There are many reasons to fight for a world free of nuclear weapons. Here are some of the most important.
Nuclear weapons are not really weapons at all, but instruments of mass annihilation, of genocide, and possibly even of omnicide, the destruction of all.
They are city destroying weapons that target the innocent, killing and maiming indiscriminately. Their threat and use is immoral by any moral standard, and illegal under any reasonable interpretation of international law.
These weapons place the human future and most of life in jeopardy.
Nuclear weapons are inhumane and undermine our humanity by their very existence.
To threaten or use these weapons is a cowardly act, unbefitting of a brave and decent people.
Nuclear weapons are profoundly undemocratic, concentrating the power to destroy in the hands of the few.
These weapons divide the world into nuclear haves and have-nots, creating a world of nuclear apartheid.
The current policies of the nuclear weapons states will result in nuclear weapons or weapons-grade materials falling into the hands of terrorists and criminals, and the countries likely to suffer the greatest damage as a result are the nuclear weapons states themselves.
The possession of nuclear weapons by any nation is an impetus to other nations to develop their own nuclear arsenals and thus multiplies the danger.
If we do not succeed we may not be able to pass the world on intact to the next generation.
Ending the nuclear weapons threat to humanity and other forms of life is the greatest challenge of our time. It wouldn’t be so difficult if the governments of the nuclear weapons states accepted their share of responsibility and took leadership of the effort. Since these governments have failed to do so, it is left to the people of the world to take responsibility and fight for a world free of nuclear weapons. It is a fight for a human and humane future.
*David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.