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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Professor Rummel on the Establishment's nuclear stupidity.

From R. J. Rummel's Democratic Peace blog:
Democacy and Nukes--The Incredible Ignorance of Experts

The Wall Street Journal of January 4th had an op-ed piece by former top foreign policy officials George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A, Kissinger, and Sam Nunn, on "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons." It is only available to subscribers. But YAHOO provides a fair summary, which I reproduce below:

Four top former US foreign policy officials, including ex-secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, called for a world free of nuclear weapons in an opinion piece.

The article, which appears in the Wall Street Journal, is also signed by former secretary of defense William Perry and Sam Nunn, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Washington heavyweights say the United States should launch a major effort towards banning all nuclear weapons.

Citing nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran, the officials say the world "is now on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era."

Aside from the threat of terrorists using nuclear weapons, "unless urgent new actions are taken, the US soon will be compelled to enter a new nuclear era
that will be more precarious, psychologically disorienting, and economically even more costly than was the Cold War deterrence," they wrote.

In the lengthy article the ex-officials recommend a series of measures that include strong support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other
non-proliferation efforts.

But more has to be done, they suggested.

"We believe that a major effort should be launched by the United States to produce a positive answer through concrete stages," they wrote.

Proposed measures include:


- Increasing the launch warning time on deployed nuclear weapons to reduce the danger of an accidental or unauthorized use

- Decreasing the number of nuclear weapons among all nations

- Eliminating short-range nuclear weapons, designed to be deployed with front-line troops

- Providing the highest possible security around the world for all nuclear weapons, weapons-usable plutonium, and highly enriched uranium

- Phasing out the use of highly enriched uranium in civil commerce

- Removing weapons-usable uranium from research facilities around the world.


"Reassertion of the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and practical measures toward achieving that goal would be, and would be perceived as, a bold
initiative consistent with America's moral heritage," the group wrote.

"Without the bold vision, the actions will not be perceived as fair or urgent. Without the actions, the vision will not be perceived as realistic or possible," the article reads.

Kissinger was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977 under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; Shultz, was secretary of state from 1982 to 1989 under
Ronald Reagan; Perry was secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997 under Bill Clinton; and Nunn was senator from 1972 to 1996.

There is no mention of the democratic peace, and this in the context of an American foreign policy that makes this peace its bedrock. See just two of my blogs on this, the giving a speech by Secretary Rice, and that by President Bush. And in answer to the above op-ed, here are my own thoughts on what to do about nuclear weapons that I wrote in a blog over a year ago.:

For a month diplomats gathered in New York about revising the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and wrung their hands over North Korea’s self-proclaimed, and apparently actual, possession of nuclear weapons, and Iran’s intent to develop them. What to do? What to do?

It seems the best that the diplomats can recommend is to guarantee North Korea that it will not be attacked by any power, including especially the United States, and
to offer inducements, such as international recognition and the multilateral promise of food and material aid. Regarding Iran, the idea is the same -- guarantees of its security, enhance trade, encouraged investment, and
reactor fuel for nuclear power. In other words, if the thugs that rule are clever enough, and can get the resources they need to seem on the verge of developing nukes, then most of the world will appease them. Indeed, they will argue among themselves as to how to best appease these thugs.

Of course, something must be done in the short run about their possessing or soon to get nukes. But, I don’t believe appeasement works. It only feeds the thugs
hunger for more, and only encourages other thugs to exploit this obvious fear so created to get their own goodies. A fundamental principle is at work here:

Appeasement begets appeasement.

But, what to do in the long run? This is another amazing case of few recognizing what is in front of
their noses, such as our ability to produce invisible solids (glass). The solution is obvious, when it is pointed out. Consider: the United States, Britain, France, and Israel have nuclear weapons. (South Africa had six, but then in 1993 the South African Parliament committed the country against developing nuclear weapons, and the six were dismantled -- at that time
South Africa was on the road from Apartheid to being a full-fledged liberal democracy, which was achieved the following year.) Note that none of these nations perceive the other as a threat or as a matter of security, and have developed no defenses against the others, ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. It is just inconceivable that such democracies would go to nuclear war against each other. The only purpose of their nukes is protection against the thugs of this world, or, in the case of France, as also a ticket to the Big Power Club.

So, what to do for the long run elimination of the supreme danger of nuclear weapons? Pure and
simple:


Foster democratic freedom

In a world of democracies, there should be complete nuclear disarmament, for democracies have no need for military forces against each other.

And so an interventionist policy of freeing people from their enslavement to the whims of thugs and ordinary dictators is also to wage peace and denuclearization.

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