Nuclear Weapons and Nuclearism

Abolish or be abolished

The nuclear age is an age of terror

Nuclear weapons are the ultimate weapons of terror. You can’t use them without killing millions of innocent people. Targetting innocent people, people who are not part of a conflict, is a central defining characteristics of terrorism.

That’s why the world’s governments decades ago decided to work for general and complete disarmament – i.e. for nuclear abolition – in the spirit too of Alfred Nobel.

As a matter of fact, the first UN General Assembly resolution of January 24, 1946 established a Security Council tasked with achieving ‘the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other weapons adaptable to mass destruction.’

70 years ago!!

Today that Security Council consists of five arrogant nuclear powers in possession of more than 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons – and standing behind 75% of the world’s arms trade.

Today, however, people without a sense of history, addicted to militarist power and ignorant about ethics believe we can safely continue with nuclear arms races, doctrines for their use – and everything will go fine.

They even believe that those of us who uphold the ideals of nuclear abolition are naive: it is un-realistic to rid the world of these doomsday weapons, isn’t it?

Well, that’s like the man who has thrown himself out from the 48th floor and when passing the 8th convinces himself that “this is going fine.”

Private terrorism and state terrorism

The terrorist ideology most people associate with al-Qaeda and ISIS – small-scale and private – is found at a mega-level in state terrorism – the planned or accidental killing by nukes of millions upon millions of innocent civilians.

Whoever produces, possesses, stockpiles, does research on, has nuclear doctrines, plans the use of or actually uses nukes believes fundamentally in the philosophy of terrorism.

Whether NATO countries or North Korea.

Governments operating on that philosophy – also embedded in the term “balance of terror” – don’t want you to think of them in such terms.

They want us to believe that nuclear weapons preserve peace by deterring war.

However, this is nonsense. A deterrent is no deterrent if the adversaries know that the other will never, under any circumstance, push the button.

Fortunately, 107 countries are committed to ban nuclear weapons today.

Why they are so dangerous

1) Every nuclear weapon is there to be used if…the logic is false and human beings do not react rationally in stress situations.

2) There are constant incidents, accidents, risks, human and technical failures that endanger humanity’s survival.

Why do we so easily accept to live with the nuclear terror threat when we are obsessed about fighting a ‘war on terror’ only against the small-scale terrorists?

It’s time to take the fight to the next level – the fight against nuclear state terror. Before it too becomes a nuclear private terror.

Jan Oberg is a peace researcher, art photographer, and Director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) where this article first appeared. Reach him at: oberg@transnational.org. Read other articles by Jan.