Let’s talk nuclear bombs. Let’s talk about the criminal conspiracy to commit genocide that is the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system.
Britains Trident submarine fleet is coming to the end of it’s operational life, and the question of “replacement” is to be decided during this parliament. Already Phony Bliar and Gordon Brown-nose have spoken out in favour of a new generation of nuclear weapons. They have said there will be a debate, but those of us that take an interest in these things are pretty sure that the decision has already been made, and just awaits a rubber stamp from those sheep we call Members of Parliament, the same people that voted for the war in Iraq. This is why I think that it is a mistake for CND to campaign for a parliamentary debate and vote in the House of Commons. The House of Commons is distinctly lacking in judgement, not to mention morality. The House of Commons is where the turkeys vote, without fail, for Christmas!At the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, building work is already taking place, and nuclear scientists are being recruited, despite the fact that Mr Blair says that “no decision” has been taken. Yeah, right. It is obvious, that without a concerted effort, a new generation of nuclear weapons will be presented as a fait accompli before too long. There are a great many reasons why this is bad news for us all.
It is estimated that a new generation of nuclear weapons will cost the UK tax-payer somewhere in the region of £76 billion! This is, according to a recent article in the Guardian, about the same as an effective fight against climate change would cost.
It is said by many that climate change is the single biggest challenge facing mankind today, and recent reports reckon that the cost of replacing Trident “could almost guarantee emission reductions from 150m tonnes of carbon a year today to the necessary level of around 60m tonnes by 2030.”
Mutually Assured Destruction is not going to “deter” Mother Nature. The increasingly hostile climate is something that we need to fight against as a planet, and not as a plethora of armed and hostile nation states.
The other supposed challenge we face, is the threat of “terrorism”. No amount of nuclear bombs could prevent the 9/11 atrocities, nor any such future outrage. No ‘death-loving terrorist’ is going to be detterred from their deeds by the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Indeed, in October 2005, Tony Blair also came to this conclusion, “I do not think that anyone pretends that the independent nuclear deterrent is a defence against terrorism”.
Also, according to the government’s Strategic Defence Review 1998, “there is today no military threat to the United Kingdom or Western Europe. Nor do we foresee the re-emergence of such a threat”. This is reiterated by a Defence Select Commitee Inquiry, “Witnesses to our inquiry did not believe that the UK currently faces a direct or impending military threat from any of the established nuclear weapon states”.
Before his mind was warped by ambition and power, Gordon Brown was once quoted as saying that Trident was “unacceptably expensive, economically wasteful, and militarily unsound”.
He could have added counter-productive, immoral and illegal.
To my mind anyway, the immorality of being prepared to use what someone once termed “flying gas-chambers” is clear. Nuclear weapons kill indiscriminately, and have no place in a society proclaiming itself “civilised”. They are, in fact, the ultimate terrorist suicide bomb. For what is terrorism? According to my dictionary, it is the threat or use of violence in pursuit of a political aim. Nuclear bombs are literally terrifying. Mutually Assured Destruction is suicide on a massive scale.
The International Criminal Court also decreed in 1996 that “the use of nuclear weapons would generally run contrary to International Humanitarian Law”. Nuclear bombs cannot be used without causing untold harm to innocent non-combatants, and are therefore illegal under International Covenents that the UK is signatory to.
Replacing, or upgrading Trident would also be a clear breach, both materially and in spirit, of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that the UK is also a signatory of. Under the terms of the N.P.T. all nuclear weapons states are under an obligation to pursue, “in good faith” the “elimination of nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament”. Moreover, in 2000, the UK and the four other declared nuclear weapon states signed a final document giving “an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”.
Nuclear weapons are also counter-productive, for, if the UK envisages at least another 50 years of British security being based on threatening other populations with mass destruction, then we encourage other states to do the same, and thus paradoxically we increase our security risk rather than decrease it. This was succinctly explained by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat, “If some nations — including the most powerful militarily — say that they need nuclear weapons for their security, then such security cannot be denied to other countries which really feel insecure. Proliferation of nuclear weapons is the logical conclusion of this nuclear policy’.
The truth of this argument can now easily be seen by recent developments with Iran, and North Korea. Other countries will likely follow suite, either inspired by our rhetoric of “nukes guarantee security”, or scared by our complete disregard for International obligations. Not to mention our war-mongering against defence-less countries, like Iraq.
The more countries have nuclear weapons, the more likely that they will be used, whether by accident or design.
Opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that the majority of people in the UK are in favour of nuclear disarmament, but yet the politicians in this so-called democracy pay no mind. It is highly unlikely that the government will do the right and decent thing, and consign the UK’s nuclear monstrosities to the dustbin of history.
That is why I have concluded that it is incumbent on us, the electorate, the citizens of this nation, to force the government to bend to reason and logic, to sanity.
There are groups that are attempting this as we speak, groups like Trident Ploughshares and BlocktheBuilders. I support their efforts completely. BlocktheBuilders in particular, exist to attempt to prevent the building work for the next generation of nukes at AWE Aldermaston, using Non-Violent Direct Action. They deserve our support, and they need our help. A certain Martin Luther King once said something like, “I wondered why someone didn’t do something to advance Peace. And then I realised, I AM someone”.
We CAN make a difference!