Friday, April 01, 2005

Thinking about WMD and Nuclear War

Majority of Americans Say No to Nuclear Weapons Even in American Hands

Will Lester writes: Most Americans surveyed in a poll say they do not think any country, including the United States, should have nuclear weapons. That sentiment is at odds with current efforts by some nations that are trying to develop the weapons and by terrorists seeking to add them to their arsenal.

Two-thirds of respondents say no nation should have nuclear weapons, including the United States.

The only use of an atomic bomb - by the United States against Japan at the end of World War II - provokes sharply different reactions, depending on the age of those asked. Young adults tend to disapprove, while older Americans tend to approve, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

Albert Kauzmann, a 57-year-old resident of Norcross, Ga., said using the bomb in 1945 "was the best way they had of ending" World War II.

Six in 10 people age 65 and older approve of the use of the atomic bomb at the end of World War II; the same percentage of respondents 18 to 29 disapprove.

Even though the Soviet Union is gone, the nuclear fears that fueled the Cold War have not gone away. A majority of people believe it is likely that terrorists or a country will use the weapons within five years.

North Korea claims it has nuclear weapons now and is making more. Iran is widely believed to be within five years of developing such weapons. Security for the nuclear material scattered across the countries of the old Soviet Union remains a major concern.

Lurking in the background is the threat that worries U.S. officials the most: terrorists' desire to acquire nuclear weapons.

All that helps explain why 52 percent of Americans think a nuclear attack by one country against another is somewhat or very likely by 2010. Also, 53 percent think a nuclear attack by terrorists is at least somewhat likely.

I quote much of this article because the entire poll astonishes me no end. A "majority" of Americans voted for Bush, according to the election, and the top issue for voting for him was his hard nosed military attitude defending America. This includes his ripping up all those nuclear non proliferation treaties and going gung ho on the missile defence shield and building new nuclear arms like the bunker buster weapons.

I would say, there is a huge mental disconnect at work here or the election was fake. It could easily be both. What really puzzles me is the 52% in the poll who believe a nuclear war is very likely by 2010. Do they imagine this nuclear war will only happen to someone else? Do they believe that any country that tries to alter the balance of power by using nukes won't suck the USA, who is the world police force, into a nuclear war? Who is the only country to ever use nukes as a short cut to victory? Think we won't do this again? We already showed our capacity to kill mostly civilians if it means winning a war.

This thinking isn't strictly American. Others think the same way.

I keep harping on the astonishing fact that Bush and Cheney spent over $600 million last year on nuclear bomb shelters. Shows us how much faith they have in their own policies. When your Brave Leader is busy building a hidey hole to hide in, one better vamoose. It means he has given up all hope of peace.

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