Archive for June, 2014

World Without Nuclear Weapons

It’s certainly the dream of this site, and five years ago President Obama stated in a speech that it was his aim too. So with the backing of the most powerful man on the planet, how much closer are we to achieving that goal? Well the respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – SIPRI have recently released some findings to help us view what progress has been made.

What they found does not surprise us. Most of the nuclear armed states still spend huge amounts of money on weapons, mainly modernising their existing arsenals. There seems little inclination to reduce never mind get rid of nuclear or other mass destruction level weapons.

There has been a steady decline in the number of nuclear enabled warheads over the last decade or so. The report states that nine countries still possess over 16000 of these weapons, a fall of about 5%, but the rate of reduction is slowing markedly. There is certainly little evidence to suggest that at any level complete disarmament is a policy or strategic goal of any of the military units who hold such weaponry.

There is also little surprise in who holds the majority of these weapons, over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons are held by the USA and Russia. It should be said that that the fall in global nuclear weapons however small was largely due to the treaties agreed to these two superpowers.

There are five officially recognised nuclear weapon states who are – USA, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom. All the other nations who possess these weapons like North Korea exist outside the global non-proliferation treaty. There is great criticism for these countries for not doing more to focus on disarmament. This was a central goal of the agreement which all other member nations signed whilst agreeing not to pursue arming themselves with nuclear based weapons. Simply put there has been very little evidence of this happening.

The report focused on the USA and Russia who instead of investing heavily in reducing their nuclear weapons have spent much more on modernizing existing systems. Including upgrading delivery systems,warheads and the production facilities required to produce such weapons. The same seems to be happening in other countries, although numbers might be falling slightly – existing weapons are being upgraded and developed constantly.

There have been many reports about the policies in these countries which seem to do little to reduce overall numbers of nuclear weapons. There was previously very high levels of political pressure being applied in many of these countries towards disarmament – the UK media used to focus heavily on this in earlier times – now if you watch British TV abroad using the internet, you’ll be unlikely to see many mentions at all.

Joe Simpson writes on many blogs, websites and traditional periodicals.
Read his latest review on  how to buy proxy servers online.

The Iraqi Horror – Created by Us

Many people who violently opposed to the invasion of Iraq have had their worse fears realised. The mess orchestrated by Bush and Blair against a tissue of lies and unfounded allegations is becoming worse than any of us realised. Most protestors are not angry, but just bitter and sad that something that was so predicitable should have been allowed to come to pass.

In the UK many people suggested that we were drifting inevitably to war, Blair seemed totally committed to invasion irrespective of the facts. The made up threats of WMDs and dodgy documents supporting their existence were of course all completely wrong, perhaps criminally so. Enough people were outraged in Britain to take to the streets and demonstrate in February 2003, in fact it was the largest organised demo ever. In the end it didn’t matter, Tony Blair was going to follow the US to war whatever.

Their were many in the media supporting him taking us to war and David Aaronovitch stated this a few months after the invasion.

“If Iraq becomes anything like a democratic and pluralistic state, then just about everything that the opponents of intervention predicted will have turned out to be wrong. If it descends into long-term chaos and civil war, then just about everything they said will turn out to have been right.”

This has turned out to chillingly right although it was written from the opposite persective, that war was the only solution to the threat of Iraq.
At the time of the war I was mostly in the USA, and the jingoism and support for the war was in full flow although plenty of opposition too. There was more from the UK though and I remember watching those demonstrations on my laptop (thanks to whilst spending some time in the seat of American power – Washington DC.

Of course it is much easier to be wise after the event, many friends of mine who expressed mild concern at the time have now become vocal campaigners against the invasion. It is of course much too late, the West has gone and left a country in utter chaos. Most of the so called experts in the area (who advised for intervention) are now to be seen on the airwaves stating that collapse is inevitable. There seems no other outcome other than a bitter and brutal civil war with the country ripped apart, worryingly though Iran has suggested that it may offer support and military aid to the incumbent powers – hopefully the irony will not be lost on the people who caused this human catastrophe – Blair and Bush.

John Domain