Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nuclear Equity

As I listen to the latest public radio discussions about nuclear non-proliferation talks with North Korea I find myself with a sneaking suspicion about the motives of the nuclear powers.

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the justice or equity of a nuclear power telling emerging nuclear power they can't have this authority because it is too dangerous. It plays to my heart and mind like a rich person telling a poor person they don't really want lots of money - because it is a lot of responsibility and it is scary and they (the poor person) aren't really equipped to deal with that. What makes the U.S. or any other nuclear power any better equipped to handle nuclear power than another nation? Our leaders aren't necessarily smarter (you can make that argument from either side of the aisle depending who is in The White House). Is it because our leaders are democratically elected and therefore more accountable? If we have nuclear holocaust the last thing I'll be worrying about is government accountability. Because I'm pretty sure I'll be dead or hanging on by the skin of my, well, skin. I know there is a nuclear non-proliferation treaty signed in 1970 (seriously) that was really driven (I think) by the zealotry of the Cold War. Not because nuclear power and weaponry is inherently bad. But because the U.S. and the then Soviet Union were out of control.

My instinct is that we don't want India or Iran or Pakistan or North Korea to have nuclear power because then they'd be as powerful as we are.

Before my liberal friends pop in righteously, I want to be clear that I'm not pro-nuke. Instead I'm anti-hypocrisy (or pro-integrity if you will). IF the U.S. were both advocating for developing nuclear powers to back off AND working towards our nation's own nuclear disarmament I wouldn't be writing this blog post. No moral dilemma and no sneaking suspicion about the power motive being the dominant motive behind our rhetoric on the world stage.

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