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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Three Minutes To Midnight

Three Minutes To Midnight

The threat is serious, the time short. The Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists does not move the hands of the Doomsday Clock for
light or transient reasons.

The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because
international leaders are failing to perform their most important
duty—ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.

— Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 2015

By Felicity Arbuthnot
Dissident Voice.org
January 28, 2015

When Barack Hussein Obama was presented with the Nobel Peace
Prize on December 10th, 2009, just eight months into his Presidency, the motivation was:

“ for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy
and co-operation between peoples.”

The Nobel Committee “… attached special importance to Obama’s
vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons … as
President he (had) created a new climate in international politics.”

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama
captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for
a better future.”

In his presentation speech, Nobel Committee Chairman, Thorbjørn
Jagland said that Obama had, from the first moments of his
Presidency, strived against confrontation and had already “lowered
the temperature in the world.”

In his acceptance speech the President Obama stated that:

“Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction
of justice.”

He was also committed to:

“upholding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It is a centerpiece
of my foreign policy. And I’m working with President Medvedev to
reduce America and Russia’s nuclear stockpiles.”

In conclusion, to applause, he appealed: “Let us reach for the world
that ought to be – that spark of the divine that still stirs within each
of our souls.”

Since then the myriad mass graves of America’s victims have
become silent witness to the hypocrisy and insincerity of his
address at Oslo City Hall on the 113th Anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s
death in acceptance of an Award which Nobel’s will had specified
should be presented “… to the person who shall have done the most
or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition
or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion
of peace congresses.”

Gulag Guantanamo remains open, much now militia-run Libya is in
ruins, American troops are back in Iraq, where over 2,000 bombing
raids have been carried out by American ‘planes.

Obama’s Administration still endorses the illegal overthrow
of President al-Assad of Syria, training the mass murdering,
beheading, organ-eating “moderate” opposition, and the much
vaunted departure from Afghanistan, is not a full departure at
all.

Ukraine bleeds daily from the US boasted five Billion dollar coup,
Russia is blamed, sanctioned and resultantly feels threatened
enough to rearm.

The Cold War had been not only rekindled, the flames are
visibly rising.

In March 2013 Stratfor noted:

”With the full support of a feckless policy, elite and an uncritical
media establishment, Washington is slipping, if not plunging, into a
new Cold War with Moscow.” Strong words from Professor Stephen
Cohen, in a January article published in The Nation, who is a lonely
voice in the US academic establishment with an unpopular point of
view. He has been warning for several years now that rapidly
deteriorating relations between the US and Russia will lead to a
new period of sustained political and military tension between the
two powers.‘

Now, the annual setting of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Doomsday Clock (January 22nd) has been re-set – forward two
minutes to three minutes to midnight, the first time since
the end of the Cold War and thirty years on from the last such
setting in 1984 under the presidency of Grenada invader,
another Libya bomber, and Iran-Contra dealing Ronald Reagan.

In 1984, the Bulletin recorded:

… relations between the United States and the Soviet Union
reached an icy nadir. Every channel of communications has
been constricted or shut down; every form of contact has
been attenuated or cut off. And arms control negotiations
have been reduced to a species of propaganda.

Sound familiar?

Yesterday they noted:

Today, more than twenty five years after the end of the Cold War,
the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and
Security Board have looked closely at the world situation and found
it highly threatening to humanity – so threatening that the hands
of the Doomsday Clock must once again be set at three minutes to
midnight, two minutes closer to catastrophe than in 2014.

Further:

… efforts to reduce world nuclear arsenals have stalled.
The disarmament process has ground to a halt, with the
United States and Russia embarking on massive programs
to modernize their nuclear triads – thereby undermining
existing nuclear weapons treaties – and other nuclear
weapons holders joining in this expensive and extremely
dangerous modernization craze.

It is not alone the nuclear nightmare:

Insufficient action to slash worldwide emissions of greenhouse
gases can produce global climatic catastrophe.

Even a so-called “limited” nuclear weapons exchange will produce
massive casualties and severe effects on the global environment.

We implore the political leaders of the world to take coordinated,
quick action to drastically reduce global emissions of heat-trapping
gases, especially carbon dioxide, and shrink nuclear weapons
arsenals.

The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board whose Board of Sponsors
include seventeen Nobel Laureates:

… implore the citizens of the world to demand action from their
leaders. The threat looms over all of humanity. Humanity needs
to respond now, while there is still time.

The Clock, established in 1947, has become a universally recognized
indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear
weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life
sciences.

The Board stresses that catastrophe can be avoided with
urgent action.

Time wasting is not an option.

Essential priorities are:

* Actions which would cap greenhouse gas emissions at levels
which would halt the average global temperature from rising
more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

* Dramatically reduce proposed spending on nuclear weapons
modernization programmes.

* Re-energize the disarmament process – with commitment to
results.

* Deal urgently with nuclear waste problem.

If President Obama read the documents and consulted with the
towering collective knowledge available at the Bulletin, applied
that commitment for which they plea, built bridges globally
rather than blowing them up, there is enough time in the final
twenty two months of his Presidency to embark on the road to
justifying that Nobel.

We can only fervently hope that as he stated in his acceptance
speech his actions at last “can bend history in the direction of
justice.”



Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq,
and Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great
City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior
Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq,
John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and
Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/01/three-minutes-to-midnight

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