Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Do As We Say, Not As We Do #IranDeal

Graphic: Anthony Freda. Used with permission.

Organizer Jackie Cabasso wrote a letter to the editor recently providing context for the Iran nuclear deal that senators are bloviating against in the run up to voting on it in September:

Thanks to California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee for declaring their support for the Iran nuclear deal.

Congress should support the deal, which imposes the most stringent monitoring and verification provisions on Iran's nuclear program than on any other country's program. In fact, these provisions should be applied to every nation on Earth, including the United States, Russia, the U.K., France and China, the nuclear-armed permanent members of the U.N. Security Council who overcame their considerable differences to negotiate the deal with Iran.

When Iran joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970, it promised to forswear nuclear weapons in exchange for its "inalienable right" to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes "without discrimination." When the P-5 ratified the NPT, they undertook a legal obligation "to pursue negotiations in good faith" on cessation of the nuclear arms race "at an early date" and nuclear disarmament. It's long past time for them to make good on their side of the bargain.

Jacqueline Cabasso 
Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

The environmental impact of even nuclear weapons that are not deployed is a global matter. It doesn't matter whether Israel, Pakistan or U.N. Security Council hypocrites build and store the bombs -- the planet is in peril.

What if the $52 billion referenced above for U.S. nuclear weapons research were spent instead on developing alternative energy sources? Resourcing that could render it unnecessary for the U.S. to occupy and destabilize the oil and gas-rich countries of the Middle East?

This wouldn't significantly impact the Pentagon budget, that most sacred cow of our times. Because much of nuclear weapons research and development is hidden in another budget line, that of the Dept. of Energy.

In fact, much of militarization in our time is hidden from public view -- an effective strategy for rendering opposition feeble and muted. Tom Englehardt described in a recent essay on the absence of effective opposition to endless wars abroad "the rise of the warrior corporation and the privatization of war." 

Ignoring this grave threat to the viability of life on the planet is a dead end -- for everybody.

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