PeaceWorks Kansas City board members discuss their upcoming annual Memorial Day peace witness at the Kansas City National Security Campus at 14510 Botts Road in southern KC MO. The facility makes or procures 85 percent of the non-radioactive parts for nuclear weapons. PeaceWorks members who plan to risk arrest by crossing the property line at the plant explain why they are doing this civil disobedience. (On Memorial Day 2018 seventeen people were arrested for trespassing, including two Europeans. The fifteen US citizens were tried and convicted of trespassing later that year.)
The Memorial Day rally also recalls the deaths of more than 150 persons whose families said they died due to toxins at the previous nuke-parts plant at Bannister Federal Complex. This year’s walk and rally feature 54 flags of the countries that have ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
This episode occurs just 2 days before the proposed US 2022 budget is released on May 27. The U.S. plans to spend 2 trillion dollars over the next 30 years on new nuclear weapons. Some experts say that these weapons decrease rather than increase the national security of the US and every other country on earth, because they make any potential adversary more vulnerable to total destruction from a first strike by the US. Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry said that the greatest risk facing the US today is a cyber attack against the US military’s command, control and communications, similar to the Stuxnet virus that destroyed close to 20 percent of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges around 2009 or what shut down the Colonial oil pipeline in early May 2021: The President of the United States could be told that Russian missiles were already on their way to the US and would likely kill half of the US population: If he does not immediately order a counterattack, the only consequences to Russia would likely be the nuclear fallout from their own weapons circling the globe and returning to Russia (ignoring the nuclear winter that would likely follow such an attack). Only later would the US president and military would learn that there was no such Russian first strike. (See Perry and Collina, 2020, The Button: The new nuclear arms race and presidential power from Truman to Trump, Ben Bella Books, esp. the Preface.) In fact, a similar false alarm in the former Soviet Union in 1983 is described in the documentary film, The Man Who Saved the World.