"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Bomb - Who's Next?


First we got the bomb, and we thought that was mighty fine. Then Russia got the bomb, and although not thrilled at first, we learned to live with it. Of course, the U.S. and USSR weren't the only ones in the nuclear weapons act. Slowly, but ever so surely over the decades, other nations have joined the club. And now, while the U.S. and Russia debate numbers of warheads and delivery vehicles, we have even more nations clamoring to join. Who's gonna be next???

As world leaders discuss and debate disarmament and non-proliferation, I thought this might be a good time to listen to a real expert on the subject. Our guest is the musical genius Tom Lehrer, giving a unique synopsis of the history of nuclear weapons states. Anyone with a desire to develop a deeper understanding of the history of nuclear weapons should start here. Please give a warm welcome to Tom Lehrer singing his 1964 hit, "Who's Next."

The question of Who's Next is even more pertinent now than in 1964 when Tom wrote this song shortly after China's first nuclear test. The nuclear powers need to seriously consider the consequences of any more nations going nuclear as they prepare for the upcoming Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

With the NPT Review Conference just 6 months away (May 3-28, 2010), we need to keep the pressure on President Obama, the U.S. Congress and other world leaders. Learn more about the importance of the NPT and upcoming Review Conference at Reaching Critical Will. Stay tuned for opportunities to advocate for the NPT in the next few months.



P.S. - As a bonus for all you loyal readers, here is the introduction and lyrics to Who's Next, by Tom Lehrer:

One of the big news items of the past year concerned the fact that China, which we called "Red China," exploded a nuclear bomb, which we called a device. Then Indonesia announced that it was going to have one soon, and proliferation became the word of the day. Here's a song about that:

First we got the bomb, and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way.
Who's next?

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side (I believe).
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
They can't wipe us out for at least five years.
Who's next?

Then Indonesia claimed that they
Were gonna get one any day.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white.
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense.
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb.
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go,
And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb.
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?

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