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Sent to CFPA's email list on 10/14/22, the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Support Diplomatic Surge NOW to Prevent Nuclear War in Ukraine!

The danger of nuclear war is now higher than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago. War games are being run at the highest levels of the US government to develop options for how the US would respond if Putin decides to actualize his repeated threats to use nuclear weapons. He's already made egregious miscalculations in the seven month war in Ukraine, and could well make another.

I urge you to click the following link to read my op-ed, Back from the Brink: Preventing Nuclear War in Ukraine, which I'm now submitting to outlets in the region. In it, I lift up the unknowns and miscalculations that brought the world terrifyingly close to nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. Most important, I document that what prevented that worst nighmare of all was effective, responsive diplomacy.

We must put maximum pressure on the US government to take leadership for such a diplomatic surge now! 

Members of Congress are especially receptive to constituent input at this time, when most are on the ballot in the mid-terms. Click here to email your US Representative and US Senators NOW! It only takes one minute.

If you can also call them through the Capitol Swichboard at 202-224-3121, that would increase your impact. Congressional staff don't cross-check emails and calls, so you will be doubling your impact. One final step you can take to press for a diplomatic surge is to forward this email to your contacts, urging them to also take that step.

I was just 12 years old when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, and I remember having nightmares about dying in a nuclear war. My oldest grandchild is now 11 years old. Like me, I'm sure you don't want him or any other peopleto be subjected to such terror again. Please take these quick steps to help bring diplomacy, like that which ended the grave danger in 1962, to the forefront as the best--and maybe only--way to prevent nuclear war NOW.

Sincerely,

The Rev. Robert Moore 
Executive Director 
Coalition for Peace Action &
Peace Action Education Fund 

40 Witherspoon Street 
Princeton, NJ 08542

CFPA Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore submitted the following op-ed for publication on October 13, 2022 .

As Russian President Putin faces continuing military losses in Ukraine, he has ratcheted up his nuclear saber rattling as he increasingly feels cornered. His efforts to draft 300,000 more Russian soldiers are facing major resistance, and he is encountering increasing criticism from Russian elites for his disastrous leadership of the war based on catastrophic miscalculations.

Russia has a policy that if they appear to be on the verge of losing a military conflict—and they have just lost a vast area previously occupied by the Russian army—they are willing to use so-called tactical nuclear weapons (which are short range for battlefield use, and often have substantially smaller explosive power than long range nuclear weapons) to intimidate an opponent to back off and make concessions.

Experts are warning that we may be closer to nuclear weapons use than we’ve been since the Cuban Missile crisis about 60 years ago. In October, 1962 the world came terrifyingly close to a full-scale nuclear war that could have killed many millions, which wasn’t known until decades after that crisis.

For example, some 100 tactical nuclear weapons were deployed with Soviet commanders in Cuba, who were pre-authorized to use them if the US launched a land invasion—which the majority of US military leaders at the time urged Kennedy to order. Kennedy rejected that, saying it would be perceived as “a Pearl Harbor in reverse.” If he hadn’t, it almost certainly would have led to a full-scale nuclear war.

But the Cuban Missile Crisis lasted 13 days, not the over seven months of the Ukraine War to date. More importantly, President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev wisely opened a back channel for private negotiations. Contrary to then Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s assertion at the time that the two leaders came “eyeball to eyeball, and Khrushchev blinked,” it was actually intense diplomacy that prevented nuclear war.

Khrushchev had reasonably demanded that if he were to withdraw Soviet nuclear weapons from Cuba, the US needed to withdraw nuclear weapons it had deployed in Turkey, which were equally close to the USSR. Kennedy wisely agreed, but kept the agreement secret to protect himself from political blow-back.

To his credit, in response to Putin’s threats, President Biden has refrained from making counter-threats (which would greatly increase the danger), and recently made clear that the US and Ukraine’s allies wouldn’t back down if Russia used tactical nuclear weapons. He went on to say that we need to take steps to prevent “nuclear Armageddon,” and find ways to offer Putin an off ramp—as Kennedy did with Khrushchev.

But as long as the Ukraine War is allowed to continue, the danger of the use of nuclear weapons remains acute. The only “off ramp” that will certainly prevent the use of nuclear weapons, which could potentially escalate all the way to global nuclear annihilation, is to engage in a diplomatic surge to rapidly end the war.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is recruiting co-signers on a letter to President Biden urging such a diplomatic surge. I’m proud that my Congresswoman, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, recently co-signed that letter. We need more leadership from our Congress, and all sectors of American society, to press for intensifying Diplomacy to end the Ukraine War to de-escalate this terrifying nuclear danger.

The most effective diplomacy is the kind that President Kennedy used to help end the Cuban Missile Crisis. He recognized the USSR’s legitimate grievance, and consented to their request that the US withdraw its nuclear weapons from Turkey. Russia may have legitimate concerns that could be addressed as part of a diplomatic resolution. We must support urgent and effective diplomacy to bring the Ukraine War to a rapid end, and protect humanity from the danger of nuclear holocaust.

Those interested in participating in this renewed effort to prevent the very real danger of nuclear annihilation are urged to visit peacecoalition.org.

The Rev. Robert Moore has been Executive Director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action since September 1981.

CFPA Executive Director Rev. Bob Moore submitted the following op-ed for publication on August 3, 2022 .

On August 1, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned in an address to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, “Humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.”

As someone who has been organizing full time for the global abolition of nuclear weapons for the last 45 years, I concur wholeheartedly with this grave warning. August 6 and 9 mark the 77th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some say that prudent policies have prevented another use of nuclear weapons in war since then.

But the truth is that on numerous occasions, the world has come awfully close to their use again. For example, we’ve only learned recently that a Russian nuclear submarine commander ordered the launching of a nuclear weapon during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was only luck that a regional commander who happened to be on board overruled him.

People with deep knowledge of nuclear weapons, including former US Secretaries of Defense Robert McNamara and William Perry, and former Commander of US Nuclear Forces Lee Butler, have said that it’s mostly luck that nuclear weapons haven’t been used again.

In the late 1970s, I was a leader in founding the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign to counter the escalating nuclear arms race between the US and the former Soviet Union. Millions of Americans became active in demonstrations, lobbying, referenda.

Then President Reagan responded to the massive pressure by resuming nuclear negotiations with the Soviets. By 1987, the first nuclear reduction treaty in history verifiably eliminated medium range land based nuclear weapons. More nuclear restraint treaties followed through 2010.

However, starting with President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, most of those treaties were negated up through President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Agreement in 2018.

Moreover, the US, Russia, and China are all beginning a new nuclear arms race under the guise of “nuclear modernization.” For the US, that is estimated to cost $2 trillion and have new nuclear weapons deployed for another 70-100 years.

There are also signs of hope. President Biden extended the New START nuclear reduction treaty for another five years through 2026. The UN’s Nuclear Ban Treaty has been supported by 123 member states, several of which have nuclear weapons deployed on their territory. Verifiably banning nuclear weapons globally is the only way to prevent the nuclear annihilation Secretary General Guterres warned about.

Movement toward that ambitious goal only has a chance of succeeding if millions in the US and around the world undertake renewed activism. It’s the only alternative to relying on “mostly luck” to prevent nuclear annihilation. We, average citizens, as a slogan coined in the 1980s phrased it, must become active today to prevent being radioactive tomorrow.

Diplomacy Not War

Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine, and in all of Europe, could become the site of a large-scale nuclear catastrophe given rising tensions and continued shelling.

We don’t really know all that is happening. We hear reports from both Russian and Ukrainian sources, each side pointing fingers at the other. We are faced with the possibility of major nuclear catastrophe, including a devastating “dirty bomb” that could kill millions and would render the land radioactive. Intense diplomacy is the only way to prevent this outcome. Click here or below to quickly email your Congresspersons and the US Secretary of State!

Intense Diplomacy NOW Button

Both Russia and Ukraine have finally agreed to have the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, inspect the plant. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is leading a team of inspectors who are now making their way there.

People around the world are terrified of a potential catastrophe at Zaporizhzhia. We must do all that we can to urge our country to engage in intense diplomacy NOW!

We call on the Biden Administration to change strategy in Ukraine from endless war to serious negotiations. It’s time to push for a settlement that includes a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops, a commitment to Ukraine’s independence and neutrality, and security guarantees for both Ukraine and Russia.

We need an urgent diplomatic push to prevent destruction in Ukraine and a potential nuclear catastrophe. Click here or below to quickly email your Congresspersons and the US Secretary of State!

Intense Diplomacy NOW Button

P.S. Over the summer, CFPA's income experienced the doldrums of fundraising. Donating now as generously as you can gives us the financial resources to ramp up our organizing as strongly as possible, especially as we approach the crucial 2022 elections! Click to see our late summer fundraising appeal, and/or below to donate NOW!

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Sincerely,
Bobs Signature
The Rev. Robert Moore

Bob at Westfield Circle 2

Executive Director,
Coalition for Peace Action &
Peace Action Education Fund
40 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542

April 18, 2022
 
I'm following up on my E-alert last week about the danger of nuclear war in Ukraine, which prompted Noam Chomsky to call this "the most dangerous point in human history."
 
On April 14, former US Ambassador to Russia and current CIA Director William Burns said that we can't take this danger lightly. And yesterday, as part of his Easter message, Pope Francis also warned of this as an existential threatTaken together, these are a strong wake-up call for humanity and our governments to take urgent action while there is still time.
 
CFPA webinars on March 20 and 27 featuring Amb. Tom Pickering, who the NY Times recently called the Dean of American Diplomats; and by nuclear weapon expert Dr. Stewart Prager, cited between a 1% and .25% chance that nuclear weapons could be used. Scroll down on this link to view Recordings of their talks. Both said that while that percent may seem small, it is far too high a risk when the survival of humanity is at stake.
 
My op-ed on De-Escalate NOW to Prevent Nuclear War in Ukraine was published on April 9 on NJ.com, New Jersey's largest online news site; and subsequently ran in The Star Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper. It has specific steps the US and NATO could take to effectively de-escalate and greatly reduce the potential mass extinction humanity would face if a nuclear war starts. 
 
As we continue to intensify our organizing in the face of the existential danger above, I urge you to click here or below to support our our intensified organizing with as generous a contribution as possible. If you prefer, postal mail a check to the address below my name. For tax deduction, make it payable to Peace Action Education Fund, or PAEF.  

  

Sincerely, 


The Rev. Robert Moore 

 
Executive Director,
Coalition for Peace Action &
Peace Action Education Fund
40 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542

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