Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hiroshima remembered

Members and friends of the Martha's Vineyard Peace Council gather at dawn at Aquinnah Lighthouse to mark the anniversary.

Sixty-three years ago today, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Two days later, we dropped a second one on Nagasaki. No other country has ever used a nuclear weapon. Nine states -- the U.S., Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea -- now possess nukes. Fear that rogue individuals might acquire and use such a weapon provides much of the cover for our developing national security state. (People who actually know anything about this threat think it relatively minor compared to numerous other hazards.)

One of the best ways to keep nukes out of the hands of terrorists is to get rid of the ones already loose in the world. And some of our rulers seem to get this. An amazing January 2008 Wall Street Journal oped by former Secretaries of State (and Cold Warriors all) George Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Former Senator Sam Nunn aimed to round up support for

a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately to end them as a threat to the world.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama says:

It's time to send a clear message to the world: America seeks a world with no nuclear weapons. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we'll retain a strong deterrent. But we'll make the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons a central element in our nuclear policy.

While I don't think we'd hear that from the Bush Administration, we'll have to wait and see whether that means anything real if we happen to elect the guy instead of his bombastic opponent.

Meanwhile, the work of organizing people to do anything about nukes gets done by tireless advocates like Peace Action West. Today they are asking us to urge our congresscritters to co-sponsor a "Global Security Priorities Act" (H Res 1045) that addresses the threat of international terrorism by reducing the number of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons and preventing their proliferation. Click this link and send along an email. It's the least we can do.



Grandmère Mimi said...

Good for the Martha's Vineyard Peace Council and good for Obama. Let's hope that if he's elected, he will follow through on this promise.

I sent the email. It's the least I can do.

Becca from Peace Action West said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out Jan! And for being such an incredible activist.

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