FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Controlling the Media, Narrowing the Conversation

The mainstream media has great power to influence the public conversation about national and international policies. Not only are they able to choose the news and opinion pieces that they feature in their newspapers and news broadcasts, but they also choose the slant they put on the news and which letters they run in response to their articles.

I recently responded with letters to two articles in The New York Times. Since the paper chose not to print either of these letters, I am sharing them on the websites of alternative media, including the website of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (wagingpeace.org).

My first letter concerns North Korea’s fourth nuclear test on January 6, 2016.

In “Stopping North Korea’s Nuclear Threat” (January 8, 2016), the authors argue, “North Korea’s leaders still believe that nuclear weapons will prevent others from attacking them…This is fanciful.” But is it? Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi both gave up their respective country’s nuclear weapons programs and their countries were subsequently attacked and they were overthrown and killed. These are inducements to nuclear proliferation that have not been lost on the North Korean regime.

The best way to assure that nuclear weapons are not transferred or used by North Korea or by any of the other nuclear-armed countries, is for all nine of them to negotiate in good faith for complete nuclear disarmament. The U.S. can’t assure the success of these negotiations, but it can use its convening power to initiate and lead them. All nine nuclear-armed countries need to be at the table and have their voices heard. Unless this happens and the negotiations are successful, no one in the world will be secure.

The second letter concerns the planned modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

U.S. security officials, past and present, are taking positions on the modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, as reported in “As U.S. Modernizes Nuclear Weapons, ‘Smaller’ Leaves Some Uneasy” (January 11, 2016). What is glaringly absent from their arguments, however, is the U.S. legal obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to negotiate in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race and for complete nuclear disarmament. The modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal (and its delivery systems and infrastructure) directly violates the treaty obligation to end the nuclear arms race and will also spur other nuclear-armed countries to modernize their nuclear arsenals. Further, the failure to negotiate for complete nuclear disarmament encourages nuclear proliferation, which could lead to nuclear terrorism and nuclear war.

Nuclear modernization, expected to exceed $1 trillion, not only violates our legal obligations under the NPT, but diverts billions away from providing food, shelter, education and health care to those in need. Nuclear modernization will benefit only the arms merchants and is a trapdoor to nuclear catastrophe.

If the United States does not recognize its own responsibility for nuclear weapons proliferation and fulfill its obligations for nuclear disarmament under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it should expect countries such as North Korea to pursue their nuclear options. Further, if the U.S. continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal rather than fulfill its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is making not only nuclear proliferation more likely, but also nuclear war and nuclear terrorism. These are issues that deserve a hearing and a conversation among the American people, especially in this election year when we are electing, arguably, the most powerful leader in the world. His or her views on nuclear policy must be part of our national debates. The lack of a national conversation about U.S. nuclear policy adversely affects the security of every American and every citizen of the world.

More articles by:

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). 

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 24, 2019
Jim Kavanagh
Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back
Nino Pagliccia
Sorting Out Reality From Fiction About Venezuela
Jeff Sher
Pickin’ and Choosin’ the Winners and Losers of Climate Change
Howard Lisnoff
“Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran”
Robert Fisk
The West’s Disgraceful Silence on the Death of Morsi
Dean Baker
The Old Japan Disaster Horror Story
David Mattson
The Gallatin Forest Partnership and the Tyranny of Ego
George Wuerthner
How Mountain Bikes Threaten Wilderness
Christopher Ketcham
The Journalist as Hemorrhoid
Manuel E. Yepe
Yankee Worship of Bombings and Endless Wars
Mel Gurtov
Iran—Who and Where is The Threat?
Wim Laven
Revisiting Morality in the Age of Dishonesty
Thomas Knapp
Facebook’s Libra Isn’t a “Cryptocurrency”
Weekend Edition
June 21, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Brett Wilkins
A Brief History of US Concentration Camps
Rob Urie
Race, Identity and the Political Economy of Hate
Rev. William Alberts
America’s Respectable War Criminals
Paul Street
“So Happy”: The Trump “Boom,” the Nation’s Despair, and the Decline of Joe Biden
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ask Your Local Death Squad
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Fake Food, Fake Meat: Big Food’s Desperate Attempt to Further the Industrialisation of Food
Eric Draitser
The Art of Trade War: Is Trump Winning His Trade War against China?
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s Russian Problem
Jonathan Cook
Forget Trump’s Deal of the Century: Israel Was Always on Course to Annexation
Andrew Levine
The Biden Question
Stanley L. Cohen
From Tel Aviv to Tallahassee
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Collapses 70 Years Early
Kenn Orphan
Normalizing Atrocity
Ajamu Baraka
No Dare Call It Austerity
Ron Jacobs
The Redemptive Essence of History
David Rosen
Is Socialism Possible in America?
Dave Lindorff
The US as Rogue Nation Number 1
Joseph Natoli
The Mad King in His Time
David Thorstad
Why I’m Skipping Stonewall 50
Michael Welton
Native People: Changing Our Ways of Seeing
Peter Bolton
The US-UK “Special Relationship” is a Farce
Ramzy Baroud
‘World Refugee Day’: Palestinians Keep Their Right of Return Alive Through Hope, Resistance
Louis Proyect
The Douma Gas Attack: What’s the Evidence It was a False Flag?
Binoy Kampmark
Nigel Farage’s Grand Tour of Sabotage
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Sanctions are Sadistic and Spiteful
Norman Solomon
Clueless and Shameless: Joe Biden, Staggering Frontrunner
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong is Far From China’s Biggest Problem
Lawrence Davidson
On the Alleged “Preciousness of Life”
Mel Gurtov
Impeach Trump
Rajan Menon
America’s Suicide Epidemic: It’s Hitting Trump’s Base Hard
Dan Bacher
Oregon Governor Kate Brown Signs Five-Year Fracking Ban Bill
Ralph Nader
Congressional Interns and Congress Redirections—A Meeting
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail