June 23, 2017 – By Molly Rush
Good news! Final negotiations on the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons recently took place in New York City, beginning on June 15 and concluding on July 7th. Despite coercion by the U.S. and other nuclear-armed nations to defund and derail the campaign, 130 nations support the effort, and the draft treaty was delivered to the UN on May 22.
The draft convention’s Preamble says in part:
“Deeply concerned about the catastrophic consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons and the consequent need to make every effort to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstance to: Develop, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; Transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such devices; Receive the transfer or control over nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosives directly or indirectly; Use nuclear weapons” or test nuclear weapons.
Back in 1998, former head of the US Strategic Air Command General George Butler publicly stated, “The likely consequences of nuclear weapons have no politically, militarily or morally acceptable justification.”
Regarding hydrogen bombs, Butler noted, “The unbounded wantonness of their effects…transcend time and space, poisoning the earth and deforming its inhabitants for generation upon generation. They leave us wholly without defense, expunge all hope for meaningful survival. They hold in their sway not just the fate of nations but the very meaning of civilizations.”
In addition, their use is illegal according to U.S. Service Manuals that, of course, were issued years after the U.S. was the only nation that has used atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.
The media — focused on the perpetual circus in Washington and the numerous investigations of the current administration — have decided to ignore or obscure this important and historic development.
North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, and its current tests of missiles that can reach the U.S., have added further agency to a successful negotiation of the convention, despite North Korea’s history of breaking its word.
Molly Rush is a co-founder board member of the Thomas Merton Center and a member of the NewPeople Editorial Collective.