Monday, January 5, 2015

SOTU 2015: What Will Obama Say January 20 About Nuclear Disarmament?

On January 20, 2015, Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address.

What if, instead of viewing the State of the Union address as being about one leader . . .

The Speech Giver

. . . we viewed it as being about all of us?

The Union ... the people as embodied by their representatives
(Click to see large format image.)

What would the message be if the State of the Union address was concerned with the alleviating the most severe threat existing today to the Union -- to all of us?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could hear these words?

Nothing is more critical to the state of our country than eliminating the risk of the use of nuclear weapons. Not jobs, not health care, not immigration, not civil rights. Not even the degradation of the climate that we are now trying so hard to reverse.

The consequences of the use of nuclear weapons are too severe to risk.

I would not be doing my job as President if I did not confront this risk and do something about it. More importantly, all of you would not be doing your jobs as U.S. citizens if you did not confront this risk and do something about it.

In April and May of this year, the nations of the world will convene a meeting at the UN in New York to review the progress on the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons - the NPT. The US obligation under the NPT is "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

In light of this obligation, and in consideration of the importance of eliminating the risk of a nuclear exchange to our country's safety, I have scheduled a meeting with President Putin to negotiate deep reductions in remaining nuclear weapons.

The U.S. and Russia, as the holders of the overwhelming majority of nuclear weapons in the world, are the countries that can do the most to bring about the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The total elimination of nuclear weapons by the U.S. and Russia is by far the most important issue confronting our two countries -- more important than all the other issues combined. This is not to slight the importance of the many areas upon which we disagree; the hard facts of nuclear weapons danger trump everything else.

I am doing this on your behalf, because I believe it is what you -- the citizenry of the U.S. -- must require of me, in your role as the ultimate owners and stewards of the safety and well-being of this Union.

What can we do to assure that he says these words?

After all, he works for us . . . .


Read the Spring 2015 Call to Action and commit.

Find activists near you and organize!

Help us take this message viral: every Tuesday on Twitter - #NoNukesTuesday.

Related link: The editorial board of The New York Times agrees: "[F]ailure to resolve the impasse [over nuclear weapons] could have extremely dangerous consequences for the post-Cold War order, since even 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the two sides together possess more than 10,000 nuclear weapons, more than 90 percent of what exists in the world." (See "A Vital Nuclear Agreement, at Risk," January 1, 2015) . . . The Washington Post's editors also worry that the conversation between the US and Russia is currently "going nowhere," and warns, "Stop the nuclear treaty breakdown before it escalates" (December 28, 2014).

Related link: David Krieger of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation agrees: "Why, we might ask, is [Obama] engaged in modernizing the US nuclear arsenal, a trillion dollar project, instead of negotiating for the elimination of nuclear weapons? After all, in Prague in 2009, the president expressed boldly, 'America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.' What has happened to that commitment?" (See "Where’s America’s commitment to seek a world without nuclear weapons?" January 30, 3015)

Related posts

In the U.S., there are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )


Do we have a way to immerse ourselves in the experience of what the use of those nuclear weapons would really mean -- prospectively -- so that we can truly cause ourselves to confront our own inaction?

(See Stop engaging in risky behavior )

The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision. And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015. Are we capable of making sure the messengers -- Obama, Putin, the other agents of government -- hear their instructions from us clearly?

(See NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament )

Call me a demanding citizen, but I think the President should get off his butt and go talk to the leader of Russia.  (Yes, Putin.)  It's his job.

(See Obama: Go to Moscow!)

Far too many people think that the NPT is about freezing the status quo, and preventing additional states from obtaining nuclear weapons. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. The NPT is based on a quid pro quo: nuclear "have-nots" agree to not acquire nuclear weapons, and nuclear "haves" agree to disarm.

(See A DEAL'S A DEAL! (What part of "nuclear disarmament" doesn't the US understand?) )

NOW THEREFORE, by the power vested in me, and on account of the actions on the part of the recipient today described, as well as others, I hereby declare the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize award to Barack H. Obama officially revoked.

(See Obama Nobel Peace Prize - REVOKED! )