This is a series of articles that will be published in parts. The Social Justice and Peace Conference (Weslaco, Texas) that took place on Feb. 19th 2011 covered a varitey of topics, including illegal immigration, nuclear disarmament, education, budget cuts, and more. Today’s article will be about the stand against nuclear proliferation in the United States.
Now we must play the most dangerous game. – from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
A most humorous attempt on defining what the most dangerous game is, this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic quote has undertones of movies from the Cold War era such as Countdown to Looking Glass and The Day After. At the Social Justice and Peace Conference on Feb 19th, 2011, anyone who passed by a member of the Pax American church organization could learn for themselves what the most dangerous game truly is: nuclear proliferation.
As some students knelt beside him because the representative was speaking in low tones, he was explaining his story and why he was against nuclear proliferation.
I was 18 in 1945, when they dropped the Little Boy on Japan. Mother told me they had done it, and I was happy like everyon else was, because I thought the war would finally come to an end. Well, we have had the Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan, and now, Iraqi Wars. Tell me, why are they still going? The war has not endede, has it?
The group listening to him looked around at each other and slowly dismissed themselves. He turned to me and said, “Russia has 30 times the amount of nukes needed to destroy the United States. You’ve heard of the START-22, haven’t you?” When confirmed, he moved on. “They limit Russia to about 1,000 nukes. That’s still enough to have 3 nukes for every city that has a high population. And yet, politicans continue to ramble about budget cuts. What needs to be cut is the defense budget and these nukes. It’s a lot of money to be keeping these nukes alive.” According to the NTI Website, it is about 6.4 billion dollars to keep maintaining these nuclear weapons every year, and more funding is sought to keep this up.
Although at first sounding like rambling, this old man had true insight. He had seen for himself what a nuclear weapon could do. For us younger than 30, it is difficult for us to comprehend what nuclear weapons can do. Yes, of course we *know*, but do we understand? The old man posed this question for the whole group, and finally turned to this reporter. His words have not left my mind since he has said them, and this reporter has never before, nor ever will be again, as stunned as she was that day.
What will you do, young lady? I will be dead within the year. It is up to you to solve this problem, not I.
In the face of such words, it is hard to continue writing on; Non-partisanship seems to be an easier challenge than taking action to decommission and destroy all nuclear weapons from the world. In the face of needing to save money and cut when needed, can politicians reverse their track of cutting education and instead cut defense and nuclear weapon costs so we can keep our society alive long enough to have a future? The answers, sadly, lie with bickering congressmen and congresswomen, with those who are fighting to keep their personal goals alive, and with the politically apathetic who want no part of the current political cagefights to keep up the other side’s mudslinging. As this reporter walked away from the old man, his burning words inside her mind, it is now impossible to tell where the future, political or not, can go from here.