Is the world on the verge of a dangerous new nuclear arms race? According to my knowledgeable guests on this month’s Other Voices TV program, the answer, sadly, is a resounding yes.
The movement to abolish nuclear weapons was a major focus of my activism in the post-Vietnam War era, mostly during the 1980s. And it was a powerful movement. As my guests point out in this interview, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was actually agreed to mainly because of massive public protests. Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 1988 agreement earlier this week.
As my guests further point out, the abolition movement today is a pale shadow of its former self. The end of the Cold War played a decisive role in that downturn. Clearly, however, the threat of nuclear annihilation is still very much with us today.
As my successor as PPJC director pointed out after the program, her generation is entirely unaware of this issue. Julia is 23 years old. It’s not because they don’t care, but because they simply don’t know. The issue has dropped off the public radar screen. And yet there are still nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons on the planet today. (Source: Plowshares Fund)
Next August will mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Can we use that gruesome milestone to help focus attention once again on this existential threat to human life? There’s only one way to find out: get involved in the effort. You can start by checking with the organizations my guests represent.
Jackie Cabasso is Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation and Jon Rainwater is Executive Director of Peace Action. Both are long-established groups with active and effective programs. Give them a click today.