|Why I Oppose Nuclear Weapons
by David Krieger, August 22, 2007
I oppose nuclear weapons because they are long-distance
killing machines incapable of discriminating between soldiers
and civilians, the aged and the newly born, or between
men, women and children.
I oppose nuclear weapons because they threaten the destruction
of all that is sacred, of all that is human, of all that
I oppose nuclear weapons because they threaten to foreclose
I oppose nuclear weapons because they are cowardly weapons,
and in their use there can be no honor.
I oppose nuclear weapons because they are a false god,
dividing nations into nuclear “haves” and “have-nots,” bestowing
unwarranted prestige and privilege on those that possess
I oppose nuclear weapons because they are a distortion
of science and technology, twisting our knowledge of nature
to destructive purposes.
I oppose nuclear weapons because they mock international
law, displacing it with an allegiance to raw power.
I oppose nuclear weapons because they waste our resources
on the development of instruments of annihilation.
I oppose nuclear weapons because they concentrate power
and undermine democracy.
I oppose nuclear weapons because they corrupt our humanity.
Shortly after graduating from college, I visited the Hiroshima
and Nagasaki Peace Memorial Museums. At these museums,
I was awakened to the human suffering caused by the use
of these weapons. This suffering is not part of
the American lore about the use of the bombs. These
museums gave me insight into the differences in perspective
between those who had been above the bomb and those beneath
Those above the bombs, the victors, celebrated the technology
of triumph, and went on to engage in a mad nuclear arms
race. Those beneath the bombs, the victims, learned
the simple lesson: “Never again! We shall not
repeat the evil.”
The vision of the future held by those above the bombs
and those beneath the bombs may be the decisive struggle
of our time. On the side of nuclear weapons is the
arrogance of power that is willing to put at risk the future
of civilization, if not of life itself. On the side
of the survivors, the hibakusha, is the moral clarity
of calling evil by its name.
Resolving this struggle is the challenge presented to
humanity by nuclear weapons. Each of us must choose. Ignorance,
apathy and denial are de facto votes for continuing the
nuclear threat. Only by unalterably opposing nuclear
weapons and working actively for their elimination can
an individual align himself or herself with those who experienced
first-hand the absolute devastation of these weapons. This
is my choice. I seek without reservation the elimination
of all nuclear weapons from our unique planet, the only
one we know of in the universe that supports life.
David Krieger is the President of the Nuclear Age Peace