The US is FAILING in its obligation to disarm.
|Nuclear weapons for everybody? or for nobody?|
White House talks with Saudis focus on nuclear weapons.
(Image: Kevin LaMarque/Reuters)
I was reminded of this yesterday by an article in The New York Times: "Saudi Arabia Promises to Match Iran in Nuclear Capability" by David E. Sanger. The story suggests that Saudi Arabia is unhappy that Iran retains too much potential to get nuclear weapons. But what the Saudis are telling the US is, essentially, either everybody has them or nobody has them. It's just a lot easier, diplomatically, to say, "We're talking about Iran here" than it is to say, "We're talking about you."
Look at the picture above from the White House meeting. Look at the faces. YOU decide: what do you really think is at issue here?
I have heard country after country after country express their frustration with US intransigence on nuclear disarmament. The US (and other nuclear "haves") are bound by existing treaty obligations to move to complete nuclear disarmament. What's the holdup?
At the Peace and Planet nuclear disarmament events in New York in April, I heard Prof. Zia Mian challenge the audience to confront the fact that the promises that we have gotten to date from the US to eliminate nuclear weapons aren't being honored. We think we've made progress, but the truth is that we've FAILED.
So I wasn't surprised that between the time I decided to write this blog post and the time I turned on my computer, I had received an email from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) saying,
"An overwhelming majority of governments have expressed great concerns over the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and the increasing risk of use of nuclear weapons, and are calling for nuclear weapons to never be used again, under any circumstances. . . . Meanwhile, a small number of governments – in particular those with nuclear weapons themselves – are vigorously opposing progress. . . . What we are witnessing in New York right now is that the will of the majority to move forward is being blocked by a small minority who is desperate to preserve the status quo."ICAN is promoting a global ban treaty -- one that will be led by the countries without nuclear weapons (and especially without a history of using nuclear weapons!).
What are those of us in the US supposed to do?
[UPDATE May 18: David E. Sanger and William J. Broad report in The New York Times: "China Making Some Missiles More Powerful" that, after sitting on MIRV technology for decades without making use of it, China is sending a clear message to the US: It is improving nuclear weapons in a way that "can unambiguously reach the United States." Could it have anything to do with the steadfast refusal of the US to eliminate its own nuclear weapons? Is it a coincidence that this announcement is coming during the NPT RevCon?]
[UPDATE May 27: AFSC's Joseph Gerson in Truthout: "Obama Administration Sabotages Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference" -- the title of the article says it all . . . . ]
[UPDATE June 3: The New York Times didn't mince words: "This year’s conference, after four weeks of often acrimonious debate and finger-pointing, collapsed on May 22 without the members formally agreeing on a plan of action. All decisions must be made by consensus, and the United States, Britain and Canada rejected the final communiqué." See the lead editorial on June 3, "Lost Opportunity on Nuclear Disarmament."]
Then . . .
(See Key 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers )
(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )
(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))
(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )
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! )