Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"No Nukes Politician" -- IS There Such a Thing ???

So . . . it's #NoNukesTuesday and I'm trolling through all the posts about the big conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons that's about to start over in Vienna. The news of the hour is that at the last minute the UK government has decided to send a representative.

Apparently the nuclear "haves" want to do anything possible to stay away from this conference -- they don't want to go anywhere near anything that might suggest that they do, indeed, need to disarm.  When the US announced it would attend, its press release went out of the way to insist that this was NOT a move toward -- gasp! -- actual disarmament:

"The United States is committed to seeking the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. As we have said previously, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the focus of our efforts on disarmament, as well as on nonproliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. However, this conference is not the appropriate venue for disarmament negotiations or pre-negotiation discussions and the United States will not engage in efforts of that kind in Vienna." (See "United States Will Attend the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons" on the US State Department website.)

Heaven forbid anyone get the idea that the U.S. seem to affirm the idea of disarmament.

So . . . the UK is attending, and I start to notice the designation "MP" after some of the tweeters:

From @Mike Gapes:
"Just pressed W Hague why UK govt unlike USA and 150 countries is not
attending Vienna conference on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons."

So . . . I read the profile. "Mike Gapes MP -- Labour and Co-operative Party MP for Ilford South which I have represented since 1992."

From @MorayMP:
"Welcome news that UK Government finally u-turned and will attend
conference on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons #HINW14vienna."

"Angus Robertson - Angus is Westminster SNP Leader and MP for Moray"

What the hell?

So . . .  it turns out there are actually politicians in the UK who are able to get into office AND advocate nuclear disarmament.  In fact, there are a whole bunch of them:

From @LabourCND:
"Welcome news that UK Government finally u-turned and will attend
conference on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons #HINW14vienna."

"Labour CND - A caucus of @CNDuk members who are also members of @UKLabour, campaigning for nuclear disarmament." ("CNDuk" - that would be the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.)

So . . . my question to my American brothers and sisters is: how come this can happen in the UK and it can't happen in the US? Where is the caucus for nuclear disarmament with in the US Congress?????

Related posts

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) )

Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon - a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War - deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.

(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )

Recently, some of us have been wandering the Twittersphere, searching for a congressman or congresswoman who will speak openly about their opposition to drone killing and drone surveillance.

(See The Diogenes Project: Can Anyone Find an Anti-Drone Congressman? )

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