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A Tight Grip On Our Nuclear Toys

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/07/tight-grip-our-nuclear-toys

Maybe instead we need more nuclear proliferation. Having nukes would keep US from invading other countries, like North Korea. It would make us more respectful of others for sure.

Eventually however, some idiot would push a red button and kill off half of humanity. But that might not be a bad thing for the planet. Wildlife is flourishing in Chernobyl and Bikini Atoll…

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You know, I don’t know how much practical difference this makes in policy, but it’s way past time that we in the US drop the notion that the major danger in nuclear proliferation is that other countries should manage to pick up small numbers of nuclear weapons.

Any proliferation is probably a bad thing, since each nuclear acquisition creates another possibility for error. But the notion that the “major powers” are somehow more rational and therefore “do not use” their nuclear weapons is screaming farce. Nuclear arms are “on the table” as a threat all day every day. And the United States and, to a lesser extent, their NATO allies, are engaged in multiple acts of aggression all day every day.

One could hardly imagine a clearer demonstration of the rational motive of smaller nations to procure nuclear arms than the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein pretended to have them and deny them for as long as he could, but eventually no one could prevent the extensive program of inspection from locating the WMDs that the US had given Iraq in the 1980s and determining that these where no longer at anything approaching full function. That determined, a major campaign went into play to convince Americans of pretty much the exact opposite of what the inspectors kept insisting that they had and had not found.

What we need to even slow proliferation, if not to stop it or roll it back, is the cessation of conventional aggression by large forces. It is not reasonable to imagine that small nations will not access weapons when we repeatedly give them mortal motivation to do so.

On the other hand, while the US particularly has some motivation to retain some part of its arsenal, it certainly does not need more than some small fraction of what it has. The hubris in imagining that the US will somehow use nuclear weapons rationally and reasonably ought to become noticeable. given that pretty much nothing in the rest of policy is rational or reasonable.

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Bikini has cesium left behind in the soil that went into the fruit growing there.

“During this period, predictive dose assessments for both Bikini and Enewetak Atolls clearly indicated that the most significant pathway for human exposure to residual fallout contamination in the Marshall Islands was ingestion of cesium-137 contained in locally grown root crops such as coconut, breadfruit, and Pandanus (Robison et al. , 1980; 1982).”

https://marshallislands.llnl.gov/bikini.php
This is a long read.

Please note that 78 nuclear devices will murder over 250 million Russian peoples. The 50 now in Turkey should be exited immediately. With Erdogan cozy to Putin and NATO on the brink of collapse, it is important that these be safeguarded from being lost to another.