoption, there is time for celebration but not self-congratulation. Just like the critics warned, this treaty has not magically eliminated nuclear weapons. But we always knew it would be difficult to eliminate nuclear weapons, and, after just one year, the treaty is showing results.
To those who say the nuclear ban is not effective, or that it has had a negative impact on international relations, I say, this treaty is what we make of it. It was an honest effort to change the world, but it is up to all of us who truly desire the abolition of nuclear weapons, who want to see a safer, more secure world based on equity and respect, to take this treaty and make it work for us.
To read more, click here.
Sixty-Five Years Post-Ceasefire, U.S. Must Build Trust to End Korean War
July 27 marked the 65th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement when the U.S., North Korea and China signed a ceasefire to halt three years of brutal fighting which claimed 4 million lives. When the military commanders laid down their weapons, they promised to return within 90 days to negotiate a peace agreement to end the Korean War.
Sixty-five years later, after two historic summits between the two Koreas at Panmunjom and between North Korea and the United States in Singapore, we are the closest ever to seeing a peace process that will yield that long-awaited peace agreement.
To read more, click here.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
U.S. ICBM Self-Destructs Over Pacific Ocean
In the early morning hours of July 31, the United States conducted a test of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The missile suffered an “anomaly” during its flight, and the crew sent a command for the missile to self-destruct over the Pacific Ocean.
In its recent talks with North Korea, the U.S. has repeatedly insisted that North Korea immediately cease all missile testing, including ICBMs. Rick Wayman, NAPF’s Deputy Director, said, “The hypocrisy [of U.S. missile testing] is nothing new, but what stands out with this test is the potential for blowing up the peace process underway with North Korea.”
Janene Scully, “Minuteman III Missile Test Launch from Vandenberg AFB Ends in Failure,” Noozhawk, July 31, 2018.
Trump and Bolton Threaten Iran with Nuclear Attack
U.S. President Donald Trump and National Security Adviser John Bolton both issued thinly veiled threats of nuclear attack against Iran. In an all-caps tweet sent late on a Sunday night, President Trump wrote, “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”
John Bolton said, “President Trump told me that if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before.”
August 6 and 9 mark the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed tens of thousands of civilians instantly.
Andrew Buncombe, “John Bolton Doubles Down on Trump’s Iran Threat to Inflict ‘a Price Few Countries Have Ever Paid‘,” The Independent, July 23, 2018.
More Countries Ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and New Zealand ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in July 2018. This brings the total number of ratifications thus far to 14. The treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country ratifies the treaty.
Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Uruguay are all part of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established Latin America and the Caribbean as a nuclear weapon-free zone in 1968. New Zealand has been a leader on nuclear disarmament for decades, including a 1987 law establishing itself as a nuclear-free zone.
To stay up to date on the TPNW ratification process, click here.
Protestors Face Years in Prison for Bold Anti-Nuclear Action
On April 4, 2018, seven activists with Kings Bay Plowshares secretly entered Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, one of the largest nuclear submarine bases in the world. They were armed with hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, and an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace. Their goal was to symbolically disarm the nuclear weapons at the base, which is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines.
The activists were on the base for a couple of hours prior to being detected by guards. They face years in prison for their action to expose the United States’ ongoing possession, deployment, and threats to use nuclear weapons.
“Kings Bay Plowshares: Meet Two of the Seven Activists Who Secretly Entered a Nuclear Submarine Base,” Democracy Now, July 23, 2018.
War and Peace
Trump and Putin Meet in Helsinki
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki on July 12. The majority of the meeting was private, with only the two presidents and their interpreters in the room. Details of what was discussed continue to be scarce.
Prior to the meeting, when asked about possible outcomes of the summit, Trump said, “What would be the ultimate? Let’s see. No more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, no more wars, no more problems, no more conflicts. … That would be my ultimate.”
It remains unclear whether common sense arms control measures, such as extending the New START treaty, were discussed.
John Bowden, “Trump: ‘Ultimate Deal’ with Putin Would Be ‘No More Nuclear Weapons’,” The Hill, July 12, 2018.
U.S. and North Korea Disagree on When to End the Korean War
The United States is at odds with North and South Korea over the timing of declaring an end to the Korean War. Sixty-five years ago, hostilities were ended through an Armistice Agreement, or cease fire, rather than a peace treaty.
North and South Korea believe that it is urgent to complete a peace treaty at an early date, while the United States prefers to wait until after North Korea has abandoned its nuclear arsenal.
Josh Smith, “When to End the War? North Korea, U.S. at Odds Over Path to Peace,” Reuters, July 25, 2018.
Journalist Ejected from Trump-Putin Press Conference
Sam Husseini, a reporter for The Nation and Senior Analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy, was forcibly removed from Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s press conference in Helsinki on July 12. Husseini was holding a piece of paper on which was written “Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.”
Husseini explained that his intention was to get the attention of Trump or Putin so that they would call on him during the press conference. After spending hours in a Finnish detention facility, Husseini was released without charge. Shortly after his release, The Nation published his article, “I Came as a Journalist to Ask Important Questions.”
“Meet the Reporter Dragged from Trump-Putin Press Conference for Trying to Ask About Nuclear Treaty,” Democracy Now, July 17, 2018.
Department of Energy Security Experts Lose Plutonium
In March 2017, two security experts from the Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, Texas, to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a laboratory. They brought plastic-covered disks of plutonium and cesium to calibrate their radiation detectors at the laboratory site.
However, when they stopped to sleep at a hotel during the trip, they left the plutonium and cesium in their rental car in the parking lot. Sometime during the night, the car window was smashed and the radioactive materials were stolen. To date, the materials have not been found.
Patrick Malone, “Plutonium Is Missing, but the Government Says Nothing,” Center for Public Integrity, July 16, 2018.
The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki
A new book has been published about the life of Sadako Sasaki, the young girl who was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the age of two and developed leukemia and died at the age of 12. Sadako is well known throughout Japan and beyond as the courageous girl who folded 1,000 paper cranes, while hospitalized, in the hope of regaining her health.
The book, “The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki,” was written by Sue DiCicco and Masahiro Sasaki. DiCicco is the founder of the Peace Crane Project and Sasaki is the older brother of Sadako. The book is short and easy to read, and carries an important message about one of many innocent victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It is an inspiring book appropriate for teenage and adult readers. It also includes instructions on how to fold paper cranes.
Sue DiCicco will be teaching how to fold paper cranes and will sign books at NAPF’s Sadako Peace Day commemoration on August 6 at La Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara.
The book will be released on September 21, and is available now to pre-order.
Essay Contest about Hiroshima Play
The Japanese newspaper The Mainichi is holding a new international essay contest on the theme of the play “The Face of Jizo.” It is considered a theatrical masterpiece of postwar Japan. After reading the accounts of several hundred atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima, Hisashi Inoue decided to write the play not as a tragedy, but as a comedy, in order to convey the horror of the atomic bomb to as many people as possible.
The full script of the four-act play will be made available on The Mainichi website from Aug. 6 through Oct. 31. The essays on the play must be no more than 1,000 words in English, and from readers between the ages of 13 and 23. The essays can be submitted to email@example.com. The deadline for submitting the essays is October 31, 2018.
Poll: Vast Majority of Europeans Reject Nuclear Weapons on their Territory
A new YouGov polling commissioned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has found an overwhelming rejection of nuclear weapons in the four European Union countries that host U.S. nuclear weapons: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In each country, an overwhelming majority of people surveyed were in favor of removing the weapons from their soil, and for their countries to sign the Treaty that bans them outright.
To see the poll results, click here.
Evening for Peace to Honor Current Nobel Peace Laureate
On October 21, 2018, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will honor the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s Executive Director, at the 35th Annual Evening for Peace.
ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to bring about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted at the United Nations in July of last year.
The event will take place in Santa Barbara, California. For more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please call the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation at +1 805-965-3443.
Sadako Peace Day on August 6
On August 6, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will hold its 24th annual Sadako Peace Day commemoration at La Casa de Maria in Montecito, California. This will be one of the first public events at La Casa de Maria since the catastrophic mudslides that devastated the retreat center and many other places in Montecito. Twenty-three lives were lost in the disaster. This year, we will reflect on the local situation in addition to remembering the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all innocent victims of war.
The event, featuring music, poetry, and reflection, will take place from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.
New NAPF Annual Report Now Available
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has published its latest annual report with the title “We Can Change the World.” The report highlights the Foundation’s key achievements in 2017.
From our global work as part of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to the impressive foothold our Peace Literacy initiative has taken in communities around the United States and Canada, there is much momentum for NAPF to build on for the future.
The annual report also features an article about our Director of Programs, Rick Wayman, meeting Pope Francis last November, and an interview with one of our outstanding 2017 summer interns, Megan Cox.
To download a copy of our annual report, click here.
Peace Literacy: Professional Development both Practical and Visionary
Now an international movement, the skillset of Peace Literacy is both practical and visionary. It was created by Paul K. Chappell, NAPF Peace Literacy Director, a multi-racial West Point graduate, former army captain and Iraq war veteran who grew up in a violent household and struggled with trauma throughout his school years. Growing up as a racial outcast in Alabama, the son of a half black and half white father and a Korean mother, Chappell has worked through the trauma of racism and mistrust to construct a new paradigm for a peaceful world.
In a world where so many proposed solutions merely address surface symptoms, Peace Literacy teaches us how to create solutions that heal the root causes of our human problems. “The wellbeing of our communities and the world will depend on humanity moving from preliteracy in peace to Peace Literacy, and every bit helps.”
To read more about the professional development that NAPF’s Peace Literacy initiative offers to educators, click here.
War Should Be an Impeachable Offense
Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Walter Jones (D-NC) have introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would define presidential wars not declared by Congress as impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Rep. Gabbard said, “For decades, Congress has ceded its Constitutional responsibility of deciding whether or not to declare war, to the President. As a result, we have found ourselves in a state of perpetual war, without a declaration of war by Congress and without input from the American people. Since 9/11 alone, our country has spent trillions of dollars on interventionist regime change wars, costing the lives of many Americans, taking a toll on our veterans, and causing people in our communities to struggle and suffer due to a lack of resources. Our bipartisan resolution aims to end presidential wars, and hold Congress accountable so it does its job in making the serious and costly decision about whether or not to send our nation’s sons and daughters to war.”
Click here to ask your representative to sign on to this important new bill.
“What the Hiroshima survivors are telling us is that no one else should ever go through the experience they suffered. An atomic bombing creates a living hell on Earth where the living envy the dead.”
— Tadatoshi Akiba, former mayor of Hiroshima. This quote appears in the book Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action, which is available to purchase in the NAPF Peace Store.
“The ultimate human rights issue is whether we all get incinerated by nuclear weapons.”
— Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), commenting as he signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
“As long as Israel has nuclear weapons, other countries in the region will try to acquire them as well, and they will get them sooner or later. The only way to prevent that from happening is to denuclearize the entire Middle East from weapons of mass destruction, including Israel.”
— Jamal Zahalka, a member of the Israeli Knesset, speaking before a vote in Israel’s parliament calling for international monitoring of Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility.