Nuclear Weapons – Hope at Last

Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:24 By Jim McCluskey, Truthout | Op-Ed

Nuclear.(Photo: www.freestock.ca)The United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France are rebuilding or upgrading their arsenals of nuclear weapons. The other four nuclear states too are “improving” their arsenals. As we discuss the statistics and strategies of nuclear arsenals and nuclear deterrence, it can be hard to keep in mind the reality underlying the abstract discussions. The nine nuclear states have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons in their stockpiles. This is enough to wipe out the entire population of the planet many times over together with all other life forms. Is this sane? Has the human race lost its senses? A single US thermonuclear warhead, designated W88, has an estimated “yield” of 475 kilotons. The “yield” is the destructive power expressed in tons of TNT equivalent. The W88 is more than 30 times more destructive than the bomb that wiped out Hiroshima. A single W88 could completely destroy London, Moscow or New York. Each bomb on a major city would kill millions of people: women, children, babies, old people, everyone. The suffering would be indescribable and for many would go on for months and years before death. No emergency services could begin to cope. There would be no relief. What sort of people would do such a thing? What kind of human would threaten such an atrocity?

. . . The only remedy is an enforced world ban on the existence of nuclear weapons. The other weapons of mass destruction have been banned. It is the turn of the last and most destructive of them all. . .

And finally there is hope. . . There are nine nuclear states, and there are 183 non-nuclear states. The security of the non-nuclear states is threatened by the irresponsible and self-focused behavior of the nine others. But these nine are outnumbered by 20 to one. The non-nuclear majority, which does not feel the need for a lethal “security” crutch, has decided to take the initiative. And rather than focus on the numbers and “yields” of the weapons, it was wisely decided to concentrate on the effects on humanity of the use of nuclear weapons. The next logical development, as the nuclear states continue to deny their obligations to shed their arsenals, is for the non-nuclear states to proceed independently to enact a treaty outlawing these weapons internationally. By focusing attention on the humanitarian consequences of their use they are well on their way to doing so. . . (Highlighting added. Read about what is being done, the meat of the story, at Truthout.)

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission. Edited version used by permission.

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About Jessica Renshaw

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One Response to Nuclear Weapons – Hope at Last

  1. North Korea has nukes. The Mad Mullahs in Iran will soon have nukes, unless Israel gets its act together and destroys them first, or at least tries to. Unfortunately, in our world, the only “truth out” – for self-protection and as a deterrent – is: there’s no such thing as “not enough nukes.” If the non-nuke nations think that North Korea, the Mullahs, etc., are going to get rid of their nukes just because the non-nuke nations write it out on a piece of paper, those non-nuke nations are seriously deluded.

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