Dr. Ira Helfand practices internal medicine in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is the past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. An expert on nuclear energy and nuclear power, he is the author of the PSR report, Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk.
As a PSR spokesman, last month I was able to talk to representatives of three-fourths of the world’s nations in Mexico on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. Not one U.S. diplomat was present.
But I noticed something profound while I was there:
The nations that do not have nuclear weapons are fed up with a world of nuclear haves and have-nots, where the haves refuse to even consider giving them up.
In the last several years, a new, global initiative has been nurtured by PSR and International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, which seeks to declare nuclear weapons unacceptable based on their humanitarian impacts. This is the best chance to ban nuclear weapons we have seen in decades.
The momentum is building around the world, and it is up to PSR and our allies to get the U.S. involved. Two weeks ago, PSR’s executive director and I met with National Security Staff in the Executive Office of the President. Our goals are to:
1. Secure U.S. government engagement on the global Humanitarian Impacts initiative.
2. Promote diplomacy as the only successful mechanism to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
3. Eliminate as much nuclear weapons-related funding as possible from the US budget. “Disarmament by a thousand pinpricks.”
Can you help us rid the world of nuclear weapons in our lifetimes? Please support Physicians for Social Responsibility, the active conscience of the medical community.
All the best,
Ira Helfand, MD
PSR Board Member, IPPNW Co-President & 30-year Peace Activist