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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
We Must Stop Investing in Our Extinction!

End the Nuclear Lobby

by PETER G. COHEN

For decades the peace movement has been satisfied with scraps from the table of nuclear weapons and their beneficiaries. Even the New START Treaty was offset by the Obama administration promise to spend $185 billion in this decade on modernization of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

The vulnerable point in the complex of nuclear weapons corporations, their lobbies, their campaign recipients in Congress and the resulting ongoing budget for these weapons and facilities, is the delivery of corporate money by lobbyists to the key members of Congress.

“In the 2012 election cycle, the top 14 nuclear weapons contractors gave a total of $2.9 million to key members of Congress with decision making power over nuclear weapons spending. These firms have donated $18.7 million to these same members of Congress over the course of their careers.” –Bombs Versus Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby, By Hartung and Anderson at the Center for International Policy, June 6, 2012, –( a MUST read!)

There is ample evidence that nuclear weapons are useless in our national defense, that they and their delivery systems are extremely expensive and that their possession and modernization by the United States prevents any progress toward abolition by the other nuclear powers. Above all, we now know that any use, accident, or hacking of these weapons, anywhere, endangers the people of the world and all complex forms of Life on Earth.

Therefore, when we protest nuclear weapons we are defending the future of Life on Earth. And when corporations bribe our Representatives to preserve their contracts and profits, regardless of actual need, they risk the future of that life.

We must interfere with this lobbying (bribing) process. We must stand in the way. The children of the world demand that they not live under this “sword of Damocles” for the profits of the nuclear corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boeing. The current situation of nuclear weapons is sick and beyond the moral compass of all religions.

It is urgent that the peace movement bring this truth to the attention of the American people. The methods of the last decades have been insufficient. The harsh reality of thousands of weapons on quick response demands a new approach. we must go beyond past experience, to learn from the methods of others who have had long, hard battles to change our society. Symbolically or actually, we must stand between the K Street lobbyists with their campaign contributions and the leaders of these House Committees. The public must be aroused to the insanity of our ongoing weapons and delivery systems preparations.

We must act now to preserve the wonder of Life on Earth. There is no nobler cause or greater meaning for our lives. We must venture forth with greater energy, imagination and determination to stop the insanity of investing in our extinction.

Peter G. Cohen, Santa Barbara, CA, is the author of www.nukefreeworld.com and other internet writing.