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Nuclear Weapons

Voice From the Back

Political Posturing

Politicians love making grandiose claims that have nothing to do with reality and the president of the USA came up with a wild notion recently. 'President Obama used the backdrop of the Brandenburg Gate yesterday to urge Russia to leave the Cold War behind by agreeing to a one-third reduction in its nuclear arsenal' (Times, 20 June). The USA has 7,700 nuclear warheads and Russia has 8,500, so a one-third reduction would still leave enough nuclear warheads to burn the world to a crisp. Do you still listen to politicians' ideas or give them any credence?

A Bleak Future

50 Years Ago: A Message for Aldermaston Marchers

This might be your last Aldermaston. The March has lost its impact and become an "Easter habit." These marches were originally organised in the belief that with mass support you would be able to force the British Government to renounce nuclear weapons. You have had the support. You have engaged in all types of activity on a vast scale. You have captured the energy and enthusiasm of tens of thousands; you have distributed leaflets and pamphlets by the million. And yet you have failed.

Material World: The Second Nuclear Age

Material World

Five years ago, we reminded readers of this column that ‘nuclear weapons are still there’ (Socialist Standard, February 2008). True, many fewer of them than at the height of the Cold War. But more than enough to turn the surface of our planet into a radioactive wasteland and still have plenty left over.

In a recent book entitled The Second Nuclear Age (Henry Holt & Co., 2012), the prominent American nuclear strategist Paul Bracken argues that nuclear weapons are now regaining their relevance to statecraft. They are making a comeback. The risk of nuclear war is significantly higher now than it ever was in the past.

After Iraq, Iran?

CND is deluding itself if it thinks that a capitalism free from nuclear weapons is possible.

CND are in support of a Nuclear Weapons-Free Middle East and the future UN conference on this matter. On 13October they will be holding a special International Conference – 'Building towards a Nuclear Weapons-Free Middle East: Civil Society input for a new Helsinki Process'. At which Professor Abbas Edalat of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) has been invited.

Professor Edalat was the main speaker at a CND  public meeting at Conway Hall in Central London in July on the question; 'Iran – Why is the West preparing it's public for a new war in the Middle East?’ His organisation, CASMII, is said to support the Iranian Reform Movement which was in power in Tehran 1997-2005 and has a bourgeois 'middle class' base. But where do Professor Edalat and CND stand in relation to capitalism and war?

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