by Joe Scarry
|So many exist, ready to be used . . . .
The world’s nuclear weapon count (August, 2014):
The story yesterday was the last straw.
A bunch of U.S. NGOs are lobbying the government to send more weapons to Ukraine, and they’re being heard: “U.S. Considers Supplying Arms to Ukraine Forces, Officials Say” reportsThe New York Times (February 1, 2015).
For people in Chicago, it’s personal: one of the signatories is Ivo Daalder, current head of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former U.S. ambassador to NATO.
Recently, another highly influential NGO-leader — the financier George Soros, the money man behind the Open Society Foundations — came out with a call for muscular financial sanctions to bring Russia to its knees and “save” Ukraine. (“A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine,” New York Review of Books, February 7, 2015 issue)
The struggle in the Ukraine is becoming the latest “permawar” pretext — whatever we do, let’s not focus on the real earth-threatening problem, the unresolved US and Russia nuclear arsenals! (“Oh, look! Here’s a new hot conflict for us to pay attention to . . . “)
Look: I’m not an expert on Russia, Ukraine, and the history of the last 600 years in that part of the world. I say Ukraine — not to mention Transdniestria, Abkhazia or South Ossetia — is a red herring. I contend that you don’t have to be a specialist in European and Russian affairs in order to demand that our first priority is nuclear disarmament.
|“5 nuclear weapons states are meeting in London February 4th and 5th”
(Source:Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
The nuclear “haves” are meeting in London today and tomorrow. Everyone in the world should be doing everything possible to drive them towards an agreement on nuclear disarmament. It’s more important than ISIS. More important than Iran, Bibi, or Boehner. And certainly more important than the top ten things trending on Twitter or coming up in your Facebook feed.
Moreover, the whole world will be meeting in New York City in April/May at the UN to determine the fate of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The major threat to the NPT is the failure of the nuclear “haves” to finish disarming.
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.
Conveniently, a large military alliance — NATO — bristling with weapons, has announced itself ready to step in and contest annexations of territories by Russia. For NATO, the measure of resolvability of conflict is firepower.
(See Obama: Go to Moscow!)