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The road to Armageddon — our two existential threats and the 2020 US presidential race

January 28, 2020

By Robert Dodge

[Originally published in The Hill on January 24, 2020.]

As we begin this new decade, our world faces great peril from two intertwined existential threats: climate change and nuclear war. Failing to solve these two issues may lead to the end of life as we know it.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advises that we must take definitive action to stop climate change this decade or face catastrophic climate events in the future, fueling social unrest and conflict not seen in the past. Read more…

Two existential dangers, one solution

January 27, 2020

On August 12, 1945, six days after the US government obliterated the city of Hiroshima with a single atomic bomb, Robert Hutchins, the president of the University of Chicago, delivered a remarkable public address.  Speaking on his weekly radio program, the Chicago Roundtable, Hutchins observed that Leon Bloy, a French philosopher, had referred to “the good news of damnation” under the assumption that only the fear of perpetual hellfire would motivate moral behavior.  “It may be,” Hutchins remarked, “that the atomic bomb is the good news of damnation, that it may frighten us into that Christian character and those righteous actions and those positive political steps necessary to the creation of a world society.” Read more…

IPPNW statement on Suleimani killing

January 8, 2020

IPPNW condemns the deliberate and calculated murder of Iranian Major General Qassim Suleimani by US forces in Iraq. The killing of Gen. Suleimani in a drone strike authorized by the US President was not only a violation of international law and of long-standing US policy prohibiting assassinations of foreign officials, it has also further inflamed an already volatile region. A war between the US and Iran would have disastrous results and must be prevented.

IPPNW is particularly concerned that, as a direct result of this precipitous action, Iran has declared that it will no longer comply with the terms of the 2015 multinational agreement that has prevented it from developing a nuclear weapons capability. The Trump administration withdrew from that agreement in 2018, despite Iran’s compliance, which had been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

US-Iranian relations have been strained—frequently to the breaking point—as far back as 1953, when the US helped depose Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mosaddegh, and 1979, when a revolutionary government removed the US-backed Shah and held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year.

The Iran nuclear agreement was seen by many, including IPPNW, as a stepping stone toward a more constructive period of international engagement with a country that will be crucial to any future negotiations for peace in the Middle East. That opportunity has now been squandered through the reckless and, apparently, politically motivated act of a US President who has repeatedly shown terrible judgment in international affairs.

IPPNW urges the US Congress to assert its constitutional authority and to prevent another unjustified war in a region that has been plagued by near-constant war for decades. We also urge leaders in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia to step up in this moment of crisis, and to work with Iran, Iraq, and other directly affected countries in pursuit of a meaningful and lasting peace. One long-overdue step toward this goal would be the negotiation of a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (MEWMDFZ).

All States that have not yet done so, including the US and Iran, should sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and follow through with the elimination of all nuclear weapons in the region and globally.

Americans are ready for a different approach to nuclear weapons

December 24, 2019

Although today’s public protests against nuclear weapons can’t compare to the major antinuclear upheavals of past decades, there are clear indications that most Americans reject the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons policies.

Since entering office in 2017, the Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from the nuclear agreement with Iran, scrapped the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, and apparently abandoned plans to renew the New START Treaty with Russia.  After an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations agreed on a landmark UN Treaty on the Prohibitions of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017, the Trump administration quickly announced that it would never sign the treaty.  The only nuclear arms control measure that the Trump administration has pursued―an agreement by North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program―appears to have collapsed, at least in part because the Trump administration badly mishandled the negotiations. Read more…

Chaos and agony: the human consequences of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

December 16, 2019

Dr. Masao Tomonaga, IPPNW’s regional Vice President for North Asia, Professor Emeritus of Nagasaki University, and a survivor of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, has published a new article in the Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament entitled “The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Summary of the Human Consequences, 1945-2018, and Lessons for Homo sapiens to End the Nuclear Weapon Age.”

The article is a comprehensive, carefully documented review of the immediate and long-term medical, psychological, and social consequences of the atomic bombings, and a challenge to political leaders to abandon nuclear weapons before they are used again. Read more…

Which would you prefer―nuclear war or climate catastrophe?

November 27, 2019

To:      The people of the world

From:  The Joint Public Relations Department of the Great Powers

The world owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Boris Johnson, and other heroic rulers of our glorious nations.  Not only are they hard at work making their respective countries great again, but they are providing you, the people of the world, with a choice between two opportunities for mass death and destruction. Read more…

A young Hannah Rabin was the peace movement’s Greta

October 23, 2019

by Vappu Taipale

Founders of the Children’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1982. From left: Susie Dennison, Hannah Rabin, Solves Schumann, Nessa Rabin, Maria Schumann, Max Schumann, Becky Dennison.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, has become the face of an entire generation demanding urgent action to prevent climate collapse. We older members of the peace movement remember very well our own young activist, 16-year-old Hannah Rabin from the USA, who campaigned to prevent nuclear war in the early 1980s.

Hannah and her friends started their activities against nuclear war by collecting children’s letters to US President Ronald Reagan. They promised to travel to the White House, where they read aloud more than 2,000 letters. Read more…

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