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Once there was the Non-Proliferation Treaty PDF Imprimer Envoyer
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Jeudi, 14 Décembre 2017 05:55
nuclear by Nicola Walter Palmieri (Ruvigliana, Switzerland)

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” (Article VI NPT).

After the devastation caused by the first, and so far only, nuclear bombs, the world should have locked away this Frankenstein monster, and should have abandoned all thoughts of ever using nuclear weapons again. On the contrary, several countries established their own nuclear arsenals. In 1968, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) imposed non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, and guaranteed the right of peaceful use of nuclear energy. Five countries – Belgium, Germany, Italy (1), Netherlands and Turkey – had received thermonuclear B61s (2) on NATO sharing agreements (3).

The Treaty did not keep its promise. Instead of disarming in good faith, as required under Article VI, the nuclear nations kept, and keep, expanding their arsenals. As recently as July 2015, U.S. then Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, stated in the National Military Strategy (4): “We are modernizing our nuclear enterprise.” And President Trump tweeted, in 2017: “My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.” (5) NATO is in the process of replacing the B61s with improved B61-12s (6). Michael Parenti noted: “They wield the power of gods while themselves being either wilfully deceptive or dangerously ignorant”. (7)

The 1996 International Court of Justice was of no help. When asked for an advisory opinion on the question whether “the threat or use of nuclear weapons [is] in any circumstance permitted under international law”, the world judges answered (in a split opinion) that they did not know. They stated: “in view of the present state of international law viewed as a whole, . . . and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court is led to observe that it cannot reach a definitive conclusion as to the legality or illegality of the use of nuclear weapons by a State in an extreme circumstance of self-defence in which its very survival would be at stake”. (8) The answer should have been that nuclear weapons are banned, in all circumstances, forever.

Politicians and the media speak today with indifference of nuclear war, as if atrociously killing people by the millions in indiscriminate inferno, and rendering the Earth uninhabitable, were ordinary business. Five Star Admiral William D. Leahy said, at the time of the ferocious nuclear attacks on Japan, that the use of the atomic bomb was a violation of “every Christian ethic I have ever heard of and of the known laws of war . . . [I]n being the first to use [this barbarous weapon] we adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.” (9) “My God, what have we done!”, uttered Robert Lewis, the Second Pilot of the Enola Gay. And General Eisenhower famously said that “[I]t is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.”

Statements like the threats by President Trump on North Korea that “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” and his speech at the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations that “the United States will be forced to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea” should not be tolerated. Or are we back to the cold war hysteria when, in 1949, Senator Brien McMahon said, after hearing of the successful nuclear test by the Soviet Union: “Blow [the Soviets] off the face of the earth”?

The continuous violation of the NPT by the Nuclear Weapon States is taking the world back to the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. It encourages Non Nuclear Weapons States to arm themselves, as a matter of self-defense. Who can prohibit it? The pervert result of the distortions of the NPT is that the world needs the arsenals of nuclear weapons as instruments of peace. This is the tragedy of mankind.

(1) Italy is prohibited by law to have nuclear stockpiles (L. Nr. 185 of July 8, 1990)
(2) B61s are (max) 340 kilotons, 20 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
(3) The NATO explanation can be found in NATO Fact Sheet of March 2017: NATO and the Non- Proliferation Treaty.
(4) “The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015”, The U.S. Military Contribution to National Security 2015.
(5) Trump@realDonaldTrump - August 9, 2017.
(6) These are 50-kiloton bombs, three times the Hiroshima bomb.
(7) PARENTI, Sword and Dollar, pp 166-167.
(8) International Court of Justice, Advisory Opinion of July 8, 1996 on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.
(9) William D. LEAHY, I Was There: The Personal Story of the Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman Based On His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time, New York: Whittlesey House, 1950, p. 441.

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