Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


New Atomic Arms And The Militarization Of Space

Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release April 11, 2005
http://www.btlonline.org

Threat of Global Nuclear Weapons Proliferation Met by U.S. Development of New Atomic Arms and Militarization of Space
http://www.btlonline.org/btl041505.html

Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, anti-nuclear activist and founder of the Nobel Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility, conducted by Scott Harris

Listen in RealAudio:
http://www.btlonline.org/caldicott041505.ram
(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)

The Bush administration has taken a hard line against nations they say are engaged in the development of nuclear weapons. Targets of harsh rhetoric coming from the White House include Iran and North Korea, countries that Bush has branded the Axis of Evil. But while the administration speaks out frequently about the dangers of nuclear proliferation around the world, it has announced plans to spend millions of dollars to develop and test a new generation of American nuclear weapons and technology to militarize outer space. These include new "bunker buster" bombs, anti-satellite weapons and anti-ballistic missiles as part of the national missile defense program.

Talks to renew the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, begin in May, but the Bush administration and other nuclear powers are reported to be unconcerned about its future. If the NPT is abandoned, its demise could pave the way for an unprecedented explosion of nuclear weapons proliferation across the globe.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is a pediatrician and anti-nuclear weapons activist. She founded the Nobel Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility in 1978 because of her grave concern over the medical impact of nuclear weapons on the human race. Caldicott, who went on to found the Nuclear Policy Research Institute in 2002, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Dr. Caldicott about the current danger of nuclear weapons proliferation and the U.S. effort to militarize outer space.

Dr. Caldicott: The administration used 9/11 to say, "Well we probably need some more nuclear weapons." This plan was actually initiated during the Clinton era, and they are currently designing, developing and about to test new nuclear weapons, up to 80 a year. Therefore, North Korea looks at America and says, "Well, if you're doing it, we will too." So it gives a very unfortunate message to the rest of the world. And unfortunately, America leads the world in the development of nuclear weapons; it always has, and is the model for the whole world.

People in glass houses can't throw stones. As Jesus said, "instead of the mote in the other person's eye, look instead at the mote in your own eye." And so America can't with impunity tell other countries they can't have nuclear weapons when it's building more, and has an arsenal of over 10,000 itself.

I see the solution to this terribly detrimental problem being that Russia and America are now friends, they're fighting the terrorist issue together -- and that if Russia and America decide to, they could within five years eradicate and abolish their nuclear arsenals. Of the 30,000 bombs in the world, Russia and America own 95 percent of them. So, if they would move toward abolition rapidly, then France, China and England have said they will too. And Israel, which has over probably 300 to 400 hydrogen bombs -- and India and Pakistan would be forced to do the same. And then we could enter an era of relative nuclear sanity in the world and I can think of no other issue more serious and pertinent now for us to address than this issue which hangs over our heads like the sword of Damocles twisting in the wind.

Between The Lines: Dr. Caldicott, your group which you founded back in 2002, the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, is sponsoring a conference in Washington, D.C. this May. The focus of that conference will be the weaponization of space. Tell us your concerns overall about the Bush administration and where they're headed with a revival of the Reagan era Star Wars program and weaponizing space.

Dr. Caldicott: OK, the conference I've organized is called, "Full Spectrum Dominance," which is the term that the U.S. Space Command uses to put weapons in space, and to fight war in space and to fight war from space down to earth -- and literally vaporize "cities" and effect very many killed. They are intent on anti-satellite weapons and they're building them right now -- and the two companies that are most involved in this are Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Missile Defense is supposedly contrived to knock out Russia's missiles when they launch them. However, Russia can launch 2,500 hydrogen bombs all at ounce, and all tests that have been conducted thus far for Missile Defense in America where a hit to kill vehicles-- is hitting a dummy warhead have all failed and have all been fraudulent. It will never work according to all of the physicists and scientists who are involved, and it's going to suck up to $1 trillion in money from the American taxpayers. That's a different system than putting actual weapons in space and launching war from space down to earth.

America plans to actually dominate space, and space is a global commons according to the United Nations law. It belongs to all of us, not just 5 percent of the earth's population. So, this is an absolute violation of international law. It could in fact trigger a nuclear war, as could the National Missile Defense plans, because Russia and China have both said, "If you build a missile defense system against our missiles -- which are targeted on you, we'll just build thousands more hydrogen bombs, so we can supersaturate your system."

Incidentally, China only has 18 weapons that can hit America. So, at this point in time she's really not involved in the nuclear arms race, although the Pentagon is being very provocative and pushing her in that direction because it's all good for business, you see.

Between The Lines: Where does citizen activism come in to this very bleak world where international law seems to be pushed aside by the Bush administration in setting an example for the rest of the world? Treaty after treaty, whether it's global warming or nuclear non-proliferation or biological or chemical weapons treaties, seem to, again, be ignored or decimated by the world's remaining superpower, the United States. Where do you have hope that things can change Dr. Caldicott?

Dr. Caldicott: The earth is in the intensive care unit. We have an acute clinical emergency on our hands, like we did in the early 80's when Reagan got into office. And there's an aphorism that says, "In a dark time, the eye begins to see," and this is a very, very dark time. I believe in the wisdom and intelligence of the American people. I believe they will do the right thing. And we just have to now get off our chairs and decide that we will save the earth -- and in five years move toward bilateral nuclear disarmament with Russia. I know it can be done. I know, I've spoken to millions of Americans, I know how they think and feel. They desperately want to do the right thing.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is author of "The New Nuclear Danger, George W. Bush's Military Industrial Complex," published by the New Press. Contact Dr. Caldicott's Nuclear Policy Reserach Institute at (202) 822-9800 or visit their website at http://www.nuclearpolicy.org

Related links on our website at http://www.btlonline.org/btl041505.html

*************

Scott Harris is executive producer of Between The Lines, which can be heard on more than 35 radio stations and in RealAudio and MP3 on our website at http://www.btlonline.org. This interview excerpt was featured on the award-winning, syndicated weekly radio newsmagazine, Between The Lines for the week ending April 15, 2005. This Between The Lines Q&A was compiled by Scott Harris and Anna Manzo.

*************

TO DONATE

It's your future ... help make a difference against the corporate media's blackout of news and viewpoints like those in the interview above by helping us distribute to a wider audience in 2005! Please send your donation to:

Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. P.O. Box 110176 Trumbull, CT 06611

*** Please note: If you would like your donation to be tax-deductible, please make your check out to our fiscal sponsor, The Center for Global Communications Foundation Inc. (or The Global Center) and send to the above address.***

*************

PRINT INFORMATION: For reprint permission, please email betweenthelines@snet.net.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news