By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, June 11, 2021
The danger of nuclear apocalypse is at an all-time high. Understanding of the damage that would result from a nuclear war is of a greater horror than ever previously understood. The historical record of threats of nuclear weapons use, and of near-misses through misunderstandings, has mushroomed. The influence of the Israeli model of aquiring nuclear weapons but pretending not to have done so is spreading. The Western militarism that other nations see as justification for their own nuclear armament continues to expand. Demonization of Russia in U.S. politics and media has reached a new level. Our luck will not hold out forever. Much of the world has banned the possession of nuclear weapons. Presidents Biden and Putin could very easily make the world dramatically safer and redirect massive resources into benefitting humanity and the earth, if they were to choose to abolish nuclear weapons.
The American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord has made these three excellent proposals:
1. We urge the Biden Administration to reopen the Consulates and reverse its recent decision to halt Visa services for most Russians.
2. President Biden should invite President Putin to join him in reaffirming the declaration first made by President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev at their 1985 summit in Geneva that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” This went a long way during the Cold War to reassure the peoples of the two countries and the world that even though we had deep differences we were committed to never fighting a nuclear war. It would go a long way to do the same today.
3. Reengage with Russia. Restore wide contacts, scientific, medical, educational, cultural and environmental exchanges. Expand people-to-people citizen diplomacy, Track II, Track 1.5 and governmental diplomatic initiatives. In this regard, it is worth recalling that another of our board members, former US Senator Bill Bradley, was the guiding force behind the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX), based on his conviction that “the best way to ensure long-lasting peace and understanding between the U.S. and Eurasia is to enable young people to learn about democracy firsthand through experiencing it”.
World BEYOND War offers an additional 10 suggestions:
- Stop making new weapons!
- Institute a moratorium on any new weapons, laboratories, delivery systems!
- No refurbishing or “modernization” of old weapons! LET THEM RUST IN PEACE!
- Immediately separate all nuclear bombs from their missiles as China does.
- Take up repeated offers from Russia and China to negotiate treaties to ban space weapons and cyberwar and dismantle Trump’s Space Force.
- Reinstate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
- Remove U.S. missiles from Romania and Poland.
- Remove U.S. nuclear bombs from NATO bases in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, and Turkey.
- Sign the new Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Take up past Russian offers to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals from what is now 13,000 bombs to 1,000 each, and call the other seven nations, with 1,000 nuclear bombs between them, to the table to negotiate for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons as required by the Nonproliferation Treaty of 1970.