Nuclear annihilation danger rising with NATO exercises in Europe this month while war in Ukraine continues — Aotearoa must speak out

Pacific Ecologist magazine
16 min readSep 5, 2023

22 June 2023

Rt Hon Chris Hipkins, Prime Minister of Aotearoa/New Zealand,
copied to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta

Kia Ora, Prime Minister

My name is Kay Weir. I send you this letter on behalf of the Wellington-based Pacific Institute of Resource Management and four people representing other organizations listed at end of page 2. We are concerned about increasing risk of nuclear annihilation. NATO is now in the midst of its military AIR DEFENDER EXERCISES 2023 (June 12–24, 2023) in Europe at the same time as the war in nearby Ukraine is escalating. These are aimed at threatening Russia and are the biggest military exercises ever held in NATO’s history. Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter prohibits not only the use of force but also the threat of the use of force of one country against another.

NATO’s expansion into Europe from 1996 violated a serious agreement in 1991 with the former Soviet Union not to expand military bases eastward. NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard | National Security Archive (gwu.edu). Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev warned the West that this constituted an existential threat to Russia, and senior US advisers agreed. Both Presidents have advocated a European security architecture taking into account the national security concerns of all countries, including Russia. This was continually, irresponsibly rejected by America, most recently in December 2021.

In NATO’s military exercises today, America’s dual conventional weapon and nuclear-capable F16 fighter planes, and other military planes are taking off from Germany’s Ramstein Air Base. In addition, U.S. has begun a training programme for Ukraine’s Air Force to use the F-16 planes. Several European NATO countries participate in the programme, including Poland and Romania bordering Russia, reports Manlio Dinucci, award-winning Italian journalist. He writes “Other countries have offered to help with training: Denmark, Poland, Norway, Belgium, and Portugal. These same countries will supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters. An F-16 aircraft was used in the new B61–12 nuclear bomb test firing, which the U.S. already deploys in Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Probably, the B61–12 bombs are also supplied by the USA to Poland”… Preparing to Wage a Nuclear War? Nuclear Attack F-16 Fighters to Ukraine — Global Research 3/6/2023. Because the F16s can hold both conventional weapons as well as nuclear weapons, Russia will be unable to determine what kind of munitions the “Ukrainian” F-16s will be delivering to the war zone. Russia must assume, as independent analyst Dr Gilbert Doctorow reports, that they are delivering tactical nuclear bombs for use against the Russian Army. Russia is considering attacking NATO air bases from which such planes are launched to prevent this.

Nuclear war is terminal

For NATO to deploy nuclear capable F-16 fighters to Ukraine is extremely dangerous for the entire world’s security, especially when Ukraine is struggling in its “counter-offensive” against Russia. This war could have ended months ago, but the U.S. has refused to allow negotiations, instead flooding Ukraine with weapons, ensuring it continues. The combination of NATO’s threatening military exercises, which also include naval and land forces, alongside the war in Ukraine against Russia makes this an especially dangerous time for global security. In the morass of ongoing events, even an error or miscalculation can occur bringing nuclear war to the world.

Dr Paul Craig Roberts, former U.S. Treasury Secretary says: “Remember nuclear war is a terminal war. The expressed willingness of Finland, Sweden, Poland, and Romania to accept U.S. nuclear weapons in their countries, together with the ability of the US to launch against Russia from the Black and Baltic seas, greatly heightens anxiety in Russia. Unlike the Cold War period, in the 21st century Washington has worked overtime to destroy all trust. Consequently, one more false warning is all it takes to exterminate mankind. We are on the brink of nuclear war, and we do not have a John F Kennedy in the White House to stop it. Instead, we have insane neoconservatives committed to US hegemony at all cost.

NATO cover for direct attack on Russia

Military exercises close to Russia could be used to conceal a NATO attack from Romanian air space and the Baltic states on Russia. John Helmer, Australian-born journalist and foreign correspondent based in Moscow from 1989 to 2010, explains why in his May 21 article Bravado before Capitulation. He reports “The Luftwaffe is planning three big Composite Air Operations every day — with about 40–80 aircraft each, and command and control elements. All in all, about 250 sorties per day.” He suggests the F-16s could be a cover for US F-22s or other US aircraft in Romanian or Polish airspace firing stand-off weapons. Also NATO naval exercises were likely a cover for laying explosives for the NORDSTREAM I pipeline sabotage three months later, described by Seymour Hersch.

NATO courting the prime minister

Considering Aotearoa-New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy and credentials it’s vital for our country to speak out publicly in the world against clear and present dangers of nuclear annihilation which can happen even accidentally in the confusion of these military exercises. When NATO’s Air Defender exercises end on June 24, hopefully without destroying the world, annihilation threats remain with the nuclear-capable F-16s mindlessly given to Ukraine’s unstable government, which includes neo-Nazi extremists intent on destroying Russia at any cost. Our country in the past has earned respect and admiration worldwide for speaking out against the dangers of our allies’ nuclear weapons experiments in the Pacific region and against US nuclear-powered ships in our ports. We have nuclear-free legislation and a Disarmament Minister, who appears to be poorly resourced. NATO strongly opposes the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which Aotearoa/NZ has ratified and endorsed. Collaboration with NATO and silence about its many wars of aggression detailed by Professor de Zayas in notes below, would surely betray our legacy established by the 1987 Nuclear Free Zone Arms Control and Disarmament Act.

America is the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons deliberately on civilians in 1945, when Japan was already defeated and could not threaten it. America used nuclear weapons not once but twice on defenceless Japanese civilians, days apart with catastrophic consequences. We urge you as Prime Minister NOT to attend the NATO meeting in Lithuania in July, but to speak out NOW against these imminent nuclear dangers that threaten the entire world’s security. It appears that NATO, in its invitation to you as Prime Minister of Aotearoa, is courting our country with its high moral reputation, to enhance its own credibility.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister’s Norman Kirk, and David Lange, who pioneered our independent foreign policy would be turning in their graves to see Aotearoa/New Zealand lining-up with the U.S. and NATO countries, abandoning our independence for an aggressive military-nuclear alliance that’s heading to nuclear war, after devastating many countries with conventional weapons. Aotearoa/New Zealand must sound the alarm about the huge threat of nuclear annihilation. In the past our voice on this has been appreciated by millions around the world. We should not fail the world now.

Kay Weir, for the Pacific Institute of Resource Management, Wellington pirmeditor@gmail.com www.pirm.org.nz www.pacificecologist.org

Laurie Ross, NZ Nuclear Free Peacemakers, Auckland laurie-ross@nuclearfreepeacemakers.org.nz

The Honourable Matt Robson, former Disarmament Minister, Aucklandmatt@mattrobson.co.nz

Liz Remmersvaal, World Beyond War, Hawkes Bay liz@worldbeyondwar.org

Rod Alley, Wellington, Member, Disarmament and International Affairs Committee affiliated to the Aotearoa New Zealand Peace Foundation roderic.alley@vuw.ac.nz

Notes and references

PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (PIRM)

PIRM was founded in Wellington in 1984 to promote ecology, peace and justice issues, see www.pirm.org.nz We make submissions to government and have published an issue of our magazine Pacific Ecologist issue 22 in 2013 about nuclear weapons dangers see www.pacificecologist.org Nuclear weapons are the greatest immediate threat to all life on Earth, because their pervasive long-term effects make them annihilatory in Nature. Besides immediate horrifying incineratory effects to those close to the blasts, research shows that even a “regional” war with release of 100 nuclear weapons can spread radioactive pollution across the world, bringing wide-spread famine via nuclear winter blocking the sun, causing dry, cold conditions worldwide for over a decade. Whatever food is grown is likely to be toxic to people’s health for decades as shown in the Marshall Islands study — Nuclear Contamination of Food in the Pacific: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy in Pacific Ecologist issue 22).

Today the world faces clear and present dangers of nuclear annihilation arising from the Ukraine war. When it comes to conflict and wars, it’s vital to have accurate information, untainted by bias or a partisan approach, especially as this conflict involves major nuclear weapons-possessing countries clashing. To prevent catastrophe, objective, careful analysis with the reason and clarity of the due processes of law approach is essential.

NATO LACKS MORAL AUTHORITY: VIOLATES LAW — Professor Alfred de Zayas

While NATO is generally perceived in western countries as a positive force, in reality it has violated international law repeatedly, attacking several countries, over decades, killing millions of people with impunity, without a mandate from the United Nations. Professor of international Law in Geneva and former UN Rapporteur on human rights, Alfred de Zayas explains: “NATO countries have committed crimes of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Not only does NATO lack moral authority, it also lacks credibility, as it has disseminated ‘fake new’ and false narratives in preparation for all its wars of aggression. As such it would be interesting to examine the possible application of the Nuremberg principles and the Nuremberg judgment to NATO. Article 9 of the London Agreement of 8 August 1945 laid down the statute of the Nuremberg Tribunal and established the legal concept of a “criminal organisation.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/12/05/the-united-nations-promise-of-peace-also-in-ukraine/

To the extent that land, navy and air forces of NATO countries have engaged in activities contrary to the Statute of Rome, the International Court of Justice may have to investigate whether these countries and NATO have breached Articles 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the Statute.” Article 2 (4) of the Charter prohibits both the actual use of force, and the threat of its use. NATO’s strategy of encircling Russia, the parallel attempt by the US to encircle China, the 800 US military bases worldwide, these constitute a further menace to international peace and security for purposes of article 39 of the UN Charter. Hence, Russia and China undoubtedly have a legitimate security concern articulated repeatedly in the UN Security Council. Hitherto without success.” NATO countries arrogantly dismiss real, legitimate security concerns of Russia and China, which have brought us to the present crisis.

HIGHLY CENSORING NZ/WESTERN MEDIA MISLEADS

Radio New Zealand’s enquiry into articles reportedly altered to slant coverage, “to favour Moscow,” reinforces a strong censorship culture at RNZ. Using Reuters and the BBC’s partisan reporting, RNZ and our other newspaper media have presented nothing but anti-Russia reports in the past 18 months of the Ukraine war. Biased mono-cultural views misinform, fan the war, preventing the war’s resolution which could have ended months ago. One cause of the war, is the well-documented illegal, violent coup in Kiev in 2014, supported by America, which actually chose the leader of the racist, anti-Russia regime. The regime then went on to ban speaking the Russian language, and used its armed forces with neo-Nazi militias to attack the Donbass region where millions of ethnic Russians live. All this is suppressed or ignored in western media’s narrative.

Professor de Zayas, reported in January 2022: ”There would be no conflict in Ukraine today if America politicians, Barack Obama, Victoria Nuland and several European leaders had not destabilized the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych and organized a vulgar coup d’état to install Western puppets. Bottom line: Western interference in the internal affairs of other States can backfire, and the culture of cheating and deceit, we continue to practice renders it impossible to reach sustainable solutions. The UN Charter, the only existing “rules-based international order,” has the necessary mechanisms to resolve our differences on the basis of principles of sovereign equality of States and self-determination of peoples….Until the deliberately anti-Russian coup d’état of February 2014, Ukrainians and Russian-Ukrainians lived side by side in relative harmony. The Maidan 2014 coup brought with it Russophobic elements, exacerbated by systematic war propaganda and incitement to hatred against Russians, both prohibited by article 20 of the ICCPR.” https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/28/a-culture-of-cheating-on-the-origins-of-the-crisis-in-ukraine/

ALTERNATIVE MEDIA FOR FAIRNESS AND BALANCE

Mainstream media in Aotearoa should inform themselves better: instead of simply echoing questionable reports from western agencies like the BBC or Reuters, that misrepresent critical UN reports. Do U.S. and UK Have the World’s Most-Censored Press? — Strategic Culture (strategic-culture.org) 16/3/2021 Our media should read and watch experts like highly respected economist Jeffrey Sachs who recently discussed “How We Can Make Peace with Russia: Learning from President J.F. Kennedy’s example”, referring to JFK’s speech at American University 60 years ago. Watch the full video here: https://youtube.com/live/wRTx6wqizkM

Also seeUS Neocons Are Warmongering Around The World To Dominate The Globe” by Professor Jeffrey Sachs 6/6/2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVMnfNCSGtQ

Neutrality Studies Jun 16, 2023 VIENNA

In this video, watch Professor Jeffrey Sachs speak with Dr. Heinz Gärtner at the International Conference for Peace in Vienna (June 2023). Dr. Sachs’ lays out clearly and succinctly how belligerent the foreign policy of the United States is and how a small group of elites keeps dragging the country’s diplomacy to the brink of nuclear war time and again.

Another independent, highly respected commentator on Ukraine is Swiss military intelligence expert, Jacques Baud, who has worked in Ukraine and in Africa for the UN and NATO. He presents historically accurate facts about the war. In January 2023, Jacques Baud reported: “Since 2014 our media have never condemned the attacks on the centre of Donetsk and the civilian population, the use of landmines in populated areas, the torture and massacres, but on the contrary have without fail tried to deny or play them down. If our media, diplomats and politicians had reacted at the time, Russia would most likely not have attacked in February 2022. Their connivance with Ukraine’s disregard for international humanitarian law between 2014 and 2022, provided Russia with a legitimate reason to intervene, allowed under article 51 of the UN Charter.” “Ukraine: The Search for Peace” by Jacques Baud (substack.com) 19/1/2023

Also by Jacques Baud The Military Situation In The Ukraine — The Postil Magazine 1/4/2022

The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine — The Postil Magazine 1/8/2022

Our Latest Interview with Jacques Baud — The Postil Magazine 1/9/2022

REMINDER ON CONSEQUENCES OF EVEN ‘LIMITED” NUCLEAR WAR

In August 2022, Australian scientist Tilman Ruff, published an article, pointing out that even a “limited” nuclear war would lead to ice age conditions that would starve billions. Ice age conditions after even “limited” nuclear war would starve billions — www.johnmenadue.com

Excerpts: “Even a nuclear war in which less than 3% of the world’s 12,705 nuclear weapons were exploded would decimate crop production and result in widespread starvation. For the first time, the study provides detailed estimates of impacts from various feasible scenarios for nuclear war on major food sources in every country… “In a nuclear war, bombs targeted on cities and industrial areas would start firestorms, injecting large amounts of soot into the upper atmosphere, which would spread globally and rapidly cool the planet,” the researchers explain. The cooling even for a “limited” nuclear war in one region would abruptly plummet global temperatures to those last seen during the coldest period of the last ice age 20,000 years ago. The resultant cooling, drying and darkening persist for over a decade.

“The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that in 2021, up to 828 million people were undernourished, 150 million more than 2 years earlier before the COVID-19 pandemic. FAO also assess that 2.3 billion people were moderately or severely food insecure in 2021, 350 million more than pre-COVID. Global grain reserves usually hold 3–4 months worth of consumption. We are not well positioned to endure large declines in food production over multiple years. Xia and colleagues examine the effects of the climate disruption on major crops, and take into account all or some livestock being killed for food, crops that normally feed livestock being eaten by people instead, differing degrees of reduction in current levels of household food waste (20% globally), whether trade in food continues or more likely based on historic experience stops, and how equitably food is distributed (with the current high level of inequity expected to worsen).”

“There are many factors the researchers don’t take into account that would make the situation worse. They don’t include deaths from the immediate blast, burns and radiation. They do not model the effect of the dramatic increase in ultraviolet radiation that would follow the ozone depletion in a smoky upper atmosphere heated by the smoke. This UV increase would be toxic to plant and animal growth and development both on land and in the water. They do not model the profound effects likely on availability of fuel, fertiliser, seed, pesticides, farm machinery supply and parts, food storage and transport infrastructure from the profound worldwide social, economic and trade disruption that would follow a nuclear war. “

Several respected American military and intelligence experts regularly report on dangers of the Ukraine war and warn about misinformation published by unquestioning western media. These military and intelligence experts include former Colonel Douglas MacGregor, Larry Johnson, Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern. There has never been a time when the world has been more seriously threatened with nuclear annihilation than now. The world needs to hear our country’s voice speaking out now on clear and present dangers of nuclear annihilation, occurring either accidentally or deliberately, as explained above.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister’s Norman Kirk, and David Lange, who pioneered our independent foreign policy would be turning in their graves to see Aotearoa/New Zealand lining-up with the U.S. and NATO countries, abandoning our independence, for an aggressive military-nuclear alliance that’s leading to nuclear war after devastating many countries with conventional weapons.

References with hyperlinks

NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard | National Security Archive (gwu.edu) 12/12/2017

Preparing to Wage Nuclear War? Nuclear Attack F-16 Fighters to Ukraine By Manlio Dinucci 17/6/2023

The B61–12 Mini-Nukes Made in America to be Used in a Nuclear First Strike Coming Soon to Italy, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands by Manlio Dinnuci 15/7/2022

https://www.globalresearch.ca/f-16s-for-kiev-capable-of-launching-b61-nuclear-strikes/5822327?u Drago Bosnic 13/6/2023

Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable. America’s Post 9/11 Nuclear Doctrine by William Arkin & Prof Michel Chossudovsky — Global Research 22/12/2022

Hiroshima Unlearned: Time to Tell the Truth About US Relations with Russia and Finally Ban the Bomb by Alice Slater — CounterPunch.org 8/8/2019

Dances With Bears » Bravado Before Capitulation — Will Russian Defeat of US Patriot Missile be Followed by “Ukrainian F-16” Attack during the NATO “Air Defender 23” Exercise on June 12 (JohnHelmer.org) 21/5/2023

https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/how-america-took-out-the-nord-stream 9/2/2023

Ice age conditions after even “limited” nuclear war would starve billions by Tilman Ruff — Pearls and Irritations (johnmenadue.com) 18/8/2022

90 seconds to midnight: what the Doomsday Clock means in 2023 b By Tilman Ruff — Pearls and Irritations (johnmenadue.com) 26/1/2023

US escalating its WW3 brinkmanship by directing Kiev regime’s HIMARS strikes by Drago Bosnic (infobrics.org) 13/2/2023

Ukraine uses NATO ammunition in attacks on nuclear power station — Prensa Latina by Ana Luisa Brown (plenglish.com) 21/8/2022

US nukes in Poland would not be a deterrent, but a MASSIVE provocation for Russia by Scott Ritter — RT Op-ed 19/5/2020

US nukes in Poland are a truly bad idea by Steven Pifer (brookings.edu) 18/5/2020

NATO’s mission creep remains a threat to European and world peace by Ramesh Thakur — Pearls and Irritations (johnmenadue.com) 12/4/2023

Risking Nuclear War for a Corrupt, Increasingly Repressive Ukraine by Ted Galen Carpenter 26/4/2022

Russia’s top diplomat warns Pentagon threatening Putin with assassination — Russian Politics & Diplomacy — TASS 27/12/2022

750 U.S. Military Bases Globally, $7.2 Trillion US Nuclear Weapons Expenditure Since Hiroshima, Nagasaki by Shane Quinn — Global Research 22/10/2022

US governments have relied on their armed forces, and waging successive military offensives to maintain its economy, to avoid collapse of its war industry and production chain; to prevent bankruptcy of American states, including its largest, Texas and California which depend on weapons production for revenues. The US military budget currently accounts for at least 40% of the world’s total expenditure on arms, showing Washington’s unabated ambition for global hegemony.

The U.S. Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II by James Lucas- Global Research 29/5/2023

The United Nations Promise of Peace — Also In Ukraine by Alfredo de Zayas- CounterPunch.org 5/12/2022

A Culture of Cheating on the Origins of the Crisis in Ukraine by Prof. Alfred de Zayas 28/1/2022

The Ukraine War in the Light of the UN Charter by Alfred de Zayas — CounterPunch.org 6/2/2023

International Seminar on Counterterrorism, De-radicalization and Human Rights Protection: Peace as a Human Right — Alfred de Zayas’ Human Rights Corner (wordpress.com) 9/11/2022

NATO’s “Death Wish” Will Destroy Not Only Europe but the Rest of the World as Well by Alfred de Zayas — CounterPunch.org 14/9/2022

Ukraine: The Search for Peace by Jacques Baud (substack.com) 19/1/2023

The Military Situation in The Ukraine by Jacques Baud — The Postil Magazine 1/4/2022

The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine by Jacques Baud — The Postil Magazine 1/8/2022

Our Latest Interview with Jacques Baud — The Postil Magazine 1/9/2022

The ninth anniversary of the Ukraine war by Jeffrey Sachs — Pearls and Irritations (johnmenadue.com) 3/3/2023

TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » A Proposed Solution to the Ukraine War by Greg Mellow, Los Alamos Study Group 7/3/2022

The Legality of War by Christopher Black — New Eastern Outlook (journal-neo.org) 8/3/2022

IT WAS NOT UNPROVOKED RUSSIAN AGGRESSION: CHRONOLOGY SHOWS DECADES OF NATO AGGRESSION — SCHILLER INSTITUTE 5/6/2022

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin by John J. Mearsheimer July 2019

Do U.S. and UK Have the World’s Most-Censored Press? By Eric Zuesse — Strategic Culture 16/3/2021

Ukraine: Taking leave of our senses by Cameron Leckie — Pearls and Irritations 17/6/2023

Dangers of Pentagon’s ‘decapitation strike’ against Russia by Drago Bosnic 28/12/2022

NATO’s Direct Involvement in Ukraine Crisis Increasing Nuclear War Risk — Lavrov 24/5/2023

West reacts hysterically to Russia’s plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus — Kremlin — Russian Politics & Diplomacy — TASS 9/4/2023 “The collective West is not inclined to recall the topic of US nuclear weapons, based in Europe, around our country.”

Russia Cancels More Ukrainian Air Defenses While the U.S. Admits the Economy is stalling by Larry Johnson 2/6/2023

Coming to Ukraine: The Hypocrisy of the American Understanding of the International Law — JURIST — 11/3/2014

Crimea Rejects the US-NATO Sponsored Neoliberal Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Regime — Global Research 17/3/2014

CIA Directs Kiev Proxy Regime to Launch Military Assault against Rebels in Eastern Ukraine — Global Research 16/4/2014

https://journal-neo.org/2014/05/03/odessa-massacre-pushes-ukraine-to-the-edge/ 3/5/2014

Today, is nine years since the Ukraine Army’s slaughter of Mariupol civilians 9 May 2014 –Unarmed civilians shot & killed at close range — The Indicter 9/5/2014

The Popular Uprising in East Ukraine. Rebellion against the First Neo-Fascist Regime in Post-War Europe (globalresearch.ca) 17/5/2014

The Strange Logic of the US, EU: East Ukraine’s Referendums Aren’t Democratic But the Coup-Imposed Kiev Regime Is? — Global Research — Centre for Research on Globalization 13/5/2014

--

--