by Jerald Ross
Originally published in the Lowell Sun
The loss of over 200,000 American lives to Covid 19 should make clear the time is long past to readjust our notions of national security. The lack of our government’s preparations for this catastrophe, despite a decade of clear warnings from the scientific community, illustrates the short sightedness of established national security thinking. It also demonstrates the danger in allowing the military-industrial complex to drive security spending. They will unerringly invest fortunes in weapons from the last war that satisfy inter-service rivalries and make military contractors rich.
Nuclear weapons are a case in point. We continue to build these inhuman devices, which can never be used in war because they will kill us as assuredly as our enemies, at numbers guaranteed to end the world several times over. Spending on these weapons sucks essential resources from other security needs, not only in the military, but increasingly obvious things like health care, scientific research, and infrastructure. These are just as vital contributors to our national security as things that go bang.
The United Nations has declared September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The Un’s very first resolution in 1946 called for the same, and today a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been passed by the General Assembly and is working its way toward implementation. Ask most any American and they will tell you we should eliminate nuclear weapons. It’s mostly the military contractors that profit from them and the politicians who do their bidding that want to keep building them. Our national security is intimately entwined with global security. Reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons will not only make the world safer, but our country as well. Eliminating those vast sums wasted on nuclear weapons would free up resources our nation needs to deal with for its people, for our health care, to deal with Covid 19, our children’s education, and all the other things that really keep us safe.
On Saturday September 26th there will be rallies, stand-outs and demonstrations all across the globe, many here in Massachusetts, calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. You can find out about them on the Massachusetts Peace Action Website at http://masspeaceaction.org/event/cries-from-every-corner/. Come join us. Help save the world. Keep America safe.
Secretary, MAPA Nuclear Disarmament Working Group