Bomb’s a savage beast
IT WAS quite pleasing to see North and South Korea sit down this week and talk.
Actually talk. Not an exchange of angry tweets that progressively grew more ridiculous, more childish, more threatening. Just talk.
Because we need to remember that the Korean Peninsula has been a simmering threat for decades.
The official war there was during the 1950s. Active hostilities may have ceased but they are technically still at war, as no peace has ever been signed.
The North’s eagerness to join the nuclear club adds to the tensions that require cool heads and stable characters.
Now the thing about armoury and human nature is the insecurities the mix creates.
If your neighbour has a crossbow, you must get a rifle. Then your neighbour must get a machine gun. So you have to get a cannon. And so it can go.
Add belligerence and the need of some to over-compensate for masculine deficiencies and things can quickly get out of control.
And so the final weeks of 2017 gave us a little ray of hope.
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons) was a popular choice among those worried about where the world is heading.
ICAN was founded in Melbourne and has campaigned for a treaty to abolish “The Bomb”.
It’s just a bit disappointing that the prestige of this award seems to have been lost on our own government, who basically ignored the achievement.
It was also lampooned by the nations who are stakeholders in this madness, pointing to the fact that ICAN’s objective has yet to be achieved.
Many countries have signed the treaty. However not one of the nuclear armed nations is among that number.
But what should be lampooned are those nations who steadfastly hold to the nuclear option, as if it gives them the ultimate advantage.
That might have been true when only the USA, Russia, China, UK and France had “The Bomb”.
But other players are now involved. With due respect to the worries of past generations who lived through the Cold War, the situation today is less stable.
With we humans just as capable of finding other ways to commit absolute atrocity, the nuclear option now seems superfluous.
But nonetheless, it’s the weapons option that now, more than at any other time since the 1950s, threatens to become a beast that no one can control.
Trump wants to increase spending on upgrading the US nuclear stockpile.
Invariably, that can only mean the other members of the club will want to do the same. And countries on the fringe will ignore the weak sanctions scenario and want to join the club too.
It would require only the proverbial couple of handfuls of these weapons to render this planet lifeless. So what is the justification for the amassing of 15,000?
Now, the world’s powers can continue to criticise the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize result.
But at least someone’s trying to do something more constructive than boast that their button is bigger.
It’s just a very sad reality that sometimes good intentions won’t often succeed.
But that should never discourage people of good hearts from making efforts.
On the issue of nuclear disarmament, there is little that the majority of nations can do about it.
Change must come from within the members of the club.
And with that comes the realisation that at present, the majority of those with their fingers dangling above the buttons are men with some serious personality disorders.
Well... it’s quite a sobering thought.
DOING SOMETHING: Beatrice Fihn, the executive of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) gives her acceptance speech in Norway after the group won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.