Thursday, May 24, 2007

Take the Nuclear Option Off The Table

Take the Nuclear Option Off The Table
By Jerome Grossman

When American officials, generals, and politicians are asked about relations with Iran and North Korea, too often they reply threateningly, “No military option is off the table.” That is an implicit threat to use nuclear weapons and a violation of The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
One of the politicians making such a statement is Senator Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for President. In a recent national security speech, he declared “We must never take the military option off the table” in trying to stop the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. Does he realize that that includes nuclear weapons? Do his supporters tell him not to threaten?
Terrorism is not confined to nonstate actors but is regularly used by nations. In 1958, Albert Wohlstetter, an influential cold warrior, said that the chief purpose of nuclear weapons is to terrorize. Since the dawn of the nuclear age, all of the nine nuclear powers; The United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, have threatened to use nuclear weapons. That must stop. It could lead to nuclear war by accident, inadvertence or error with the most tragic consequences for all humanity. Most immediately, it encourages the spread of nuclear weapons to more nations.
The world needs a “No First Strike” commitment and the elimination of present policy of keeping nuclear weapons on hair trigger alerts ready to be launched within minutes at any perceived threat; real, imagined or mistaken.
To this day, the United States has never established a policy of “No First Strike” or “ No First Use” for nuclear weapons.
Of all the nuclear weapons states, only China has publicly stated a “No First Use” policy.
In 1982, the Soviet Union declared a “No First Use” policy, but the successor Russian government retracted the Soviet declaration a decade later.
When the Non-Proliferation Treaty was being negotiated in the 1960’s, non-nuclear states sought guarantees that renunciation of nuclear arms would not place them at a permanent military disadvantage or make them vulnerable to nuclear intimidation. This was an important consideration because nuclear intimidation encourages the intimidated to develop their own nukes and not sign the treaty.
While the Reagan administration itself developed nuclear weapons and threatened their use, the President himself said on April 17, 1982 that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” He was right in his rhetoric but wrong in his policies-just as our own nation is today. It is time to match the pious words with pious actions, and take the nuclear option off the table.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A New Immigration Policy: Practical and Humanitarian

A New Immigration Policy: Practical and Humanitarian
By Jerome Grossman

It is estimated that there are about 12 million illegal or undocumented immigrants in the United States. Most of them did not swim the Rio Grande, they overstayed their tourist or student visas, so there must be a record of their identities.
In 1986, with the enthusiastic assent of President Ronald Reagan, Congress granted amnesty, in effect legal residence to 2.7 million illegal aliens. Between 1986 and 2000, Congress granted six additional amnesties, legalizing more than three million.
While illegal immigration has increased since 1986, we certainly do not wish to discourage tourists or students from visiting our country, nor is it feasible to find, round up, and deport the 12 million illegals.
One way to get control of this difficult situation is to prevent employers from hiring illegals, and reducing the motivation and the flow of illegal immigrants. Employer based enforcement would deal with justified complaints from U.S. citizens that some employers exploit, mistreat, and underpay their illegals, turning away legal Americans looking for work.
A revised U.S. immigration policy should be humanitarian and practical, supporting human and civil rights for all immigrants, legal or illegal, as well as for the U.S. citizens affected.
Here are some suggested principles:
1. The U.S. must establish control of its borders and places of entry.
2. The U.S. must protect itself by preventing the entry of criminals and establishing standards of health.
3. The U.S. must establish regular and fair procedures that enhance respect for law and order.
4. The U.S. must establish a system of first come, first serve for all applying immigrants.
5. The U.S. must enforce fair labor practices for all workers at every level and make the hiring party responsible for enforcement.
6. The U.S. should encourage prospective immigrants to stay home and apply at U.S. embassies.
7. The U.S, should determine employment needs of industries and institutions to establish occupation quotas.
8. The U.S. quotas should have no preference of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.
9. The U.S. should have generous procedures for admitting refugees in need of asylum.
10. The U.S. should support family reunification for immediate relatives.
11. The U.S. should not build walls to enforce its immigration procedures or militarize its borders.
12. The U.S. may require applicants to submit proof of previous occupation.
13. The U.S. should not have guest worker programs.
14. The U.S. must crack down on U.S. employers who employ illegal workers or violate laws on working conditions.


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