Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nuke War is for Real by Erick San Juan

Nuke War is for Real by Erick San Juan

Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or madness. (John Fitzgerald Kennedy, U.S. former President in his address to the United Nations Assembly, Sept. 1961)

The abovementioned quotation was also cited in the documentary film "Countdown to Zero", wherein the ultimate goal is to reduce to zero the nuclear weapons worldwide. There are about more than twenty-three thousand nuclear arsenals in the world where Russia tops the list with the United States not far behind. This is the documented number of nuclear weapons (as of 2010) but nobody knows how many more that were not disclosed by some countries.

The threat of nuclear war is for real, especially now that there is so much tension in two regions, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. So many provocations and agitations, rhetorics and doublespeak. The rest of the world is nervously waiting and hoping that the first nuclear strike will never happen. We all know that some countries from both regions are capable of launching a nuclear weapon if the need arises.

Nuclear First Strike Doctrine

For 25 years, up to the inauguration of George W. Bush, U.S. policy was that there would be no American first-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear armed states. But the world has witnessed the use of preemptive strike policy by Bush and his gang of chicken hawks. And after 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has proven the US wrong in using such policy. The rest is history, hoping that the present US leadership will not repeat a bad history.

That is why President Barack Obama's goal of reducing the role of nuclear weapons and setting out on a path toward their elimination is at a critical juncture. After his Prague speech (at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, March 29, 2011) he promised to the international community that he will "put an end to Cold War thinking" by reducing the role of nuclear weapons in their national security strategy. President  Obama has ordered a review of the requirements for how the military should plan for the potential use of nuclear weapons. (Source: Reviewing Nuclear Guidance: Putting Obama’s Words Into Action by Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris)

 President Obama who won the Nobel Peace Prize several months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggresive American leaders in decades. Even the liberals voted for him because of his opposition to the Iraq war. But he decimated Al Qaeda's leadership. He overthrew Libyan dictator Khadaffy. He ordered drone  attacks in Pakistan and covert wars in Yemen and Somalia. He authorized the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen. Obama ordered and oversaw the 'killing' of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seal. (Peter L. Bergen,director of the New American Foundation, IHT 4/30/12)

While on the other hand, China through its Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said (over a year ago) that "From the first day China possessed nuclear weapons, the Chinese government has solemnly pledged never to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances and has always strictly adhered to this pledge."

But we should continue to be wary of Obama who metamorphosed into a bird of prey and on the confluence of events, after the recent failure of North Korea’s satellite rocket launching. Strong threats against South Korea has been released by NoKor’s present leadership. Now that they have suffered the consequences of not following the advice of the United Nations, backed by the US, stricter sanctions were given to them especially food aid for the starving Koreans. The peaceful Korean Peninsula is now threatened by a possible conflict in the offing, if such issue will not be resolved soon.

PNoy’s Trips to US and UK, is history repeating itself?

And for the Philippines, we are in the wait and see mode as our Defense and Foreign Affairs secretaries went to the first 2+2 meeting in Washington to discuss defense and foreign policies, including the very controversial Scarborough Shoal stand-off.

After this defense meeting, President Aquino III will be visiting the White House (next month) and followed by his trip to London by the same month or June.

We are living in very exciting times and as an observer of events unfolding, we are witnessing a repeat in history which could be worst than what happened during the time of former President Arroyo. Will PNoy play his cards better than CGMA or is he going to suffer the same fate as Mrs. Arroyo?

With all the agitations around us and the possible regional conflicts in the offing, a nuclear world war is not far behind. Let us pray hard that it will not start in our own backyard, may it be by accident, miscalculation or pure madness.

No comments: