Sane Coun­tries Ban Nu­clear Weapons

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On July 7th, 2017 some­thing in­cred­i­ble hap­pened. 122 coun­tries chose to ban nu­clear weapons!

UN mem­ber states voted 122-1 to adopt the first ever mul­ti­lat­eral legally bind­ing treaty on nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ments. The sole vote against the adop­tion of the Treaty on the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Nu­clear Weapons came from the Nether­lands. The few coun­tries who al­ready have nukes (and their loyal min­ions) sim­ply boy­cotted the en­tire treaty-mak­ing process.

The fact that 122 coun­tries have agreed to ban nu­clear weapons is truly a won­der­ful thing.

Of course it is just a be­gin­ning. The ban still re­quires rat­i­fi­ca­tion by each sig­na­tory na­tion and can't be en­forced on na­tions with nukes. But, the treaty is an es­sen­tial move for­ward af­ter 70 years of nu­clear mad­ness.

Many still ar­gue that nu­clear weapons are needed to pre­vent another world war. But, that think­ing has be- come in­creas­ingly ob­so­lete in an age of Is­lamic ter­ror­ism and sui­cide bombers, cy­ber at­tacks, fi­nan­cial war­fare and other threats.

Nu­clear weapons have not stopped the United States from bul­ly­ing and dom­i­nat­ing the rest of the world. Nor will they stop China's long march to­ward dom­i­na­tion.

It wouldn't be so bad if the nu­clear pow­ers had ac­tu­ally lived up to their obli­ga­tions to pre­vent nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion and all nu­clear weapons could be mon­i­tored. But they cer­tainly didn't live up to their obli­ga­tions.

The U.S. is per­haps the great­est source of nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion. Ac­cord­ing the U.S. Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice (GAO), the U.S. can't ac­count for 36,023 pounds (16,340 kg) of "weapons us­able" nu­clear ma­te­rial that it once shipped over­seas.

The inept U.S. gov­ern­ment is not able to ac­count for the nu­clear ma­te­rial over­seas that is sub­ject to

nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment terms be­cause the agree­ments do not stip­u­late sys­tem­atic re­port­ing of such in­for­ma­tion, and there is no U.S. pol­icy to even ob­tain such in­for­ma­tion.

In ad­di­tion, there is the plu­to­nium that has gone miss­ing from U.S. nu­clear labs and main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties which amounts to at least hun­dreds of ki­los.

Un­der the last Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, man­age­ment of Amer­ica's nu­clear labs were trans­ferred to large multi­na­tional crim­i­nal cor­po­ra­tions and se­cu­rity and safety at the labs have plum­meted since pri­va­ti­za­tion. It's any­one's guess how much nu­clear ma­te­rial has gone miss­ing in re­cent years.

Un­der Rea­gan, Pak­istan was given nu­clear tech­nol­ogy which it then shared with Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea.

Canada vi­o­lated the the Nu­clear Non-pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty when it gave In­dia its nu­clear weapons ca­pa­bil­ity.

South Africa got its nu­clear weapons ca­pa­bil­ity from the U.S., Pak­istan and Is­rael.

Is­rael de­vel­oped its nu­clear weapons with help and ma­te­ri­als from the UK, U.S., Ar­gentina, France and South Africa.

In 1997, Rus­sian Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Alek­sandr Lebed claimed that the Rus­sian mil­i­tary had lost track of more than 100 suit­case-sized nu­clear bombs. The Rus­sian gov­ern­ment ini­tially claimed that it was not true but later ad­mit­ted that it had in­deed made such bombs and that some were un­ac­counted for.

The phi­los­o­phy of Mu­tu­ally As­sured De­struc­tion (MAD) doesn't work when sui­ci­dal lu­natics have their fin­gers on the dooms­day but­ton. And an in­creas­ing num­ber of lu­natics now have their fin­gers on nu­clear but­tons and the num­ber is grow­ing ev­ery year.

Nu­clear weapons are 1940s tech­nol­ogy and while sig­nif­i­cant re­sources and ex­per­tise are needed to build them, buy­ing one on the black mar­ket is a quick and easy way to ac­quire one.

Saudi Ara­bia, the pri­mary spon­sor of Is­lamic mil­i­tancy and ter­ror­ism is be­lieved to al­ready have or soon to have nukes, and Don­ald Trump says that is OK.

Many in po­si­tions of power the U.S., in­clud­ing Obama, had pushed for nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment in the re­cent past but mys­te­ri­ously changed their minds. Obama went from call­ing for a nu­clear free world to au­tho­riz­ing the great­est ex­pan­sion of Amer­ica's nu­clear weapons pro­gram since the cold war.

In Jan­uary 2007, for­mer nu­clear weapons hawks Ge­orge P. Shultz, Wil­liam J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn pub­lished an ar­ti­cle in the con­ser­va­tive Wall Street Jour­nal en­ti­tled "A World Free of Nu­clear Weapons" that called for nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment.

They wrote, “Re­asser­tion of the vi­sion of a world free of nu­clear weapons and prac­ti­cal mea­sures to­ward achiev­ing that goal would be, and would be per­ceived as, a bold ini­tia­tive con­sis­tent with Amer­ica’s moral her­itage. The ef­fort could have a pro­foundly pos­i­tive im­pact on the se­cu­rity of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. With­out the bold vi­sion, the ac­tions will not be per­ceived as fair or ur­gent. With­out the ac­tions, the vi­sion will not be per­ceived as re­al­is­tic or pos­si­ble.”

In 2011 all changed their tune and went back to a pronukes po­si­tion with the state­ment, “As long as nu­clear weapons ex­ist, Amer­ica must re­tain a safe, se­cure and re­li­able nu­clear stock­pile pri­mar­ily to de­ter a nu­clear at­tack and to re­as­sure our al­lies through ex­tended de­ter­rence. There is an in­her­ent limit to U.S. and Rus­sian nu­clear re­duc­tions if other nu­clear weapon states build up their in­ven­to­ries or if new nu­clear pow­ers emerge."

While this is a log­i­cal po­si­tion to take, it un­der­mines their pre­vi­ous state­ments. Did the world con­di­tions change or did some­one per­suade them to mod­ify their po­si­tion?

They could have been per­suaded by Bech­tel, a se­cre­tive pri­vate multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion which gen­er­ates bil­lions in profit from Amer­ica's nu­clear weapons in­dus­try. Shultz has long been a Bech­tel man and Kissinger is deeply in­volved with the com­pany as well.

Bech­tel is per­haps the world's largest con­struc­tion and project man­age­ment com­pany and it has also man­aged to gain con­trol over Amer­ica's nu­clear weapons fa­cil­i­ties, a goal it had worked to­wards for decades.

Start­ing in 2003, Ge­orge W. Bush pri­va­tized Amer­ica's nu­clear weapons pro­gram and handed it over to Bech­tel. Prior to pri­va­ti­za­tion, the publicly owned Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia had al­ways man­aged Los Alamos and Lawrence Liver­more Na­tional Lab­o­ra­to­ries and had done a fair job.

Bech­tel-led con­sor­tiums now con­trol both labs and

have grossly mis­man­aged them while gen­er­at­ing mas­sive prof­its and in­creas­ing costs to tax­pay­ers.

One of the first things Bech­tel did was to fire many of the se­nior sci­en­tists so it could pocket the sav­ings in la­bor costs. This re­sulted in con­di­tions so un­safe that the lab at Los Alamos that pro­cesses plu­to­nium pits used in bombs has been shut down since 2013. Bech­tel had fired all of the sci­en­tists who could safely han­dle the pits and didn't prop­erly train re­place­ments.

Since 2000, Bech­tel has had the lu­cra­tive con­tract to cleanup the mas­sively con­tam­i­nated Hand­ford Site (where plu­to­nium was pro­duced for 30,000+ nukes) and again has failed in its task but suc­ceeded in rack­ing in mas­sive prof­its. Due to Bech­tel's greed and in­com­pe­tence the cleanup is 20 years be­hind sched­ule and will cost tax­pay­ers an es­ti­mated $115 bil­lion, yet its con­tract con­tin­ues to be re­newed and cost over­runs ap­proved and paid.

Bech­tel is one of the crim­i­nal cor­po­ra­tions that rules the United States and greatly in­flu­ences, if not con­trols, Amer­ica's for­eign, en­ergy and nu­clear poli­cies. It is deeply in­te­grated into to the U.S. fed­eral gov­ern­ment and war in­dus­try.

An ex­am­ple of how Bech­tel prof­its from war is Iraq. In the 1980s Bech­tel try to per­suade Sad­dam Hus­sein to pay them to build a pipe­line con­nect­ing Iraq's Kirkuk oil fields to the Jor­da­nian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea. Af­ter years of ne­go­ti­a­tions, Sad­dam fi­nally backed out of the deal from fear that Is­rael would bomb the pipe­line.

Not long af­ter it be­came ap­par­ent that the pipe­line deal was dead and couldn't be re­vived, Bech­tel fig­ured out a new way to make money off Iraq and the re­volv­ing door be­tween Bech­tel and Wash­ing­ton was put to use.

The United States en­cour­aged Sad­dam to in­vade Kuwait, which had long been pump­ing oil from de­posits mostly un­der Iraq. Af­ter Hus­sein took the bait, the U.S. used Iraq's in­va­sion of Kuwait as a pre­text to wage war against Iraq. Bech­tel got the lu­cra­tive con­tracts to re­build Kuwait and much of Iraq, af­ter it was de­stroyed by Amer­ica.

Bech­tel's prof­its from the wars were vastly greater than it would have been from build­ing the pipe­line, just as mis­man­ag­ing Amer­ica's nu­clear weapons fa­cil­i­ties is im­mensely prof­itable.

With­out con­tin­ued war and the threat of war, Ameri- ca might just re­duce or elim­i­nate its nu­clear weapons and in the process end bil­lions of dol­lars of profit for Bech­tel.

The cap­i­tal­ist model is an im­mensely pow­er­ful force that can do great good or great evil. Un­reg­u­lated, it em­pow­ers evil.

The evil of Bech­tel is dis­played in its ac­tions but also in its long par­tic­i­pa­tion at Bo­hemian Grove, an an­nual sum­mer re­treat for evil and pow­er­ful men held ev­ery July north of Bech­tel's head­quar­ters in San Fran­cisco.

One of the open­ing rit­u­als at Bo­hemian Grove is the "Cre­ma­tion of Care", which is a mock (or real) Satanic sac­ri­fice of an in­fant in front of a 40 foot Il­lu­mi­nati owl statue. This July, it is likely that Bren­dan Bech­tel, Chair­man and CEO of Bech­tel Corp. will be at­tend­ing Bo­hemian Grove, don­ning a hooded robe and par­tic­i­pat­ing in mock or real Satanic cer­e­monies and plot­ting the world's fu­ture with Amer­ica's other oli­garchs, just like the Bech­tels be­fore him. The fu­ture the oli­garchs choose for us will not likely in­clude peace or a re­duc­tion in nu­clear weapons.

If hu­man­ity is to progress to­wards peace and san­ity it will have to step-up, reign in cap­i­tal­ism and dis­em­power evil el­e­ments of so­ci­ety while em­pow­er­ing pos­i­tive el­e­ments.

Photo by IPPNW Deutsch­land,

Bren­dan Peters Bech­tel the fifth gen­er­a­tion of Bech­tels to lead the com­pany and a staunch nu­clear ad­vo­cate.

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