The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The hypocrisy of owning nuclear weapons

 Jordan Times, Jonathan Power, May 18,2017 During the French presidential election, no candidate talked about France’s nuclear weapons.

In Britain, the subject has been raised in its election in an attempt to undermine the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.But the long-time anti-bomb activist compromised his views, saying in effect he was against them but Labour Party policy was for them.

Meanwhile, the Western nations worry and rage about North Korea’s nuclear weapons development.

There is a lack of principle and honesty as well as an overdose of self-delusion as to their effectiveness as a deterrent in this whole bomb game.

We were standing in Hiroshima looking at a stone wall. All there was to see was the shadow of a man. It had been etched into the wall at the moment of his obliteration by the blinding light of the first atomic bomb.

Olof Palme, then prime minister of Sweden, stared hard at it. An hour later he had to give a speech as head of the Independent Commission on Disarmament of which I was a member.  “My fear,” he remarked, “is that mankind itself will end up as nothing more than a shadow on a wall.”

Charles de Gaulle once observed: “After a nuclear war the two sides would have neither powers, nor laws, nor cities, nor cultures, nor cradles, nor tombs.”

Nikita Khrushchev, who presided over the Soviet Union in the days of the Cuban missile crisis, later wrote: “When I learned all the facts about nuclear power I couldn’t sleep for several days.” And one of his successors, Mikhail Gorbachev, once recounted how during training to use his “nuclear suitcase”, he never pretended to give the order to fire.

Yet, against this sense and sensibility is arrayed popular inertia on one side and an extraordinarily deeply embedded culture of nuclear deterrence on the other.

As former West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt analysed it, “there is an enormous body of vested interests not only through lobbying in Washington and Moscow but through influence on intellectuals, on people who write books and articles in newspapers and do features on television”.

And, in a shrewd afterthought, he added: “It’s very difficult as a reader or as a consumer of TV to distinguish by one’s own judgment what is led by these interests and what is led by rational conclusion.”

There are two main issues — moral and political — in any discussion on nuclear weapons………..

The title of Herman Kahn’s book on Cold War nuclear strategy, “Thinking the unthinkable”, captured the dilemma perfectly: that it is unthinkable to imagine the wholesale slaughter of societies, yet at the same time it appears necessary to do so, in the hope that you hit upon some formulation of deterrence that will preclude the act.

But then, in the process, you may wind up amassing forces that engender the very outcome you hope to avoid.

It is time not just to rant about North Korea’s bomb but to get on with disarmament in the West and Russia, even taking unilateral moves.

After all, that was the pledge they made in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

May 19, 2017 - Posted by | general

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: