Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/02/us-should-never-start-nuclear-war
The fact that this even came up shows how psychopathic the military industrial complex is.
Does that mean it’s a-okay for the US to start a conventional war? From Wikipedia:
In the judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, “War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
You can’t stop nuclear war without ending war itself. If World War III follows the pattern of World War II, it will be all out. Only this time, the firepower is 1,000 times greater. 50,000,000 people died in WWII. Do the math – each person on Earth will be killed 7 times over.
Will nuclear-armed countries under threat of war give up their nuclear deterrent?
The failure to find an alternative to war means we’re playing Russian Roulette with humanity’s future. We need an end to national militaries and a system of enforceable and just international laws to take their place. We need to see ourselves as members of the human species first and people from different nations second (if at all).
As a person born in the USA, I am absolutely ashamed that we are the only country in the history of the world to use nuclear weapons on other humans. Especially since history has been skewed to convince people we had no choice, pure BS. I was born after their use, but still, how can anybody from this country not feel shame.
The war mongers still pushing these weapons, mostly chicken hawks by the way, should be locked in a padded cell, for life IMO.
The only way to stop a nuclear war is to outlaw all such weapons. Do the Superman IV thing and put them in a giant container and launch them into space. Destroy all instructions on how to make nukes. Perhaps even do a frontal lobotomy on those who make these weapons. And, finally, begin the mythic tale to instruct future generations that these weapons are forbidden and deadly.
Here’s a thought experiment: If someone put a gun to your head and said give me all your money, but did not otherwise harm you (just threatening to kill you), would you say that they had “used” a gun? You’d probably say yes. Since WWII, the US has “used” it’s nuclear weapons arsenal in just the same way, threatening country after country with obliteration. (Think North Korea…)
And that is why (besides making the nuclear weapons manufacturers and banks happy) the MIC continues to stockpile and develop new ones. It’s extortion via threatened genocide as foreign policy.
The problem with any promise not to use nuclear weapons is that it is a faulty promise, with no consequences, other than possible retaliation, for those violating it. It may even lull some into a false complacency, making first use of nuclear weapons actually more likely. Surprise attack is often viewed as a positive military strategy - not that a nation which has used these things in the past would surprise very many by doing so again. Sobering thought.
I think we’ll have to end up doing like Gandhi…make our own stuff (which is kind of a boycott). Seems like it’s economics…then the war…then the new weapon. WWI reparations to Nazism, etc. So, we have to work on economics some.
But then tonight I was looking up that factoid from Helen Caldicott. This is what I found “A single alpha particle can cause DNA damage that will result in a carcinogenic mutation.” (google it) Plus you have nuclear winter, and a brief time before it when everyone’s refugees in the dark. Plus you have this
1.48 trillion for the Pentagon back in July. How much will go for the nuclear upgrades? (didn’t find that figure) Meanwhile you know first strike capability is nonsense. So, you’re thinking: If an F-35 pilot’s helmet goes for $425K…how much pork is involved with the upgrades? And if fewer and fewer companies make the stuff, won’t there end up so many la de da inflated egos + bureaucracy…that the product might not even be able to do the crazy thing it was designed to do? [the Trumpites and all their “great again” hooplah sort of forget that corporate rule…or “neoliberalism”…has tended to offshore the making of things in general…by many outfits across the land…unless you’re talking about sacks of petro-fertilizer] So, with all these things in mind maybe go first for the stupidest warring there is (nuclear), since you can get the public mandate?
You’ve all read me and heard me before, many times, so I won’t repeat myself, but I fear that we have finally doomed ourselves, and our home, planet earth, to more unimaginable suffering, shortly followed by death.
*However, the investors that have bought into Boeing, Raytheon, and numerous other war manufacturers are dancing tonight as the profits in building nuclear arms have gone through the roof, so they are going to die very rich.
*The rest of us will just die; the lucky ones will be close to a prime target and dead in minutes or seconds. The rest of us will die more slowly, from radiation induced cancers, from hunger and thirst and from eating contaminated foods and water, and from riots and street violence as the situation worsens and the people become more desperate.
*Sorry, but I am feeling pretty down, tonight.
*God bless you all.
Imagine. A whole article on the topic without mentioning that China remains the only nation that has a “no first use policy.”
The U.S. should never even threaten to start a nuclear war. Publically refusing to declare never to make a first strike is in effect a threat to start such a disastrous war and that is an exceedingly dangerous threat.
Ummmm, this is a pretty stupid story. No country should ever start a nuclear war.
The sole function of nuclear weapons is to slaughter massive numbers of civilian men, women, and children in an explosion that occurs within milliseconds.
I’d go further than saying no country should be the first to use nuclear weapons. I’d sat that no country should ever use nuclear weapons, even in response to a nuclear attack.
Unfortunately many in the US feel that the US government/military is entitled to use nuclear weapons, pre-emptively, to annihilate the civilians of any country whose leaders the US government declares as ‘enemies’ ( https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/6/26/18750566/nuclear-war-polling-americans-support-civilian-deaths )
As we approach the 74th year since the US slaughtered several hundred thousand civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the percent of US citizens who believe that this action was justified is still about as high as those who disagree (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-poll-what-do-americans-think-of-the-1945-use-of-the-atomic-bomb/).
As a voice countering this narrative, this article is important.
As an engineer I continue to insist that those in my profession take action to resist and the research, development, and maintenance of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Engineers and scientists should openly voice their refusal to support any work related to the continuance of nuclear weapons even if it means losing promotions, getting fired, or getting thrown in jail. I would also encourage international prosecution of any engineer or scientist who works on nuclear weapons research, development, or support.
If all we do is make it a little harder for government/military sociopaths, to use these weapons of mass destruction, than let’s do that.
I am pro nuclear disarmament but I find this statement completely useless in any argument I would have on the topic with anyone who has a technical understanding of radiation (photon, beta particle, or alpha particle which is a helium nucleus with no electrons). There are natural sources of alpha particle emitters and while pretty harmless when the particle hits your skin (it may go only 0.1 mm and your skin is dead at that depth), it can cause cancer (it is ionizing) if the particle hits your cornea, an open wound or if the emitting source is inhaled (e.g. the problem with radon).
So no one is saying alpha particles are no problem. But without any context (how many more alpha particles are humans exposed to because of nuclear weapons testing compared to the natural state of the world) your statement is useless. Perhaps @Trog has actual numbers handy.
Your own citing of testing makes my point regarding a cumulative argument. Consider the argument in terms of the “mean” voter. Whatever argument you want to propose against warring, you maybe should also consider what particularly pernicious aspects of nuclear war may be adding up in this voter’s mind (not necessarily yours, dara…at least I’ll go on assessing in this way). I believe the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg was right, but the fact is a much labored JCPOA did come into existence before all the little covert projects of the interventionists met up with any serious congressional opposition.
The fact, for example, that even exchanges of, say, NSNWs that would result from “accidents” [or even not-accidents] and then became arrested/checked…would compound a situation already bad enough. The probability of accidents increases the more we accept first strike logic and NSNW logic…the more either one and their associated weapons proliferate.
Already there are the meltdowns (think Pacific Ocean). Already there are the leaking barrels. Already there are the depleted Uranium rounds (bullets) scattered all over Iraq (birth defects). And, like you say, there’s the testing itself.
What I’d like to see is aggregate harmful radionuclides ppm (or maybe parts per billion) in seawater, atmosphere, and ground water within a given distance of waste sites…compared with what was the case prior.
But Trump said he “doesn’t want to kill 10 million people,” so I’m sure everything is going to be OK.
It just seems too many scenarios don’t occur to too many people. If for any reason he should have to be replaced by Pence, you then have that dude, Bolton, and Pompeo remaining. The possibility of death-by-nuclear-winter seems to be a thing that hasn’t dawned on folks quite as fast as the climate problem. Wonder how much we can handle.
To return to JCPOA, and to return to the INF treaty, and to keep New Start is sound logic and a good platform. Whenever these positions are hammered out by whomever…we can only hope it’ll send a message to all four.
another point with the DU rounds in mind (can’t get that particularly insane terror strategy out of my head)
“…how many more alpha particles are humans exposed to because of nuclear weapons testing compared to the natural state of the world).” dara [emhasis mine]
Yep, even members of “the base” can begin realizing the concentrations aren’t anywhere near as low as “natural” after you spray Iraq with depleted Uranium rounds …or sure nuff won’t be any lower after more testing . And we can help them do a little more realizing.