Tuesday, August 9, 2016

HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI REMEMBRANCE AGAINST NUCLEAR WEAPONS 2016 NEWSLETTER

OMNI
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembrance, AUGUST 14, 2016
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
(1521 NEWSLETTERS as of 8-8-15 on Peace, Justice, and Ecology)
Donate to OMNI: http://omnicenter.org/donate/ 

Contents Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembrance and Global
     Nuclear Zero (Abolition) Newsletter 2016
Hiroshima August 6, Nagasaki August 9, 1945
OMNI’S 2016 Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembrance and Nuclear Abolition Program, August 14, “Morality & War: A New Future For All”

TAKE ACTION:  Global Zero, World Beyond War, Peace and Planet, Win Without War, WAND

David Swanson, World Beyond War, New UN Initiative: Treaty Proposed to Ban
       Nuclear Weapons;  Conference and Action in September
Stephen Miles, Win Without War: Write Now

WAND, Contact Your Congressmen


President Obama Visits Hiroshima: 7 Responses

Greg Mitchell, Hollywood’s Whitewash of the Bombings
Joseph Gerson, H-N Events Around the World; Gerson on the Meaning of
     Hiroshima and Problems of Deterrence
Hastie, Condemn Air War Too
President John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Speech for Peace His
     Greatest Speech

OMNI PROGRAM 2016, U OF ARKANSAS, FULBRIGHT PEACE FOUNTAIN,  SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 7PM
 “Morality & War: A New Future For All”
Program Master of Ceremonies – Kelly Mulhollan ·
Opening music – “Peace Prayer” – Kelly & Donna Mulhollan ·
 Opening– Taiki Shibamoto - President Japanese Student Association ·
Proclamation from  Mayor Lioneld Jordan ·
Poem – Shane White, OMNI UA Vice President ·
Music - “I Come and Stand By Every Door” (Pete Seeger / Nazim Hikmet) – Still on the Hill, Kelly & Donna Mulhollan ·
Obon Ceremony, floating of candles for ancestors.·
Reading of Names – Kenichi Serizawa and Analeigh Ulrich, Japanese Students Association ·
 Poem - Christopher Balos, Marshallese Climate Change Activist ·
Keynote Speaker – Maria Santelli, Executive Director Center on Conscience and War “Witnessing and Mobilizing the Power of Conscience” ·
 “Global Zero” – Matt Miller, OMNI UA President ·
Music – “Join Hands Together” Ginny & Ansel Ogle
 Thank you for attending this year’s Remembrance.   This evening’s program is being filmed by Richard Tiffany for archival and educational purposes. Please stay and visit while we share cold Arkansas watermelon together, from Ozark Natural Foods.  Thanks to Lauren Hawkins for the posters and flyers; to Karen Takemoto for the Obon Ceremony.

TAKE ACTION: SUPPORT UN INITIATIVE, SIGN PETITION
TREATY TO BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS, WRITE CONGRESSMEN

Global Zero Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Global Zero (campaign)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Global Zero is an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons.[1] The initiative, launched in December 2008, promotes a phased withdrawal and verification for the destruction of all devices held by official and unofficial members of the nuclear club. The Global Zero campaign works toward building an international consensus and a sustained global movement of leaders and citizens for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Goals include the initiation of United States-Russia bilateral negotiations for reductions to 1,000 total warheads each and commitments from the other key nuclear weapons countries to participate in multilateral negotiations for phased reductions of nuclear arsenals. Global Zero works to expand the diplomatic dialogue with key governments and continue to develop policy proposals on the critical issues related to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Contents
  [hide
·         1Action plan
·         2History
·         3Public opinion
·         4Criticism
·         5See also
·         6References
·         7External links
Action plan[edit]
The Global Zero plan[2] for the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons is a four-phased strategy to reach a global zero accord over 14 years (2010–2023) and to complete the dismantlement of all remaining nuclear warheads over the following seven years (2024–2030).
Phase 1 (2010–2013) Following conclusion of a START replacement accord, negotiate a bilateral accord for the United States and Russia to reduce to 1,000 total warheads each.
Phase 2 (2014–2018) In a multilateral framework, the U.S. and Russia reach agreement to reduce to 500 total warheads each (to be implemented by 2021) as long as all other nuclear weapons countries agree to freeze their stockpiles until 2018, followed by proportional reductions until 2021. Establish a comprehensive verification and enforcement system, and strengthen safeguards on the civilian nuclear fuel cycle to prevent diversion of materials to build weapons.
Phase 3 (2019–2023) Negotiate a global zero accord, signed by all nuclear capable countries, for the phased, verified, proportional reduction of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads by 2030.
Phase 4 (2024–2030) Complete the phased, verified, proportional reduction of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads by 2030 and continue the verification and enforcement system.
In releasing the plan, the Commission noted that over the past twenty years (1989–2009), the United States and Russia retired and destroyed twice as many nuclear warheads (40,000+) as this action plan proposes (20,000+) over the next twenty years (2009–2030).
History[edit]
Global Zero was launched in Paris in December 2008 by more than 100 political, civic, and military leaders. There, they announced a framework plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons, starting with deep reductions to the U.S. and Russian arsenals.[3] Global Zero gave letters signed by more than 90 Global Zero leaders to President of the United States Barack Obama and President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, urging them to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons. Global Zero Commissioners Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Richard Burt met with President Medvedev in Moscow and discussed the agenda.
On April 1, 2009 the two presidents met in London and issued a historic joint statement committing their “two countries to achieving a nuclear free world” and three days later in a speech in Prague, President Obama declared his intention to “seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor.”[4] On the day of the meeting, the Times (of London) published an op-ed authored by six Global Zero leaders.[5] Negotiations began between the two countries for a New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.
Prior to the July 6–8, 2009 Obama-Medvedev Summit, the international Global Zero Commission of 23 political and military leaders released a comprehensive, end-to-end plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons over the next 20 years. At their Summit, Presidents Obama and Medvedev announced a framework agreement for new reductions to U.S. and Russian arsenals[6]– a critical first step toward multilateral negotiations for the elimination of all nuclear weapons as called for in the Global Zero Action Plan (GZAP).
At the 35th G8 summit in July 2009, world leaders announced their support of the Obama-Medvedev commitment to eliminate all nuclear weapons and called on all countries to “undertake further steps in nuclear disarmament.”[7] Global Zero leaders believe the international consensus for the elimination of nuclear weapons is reaching a critical mass,[3] especially given the declarations of political leaders during the special U.N. Security Council session on proliferation and disarmament convened by President Obama (September 24, 2009).[4] President Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in acknowledgment to his efforts for nuclear disarmament.[8]
During 2010, the initiative has continued with the Global Zero Summit (February 2–4, 2010), signing of the New STARTtreaty (April 8, 2010), the Nuclear Security Summit (April 12–13, 2010) and the Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (May 3–28, 2010).

A Path Toward Abolishing Nuclear Weapons
World Beyond War via WorldBeyondWar.org info@worldbeyondwar.org via sg.actionnetwork.org 
9:02 AM (11 hours ago)
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127 countries now support creating a treaty to prohibit and ban the possession, use, transfer, or development of nuclear weapons. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in which five nuclear weapons states (U.S., UK, France, Russia, China) promised to make “good faith efforts” to eliminate their nuclear weapons while the rest of the world promised not to acquire them, doesn’t ban the weapons.
It is expected that a special UN Working Group for Nuclear Disarmament created by the UN with the help of civil society and friendly governments will move forward on a UN resolution this fall to establish negotiations for a ban treaty!(See: http://icanw.org)
The holdouts for supporting the ban treaty are the nuclear weapons states, as well as those countries that are part of the U.S. nuclear alliance around the world including NATO states, and in the Pacific, Australia, South Korea, and Japan.

Click here to add your name to a petition that we will deliver to nuclear state governments laying out a multi-step path toward nuclear abolition.
https://diy.rootsaction.org/p/nonukes

Get involved in the real world at No War 2016:
No War 2016Registrations are flooding in already for No War 2016, a conference and nonviolent action in Washington, D.C., in September. Learn more and register: http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2016
The No War 2016 agenda includes this session:
Disarmament, and Abolishing Nuclear Weapons
MC: Alice Slater
Speakers:
1. Lindsey German
2. Ira Helfand
3. Odile Hugonot Haber
And this workshop:
Abolishing Nuclear Weapons. — Led by John Reuwer and others.


World Beyond War Conference and Action in September
Thank you for signing the petition to move toward abolishing nuclear weapons. You can also help build a movement to abolish all war by adding your name here: http://worldbeyondwar.org/individual You can get more involved in working for a nuclear weapons ban by participating in the No War 2016 conference in September in Washington. Register here: http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2016


Letter to the Editor Now
The lessons of Hiroshima
Stephen Miles, Win Without War info@winwithoutwar.org via bounces.salsalabs.net 
8-2-16
5:11 PM (3 hours ago)
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Act Now!
Write a letter to the editor in your community.
Donate
Dear Dick,
71 years ago this Saturday, the world entered the nuclear age when America dropped a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The destructive power the world witnessed that day, and again only days later when a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, made clear that humanity had mastered the ability to destroy itself with unimaginable weapons of war.
Today, more than seven decades later, the US, Russia, and 7 other countries possess more than 15,000 nuclear bombs, every one with a destructive power far greater than the one that destroyed Hiroshima.
That’s madness.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be that way. We can choose to rid the world of the most deadly and dangerous weapons ever created. But that will only happen if we fight for it.
Saturday, August 6, is the 71st anniversary of the horrific bombing of Hiroshima and newspapers all across America will once again mark this anniversary with stories and editorials about the past, present, and future of nuclear weapons. This year, they’ll be writing as President Obama is reportedly considering major changes to America’s nuclear policy – changes that would make us safer and decrease the likelihood of nuclear war.
That’s why we need to speak up, right now, and make our voices heard. Writing a Letter to the Editor is one of the quickest, most effective ways to fight for peace. Policymakers at every level, from the Mayor’s office to the White House closely track newspapers to see what their constituents are saying about the news. So let’s make sure that when they read the paper this weekend, they hear our call for finally getting rid of the deadliest weapons ever created.
Nuclear weapons make us all less safe. Every day, their mere existence threatens our way of life. The use of just one nuclear weapon would not only flatten an entire city and kill unprecedented numbers of innocent civilians, it would completely change the world – politically, economically, and environmentally. We simply can’t afford to let that happen.
Getting rid of nuclear weapons isn’t going to be easy. We know we have a long fight ahead of us. But with stakes this high, we can’t afford to sit by and simply wait until millions die in a nuclear attack. The time to fight for peace, for a future free of nuclear weapons, is right now.
Thank you for working for peace,
Stephen, Amy, Mariam, and the Win Without War team
DonateFacebook Twitter
Win Without War, 2000 M Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 | info@winwithoutwar.org
Copyright © 2014 Center fo


Love Trumps Hate on Nagasaki DAYhttps://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/profile_mask2.png
Jessie Calkins, WAND peace@wand.org via uark.onmicrosoft.com 
11:01 AM (2 hours ago)
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to James  8-9-16
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Dear Dick,
We invest in what we love; we invest in what we value. We give freely of our time, energy, funds, heart, and soul. We want our nation to reflect our values, yet we have been giving freely to nuclear weapons, the ultimate tools of death and destruction. Is this the kind of nation we want?
We have spent hundreds of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars on nuclear weapons. We have been doing it for decades, and we stand to continue. As things are now, the United States will spend $1 trillion on the nuclear arsenal over the coming decades ─ an arsenal that does not keep us secure, that promotes competition with our adversaries, that raises the threat of nuclear war.
Today, on Nagasaki Day, tell your Members of Congress that you do not condone spending billions on weapons that annihilate humankind! Speak out in memory of those who died in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those who suffered after, and those who suffer the effects of these kinds of profound injustices today.
Tell your Members of Congress to invest in what we love and value – our communities, peace, and justice. When we turn our attentions to justice and peace at home we can take a step forward together.
Many thanks, 
Jessie Calkins
Communications Director
P.S. You can write a letter-to-the-editor to sound the call for change in our country here!


691 Massachusetts Avenue | Arlington MA 02476
322 4th Street NE | Washington, DC 20002
250 Georgia Avenue S.E. Suite 202 | Atlanta, GA 30312


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OBAMA TO HIROSHIMA : Seven Responseshttps://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
Contents
Rpt. in AD-G 5-11-16
Horowski, Global Zero
Swanson, Win Without War
Gerson, Peace and Planet
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
Veterans for Peace
Boardman, Historic Empty Suit


Obama to visit city hit by A-bomb
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70 years after blast, he’ll see Hiroshima, won’t offer apology
 Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports
This article was originally published May 11, 2016 at 3:50 a.m. Updated May 11, 2016 at 3:50 a.m.
in-this-sept-8-1945-file-photo-an-allied-correspondent-stands-in-front-of-a-building-that-once-was-a-movie-theater-in-hiroshima-japan-a-month-after-the-first-atomic-bomb-ever-used-in-warfare-was-dropped-by-the-us-on-aug-6-1945
PHOTO BY AP / STANLEY TROUTMAN
In this Sept. 8, 1945, file photo, an allied correspondent stands in front of a building that once was a movie theater in Hiroshima, Japan, a month after the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped by the U.S. on Aug. 6, 1945.
·         Comment (1)
·         aAFont Size
WASHINGTON -- On May 27, President Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where seven decades ago the U.S. dropped the devastating atomic bomb that ushered in the nuclear age.
By visiting the peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 attack, the president hopes to reinvigorate efforts worldwide to eliminate nuclear weapons, the White House said, while emphasizing that Obama will not go bearing an apology.
Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said: "He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II." Instead, Rhodes said in a statement, Obama will spotlight the toll of war and offer a "forward-looking vision" of a non-nuclear world.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will accompany Obama on the visit, said no apology is expected or necessary.
"The prime minister of the world's only nation to have suffered atomic attacks, and the leader of the world's only nation to have used the atomic weapons at war will together pay respects for the victims," Abe told reporters. "I believe that would be a way to respond to the victims of the atomic bombings and the survivors who are still in pain."
The visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park will occur after Obama attends a previously announced meeting of the Group of Seven leaders in Ise-Shima.
The U.S. attack on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killed 140,000 people. A second bomb, dropped on Nagasaki three days later, killed 70,000. The bombings scarred generations of Japanese, both physically and mentally, but many Americans believe the bombings hastened the end of World War II and saved countless other lives. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15.
As for Obama's visit, the Japanese people are ready for this moment, seven decades in the making.
Survivors, especially, have long been waiting. The number of survivors who are recognized as "hibakusha" and entitled to medical assistance from the Japanese government was more than 183,000 as of March. Their average age is now older than 80.
"The day has finally come," said 91-year-old Sunao Tsuboi, a survivor of the bombing and head of a survivors group in the western Japanese city.
"We are not asking for an apology," Tsuboi told Japan's NHK television. "All we want is to see him lay flowers at the peace park and lower his head in silence. This would be a first step toward abolishing nuclear weapons."
The president's visit follows one by John Kerry, who in April became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the memorial.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui praised Obama's plan as a "bold decision based on conscience and rationality" and said he hopes the president will listen to survivors' stories. Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said the president would "send a powerful message, in his own words, toward achieving a world without nuclear weapons."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was "entirely legitimate" for historians and the U.S. public to debate whether President Harry Truman's decision to drop the bomb was the right thing to do.
"But that's not what President Obama will do when he visits Hiroshima," Earnest said. "What President Obama will do is make note of the fact that the relationship between the United States and Japan has emerged stronger than anybody could have imagined back in 1945."
no-nukes activists leery
Anti-nuclear groups said a powerful presidential message was not enough: The president who delivered a stirring call for a nuclear-free world in a Prague address during the first year of his presidency needs to use his last year to take more specific steps, they said.
The president should "use the opportunity to map out concrete actions the United States and other countries can and will pursue to move closer to a world free of nuclear weapons," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based nonprofit.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated in January 2015 that the administration's plans for nuclear forces would cost $348 billion over the next decade. Others have said it could approach $1 trillion over three decades.
"The plan to rebuild and refurbish every weapon that we have basically sort of throws the gauntlet down, and Russia and China feel like they have to match it," said Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program. "He has said really great things but his actions have not really been consistent with his words."
Gronlund's group has called for Obama to scale back the overhaul and reduce the U.S arsenal. Ellen Tauscher, Obama's former undersecretary of state for arms control, said she was "disappointed" that the president didn't push back against Pentagon plans to refurbish components of the U.S. nuclear arsenal in ways that could make it more potent.
Tauscher said she hasn't been persuaded by Pentagon arguments that all of the refurbished nuclear weapons are necessary and that conventional weapons can't achieve some of the same strategies.
"I'm not sold yet," she said in an interview. "Actually, I'm far from sold."
There are about 1,900 warheads in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and under the modernization plan they would be refurbished or replaced, along with the bombers, missiles and submarines that can launch them, to last for the next 30 to 50 years, according to the Arms Control Association.
Earnest told reporters that Obama has "worked aggressively" to sign agreements with Russia to reduce nuclear stockpiles, and that the deal his administration negotiated last year with Iran to unwind the country's nuclear program would "block proliferation."
"The president has made this issue, nuclear security, a top priority," Earnest said. "Much of our work to refurbish our nuclear weapons stockpile has been conducted with the goal of ensuring the safety of those nuclear weapons but also enhancing their readiness. None of that detracts from the top-line goal the president has set out, which is to rid the world of nuclear weapons."
Information for this article was contributed by Nancy Benac, Mari Yamaguchi and Monika Mathur of The Associated Press and by Toluse Olorunnipa, Kenzo Taniai and Andy Sharp of Bloomberg News.
A Section on 05/11/2016

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President Obama has two choices
Meredith Horowski, Global Zero via mail.salsalabs.net 
4:32 PM (39 minutes ago)
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to me  5-11-16
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Dear Dick,

President Obama announced this week that he will visit Hiroshima at the end of May, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city since its destruction by an American nuclear weapon in 1945.

The White House is touting this visit as a sign of the president’s continued commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

But is it?

As the President prepares for his visit, the U.S. has nearly a thousand nuclear weapons that remain on hair-trigger alert -- meaning they can launch in a matter of minutes. This is a recipe for disaster. Whether by accident, miscalculation, or madness, we are just one wrong move away from another Hiroshima.

President Obama has two choices: He can come to Hiroshima to simply make another speech, or he can use his trip as an opportunity to cement his nuclear legacy and stand down U.S. nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert.

The president must act immediately. 
Tell President Obama that it’s way past time to stand down the United States’ nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert.

Keeping nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert is an outdated and irresponsible policy left over from the Cold War. It has no place in any country’s modern foreign policy because it puts the entire world at risk of an accidental nuclear launch.

If President Obama wants to prove that he has learned anything from the devastation of Hiroshima, he will have to do it with actions, not words. This is the president's opportunity to leave a proud nuclear legacy, one that will make us all safer and keep future generations from living under the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Tell President Obama: Stand down U.S. nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert to make the world a safer place.

Fight on,

Meredith Horowski
Global Campaign Director
Global Zero

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Support the movement with a contribution here. Receiving emails is one of the best ways to stay up to date on our campaigns and actions. You can also like Global Zero on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here. To stop receiving fundraising emails but stay on the Global Zero list, click here. If you really need to cut back, you can unsubscribe here. We're sad to see you go!




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Victory! Obama to visit Hiroshima                                                   
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Stephen Miles, Win Without War  stephen@winwithoutwar.org via bounces.salsalabs.net 
6:05 AM (9 hours ago)
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Dear Dick, 
We did it!
Earlier this week, the White House announced that President Obama will become the first ever sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima, Japan later this month. The visit will be a historic moment highlighting the horrors of nuclear war and will present the President an opportunity to build on his nuclear non-proliferation legacy. 
Today, the threat of a nuclear war remains, and the President's historic visit can be just the moment the world needs to recommit to a future free of nuclear weapons. Just a few weeks ago, there was no guarantee the President would make this historic visit. But thousands of us made our voices heard, calling on the President not to let this opportunity be missed -- and he listened! 
We know that sometimes it feels like no one in Washington is listening. In the era of billion dollar presidential campaigns and reality TV politicians, many, many Americans have simply given up on fighting for change. We wanted to let you know about this important victory as a reminder that our voices really do matter. In part because we spoke out, the President is now going to make history, giving a speech from literally ground zero of one of war's most horrific moments.
While we have many, many more battles to win in our quest for peace, we hope you'll take a moment to listen to the President when he visits Hiroshima later this month and know that you helped make that happen. 
Thank you for working for peace, 
Stephen, Angela, Tom and the Win Without War Team
P.S. We need even more voices to truly Win Without War. Invite your friends and family to join us today by forwarding them this email or by asking them to sign up atwww.winwithoutwar.org
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Win Without War, 2000 M Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 | info@winwithoutwar.org
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Obama to Hiroshima: Kevin Martin on Democracy Now & Send a Message
Peace & Planet via mail.salsalabs.net 
May 11 (1 day ago)
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to me  5-12-16
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Dick,
Friends,
As you have no doubt heard or read, it has been confirmed President Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month following the G-7 summit in Japan.
Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action and a Peace and Planet Co-Convener was interviewed yesterday by   on Democracy Now.  It’s worth taking a few minutes to tune in to Kevin’s responses to the announcement, to the words of Nobel Laureate Oe Kenzaburo and Hosokawa Koji a Hiroshima Hibakusha.
It’s also not too late to send a message urging President Obama not to go to Hiroshima empty handed. We’re told that he wasn’t to “send a forward looking signal.” That signal could be
• Announcing the end of the $1 trillion triad
• Calling for commencement of the good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
• Ending the U.S. first-strike nuclear war-fighting strategy, or
• Announcing a significant unilateral reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
You can also express your solidarity with the Hibakusha(witness/survivors of the A-bombs) by signing their petition.
For Peace, Planet and a Nuclear-Free World,
Joseph Gerson  Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!
Joseph Gerson is the author of Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World.   
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PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS HIROSHIMA CONTINUED
Democracy Now! Daily Digest
A Daily Independent Global News Hour with Amy Goodman & Juan González
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016
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President Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, later this month. The White House said Obama will not apologize for dropping an ... Read Mor


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Friday, June 3, 2016
Veterans For Peace Calls for Nuclear Disarmament in Our Lifetime

https://ci3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/8Fkiww1Th7-5D8jgx36PhJjly4CfNDck5VkZbNHiQg9jmsa__8f8rk2vC2g_QQHxIXtRo-JteV7pd2Hq-heEXM69NmqyonHs=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.veteransforpeace.org/download_file/2125President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima has been the subject of much commentary and debate.  Peace activists, scientists and even the The New York Times called on Obama to use the occasion to announce meaningful steps toward worldwide nuclear disarmament, as he famously promised before receiving his premature Nobel Peace Prize.

At Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Barack Obama delivered the kind of eloquent speech he is known for – some say his most eloquent yet.  He called for an end to nuclear weapons.  He said that the nuclear powers “…must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.” Incisively, Obama added “We must change our mindset about war itself.”

President Obama announced no new steps, however, to achieve nuclear disarmament.  Disappointingly, he stated, “We may not realize this goal in my lifetime.”  <
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President Obama lays a wreath at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (photo: AP)
President Obama lays a wreath at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (photo: AP)
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"Historic" Empty Suit Visits Hiroshima
By William Boardman, Reader Supported News
05 June 16
[I read the version in Z Magazine July/August 2016.  https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/historic-empty-suit-visits-hiroshima/     “The vision of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is the complete international abolition of all nuclear weapons and the promotion of world peace.  It’s where officials go to engage in lip service.”  
END 7 ITEMS ON OBAMA’S VISIT TO HIROSHIMA


 HOLLYWOOD’S VERSION OF THE DECISION TO DROP THE BOMBs ON HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI:  Censorship, Cover-up, Whitewash   http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/05/25/classic-hiroshima-bombing-gets-hollywood-makeover/   from Bill Orton
MAY 25, 2016 | GREG MITCHELL
CLASSIC WHO: HIROSHIMA BOMBING GETS HOLLYWOOD MAKEOVER
[Photo deleted  --D]   General Leslie Groves, middle, with lab director Robert Oppenheimer, left, receiving the E-Flag.  Photo credit: Los Alamos National Lab / Flickr
President Barack Obama will finish up his current Asia trip by becoming the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, site of the fateful atomic bombing attack on Aug. 6, 1945, that killed tens of thousands of Japanese citizens.
The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered unspeakable horrors that day, and in the months and years that followed. Some in the US government didn’t want Americans to see what really happened. For perspective — and revelations — on that paradigm-changing event, in concurrence with Obama’s visit, WhoWhatWhy revisits past coverage of a painful final chapter to World War II.
What follows is author Greg Mitchell’s piece (which originally ran in 2014), examining Hollywood’s role in sanitizing the devastation and suffering at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
You might wonder why most Americans, after Hiroshima, accepted the new nuclear dangers so readily, even as atomic bombs led to hydrogen bombs and the world’s stockpile of warheads mounted on intercontinental ballistic missiles expanded from mere dozens to thousands.
An important factor was the active suppression, by the Pentagon and other US agencies, of vital information about radiation effects and other nuclear dangers. I have documented this in two books, Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton) and  Atomic Cover-up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and The Greatest Movie Never Made. The cover-up extended even to Hollywood.
This is a cautionary tale, one that has only recently seen the light after being buried for decades. It exposes the official censorship—by the Truman White House—of a major Hollywood film on the bombing of Hiroshima. And the tale goes beyond censorship: it involves the outright falsification of major historical facts.1
a
A Propaganda Film is Born
.
The MGM drama, The Beginning or the End emerged in 1947, after many revisions, as a Hollywood version of America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets.
Just weeks after the Hiroshima attack in August 1945, Sam Marx, a producer at MGM, received a call from agent Tony Owen, who said his wife, actress Donna Reed, had received some fascinating letters from her high school chemistry teacher. That teacher, Dr. Edward Tomkins, who was then at the Oak Ridge nuclear site, wrote to ask if Hollywood had a feature on the atomic bomb in the works, one that would warn the world about the dangers of a nuclear arms race. He was surprised to learn they did not. But this would soon change.
Tompkins’ letter set in motion what MGM boss Louis B. Mayer, a conservative Republican, called “the most important story” he would ever film. MGM hired Norman Taurog to direct the film, and Hume Cronyn to star as physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the scientific effort to create the bomb.
President Truman himself provided the title, The Beginning or the End. Within weeks, as I learned through archival research, MGM writers were meeting with the atomic scientists at Oak Ridge and elsewhere.
My fascination with the making, and unmaking, of this seminal film about the dawn of the Atomic Age took me to the Truman Library, where I was the first to consult key documents, White House letters and scripts. The story of the derailing of the movie, and why it was important, is told in my book, “Hollywood Bomb.”
b
The Bombing Gets a Hollywood Makeover
.
The early scripts, which I discovered at the library, raised doubts about President Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima—and portrayed the effects of the bombing with a stark realism that would have shocked many viewers.
The script called for shots of a bombed-out Hiroshima as ghostlike ruins, with close-ups of a baby with a burned face. The underlying message reflected the regrets of many of the scientists who had worked to create the bomb: It would have been better to continue the war—even if it meant a full-scale invasion of Japan—“than release atomic energy in the world.”
But then something happened, and the “message” of The Beginning or the End shifted radically.
The reason for the shift was clear: General Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project who was back at the Pentagon, had secured the all-important right of script approval—along with a then-hefty $10,000 fee—and was playing an active role in reshaping the film.
Unlike Groves and Truman, nearly all of the scientists impersonated in the film—even Albert Einstein—were not given script approval (although they signed releases). The Hollywoodization of the bomb had begun.
Facts were suppressed, and events were completely fabricated:
Suppression of fact:
In revised scripts, the decision to use the bomb was presented as justifiable, even admirable. The doubts raised earlier just disappeared. And now, after scenes depicting the bombing of Hiroshima, no victims were shown, just a charred landscape filmed from the air.
Suppression of fact:
Under General Groves’ guidance, the revised script made light of nuclear fallout.
Fabrication:
The B-29s flying over Hiroshima were pelted with heavy flak, a detail that made the attack seem more courageous. In fact, there was no anti-aircraft fire over Hiroshima.
Fabrication:
One scene depicted fictional German scientists visiting a fabricated Japanese nuclear facility in—Hiroshima!
Fabrication:
In another entirely false episode, Matt Cochran, a young scientist arming the bomb, prevents a chain reaction from blowing up 40,000 people on a Pacific island—and thereby exposes himself to a fatal dose of radiation. But before he dies, Matt concludes,
“God has not shown us a new way to destroy ourselves. Atomic energy is the hand he has extended to lift us from the ruins of war and lighten the burdens of peace.”
Harry Truman’s Behavior Gets a Hollywood Makeover
.
After screening the film, Walter Lippmann, the famed columnist, said he still found one scene “shocking.” It pictured Truman deciding, rather cavalierly, after only a brief reflection, that the United States would use the weapon against Japan. President Truman felt uncomfortable with the scene, as well.
Following protests from the White House, the rightwing MGM screenwriter James K. McGuinness deleted the offending scene and wrote a new one:
Fabrication:
In the revised scene, Truman “reveals” that the United States would drop leaflets over Hiroshima warning of the coming attack with a new weapon as a means to “save lives.” There were no such leaflets.
Fabrication:
The fictional Truman also says there was a “consensus” that dropping the bomb would shorten the war by a year. No such consensus existed.
Fabrication:
And in the film the President predicts this “will mean life for…from 300,000 to half a million of America’s finest youth.” This was a highly inflated figure.
Fabrication:
President Truman says that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been picked as targets for their military value. In fact, they were selected because they had not been bombed previously and so would demonstrate the power of this new weapon. In any case, the aiming points for release of the bombs was the center of the cities, not military bases.
Fabrication:
The new scene also had Truman claiming he had spent “sleepless nights” making the decision. But in real life he proudly insisted he had never lost any sleep over it.
Suppression of fact:
The Truman White House demanded further changes. Among them, deleting a reference to morally concerned scientists who favored setting off a demonstration bomb for Japanese leaders in a remote area, to give them a chance to surrender before we dropped an atomic bomb on a city.
Fabrication:
The claim that the bombing would shorten the war by “approximately” a year was ordered changed to “at least” a year.
Truman even wrote a letter to the actor who had portrayed him in the original scene, complaining that he made it seem as if the president had come to a “snap judgment” in deciding to use the bomb. As indicated above, the offending scene was rewritten. This prompted the actor, Roman Bohnen, to write a sarcastic letter to the President, informing him that people would be debating the decision to drop the bomb for 100 years “and posterity is quite apt to be a little rough.” He went on to suggest that Truman should play himself in the movie. Truman, who normally ignored critical letters, took the trouble to reply and defend the atomic bomb decision, revealing, “I have no qualms about it whatever.”
Soon—likely on orders from the White House—Bohnen was replaced by another actor.
A Manufactured “Aura of Authenticity”
.
The drama that emerged in 1947, after many revisions, was a Hollywood version of what became America’s official nuclear narrative: The bomb was clearly necessary to end the war with Japan and save American lives—and we needed to build new and bigger weapons to protect us from the Soviets. The movie was seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans. Because of its quasi-documentary form, most viewers probably accepted its depiction of events as accurate.
The Beginning or the End, which billed itself as “basically a true story,” opened across the country in March 1947 to mixed reviews. Time laughed at the film’s “cheery imbecility,” but Variety praised its “aura of authenticity and special historical significance.” Bosley Crowther, the New York Times critic, applauded its handling of the moral issues in portraying the “necessary evil” of the atomic attacks.
On the other hand, Harrison Brown, who had worked on the bomb, exposed some of the film’s factual errors in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He called the claim that warning leaflets had been showered on Hiroshima the “most horrible falsification of history.”
Physicist Leo Szilard knew what violence had been done to the truth. He summed it up this way: “If our sin as scientists was to make and use the bomb, then our punishment was to watch The Beginning or the End.
c
Life Magazine photo.
Mutual Assured Destruction
.
Mankind’s punishment would be the era of MAD, or Mutual Assured Destruction—the Cold War doctrine that pitted the locked-and-loaded nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union against each other in a 50-year standoff. Those nuclear weapons, still on hair-trigger fuses—as well as those possessed by China, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and other nations—continue to threaten the existence of life on earth whenever political leaders play “chicken” with one another for “strategic” advantage. And the nuclear arms race fed the vast nuclear power industry, marked by its own unprecedented dangers and accidents from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Greg Mitchell is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Hiroshima in America(with Robert Jay Lifton) and “Atomic Cover-up” and “Hollywood Bomb.” He is the former editor of Nuclear Times and Editor & Publisher and writes a daily column at The Nation.

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Finding/Listing Hiroshima Nagasaki Events - Plus Background Info (3 questions answered)
Joseph Gerson via mail.salsalabs.net 
4:46 PM (18 hours ago)
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[Gerson authored the best book on the H/N bombings and their consequences from a nonviolent peace perspective.
Empire and the Bomb:  How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World.  --Dick
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Dick,
With the Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations approaching, I thought it would be helpful to remind you that you can find and/or list events on both the Chain Reaction and United For Peace and Justice web sites.
Also, against the chance that it might prove helpful, following are my responses to an inquiry for the International Peace Bureau’s newsletter. It addresses three questions: the meaning of Hiroshima, the growing great power tensions in the Asia-Pacific, and the problems with “deterrence.”
For Peace & Justice,
Joseph Gerson

For the International Peace Bureau Newsletter
1.) What does Hiroshima mean today?
The A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, among the world’s worst war crimes, marked the most fundamentally important turning point in human history. Humans now possessed the capacity to exterminate all life as we know it. Einstein was right that everything changed except our thinking. The A-bombs, killed more than 200,000 people by year’s end– many in most painful and horrible ways. Hundreds of thousands more died over time and to this day with a host of radiation inflicted diseases. As the surviving Hibakusha (A-bomb witness/survivors) teach us as urgently as they can that the meaning of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that human beings and nuclear weapons cannot coexist. 
Joseph Rotblat, the sole senior Manhattan Project scientist to quit for moral reasons and founder of the Pugwash Conference explained that after Hiroshima, our species faced the stark choice of either completely eliminating the world’s nuclear weapons, or they would eliminate us.
The A-bombs illustrated the degree of brutality that ostensibly rational people can inflict in the drive for power, domination and as a consequence of “othering” and racism. The determinative reasons for the A-bombings were to bring the war against Japan to an immediate end and to send an early Cold War message to Moscow. One goal was to win Japan’s surrender before the U.S. had to share power and influence with the Soviet Union in northern China, Manchuria and Korea. The A-bombings were also designed to intimidate Stalin and his coterie, demonstrating the power of the United States’ new super weapons, and the will to use them, even against innocent civilians. As Truman wrote, with the A-bomb, he would have “a hammer over those boys.”. These actions were reinforced by the widespread wartime racist propaganda that Japanese were “vermin to be exterminated.”
The outrageous propaganda myth that the A-bombings were necessary to end the war with Japan, and that it saved hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Japanese lives continues to serve, in the U.S., as the ideological foundation for the ostensibly “legitimate” preparations and threats to initiate nuclear war.  In fact, Japan was attempting to surrender on the terms ultimately accepted by President Truman. And his Secretary of War had advised that Japan’s surrender could be arranged on terms acceptable to the United States. Senior generals and admirals, from Eisenhower and Leahy, to (firebomber) to Le May and Nimitz advised that Japan was already defeated, that its surrender was merely a matter of time, and that the A-bombings were unnecessary. This and much more information has been systemically kept from the majority of U.S. people.
2.) How do you assess the danger of a nuclear war in South Asia?
We need to heed the warning of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists whose Doomsday Clock remains set at three minutes to midnight. As in Europe, the dangers of catastrophic nuclear wars in South Asia are serious, and they emanate from more than the traditional great powers. With both the United States and China upgrading their nuclear arsenals and delivery systems, there is a nuclear dimension to the world’s most intensive arms race. With growing tensions, military buildups, operations and exercises in the South China Sea (now the geopolitical center of the struggle for world power) and the East China Sea (Japan and China) there is the danger that an accident or unanticipated incident (for example a panicked soldier shooting down an adversary’s plane) could lead to escalation that cannot be contained. To a lesser degree, the same applies to continuing tensions over Taiwn, which is again ruled by a pro-independence party and – as in 1996 when the U.S. and China both engaged in nuclear “signaling” – remains backed by the United States.
India and Pakistan are also engaged in a nuclear arms race. During the 1999 Kargil War they each threatened the other with nuclear attack, and tensions ranging from Pakistani-backed acts of terrorism to the struggle for control of Kashmir could trigger yet another Indo-Pakistani war.  Worse, a study initiated by Physicians for Social Responsibility informs us that fires from a nuclear exchange of 50-100 Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons could lead to global cooling, famine, and the deaths of up to two billion people.
With simulated U.S. nuclear attacks against North Korea and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the dangers of nuclear weapons accidents, miscalculation and even intentional nuclear warfighting remain.
3.) In your opinion, does nuclear deterrence contribute to global peacekeeping and international security?
The concept of nuclear deterrence is misleading and extremely dangerous. Since they were first deployed, these weapons have been used for more than what most people understand as deterrence: preventing nuclear attack by other nuclear powers. As Bush the Lesser’s Pentagon informed the world, their primary purpose is to prevent other nations from taking actions that are inimical to U.S. interests, for example ensuring U.S. hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East or defending successive South Korea dictatorships. Former Secretary of War Harold Brown testified that they serve another purpose. With nuclear weapons, he testified, U.S. conventional forces became "meaningful instruments of military and political power." Noam Chomsky explained that this means "we have succeeded in sufficiently intimidating anyone who might help protect people who we are determined to attack." Thus, as I detail in my book Empire and the Bomb, on more than thirty occasions during international crises and wars, the U.S. has prepared and/’or threatened to initiate nuclear war. 

In analogous circumstances, every other nuclear power – even those whose policies seem to be more rooted in classical nuclear deterrence than those of the United States - has prepared and/or threatened to initiate nuclear war at least once. 

Classical deterrence needs to fail just once – with incalculable human consequences – to demonstrate its fallibility. As we learned during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the unexpected happens, and things can go wrong.  When the odds that the United States would initiate nuclear war were already estimated to be 50-50, the danger of nuclear cataclysm was heightened by the actions of rogue U.S. military officers and by orders to fire nuclear armed missiles that were mistakenly conveyed to U.S. troops in Okinawa.  Eric Schlosser’s definitive study in Command and Control demonstrates that such mistakes, miscalculations and accidents didn’t end in 1962.
Joseph Gerson 
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INCLUDE AIR WAR IN THE GENOCIDAL DANGER
Mike Hastie.  “Patriotic Genocide.”  Peace In Our Times (Winter 2016).  21.  http://vietnamfulldisclosure.org/index.php/patriotic-genocide-by-mike-hastie/
Powerful, original argument that US continued Hiroshimas in its even more destructive post-nuclear wars.  For example, “In Indo-china at least 8,000,000 tons [of bombs] were dropped,” 6 million more than during WWII.  “This was equivalent to 640 Hiroshimas.” 

Nov 20, 2013 - On November 22nd, 1963, my uncle, president John FKennedy, went to ... ground troops, with some officials advocating for nuclear weapons. ... Clay railedagainst JFK's unwillingness to "face the risk of nuclear war" ..... On June 10th, 1963, at American University, Kennedy gave his greatest speech ever, ...
www.jfklibrary.org/JF...   John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Access audio and video of JFK's most important speeches. ... Anti-Catholic prejudice, the fear that a Catholic president would "take orders" ... In the speech, which would later become known as “The City Upon a Hill” ... began conducting above ground nuclear tests, detonating perhaps 15 bombs during September 1961.
www.jfklibrary.org/...
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
John FKennedy Presidential Library and Museum ... In his speech the President asks the graduates to re-examine their attitudes towards peace, the ... atmospheric nuclear tests on the condition that other countries uphold this same promise. ... Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.
www.ploughshares.org/.../jfk’s-historic-plea-peace-an...
Ploughshares Fund
June 10 marks the 50th anniversary of one of JFK's most important speeches and ... new face of war...when a single nuclear weapons contains almost ten times ... President Obama would echo these sentiments in his own speech in Prague in ...


END OMNI’S HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI 2016 NEWSLETTER (August 14, 2016)

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