Monday, October 11, 2010


Scientists at A-Bomb test site -- 1945

Last week I posted a May 8, 2000 letter to Bill Clinton, pleading for courageous action to make a real push for nuclear disarmament, in the final months of his presidency. But by then he'd humbled himself, and nothing could be done. And nothing was done, a lost decade for disarmament was to follow.

Things, after Clinton, turned from bad to worse. As reported in the Dan Schorr NPR commentary [again referenced below 1], for some reason, Russia in May of 2000 started disarmament talks with Texas Gov. George Bush, well before he was narrowly elected president. During this near decade of the George W. Bush administration, the oldest nuclear arms treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missiles Treaty, was dropped, and the START treaty negotiations, [limiting the number of nukes] stopped. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed at the end of Clinton's term, was mothballed, never brought out to be ratified by Congress. Though we invaded countries to track down non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction, and possess world-dominant thousands of them, our leaders thought we needed more, new, and better ones.
Finally, there is a small break in this mind boggling nuclear cloud cover. On Sept. 16, 2010 the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee after a 10 year lull, voted to allow a vote on the "New START" treaty. The first nuclear weapons treaty in years should be voted on, the sooner the better. President Reagan's Secretary of State, George Schultz, argues for this in a 9-7-2010 article in the Wall Street Journal. Many conservative experts are joining the call—for treaties, and for a complete end to nuclear weapons. Contact your Senators—urge they vote for this first step to "re-start" nuclear disarmament, before Nov. 4 elections, before Christmas, ASAP please. [See website link below - #2]
I've been following the mysterious permutations of nuclear weapons treaties well before teaching a class on the subject at Prestonsburg [Kentucky] Community College in 1982. The names of many of the political strategists remain the same [called the nuclear priesthood by some 3]. Their domineering incantations on national security / homeland security have lulled us into a dangerous spell, under which we risk self-destruction because of our own reliance on nuclear weapons.

Collage--a few pundits of past & present warfare doctrines: Richard Pipes at Harvard; Richard Perle commenting at NBC; "Communism"
--first need for nuclear weapons; Daniel Pipes [the son] on TV promoting the ongoing need--the MiddleEast & terrorism.

We must get serious, beyond words to actions. Nuclear weapons must be abolished, worldwide, starting here at home, where they originated. . We are certain to lose the War on Terrorism, and our self-respect, if we remain the world's predominant producers & guardians of these most terrible weapons.

"It is a sin to build a nuclear weapon." Fr. Richard J. McSorley S.J.

When I pray for peace, I pray not only that the enemies of my country may cease to want war, but above all that my own country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable." Fr. Thomas Merton, 1961, as quoted in Passion for Peace, p. 36

As we come to reject the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine of nuclear strategists, that's been pointed at Russia, we must now reject Mutually Assured Jihad.

"Almighty and mericiful God, ...

Save us from the compulsion to follow our adversaries in all that we most hate, confirming them in their hatred and suspicion of us. Resolve our inner contradictions, which now grow beyond belief and beyond bearing. They are at once a torment and a blessing: for if you had not left us the light of conscience, we would not have to endure them. Teach us to be long-suffering in anguish and insecurity. Teach us to wait and trust. Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace,…Amen."

From a Thomas Merton "Prayer for Peace", delivered before Congress, April 12, 1962, {months before the October Missile Crisis}, full text in Passion for Peace, p. 166-169

Illumination by Kathy Brahney
    Next week: letter to editor of 10 years ago--on the planned resurgence of
    "Star Wars"--looms in the heavens while War on Terrorism grabs our attention here on earth. Last posting in this disarmament-almost-forgotten trilogy.



No comments:

Post a Comment