The T Word

(Press Association)
One of those issues that one feels that one ought to blog about, and yet at the same time has very mixed feelings about said subject. So I have decided to do this by doing a pro/con list

Pro

Makes us less reliant on the Americans
Sends a message to certain nations that we are not a soft touch
Given our status in the World, we cannot seriously do anything else!
To scrap it means being vulnerable in a way that is not all that feasible!
If you think I will share a platform with X, Y, and Z on the left(the alternative), you must be joking!


Con

If we want to move into a post nuclear age (which is unrealistic), does this help!
Might help cause an arms race and we don't want to go down that road again!
Sends a message to certain nations that. Hey! It's okay to have such weaponry!
It's not exactly about peace and love is it!
Plus, if we are against this, it will annoy X, Y, and Z on the right!

I am sure I am one of many with such thoughts. I wish I could be a Pacifist, one of those people who went on those anti-nuclear marches in the 1950's and 1960's. But, given the World we live in I can't do that and be totally politically honest, given my deep suspicion of human nature!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Paul,

How can you claim to be a Christian and also believe in nuclear weapons?

As a Christian, surely you should abide by the sixth commandment, and in case you have forgotten it, here is, 'You shall not murder'.

Here is a good a list as I can think of as to why we should abolish nuclear weapons:

One: The entire world would be more secure if the planet were free of nuclear weapons
Two: The threat or use of nuclear weapons has been declared generally illegal by the World Court.
Three: Nuclear weapons are morally reprehensible.
Four: Nuclear weapons have not prevented wars, which is what they were supposed to do.
Five: Nuclear weapons are extraordinarily costly, and the costs continue into the indefinite future.
Six: Some countries have already given up nuclear weapons, showing that it is possible for a nation to be secure without them.
Seven: Since the collapse of the USSR (which we now know, despite the propaganda never intended to use nuclear weapons), who could we use them against. If as the Government keeps telling us, terrorism is the greatest threat to our national security, then these weapons are obsolete against such a threat.

Finally Paul I suggest you visit the peace park in Hiroshima, (which I have done incidentally). It is one of the most moving places I have ever been to. The museum there brilliantly shows the utter destruction, along with the pain and suffering that the use of nuclear weapons can cause. One of the most moving aspects of all is where a piece of wall is displayed from a building that survived the initial explosion, and has the shadow of an adult and young child on it – the shadow is all that is left of them both after they were vaporised in the explosion.
Jonathan said…
"To scrap it means being vulnerable in a way that is not all that feasible!"

Could you expand a little on what you mean by this?

I agree that unilaterally scrapping trident could leave us vulnerable in the hardnosed world of geopolitics in the traditional sense. However in a whole swathe of 'new' geopolitical issues it would not mean that we punched lower than our current weight and in some we would punch higher. How would not renewing trident effect our international attempts to:
- combat global warming
- end global material poverty
- eradicate curable disease in the developing world
- end extreme islamic terrorism
- attract inward investment to the UK
- operate within the EU
- send peace keeping troops to Sierra Leone / other nations.

Sure, we probably could not unilaterally theaten to invade Iran, North Korea, Pakistan or India, but are we planning to do any of these in the next 50 years?(!)

It seems feasible that we could live with these vulnerabilities in return for potential peace, leadership and cost dividends in other areas.
Paul Burgin said…
Anon, I am not happy with nuclear weapons full stop, but I am also very worried aboutleaving nuclear armaments soley in the hands of those who would have no hesitation in bombing New York, Washington, Paris, or London unless there was some deterrent! I have very mixed feelings about the issue as I mentioned in this blog entry, and yes, it is one I do wrestle with as a Christian!

As for your list, I agree the world would be a much better place without nuclear weapons. Unfortunatley there is now the know-how and capability to make them. We can't go back to pre 1945, no matter how much we want to! I agree that the use of nuclear weapons are morally wrong, but that is partly why, in a convoluted way, I agree with some form of deterrent As for wars, they have prevented some. The Cuban Missile crisis springs to mind! As for the collapse of the USSR, there is still the threat of global terrorism, let alone the fact that some belligerent nations have the know-how, let alone the capability. As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I wish to God they never happened (and if I were in President Truman's place I would not have sanctioned the dropping of those bombs), but they did!
Jonathan, to elaborate I mean being at the mercy of those who would not hesitate to use such warfare against us if there was no deterrent. You raise some very good points and I am inclined to agree, but as I have stated, I have very mixed feelings about all of this!

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