[ RadSafe ] News: Physicists denounce aggressive nuclear policy]

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 7 11:54:29 CST 2005

Thanks for you comments.  My comments were intended,
in part, to keep the discussion going.  Yes, their
proposal is too simplistic.  But, many are.

--- Maury Siskel <maurysis at ev1.net> wrote:

> Hi John,
> I wish I could offer some new profound insight as a
> response to your 
> question, but I cannot. You know or at least have
> heard nearly all of 
> the arguments about deterrence, defensive
> retaliation, and so on. These 
> arguments have been made since the dawn 60 years ago
> of the nuclear age. 
> In fact, I'm convinced that the tribal cave fathers
> made these same 
> arguments over their supply of arrows -- gratefully,
> petitions on stone 
> tablets were very difficult.
> There is no realistic quarrel with the group of
> physicists preparing and 
> submitting their petition. I do, however, quarrel
> with an implied 
> suggestion or promotion that they have accomplished
> something 
> politically constructive by their action.
> Like most other tools (including weapons) , the
> reasons for 'saving' 
> them are:
> 1. any possible deterrent value they might have is
> exercised and,
> 2. they are available if their ultimate use is
> deemed necessary.
> Obviously, the devil is in the details; i.e., what
> are the conditions 
> and contingencies that attend those two reasons. The
> Geiest-Hirsch 
> petition purports to address only one simple
> condition and idealism. If 
> an adversary attacks with biological weapons, then
> one cannot be 
> expected to respond only with biological weapons; if
> a nation is 
> attacked by a force brandishing only small arms,
> then that nation is not 
> sensibly restricted from responding with artillery
> or cruise missiles. 
> One simply tries to make the opponent stop by
> whatever means are available!
> I submit that such a petition belittles the
> submitting organization 
> because it lacks maturity, is presumptuous, and can
> hardly be regarded 
> seriously. It is almost a whimpering 'why can't we
> all just get along' 
> plea which can have no plausible effect on national
> policy (unless 
> another group of 700 world physicists may be
> submitting a petition 
> opposing this futility). A more effective individual
> action might be a 
> brief letter to one or more national leaders from
> each of the 700 
> signatories -- compose an email; then instead of
> pressing Send, print 
> the email, sign it, and mail it in a genuine,
> stamped envelope.
> In summary, John, we save them for no new reasons
> beyond 'saving' them 
> like any other weapon -- be it a bow and arrow in
> your cave, a pistol in 
> your home, or a cruise missile holstered in one of
> your B-52's.
> Sincerely,
> Maury&Dog  (maurysis at ev1.net)
> =======================
> John Jacobus wrote:
> > Maury,
> > I think that we have to look at the associated
> politics. While there 
> > had been talk of using nuclear weapons in the
> Korean War and in Viet 
> > Nam, they were not. So, what are [we] saving them
> for?

On Oct. 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe. 

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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