Archive for the ‘David Krieger’ Category
By David Krieger
“Since the appearance of visible life on Earth, 380 million years had to elapse in order for a butterfly to learn how to fly, 180 million years to create a rose with no other commitment than to be beautiful, and four geological eras in order for us human beings to be able to sing better than birds, and to be able to die from love.
It is not honorable for the human talent, in the golden age of science, to have conceived the way for such an ancient and colossal process to return to the nothingness from which it came through the simple act of pushing a button.”
I recently came across this quotation by the great Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature. The quotation is from a 1986 speech by Garcia Marquez entitled “The Cataclysm of Damocles.”
In the short quotation, he captures what needs to be said about nuclear weapons succinctly, poetically and beautifully. With a few deft literary brushstrokes, he shows that the journey of life from nothingness to now could be ended with no more than “the simple act of pushing a button.”
The button is a metaphor for setting in motion a nuclear war, which could Read the rest of this entry »
By David Krieger
July 7 , 2016
The International Court of Justice (“Court,” or “ICJ”), the world’s highest court, issued its Advisory Opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons on July 8, 1996. Thus, this week marks the 20th anniversary of that momentous opinion.
The Court found in a split vote (7 to 7), with the casting vote of the Court’s president Mohammed Bedjaoui deciding the matter, that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be illegal under international law. The Court could not determine whether it would be legal or illegal to threaten or use nuclear weapons “in an extreme circumstance of self-defense, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake.”
Three of the judges voting to oppose general illegality, however, were concerned with the word “generally” and wanted the Court to go further and remove any ambiguity about the illegality of threat or use of nuclear weapons.
Judge C.G. Weeramantry, for example, argued in a brilliant dissenting opinion “that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegal in any circumstances whatsoever.”
Thus, in actuality, ten of the fourteen judges supported either general illegality or total illegality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons.
The Court also found unanimously that Read the rest of this entry »
The President went to Hiroshima,
the place of the first atomic attack.
He carried his heart in an old knapsack.
He went where no sitting president
ever ventured before, journeyed
through time to a long ago war.
He stood at the very place where death
fell from the sky, where the mushroom cloud
sucked up the earth, rose higher than high.
His words poured forth like a passionate poem,
a poem filled with power, as he placed
a white wreath on a sea of white foam.
He bowed before the city’s eternal flame,
cried out for a world deeply in pain,
swore we must not let it happen again.
We must choose our vantage point well,
above the bomb or beneath, On one side
is hubris, on the other is grief.
By Richard Falk, David Krieger and Robert Laney
What follows here is An Open Letter to the American People: Political Responsibility in the Nuclear Age. It was jointly written by Richard Falk in collaboration with David Krieger and Robert Laney. The three of us have been long connected with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NAPF.
The NAPF focuses its effort on the menace posed by nuclear weaponry and the urgency of seeking nuclear disarmament. The nuclear agreement with Iran and the North Korean nuclear test explosion are reminders of the gravity of the issue, and should serve as warnings against the persistence of complacency, which seems to be the prevailing political mood judging from the policy debates that have taken place during the early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign.
This complacency is encouraged by the media that seems to have forgotten about nuclear dangers since the end of the Cold War, except for those concerned with proliferation of the weaponry to countries hostile to the United States and the West (Iran, North Korea).
Our letter proceeds on the assumption that the core of the problem is associated with the possession, development, and deployment of the weaponry, that is, with the nine nuclear weapons states. The essence of a solution is to eliminate existing nuclear weapons arsenals through a phased, verified process of nuclear disarmament as legally mandated by Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968).
We would be grateful if you could help us reach the widest possible audience through reposting and dissemination via social media networks.*
Dear fellow citizens:
By their purported test of a hydrogen bomb early in 2016, North Korea reminded the world that nuclear dangers are not an abstraction, but a continuing menace that the governments and peoples of the world ignore at their peril. Even if the test were not of a hydrogen bomb but of a smaller atomic weapon, as many experts suggest, we are still reminded that we live in the Nuclear Age, an age in which accident, miscalculation, insanity or intention could lead to devastating nuclear catastrophe.
What is most notable about the Nuclear Age is that we humans, by our scientific and technological ingenuity, have created the means of our own demise. The world currently is confronted by many threats to human wellbeing, and even civilizational survival, but we focus here on the particular grave dangers posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear war.
Even a relatively small nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, with each country using 50 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons on the other side’s cities, could result in a nuclear famine killing some two billion of the most vulnerable people on the planet. A nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia could destroy civilization in a single afternoon and send temperatures on Earth plummeting into a new ice age.
Such a war could destroy most complex life on the planet. Despite the gravity of such threats, they are being ignored, which is morally reprehensible and politically irresponsible.
We in the United States are in the midst of hotly contested campaigns to determine the candidates of both major political parties in the 2016 presidential faceoff, and yet none of the frontrunners for the nominations have even voiced concern about the nuclear war dangers we face. This is an appalling oversight. It reflects the underlying situation of denial and complacency that disconnects the American people as a whole from the risks of use of nuclear weapons in the years ahead.
This menacing disconnect is reinforced by the media, Read the rest of this entry »
By David Krieger
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. They are incredibly important, and I will try to place them in a broader context.
I will begin by sharing two quotations with you. The first is by Jayantha Dhanapala, a Sri Lankan diplomat, former United Nations Under-Secretary General, and long-time and committed leader in the area of nuclear disarmament. He states: “The spectre of the use of a nuclear weapon through political intent, cyber-attack or by accident, by a nation state or by a non-state actor, is more real than we, in our cocoons of complacency, choose to acknowledge.”
The spectre of nuclear use, even nuclear war, is real and most of the world lives in “cocoons of complacency.” It is clear that we must break free from those cocoons, which are as dangerous to the human future as are the nuclear weapons that now imperil us. The Nuclear Zero lawsuits seek to accomplish that.
The second quote is by His Holiness Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, who has brought new light and compassion to his office. He states: “As long as so great a quantity of arms are in circulation as at present, new pretexts can always be found for initiating hostilities. For this reason, I make my own the appeal of my predecessors for the non-proliferation of arms and for disarmament of all parties, beginning with nuclear and chemical weapons disarmament.” The Pope talks about disarmament in general, but he puts nuclear disarmament, along with chemical weapons disarmament, at the top of his list.
Pope Francis continues: “We cannot however fail to observe that international agreements and national laws — while necessary and greatly to be desired — are not of themselves sufficient to protect humanity from the risk of armed conflict. A conversion of hearts is needed which would permit everyone to recognize in the other a brother or sister to care for, and to work together with, in building a fulfilling life for all.”
“A conversion of hearts.” Can there be any doubt that such conversion is necessary? Can there be any doubt that traditional diplomacy is not getting the job done? Read the rest of this entry »
By David Krieger
Intro: The absurdities of the Nuclear Age
By Jan Oberg
We deny – every day – that we can all be gone today or tomorrow. Project humankind finished. Not by God but by ourselves. We also deny that we could live much more safely without these doomsday weapons.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and its visionary leader, Dr. David Krieger, have devoted their energies since 1982 to tell the world that we must stop denying, stop taking huge risks and stop wasting incomprehensibly large sums so much needed for human welfare instead.
A nuclear-free world is eminently possible. And better. The nuclear states are committed to it through the Non-Proliferation Treaty and countless statements and UN resolutions. But they deny their responsibility.
There’s been enough documented technical and human failures with nuclear weapons. We ought to be scared.
Most media shed light on potential nuclear weapons, those Iran for instance don’t have. That’s the proliferation problem.
But non-existing nukes can’t kill everything we love. Existing nukes can. That’s the problem of possession.
And then there is state terrorism. Remember, until 9/11 nuclear arsenals were part of the ‘balance of terror’?
Terrorism is the deliberate wounding or killing of innocent people to achieve a political purpose and to instill fear.
No nuclear weapon can be used without deliberately killing millions of innocent people. Therefore, every nuclear state and nuclear-based alliance such as NATO subscribes to a philosophy similar to IS or Al-Qaeda. On a much larger scale.
It simply isn’t true that nuclear weapons are only for deterrence and would never be used. If adversaries knew that the other side would never use them, they would not deter. Deterrence means nuclear use under certain circumstances.
Nuclear weapons – weapons of mass terror – should be abolished.
They have no function, no ethical foundation and – like slavery or cannibalism – don’t fit human civilisation.
Isn’t it high time Western politics and our allegedly free media shed light on this issue? Give it priority?
Don’t they have a duty to inform us about the greatest danger of all?
In the pathbreaking article below one of the world’s leading experts on nuclear weapons, Dr. David Krieger who is also a TFF Associate for decades, tells you why we must wake up and why the U.S. should scrap its plan to modernise its nuclear arsenals at “up to a trillion dollars” over the next 30 years.
And here Gunnar Westberg, MD and TFF Board member tells you about Ukraine – once hosting the 3rd largest nuclear arsenals on earth. We should be happy that today’s Ukraine is nuclear-free and recognise that these weapons are useless.
By David Krieger
On September 21, 2014, the International Day of Peace, The New York Times published an article by William Broad and David Sanger, “U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms.” The authors reported that a recent federal study put the price tag for modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal at “up to a trillion dollars” over the next three decades.
It appears that Washington’s military and nuclear hawks have beaten down a president who, early in his first term of office, announced with conviction, “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Continue here…
By David Krieger and others
A long list of prominent individuals has signed, a number of organizations will be promoting next week, and you can be one of the first to sign right now, a petition titled “Call For Independent Inquiry of the Airplane Crash in Ukraine and its Catastrophic Aftermath.”
The petition is directed to “All the heads of states of NATO countries, and of Russia and the Ukraine, to Ban-ki Moon and the heads of states of countries on the UN Security Council.” And it will be delivered to each of them.
The petition reads . . continue here. And please sign it!
By David Krieger
As the trustee of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the United States had an obligation to protect the health and welfare of the Marshallese Islanders. Instead, the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958. These 67 nuclear tests had an explosive power equivalent to 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years. In short, the U.S. used these islands shamefully, and the Marshallese people continue to suffer today as a result.
Open Letter to College and University Presidents Re: Global Security 101
By David Krieger
You are in a unique position of leadership to influence today’s youth to achieve a better tomorrow for America and the world. I am writing to enlist your help in educating young people to understand the survival challenges that face humanity in the 21st century.
Education is driven by values. Young people must learn to live with reverence for life, as did Albert Schweitzer, and to support equitable and nonviolent solutions to social problems, as did Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Young people must be imbued with compassion, commitment and courage. They must learn to use their imaginations to find creative and cooperative solutions to the great issues of our time. And they must find joy in the process and take time to celebrate the miracle of living on the only planet we know of in the universe that supports life. Continue here…
By Richard Falk
The Putin Moment
Not only did Vladimir Putin exhibit a new constructive role for Russia in 21st statecraft, spare Syria and the Middle East from another cycle of escalating violence, but he articulated this Kremlin initiative in the form of a direct appeal to the American people. There were reasons to be particularly surprised by this display of Russian diplomacy: not since Nikita Khrushchev helped save the world from experiencing the catastrophe of nuclear war in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 by backing down and agreeing to a face-saving formula for both superpowers, had Moscow distinguished itself in any positive way with respect to the conduct of international relations.
For Putin to be so forthcoming, without being belligerent, was particularly impressive in view of Obama’s rather ill-considered cancellation only a few weeks ago of a bilateral meeting with the Russian leader because of Washington’s supposed anger at the refusal of the Russian government to turn the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, over to the United States for criminal prosecution under American espionage laws; and finally, considering that Putin has much blood on his hands given past policies pursued in relation to Chechnya and in the autocratic treatment of domestic political opposition, it was hard to expect anything benevolent during his watch.
And so Putin is emerging as a virtual ‘geopolitical black swan,’ making unanticipated moves of such a major character Read the rest of this entry »