Nuclear war threat

The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland

01 April, 2014

Dear Editor:

It was pleasing to read Andrea Vance’s article bringing up nuclear war in her column (23 March, “Spectre of a nuclear end still hovering”). It is healthier to talk about the subject than to force it out of our consciousness. And it should be in the discussion about New Zealand’s relationships with other countries.

Vance’s reference to a comment made by a Russian TV presenter was about Dmitry Kiselyov, a leading TV personality on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television, who said, “Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash,” while discussing Crimea. Crimea unfortunately had taken centre stage at the recent summit meeting on shoring up international security systems around fissile materials (Nuclear Security Summit – NSS – a response to the threat of ‘nuclear terrorism’).

Kiselyov’s comment should remind us that the larger threats to our civilization are the actual nuclear arsenals of the nuclear weapons states much more than a potential terrorist threat. The notion of ‘nuclear deterrence’ is still hanging around decades after being shown to be a figment of our collective insanity. Russia and the US both have tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, enough to destroy civilization several times over. Why? Because they want to cling to the insanity of nuclear deterrence?   New Zealand should avoid any military cooperation with Russia, USA, or any other nuclear state as a sign that we demand sanity to be given a chance.


Richard Keller

published 06/04/2014


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