Why do our leaders keep silent about the threat of nuclear catastrophe, hanging over us at all times, instead of taking the sane and obvious course -- banning nuclear weapons as the other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) have been banned? The answer to this question is becoming more clear by the day.
The leaders of the nuclear states cling compulsively to their nuclear weapons as though their very identity depended on it. And to some extent it does. In contrast to the banning alternative the MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) option of political choice seems irrational and even insane. Yet it is only irrational if the goal of our leaders is the same goal as that of you and me. It would only be irrational if our leaders' primary goal was to keep citizens safe. This is not the case. The primary goal of the nuclear state leaders is to enhance their power and status on the world stage. Dr. Nick Ritchie of Bradford University's Disarmament Research Centre studied and published a paper on "Trident and British Identity'. A key finding was that "Nuclear weapons underpin Britain's core self-identity as a major "pivotal' power". (In this
Statement, for "Britain's' read "Britain's power elites').
The nuclear leaders' lust for power and influence is the first part of the answer.
The second part relates to the increasingly circulating and convincing view that to get to the top in our fiercely competition-based profits-driven culture a psychopathic personality can be a distinct advantage 1 -- this applies to governments as well as corporations and other competitive environments. Psychopaths appear to act rationally but being severely deficient in empathy and compassion they lack the human attributes which give pause to others.
As Rob Kall of OpEdNews points out , "sociopaths and psychopaths are not severely mentally ill. Generally, they are unable to claim the insanity defense in court because they know what they are doing. They just don't care and don't think laws apply to them' 2 . Having witnessed, in recent years, the appalling death and suffering resulting from the wholly gratuitous and illegal wars embarked upon by the leaders of the UK and the US, with no admission of guilt or regret, can we doubt the influence of psychopathology in the decision making? The same people cling to their nuclear weapons regardless. They are willing to risk nuclear Armageddon in order to enhance their perceived status and sense of self-importance. As Rob Kall writes, "Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power'.
How can we defend ourselves against these people?
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN -- see http://www.icanw.org) is a global grassroots coalition movement which "brings together humanitarian, environmental, human rights, peace and development organizations, in more than 60 countries, in the drive to rid the world of nuclear weapons' . ICAN is working round the world building recognition of the unacceptable humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. A current primary strategy is to encourage non-nuclear states to sign up to a treaty banning these horrendous, inhumane weapons. Although unconnected to ICAN this strategy is powerfully described by the web site www.wildfire-v.org . Its writers have reached certain conclusions including t he following;
"Nuclear-weapon states will not engage in negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear disarmament treaty. Not now, not ever.
The so-called step-by-step approach to get rid of nuclear weapons has got nowhere. This will not change.
The civil society effort to abolish nuclear weapons is failing. Without a clear, achievable short-term goal, it cannot unify, focus or exert effective pressure on governments.
All the cards are on the table. The catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons are understood. The motivations of the nuclear-weapon states are clear. Further research, commissions, studies, analysis, eminent windbags and general whining will add nothing'.
"Wildfire' concludes it's time to change the game.
The key to this is separating prohibition from disarmament. First get nuclear weapons banned then get the nuclear states to conform.