On the Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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by Eric Laursen
August 5, 2015

Addressing an adoring crowd in Prague not long after he entered office in 2009, President Barack Obama promised to aggressively pursue US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a major step in disarming and stopping the continued development of nuclear weapons. Later that year, when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel committee “attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

Six year later, Obama’s “aggressive” approach still hasn’t persuaded the Senate to ratify the CTBT. Instead, the US is engaged in a major push to modernize and expand its so-called nuclear “deterrent,” including building new submarines carrying ballistic missiles and new facilities for manufacturing nuclear warhead components. The refurbishment plan is now estimated to cost Americans $355 billion over the next decade and, as the existing nuclear arsenal ages and must be replaced, upwards of $1 trillion over the next three decades.

This month is the 70th anniversary of America’s nuclear incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. For decades, starting with the first US-Soviet treaty banning atmospheric (as opposed to underground) nuclear testing, we’ve been told that the Governments of the World are working to end the existential threat of nuclear weapons. Leave it to us—the governments that developed, built, and deployed the Bomb to begin with—and, we’re told, nuclear arsenals will be reduced, rogue powers will be kept in line, and over time, the threat of an atomic war will recede into nothingness. And even if this takes a disturbingly long time, be assured that a “balance of terror” will keep us safe as long as anti-nuke alarmists don’t gum up the works.

Today we must face the fact that for 70 years, we’ve been duped. No government, no state, and no international institution can or will eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons. Their promises are utter hypocrisy: no government can ever be trusted with nukes, can ever be trusted to give them up, or even trusted to reveal the full extent of their capabilities. No nuclear disarmament movement that focuses on persuading or even coercing the State to give up the Bomb can ever succeed.

The only way to avoid another Hiroshima is to get rid of the State itself. The only way to get rid of the Bomb is to get rid of the State.

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