I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Ending gluttonous spending on an obese nuclear arsenal"

Seattle Times editorial columnist Lance Dickie wrote a column in the May 25th print edition titled "An antidote to the nuclear menace.  In it he makes a case for "ending gluttonous spending on" what he calls "an obese nuclear arsenal." 

Click here to read the online version of Lance's column.

Here are a number of Letters to the Editor in response to Lance's column (that may or may not be published by The Times).


Lance Dickie's article on May 24th(Nuclear Arsenal) references Global Zero which states that "the only way to eliminate the nuclear threat is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, secure all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons."

We at No Nukes NW state that closing nuclear power plants must be part of the discussion when talking about nuclear weapons as they wouldn't exist without nuclear power plants. Billions of dollars can be saved by using alternative energies which are not the high target of terrorists, would clean up our planet, and remove the possibility of more Fukushima's.  Solar panels and wind farms are no threat to anyone but the 1% who own nukes.

Now let's talk! As Matt Brown states, "there is no rational argument for maintaining our arsenals". There is no rationale for pretending that nuclear power is cheap and clean either. Let's keep these conversations truthful so that the people of the US can understand what is really going on in our backyards. Nuclear weapons do not keep us safe, nor is nuclear power safe, clean or efficient; nuclear energy and weapons can wipe us off the planet. Safety is in No Nukes. Period.

Miriam German
No Nukes NW


Dear Editor:

Thanks to Lance Dickey for highlighting the enormously wasteful costs of nuclear weaponry, which we the USA still deploy at Cold War levels just 20 air miles from Seattle from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, homeport for the most lethal weapons of mass destruction system on the planet.

You will even get people whose livelihoods depend on the billions of dollars this base brings to Kitsap County and Washington State to agree that we need better ways to support our families than to project massive terror as America's message to the rest of the world.

One single Trident submarine warhead decimates a 10-mile diameter area and would kill any city it hits. Each Trident submarine warship can now carry under current treaties 96 of these hydrogen bombs. It's no way to be a neighbor, even in a world so fractured as ours.

And to extend the life of these horrific weapons costs us our economic security at the same time it invites others to develop nuclear weapons. We now have the technologies to detect very small nuclear explosions anywhere in the world, so we can verify a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and pursue the elimination of these monstrous offspring of twentieth century war traumas.

David C Hall MD
Lopez Island, WA

(also published by The Seattle Times, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/northwestvoices/2018311837_nuclearlet.html)


Lance Dickie’s “Antidote to nuclear menace” (Times 5/25/12) offers a welcome call for Congress to cut “budgets and taming deficit, ending gluttonous spending of obese nuclear arsenal.” 

One place to start cutting "obese" nuclear weapons might be the Kitsap-Bangor based Trident submarines and missiles that are scheduled to begin replacement beginning in 2029.   Eight new subs are estimated at a cost of $6 to $8 billion dollars each (just to build). 

A proposed additional wharf to serve them,  currently in the works, will cost $717 million. It could be a ‘wharf to nowhere’. 

For thirty-five years, the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, also Kitsap based, has been educating, training in nonviolence, and working to end both the cost and (global) threat of nuclear subs and missiles based in Puget Sound.

Tom Shea
Snoqualmie, WA


Friday’s (May 25) column by Lance Dickie is thought-provoking.

Many, including conservatives like Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, have called for a total abolition of nuclear weapons. They point out that the major powers cannot use them against each other because that would be mutual suicide. They know better than the rest of us how close we have come to Armageddon. John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan came close to achieving an abolition agreement with their counterparts.

Now there are people like Gen. James Cartwright who think we need these weapons as a deterrent, but not so many of them. There are certainly many better uses for our dollars than feeding these terrible weapons.

Let’s reduce them now! What better way to reduce our national debt?

— Norm Keegel, Bainbridge Island

(also published by The Seattle Times, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/northwestvoices/2018311837_nuclearlet.html)


Thanks to Lance Dickie for giving us so much to think about (in "An antidote to the nuclear menace", The Times, May 25th).  Nuclear weapons, and what to do about them, is not an easy discussion to initiate.  Yet, initiate we must; and action we must take.  The longer they exist the greater the probability of their use, either accidentally or intentionally. 

Abolition is no naive dream; it is fundamental to humanity's survival.  It has been documented that even a limited nuclear exchange would cause global famine, and the effects of radiation are well known. 

Meanwhile, the continued pursuit of nuclear weapons (by our own nation) is sucking vast amounts of financial and human capital, bankrupting us economically and morally. 

Lance sums things up: "The arsenal - the overkill - that remains from the Cold War is an economic and security menace."  It is high time to face this menace and seriously move toward "Global Zero!"

Leonard Eiger
North Bend, WA

No comments: