New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Making Peace with War

October 15, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

The Time Has Come…

by Robert C. Koehler

What if we had politicians who believed in the abolition of war with as much passion as the Republican right believes in the abolition of taxes?

For me, the question that immediately follows is: What kind of politics draws power from resources other than the deep pockets of billionaires? Just because the world is sick of war, how will that ever translate into serious political action to defund standing armies and ongoing weapons research? How will it ever cohere into a consensus that has political traction? Does Washington, D.C. only have room for one consensus?

For the Democrats to stand moderately tough against GOP right-wing zealots in defense of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Social Security, there’s no way they could also — even if they wanted to — stand tough on, let us say, nuclear disarmament or a movement toward demilitarization. Such concepts aren’t on or anywhere near the fabled “table” of national debate; they’re as marginalized as segregated restrooms. This is a deep problem from the point of view of anyone looking clear-eyed into the future. (more…)

Discussing Disarmament

September 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Lawrence Wittner, Politics

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons as Important as Eliminating Chemical Ones

by Lawrence S. Wittner

The apparent employment of chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that, while weapons of mass destruction exist, there is a serious danger that they will be used.

That danger is highlighted by an article in the September/October 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Written by two leading nuclear weapons specialists, Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists, the article provides important information about nuclear weapons that should alarm everyone concerned about the future of the planet.

At present, the article reports, more than 17,000 nuclear warheads remain in the possession of nine nations (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea). Over 90 percent of that inventory consists of U.S. and Russian warheads. (more…)

A Clear Choice

August 12, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Peter G. Cohen, Politics

Time for a Convention to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

by Peter G. Cohen

We now know that nuclear winter, ozone layer destruction, phytoplankton reduction and other effects of a nuclear exchange would massively impact health and life everywhere on Earth. How can we respond to something so overwhelming, so huge, so threatening that there is nowhere to hide except in denial? We’ve been trying that for almost 70 years. The numbers of weapons are down, their accuracy and lethality are up. It is time to try something new.

After the disaster of Fukushima, several nations, including Germany, abandoned nuclear generation because of its dangers. But 13 nations are now constructing new power reactors. The problem is that the refinement of nuclear reactor fuel, if carried further, becomes weapons grade highly enriched uranium. The operation of nuclear plants results in the byproduct of plutonium, which also can be used to make a bomb. (more…)

Compassionate Identification

January 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Winslow Myers

Overcoming Our Fears of, and Averting War with, Iran

by Winslow Myers

U.S. behavior long ago provided one causal context for our unease about the presumed nuclear aspirations of the Islamic Republic of Iran: the U.S. and Britain messed with Iran’s last authentically democratic election in 1953, fearing communist influence and the nationalization of oil.

Fast forward past the hostage crisis of 1979-81 to the present. The dynamic remains pretty much as it was sixty years ago: strategic jockeying for oil and natural gas, raw exercise of military competitiveness, and now the understandable impulse to acquire nuclear weapons on the part of nations fearing superpower dominance. Iranian leaders were quick to note that Saddam and Khaddafy were vulnerable because the U.S. and friends didn’t have to be concerned about nuclear retaliation (though Messrs. Bush and Blair were all too happy to use Saddam’s presumed nukes as a convenient casus belli). (more…)