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Good Nukes Bad Nukes – 2010

17 April, 2010

The Editor, The Listener, Wellington

Dear Editor:

As dangerous, destablizing and terrorizing as any nuclear weapon is in anyone’s hands, US President Obama’s remark that “terrorists” would use it if they had one is made too casually and without evidence.  It reveals a good nukes / bad nukes mentality, founded on the old nuclear deterrence theory, which Obama carries from the past into his supposedly new era.

The most relevant fact is that there are tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, most on alert, around the world.  Nuclear disarmament is not on the agenda despite a few fine words from Obama about it – for sometime. These are enough to destroy the world as we know it many times over with the current reduction negotiations perhaps reducing it by one time (and what sane meaning might there be of more than once?).

Another fact we should remember is that we have only been lucky so far to have avoided a nuclear holocaust.  There have been several documented incidents when it has been avoided only minutes before a massive launch.

The recent historical context is that the debates surrounding the World Court Project to outlaw nuclear weapons, originating in New Zealand, and carried successfully to The Hague (UN) in the nineties, once and for all debunked the nuclear deterrence theory as illegal (and insane).  No one anymore promotes nuclear deterrence and at the same claims sanity.  To assert that a “terrorist” bomb is more dangerous than these arsenals is  bizzare and at best self-serving.

And yet, here in Obama’s international fissile materials arms control campaign is George Shultz, the old Cold Warrior, saying he supports keeping nuclear arsenals as a deterrent.  And he’s probably not the only one.  We find the several nuclear Empires’ new clothes are just the proverbial sheeps clothing, but looking decrepit.

Sincerely, Richard Keller

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