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Vast majority of nations involved in nuclear disarmament conference; US media ignores

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Banishing nuclear weapons from the face of the earth seems like a good idea to most people you talk to. After all, it’s been over a quarter-century since the fall of the Soviet Union, right? What do we need all those nukes for?

But the American government, along with other nuclear powers, are reportedly upset that smaller, non-nuclear nations – more than 120 in all – are drafting work on a treaty that would seek to banish all nukes, something that all humanity should get behind, particularly those in nations with the capability of using nuclear weapons.

The draft text is expected to be unveiled at the United Nations this summer, with conference leader Elayne Whyte Gomez of Costa Rica saying that “Member States” need to “realize progress in nuclear disarmament,” something the good people of the Marshall Islands – long on the receiving end of America’s atomic testing – have worked towards (and a nation being hit hard by rising sea levels).

And US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley? She boldly boycotted the nuclear weapons ban talk outside the UN General Assembly earlier this week, pulling some absurd, family values "mom" and "fear" cards, telling the press: "when you see those walking into the General Assembly to create a nuclear weapons ban, you have to ask yourself, are they looking out for their people? Do they really understand the threats that we have?" 

That is certainly worrying, particularly when America's nuclear arsenal is probably the planet's biggest threat to humanity's future survival. And the U.S. media - many connected with elements within the military-industrial complex and nuclear-power industry - are largely ignoring this important story.

Writing at The Huffington Post this week, Alexander Zaitchik reports: “The treaty is not a naive attempt to compel the immediate disarmament of the nuclear powers. As with other U.N. disarmament efforts, this treaty is about strengthening norms, nudging progress, and keeping the flame lit on the idea that humanity can overcome its historical cycle of mass bloodshed. The limited expectations surrounding the treaty are reflected in the language of even its most ardent supporters. Daryl G. Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association, released a statement that sounded like a lukewarm book blurb. A new treaty, he said, “could be a useful and timely contribution... It is a worthy goal.

As it was during the Cold War years, Zaitchik writes, the U.S. and Russia are at the crux of the issue, with “nuclear dread” cresting at levels “not seen since the early 1980’s, when senior figures in President Ronald Reagan’s Pentagon spoke in earnest about a “winnable” nuclear war that everyone would be able to survive so long as there were ‘enough shovels to go around.’”

And with President Trump seemingly clueless about the seriousness of the nuclear issue, surrounding himself with generals, deeply-embedded banker and corporate types and right-wing, fundamentalist fanatics, our path to nuclear disarmament just got a little rocky – or should I say, blocked by boulders.

What is very worrying, and seems to be causing concern in certain diplomatic circles, is that Russia currently has no satellite early-warning system, “relying on short-notice ground radars to provide notice of a surprise attack.” And with tensions exceedingly high between the U.S. and Russia at the moment, the “paranoia of adversaries” is undoubtedly at heights not seen since Family Ties was a hit TV series.

The countries involved in this conference and working to draft this bold and historic document need to remain firm and do their best to ignore the pressure that the U.S. and other nuclear powers will put on them to water the language down. Check out this story. It gives one hope.

The future of the planet depends on cooler heads to prevail!

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are interested in a new organization forming in Oklahoma City called Nuclear Disarmament Now! (we have a Facebook page), based on Australia's Nuclear Disarmament Party of the 1980's (of which Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett was a vocal member), please email me at

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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