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Rolla Peace News

November 2, 2021
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2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          Is More Nuclear Proliferation on the Horizon?



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please join us this Thursday in saying NO WAR AGAINST CHINA or any other country. The temperature is predicted to be in the 40s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.

Note 1: Since there are so few of us, generally 2 or 3, no need to cancel; but let's maintain social distancing.

Note 2: In case of inclement weather, vigils may be canceled or terminated early.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)

Is More Nuclear Proliferation on the Horizon?

As this article from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists points out, a South Korean nuclear weapon may be coming soon — I suspect a lot sooner than most may think. Here are some of my thoughts on this matter:

South Korea certainly has the know-how and materiel to build nuclear weapons. They also have a popular mandate. In 2017, 60% of South Koreans were found to favor the development of nuclear weapons.

Following the US defeat in Afghanistan and the very real possibility of the US dissolving into regional entities, the United States is being looked upon more and more as an unreliable partner. And with China expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal, a South Korean nuclear bomb, while regrettable, would certainly be understandable. However, I think China's recent threat to use nuclear bombs on Japan in a first strike, and then continuously after that, may well become a deciding factor.

And it's not just South Korea; Japan, Australia, Taiwan, or any combination of the three, might also decide to go nuclear. A nuclear Taiwan would be particularly scary in view of China's claim to the Island. Perhaps, China is now attempting to militarily preempt a nuclear armed Taiwan.

And nuclear proliferation may not be limited to the Far East. Joe Biden appears determined to renege on his promise to return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal). Ramping up sanctions on Iran would seem to be a sure-fire way to make sure the deal will not be resurrected.

And the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which went into force early this year, has made very little progress over the last eight months. Only Comoros has ratified the Treaty recently. Parties to the Treaty undertake:

“...never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices...”
In 1970, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty went into force. Article VI states:
“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
Over 50 years later, the nuclear weapons states have made ZERO permanent progress toward ending the nuclear arms race. In fact, recently, they have been walking backwards. But that's only half of it. Non-nuclear states are actively encouraged to go nuclear. Consider:

Libya voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Eight years later, NATO intervened in the Libyan Civil War which virtually destroyed the country. Libya remains today a failed state.

Iran agreed to suspend its nuclear weapons program in 2015 in exchange for sanctions relief. The West reneged on sanctions relief and in fact has increased sanctions upon Iran. Discussions on returning to the JCPOA seem to be going nowhere.

North Korea became a nuclear weapon state in 2006. It probably owes its existence as an independent nation to its nuclear weapons. It maintains the impression that if pushed too far, it will use it's nukes, and take down our entire “global civilization” along with its own.

A comparison of Libya (which gave up its nuclear weapon program), Iran (which suspended its nuclear weapon program) and North Korea (which has become an active nuclear weapon state) is very revealing.

In short, at a time when it is a matter of survival for the human race to put aside old animosities and work together to prevent climate change from progressing any further, we instead put our efforts into acquiring more of the most horrendous weapons the world has ever known.

Extinction is a very real possibility. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reminds us, the Doomsday Clock stands at 100 seconds to midnight.

Let's stop preparing for war, and fight climate change instead.

Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Rollaites for Peace: near the top of rightmost column).

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