+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, August 15, 2017

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Rolla Peace News

August 15, 2017

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Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

1. NOON VIGIL FOR PEACE: THIS WEEK, THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017
2. THE DEAD DON'T CARE ABOUT MARKETS
3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          A Modest Proposal On The “North Korea Crisis:” Nuclear Disarmament

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1. NOON VIGIL FOR PEACE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017

We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 80s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.

2. THE DEAD DON'T CARE ABOUT MARKETS

If you were in any doubt about the prime motivations of those folks who really control our reality (financial elite, the cabal, the 1%, whatever you want to call them), read the Wall Street Journal article entitled How do you price a problem like Korea? Sadly, you can't read it on line unless you are a subscriber, which I have no desire to be, but Abby Zimet, the writer of this article, has obviously read it, and her take on it would be hilariously funny if it wasn't about our existential survival.

Now that you've read it, what does that tell you about the people who get to decide who our “elected” officials are? To me, it says there is only one thing they care about: Profit. Not the Earth, not their fellow humans, just money and the power it conveys. And what is profit, really? In absolute terms, it's getting more than you give. That's why, if you want to be called a “non-profit,” you have to give back the extra to the community in some way. If you are “for-profit,” you keep it. No wonder we don't have universal health care and good, free public education — there's no profit to be made there.

So, as the rest of us hover on the edge of our seats wondering whether nuclear war is about to happen, those people who got us into this in the first place are wondering how much money they can make off of it. Business as usual.

P.S.: If you want to get even more depressed, watch Hashem Al-Ghaili's short film, and then the clip of Trump being even more incoherent than usual. Both are embedded in the above article.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)

A MODEST PROPOSAL ON THE “NORTH KOREA CRISIS:” NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
“As played by irresponsible boys, this game [Chicken] is considered decadent and immoral, though only the lives of the players are risked. But when the game is played by eminent statesmen, who risk not only their own lives but those of many hundreds of millions of human beings, it is thought on both sides that the statesmen on one side are displaying a high degree of wisdom and courage, and only the statesmen on the other side are reprehensible. This, of course, is absurd. Both are to blame for playing such an incredibly dangerous game. The game may be played without misfortune a few times, but sooner or later it will come to be felt that loss of face is more dreadful than nuclear annihilation. The moment will come when neither side can face the derisive cry of ‘Chicken!’ from the other side. When that moment is come, the statesmen of both sides will plunge the world into destruction.”
          —Bertrand Russell (Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare, 1959)

A key point in the above paragraph is that there comes a time when total annihilation becomes preferable to losing the game. You can see this mind set on Wall Street, where destruction of our planetary support system is seen as preferable to losing buried assets of coal, oil and gas.

This mindset can be seen even among young children. The editors of Rethinking Schools quote a second grader as stating, “Everything is just so bad. We should just nuke the world and start over.

I suspect our video games, [un]reality shows, “alternative facts” and 21st Century lifestyles feed this mindset.

In the wake of the recent North Korean missile tests, Donald Trump's threat to meet North Korea “with fire and fury like the world has never seen before,” and North Korea's counter threat to conduct missile tests off the coast of Guam, folks seem to be finally getting it: The doomsday clock stands at two and a half minutes to midnight and may move even closer. Here in the US, polls show a substantial majority are concerned about a North Korean threat.

Some call for preemptive war; others call for diplomacy.

Preemptive war suffers (at least) two serious drawbacks
1. I suspect North Korea has it's nukes on hair-trigger alert — maybe not pointed at the continental United States yet; but likely, targets closer to home like Seoul and Tokyo.

2. As in 1950, I suspect China would take a dim view of preemptive war against North Korea. The last thing the Chinese want is the US military on their borders.
Calls for diplomacy such as the one referenced above seem to be based on convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons in return for security. I can't help wondering what world these folks are living in. I can't think of anything the United States could do, short of unilateral demilitarization, that would convince North Korea of their security, especially considering what happened to Libya after it gave up its nuclear weapons program.

So here's my modest proposal:
1. Let's recognize that North Korea has joined the “nuclear weapons club” and accept it as a full member along with India, Pakistan, Israel and the original five.

2. And let's recognize that North Korea has just as much right to possess nuclear weapons as the United States or any other member of the club.

3. And let's recognize that all nine members of the nuclear weapons club have placed themselves outside the bounds of “civil society” by refusing to even attend the recent UN conference on nuclear disarmament.

4. And let's recognize that nuclear proliferation is unlikely to stop here. There will likely be other nations, and non-governmental actors acquiring nuclear weapons in the near future.
These four points could form a basis for negotiating world-wide nuclear disarmament. Let the party begin!
5. Let's also recognize that the United States has been at war with North Korea for 67 years. It is hard to envision any serious attempt at nuclear disarmament without an end to the Korean War.

6. Let's also recognize that “Sanctions” are War. UN sanctions against Iraq were responsible for the murder of 5,000 children under five years of age each month from 1991 to 2003. By imposing sanctions on North Korea, the entire UN Security Council has also placed itself at war with North Korea.

7. And let's also recognize that US military bases girdle the world and the US has been involved in “regime change” from The Ukraine to Libya to Honduras and remains committed to regime change in places such as Venezuela. To my knowledge, North Korea does not have troops stationed outside its borders, nor is it involved with regime change anywhere in the world.

8. Unlike the US and Russian arsenals, North Korea's 10 tiny nukes could not possibly suffice for a successful first strike, wiping out an adversary's ability to respond. Thus, at this point in time, they are defensive in nature.

9. Unlike the United States, North Korea has never used nuclear weapons on an adversary.
These five additional points should be kept in mind should the nine nuclear powers choose to adopt my modest proposal and seriously consider discussing nuclear disarmament.

I'm thinking that the people of the world must be pretty much fed up with these so-called world leaders. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see folks taking matters into their own hand. In fact, I think it's happening right now.

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Wage peace,

Helen
helenm (at) fidnet.com

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