JNN 25 Dec 2010 : American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons, including Anti-Ballistic missiles, the earth-penetrating ‘bunker buster’ and perhaps some new ‘small’ bombs.
Current US nuclear weapons policy is immoral, illegal, unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous, which create unacceptable risks to other nations of the world.
The recent 65th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prompts only the most somber reflection and most fervent hope that the same crime may never be repeated. In the subsequent 65 years, those bombings have haunted the world’s imagination but not so much as to curb the development and spread of infinitely more lethal weapons of mass destruction.
A related concern, discussed in technical literature well before 11 September 2001, is that nuclear weapons may sooner or later fall into the hands of the so-called terrorist groups. US military expenditures approximate those of the rest of the world combined, while arms sales by 38 North American companies account for more than 60 per cent of the world total which has risen 25 per cent since 2002.
There have been efforts to strengthen the thin thread on which survival hangs. The most important is the nuclear NPT, which came into force in 1970. The regular Seven-year review conference of the NPT took place at the United Nations.
The NPT has been facing collapse, primarily because of the failure of the nuclear states to live up to their obligation under Article VI to pursue “good faith” efforts to eliminate all nuclear weapons. The United States has led the way in refusal to abide by the Article VI obligations. Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency emphasizes that “reluctance by one party to fulfill its obligations breeds reluctance in others”.
Former President Jimmy Carter blasted the United States as “the major culprit in the erosion of the NPT. While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons, including Anti-Ballistic missiles, and perhaps some new ‘small’ atomic bombs. They also have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states”. Current US nuclear weapons policy is immoral, illegal, unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous, which create unacceptable risks to other nations of the world.
The Washington leadership put aside non-proliferation programs and devoted its energies and resources to driving the country to war by extraordinary deceit, then tried to manage the catastrophe it created in Iraq.
Peter Bergen, a US terrorism specialist, says in The Boston Globe that “the President is right that Iraq is a main front in the war on terrorism, but this is a front American leaders created”.
It is a critical era, in the United States, because of Washington’s primary role in accelerating the race to destruction by extending its historically unique military dominance, and in the UK too, which goes along with the US as its sincere loyalist ally. (By Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a US critic)