Swords Into Plowshares
As we begin to consider the FCNL Legislative Priorities I offer this quote from the prophet Isaiah:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
— Isaiah 2:3–4
On Saturday Outreach, Peace and Justice Committee of Old Chatham Quakers screened the film "The Nuns, The Priests, and the Bombs." It is prescient that we chose to show this film now because the US military just approved low yield nuclear weapons. The Federation of American Scientists revealed in late January that the U.S. Navy had deployed for the first time a submarine armed with a low-yield Trident nuclear warhead.
The move to low yield nuclear weapons is actually a move away from the nuclear posture that the US has held since the cold war. Namely, the insane principle of "mutually assured destruction." With low yield nukes (nuclear weapons with about 1/3 the yield of the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) the rationale is that they are usable. That their destructive power can be contained and their use is limitable.
THEY ARE NOT LIMITABLE and THEY CAN NOT BE CONTAINED.
They can't be contained because you can't contain nuclear fallout. They are not limitable because you can't prevent escalation (even if these genies of destruction are used against non-nuclear powers like Iran there is no guarantee that allies of these countries will not use their nuclear weapons to either avenge their friends or immediately retaliate if their interests in the region feel threatened.)
The inescapable truth is that the power and security these weapons promise --- is -- illusory. Not real. We learned very quickly that our atomic security was fake when the Soviet Union entered the atomic age in 1949. These doomsday machines have and will continue to make us more and more insecure for three simple reasons:
As we hold these concerns, we ought also to be thinking about is how as people and as nations we can share a reality of peace and security and what prerequisites need to be put in place for that to happen.
Some queries on nuclear weapons:
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