Nuclear annihilation.

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A recent book by someone in the best position to know, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink by William J. Perry, with a foreword by George P. Shultz, considered the risk of nuclear warfare greater than in the Cold War. Nuclear proliferation steadily increases the probability that the stockpiles will go up. Many nations desire for national security and nuclear powers desire for national solvency are relentlessly spreading nuclear power stations around the world: France nuclear salesman to India and Russia to Argentina, for example.
From start to finish, atom plants have been the means for acquiring atomic bombs. Britains civil atomic energy program was a cover for developing its independent nuclear arsenal.

According to Enenews, the American presidency secretly and illegally provided Japan with nuclear weapons, again under cover of a nuclear power stations program.

In 2016, America concluded a face-saving deal with Iran, allowing them to keep the nuclear power station means to atomic weapons, provided they do not develop that traditional end. This, to the disgust of the Israeli government, who have no illusions about the means not being for its usual end. And prefer, in desperation, to put out the means before it reaches its end.

Violent means are not an advisable way to achieve a peaceful end. But in a lawless environment, nations will take the law into their own hands, to defend themselves. More and more nations, like India and Pakistan, may attain nuclear missiles to lob at each other, in a lawless free for all.

Seeing this, British governments admitted reaction is to be as lawless as anyone else in a lawless world.
That is the meaning of Britains nuclear deterent. As Lord Arbuthnot said, a deterent is the threat of retaliation and retaliation is unlawful.

A deterent overlooks the fact that some people are too fanatical to be detered by fear, even of death itself. In that case, the so-called nuclear deterent becomes a nuclear suicide pact. Only Stalins death intervened to stop his last war. Nuclear weapons would not have detered him.

That may have been why, as also recently came to light, Churchill wanted to end the Communist threat by nuking Moscow, while the West still had a monopoly of “the bomb.”
This was not his finest hour. In the first place, he over-looked that the United States is supposed to be a democracy, accountable to its people for its actions.

No doubt, like all opportunists, he hoped to be justified by results. But there was no guarantee that military Communism would be over-thrown. The Communist Party monopolised what organisation there was in the Soviet Union. Such a surprise attack would have constituted a far greater treachery than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

For turning on former allies, who had sacrificed so much to defeat the common enemy, it would have been comparable to Hitler betrayal of the Nazi-Soviet pact. War and more war is not the way. A post-war nuclear attack on Russia, most likely, would have renewed the Terror, instead of the gradual return to some semblance of normality.
As Churchill himself said, it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.

War is not just the destruction of civilisation but of the civilised standards that go with it. The physical damage cannot just be repaired, as if nothing had happened, because the psychological damage to human character may be irrepairable. It took a whole generation for East and West to come out of the Cold War. And there has been a considerable relapse in the Ukraine.

If there is anything that the current turmoil in the Middle East has taught, it is that. In the UK, the Stop the War movement said: Peace does not come from the barrel of a gun.

After the publication of the dilatory Chilcott report on the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, former deputy premier John Prescott contritely admitted that the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan was right in judging it an illegal war.

As President Chirac prophesied, “Wars are never easy.” Americans were wrong to blame France for persisting with United Nations diplomatic channels. Hans Blix, the weapons inspector, was making progress, and needed more time to demonstrate that there indeed were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussein reportedly was looking for a way out. Allowing him and his ill-gotten gains an exile in Libya would have been a price well worth paying, to save hundreds of thousands of lives. And perhaps have averted much of the misery to millions of others, after the so-called Arab Spring.

Islam traditionally respected religious minorities, like Jews and Christians. There was actually no need for the Crusades to capture Jerusalem and the holy land. On the contrary, James A Michener, in a fictional history, The Source, tells of one ignorant rampage killing indiscriminately people of all religions. And Christian Constantinople was sacked by Crusaders.

One of the modern tragedies of the Arab uprisings, against ruthless dictatorships, is the subsequent loss of protection for minorities, who naturally give them determined support, to ensure their own survival, in view of the sickening persecutions of minorities, who are a part of the rich mosaic of the worlds spiritual heritage.

As John Stuart Mill said, democracy is not the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Nelson Mandela also appreciated that democracy is consensus by intelligent compromise, giving due regard, no more and no less, to majority and minority view-points. This genuine democracy is the best means of achieving sustained progress.
Mill even advocated the effective election system for peace-making power-sharing (which has taken-up much of my writing).

Jacques Cousteau had a naturalists understanding of human behavior and warned that man is too aggressive to be detered from using nuclear weapons or from developing them by means of nuclear reactors. Mankind would have to do away with nuclear weapons and nuclear power, if it was not to do away with itself.

A conventional war could have the impact of a nuclear war, simply by damaging nuclear power stations. So, George Bailey said in his book, The Making Of Andrei Sakharov. A terrorist guerrilla group could have the impact, of a nation mesmerised by a madman, in attacking an atom plant. In 2016, a global conference was held, on nuclear terrorism.

So far, the worst nuclear calamities have been no more than accidents, in which only unselfish human sacrifice averted the most terrible consequences. For those who had to deal with it, Chernobyl was like 1941 all over again. In contrast to this human courage at its best, also displayed at Fukushima, the Establishment played down nuclear melt-downs. A peculiarly arrogant refusal to admit being wrong beset the British media, under “strong government” which is no more than mental inertia, that never learns from events or listens to criticism.
At least, Angela Merkel, with her scientific background and interests, got the message of the Japanese melt-downs.

The nuclear deterent is a symptom of Britains, to say nothing of other nations, top-down mentality. It is the corporatist delusion of the government as head and its nationals as the obedient body of its decisions. The head hides itself in bunkers against any nuclear strike, so the body is targeted to kill the corporate monster.
In reality, the world is made up of ordinary citizens, like ourselves, who do not deserve to be treated as pawns in a military game of chess.

Nuclear deterence is a false view of the world, based on a special pleading, of top people, for breaking a law for universal peace. The progress of science depended on abandoning this top-down mentality. Scholastic logic needed to become representative of the widest sweep of evidence. Politics fails because it is still stuck with partisan dogmas, which seek to shut down the proper function of Parliament, to represent a whole community of evidence for free discussion. Perhaps most of all, the parties shut down the election system, from freedom to choose a range of individual representatives, rather than the unscientific presumption of a mere vote for party, thus instituted in the election system as a ruling class.

A main obstacle to world peace is the more or less imperfect accountability of leaders to their peoples. Autocracies, by definition, are not answerable to their subjects, even for making war. This is dangerous to all, as the licence of masters may go beyond their servants endurance.
Evidently, democratic accountability is a legal restraint on rulers launching surprise attacks, on their own people, as well as other nations.

It has been disputed whether democracies are more pacific than dictatorships. But this really comes down to a question of whether the power for aggression is sufficiently dispersed amongst all the peoples of the world, to prevent corrupting power concentrations disturbing the peace.

Sometimes democracies do commit unjustifiable aggressions, when their powerful governments seek to evade constitutional restraints. This does not mean that democracies are necessarily as aggressive as dictatorships, only that they may need to correct defects.
For instance, the Johnson Administration could only attack North Vietnam, because it deceived Congress, that the U.S. Navy was itself attacked first.
The Nixon Administration secretly ordered a CIA coup against the Allende regime, a victim of American oil interests. The Carter Administration, the only presidency not to be at war with anyone, sought to end black ops by outlawing murder as an instrument of foreign policy.

Former union negotiator, President Reagan negotiated the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, he also abolished the Fairness Doctrine of balanced debate. Consequently, an increasingly monopolistic media acted as cheer-leader for the second Iraq war, another focus of oil interests.

Statistically speaking, we can be reasonably certain that there will be more nuclear nightmares, from which humanity may not be so lucky to narrowly escape. As it is, Chernobyl and Fukushima are catastrophes merely postponed under eternal vigilance.

Barack Obama envisaged a nuclear free world. This needs to become a vigorous plan of dismantling both the nuclear means and ends of destruction, before they dismantle humanity and life on earth in general.

The presidents wife, the First Lady, Michelle Obama also supports girls education, a cause of the first importance in mitigating human strife. There is a perfect correlation between over-population and the illiteracy of women. The global eco-system is already under severe and unsustainable attrition from too many people chasing too few resources. This provokes war and social collapse.

The trouble with nuclear power is that it has always been a military means. James Gleick biography of Richard Feynman shows that the Manhattan project needed to build an atomic pile to better understand uranium fission reactions for a workable atomic bomb. The book, Defended To Death, edited by Gwyn Prins, explained how supposedly civilian reactors were still used to supplement plutonium enrichment of nuclear weapons.

This invites scepticism of the honesty of the British government in its determination to go ahead with more Hinkley Point reactors, at any cost, when it is also renewing the Trident nuclear deterent.

The new Theresa May government had qualms about national security of new nuclear plants. But it would have been bad public relations for a brand-new government to begin its reign by blasting both barrels of nuclear damnation, before an unenthusiastic British public. So, it just may be keeping some of its powder dry.

Really, the British government would be doing the country and the world a favor, for once, if it canceled new nuclear power plants. Their enormous subsidies are prejudicial to the British taxpayer and to British, not least Scottish, renewable energies, which could be supplied thru a European energy grid. The French are deeply divided about hanging on to their bankrupt nuclear legacy or breaking free with renewables.

The Chinese are naturally annoyed at being led to believe in an agreement, which has suddenly cooled. This would annoy anyone, at a personal level, let alone from a diplomatic point of view. Really, it is to their benefit, too. I know they are a great country, that can afford to make mistakes. But going on this nuclear road, to the bitter end, is still a mistake. Like everyone else, the Chinese struggle with nuclear cost over-runs and delays.

There may be a belated future for thorium reactors or other genuinely civilian alternatives to uranium fission, in a not too offensive niche nuclear power industry. I am not qualified to say.

If I may offer a comparison of the Chinese situation with that formerly of Germany. After Britain joined the Common Market on Premier Heaths supine terms, that Harold Wilson pretended to better, the Germans actually had the neck to propose a common energy policy. This would extend the legalised plunder of Britains territorial waters, from fishing to oil and gas extraction.

If only they had thought of it, while Ted Heath was begging to be admitted! (He even gave up, without a murmur, on English among official European languages, till the Irish, of all people, rescued that detested instrument of their oppressors.) Then perhaps Britain might have given a thought to exploiting its best tidal energy resources in the world. And pigs might fly.

I received a detailed response from the Department of Energy and Climate Change of all the reasons why tidal power was not really practical. The impression, given me, was somewhat spoilt, by a Mail on Sunday article, later that very week, that Windsor Castle had tidal turbines fitted to benefit from maximal feed-in tariffs.

Thank goodness the most neglected and impoverished family in the land would benefit from renewable energies!
Not to mention all those wind turbine tariffs for the beleaguered few who own nearly all Britains territory - unlike in Germany where renewable energy ownership is widely shared.

In short, it was better for Germany that their mighty industrial machine didn’t tool for marine exploration of Britains fossil fuels. Better by far that they saw the future coming and adapted, in good time, for renewable energies. In relation to Britain, as for Germany then, so for China now.

As to the repeated falsehood, on the media, that atomic energy is carbon neutral, no mad dictator could have told a bigger lie, by leaving out a Total Energy Audit. It is private profit at something approaching infinite social cost: an obscene imbalance of gains for a few, at the expense of future lives indefinitely. The public are made liable for astronomical insurance expenses against their being mass murdered or forced into mass migration by fall-out.
Nation-bankrupting bankers bonuses pale into insignificance in comparison.

There is the radiation risk to miners health and environmental degradation from digging up uranium ore, which has to be processed. There are costs of transport and its specially built infrastructure; the vast concrete structures of the plants; housing and payment for personnel; possible carcinogenic radioactivity, that was investigated in secret autopsies on staffs internal organs, while prohibiting Alice Stewart researching atomic workers, since she had found the fatal effect of x-rays on unborn children. And there are the suspect cancer clusters round atom plants.

The World Health Organisation is vetted by atomic energy authority. A fog of defensive controversy surrounds cancer casualties from Chernobyl, not to mention the questionable fate of Fukushima.

There is the decontaminating of the decommissioned plants, which could take decades, to well over a century, and the storing of waste too lethal to be allowed to leak into the environment for geological eras, together with the inability to safely seal it, over more than moderate time-scales.

This is coupled with the problem of preventing waste being used as a weapon of mass contamination. In the UK, 800 nuclear police were merged with a larger force. All this criminal diversion of resources to perpetually suspend a self-inflicted curse, like a sword of Damocles.

Nuclear power is vulnerable and lacks resilience. Power delivery depends totally on the central power station, and up-keep of its energy-dissipating National Grid.

The uranium mania encroaches on a whole free world of human initiative and ingenuity and resourcefulness, in the energy sector, which many others can enlarge-on better than myself.

Atomic energy is a failed command economy power fantasy for big government of little people. "A hell of a way to boil water," the "nuclear electricity" delusion poisons the planet, to turn a turbine, in detestation of wind and wave and tide, to turn it for free. Nuclear power – nuc-liar power.

In conclusion,

conditions for world peace were thought out a century ago, by many in reaction to the Great War. Thorstein Veblen, in The Nature Of Peace, came to much the same conclusions as HG Wells, in The Outline Of History, In The Fourth Year, and other writings.

Wells science fiction prophecy, The War In The Air (1908) relates the xenophobia of the old isolated communities of the pre-industrial era. The totalitarian propaganda prison of the Soviet Union intensified this ignorant enmity, with all its military menace.

How then does the present world stand for world freedom of information to foster friendly relations between nations? How free from propaganda control are all peoples? There are organisations, such as Transparency International, that look into these things. As well as organisations, like Amnesty International and Reprieve, for freedom of conscience from government persecution.

The problem of peace largely seems to be how to extricate peoples from subjection to governments as master-servant relationships. That is to say nations pose a threat to each other, where they are hierarchically organised on lines of military subordination. Governments may implicitly believe this is necessary to be ready for self-defense, against others like them.
Conscription, as a patriotic duty, also fuels wars of aggression.

While some nations are organised as a war machine or wehrmacht, it has always seemed hopelessly utopian not to accept war as a fact of life. (A series of German World War 2 postage stamps show the armed forces dive-bombing, railway gunning, and variously dispatching, as any one might go about ones daily business.)

Most governments retain huge powers of coercion over their territorial inhabitants. Mankind must end war, if war is not to end mankind. Perhaps its chief instrument has been militant nationalism, or imperialism. It may not be possible, or even desirable to end nationalism, because national autonomy is needed as a bulwark against governmental globalisation becoming a tyrannical monopoly of power.

However, nationalism can be looked at with some scepticism, as a form of partisanship, whose excesses might be curbed. The relation of nationalism towards the world of humanity compares to the role of political parties in a nation. Just as parties may serve their backers, rather than the country, so nations, at best, may serve their country rather than the world. (HG Wells eloquently discussed such things, in A Year Of Prophesying.)

The single best way of transcending dogmatic partisanship, in democratic elections, is the transferable voting system. It might be possible for this election system to transcend partisan nationalism, in an international parliament, whose constituencies transcend national boundaries.
The European Parliament does not fulfil this role, because almost all its elections only allow an X-vote for a party, and only within national constituency boundaries.

Supposedly democratic elections, including referendums, generally do not remotely approach scientific standards of a test of popular wishes. Indeed, the last century has witnessed a political and academic reaction against just such progress, in alleged democracies.

Well, I have ended on my usual theme, and am conscious that this essay is not as neatly argued, as I would have liked. I do think that there is no case to be made for nuclear power stations and that it is a monumental mistake to build more. And if they are a back-up for nuclear weapon replenishment, that is one more argument against both.

I do not see how Trident renewal is any defense against alleged nuclear blackmail, because no convincing scenario has been produced.
Trident totemism is about as scientific as sacrificial appeasement of the solar deity. Such a superstitition is merely an extravagant ritual warding-off fear but of no real merit.

The best defense against the Soviet tank armada was the Apache helicopter gunship. Britain could not have used Trident against an invading army. That would have been like bomber Harris afflicting the urban working classmain opponents of Hitler. And to use Trident against Russian cities would have guaranteed the extinction of the United Kingdom.

British government blunders on without thinking the thing thru. That’s the bane of elective dictatorship that doesn’t know the meaning of real consensual democracy. It doesn't have any real or knowledgable sense of progress for a freer people, only a self-defeating series of back and forth, vain ritual "victories" in rigged election "campaigns."

Richard Lung.
3 august 2016.

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