FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?

Ignoring international partners, world public opinion and action, the U.S took additional steps these past weeks to renounce another international leadership role, this time in nuclear disarmament. On the same day that Austria became the 9th nation to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear Deal while the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Forces Committee approved funding of the submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) “low-yield” nuclear warheads – each action fueling the new arms race and moving us closer to the brink of nuclear war.

The world’s non-nuclear nations have given up on waiting for the United States and other nuclear nations to fulfill our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligation to “work in good faith to eliminate nuclear weapons.” They are refusing to be held hostage any longer to the threats of the “nuclear nine” realizing from the 2013 “Nuclear Famine, 2 Billion At Risk” scientific report that there is no such thing as a “limited nuclear war.” Any regional nuclear war has the potential to cause climate change potentiating a global famine. The non-nuclear nations have taken their future into their own hands, adopting last year’s “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” declaring nuclear weapons illegal to have, develop, use or threaten to use. Once 50 nations have ratified the Treaty, it becomes international law and the nations that continue to possess these weapons will be further stigmatized as pariah states. Vietnam became the 10th nation to ratify the Treaty on Thursday.

Today, the world is in a far more precarious state than it has been in years. U.S. relations with Russia are at their lowest point in decades with tension over Ukraine and Syria bringing our forces into direct conflict. Relations with China have deteriorated with the Trump-initiated trade war harming farmers and American manufacturers as we remove ourselves from much of the international commerce world. The recycled Israeli-provided “intelligence” on Iran used to breech our commitment to the international community and unilaterally walk away is reminiscent of the “intelligence” on Iraq’s nuclear stockpiles that justified our longest war in Iraq. Fake intelligence.

The sophomoric rhetoric toward North Korea puts the entire Korean Peninsula and region at risk and bodes ominously in the event that it does not go well or fails to happen. This is occurring at a time when diplomacy ought to be our greatest effort yet our state department has been decimated and our National Security Advisor John Bolton has both advocated for preemptively striking North Korea and previously for the decimation of the United Nations.

The just completed U.N. NPT PrepCom conference with its lack of consensus and doublespeak by the nuclear states regarding their modernization programs provided little assurance to the non-nuclear weapons states that they were serious in their legal commitment to abolish nuclear weapons.

It is this climate that prompted the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to move their Doomsday Clock to two minutes ‘til midnight, nuclear apocalypse, this past January – the closest to midnight since the height of the Cold War in 1953.  Yet this is a crisis of our making and a reality that does not have to be. We can take a different path and move back from the brink of nuclear war.  The invoking of luck that a nuclear war either by intention, error or miscalculation is not a security policy. Ultimately, luck runs out.

The choice is ours. The American people when provided with the facts about nuclear weapons overwhelmingly oppose their use and want to see them eliminated.  There are concrete actions that we can take to move back from the brink. Yet few in Congress, as demonstrated by ill-considered support for the Trump Nuclear Doctrine, have the courage to lead. Fortunately the people are taking action invoking the adage that, “When the people lead, the leaders will follow.”  There is a movement sweeping across the U.S. generated by the medical and scientific communities. This “Back from the Brink” grassroots campaign is being endorsed by cities, towns, medical and other professional organizations, faith communities and others. This call to prevent nuclear war asks the United States to lead a global effort by: 1) Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first 2) Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack 3) Taking the U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert 4) Cancelling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons, and 5) Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. This campaign can be endorsed by all at www.preventnuclearwar.org.  The people are responding and making their voices heard. Who among our leaders has the understanding and courage to lead us back from the brink?

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 14, 2019
Laura Carlsen
Mexico’s LeBaron Massacre and the War That Will Not Cease
Joe Emersberger
Oppose the Military Coup in Bolivia. Spare Us Your “Critiques”
Ron Jacobs
Trump’s Drug Deal Goes to Congress: Impeachment, Day One
Paul Edwards
Peak Hubris
Tamara Pearson
US and Corporations Key Factors Behind Most Violent Year Yet in Mexico
Jonah Raskin
Love and Death in the Age of Revolution
Robert Hunziker
Climate Confusion, Angst, and Sleeplessness
W. T. Whitney
To Confront Climate Change Humanity Needs Socialism
John Feffer
Examining Trump World’s Fantastic Claims About Ukraine
Nicky Reid
“What About the Children?” Youth Rights Before Parental Police States
Binoy Kampmark
Incinerating Logic: Bush Fires and Climate Change
John Horning
The Joshua Tree is Us
Andrew Stewart
Noel Ignatiev and the Great Divide
Cesar Chelala
Soap Operas as Teaching Tools
Chelli Stanley
In O’odham Land
November 13, 2019
Vijay Prashad
After Evo, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia
Charles Pierson
How Not to End a Forever War
Kenneth Surin
“We’ll See You on the Barricades”: Bojo Johnson’s Poundshop Churchill Imitation
Nick Alexandrov
Murder Like It’s 1495: U.S.-Backed Counterinsurgency in the Philippines
George Ochenski
Montana’s Radioactive Waste Legacy
Brian Terrell
A Doubtful Proposition: a Reflection on the Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7
Nick Pemberton
Assange, Zuckerberg and Free Speech
James Bovard
The “Officer Friendly” Police Fantasy
Dean Baker
The Logic of Medical Co-Payments
Jeff Mackler
Chicago Teachers Divided Over Strike Settlement
Binoy Kampmark
The ISC Report: Russian Connections in Albion?
Norman Solomon
Biden and Bloomberg Want Uncle Sam to Defer to Uncle Scrooge
Jesse Jackson
Risking Lives in Endless Wars is Morally Wrong and a Strategic Failure
Manuel García, Jr.
Criminalated Warmongers
November 12, 2019
Nino Pagliccia
Bolivia and Venezuela: Two Countries, But Same Hybrid War
Patrick Cockburn
How Iran-Backed Forces Are Taking Over Iraq
Jonathan Cook
Israel is Silencing the Last Voices Trying to Stop Abuses Against Palestinians
Jim Kavanagh
Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage
Susan Babbitt
Fidel, Three Years Later
Dean Baker
A Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security is What America Needs
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Trump’s Crime Against Humanity
Victor Grossman
The Wall and General Pyrrhus
Yoko Liriano
De Facto Martial Law in the Philippines
Ana Paula Vargas – Vijay Prashad
Lula is Free: Can Socialism Be Restored?
Thomas Knapp
Explainer: No, House Democrats Aren’t Violating Trump’s Rights
Wim Laven
Serve With Honor, Honor Those Who Serve; or Support Trump?
Colin Todhunter
Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer
Binoy Kampmark
Walls in the Head: “Ostalgia” and the Berlin Wall Three Decades Later
Akio Tanaka
Response to Pete Dolack Articles on WBAI and Pacifica
Nyla Ali Khan
Bigotry and Ideology in India and Kashmir: the Legacy of the Babri Masjid Mosque
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail