Bush Administration’s Nuclear Policy Slammed by Einstein Associate

Nuclear arsenals create more danger now than during the Cold War

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NAPA, CA. (PRWEB) October 28, 2004

Joseph Rotblat, one of the last surviving associates of Albert Einstein and winner of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize, said today that the Bush Administration’s aggressive nuclear policy is plunging the world into a new nuclear arms race. In an interview on TheCommunity.com, Rotblat said that the United States’ development of new nuclear weapons and its aggressive “first use policy” have undermined the work of scientists working to get rid of the world’s nuclear arsenals --- and created a danger even greater that that of the Cold War.

Joseph Rotblat, 96 years old, was an original member of the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. Since resigning from the project, he has worked for more than 50 years on nuclear disarmament. He is the last surviving signatory of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955, which urged governments to find other solutions to conflict besides war, and is co-founder of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, with groups of scientists in more than 50 countries to eliminate nuclear threat.

“After the Cold War ended,” he said, “we thought we could proceed with the first U.N. resolution to get rid of these weapons. Scientists around the world had been working on it. But four years ago, when George W. Bush came to power, he introduced a radical new policy, a complete change. Instead of being a weapon of last resort, nuclear weapons became a weapon of first resort, to be used immediately. In other words, ‘we will use them if we think someone is going to attack us.’”

Combined with America’s refusal to directly negotiate with North Korea, which has alienated the North Korean leadership, the first-use policy has, according to Rotblat, put small unarmed countries in vulnerable positions and spurred them into manufacturing new nuclear weapons themselves. “If the United States, the mightiest country in the world, militarily and economically, feels that it needs nuclear weapons for its security, how do you deny this security to countries that really feel vulnerable?

“Countries such as Iran and North Korea feel that they are at risk. They feel they need nuclear weapons for their own security. Other countries will follow. In other words we are in danger of a new nuclear arms race.”

The possession of nuclear weapons, he says, does not help at all in the fight against terrorism. “Terrorists are a loosely organized group. They are not identified with a given country.

“You cannot attack or try to fight terrorists by using nuclear weapons. Most of the people you kill will be innocent. On the other hand, as long as nuclear weapons are in the arsenals, sooner or later a terrorist group of one kind or another will acquire one. Compared to the effects of a nuclear warhead in the hands of the terrorists willing to use them, September 11th would fade into insignificance.”

The answer, Rotblat says, lies not in nuclear arsenals but in the lessons many European countries learned after losing millions of lives in two World Wars – solve your conflicts with dialogue, negotiation and international cooperation.

Full interview is available on http://www.thecommunity.com.

For interviews with Dr. Rotblat contact:

Pugwash Conferences on Sciences and World Affairs

London, England

44-2-7405-6661

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