MARCH 2018 Leaflet
Greetings Kitsap Sub Base Bangor personnel and employees:
We live in changing times. It seems that we cannot read a newspaper or visit a website article, watch TV news, or listen to radio reports without news of some instance about a change of some new high-tech information source or an event with dire consequences to kids, markets, or nations in flux. Peoples’ lives are being affected all over the planet. Lives are the key word. Life itself is the most sacred from a human point of view. Talk of the Sixth Mass Extinction is in the air. Talk about change!
Look at the most threatening changes that are occurring: climate change and nuclear war possibilities. The present climate rise in temperature began occurring at the start of the industrial revolution around 250 years ago. Humans have lived in a relatively stable climate for the last 11,000 years, called the Holocene Age. However, the Holocene Period is no more. A recent report has been released in Nature which reveals that the climate has moved beyond the scope of temperatures characteristic of that Age. The study says that based upon historical patterns the climate temperatures should be in a reduced or cooling period. Instead, the temperature has risen. See: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43518- study-amplified-warming-has-ended-the-era-of-stable-climate. “The recent study, "Reconciling divergent trends and millennial variations in Holocene temperatures," underscores this by showing that temperatures across North America and Europe have reached levels that are unprecedented over the last 11,000 years. This research confirms the findings of a groundbreaking Oregon State/Harvard study from 2013.” (https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp? cntn_id=127133&org=NSF&from=news) We need to ask ourselves, What are we doing about this?
The same questions need to be asked about nuclear weapons because by accidental nuclear war, intentional nuclear war, or whatever, life on earth can be destroyed in a brief event or due to a nuclear winter caused by an exchange. Not only is a US/Korean war possible, but other places experience growing dangers. Little do most people in the US know about the confrontations taking place between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. A recent article about this conflict seeks the big power nations’ intervention to ally the likelihood: https://countercurrents.org/2018/02/15/possibility-indo-pak-war/ It does not seem that this is the right time for “big powers” to step in, if there ever is a “right time.” We need a level headed human intervention.
Others are deeply concerned too. Former Secretary of Defense, William Perry, wrote his autobiography, MY JOURNEY at the NUCLEAR BRINK (2015), where he spent his adult life within the US military/corporate establishment working to prevent nuclear war. Now at 89 he spends his time working to the same end because he is “terrified.” Conditions have changed so much since the ‘90s.
These concerns affect everyone, no matter where we be.
The thing is that we humans created the nuclear weapon systems and we humans created the green house gases situation. Again, we need to ask ourselves, What are we doing about this?
February 2018 by Bernie Meyer
Download the March 2018 Leaflet in PDF
JANUARY 2018 Leaflet
Dr. King’s Nuclear-Free Dream
Martin Luther King Jr. firmly believed that civil rights are inextricably linked to peace. As Vincent Intondi, author of African Americans Against the Bomb, stated:
When asked in December 1957 about the use of nuclear weapons, King replied: “I definitely feel that the development and use of nuclear weapons should be banned. It cannot be disputed that a full-scale nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic. Hundreds and millions of people would be killed outright by the blast and heat, and by the ionizing radiation produced at the instant of the explosion . . . Even countries not directly hit by bombs would suffer through global fall-outs. All of this leads me to say that the principal objective of all nations must be the total abolition of war. War must be finally eliminated or the whole of mankind will be plunged into the abyss of annihilation.”
King remained committed to the antinuclear cause throughout the Civil Rights Movement. In 1959, five months after being stabbed in Harlem, King addressed the War Resisters League’s thirty-sixth annual dinner, where he praised its work and linked the domestic struggle for racial justice with the campaign for global disarmament: “Not only in the South, but throughout the nation and the world, we live in an age of conflicts, an age of biological weapons, chemical warfare, atomic fallout and nuclear bombs . . . Every man, woman, and child lives, not knowing if they shall see tomorrow’s sunrise.” He asked, “What will be the ultimate value of having established social justice in a context where all people, Negro and White, are merely free to face destruction by strontium 90 or atomic war?”
While many people are concerned about North Korean nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Russia still hold 13,800 of the world’s nuclear warheads, while North Korea is estimated to have about 10. Kim Jong-un will not use his nuclear weapons unless his regime is threatened by military action. There is absolutely NO acceptable military option in the standoff with North Korea. Sustained diplomacy is the only way to resolve this crisis. Nonviolence is the answer.
Dr. King once gave a prophetic warning (related directly to nuclear weapons) that, “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.” What will we choose?
Download JANUARY 2018 Leaflet in PDF
NOVEMBER 2017 Leaflet
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL
As we prepare to travel to visit family and loved ones (or receive them in our homes) and celebrate the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving, it’s good to remember the gifts of life that we can be thankful for - our health and happiness, the love of caring relatives and friends, and the wonders of nature, including our great Pacific Northwest lakes, mountains and forests.
As we reflect on these gifts, it’s a time to appreciate how precious and fleeting life can be - all of us have lost loved ones. It’s sobering to realize that nuclear war could wipe away millions of precious lives in an instant. But it doesn’t have to happen - because of people like Stanislav Petrov.
GRATITUDE TO A HERO WHO SAVED THE WORLD
Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov (Sept. 7, 1939-May 19, 2017) is known as “the person who singlehandedly saved the world from nuclear war.”
On September 1, 1983, the Soviet Union shot down a passenger plane flying to South Korea from the U.S. (KAL 007), suspecting it of spying; all 269 people aboard died. Tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were extremely high: the U.S., after a series of military maneuvers, was preparing for a major NATO war game that simulated preparations for a nuclear attack.
Then, on September 26, while Lt. Petrov was on night duty at the Soviet military’s early-warning facility outside Moscow, an alarm went off, signaling the launch of several U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles. The 44-year-old duty officer had to quickly determine whether the attack was real. With conflicting information from satellite and radar, he chose to consider it a false alarm. A subsequent Soviet investigation later confirmed that the Soviet satellite warning system had, in fact, malfunctioned -- caused by a malfunction of the satellite, which mistook the reflection of the sun off high clouds for a missile launch."
So today we’d like to take the opportunity to give thanks to an unsung hero, Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, who made it possible for all of us to be here today – a man whose good judgment saved untold numbers of lives.
From Reuters news service on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, under the headline:
Senate Committee Questions Trump's Nuclear Authority:
A U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike. . .
From the Department of Defense's Law of War Manual, 2015:
18.3 DUTIES OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES Each member of the armed services has a duty to: … (2) refuse to comply with clearly illegal orders to commit violations of the law of war.
Crimes Against Peace include: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression;*
War Crimes include: Use of weapons that don't distinguish between military and civilian targets.*
GOOD JUDGMENT CAN SAVE UNTOLD NUMBERS OF LIVES…
Please join us, your friends and neighbors, as we work together for a nuclear-free world.
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Rd | Poulsbo WA 98371 | 360-930-8697
www.GZcenter.org | email@example.com
OCTOBER 2017 Leaflet
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE BRINGS NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT TO THE TABLE!
Dear Brothers and Sisters on Planet Earth:
ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (www.canw.org) has just won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize!
A coalition of non-governmental organizations in 100 countries, ICAN helped draft the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was ratified by the United Nations on July 7, 2017 with the approval of 122 nations. Fully two-thirds of the world’s nation-states have voted to banish nuclear weapons - the most destructive weapon ever created, capable of erasing humanity from the face of the earth.
The United States and some other nuclear nations have thus far declined to sign the treaty. But as one advocate put it: “You cannot wait for the smokers to institute a smoking ban.”
In an escalating war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump - who commands the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenal - recently threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. Such reckless rhetoric has raised tensions and increased the likelihood of a nuclear conflict, either intentional or accidental.
ICAN stated: “All nations should reject these [nuclear] weapons completely - before they are ever used again. This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror.”
According to the laws of war “we can’t target civilians,” ICAN said. But “nuclear weapons are meant to target civilians; they’re meant to wipe out entire cities.” This is unacceptable, ICAN stated, adding: “Nuclear weapons no longer get a pass.”
In accepting the prestigious prize, ICAN noted that the belief by some governments that nuclear weapons are a legitimate and essential source of security is not only misguided but dangerous, since it incites other nations (such as North Korea) to proliferate their nuclear arsenal, and undermines disarmament efforts.
“The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now,” ICAN said.
But at a time when most of the world’s nations are pursuing the abolition of nuclear weapons, the US is moving ahead with its trillion-dollar rebuild of the entire US nuclear weapons triad. The program will include a new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, many of which will be stationed here at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base.
Can the US step back from the brink of nuclear destruction of the planet? The US nuclear upgrade is certainly giving war a chance; but don’t we owe it to humanity to give peace a chance?
Please join us, your friends and neighbors, as we work together for a nuclear-free world.
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Rd * Poulsbo WA 98371 * 360-930-8697
www.GZcenter.org * firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST 2017 Leaflet
Messages From Nuclear Attack Survivors to the World
In August 1945 Japan became the first — and so far, the only — country to experience a nuclear attack. The nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States instantly incinerated these cities, killing more than 200,000 people.
Seventy-two years later in 2017, the specter of nuclear destruction — either by a deliberate decision of a nuclear power or through an accident or miscalculation — still haunts our planet. As the number of survivors of the US nuclear attack on Japan (known as hibakusha) diminish over time, what lessons can we learn from their experiences?
Brooklyn-based documentary photographer Haruka Sakaguchi* asked hibakusha (atomic-bomb victims who survived) from Nagasaki and Hiroshima to write a message for future generations. Here are some excerpts of their words:
“You are only given One life. So cherish this moment. Cherish this day. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.”
(Yasujiro Tanaka, age 75)
“I pray that every human finds peace.” (Shigeko Matsumoto, age 77)
“I long for a peaceful society where everyone can live with dignity, and die with dignity.
Peace is not something that we passively wait for. Peace is something that we must seek out and cultivate. Dear reader - please make Nagasaki the last atomic bomb site.” (Michiko Yagi, age 78)
“Life is a curious treasure.”
(Fujio Torikoshi, age 86)
“Dear young people who have never experienced war: War begins covertly. If you sense it coming, it may be too late.
Japan is the only nation that has experienced a nuclear attack. We must assert, with far more urgency, that nuclear weapons cannot coexist with mankind.
The current administration is slowly leading our nation to war, I’m afraid. At the ripe age of 78, I have taken it upon myself to speak out against nuclear proliferation. Now is not the time to stand idly by.”
(Takato Michishita, age 78)
“The atomic bomb is incomparable to other weapons. It not only involves heat and a deadly explosion, but also a lasting radiation that kills indiscriminately, en masse. It is an inhumane weapon that contaminates our soil and destroys our environment. Humanity must fight for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons are the sheer manifestation of evil. We must never create atomic bomb victims like myself, ever again.
No nukes. Nuclear abolition is the origin of peace.” (Jongkeun Lee, age 89)
“Children are our greatest blessing. I believe that grown-ups are responsible for war.” (Emiko Okada, 80)
This year, the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action celebrated its 40th anniversary of resisting nuclear weapons. We oppose the planned $1 trillion upgrade of the Trident nuclear missile system and believe the funds would be better used to improve the lives of Americans with better hospitals, schools, and the rebuilding of infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Please join us as we work to protect all life on the planet - for ourselves and for future generations.
JULY 2017 Leaflet
Dreaming of a Nuclear Weapons-Free World
Can the Impossible Become Possible?
There are some in our community who call nuclear weapons opponents “hopeless idealists” or “dreamers.” “Sure”, they say, “we’d all love to live in peace, but it’s a crazy world out there and we need nuclear weapons to be safe.”
But does the US status as a nuclear superpower really make us safer? Or does it make us all more vulnerable to being destroyed in a conflict that could spiral out of control into all-out nuclear war?
As the world watches, the US is spending $1 trillion to create a new generation of nuclear armaments. In turn, we now see ramped-up nuclear proliferation and the ratcheting-up of political and military tensions from Moscow to Pyongyang to Beijing. How does this race towards doomsday keep the American people safe?
By accepting the so-called inevitability of nuclear weapons, avoiding the ugly consequences of the nuclear arms race and the grave threat it poses to civilian populations around the globe, it is easy to assume an “ostrich-in-the sand” position and simply get on with our busy lives.
But by ignoring the issue, are we not undermining our own power and potential to envision a nuclear-weapons-free sustainable world? After all, imagining something is the first step toward challenging the status quo and making a change. Of course, such a transformation may not happen overnight, but the first step is to dream the impossible as possible.
For example, on July 7, 2017 the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Under Article 6 of the Treaty, states are prohibited from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, deploying, stationing, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Although the US, Russia and other nuclear states boycotted this Treaty, it was adopted by 122 states and passed overwhelmingly.
Even in the face of the US-led boycott, this UN Treaty signals the clear resolve of civil society to embark on a path leading to a nuclear weapons-free world. Someday in the future, when survivors of a nuclear war ask the United States and other nuclear-armed states, “What did you do to keep our planet safe when it was under attack?” -- what will be our response be?
We invite you to join us in taking a stand for a peaceful, nuclear-free world for the sake of our future generations. Join us at our August event commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dare to Dream!
JUNE 2017 Leaflet
"If we can risk nuclear war, we can risk disarmament!"
Negotiations To Ban Nuclear Weapons Begin This Month
Starting on June 15th and running through July 2017, representatives from more than 115 world governments will gather at UN Headquarters in New York to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.”
These groundbreaking talks are the result of a landmark UN General Assembly resolution in December 2016, which voted with overwhelming support to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. They reflect widespread concern among the world’s nations to prohibit the use, possession and development of nuclear weapons — which have the potential to annihilate all life on the planet.
These historic negotiations could generate real momentum toward reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons and represent a resurgence of political will following decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.
With global tensions and nuclear threats rising, the need for progress on nuclear disarmament “has rarely been as urgent as it is today”, according to the UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament’s statement at the opening round of talks.
Sadly, the US is not taking part in this fresh new nuclear disarmament initiative. Instead, it has joined Russia, China, Japan and several other nuclear states in sitting out the talks. In the absence of US leadership, countries like Brazil, Austria, and Ireland are taking the lead.
Nonetheless, there is growing grassroots support for nuclear disarmament in many countries throughout — including nuclear weapon states like the United States and the United Kingdom and nuclear-dependent states like Germany. On Saturday, June 17, women around the world will hold “Ban the Bomb” marches in support of the UN talks and against the policy of mutually assured destruction.
As long as nuclear weapons systems like Trident continue to exist on our planet, we will all be forced to live with the threat of hair-trigger situations such as 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which nearly sparked nuclear war between Russia and the United States.
To quote U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 address to the UN General Assembly: “We far prefer world law, in the age of self-determination, to world war, in the age of mass extermination.”
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Rd * Poulsbo WA 98371