January 15th commemorates Dr Martin Luther King’s dream of peace
“I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction… I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow.
I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame and reign supreme amongst the children of men.”
We are still on that militaristic stairway.
The UN says the risk of nuclear weapons use is higher now than at any time since the cold war. Russia has threatened to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, China is said to be doubling its arsenal, some arms control treaties and agreements are languishing, and nuclear weapons are more destructive now than ever before.
The Opposition is calling for nuclear power in the form of Small Modular Reactors which are costly and produce dangerous radioactive waste. The Federal Government has committed to nuclear powered submarines which are also costly and tie Australia more closely to whatever military action is taken by the US.
It is very unlikely that nuclear weapons states will completely disarm but as a close ally of the US, Australia should at least be pressing for:
- A universal commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons
- A drastic reduction in weapons ready for immediate use
- A reduction in the overall global stockpile to less than 2,000 weapons
- All weapons to be taken off high-alert