Obama Renouces Use of Nuclear Weapons

Just in time for the 62nd annual observance of the Hiroshima massacre August 6th, Sen. Hillary Clinton(D-N.Y.) has scolded Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) for stating he would not drop nuclear weapons on civilians. What a wuss that guy is!

However, the executive director and publishe rofthe Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists, an organization that works to stop nuclear proliferation, praised Obama for his stand.

Asked for comment, Kennette Benedict, of The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists, of Chicago, said, “I think if he (Obama) would stick to that position it would be a great step forward.”

“We would have, like other countries such as China and the Soviet Union before the breakup, a policy that renounces first use of nuclear weapons,” Benedict said. She noted “The U.S. has never had an explicit no first-use policy and it was made explicit under the Bush administration that we would use nuclear weapons first even if not attacked with nuclear weapons.”

Sen. Clinton earlier had lectured Obama in a way to suggest he is too inexperienced to handle foreign policy issues. “I don’t believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons,” Sen. Clinton said. Her position is not likely to draw fire from the Bush White House, as Condoleezza Rice has already threatened to nuke Iran for allegedly thinking about making A-bomb No. 1. Bush, of course, has 10,000 nukes.

Obama made his considered reply when asked if he would use nuclear weapons to go after terrorists in Afghanistan or Pakistan. “I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance,” he said, pausing to add, “involving civilians.” Of course, there will never be any use of the “nuclear option” that will not kill civilians.

This was made clear by nuclear expert Dr. Helen Caldicott, who noted the accidental nuclear meltdown at the Ukranian Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 1986, has sent more than 5,000 Europeans to an early grave. She predicts if the U.S. or Israel attacked Iranian nuclear facilities “huge amount of radioactive material will be lifted into the air to contaminate the people of Iran and surrounding countries.”

To put this spat in context, we might recall that President Truman used atomic weapons to wipe out between 200,000 and 350,000 Japanese civilians. In Hiroshima, a city of 310,000, approximately 140,000 people, nearly all civilians, were killed, including ten thousand Christians who, had they lived, might have wondered what church Truman attended.

Like his role model Genghis Khan, Truman did not scruple to wipe out cities — including women, children, and elderly non-combatants—if their leaders refused to surrender. The Mongol warlord, of course, did not have the Geneva Convention to guide him, a document which forbids the bombardment of civilian populations. Truman did, only he ignored it. He also established a precedent for the terrifying nuclear arms race whose “testing” has resulted in thousands of deaths from fallout, while sucking $7 trillion out of the pockets of U.S. taxpayers.

Also just in time for the Hiroshima Day observance, is the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal. By this pact, the administration “agreed to virtually all of India’s demands at the cost of U.S. national security and nonproliferation interests.”

That’s according to Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Arms Control Association, and Fred McGoldrick, a former State Department official. They note India refused to sign the nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty but the Bush administration is giving it “preferential treatment” it does not afford even to signatory nations that live up to the treaty.

India previously violated its peaceful use pledges by using U.S. American and Canadian nuclear aid to conduct its 1974 nuclear bomb test. President Bush has compounded the nuke sell-out by agreeing to deal F-16 fighter jets to both India and Pakistan. The F-16 is capable of carrying a nuclear bomb so the two enemies will become only more fearful of each other than ever. Former Sen. Larry Pressler(R.-S.D.) sponsor of a law in 1985 to stop the proposed F-16 sale to Pakistan, called the Bush policy reversal “an atrocity.”

As another Hiroshima Day is upon us, President Bush and Senator Clinton, reveal they have learned nothing from that catastrophe. Both cling to the lunacy they can use the nuclear war club to unilaterally intimidate and destroy countries that “threaten” them. That’s the Bush stance on Iran, a nation that operates on a military budget of $4 billion a year, compared to Bush’s staggering $600 billion. The last thing America needs is another Genghis Khan in the White House. At least Obama exhibits some fresh thinking.

SHERWOOD ROSS is a Miami, Fla.-based writer who covers political and military subjects. Reach him at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com