“It’s an incredibly dangerous situation. … If there’s a nuclear war tonight, that’s the Northern Hemisphere (of the entire world) gone, Dr. Helen Caldicott told a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Wednesday. She was speaking on the topic: “Ukraine: Is Nuclear Conflict Likely?”
Caldicott is an Australian physician who founded the International Physicians against Nuclear War, a group that under her leadership won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. She is the former president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute based in Washington
The expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders is “very, very dangerous,” Caldicott said.
“There is no way a war between the United States and Russia could start and not go nuclear. … The United States and Russia have enormous stockpiles of these weapons. Together they have 94 percent of all the 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world.”“We are in a very fallible, very dangerous situation operated by mere mortals,” she warned. “The nuclear weapons, are sitting there, thousands of them. They are ready to be used.”
“Do they really want a nuclear war with Russia?” she asked “The only war that you can have with Russia is a nuclear war. … You don’t provoke paranoid countries armed with nuclear weapons.”
Caldicott said U.S. policymakers appeared oblivious to rising Russian fears as successive U.S. presidents and their administrations continued to break the security guarantees that President George Herbert walker Bush and his secretary of state James A. Baker had given to last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the end of the Cold War.
“The United States has broken the guarantees it gave to Gorbachev before the breakup of the Soviet Union when it promised not to expand NATO to Russia’s borders,” Caldicott said.
“Imagine if the roles were reversed and if Russia (provoked a coup in Ottawa and) took over Canada. What would the U.S. reaction be?” Caldicott asked.
“(In 1962) we nearly had a nuclear world war over Cuba and Ukraine is a lot bigger (and more important) than Cuba,” she said.
Caldicott said she disagreed with the widespread criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin over his support for Eastern Ukrainian separatists.
“Putin … I think he is being very restrained at the moment,” she said. “… Putin is trying to defend himself. He has the support of most Russians. The Russians are a proud and patriotic people.”
Image: Dr. Helen Caldicott (Wikipedia)
Caldicott also warned that another flare up of the civil war in Ukraine could threaten catastrophic meltdowns of the many nuclear power stations in the country, risking millions of lives.
“Ukraine has 15 large nuclear power plants,” she said.
“Any conventional weapon going into any one of them would set off a meltdown on the scale of Chernobyl in 1986. The most recent studies have shown that more than a million people have died from the after-effects of the Chernobyl melt-down.”
“Nuclear reactors are cancer factories and nuclear bomb factories; each reactor makes 500 pounds of plutonium a year (It’s made when a U238 (Uranium 238) atom captures a neutron) It takes only 10 pounds of plutonium to make a nuclear weapon.”
“Japan has got 40 tons of plutonium in its stockpiles. That means Japan could become a major nuclear military power in a matter of weeks if it wanted to,”she added.
Even a limited nuclear exchange would have devastating economic and environmental consequences on the world, Caldicott warned.
“If a single thermonuclear weapon, or hydrogen bomb, is exploded into space it would knock out all electronic communications in at least six Westernized states for months,” she said.
But such a nuclear exchange, once initiated, would certainly get out of control rapidly, she added.
“The United States and Russia (between them) have 94 percent of the 16,400 nuclear weapons in the world,” she added.“Albert Einstein was right: The splitting of the atom changed everything, it changed all reality – except for the way men think,” Caldicott said.Caldicott was scathingly critical of the mainstream U.S. media for ignoring the real risks of a nuclear exchange.
“The mass media has a huge role to play. The media is being absolutely irresponsible,” she said. “Mr. Jefferson said a well-informed public was essential to the successful functioning of a democracy. But this democracy is thoroughly ill-informed.”
“We all practice psychic numbing. We are lemmings. We are all into manic denial,” she added.
“The real issue facing us is the continuation of life on the planet. There is a complete lack of knowledge among the general public and their leaders about this threat,” Caldicott added.
Caldicott expressed sympathy for U.S. President Barack Obama but said he had been “overwhelmed’ by the crises facing him. “We’ve got a good man, but the pressures have overwhelmed him. Obama has been overwhelmed by the pressures,” she said.
“I pity Obama, he’s got so much on his plate,” she said.
Caldicott noted that the world had just passed the centenary of the start of World War I, but the forces and problems that caused it remained the same today.
“You know how the First World War started 100 years ago: One person shot an archduke. The pride of the leaders and generals of the great nations did the rest: They went to war,” she said. “Human fallibility was a major cause then. It is just as common today. All kinds of things can cause very dangerous (developments) in the world.”
NATO Games in Ukraine Push World 5 Minutes Before Nuclear Midnight – Stephen Cohen
The U.S. weapons producers are the recipients of U.S. Department of Defense multibillion dollar procurement contracts for advanced weapons systems. In turn, “The Battle for Oil” in the Middle East and Central Asia directly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil giants. The U.S. and its allies are “Beating the Drums of War” at the height of a worldwide economic depression.
The military deployment of US-NATO forces coupled with “non-conventional warfare” –including covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”– is occurring simultaneously in several regions of the world.
Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. War has been provided with a humanitarian mandate under NATO’s “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). The victims of U.S. led wars are presented as the perpetrators of war. Civilians in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq are responsible for their own deaths.
Meanwhile, the Commander in Chief of the largest military force on planet earth is presented as a global peace-maker. The granting of the Nobel “peace prize” in 2009 to President Barack Obama has become an integral part of the Pentagon’s propaganda machine. It provides a human face to the invaders, it demonizes those who oppose US military intervention.
The Nobel Committee says that President Obama has given the world “hope for a better future”. The prize is awarded for Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”
…His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population. 1 (The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009: Barack H. Obama, Press Release, October 9, 2009)Realities are turned upside down. “War is Peace” said George Orwell. The media in chorus upholds war as a humanitarian endeavor. “Wars make us safer and richer” says the Washington Post.
The Big Lie becomes The Truth. In turn, upholding The Truth –through careful documentation and investigative analysis of the horrors of U.S. led wars– is casually categorized as “conspiracy theory”.
While Washington wages a “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), those who forcefully oppose America’s wars of aggression are branded as terrorists. War becomes peace, a worthwhile “humanitarian undertaking”. Peaceful dissent becomes heresy.
With unfolding events in Ukraine and the Middle East, humanity is at a dangerous crossroads. At no time since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the World been closer to the unthinkable: a World War III scenario, a global military conflict involving the use of nuclear weapons.
The killing machine is deployed at a global level, within the framework of the unified combat command structure. It is routinely upheld by the institutions of government, the corporate media and the mandarins and intellectuals of The New World Order in Washington’s think tanks and strategic studies research institutes, as an unquestioned instrument of peace and global prosperity.
A culture of killing and violence has become imbedded in human consciousness.
War is broadly accepted as part of a societal process: The Homeland needs to be “defended” and protected.
“Legitimized violence” and extrajudicial killings directed against “terrorists” are upheld in western democracies, as necessary instruments of national security.
A “humanitarian war” is upheld by the so-called international community. It is not condemned as a criminal act. Its main architects are rewarded for their contribution to world peace.
Nuclear weapons are heralded by the US government as instruments of peace. The pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons is categorized as an act of “self-defense” which contributes to an illusive concept of “global security”. (see Chapter II).
The so-called “missile defense shield” or “Star Wars” initiative involving the first strike use of nuclear weapons has been developed globally in different regions of the world. The missile shield is largely directed against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
Meanwhile, in the context of unfolding events in Syria and Ukraine, there has been a breakdown of international diplomacy. Whereas a Neo-Nazi regime directly supported by the West has been installed in Kiev, the Russian Federation is now threatened by US-NATO with military action on its Western frontier. (See Chapter IX).
New Cold War?
While this renewed East-West confrontation has mistakenly been labelled a “New Cold War”, none of the safeguards of The Cold War era prevail. Russia has been excluded from the Group of Eight (G-8), which has reverted to the G-7 (Group of Seven Nations). Diplomacy has collapsed. There is no Cold War East-West dialogue between competing superpowers geared towards avoiding military confrontation. In turn, the United Nations Security Council has become a de facto mouthpiece of the U.S. State Department.
Moreover, nuclear weapons are no longer considered a “weapon of last resort” under The Cold War doctrine of “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD). Nuclear weapons are heralded by the Pentagon as “harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground”. In 2002, the U.S. Senate gave the green light for the use of nuclear weapons in the conventional war theater. Nukes are part of the “military toolbox” to be used alongside conventional weapons.
The “Communist threat” of The Cold War era has been replaced by the worldwide threat of “Islamic terrorism”. Whereas Russia and China have become capitalist “free market” economies, a first strike pre-emptive nuclear attack is nonetheless contemplated.
China and Russia are no longer considered to be “a threat to capitalism”. Quite the opposite. What is at stake is economic and financial rivalry between competing capitalist powers. The China-Russia alliance under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) constitutes a “competing capitalist block” which undermines U.S. economic hegemony.
In Asia, the U.S. has contributed under its “Pivot to Asia” to encouraging its Asia-Pacific allies including Japan, Australia, South Korea, The Philippines and Vietnam to threaten and isolate China as part of a process of “military encirclement” of China, which gained impetus in the late 1990s.
Meanwhile, war propaganda has become increasingly pervasive. War is upheld as a peace-making operation.
When war becomes peace, the world is turned upside down. Conceptualization is no longer possible. An inquisitorial social system emerges. (See Chapter X). The consensus is to wage war. People can longer think for themselves. They accept the authority and wisdom of the established social order.
An understanding of fundamental social and political events is replaced by a World of sheer fantasy, where “evil folks” are lurking. The objective of the “Global War on Terrorism” narrative –which has been fully endorsed by the US administration– has been to galvanize public support for a worldwide campaign against heresy.
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.
The concept of the “Long War” has characterized US military doctrine since the end of World War II. Worldwide militarization is part of a global economic agenda.
Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the U.S. military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon. U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska plays a central role in coordinating military operations.
While surrounding and confronting Russia and China, new U.S. military bases have been set up with a view to establishing U.S. spheres of influence in every region of the World. There has been a reinforcement of the six geographic commands including the creation in 2008 of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).
As heralded by the Pentagon, AFRICOM becomes a “full-spectrum combatant command” responsible for what are described as “defense” and U.S. “national security” operations “through focused, sustained engagement with partners in support of our shared security objectives”. AFRICOM’s area of jurisdiction extends to the entire “African continent, its island nations, and surrounding waters”. 2 US Africa Command, “What We Do”,
This US militarization of Africa supports the concurrent economic conquest of the continent, the pillage of its natural resources, the acquisition of its extensive oil and gas reserves, etc.
AFRICOM is an instrument of a U.S. led neocolonial project in alliance with the United Kingdom which consists in expanding the Anglo-American sphere of influence specifically in Central Africa, Francophone West Africa and North Africa largely at the expense of France.
While the US has military bases and/or facilities in more than 150 countries, with 160,000 active-duty personnel, the construction of new military bases is envisaged in Latin America including Colombia on the immediate border of Venezuela.
Military aid to Israel has increased. The Obama presidency has expressed its unbending support for Israel and the Israeli military, which is slated to play a key role in US-NATO led wars in the Middle East. The unspoken agenda is outright elimination of Palestine and the instatement of “Greater Israel”.
Russia is not the Aggressor