Aggregated From: Daily Kos
Open thread for night owls: 'Securing Our Common Future' offers a vision for disarmament
Dan Plesch and Kevin Miletic work with the Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation project at the Centre for Diplomatic Studies, SOAS University of London. At Lobelog, they write—An Urgently Needed Summit Strategy:
Securing Our Common Future, just issued by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, is an inspiring, visionary document produced after extensive consultations with governments and civil society. On the eve of Donald Trump’s trip to Europe for a NATO meeting and summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Guterres agenda offers one possible way forward for the world’s nuclear powers. It’s a Rough Guide to world peace that surveys the potential for world disarmament from “hand grenades to hydrogen bombs.”
Guterres directly challenges the five members of the nuclear club on the UN Security Council—China, France, Russia, the US, and the UK—to take urgent steps toward disarmament now because of the instability and dangers in international affairs. He asks, “Do the leaders of the nuclear powers support the joint statement by Reagan and Gorbachev that nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought?” Today, none of the nuclear-armed states is willing to say this. Except for China, they all declare that they are ready and willing to turn a war into a nuclear war. Thirty years ago, NATO struggled to say that nuclear weapons would only be used as a “last resort.” It has not been repeated.
The NATO Summit and the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki that follows present the best opportunity for world leaders to emulate their distinguished predecessors who understood that disarmament and arms control were a prerequisite for the enhancement of national security and international stability. At the height of the Cold War in the 1980s, NATO Summit declarations were full of debate on arms control and disarmament, but recently there has been no such focus. The 1986 summit in Reykjavik resulted in one of the greatest disarmament achievements of the last century: a treaty that removed intermediate-range nuclear weapons from Europe. Now both the United States and Russia are threatening to withdraw from this treaty. This threat increases the urgency of including disarmament and arms control in the upcoming rounds of high-level talks.
Currently, the arms control and disarmament architecture is falling apart. Global military expenditures are at their highest levels since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Potential nuclear flashpoints in Europe (Ukraine), the Middle East, and the South China Sea are multiplying. […]
” Many of us regard ourselves as mildly liberal or centrist politically, voice fairly pleasant sentiments about our poor children, contribute money to send poor kids to summer camp, feel benevolent. We’re not Nazis; we’re nice people. We read sophisticated books. We go to church. We go to synagogue. Meanwhile, we put other people’s children into an economic and environmental death zone. We make it hard for them to get out. We strip the place bare of amenities. And we sit back and say to ourselves, “Well, I hope that they don’t kill each other off. But if they do, it’s not my fault.”
~~Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation (2005)
On this date at Daily Kos in 2012—House Republicans plan to throw as many as three million people off food assistance:
Poverty is never a life status to aspire to, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to avoid, and increasingly punishing if you’re there. With austerity so in vogue these days, it’s getting even worse. Last month, the Senate passed a Farm Bill that slashes food assistance through the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) by $ 4.5 billion over the next decade.
“Oh, yeah?” said the House Agriculture Committee. “We’ll just up that by about about $ 12 billion more.” In that post, Laura Clawson explained who exactly this would hit. If you’re a family of three, and have total income of more than $ 24,100 annually, you’d be out of luck. And food.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: What were we doing a year ago? Ah, yes. Greg Dworkin was telling us about Trumpshambles II at the G20; Jr.’s many versions (all bad) of his collusion meeting, and; the GOP health care implosion. Plus, bribery made easy: Trump pockets club initiation fees.