Guest column The Rev. Peter Kakos: Denuclearizing is a fitting honor

  • This Aug. 29, 2017 file photo distributed on Aug. 30, 2017 by the North Korean government shows what was said to be the test launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile in Pyongyang, North Korea. An unknown number of nuclear warheads. Stockpiles of plutonium and uranium. AP photo

Published: 5/24/2019 11:47:59 PM

As Memorial Day approaches, we tend to reflect upon ways we can continue to honor the sacrifices of those we love who died defending us, from the many forms evil can take, aiming to destroy our free land.

Given the chaotic state of world affairs, we must resolve to do nothing less than to address the source of the most destructive method known — nuclear missiles. Since 1945, the damage they could inflict has become exponentially greater.

Physicians for Social Responsibility estimate that a mere 1 percent of the roughly 15,000 arsenals of nine nations would be enough to form in the atmosphere a radioactive cloud which would permanently encircle the globe, resulting in the immediate death of billions. Civilization, as we now know it, would virtually cease to exist.

What hope do we have, that nothing near like this would ever take place, anywhere?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. Yes because presently there is, what I call, a burgeoning “Nuclear Abolitionist Movement.” Our taking an active role would bring with it the peace of mind that we are doing all we can to prevent the likely annihilation of the nation and world for which our friends, family, relatives, and citizens laid down their lives. And, as Physicians for Social Responsibility constantly remind us, if we do not immediately pressure the world’s possessor-nations to denuclearize, we will find ourselves closer than ever to the brink of no return.

To those who say it’s impossible or a waste of precious time when so many other serious issues confront us, please realize that the starting point for global peace and environmental health must begin by removing every possessor-nation’s “button of attack.” Making matters worse, our current president has ended an agreement with Iran, which, until now, has halted its progress toward production.

Then there is the problem of North Korea, which, despite long handshakes and smiling photo-ops with this president, continues to assemble four to seven more missiles a year, according to information obtained by James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence. And, as if this were not alarming enough, Saudi Arabia is engaged in groundwork leading to initial stages.

Add all of this to the nine nations further refining their strike capability, and you come closer and closer to a nuclear accident waiting to happen, resulting in a possible exchange too frightening to contemplate.

Resources such as Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Back From The Brink initiative, together with NuclearBan.US, both local and welcoming, abound to help you engage in building a truly safe world order, not based on threat of an annihilation which leads to extinction, but, if nothing else to pay due homage to our fallen, who lost their lives for a future all generations could see and embrace.

The Rev. Peter Kakos lives in Northampton.
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