Nuclear Power and nuclear bombs

Development of nuclear power is, and should be a concern for all world leaders, particularly political leaders. Obviously, some Western leaders are expressing serious concern about the possibility that Iran was developing a nuclear bomb.

We in the Western world may not like Iran’s human rights abuses, but it is fear-mongering hypocrisy to accuse them of trying to produce a nuclear bomb when Canada itself has contributed to proliferation.

Recently, the Canadian government reported a $350 million nuclear sale to India. The Prime Minister of India claimed the deal would“save the world from global warming and climate change.”

We may recall that in the 1970s, Canada traded nuclear energy technology to India, thereby making it possible for that country to produce a nuclear bomb. This then convinced the leaders of India’s neighbor Pakistan that it would also need nuclear weapons, in case India decided to attack them. (What goes around, comes around.)

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is not being honored or signed by such nuclear states as North Korea, Pakistan, India, or Israel. It is important for everyone, especially our youth, to remember the horrors of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The use of nuclear weapons by accident, malicious intent, or a terrorist group could result in a major catastrophe on our planet.

Leo Kurtenbach

The Uranium Symposium

I’d like to comment on your latest issue of Peace Magazine in order to complete Dr. Dale Dewar’s excellent article about the Québec World Uranium Symposium. I thank her too for her great animation of these three days, along with Université de Montréal emergency doctor Eric Notebaert.

Eric was a key actor in the successful fight against Gentilly 2 nuclear station in Québec, along with the president of Les Artistes pour la Paix, filmmaker Guylaine Maroist and her film, “Gentilly or Not to Be.” She could not attend the International Nuclear Film Festival organized during the symposium (with actress Karine Vanasse as special guest) because she was in Switzerland where her film “God Save Trudeau” inaugurated a festival with tremendous success.

In conclusion, our sincere congratulations to the main symposium’s organizer, Ugo Lapointe and his co-workers from the coalition Québec meilleure mine: see ugo@miningwatch.ca. Andsee our article in artistespourlapaix.org/?p=7114.

Pierre Jasmin

Republican Foreign Policy Follies

I have not watched the Republican debates or listened to the speeches. I’ve read the newspaper accounts, especially their foreign policy statements, and I am appalled. Particularly alarming are the false claims about American weakness and the calls for more militarism.

America’s standing in the world has indeed declined in recent years. This is not because we are weak militarily, however. The US continuesto spend more on its military than any other country—three times more than China and seven times more than Russia. Rather, we are lessrespected because we have used military force so cavalierly and ineffectively, with such harmful consequences.

Also outrageous is the claim that the Obama administration is somehow responsible for the rise of ISIS. No mention is made of the disastrous US-led invasion of Iraq which shattered the state, divided Sunnis against Shias, and sparked a massive insurgency that led to the rise of Al Qaeda and later ISIS.

Note that the decision to withdraw American forces from Iraq was based on a 2008 security agreement between the Bush administration and the Maliki regime in Baghdad. The Iraqi government firmly rejected requests by US military officials to let American forces remain in the country.

One more point: Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 largely on the basis of his unequivocal pledge to end the war in Iraq. Many of us applauded him for fulfilling that promise. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

Let’s hope our democracy withstands the new wave of military jingoism.

David Cortright
Kroc Institute, Notre Dame University

Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2015

Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2015, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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