LAWRENCE WITTNER – As the Cuban missile crisis ultimately convinced Kennedy and Khrushchev, in the nuclear era thereâ€™s little to be gainedâ€•and a great deal to be lostâ€•when great powers continue their centuries-old practices of carving out exclusive spheres of influence and engaging in high-stakes military confrontations.Â Surely, we, too, can learn from the Cuban crisisâ€•and must learn from itâ€•if we are to survive.
CENTER FOR CITIZEN INITIATIVES – CCI calls for results-oriented dialogue to rediscover the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.
ROBERT kOEHLER – In the linear world of geopolitics, militarism and mysteriously determined â€œnational interestâ€ rule and security means â€” though it is never put this way â€” playing games with Armageddon. This is called realism. And those who claim to be realists never â€” ever, ever â€” allow a word like â€œdisarmamentâ€ into the conversation, much less into the realm of political choice.
CENTER FOR CITIZEN INITIATIVES – The Covid-19 pandemic shows that governments that think of security in mostly military terms are simply wasting money, Mikhail Gorbachev has said. Defense spending must be cut globally to fund things that humanity actually needs.
ALICE SLATER – August 6th and 9th mark 74 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where only one nuclear bomb dropped on each city caused the deaths of up to 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki. Now, with the US decision to walk away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) negotiated with the Soviet Union, we are once again staring into the abyss of one of the most perilous nuclear challenges since the height of the Cold War.
POPULAR RESISTANCE – All of humanity is being put at risk by the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans opposition to dialogue with Russia. The combination of Russophobia and the Democratic Partyâ€™s compulsion to criticize Trumpâ€™s every action, even when he accidentally does something sensible, is preventing the two largest nuclear powers, with the two most advanced militaries in the world, from working together to create a safer and more secure world.
DAVID SWANSON – On Friday, May 12, in Moscow I and a group from the United States met with former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. He said the current relationship between Washington and Moscow alarmed him. But, he said, it is possible to rebuild trust. â€œWe had a situation that was worse, but we were able to rebuild trust. And people-to-people contacts helped to rebuild trust.â€
PATRICK T. HILLER – I donâ€™t know any of the 13 activists who lowered themselves from the St. John â€™s Bridge in Portland, Oregon, nor any of the dozens of kayakers paddling in the Willamette River below them, but they succeeded in a temporary blockade of the Shell-leased Arctic-bound icebreaker MSV Fennica. I know that the activists participated in our democracyâ€”they were nonviolent and far more civil than many members of Congress. The ship was in Portland for repairs of damage to the hull, which ironically occurred when it was scheduled to leave for the Arctic as part of the safety conditions Royal Dutch Shell Oil needed to fulfill for federal approval to drill for oil after a series of accidents in 2013.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The conventional explanation for nuclear restraint by the relatively small number of nations possessing nuclear weapons is that the danger posed by these weapons has â€œdeterredâ€ nations from waging nuclear war and, overall, has created a situation of nuclear safety. But something is missing from the conventional explanation. The missing ingredient is a massive grassroots movement: one that has mobilized millions of people in nations around the globe: the world nuclear disarmament movement. This is the text of a talk delivered by Dr. Wittner in May 2013 to the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Ottawa.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In Oregon, the Nuclear Freeze movement was led by Citizen Action for Lasting Security, one of the organizations that later merged into Oregon PeaceWorks. As we end one year and begin a new one, it is encouraging to look back at historian Lawrence Wittnerâ€™s chronicle of that exciting movement. – Editor
Thirty years ago, Randall Forsberg, a young defense and disarmament researcher, launched the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Designed to stop the drift toward nuclear war through a U.S.-Soviet agreement to stop the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons, the freeze campaign escalated into a mass movement that swept across the United States. It attracted the support of nearly all peace groups, as well as that of mainstream religious, professional, and labor organizations.