Friday, December 29, 2017

How Cheney and His Allies Created the North Korea Nuclear Missile Crisis

By Gareth PorterTruthout | News Analysis

“The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea’s relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic  agreements. 

However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted that threat, had they been completed.

Instead, a group of Bush administration officials led by then-Vice President Dick Cheney sabotaged both agreements, and Pyongyang went on to make rapid strides on both nuclear and missile development, leading ultimately to the successful late November 2017 North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

The record shows, moreover, that Cheney and his allies derailed diplomatic efforts to curb North Korean nuclear and missile development, not because they opposed “arms control” (after all, the agreements that were negotiated would have limited only North Korean arms), but because those agreements would have been a political obstacle to fielding the group’s main interest: funding and fielding a national missile defense system as quickly as possible. 

The story of Cheney’s maneuvering to kill two agreements shows how a real US national security interest was sacrificed to a massive military boondoggle that served only the interests of the powerful contractors behind it…”

Read the complete article:


Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing on US national security policy. He received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His latest book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, was published in February of 2014. Follow him on Twitter: @GarethPorter.


By Staff, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation | Op-Ed
By Linda Pentz Gunter, Truthout | Op-Ed
By Medea Benjamin, PINK Tank | Op-Ed

Read more by Gareth Porter: 

·         Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike – November 19th, 2017
·         Exposing a Shoddy Sarin Attack Narrative – October 6th, 2017
·         Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations? – August 28th, 2017

·         Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia – July 3rd, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Community Radio 3CR  -
      CICD's 'Alternative News' 
      Every Sunday, 9:15 – 9:30 am.

'Alternative News' program celebrated its 40th Anniversary on Melbourne's Community Radio 3CR on November 12, 2017.

A brief history of the Campaign for International 
Co-operation & Disarmament 

The Australian and New Zealand Congress for International Co-operation and Disarmament, later known as the Congress for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD), and after circa 1987 as the Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament, was established at an international Peace Congress in Melbourne in 1959.

It was set up to support the ideals of the World Congress for Disarmament and International Co-operation held in Stockholm in 1958. The ANZCICD congress of 1959 was the broadest-based peace congress up to that time, and laid the foundation for an ongoing organisation tapping new avenues of support.

In Victoria, there had been a long history of peace activities and campaigns including those against conscription during the First World War and the Council against War and Fascism before the Second World War. 

One such organisation was the Victorian Peace Council which was instrumental in organising the ANZCICD congress. VPC disbanded soon after, leaving only its Research and Information Centre which existed until 1964. 

Since 1959, CICD has been playing an outstanding role in the struggle for peace, against nuclear weapons and for disarmament, acting most notably as a co-ordinating facility for anti-Vietnam war protests, especially the 1970-1972 Moratorium Campaigns.

Its members have also been active in campaigns as extensive as the anti-Omega military base protests, against French nuclear testing in the Pacific and for nuclear-free Pacific campaigns, Hiroshima (CICD was also the hub of the "No More Hiroshimas" Coalition in the 1990s), Palm Sunday, anti-Cold War, and supporting the peoples of Bougainville, East Timor and West Papua, and others. 

CICD seeks to foster an informed and active public opinion on issues relating to peace and international co-operation, and continues its campaign for an independent foreign policy for Australia, removal of foreign bases from Australian soil and around the world, a world without war, disarmament and social justice.

CICD has always relied on the support of many hundreds of members and affiliated organisations (trade unions, local peace groups, church, women’s and student groups).

CICD’s radio program Alternative News has been one of our principle campaign tools, starting on ABC Access Radio 3ZZ in 1975. 

The beginning of ethnic broadcasting in Australia goes back to 1973. In 1974 the Whitlam Labour government’s Media Department put forward a couple of proposals for establishing ethnic-only radio stations.

In a related experiment the ABC was licensed in 1975 to run two experimental stations - 2JJ in Sydney as a youth music station and 3ZZ in Melbourne as a community access station. 

Access Radio station 3ZZ commenced transmission on 12 May 1975. 3ZZ started broadcasting in over 40 languages and had ridden many storms that threatened its survival.

Alternative News began in the first week of 3ZZ’s transmission and was one of the longest-running weekly programmes. It consistently rated very highly for the station.

Ann Baker co-produced Alternative News with Bruce McPhie for a year on 3ZZ. Pauline Mitchell joined Bruce on 3ZZ when Ann left in 1976.  Pauline and Bruce did Alternative News for a year when it went over to 3CR in 1977.  Bruce left in 1978 and Pauline continued it on her own.

Bruce was the CICD representative on the English language programming board when Alternative News was on 3ZZ.

3CR was broadcasting concurrently with 3ZZ for a year. 3CR commenced full-scale operation on 3 July 1976 and 3ZZ went off the air on the morning of 16 July 1977.

3ZZ and 3CR shared content including Alternative News.  When 3ZZ faced closure 3CR lobbied on its behalf, broadcasting protest meetings and special events in support of it remaining on air.

ABC Commissioner Concetta Benn commented that the Fraser government shut the station down “because of 3ZZ’s role in uniting and providing resources to community groups, and because ordinary people began to believe they could produce change in society…”   3ZZ did its job too well!

3ZZ was closed against the wishes of the community, the State Government, the ABC and the users of the station.

The ethnic communities from across the socio-political spectrum vigorously protested the closure of 3ZZ by the Fraser government in 1977.

The depth and passion of the ethnic communities for 3ZZ, and in general for ethnic broadcasting can be illustrated by the thousands who joined up as members, hundreds who served as broadcasters and committee members, hundreds of thousands of dollars contributed to radiothons and campaigns to protect and develop ethnic broadcasting.

3ZZ became an everyday issue and concern for the ethnic community. Excitement and expectation were very high. With the closure of 3ZZ, the community worked tirelessly to accommodate ethnic programs in 3CR, and later played a significant role in the establishment of 3ZZZ whilst fighting to maintain and democratise SBS Radio.

3ZZ had set the foundations for community involvement and management that ultimately carried through to 3ZZZ and all community broadcasting.

Bruce McPhie is a multi-talented activist and was a hardworking and valuable asset to CICD when he was working there (1972-1978).  He had considerable graphic design and writing skills, and was a natural on radio.  When he moved to the country he continued on radio on Omeo Community Access Radio in 1992.

His political understanding of the world was, and is, outstanding and advanced the antiimperialist peace aims of CICD.

Bruce continues to be an asset to CICD via his prolific blog writing on the state of the world. CICD shares many of his blogs and Facebook posts on its social media and in its newsletters.  Bruce and CICD are in regular contact and Bruce’s opinions are often sought and valued by the CICD Committee.

Pauline presented Alternative News on 3ZZ with Bruce and then 3CR from 1976 until her death on Wednesday 20th March 2013. On the Wednesday that she died, Pauline was researching for the next program.  

In the 37 years that Alternative News went to air, Pauline rarely missed a broadcast – even when she was sick or tired.  

Jan Bartlett interviewed Pauline Mitchell for CICD’s 50th anniversary in 2009 which was aired again over a period of time after Pauline’s passing.  It’s available on 3CR’s website.

Alternative News was also broadcast for a time on a Gippsland radio station on a regular basis in 1989.
When live web streaming was introduced in 3CR in 2007, Alternative News was one of the first four programs chosen to be podcast.

Alternative News re-started broadcasting on a weekly basis with new presenters Romina Beitseen and Andrew Irving from 22 December 2013.

The first program relaunched by CICD’s Secretary Romina on 22 December was dedicated in memory of Pauline. Kisten McCandless (Pauline’s daughter), was invited to talk about her mother’s lifelong commitment and contribution to the peace movement and her remarkable job producing and presenting Alternative News over the decades.

The complete collection of transcripts of Alternative News from 1975 to March 2013 in the University of Melbourne Archives show a snapshot of the world, especially the evolution of Australia’s protest movements, during that period.  It is a rich and thorough reportage of social and radical issues of the time.

Alternative News continues to present news and views on a diverse range of issues - news that is not covered by the mainstream media. 

Campaign International 
Co-operation and Disarmament (C.I.C.D.): 
Box 66, 54 Victoria Street, Trades Hall - Carlton South, 3053 Australia.
Tel: (03) 9663 3677,