Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yes, We Can Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Yes, We Can Abolish Nuclear Weapons
By Jerome Grossman

A major disappointment in the presidential race has been the failure of the three surviving candidates to address nuclear weapons, the greatest existential threat to planet Earth, to the human race itself, and of course, by extension to the United States of America.

The failure is extraordinary because the abolition of nuclear weapons has been raised recently and repeatedly by some of the most respected and powerful personages in the U.S. military, the federal government, and corporate America. How could a serious election virtually ignore this powerful initiative?

A January 2007 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Senator Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry called for a “world free of nuclear weapons” and urged the United States to lead an international effort to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles. They argued for a multilateral verifiable plan with strong enforcement mechanisms. They stated: “Nuclear weapons today present tremendous dangers, but also an historic opportunity. U.S. leadership will be required to take the world to the next stage -- to a solid consensus for reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.”

Last month, in response to a question about her reaction to Iran attacking Israel with nuclear weapons, Hillary Clinton said that she would “obliterate” Iran in that eventuality. In a later interview she again threatened “massive retaliation.”

Her remarks were unwise and destabilizing, echoing the irresponsible statements of President Ahmadinejad of Iran who has threatened to “wipe Israel off the map” and then tried to modify the statement. Hillary knows not to answer a hypothetical question, particularly when Iran does not have nuclear weapons according to the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that stated that Iran ended its unsuccessful program to build them in 2003. Clinton should have used the question to rally support for stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the reduction of nuclear arsenals that exist in eight countries. She might have pointed out that such an attack was unlikely because Israel deters other countries with its own nukes, some of them on submarines constantly patrolling the Mediterranean.

Overt threats like those by Ahmadinejad and Clinton to use nuclear weapons are dangerous because they initiate a process that might become uncontrollable. Nuclear war must never happen and even to contemplate it weakens international inhibitions of their use.

Most importantly, Clinton wasted an opportunity to rally support behind the well-documented and responsible proposal to reduce and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. That is the crucial issue for the survival of America. Will the next president accept the challenge?

2 comments:

an average patriot said...

Oh Jerome!
I know this is a pet project of yours and this is a very important subject. As usual this is another subject that would require a book or two to cover adequately but...
I have written numerous times about this and the threat not just in the middle east but the warnings from around the world by those who have them bar none!
Mutual destruction use to be a deterrent, no more! Today it appears to be the goal. We today have the entire world saying all options are on the table. every single country that has them threatens first strike rights with them if threatened supposedly by whom?
As I say often in regard to Bush who reserves the right to take total control if he feels the Government threatened I say by who us who disagree? there is so much here!
Nuclear war would be very unwise to us anyway. I use to think nuclear weapons would not be used in the middle east but all bets are off. Someone has to be able to live there and utilize the resources but they seem willing to do it in Haz Mat gear. The fall out though would drift right here.
I will make this short and just say no one has mentioned Nuclear weapons because they all reserve the right to use them and will! Sadly this is an iota of things soon to come but most do not have a clue. I am one that looks at the big picture. look around,weigh, evaluate, walk in every mans shoes, engage brain, and be prepared!

Demeur said...

I don't know who Hillary was trying to impress ( some right wing wackos maybe? ). As for the nukes the genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back. If we're smart enough as a human race then there will be treaties that need to be redone when the adults take back control.

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