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Text of Obama Speech in Hiroshima28 May

Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan

MAY 27, 2016

Photo
President Obama spoke after a wreath-laying ceremony with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on Friday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

The following is a transcript of President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima, Japan, as recorded by The New York Times.

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.

Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind. On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.

In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die. Men, women, children, no different than us. Shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death. There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism, graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity.

Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.

How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause.

Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.

Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats. But those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.

Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos, but those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.

The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.

That is why we come to this place. We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow.

Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

Some day, the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war. The nations of Europe built a union that replaced battlefields with bonds of commerce and democracy. Oppressed people and nations won liberation. An international community established institutions and treaties that work to avoid war and aspire to restrict and roll back and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.

Still, every act of aggression between nations, every act of terror and corruption and cruelty and oppression that we see around the world shows our work is never done. We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.

We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics.

And yet that is not enough. For we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs can serve up violence on a terrible scale. We must change our mind-set about war itself. To prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun. To see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation and not violent competition. To define our nations not by our capacity to destroy but by what we build. And perhaps, above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race.

For this, too, is what makes our species unique. We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted.

We see these stories in the hibakusha. The woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself. The man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.

My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans. The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family — that is the story that we all must tell.

That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.

Those who died, they are like us. Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it. When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders, reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.

The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child. That is a future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.

Resources

Some Japanese oppose Obama visit to Hiroshima27 May

Statement Opposing US President Barack Obama’ Visit to Hiroshima

Action Committee for the 71st Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th
14-3-705 Noborimachi, Naka ward, Hiroshima City
Telephone/Fax: 082-221-7631 Email: hiro-100@cronos.ocn.ne.jp

We oppose the planned visit of the US President Barack Obama to Hiroshima on May 27th after Ise-Shima Summit.

The summit is a conference of warmongers and plunderers representing the interest of financial and military big powers of only seven countries called the G7 to discuss how to share and rule the markets and resources and their sphere of influence over the world. The main agenda will be a new Korean war (i.e. nuclear war) to overthrow the North Korean regime. Obama is to play the leading role of this war meeting as the possessor of the world’s largest nuclear military force. On his visit to the city of Hiroshima, Obama will be accompanied by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose Cabinet passed a new law permitting Japan to engage in war and trampled on the peoples’ anti-war voices with the A-bomb victims at the forefront of the struggle.  Further, the Abe administration decided in a recent Cabinet meeting that “both the use and the possession of nuclear weapons is constitutional” (April 1, 2016), reversing the previous interpretation of the Constitution that Japan can never participate in war.  Abe insists that Obama’s visit will be a major force for the realization of a world free from nuclear weapons. But these words are utterly deceptive.

We must not allow Obama to set foot in the Peace Park with his “nuclear football.”

The United States is the world’s largest nuclear military power and one that is continuing to wage destruction and slaughter by air raids in the Middle East and continues to use Okinawa island to house its base and prepare for a new war: a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula. And Obama is the commander in chief of the United States Armies.  How can we call this warmonger “a figure of hope for the elimination of nuclear weapons” or a “messenger of peace”? Moreover, Obama intends to come to Hiroshima with his emergency “nuclear football.” We must never allow his visit to Hiroshima!
Obama and the US government have repeatedly refused to apologize for the atomic bombings on Hiroshima. This declaration means that Obama and his government do not allow any attempt to question the legitimacy of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By inviting Obama to Hiroshima, Abe himself has tried to deny the responsibility for Japan’s war of aggression just as Obama evades US responsibility for the A-bombs. By denying responsibility for the war, Abe aims to open a way toward a new imperialist war: nuclear war.

What Obama actually said in his Prague speech is the maintenance of the nuclear monopoly and ability to carry out nuclear war by US.

“As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary… But we go forward with no illusions. Some countries will break the rules. That’s why we need a structure in place that ensures when any nation does, they will face consequences.” This is the crux of Obama‘s Prague speech in April 2009.
In fact, the Obama administration has been maintaining and evolving its nuclear forces. Obama plans to spend $1 trillion (more than 100 trillion yen) to modernize nuclear weapons over 30 years. For this reason, 12 subcritical nuclear tests and new types of nuclear tests were carried out between November 2010 and 2014.  In addition, the USA has entirely opposed on many occasions any resolution for banning nuclear weapons. The very person who has strongly supported this outrageous USA policy is Abe, who insists on the need for a nuclear deterrent while advocating Japan as the “only bombed nation” in the world.  Abe’s aim is that Japan becomes “a potential nuclear power” by restarting nuclear power plants and developing rocket technology. With the recent Cabinet decision that both the possession and use of nuclear weapons are constitutional, the Abe administration has explicitly revealed its intention for nuclear armament.
“The USA must monopolize nuclear weapons.” “The nation which does not follow the USA’s rules should face consequences.” This logic to justify nuclear monopoly and nuclear war is totally incompatible with the anti-war will of the workers and people, most of all the survivors of the atom bombs, known as the hibakusha.

Obama is preparing a new nuclear war all while he is making deceitful propaganda by talking about “a world without nuclear weapons.”

This January, Obama dispatched the strategic nuclear bomber B52 over the Korean Peninsula to counter North Korea’s nuclear tests with the aim of demonstrating that the US was ready to actually carry out a nuclear war. Then from March through April, he enforced the largest US-ROK joint military exercises ever on the assumption of a nuclear war. On February 24th, USFK (the United States Forces Korea) commander testified at the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee hearing: “If a collision occurs on the Korean Peninsula, the situation becomes the equal to that of the WWII. The scale of troops and weapons involved is comparable to that of the Korean War or the WWII. There will be a great number of dead and wounded due to its more complicated character.”
The USA military is now thoroughly calculating and intends to execute a plan of a Korean war (nuclear war), one which will exceed the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the orders of Obama, commander in chief.
In short, by visiting Hiroshima, Obama seeks to deceive the survivors and working people of the world as if he is striving for nuclear disarmament all while he aims to get the approval for his nuclear strikes on North Korea.  There is no room for reconciliation or compromise between Obama and us Hiroshima people who have been fighting against nuclear weapons and war since August 6th, 1945.

The unity and international solidarity of the working class people has the power to abolish nuclear arms.

People say that when Obama comes to Hiroshima and visits the Peace Museum, he will be more serious in working for the abolition of nuclear arms. But this is a groundless illusion. What was the content of the review of US Secretary of State Kerry, who visited the Peace Memorial Museum and “sincerely” viewed the exhibition after the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in April?  He wrote: “War must not be the first means but the last resort.”
That was Kerry’s immediate impression of the Peace Museum. And still they Kerry and Obama alike are preaching the need to maintain the war (that is, a nuclear war) as a last resort! The rulers of the United States have enough knowledge about the reality of the nuclear explosion through the findings of the ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) research, including the cases of serious internal exposure, and have long concealed the facts and materials regarding nuclear disaster. That is why they will by no means renounce the nuke as a final weapon.
War and the nuke are indispensable for the capitalists and the dominant power of the 1% to rule and divide the working people of the 99%: they try to bring antagonism among working people of the world and force them to kill each other for the interests of imperialism. We are witnessing the politics of “killing workers” such as dismissal, irregularization, ultra-low wages and overwork, and the politics of suppressing struggles such as those against war, nuclear arms and power, and military bases. The aggressive war (nuclear war) is the continuation of these politics and it’s Obama and Abe who are enforcing these politics.
We reject the idea to ask Obama and Abe to make efforts for peace or to take countermeasures by means of nuclear weapons like the rulers of North Korea and China. Instead, the working people of the 99% will unite and achieve international solidarity to fight back firmly against the rulers of the 1%. This is the only way to eliminate war and nuclear arms. The primary task we have to do is forming solidarity with the KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions), who is fighting with repeated decisive general strikes against the new Korean war being prepared by the “Korea-USA-Japan military alliance.”
We call upon all citizens to participate in the demonstrations on May 26th-27th against the visit of Obama to Hiroshima, shoulder to shoulder with atomic bomb sufferers who stand fast to their anti-war and anti-nuclear principle in solidarity with fighting labor unions and student councils.
May 19th, 2016

Resources

What Trump doesn’t know about Nukes26 May

https://thecipherbrief.com/column/fine-print/what-trump-doesn%E2%80%99t-know-about-nuclear-weapons-1093

Resources

McCain addresses the high cost of nuclear weapons26 May

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2016/05/19-national-defense-authorization-act-mccain?cid=00900015020089101US0001-051901

Resources

GAO questions nuclear weapons budget requests14 Mar

http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2016-03-08/report-casts-doubts-nuclear-spending

Amarillo Globe News
Report casts doubts on nuclear spending
Posted: March 8, 2016 – 8:50pm
By AARON DAVIS
aaron.davis@amarillo.com

The Government Accountability Office released a report last week citing concerns about the increasing budget for nuclear weapons and that budget’s potential to be inaccurate

The GAO report, titled “Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise,” looked at issues facing the National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget projections for nuclear weapons.

“This is the fifth year doing this review of modernization plans and the main finding in the report is that the budget estimates may not align with anticipated costs,” said David Trimble, director of the U.S. and International Nuclear Security and Cleanup department of the GAO. “Their ability to execute large contracts and large projects is of concern because of the historical problems.”

GAO officials cite a cost projection for weapons modernization at $297.6 billion, which is $4.2 billion higher than the administration’s budget figures. The low-range cost estimates for four programs to extend the life of nuclear warheads were also above the budgeted amount in years past.

Most of the physical work on warheads and bombs for life-extension programs is done at Pantex, which does assembly and disassembly of the warheads and bombs, and at the Y-12 National Security Complex, which manufactures, assembles and disassembles certain key components. Both sites are managed by Consolidated Nuclear Security.

These projections come at an increasingly complex time for the NNSA, as it is ramping up to juggle four major refurbishment programs on four separate warheads: a submarine-launched ballistic missile, a tactical “smart bomb,” a submarine-launched ballistic missile and an air-launched cruise missile.

“In our view, the NNSA has enormous responsibility that is incredibly important and they need to do a lot of work to maintain the U.S. stockpile,” said Stephen Young, senior analyst in the Global Security Program with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “However, they keep planning to go big and do everything perfectly at once in the best possible way. They simply can’t manage that. They need to think small and do what they have to get done to maintain the stockpile or we risk a real problem.”

The NNSA, under the umbrella of the Department of Energy, still remains on the GAO’s Major Program High-Risk List for a record of mismanagement, fraud, waste and abuse. Although the department has made progress in managing work on projects that cost under $750 million, a pattern of waste in large projects continues.

Testimony from the GAO to the U.S. Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee highlighted three major challenges facing the Department of Energy: management of the life-extension programs, oversight of contracts and major projects, and budgetary issues.

Of the life-extension programs that are concerning, the “smart bomb” program has a shortage of staff and is proceeding on a constrained schedule with little margin for program risks. Another warhead, the Interoperable Warhead 1, is scheduled to begin modernization in 2020, but the budget is based on a plutonium pit production line that isn’t up to capacity yet.

“Some of the programs, like the W76 (submarine-launched missile), make total sense. It’s the bulk of our stockpile, 1,600 warheads, and has a total cost of $4 billion,” Young said. “Now for the B61 (“smart bomb”), they are spending $10 billion to modernize 480 bombs.”

Young pointed out that for the cost of one “smart bomb,” the NNSA could modernize roughly eight of the submarine-launched missiles.

“The NNSA is proposing to make major changes to the warheads, and because they are reaching so far, they risk cost overruns, delays and problems that have always surfaced in their programs,” Young said. “It greatly increases the risk that one of these will fail. They should just do the work required to make sure our stockpile is safe and effective and nothing more than that.”

Young said he also worries about the choice to modernize the “smart bomb,” which would allow it to hone in on precise targets and vary its payload from 0.3 kilotons to 150 kilotons.

“The goal is not to use these weapons. Some argue you need to be able to fight and win a nuclear war in case one starts, but once you go nuclear, all bets are off,” Young said. “There’s no reason to plan for a small nuclear war.”

Resources

Fukushima 5 years on13 Mar

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15852

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Candidates on Nuclear Arsenals04 Mar

Peace Train for March 4, 2016

By JUDITH MOHLING

The United States plans to spend over $1 trillion over the next 30 years to
“modernize” its nuclear arsenal even though President Obama solemnly pledged in his famous “Prague Speech” on April 5, 2009 before thousands of thrilled Czech Republic citizens: “Today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Whichever of the current presidential candidates wins the presidency will face this reality. How do they feel about nuclear weapons? Not a lot has been said in the debates, but here are a few examples of what some of the candidates have said.

Republican Candidates: According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Ted Cruz would strengthen our nuclear arsenal, especially the nuclear armed submarines. Cruz was asked by Global Zero what he thought the right number of nuclear weapons is, and he responded, “.. .sufficient nuclear weapons to keep this country safe.”

According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, “Senator Rubio is probably the most hawkish presidential candidate. During a debate, he talked about the nuclear triad saying that, “…all three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. All three are critical for the defense of the country.”
Jeb Bush, asked by Global Zero about the vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, said that it was an “incredible objective” and one that he would aspire to advance, but that it would first require nuclear weapons modernization.
All GOP candidates mentioned that our nuclear arsenal “doesn’t work,” including Donald Trump.
Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton was asked, “Would you oppose plans to spend a trillion dollars on an entire new generation of nuclear weapons systems that will enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?“, Secretary Clinton responded, “I’m going to look into that. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bernie Sanders, according to the Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Non-proliferation, has said, “We have a $600 billion military budget that is larger than the next eight countries. Very little of that budget, less than 10 percent, actually goes to fighting ISIS and international terrorism.”
Additionally, Senator Sanders spoke of his support for a world free of nuclear weapons, as President Obama supported when first running for president.

Resources

Do you want 1 Trillion dollars American taxpayer money to do this so called Modernization?03 Mar

Peace Train for March 4, 2016

By JUDITH MOHLING

The United States plans to spend over $1 trillion over the next 30 years to
“modernize” its nuclear arsenal even though President Obama solemnly pledged in his famous “Prague Speech” on April 5, 2009 before thousands of thrilled Czech Republic citizens: “Today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Whichever of the current presidential candidates wins the presidency will face this reality. How do they feel about nuclear weapons? Not a lot has been said in the debates, but here are a few examples of what some of the candidates have said.

Republican Candidates: According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Ted Cruz would strengthen our nuclear arsenal, especially the nuclear armed submarines. Cruz was asked by Global Zero what he thought the right number of nuclear weapons is, and he responded, “.. .sufficient nuclear weapons to keep this country safe.”

According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, “Senator Rubio is probably the most hawkish presidential candidate. During a debate, he talked about the nuclear triad saying that, “…all three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. All three are critical for the defense of the country.”
Jeb Bush, asked by Global Zero about the vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, said that it was an “incredible objective” and one that he would aspire to advance, but that it would first require nuclear weapons modernization.
All GOP candidates mentioned that our nuclear arsenal “doesn’t work,” including Donald Trump.
Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton was asked, “Would you oppose plans to spend a trillion dollars on an entire new generation of nuclear weapons systems that will enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?“, Secretary Clinton responded, “I’m going to look into that. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bernie Sanders, according to the Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Non-proliferation, has said, “We have a $600 billion military budget that is larger than the next eight countries. Very little of that budget, less than 10 percent, actually goes to fighting ISIS and international terrorism.”
Additionally, Senator Sanders spoke of his support for a world free of nuclear weapons, as President Obama supported when first running for president.

Resources

Purely coincidental? What’s the message being sent? Pretty expensive telegram!19 Feb

24 hours prior to the opening session of the Open Ended Working Group in Geneva, the U.S. will launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from California to the Marshall Islands.
Rick

—–Original Message—–
From: Launch-Alert [mailto:launch-alert-bounces@mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Launch Alert
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:02 PM
To: launch-alert@mailman.qth.net
Subject: [Launch Alert] Minuteman III Launch Scheduled

The following is a media advisory from Vandenberg AFB:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

MINUTEMAN III LAUNCH SCHEDULED

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – – An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled between 11:00 p.m. PST Saturday, Feb. 20 and 5:00 a.m.
PST Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

“This mission continues a long string of vital ICBM flight tests from Vandenberg Air Force Base,” said Moss. “The launch not only demonstrates the capability of the Minuteman III weapon system, but also the tremendous capabilities of Airmen who maintain and operate it. The men and women of the 30th Space Wing are proud to partner with the Air Force Global Strike Command team to conduct this important launch.”

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, includes aircrew members from the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, and crew members and maintainers from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota.

The 576th FLTS is responsible for installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile, which collect data and ensure safety requirements, are met.
__________________________________________________________
Launch-Alert mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/launch-alert
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:Launch-Alert@mailman.qth.net
Message delivered to rwayman@napf.org

Resources

16,000+26 Jan

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/nine-nations-have-nuclear-weapons-here-is-how-many-each-country-has-a6827916.html

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