Nuclear Disarmament Urged by Catholic Archbishop

A number of disarmament groups and scientists have called on President Biden to take action to reduce the U.S. nuclear stockpile. In December, nearly 700 scientists and engineers, including 21 Nobel laureates, called on Biden to cut the U.S. nuclear arsenal by a third and pledge never to use nuclear weapons first. In addition, 60 groups recently issued a joint statement calling for the elimination of the hundreds of U.S. intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles now armed and on hair-trigger alert.

William Hartung is still with us. He has closely followed U.S. nuclear weapons policy for decades.

And this has never happened before. This is really good news. It’s an official document in the church calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. I think it’s the most important document in U.S. Catholic Church history. And many people are now saying that. As you know, the ban treaty has been so blocked and ignored, consciously and deliberately, by U.S. mainstream media, but so has Pope Francis’s dramatic calls in the last few years for nuclear disarmament, including at Hiroshima — has been totally ignored, especially by the churches here in the United States. Two weeks ago, Archbishop Wester of New Mexico issued this massive statement, which is an official church document, responding to both of these and issuing it in time for the anniversary of the ban treaty and Biden’s upcoming review of nuclear weapons. And as I said, this has never happened before.

— source democracynow.org | Jan 25, 2022

Nullius in verba


US Opposes a Ban on Killer Robots

human rights activists in some countries are calling for an all-out ban on the use of lethal autonomous weapons known as “killer robots” that can make the final order to kill without a human overseeing the process. They are coming under review during high-level talks on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons next week. The Washington Post reports at least 30 countries have called for a ban on killer robots. Last Tuesday, New Zealand said it would join the international coalition demanding a ban, declaring “the prospect of a future where the decision to take a human life is delegated to machines is abhorrent.” But so far, the Biden administration has rejected calls to ban the use of killer robots. During a U.N. meeting in Geneva Thursday, the U.S. instead proposed establishing a code of conduct for their use.

— source democracynow.org | Dec 06, 2021

[Does things clear? US even does not obey their own law.]

Nullius in verba


Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

In a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday night, the U.S. House authorized a $778 billion military budget for fiscal year 2022. Every Republican voted against two amendments to reduce Pentagon spending, but Democrats were split. According to an analysis of OpenSecrets data by the Security Policy Reform Institute (SPRI) and Sludge, the Democrats who voted against the 10% Pentagon budget cut have taken, on average, 3.7 times more campaign money from arms manufacturers since January 2019 than the Democrats who voted for it.

https://readsludge.com/2021/09/24/house-dems-opposed-to-cutting-pentagon-budget-got-3-7x-more-in-defense-industry-cash/

— source commondreams.org | Sep 24, 2021

Nullius in verba


How Britain’s next king bolsters autocratic Gulf regimes

The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, has held 95 meetings with eight repressive monarchies in the Middle East since the ‘Arab Spring’ protests of 2011 threatened their power. Charles has played a key role in promoting £14.5-billion worth of UK arms exports to these regimes in the last decade.

Charles’ visits tend to whitewash the Middle Eastern monarchies’ human rights abuses, often coinciding with repression of opposition activists or the media
He plays a key role in cementing UK relations with key allies, acting as a de facto high-level salesman for British arms exports and promoting military cooperation
While the palace emphasises his cultural visits, Charles’ meetings are often with senior military, intelligence and internal security officials
Charles is also the patron of the UK intelligence agencies

Research by Declassified has found that Prince Charles held 95 meetings with ruling families in the Middle Eastern monarchies since pro-democracy protests threatened their power in the uprisings of a decade ago.

Charles’ diplomacy in the region, which comes at the request of the Foreign Office, has helped to cement controversial UK alliances with undemocratic regimes and promoted £14.5-billion worth of arms exports to them in the last decade.

During 2011, the year of the Arab Spring, Charles met six of the Middle East’s eight monarchs, from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He subsequently held

— source markcurtis.info | Phil Miller, Mark Curtis | Apr 5, 2021

Nullius in verba


U.S. Led 2020 Nuclear Weapons Spending

The Biden-Putin summit comes just weeks after the Biden administration announced it would not rejoin the Open Skies Treaty, a major international arms control deal signed by the George H.W. Bush administration in 1992. Vladimir Putin then announced Russia would withdraw, as well. As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden criticized Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the treaty. In May 2020, Biden said, “Trump has doubled down on his short-sighted policy of going it alone and abandoning American leadership.”

Biden is also continuing a number of Trump’s initiatives to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In his new budget, President Biden is seeking $43 billion for nuclear weapons, including money to develop a new submarine-launched nuclear cruise missile, which, as a candidate, he described as a “bad idea.”

Meanwhile, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, has just published a report revealing global spending on nuclear weapons increased by $1.4 billion last year despite the pandemic. The report found the world’s nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons in 2020 — that amounts to nearly $138,000 every minute. The United States spent by far the most — $37 billion — three times more than the next country, China, which spent $10 billion. Russia was next at $8 billion, followed by the United Kingdom, France, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea

— source democracynow.org | Jun 10, 2021

Nullius in verba


Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

Do African Americans have Second Amendment rights? That’s the question Emory University professor Carol Anderson set out to answer in her new book, “The Second,” which looks at the constitutional right to bear arms and its uneven application throughout U.S. history. She says she was prompted to write the book after the 2016 police killing of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop after he told the officer he had a legal firearm. Anderson says the Second Amendment was always intended to be a means of arming white people to control the Black population. “There was this massive fear about these slave revolts, Black people demanding their freedom, being willing to have an uprising to gain their freedom,” says Anderson. “What I saw was that it wasn’t about guns. It was about the fear of Black people.”

This emerged out of the fear of Black people, from slavery, that there was this massive fear about the slave revolt, Black people demanding their freedom, being willing to have an uprising to gain their freedom. And what that meant then was that you had this language of “We’ve got to keep this ferocious monster in chains.” And you saw, with each revolt, with each uprising, a series of statutes being put in place to say that African — that the enslaved, that Black people could not own weapons, that they could not have access to weapons. And you also saw the rise in the structure of slave patrols and militias, that were there and designed to contain that Black population.

As the nation began to develop, as you had this war of independence, there was this fear of arming Black people, the fear that even freed Blacks who were armed would get — would provide a kind of sense of what freedom looked like to the enslaved. But the exigencies of war required that arming, required having Black folks in the Continental Army. But as the nation developed after that war, one of the things that you had happening was with the Constitution, with the drafting of the Constitution. Because the militias themselves had proven so untrustworthy, unreliable as a force to fight against the British invasion, that James

— source democracynow.org | Jun 03, 2021

Nullius in verba