Remember Ellsberg; Ditch Nukes

By Al Mytty, The News Gazette, June 10, 2024

Ditch nukes in honor of Ellsberg

June 16 will mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Daniel Ellsberg, the renowned whistleblower whose Pentagon Papers revelations about the Vietnam War sparked a national crisis of conscience.

Ellsberg, who as a young man helped create some of the nuclear-war plans the U.S. still uses today, left the world a warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons.

With the announcement that the program to modernize U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles and make them more usable is nearly 40 percent over budget, it’s past time to heed Ellsberg’s warning:

“For over half a century, the existence on both sides of vulnerable land-based ICBMs has been the hair-trigger to the Doomsday Machine. They pose a use-it-or-lose-it mentality which encourages each side to launch its missiles on ambiguous warning, lest they be destroyed — in order to attack the ICBMs of the other side.”

To make the world safer, these weapons should be dismantled. Every person lives with the constant threat of suffering and death as long as these weapons exist.

In fact, nuclear weapons are pitched to cities and states as a job-creating boon to local communities, while research shows that investing in essential areas such as health care, education and green energy would create many more, better jobs.

We can’t afford to pour tens of billions of dollars more into weapons that threaten all of humankind. To honor Daniel Ellsberg and save the world, let’s ditch the ICBMs.

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