Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Message for Hiroshima Day
Over the past 65 years, the Journey of Death has continued to claim victims. Not from the use of nuclear weapons in war, but from the radiation released in testing nuclear weapons (posturing). We can be thankful that we have not had a nuclear war in the past 65 years, but we must not be complacent. Our relative good fortune in the past is not a guarantee that nuclear weapons will not be used in the future. Over the years, the power of nuclear weapons has increased dramatically. They have become capable of ending civilization and complex life on the planet. What could possibly justify this risk?
We remember the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as cautionary tales. The survivors of the bombings, the hibakusha, have been strong proponents of “Never Again!” They have spoken out about what they experienced so that their past does not become our future. They have warned us repeatedly,
“Nuclear weapons and human beings cannot coexist.” We must choose: nuclear weapons or a human future. The choice should not be difficult. Humanity should shout out with a single voice that we choose a world free of the overarching nuclear threat, a world free of nuclear weapons.
The people must lead their leaders, choosing hope for a far more decent human future. The United States alone has spent more than $7.5 trillion on nuclear weapons over the span of the Nuclear Age. The world currently spends more than $1.5 trillion annually on weapons, war and the preparation for war, while spending only a small portion of this on efforts to meet human needs and achieve social justice. Clearly, change is needed. Bringing about this change could begin by joining together to eliminate the nuclear weapons threat to the human future.
The future is now. Sixty-five years of nuclear threat to humanity is enough. We continue to rely upon the theory of deterrence at our peril. The theory requires rationality from leaders who are not always rational. The higher rationality and greater good for humanity would be to eliminate the threat by eliminating the weapons. The time to raise our voices and demand a world free of nuclear weapons is now, before it is too late. On this demand we must be both insistent and persistent.