Scott Horton Interviews Paul Kawika Martin

Scott Horton, September 25, 2010

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Paul Kawika Martin, Organizing and Policy Director at Peace Action, discusses how the U.S.-Russia START Treaty is stuck in expiration limbo as midterm election political wrangling pushes back a Senate vote, the importance of calling your senators and telling them to get the ball rolling on a new nuclear arms treaty, Republican delaying tactics that seek to deny the embattled Obama administration a legislative success and why Obama’s encouraging pledge to forgo nuclear annihilation threats against non-nuclear armed countries unfortunately makes an exception for Iran.

MP3 here. (20:25)

Paul Kawika Martin is the Organizing and Policy Director at Peace Action.

2 Responses to “Paul Kawika Martin”

  1. The new START Treaty, much like the original, is absolutely meaningless. Both signatories are known liars and cheaters. Further, 1500 or so nukes remaining in the hands of either side guarantees that, if a nuclear exchange was ever to begin, there would be utter destruction in and upon both signatories' nations. There is also no doubt that the collateral effects upon everyone else residing the planet would be grave.

    Therefore, having established that even the proposed treaty would still allow enough nuclear weapons to utterly destroy the planet, analyzing the real issue seems prudent.

    The real threat is not the existence of these weapons. Get over it; these weapons will never be eradicated. Rather, the threat – or the unsettled factor that should be paramount in everyone's mind – is "Who, or which nation, is most likely to use a nuclear device next?" A good analogy that can be grasped by all – even those who pay no attention to global politics – is "Who poses the bigger threat; the psychopath armed with a single shot shotgun, or a sane person armed with a shotgun that holds four cartridges?" The answer is obvious and leads any rational person to conclude that the weapons are not the problem. When the psychopath finally looses control, he will become a problem that will likely have tragic results. Meanwhile, the sane person – even though he possesses a superior weapon – remains a stable member of the community and poses no threat whatsoever to his neighbours.

    If these two find themselves at odds, the psychopath's intent is tempered by the knowledge that his adversary is adequately armed. The sane man remains sane and a stalemate is the likely outcome. Problems arise when one party is completely without any such deterrent. A perfect example is america's annihilation Japanese civilians with nukes. Conversely, the 'Cold War' was a classic stalemate. It was a comfortable and secure time for both nations because everyone was assured nothing would happen. Sure, there were numerous feigned emergencies and accidents along the way, but the behaviour of both sides was tempered by the fact that their adversary was adequately armed. Another nuclear stalemate of note the the present stalemate between bitter enemies Pakistan and India. Sabers will rattle and rhetoric will flow like cheap ale, but the nukes will remain in the silos. It's a comfortable animosity that guarantees security for decades at a stretch.

    Your energies would be better spent concerning yourself with a particular "state" that has a nuclear arsenal, refuses to be bound by any international law, refuses to even consider entering into any type of nonproliferation treaty, continually threatens its neighbours with destruction, has never been at peace with its neighbours, operates the largest open air prison in the world, and who's leaders exhibit psychopathic and murderous tendencies.

  2. We could prevent conflict if every other country would do what the U.S. tells it to do.

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