We are here again. Our government rumbling about a country having weapons of mass destruction that it has no right to. Saying to that country “roll over and play dead” or we are locked and loaded for an invasion full of “Shock And Awe”. And the Press relatively free of any alternative analysis of what is going on.
14 years ago we had maintained an economic embargo on Iraq that was responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. Our Secretary of State said this was OK with her because it was necessary to American Security interests to contain Iraq aggression. And end the development of an Iraqi nuclear weapons complex—that didn’t exist.. Iraq had no nuclear weapons program and precious little in Weapons of Mass Destruction of other kinds. But our government lied us into support of a preemptive military invasion to insure safety from a Nuclear attack. So for a second time we reaped destruction upon the civilian infrastructure already destroyed in the first gulf war—water treatment, electrical generation, hospitals schools and governmental systems that at least maintained some peace among the disparate sects in its society.
Today we are maintaining an economic embargo on North Korea for similar reasons. The difference is that North Korea has nuclear weapons. Not many, and with highly publicized and probably exaggerated methods of missile delivery. Be that as it may, North Korea supported development of the Nuclear Ban Treaty recently passed by the UN General Assembly although with opposition from all Nuclear Weapons possessing nations under instructions from the USA. 122 nations have signed the treaty. So Another treaty to reduce proliferation, production and deployment of nuclear weapons is about to become part of International Law, just like the Non-proliferation Treaty. Just like the Internatinal Court of Justice advisory opinion. This new treaty would empower the UN to inspect and penalize any country including our own and North Korea that was investing in nuclear weapons technology.
Of course the big difference is that we have a loud-mouth ego-challenged verbal bully in the White House who experiences his job as playing a tough guy role like in the Apprentice to appeal to all those citizens who think in school yard terms about the use of nuclear weapons and war itself. Most of them including the President have never been in a war or in a military branch. They are Chicken-hawks (like Dick Cheney was –throughout his roles as Secretary of Defense and Vice President). They lied us into the Iraq so-called Operation” Just Cause”.
This is serious business and even if cooler and more rational honest heads prevail who truly have the peace and safety of the world through a rule of law as their guiding principles– even if they prevail this time– we still have a government that is duplicitous about its commitment to nuclear disarmament.
In 1987 I attended a conference at the US Air Force Academy exploring the role of US public opinion during the Vietnam War and the major thrust was that the military had to do a better job of manufacturing consent for the war throughout its lifetime by preventing facts and analysis that questioned the causes and the prosecution of the war. Of course its not just the military that has an interest in this web of lies but also the arms manufacturers and the jingoists veterans associations and super nationalist exceptionalist in our midst who see the Greatness of America being defined by its capacity to dominate others to their own benefit. ( to “kick-ass” in the language of the bar room!)
So we flow vast sums of money into nuclear armaments and militaristic foreign policy tools of other kinds. That is our tax money. WE are paying to maintain and increase the possiblilty of a universal holocaust. We let the generals and weapons labs press for their huge piece of the national pie to keep that money flowing their way. All the time the politicians claim that we can’t afford programs of social uplift –or environmental protection.
The US Congress –led of course by Republican militarists– but supported by Democrat militarists have committed a Trillion dollars over the next 30 years to carry out nuclear weapons production and development –in clear contradicition to our so-called commitment to nuclear disarmament. In the name of national security. It is a strange national security that is based on risking the destruction of human society and perhaps the planet’s life–giving capacities. To base our security thusly is just like the US General said during the Vietnam slaughter—we had to destroy the village in order to save it. Lets remember that we are the nation who used nuclear weapons to destroy two Japanese cities and over 300,000 people. That we are the nation that refuses to pledge not to use nuclear weapons as a first strike weapon –and refuses to pledge not to use nuclear weapons against non -nuclear armed nations. So just as we pledged peace and respect for Indian lands as long as the grass is green and the rivers run to the sea – while proceeding to carry out genocide against them, we mouth our intent to rid the world of both war and nuclear weapons but don’t really mean it. Its time we got busy de-militarizing the world. Its time we stopped the international arms trade. Its time we end building more nukes. Its time we worked together to end the scourge of war and the un-just distribution of wealth that capitalism has created here in our own country and abroad. It is Green to remember that there is no “other”, no foreigner, no one who may be ignored or disrespected in a fully inter-dependent world. We must cooperate with mutual respect and regard for each other or perish at our own hands.