Earlier on this blog I commented on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s attack on Sen. Barrak Obama and his stance on nuclear weapons. Frankly, I believe (like many of you) that neither candidate has fully accepted a progressive platform. What strikes me though is the inconsistency with which they (all politicians) conduct their campaigns.
A recent article by the Boston Globe elaborates on Clinton’s stance on nuclear weapons – just a year ago she said nukes were ‘off the table’ for dealing with Iran. Not only are these candidates inconsistent but their constant threats of military action on states like Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan only reinforce the Bush administration’s assessment that they are part of a falsely constructed ‘axis of evil’. I am almost hesitant to criticize the top Democratic candidates because I would rather be condemning candidates like Giuliani, McCain, Romney, and Brownback whose platforms are so far from my ideals. But, if I cannot look to either party to find my values I must keep pressure on those candidates who most closely reflect them.
Related to this is a recent paper published in the Atlantic Monthly. The paper presented a cogent argument that China was a more significant threat to the U.S. than any Arab nation. That if we were to use nuclear weapons, unlike most politicians would like you to believe, they would be used on China. This was not a political paper – it was written by a professor and a former DOD official. It lays out the tactical plan, the devastation, and the potential fallout (political and securities focused fallout) of a nuclear strike. As an activist, for me, the underling issue is clear. Nothing good can come from any nuclear attack from the U.S. or any other state in this world. It only brings destruction.
Senator Richard Lugar, Indiana Republican, and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agrees. He has been a vocal advocate for the collection and destruction of fissile materials throughout his terms in office; passing the Nunn-Lugar bill to focus this work in the Former Soviet Union. He recently wrote a commentary on the success of this program. We can achieve nuclear abolition if we continue to understand and communicate the devastating implications of nuclear war.
Do you agree? Is there ever a reason to use nuclear weapons? Vote in Parade Magazine’s poll on this subject, here.