Quotable

"We could, in a moment in time, destroy everything—ourselves and all that we had every touched or loved—by means of our own technology and by our own hand." -Robert Jay Lifton, psychiatrist and the author of “Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima,” and a memoir, “Witness to an Extreme Century.”


Monday, December 24, 2012

A Wish for Humanity in the Season of Light

(Written by The Nuclear Abolitionist in December 2012.  With a nod to Clement Moore, the author of the poem "Twas the night before Christmas")

Twas the day before Christmas
and all through the morning
all the missiles were ready
to be launched on warning.

In subs and silos and bombers aplenty
warriors sat with their nukes at the ready.

In the capitols of all the nuclear powers
world leaders consulted in their ivory towers,
about how to maintain nuclear superiority
while keeping other nations well below parity.

Relations between nations were obviously strained
as the US and Russia kept playing their games.
Talk of disarmament continued to fissile
while weapons makers continued to build missiles.

The risk of nuclear war continues to increase
while pentagon planners refuse to cease
making lunatic plans with increasing urgence
using outdated models like nuclear deterrence.

The Prince of Peace would be coming soon
with humanity at the edge of impending doom.
After decades of living under the Sword of Damocles
humanity had not brought the nuclear menace to its knees.

Courageous people kept sounding the alarm
While humanity ignored their warnings of harm.
How long can this madness continue to go on
as nations continue to rely on the bomb?

Now the mist is lifting, it is Christmas Morn.
The world is spared from the nuclear storm.
The Baby is born away in a manger
and Peace is the watchword in our time of danger.

The angels sing out with prophetic voice,
Disarm, Disarm, is the only sane choice.
We must disarm hearts before all the weapons
Or build them again we will as it happens.

Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to All Peoples
May the clarion call ring out from the steeples.

May the people demand the nonviolent choice
and around the world speak out in one voice
for an end to the violence within our souls
that will bring to us all such unspeakable tolls.

A wish for humanity in this Season of Light,
Nonviolence to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho... Who's Next???

Friends,

With all the hand-wringing about Iran developing nuclear weapons (and North Korea developing missiles with which to deliver them) and thus vying for membership in the ever so exclusive nuclear club, one has to wonder who will be next. 

There have been rumblings from various countries singing the praises of nuclear weapons.  There have even been statements from some in Japan claiming the need to develop nuclear weapons.  What madness is this?

Perhaps a more appropriate question is - Just who (or what countries) are leading the rest of the world, like lemmings, toward the omnicidal cliff???

The U.S. and Russia still have vast nuclear arsenals.  Sure, they are much smaller than they were at the height of the Cold War.  And yet, what both nations have kept are the premier weapons. In the case of the U.S. those weapons would be the warheads mounted on Trident submarine launched ballistic missiles and those on the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Besides the sophistication of the weapons themselves, it appears that most, if not all, the major nuclear powers are modernizing not only their weapons and delivery systems, but also the infrastructure that develops, builds and maintains them.

Just in the U.S. we have built (or are building) brand new facilities at Oak Ridge, Tennessee (Y-12), Kansas City.  Others are in planning.  Besides "life extension" programs for warheads, submarines and more, the Navy is planning to build twelve new ballistic missile submarines.

It should then come as no surprise that other nations ponder going nuclear.  After all; who (or what country) is going to mess with a nuclear-armed nation?  Of course those of us involved in the effort to build a nuclear weapons-free world know that it's not that simple.  The more weapons there are and the longer they exist, the greater the chance of one big nuclear mess (also known as a nuclear holocaust).

And just as an aside - Why are we screaming about North Korea shooting off missiles when the U.S. regularly tests (unarmed) Trident and Minuteman III missiles every year??? Can you say "HYPOCRISY???"

Talk about a horrible role model!!!  But I digress.

Perhaps Tom Lehrer's timeless song "Who's Next" can provide some perspective as people start contemplating digging bomb shelters.  It may not be a song of the holidays, but what the heck; give it a chance.  It's truly a classic of the nuclear age.

Should the major nuclear powers continue on their current path with respect to nuclear weapons I might have to start a contest to guess Who's Next.  The grand prize could be a custom bomb shelter.  It would certainly come in handy if we continue arming ourselves to death. 

Peace (Please!!!),

Leonard

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Dream of a Nuclear Weapon's Free Middle East

Friends,

With last week's overwhelming United Nations General Assembly vote to grant non-member observer state status for Palestine - the US and Israel were two of nine members voting no - still warm, the US and Israel were once again joined at the hip for a number of votes this week.

Once again, the US and Israel were in the minority on Monday for votes on draft resolutions including one on depleted uranium munitions and another decreasing operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems. 

Then came the resolution (that passed) on non-proliferation in the Middle East.  You guessed it - The elephant in the closet not only voted against the resolution, but Israel's representative pointed fingers at Iran and Syria "due to the clandestine activities [of Iran and Syria] in contravention of their NPT obligations."  Of course, Israel isn't even a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and no one has been more "clandestine" in its nuclear weapons activities than Israel (OK, so maybe North Korea).

The vote on Non-Proliferation in the Middle East: 180 - Yes, 2 - No, 2 - Abstain.  I shouldn't have to tell you who the two "No" votes were.



This YouTube video has not only Israel's statement on the non-proliferation resolution, but also Iran's and Syria's responses.

That the community of nations is speaking out clearly for non-proliferation and disarmament is important.  It is time to bring all pressure to bear on all nuclear weapons states - and not just signatories to the NPT - to begin good-faith negotiations on a binding nuclear weapons convention.

Of course no progress toward a nuclear weapons-free Middle East can be made without Israel's participation.  To even begin the conversation necessitates some serious closet cleaning.  The US needs to clean out not only its own closet, but Israel's as well. It is the responsibility of the US to open the conversation and debate on Israel's nuclear weapons, and it needs to begin now!

The US needs to stop rubber stamping UN votes regarding Israel.  Otherwise, the dream of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East will remain just that - a dream.

Towards a nuclear weapons-free world,

Leonard