Major U.S. News Media Keeping Even Antiwar Activists Ignorant of the War Danger
June 15, 2016 (EIRNS)—Gilbert Doctorow, in a June 13 article in Tikkun, entitled "The Nuclear Clock is at Two Minutes to Midnight," laments both the US foreign policy-driven danger of a nuclear war with Russia and the lack of debate in the mass media about it. There’s so little reporting on it, in fact, he says that even the anti-war movement in which he circulates is unaware of just how serious it is. He cites the example of an anti-war conference he attended at MIT about 18 months ago, at the height of the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, where the US-Russia war danger was virtually excluded from the discussion, not by the organizers but rather as shown by the lack of attendance at break-out sessions related to that topic. Doctorow writes that his point was not to ridicule the anti-war campaigners at the conference but rather
"to demonstrate how and why the highly tendentious reporting of what we are doing in the world and what others are doing to us, combined with selective news blackouts altogether by major media, has left even activists unaware of real threats to the peace and to our very survival that American foreign policy has created over the past 20 years and is projected to create into the indefinite future if the public does not awaken from its slumber and demand to be informed by experts from countervailing views."
And he’s making this point as NATO’s exercising on Russia’s borders is reaching a fever pitch.
On the specific topic of nuclear weapons, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released a report, on June 13, that finds that while the total number of nuclear weapons in the world is still declining—although more slowly than ahd been the case in earlier years—the world’s nuclear powers are still modernizing their weapons systems and show no interest in actually eliminating nuclear weapons.
At the same time, the Arms Control Association sponsored a conference in Washington, D.C., where the efficacy of the US nuclear modernization program was debated, reported National Defense magazine. Amy Woolf, nuclear weapons policy specialist at the Congressional Research Service, argued that the discussion about requirements, roles, and missions for US nuclear forces has been replaced by a budget conversation. If there were any serious plans to engage in an arms control debate, she said, they were permanently sidelined when Congress passed the Budget Control Act.
"If you continue the discussion to be about the cost, there will not be any progress in nuclear reductions," she said. Andrew Weber, who served as assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs during the Obama administration, joined former Secretary of Defense William Perry, who also spoke at the conference, in opposing the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) cruise missile program, but otherwise largely supports the Obama Administration’s nuclear modernization plans, including the B61-12, which he says as a suitable substitute for the LRSO.