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Rolla Peace News

November 16, 2021
Dear Friends:
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In this newsletter is:

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) From Our Readers: Nuclear Weapon Proliferation
          b) From Our Readers: War Crimes
          c) COP-26 — The Biggest Cop-Out Yet



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM. (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please join us this Thursday in saying NO MORE WAR AGAINST ANYONE. The temperature is predicted to be in the 40s. 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.

Note 1: Since there are so few of us, generally 2 or 3, no need to cancel; but let's maintain social distancing.

Note 2: In case of inclement weather, vigils may be canceled or terminated early.

Note 3: next week, because of Thanksgiving, we will vigil on Friday, Nov. 26. The following week we return to Thursday vigils.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) From Our Readers: Nuclear Weapon Proliferation
          b) From Our Readers: War Crimes
          c) COP-26 — The Biggest Cop-Out Yet

From Our Readers: Nuclear Weapon Proliferation

In response to the snippet two week ago on nuclear weapon proliferation, a reader writes:
“... [name redacted] believed—if I am remembering this right—that we should not only not oppose the spread of nuclear weapons, but should even support other countries acquiring this capability. The world would be unstable and exceptionally prone to warfare until every country possessed this deterrent. .... I hope I am not misrepresenting his view.”
My response:

I believe I have much in common with your friend. 14 years ago, in response to some nonsense (my opinion) circulating among peace activists, I wrote:
“...drawing on historical experience, I will argue that there is absolutely no reason to believe that a world in which nuclear weapons belong to an exclusive ‘club’ of powerful nations is any safer or more stable than a world in which nuclear weapons can be obtained by all. Indeed, it may well be less so. Nuclear proliferation may, in fact, be a prerequisite for nuclear disarmament.”
The essay is posted here.

50 years ago, many non-nuclear weapon states ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreeing to forgo the development of nuclear weapons, while the five (at the time) declared nuclear weapon states agreed to negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.

Far from negotiating an end to the nuclear arms race, the nuclear weapon states have doubled down on nuclear weapons. The US has embarked upon an expensive program of nuclear modernization, including low-yield tactical “battlefield-usable” nuclear weapons and China not only continues to expand its nuclear capabilities, but has threatened Japan with nuclear annihilation.

A much more important treaty, The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, went into force in January, 2021. It now has 56 State Parties and has led to a decrease in private investment in the nuclear weapons industry. Norway appears to be breaking ranks with other NATO countries and has shown interest in the Treaty.

I think shaming nuclear weapon states into de-nuclearizing is far preferable to nuclear proliferation. Unfortunately, big powers with nuclear weapons seem to have no shame at all.

From Our Readers: War Crimes

In response to the snippet last week on Afghanistan, a reader writes:
“Same thing they did in Iraq. The US army tanks were moving in the streets and they are ready to crush any civilian car moving near them with a family inside. They did that many times. They paid 2000$ per victim family as compensation.

“It looks that army leaders advise their soldiers to deal with the people as they are insects or animal. Just crush them without mercy. Thats why many many of American soldiers return back home with psychological problems because of feeling of guilty about crimes they done there. Some of them wrote books and described what bloody mistakes they done or seen in front of their eyes.

“All of that should stop for ever.”

My response:

Iraq veteran, Michael Hanes, notes;
“moral injury is huge with the conflict with Iraq and Afghanistan and I think that has a direct reflection with the extremely high suicide rate that we see that is estimated about 22 per day. ... That’s a tremendously high number.

“We’re sold the idea of, hey, we’re going to go liberate a people. We’re fighting terrorism and then we get in the mix of things and realize we’re the ones terrorizing the people there. That really torments you psychologically. I’ve lost a few friends due to suicide.”

And here's an article from the New York Times about a 2019 US War Crime in Syria that was covered up and has finally seen the light of day.

COP-26 — The Biggest Cop-Out Yet

While climate activists were denied entry, fossil-fuel lobbyists roamed the halls of COP-26 freely. About all COP-26 produced were more empty promises.

The Washington Post recently published an exposé on how governments lie and grossly understate their emissions of greenhouse gases.

And, while “leaders” meeting at COP-26 in Glasgow refused to lead, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere continued to increase, the world continued to warm and extreme weather events increased in number and intensity.

In my opinion, the two most important things that happened around COP-26 were the huge demonstrations by mostly young climate activists and a message from Pope Francis that
“Time is running out; this occasion must not be wasted, lest we have to face God's judgment for our failure to be faithful stewards of the world he has entrusted to our care.”
I tend to differ with the Holy Father of the Catholic Church. I think we are facing God's Judgment now, today. When I think of Climate Change and God's Judgment, I think of these biblical verses:
“And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.”
—Genesis 19:27-28 (KJV)

The biblical scribe might well have been talking about 21st Century California, Siberia, or even Italy. And lest you think I'm talking about some sexual peccadillo, I describe God's Judgment for truly mortal sins, like spending almost $2 Trillion on War while millions go sick, homeless and hungry.

If humanity were to take even half of this $2 trillion and spend it for the benefit of The Creation and the most unfortunate among us, might not The Almighty show Mercy and reverse His Judgment?

a'oodhu billahi minash-shaytaanir-rajeem
(I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan.)

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