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“Nuclear preparedness” in reality an unrealistic stranglehold on public policy

weapons1the enormous profit to be had in nuclear preparedness has created the rise of the military-industrial complex, which has a financial — and emotional — stranglehold on Congress and the mainstream media, pretty much guaranteeing that government policy will continue to be chained to the concepts of military dominance and nuclear deterrence. This means continued development of nuclear technology and the wasting of further trillions of dollars that might otherwise be spent for the good of humanity…………..

Countering this vested-interest realism is a global movement demanding the creation of a nuke-free world order and the transcendence of war.

Nuclear Realism, Huffington Post,  Syndicated writer, 29 May 15  There’s a category of political intellectuals who proudly proclaim themselves “realists,” then proceed to defend and advance a deeply faith-based agenda that centers on the ongoing necessity to prepare for war, including nuclear war.

These intellectuals, as they defend the military-industrial status quo (which often supports them financially), have made themselves the spokespersons for a deep human cancer: a soul cancer. When we prepare for war, we honor a profoundly embedded death wish; indeed, we assume we can exploit it for our own advantage. We can’t, of course. War and hatred link all of us; we can’t dehumanize, then proceed to murder, “the enemy” without doing the same, ultimately, to ourselves.

That isn’t to say there’s an easy way out of the mess we find ourselves in, here in the 21st century. Indeed, I see only one way out: a critical mass of humanity coming to its senses and groping for a way to create a peace that that has more resonance than war. We don’t have much political leadership around this, especially among the planet’s dominant — and nuclear-armed — nation states. But there is some…………….

locked-in determination to maintain the nuclear status quo continues to make the anti-nuclear viewpoint appear both idealistic (unreal, impossible) and naïve (ignorant of the real dangers our enemies, nuclear-armed and otherwise, pose to us).

There are multiple flaws in this sort of “realism,” however. Here are two:

First, while Churchill’s advice may (or may not) have been temporarily sound when he uttered it at the dawn of the Cold War, it’s not immortal; nor is it consequence-free. “Not letting go of the atomic weapons” has meant, 70 years later: an expenditure of unfathomable trillions of dollars by the world’s Nuclear 9; the radioactive contamination of testing sites around the world; the ongoing possibility of nuclear accident and unintentional nuclear war; and the empowering of military obsessives, who keep looking for excuses to develop “tactical” nukes, which can actually be employed in battle (because, come on, what fun is a weapon you never get to use?).

Furthermore, the enormous profit to be had in nuclear preparedness has created the rise of the military-industrial complex, which has a financial — and emotional — stranglehold on Congress and the mainstream media, pretty much guaranteeing that government policy will continue to be chained to the concepts of military dominance and nuclear deterrence. This means continued development of nuclear technology and the wasting of further trillions of dollars that might otherwise be spent for the good of humanity…………..

Countering this vested-interest realism is a global movement demanding the creation of a nuke-free world order and the transcendence of war. At last December’s Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, the state of Austria made a pledge to devote itself to the elimination of nuclear weapons on Planet Earth. More than 90 nations have so far endorsed the pledge, which is now called theHumanitarian Pledge. It includes such wording as:

“Emphasizing that the consequences of a nuclear weapon explosion and the risks associated with nuclear weapons concern the security of all humanity and that all states share the responsibility to prevent any use of nuclear weapons…

“Affirming that it is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances…”

I don’t know. I have my doubts that such a movement will succeed before a nuclear accident — or something else — shatters the political and economic power of the vested-interest nuclear “realists,” but I reach out to it in solidarity. “All states share the responsibility…”

Maybe this is how a new sort of world, with foundations planted in human solidarity and connectedness, will come into being. Maybe this is the true value of nuclear weapons: to scare us into learning how to get along.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press), is still available. Contact him atkoehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website atcommonwonders.comhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-koehler/nuclear-realism_b_7470252.html

 

 

 

May 30, 2015 - Posted by | general

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