Prohibiting First Use of Nuclear Weapons

A letter to the Editor of the Seattle Times, written by Louise Lansberry, sent the week after April 22, 2021:

Dear Editor,

Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 21-1 (There are 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans on the committee) in support of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021.  It appears that the desire to support a very hostile position toward China is a bi-partisan affair.  All the old issues are repeated:  human rights abuses, absence of democratic institutions, unfair trade practices, stealing of intellectual property are among the complaints. As if the United States has an unblemished record on any of these matters. 

The danger, as Henry Kissinger pointed out at a recent conference, is the doomsday potential of the weapons the US and China possess. Is this the place and time where the use of nuclear weapons could end all conflicts….as well as all life on the planet?

Can we truly believe that such a mind set by a bi-partisan group of senators is going to allow for better relations with China?  How will our two senators, Murray, and Cantwell, vote when this bill is sent to the whole Senate for a vote?

Louise attended a Massachusetts Peace Action conference on Prohibiting First Use of Nuclear weapons.  She said it was nearly five hours long, but particularly good. She said there are several people working on nuclear issues that are very impressive:  Ira Helfand from I-CAN, Tom Collina from Ploughshares, and of course Daniel Ellsberg. Below is a link to a video The War Game. A warning: It is very disturbing to watch.

The War Game, by Peter Watkins was made for the BBC in 1965, but not broadcast at the time. It is a docudrama based upon a supposed nuclear attack on the south east of England.  

Here you can find the video of our discussion, a talk by Dr. Ira Helfand, and the Q&A session with a showing of The War Game.

Click here to send a message to President Biden, his administration, and your members of Congress. It calls upon them to put in place a policy of No First Use of nuclear weapons as an important step to prevent nuclear war.