THIS IS WHAT I THINK: Multilateral or Unilateral disarmament- a stark choice humankind must make now by John Hubble

Thursday, 14 September 20173 Replies

Nuclear weapons exist.  Their existence is a challenge to every one on the planet.

Nuclear weapons are designed to cause mass-destruction  They are indiscriminate destroyers of life both human and animal ;  of buildings, bridges, reservoirs and other human constructions ;  of forests and vegetation and the interwoven parts of the earth’s biosphere upon which life on this planet depends.

What happens when a nuclear weapon is detonated ?

A nuclear detonation releases energy causing

first ; –          a searingly hot, blindingly white flash and temperatures as within the sun (vaporising exposed humans and animals, incineration of all that can burn) ;

second ; – a rolling blast wave which destroys all in its path (buildings, bridges, power plants and lines) ;

third ; –         immediate damage by irradiation to the DNA and RNA of living cells ;

fourth ; –       a complex deposit of radio-active isotopes spread into the atmosphere to be distributed by the winds world-wide as they fall back to earth over the next days/months/years randomly interfering with cellular reproduction worldwide. 

Have nuclear weapons ever actually been used in war ?

The world lives under a nuclear mushroom cloud

Yes, only twice.  On both occasions one free-fall bomb was dropped by the USA airforce without warning on each of two undefended Japanese cities, Hiroshima (yield 15 kT 6th August 1945) and Nagasaki (yield 20kT 9th Aug).  The (approximate) minimum immediate death toll was 150,000 people).  At least twice as many more people were damaged and died prematurely.  Birth deformations amongst the children of those who were exposed and survived are significantly higher that the norm.

These were small yield weapons by today’s standards.

How many states have nukes ?

There are now still only nine states possessing deliverable nuclear bombs or missiles.  They are  USA ;  Russia ;  China ;  France ;  UK ;  India ;  Pakistan ;  Israel ;  North Korea.  each state says it fears attacks so it has nukes to keep it safe, -it is the ultimate deterrent for them.  Possession is said to be for defence not for attack.  Yet the USA, Russia and China have between them over fourteen thousand nuclear weapons.  Inconceivable simply as a defensive force.  Over 180 states do not have their own nukes for offensive or defensive use.

The dilemma : Unilateral or multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Socialists are not alone in having to face this dilemma.  “I am prepared to defend democracy by killing two million people, ravaging their homeland and further irradiating the earth.”   That is not socialism – it is barbarity.

Trident- What do you reckon?

This will not do.

The obsession with world domination, rife in many states and within many religions, can be met only by reductions in rhetoric, by acceptance of others “as they are” while we work as never before to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate and work to end policies based on domination whether by military or by trade or by beliefs that “we are the chosen race or people”.

Such weapons have no place in any genuine civilisation.

As a deterrent they rely on an ever decreasing react-to-launch time so that a surprise attack cannot destroy the other’s defences.  It is now calculated in minutes, soon in seconds.  Errors or madness can not then be corrected in time to avoid a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions unfolding in minutes creating the conditions for the “sixth extinction” of life on our planet.

Hiroshima-The aftermath 1945

This is not fantasy,- it is simply the truth about where we are now as humans on this planet.  Wars cannot prevent it.

Socialism might be our best route but capitalism, corporatism, kings, queens, presidents, priests, mullahs, rabbis, bankers, captains of industry and so on cannot prevent nuclear war because their roles are part of the problem driving it.  The people must do it themselves by discussion, sharing, restraint, negotiation and acceptance of the non-dominating ideas of others.  We must make a start,- there is little time left.

John Hubble, 14/09/17

3 comments on “THIS IS WHAT I THINK: Multilateral or Unilateral disarmament- a stark choice humankind must make now by John Hubble

  1. Ian Macdonald

    Great article John, Thank You.

    My view is a straightforward one. In the days of Al Capone, did the fact that others may be armed deter him from pulling a gun on them?……………..No !! So where is the deterrent. Why would anyone attack us? Whats the point? Anyway we have a brand new Aircraft Carrier (but no planes !!), a depleted Army, Navy and Air Force, so if anyone had designs on taking us out…………there’s never been a better opportunity. Its all nonsense………having weapons is built on one principle……….it makes MONEY for the Arms industry.

  2. Gary Tucker

    An interesting article and yes it has always been a thorny issue for socialist parties such as ours. I agree with what you are saying here. I had previously thought that our deterrent has been keeping the peace since its creation and so that’s why we should keep it; however, I am now of the opinion that we should be unilaterally disarming. I was concerned about what would happen if we did get rid of our nukes but someone recently pointed out to me that South Africa disarmed and they haven’t been wiped off the map. We have to lead the way as one of the richest countries in the world and spend our money on things that matter like funding our public services properly. Thanks for a thought-provoking article, John.

  3. Margaret layton

    Multi lateral dis armament is my view. How we achieve that is the question.o

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