News Release

* China * Pope on Nukes

HENRY ROSEMONT Jr, hrosemont at
Rosemont is distinguished professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and visiting scholar of religious studies at Brown University. He recently wrote the piece “Re-thinking U.S.-China Relations.”

His books include A Chinese Mirror: Moral Reflections on Political Economy. His latest book is the recently released Against Individualism: A Confucian Rethinking of the Foundations of Morality, Politics, Family and Religion.

See: “Pope denounces deterrence and calls for prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

ALICE SLATER, aslater at
Slater is with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Abolition 2000 coordinating committee. She said today: “The stirring condemnation of nuclear weapons by Pope Francis today at the United Nations and his call for their prohibition and complete elimination in compliance with promises made in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed by the U.S. in 1970, should give new momentum to the current campaign to start negotiations on a ban treaty. This initiative, endorsed by 117 non-nuclear weapons states to sign the Humanitarian Pledge, to ‘fill the legal gap’ for nuclear disarmament and ban the bomb just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons would create a new legal norm (which was not established in the NPT). It provided that the five nuclear weapons states (U.S., Russia, UK, France, China) would make ‘good faith’ efforts for nuclear disarmament, but didn’t prohibit their possession, in return for a promise from all the other nations not to acquire nuclear weapons. Every nation in the world signed the treaty except India, Pakistan, and Israel who went on to get nuclear weapons. North Korea took advantage of the NPT’s Faustian bargain to give ‘peaceful’ nuclear power to nations who promised not to make bombs and walked out of the treaty using the keys it got to its own bomb factory to make weapons.

“At the NPT five year review conference this spring, the U.S., Canada, and the UK refused to agree to a final document because they couldn’t deliver Israel’s agreement on a promise made in 1995 to hold a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone conference for the middle east. South Africa condemned the nuclear apartheid enshrined in the double standard of the NPT, which allowed the five signers to not only keep their nukes but to continue to modernize them with Obama pledging one trillion dollars over the next thirty years for two new bomb factories, delivery systems and new nuclear weapons. Indeed, on the eve of the Pope’s UN talk, it was reported that the U.S. is planning to upgrade its nuclear weapons stationed at a German NATO base, causing Russia to rattle a few nuclear sabers of its own. The obvious bad faith of the nuclear weapons states is paving the way for even more non-nuclear weapons states to create the legal taboo for nuclear weapons just as the world has done for chemical and biological weapons. Inspired by the Pope’s talk, this may be a time to finally give peace a chance.”

Background: “McNamara: U.S. a Violator of Proliferation Treaty.”