2011 #15 Spring ~

  “HOW TO ELIMINATE NUCLEAR WEAPONS SOON, 

& WAR SOON THEREAFTER”

Tad Daley, J.D., Ph.D.

Writing Fellow for the Nobel Peace Laureate Organization 

“International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War”

Author of: APOCALYPSE NEVER: FORGING THE PATH TO A NUCLEAR WEAPON-FREE WORLD

(Rutgers Univ. Press, 2010)

WHEN: SUNDAY AFTERNOON, APRIL 3, 2011

3:45 p.m. – Informal reception & refreshments

4:00 – Tad Daley’s talk followed by discussion

5:30 – Buffet turkey dinner (Reservation form below)

6:30 – Annual CGS of St. Louis Business Meeting

WHERE: THE ETHICAL SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS

9001 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, Missouri 63117

(3/4 mile west of the north end of Galleria Shopping Center)

APOCALYPSE NEVER:  FORGING THE PATH TO A NUCLEAR WEAPON-FREE WORLD

by Tad Daley [New Brunswick, NJ & London: Rutgers University Press, 2010]

(Book review by Ronald J. Glossop–October 10, 2010)

Apocalypse Never is a masterful combination of fact-filled cogent argumentation on the urgent need for and the available means to get a world free of nuclear weapons with a passionate presentation of the reality that the fate of humanity requires that this absolutely essential task be undertaken now. Daley’s great writing style filled with memorable quotations makes for captivating reading about this serious subject. Daley succinctly summarizes the whole book in the 6th paragraph: “Apocalypse Never reveals why we must abolish nuclear weapons, how we can, and what the world will look like after we do. I insist that if humanity hangs on to nuclear weapons indefinitely, some kind of nuclear catastrophe will ensue almost certainly. I illuminate the towering hypocrisy behind the nuclear double standard (according to which our nation possesses thousands of nuclear weapons but insists that others cannot aspire even to one) and contend that such a standard is not only morally indefensible, but also politically unsustainable. I confront humanity’s fundamental long-term choice, bleak but inescapable: zero nuclear weapon states and zero nuclear weapons, or dozens of nuclear weapons states, thousands more nuclear weapons, and nuclear cataclysm only a matter of time.”

In subsequent paragraphs Daley adds several other specific points he defends–that the present nuclear powers have already“absolutely committed themselves” to getting rid of all their nuclear weapons when they negotiated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), that for all the nuclear weapons states including the USA “nuclear weapons are militarily both unnecessary and useless,” that it is a mistake to believe that if nuclear weapons were eliminated some nation might secretly develop nuclear weapons and hold other nations “hostage,” and that we need to realize “that nuclear weapons abolition can indeed come to pass.” It is not only the argumentation dedicated to the overall points that is impressive but also the massive amount of detailed documentation of specific events and references to the relevant literature on every topic. This informative and logically persuasive account goes from the U.S. development and first use of nuclear weapons (pp. 5-7) to the spread of nuclear weapons to several other nations (pp. 17-37) to the more recent threat of the use of nuclear weapons by terrorists (pp. 38-64) to the dangers of an accidental attack using nukes (pp. 66-95) to the possibility that some nation might coolly decide that launching a nuclear attack makes good sense (pp. 96-110) to the development of the promising but partially unfulfilled Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1968 (pp. 111-24) to the fact that overwhelming U.S. conventional military superiority makes nuclear weapons militarily unnecessary for the United States (pp. 125-54) to the specifics of how to get a nuclear-free world (pp. 155-88) to the argument that there is in fact no danger that in a nuclear-free world some nation would acquire nuclear weapons and use them to impose its will on all the other nations (pp. 189-202) to the way that a nuclear free world could come about (pp. 203-27) to the plea for a transition from national patriotism to allegiance to humanity (pp. 228-39). Although this book is full of details and careful argumentation, it is anything but dull reading. To fully comprehend the force of Daley’s overall argument, one must distinguish two separate parts of it. The argument that nuclear weapons are of no use to the United States because of its conventional military superiority applies only to the United States. Daley makes it clear over and over again (pp. 126, 138, 144-45, 147) that for smaller and weaker states even a few nuclear weapons make a lot of sense as a way of deterring military attacks, nuclear or nonnuclear. That is exactly the reason that an important ingredient in persuading these countries to not try to develop nuclear weapons is to create a trustworthy global system with reliable inspection which can eliminate all nuclear weapons, a system which necessarily will need to be able to also inspect within the United States (and other nuclear powers). The United States and these other powerful countries must be ready to give up that little bit of their national sovereignty in order to get rid of all nuclear weapons (pp. 156, 187) and save them and all of humanity from eventual nuclear disaster (p. 223). Past experience has shown us that international inspection can uncover the production of nuclear weapons without eliminating the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and materials (pp. 164-176). Daley recognizes that eliminating all nuclear weapons will also require persuading the smaller and weaker states that they won’t be taken advantage of because of their lesser conventional military power once they no longer have nuclear weapons. One initiative to be used to try to persuade them would be adopting “foreign and defense policies that assure weaker states that stronger states do not intend to attack them” (p. 126). That may be a bit difficult to do. Among other things it would require a much less belligerent foreign policy on the part of the United States (pp. 152-53).

Daley has a message for his fellow world federalists who may be upset that he doesn’t devote more attention to that idea. “Humanity may not ultimately solve the problem of war with anything less than a true world government. Yet before that day dawns, states might conclude that, as regards the nuclear question, it is in their interest to cede some of their freedom, and allow the kinds of limited intrusion on sovereignty that this book advocates” (p. 186). One aspect of Daley’s book which is bound to impress even those who know a great deal about the subject of nuclear weapons is the amount of detailed information provided not only in terms of facts and figures but also in terms of little-known relevant incidents. Another aspect of the book worth mention is the character of the “Acknowledgments” at the end. It wonderfully displays the personality of the author just as do the many personal incidents and observations that enhance the rest of the book.

REPORT FROM THE 2011 NATIONAL CGS CONVENTION

Six of the approximately 90 participants at the March 17-18 national CGS convention in Washington DC were from our St. Louis Chapter. The six included Chair Ron Glossop, Treasurer Dave Oughton, and Membership Secretary Celestia Gaudreault plus our three student essay contest winners Krista Tanaka from Lindbergh High School, Stephanie Yousef from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, and Katy Rasmussen from St. Louis University. Ron and Dave also attended the meetings of the national Boards of Directors of CGS and the CGS Education Fund on Wednesday before the convention and on Saturday after the convention. The main program on Thursday featured presentations by experts providing inside information and insights about what is happening within the U.S. Department of State (Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs) and in the French Embassy (Romaric Roignan, Counselor of Multilateral Affairs and Environment) and at several influential nongovernment organizations (Darcy Burner, Executive Director, Progressive Congress); (Priscilla Lewis, Co-Director, U.S. in the World Initiatative at Demos); (Will Davis, Executive Director, UN Information Center); (Toni Harmer, Assistant Director, Managing Global Insecurity, Brookings Institution); (Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, The Arms Control Association); (Erica Swanson, Director of Field Operations, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights); (David Morissey, Executive Director, U.S. International Council on Disabilities); and (Don Kraus, CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions).

The Friday program was devoted to lobbying with informational materials and training sessions related to two issues, (1) passing a law which would coordinate various U.S. government actions to prevent future genocides and (2) stopping the anticipated attack on U.S. funding for international activities in general and the U.N. in particular. Our group had a chance to talk with and give informational materials to legislative aides for Senators Clair McCaskill and Roy Blunt and Representative Russ Carnahan. We also heard an impressive pep-talk by CGS supporter former U.S. Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia.

————————————————–

“Internationalism does not mean the end of individual nations. Orchestras don’t mean the end of violins.”

-Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel


PEOPLE POWER AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY

Joe Schwartzberg, President, Minnesota Chapter of CGS

There is an aspect to the struggles now sweeping across the Arab world that has, in my opinion, not yet received the attention it deserves. It relates to the question of sovereignty. Do states enjoy the sovereign right to behave towards their people in any way their governments see fit, irrespective of how repressive those governments might be? Should sovereignty immunize autocratic rulers from interference by the United Nations or from other outside parties? Or–following the principle of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P), unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2005– does sovereignty convey not only a bundle of rights, but also certain moral obligations by a state to its own people? Should not “responsibility” become the reverse side of the coin of governance?

World Federalists are prone to proclaim that sovereignty resides in the people. They point approvingly to the words “We the people” in the Preamble to the US Constitution and to the similar, though pluralized, “We the peoples,” opening the UN Charter. However, the sad fact is that relatively few political systems act accordingly. At least, not in normal times. 

Revolutions, of course, are a different matter. They force us to rethink the paradigms by which governments operate. “People power” suddenly makes sense. It is an intoxicating and contagious doctrine with near-universal appeal. Where and to what degree it will prevail in North Africa and the Middle East will undoubtedly command our attention for years to come. Moreover, what is now happening in that region will inevitably have significant repercussions in the rest of the world. The opposition of both China and Russia to UN intervention in Libya must be seen in terms of their understandable fear of people power.

Political ripples from the Middle East also reach the United States. Can anyone doubt that the budget-cut demonstrators in Madison, Wisconsin have not taken heart from their newly discovered Arab brothers? As any student of the UN knows, it is an organization of Nations, not of individual citizens. It proclaims the right of national self-determination, but gives people as such short shrift. In fact, the UN perpetuates the ludicrous legal fiction that Tuvalu, with a population of roughly 10,000 is the sovereign equal of China, with a population of 1.3 billion, and should therefore have an equal vote in the General Assembly. How much authority and respect can a UNGA so constituted command? Is it any wonder that the UN is so often by-passed by self-anointed coalitions such as the G-7, G-8, or G-20, or, formerly, by “coalitions of the willing,” before most wealthy nations lost their appetite for foreign military intervention. Until now, the idea of representing people in a UN Parliamentary Assembly, regarded as an agency parallel to the state-centric General Assembly, enjoyed relatively little support within the world body. That should now change. Additionally, people (i.e., population) should be included in weighted voting formulae for determining voting power in UN organs such as the General Assembly, the Security Council, ECOSOC, and, I would argue, a number of Unaffiliated agencies, including the relatively autonomous Bretton Woods institutions. Most people are understandably leery of power. As is generally recognized, it tends to corrupt. But wisely designed governmental systems are those that allocate power in waysthat most citizens deem to be fair and then curb power by judicious checks and balances. So, important as people power is, it comes –as many studies of revolutionary movements have demonstrated–with the danger of usurpation by demagogues. The problem is obviously not insoluble, as is proven by the existence of a number of well-functioning democracies around the world. It should, then, be within our capability to design a governmental system at the world level in which people power really matters and in which wise governance will become the norm. A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly–a global body of elected representatives–could invigorate institutions of global governance with unprecedented democratic legitimacy, transparency and accountability.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible: but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. “Former UN Secretary-General– Boutros-Boutros Ghali

“Religions and World Federation”

David C. Oughton, Ph.D., Department of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University – for the Encyclopedia of Global Religion

Most religious groups have responded to issues of violence and warfare by teaching their members either some form of pacifism (Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian peace churches) or some form of the just war tradition or military jihad (most monotheists). Such teachings have tried to either eliminate participation in wars or set strict limitations for the moral waging of war. But some modern philosophers, religious individuals, and religious groups have rejected the idea that warfare is a necessary part of human nature. They have examined the causes of war and developed proposals about how to eliminate it. Noting how democratic federal governments have advanced peace and justice within countries, many people have advocated the creation of a democratic federal government at the global level in addition to national, regional, and local governments.

Wars and genocides continue and global problems are not being solved under the existing United Nations Organization, a confederation of national governments based on the principle of unlimited national sovereignty. The U.N. has often been weak and ineffective because of these reasons: the General Assembly can pass only nonbonding resolutions based on the nondemocratic system of one-nation-one-vote; each of the five nations that are permanent members of the Security Council has a veto; there is no adequate system of enforcement for international treaties; and it has a limited budget based on dues that are not always paid by national governments. The U.N. could be transformed into a democratic world federation of nations, based on the principle of subsidiarity, that would create, enforce, and adjudicate world laws as well as having the power and authority to arrest and incarcerate individuals who violate them.

Under an effective world federation, war as a means of settling disputes between and within countries would be outlawed and verifiable disarmament of the weapons of war could take place. In contrast to the present war system, thousands of innocent civilians would not be bombed or suffer under international sanctions because of the decisions of their leaders. Conflicts would be settled and global problems could be solved through a nonviolent democratic process. A world constitution would make explicit the powers and limitations of the world federation; the rights, powers, and limitations of national governments; and the rights and responsibilities of all citizens of the world. Roman Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council called for outlawing war by international consent and creating a universal public authority that would safeguard security, justice, and rights. In their encyclicals, Pope John XXIII and Pope Benedict XVI have stated that there is an urgent need for a true world political authority that would be regulated by law, observe the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, promote human development, manage globalization, and establish the common good. According to the teachings of Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i Universal House of Justice, acceptance of the oneness of humanity is a prerequisite for establishing a world federation. According to Baha’is, every national government will need to give up every claim to make war and should only maintain armaments for purposes of maintaining internal order. Baha’is and many others also believe that understanding between all people and the facilitation of a world federal democracy would be enhanced by the universal use of a common auxiliary language in addition to the national languages. Many individuals within religions that lack a central teaching authority have also promoted the goal of a world federation. For example, many liberal Protestant Christians and many Unitarian-Universalists are world federalists. Many Hindus such as Swami Satprakashananda, many Buddhists such as Nikkyo Niwano, and many individuals from other major religions have emphasized the need for a global system of enforceable world laws. Before the legal and political superstructure of a world federation can be created for world peace, the world’s religions have the responsibility of building a firm foundation for it by emphasizing their versions of the Golden Rule, common ethical commandments, “humatriotism” (loyalty to the human family), world citizenship, and stewardship of creation. They need to participate in local, national, and international forums for interreligious dialogue and cooperation as well as act according to the principles of the “Declaration of a Global Ethic” that has been developed by the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

NATIONAL CGS HAS NEWLY REVISED WEB PAGE

Our national CGS organization has revised its web-page, but the old address has been retained: <http://www.globalsolutions.org&gt;.

Information about the World Federalist Institute can be found under “About Us” on the left.


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