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European Parliament Considers Global Nuclear Weapons Ban.

n February 7, 2018 in Strasbourg, France, Ms. Beatrice Fihn addressed the European Parliament. Beatrice Fihn is Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN – the driving force behind a historic legal accomplishment in July 2017: adoption of an international agreement to ban nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. For its efforts, ICAN became recognized and honored as recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Peace.

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(Transcript)

“Distinguished members of the European Parliament: Thank you so much for this invitation to address you here today. The Nobel Committee has seen fit on a few occasions to recognize not just one extraordinary person but a valuable body with awarding them the Nobel Peace Prize, and they did so last year in awarding the coalition of almost 500 organizations that I represent – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

“And they did so in 2012, in recognizing the European Union for your efforts to advance peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights. And it is an honor to stand here with the other another Nobel Peace Prize recipient, not as one individual, but a part of a body, a large coalition working to safeguard our planet and our future. And I come to you … before you today, at a time when the need to do so is dire. I come to address one huge challenge before all of us to make every other debate in this chamber irrelevant.”

“I come to talk about the urgent danger of nuclear weapons, and the very real threat they pose to life in Europe. This is a dangerous time. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, meaning we are closer to Armageddon than at any point in the last 65 years. The war of words between North Korea and the United States threatens to boil over to a war of nuclear weapons, and Russia, China, and all the other nuclear-armed states are embarking on what essentially is a new nuclear arms race.”

“If we keep these weapons forever they will be used by intent, by accident, miscalculation or through a cyber or terrorist attack. If we continue to rely on nuclear weapons their use is a matter of when, not if. If we don’t act our luck will eventually run out. And the immediate effects of a nuclear blast would be devastating : the initial blasts that could level an entire city, the following fires will burn and suck out the oxygen of the remains of that city, and many survivors will die in agony in the days to years to come, through radiation poisoning or cancers.”

“No adequate humanitarian response will be possible, and the effects of radiation on human beings would cause suffering and death decades after the initial explosion. And Europe is not immune to these threats. It could very well be here that the next nuclear weapon will be used. And Europe has a great responsibility to address them through rational coöperation, the very principle or what this chamber was founded on. A start in fact exists within today’s dangerous mix of instability, decreased coöperation and violent rhetoric.”

“And the fact is that the majority of the world’s nuclear weapons are right here in Europe. Four out of the nine nuclear-armed States have littered this continent with the most dangerous weapons ever invented, either on their own soil, that of their allies, and of course patrolling the seas around us. And the world’s attention may currently be turned to the east to the Korean Peninsula, but we are all standing on a ticking bomb right here. The risk of nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War, but unlike the Cold War today we face many more nuclear-armed states, terrorists, cyber warfare … ”

“All of this makes us less safe. Along with the many moral and strategic reasons for Europe to pursue peace globally, reduce the nuclear threat beyond the shores, you have a responsibility to lead on this issue, because it affects all your citizens. You must decide whether weapons of mass destruction and luck will remain at the heart of the framework in Europe or if you will lead the way to something new – a security framework worthy of the 21st century. The only nuclear policy that increases security is the only rational and responsible one: the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“And last week the United States released its new Nuclear Posture Review. It is a violent lurch in the wrong direction, and it outlines a new Trump nuclear doctrine that abandons the work for nuclear disarmament. The settlement, if European allies and others under the nuclear umbrella have long understood it, shows a deliberate strategy to make nuclear weapons easier and more likely to be used. Even as a response to a non-nuclear conflict, it is an all-out attempt to take nuclear weapons out of the silos and on to the battlefields.”

“And the problem does not stop there. Similar threat-filled rhetoric in nuclear doctrines are seen from Russia and China and other nuclear-armed States. We are seeing a very dangerous new nuclear arms race that attempts to blur the lines between nuclear and conventional weapons, and today we are just counting down the days until nuclear weapons will be used again. This is not peace through strength. This is instability through terror. It is a luck-based security policy, and that is simply not good enough. Are you going to support the new Trump nuclear doctrine, join the thinking of Russia and North Korea, cheer on a new nuclear arms race … or are you going to support the [uncertain word … “warm”?] work for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons?”

“You cannot do both. This is the choice before each member of this European Union: the rapid escalation of a new nuclear security framework, one that lowers the threshold for nuclear weapons use and raises the likelihood of that happening, – or a rejection of the threats of nuclear war in favor of a new security framework predicated on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, just like we have prohibited other weapons of mass destruction. And we are looking to the EU for leadership in this. The world is looking to the EU for leadership on this. Who else on the global stage today will be the responsible actor ? Who else can we look to, to uphold human rights humanitarian law and the protection of civilians?”

“And the EU together with a high representative Federica Mogherini has been extremely effective in brokering an agreement with Iran, and this very body overwhelmingly in 2016 voted to support our collective work towards the nuclear bomb treaty. All over the objections of powerful interests, one hundred and twenty-two (122) nations adopted the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons last July, and EU member states like Austria, Ireland, Sweden showed great leadership throughout the negotiations. And we need all European states to show that leadership now.”

“There is a clear pathway for you to do so. The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is a political means to a nuclear weapons-free world, and now we need political leadership. All EU member states should join the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. And this is entirely consistent with those obligations some EU members have through their collective defense in NATO. And nothing in the North Atlantic treaty signed EU states up to a nuclear instability doctrine based on luck and high risk. Nothing in our collective defense should force us to participate in using nuclear weapons on civilians; that is the opposite of collective security.”

“The security interest of Europe is not served by a new nuclear arms race, one that takes nuclear weapons onto the battlefield and threatens to end us all. We must move towards disarmament, not destruction. Threatening to use weapons of mass destruction to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilian runs counter to the humanitarian values and moral leadership of this body and all of Europe. As the hands of the Doomsday Clock are being wound in the wrong direction, Europe must urgently take a stand. Show the world that Europe leads on standing up for the principles of democracy, human rights and collective security.”

“And that first step can happen today. Go back to your governments and urge them to join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, to join the community of nations who uphold the rule of law and laws of war, and in doing so reject the outdated 20th century security framework that sits on an unhealthy obsession with Cold War death relics. And this body, the European Parliament, is more important than ever. At such a critical moment it is vital that this body speak forcefully that it has done in the past in support of disarmament and non-proliferation, and in particular for the nuclear ban treaty.”

“And I urge you to turn those words into action by using the unique power of the European Parliament to promote policy in line with the EU values. Where there is uncertainty we should work towards understanding and consensus. And this is the process parliamentarians in countries like Italy and Norway are undergoing, investigating what the nuclear ban treaty will mean for their wider policy and security. And this body should follow suit. The EU non-proliferation consortium has provided invaluable guidance on implementation of, for example, the prohibition on biological weapons.”

“And members of the European Parliament should request the non-proliferation consortium to examine how member states can join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. And the European Parliament can back up your support for a policy with funding. This body should use its budgetary discretion to support civil society efforts for a nuclear weapons free world – an implementation of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

“A highlight of this treaty was a close working relationship between political leaders and civil society. So the European Parliament should step up and be firm and strengthen its union with civil society. And the members in this room can, and should swiftly, take these steps, rejecting the trend to increase the discord and dangerous nuclear posturing, and supporting disarmament through the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

“It is time for Europe to stand against this move towards nuclear disaster, stand against the Trump doctrine, stand against developments of more usable nuclear weapons, stand against the nuclear saber-rattling from all sides, and stand against the threatening to use weapons of mass destruction on civilians as an acceptable foreign policy.”

“It is your responsibility to protect your people against the use of nuclear weapons. So stand up for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“Thank you.”

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(Thank you to Frederick Moulin at YouTube)

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Ending War Now: A Proposal.

By Jerry Alatalo

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“Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that hold out any promise of peace, the courage of supra-national security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.”

– ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) Last written words, April 1955; quoted by Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden in “Einstein on Peace.”

iven the massive shift of world collective consciousness emergent after, among other astonishing developments, U.S. President Donald Trump’s arguably intended-to-provoke and dangerous Jerusalem announcement – and especially considering the dramatic response by member states at the United Nations (UN), now would seem the perfect storm, confluence-of-events time for the world’s genuine peacemakers to conduct an energetic push towards long-overdue reform of the UN, and making wars of aggression punishable. Or, in plain-speak, now is the opportune time to end forever in all its dimensions impunity for war criminals.

In the United States, as an example, the Constitution allows for adjustments by the people as time goes by and societal conditions evolve, and the supreme U.S. law-of-the-land document has endured the amendment process several times when deemed necessary. Similarly and invariably, the world and humanity evolves and conditions change to the point of requiring necessary actions correspondent to newly developed circumstances.

Let us call the proposed United Nations reform to the UN Charter a similar legally binding amendment, or treaty, or instrument, but – no matter the name and/or process necessary for bringing about truly effective legal enforcement on a global level – the vital point of such an initiative is making wars of aggression an action individuals (historically, in most instances the wealthiest and most powerful) will certainly think long, hard and twice about, because they are (now) subject to prosecution and punishment. This describes the basic foundation of deterrence, the legal term fully understood by any man or woman with a reasoning, functioning brain.

The reform we propose is as simple as simple gets, yet at the same time tremendously consequential in its potential:

Make it mandatory for each United Nations member state to sign the Rome Statute and agree to come under the legal jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, or face their nation’s expulsion from the United Nations – period. Perhaps it is beneficial at this point to look at the history-changing example of what the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and its hundreds of global support groups accomplished:

  • An unprecedented, binding United Nations treaty passed in July 2017 making nuclear weapons illegal
  • The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee’s deciding upon and rightly honoring ICAN as the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

May we suggest that a similar effort to end impunity for war criminals, embodied in and anchored on the simple United Nations reform just described, led by a new globally supported organization with the name “International Campaign to Abolish War”, would become the next recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for year 2018? It’s safe to say every human being on Earth would gladly welcome elimination of both nuclear weapons and wars of aggression from the Earth.

Most men and women who pass this way and read these words feel the extraordinary nature of current events in aspects equally historical, international, and spiritual, and especially in the sense of intensifying inevitableness. Both ICAN’s Executive Director Beatrice Fihn and 85-year old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack, Setsuko Thurlow, spoke passionately to the world after accepting the organization’s richly-deserved 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

In her acceptance speech on behalf of ICAN, Ms. Fihn clearly and powerfully articulated that widespread, growing sense of inevitableness, when she said:

“Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us? One of these things will happen.”

ICAN’s name suggests the sole goal of the organization is abolition of nuclear weapons from the face of this Earth. But it could reasonably be asserted: given the likelihood any escalation of violence today approaching the destructive levels of World War I and World War II would involve the use of nuclear weapons – so in the ultimate, classic logic sense ICAN’s vision is all about total abolition of both nuclear weapons and war.

Many are comparing the international situation today as more dangerous than that which existed during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and it’s likely somewhere in the 90-99% range that men and women who come to read these words will agree. One senses that humanity is closing in fast on the time of its greatest moral decision, or has even already arrived at its most crucial collective rendezvous with destiny in recorded history. The decision upon which civilization now will depend for their very lives to continue, and begin again for those to come in future generations, is whether to take right action or not.

Creating a workable plan to effectively abolish war forever is clearly taking right action.

There is only one human family. Arguably, an overwhelming majority of people the world over wish to carry out their lives in human-created conditions guaranteeing their opportunities for experiencing some significant level of love, peace and harmony. War is undeniably in the way, and represents the absolute obstacle to achieving humanity’s highest vision. There is only one simple, yet immeasurably profound and unavoidable question. Why not take right action toward ending war; taking into account the current dangerous, worrying state of world affairs and international relations, shouldn’t such necessary action be starting now?

Nobel Peace Prize Address: Nuclear States Issued Historic Challenge.

(Transcript cross-posted from NobelPrize.org)

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – Nobel Lecture

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Lecture given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2017, ICAN, delivered by Beatrice Fihn and Setsuko Thurlow, Oslo, 10 December 2017.

[Beatrice Fihn:]

Your Majesties,
Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
Esteemed guests,

Today, it is a great honor to accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of thousands of inspirational people who make up the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Together we have brought democracy to disarmament and are reshaping international law.
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We most humbly thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognizing our work and giving momentum to our crucial cause.

We want to recognize those who have so generously donated their time and energy to this campaign.

We thank the courageous foreign ministers, diplomats, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, UN officials, academics and experts with whom we have worked in partnership to advance our common goal.

And we thank all who are committed to ridding the world of this terrible threat.
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At dozens of locations around the world – in missile silos buried in our earth, on submarines navigating through our oceans, and aboard planes flying high in our sky – lie 15,000 objects of humankind’s destruction.

Perhaps it is the enormity of this fact, perhaps it is the unimaginable scale of the consequences, that leads many to simply accept this grim reality. To go about our daily lives with no thought to the instruments of insanity all around us.

For it is insanity to allow ourselves to be ruled by these weapons. Many critics of this movement suggest that we are the irrational ones, the idealists with no grounding in reality. That nuclear-armed states will never give up their weapons.

But we represent the only rational choice. We represent those who refuse to accept nuclear weapons as a fixture in our world, those who refuse to have their fates bound up in a few lines of launch code.

Ours is the only reality that is possible. The alternative is unthinkable.

The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us what that ending will be.

Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?

One of these things will happen.

The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.
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Today I want to talk of three things: fear, freedom, and the future.

Continue reading “Nobel Peace Prize Address: Nuclear States Issued Historic Challenge.”

U.S.-Israel ‘Greater Kurdistan’ Plan: From Iran To The Mediterranean Sea.

By Jerry Alatalo

The following interview is hosted by Mr. Kevork Almassian – with Dr. Jamal Wasim, one of Lebanon’s most respected academics and professor of International Relations at Lebanon International University. They discuss the recent movement of Turkish military/armed forces toward the mercenary-held city of Idlib in northwest Syria.

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The description of Mr. Almassian’s YouTube channel is reprinted below:

(YouTube – Syriana Analysis – Joined January 13, 2017 | 12,659 subscribers – 2,193,216 views) This YouTube Channel is managed by Kevork Almassian. He is currently a Masters student at the University of Balamand’s Political Science and International Affairs Department. He is originally from Syria and was sponsored by Kalamoon University’s International Relations and Diplomacy Department to pursue his studies at Science’s Po/Paris European Affairs Department. As an expert in International Relations, Almassian publishes research articles and reports to multiple leading newspapers. Almassian created Syriana Analysis Channel to bring the voices of the silenced majority in Syria, to debunk the fake news by the Mainstream Media, and to address the greater geopolitical issues that affect the global peace.

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What the two men and former colleagues in academia reveal is a potential agreement between Syrian, Iranian, Russian and Turkish leaders to prevent the establishment of a “Greater Kurdistan”, consisting of northern Iraq, northern Syria, a portion of western Iran and parts of southeast Turkey – an evolving geopolitical goal, according to Dr. Wasim, of the United States, Israel and its allies since the outbreak of war in Syria-2011 and Iraq-2015.

If what Dr. Wasim conveys represents an accurate analysis, any optimistic perceptions holding that ISIS, al Nusra and other terrorist groups operating since 2011 are nearing defeat might need modifying, and the possibility of war escalation by the U.S./Israel/Saudi-led forces, whose “investment” in the Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni conflicts has totaled in the $billions, remains worrying.

After U.S. President Donald Trump’s Friday October 13 address signaled his intention of essentially scrapping the 2015 P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which guaranteed Iran’s incapacity to produce a nuclear weapon until 2025, the response from nearly all world leaders has been to strongly oppose Trump. While most observers talk about Trump’s actions as only reducing in the eyes of the world community U.S. trustworthiness, status and remaining good reputation, one could describe the current situation by pointing out that Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have become positioned, or perhaps more accurately they have painted themselves, into a corner.

Mr. Trump’s repeated, 1984-style, and false allegations against leaders of Syria, Iran, Russia and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, in particular pointing the finger of blame for state-sponsored terrorism at those nations doing the bulk of direct combat against terrorism in the region, are rapidly becoming known across the Earth for what they truly represent: blatant, outrageous and, indeed, massive criminal lies.

The negative blow-back Mr. Trump – and through association Mr. Netanyahu, have already received in just 24 hours is going to only increase with rising levels of intensity as awareness spreads. The U.S. and Israeli leaders are left with two options: 1) attempting to continue the obfuscation of the truth, ramping up plans for further escalation of violence, and risking world war, or 2) coming to the realization that people across the planet know what their criminal intentions mean with regard to more horrific violence in the region, devastating for millions of innocents already severely injured from the totally engineered, 16-year psychological operation called the “War on Terror”.

Their options are plainly and simply war or peace, and the lives of millions, potentially billions, hang in the balance. Enabled by the greatest false flag state-terror event in history, the now infamous 9/11, what is perhaps the 2nd largest “Big Lie” of all time – the “War on Terror” – is with increased and multiplying  speed falling apart.

Wise men and women in all regions of the world are now faced with the impossibility of choosing continued silence and/or inaction when the stakes could not be higher or more severe, and especially after choosing the immoral stance of maintaining silence for the past 16 years of heart-breaking, unnecessary, and criminal harm.

Now is the time to expose the lies of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”. At the same time, the lie that nuclear weapons have somehow benefited humanity must also become exposed, followed by righteous, worldwide, collective actions leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. Future generations have to become seriously considered, and factored in, during every debate and discussion of major Earthly importance … Starting at this moment.

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(Thank you to Syriana Analysis at YouTube)