Trump’s Latest Comments Stoke Talk of a New Nuclear Arms Race

While His Press Secretary Tries to Explain
The Washington Post
By John Wagner

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Peace, Paul Olson

For a second straight day, President-elect Donald Trump sent provocative signals Friday about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal, while his staff scrambled to temper remarks that suggested a break with four decades of policy charted by presidents of both parties.

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Two-Headed Hydra

Top-down Nuclear Re-armament Meets Bottom-up Conservative Populism
by Loring Wirbel 

Loring Wirbel of “Citizens for Peace in Space” in Colorado Springs was the featured speaker for the 2016 Lantern Float commemorating the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at Lincoln’s Holmes Lake August 6. The article below is a combination of his remarks at the Lantern Float and a longer public presentation he made during his visit to Nebraska.

On August 8, following my recent visit to Lincoln for the Hiroshima commemoration, the New York Times used a lead editorial to chide the Obama Administration for throwing away the aims of the President’s 2009 speech supporting nuclear disarmament, in favor of the “Strategic Force Modernization Plan,” which would spend close to $1 trillion through 2040 to modernize all three legs of the strategic nuclear triad. The editorial was one of the first major mainstream-media acknowledgements of a program that had moved into production in midsummer with scarcely a notice from the press or public.

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What Did We Buy With the $5 Trillion That the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Have Cost Us?

Posted on Sep 13, 2016
truthdig.com
By Juan Cole

A Brown University political scientist estimates that as of 2016, The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have cost the American taxpayers $5 trillion. That number isn’t important when we consider the human cost: Some 7,000 US troops dead, 52,000 wounded in action; hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead who wouldn’t otherwise be, 4 million displaced and made homeless, etc.

Just to put that $5 trillion in perspective. Let’s say you chose five individuals. Each of the five will spend $10 million a day. That’s the cost of Heidi Klum’s mansion. They’d be buying the equivalent of five of those each day.

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US at the Crossroads: Start a New Nuclear Arms Race? Or Address Climate Change and Human Needs?

The following article was written by Kevin Martin, President of our Affiliate group Peace Action and published in Common Dreams.

Friday, September 30, 2016
Common Dreams
by Kevin Martin

What if I have little time left? How should I spend my time? Most people face these questions in terms of their own lifespans. But what if the subject of these sentences changes from “I” to “we?” What if the subject is not an individual, but humanity? What if climate change is shortening our human lifespan (and that of many species) to just a few decades?

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We Refuse To Be Targets in This Nuclear World

by Paul A. Olson, President Emeritus of Nebraskans for Peace and Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action

When Barack Obama was elected president, one of his stated hopes was the global elimination of nuclear weapons. Now that he is about to conclude his presidency, his hope (expressed in his visit to Hiroshima) is still that such weapons might be eliminated. But serious steps toward the elimination of nuclear weapons never happen. Almost a decade ago, four of our most powerful retired politicians—Sam Nunn, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger and William Perry—called for an initiative to end nuclear weapons, and nothing happened. Now William Perry, President Clinton’s former Secretary of Defense has written a book in which he argues, “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War, and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.” And still, nothing happens.

Recently, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said, “Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded” and argued for strengthened nuclear security against the use of fissile materials by terrorists. Indeed, Belgian police investigating the November 13 Paris terror attacks found ten hours of videotaping of a Belgian nuclear official located in the hands of known terrorists. What the jihadists would have done with the nuclear official or his information, had they gone further or been able to acquire radioactive material, can only be guessed. Today, we have over 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world and tons of fissionable material floating around—enough to destroy virtually all cultures. In addition, we have many scientists with the knowledge to provide nuclear weapons information to rogue regimes as did Pakistan’s Abdul Qadeer Khan, perhaps with the assistance of the Pakistani army.

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