NUCLEAR SECURITY – NO THANK YOU
When Jeremy Corbyn said NO in answer to a direct question whether he could see a circumstance in which he would push the button to use nuclear weapons the full force of the right wing media stoked up by Conservatives and especially David Cameron who called him a “threat to national security and the security of your families” rained down on him.
The same people lauded and applauded David Cameron when he said YES in he would ‘in the interest of National Security’ push the button.
Now forgive me for saying but how would engaging in a nuclear conflagration either provide security for my family or for the country?
Or have I missed something in translation?
The question as I see it is replacing Trident at a cost of £167 billion sensible and perhaps more to the point is it a credible nuclear deterrent in today’s world?
We have of course been here before and when I said we have been here before I wasn’t referring to the Cuba crisis of 1963 that I remember well happening as it does during my final year at school and especially the apprehension it caused amongst those who had fought in WW2.
The point is that David Cameron committed the basic error of in trying to make himself look strong has made himself and his Government look foolish in the eyes of the world, and no doubt to some has provided ammunition to be used against him.
Because let’s be honest his opponents will as he has done take his statement out of context.
I can see the headline,
“David Cameron says he will use nuclear weapons”.
For those who know their history there was a conflict in Asia in the 1950’s, immortalised by the film and then television series M.A.S.H. that took place in Korea it was a War that lasted three years from June 1950 to July 1953.
The fear across the world at the time was that the war would escalate into a global conflict mainly due to the fact that it was a United Nations sanctioned war led by the USA supporting the South against an invasion from the Communist North which saw China enter on the side of the North.
You have to remember that at the time Communism and the fear of the spread of communism was all consuming in the United States and the McCarthyism senate witch hunts were in full swing.
The President of the United States of America at the time was Harry S Truman who in answer to a question of would he consider using atomic weapons, we hadn’t gone nuclear at the time, said,
“There has always been active consideration of its use”
And that was that, the headlines around the world screamed out that
President Truman would use the atomic bomb against North Korea and by default China.
Stress levels in Governments around the World went through the roof not the least in Europe who feared that if the USA was going to take on China then it would remove all of its troops from mainland Europe and leave it exposed to the USSR.
Of course what the headlines didn’t say, because after all as today why let the facts ruin a good story, was that President Truman actually said was,
“I don’t want to see it used. It’s a terrible weapon and it shouldn’t be used on innocent men, women and children”
A statement that taken in full is very difference to that published in the headlines of the day.
The question is can nuclear weapons be used in any situation in which ‘innocent men, women and children’ would not be on the receiving end of its use?
The answer to which is a clear and resounding NO.
Jeremy Corbyn appears to recognise this as a basic fact and has had the courage to say that as the Prime Minister he couldn’t foresee a situation when he would use Nuclear Weapons.
David Cameron unlike President Truman has failed to show any understanding of what using nuclear weapons would mean to innocent people preferring to take the strong man line in search of a headline of “of course I’d push the button”
As it happens in 1950 the situation and alarm across Europe created by the headlines was put to rest by the UK Prime Minister at the time, one Clement Attlee who at a meeting with President Truman apparently asked the simple question,
“By the way you’re not really going to use the atomic bomb are you?”
Truman said NO and that was the end of the matter.
Similar conversions took place in 1963 between Harold Macmillan and President Kennedy.
The whole point of the nuclear weapons race as it was called was to neutralise the threat from the USSR and subsequently and I don’t know how many nuclear arms treaties limiting the number of nuclear weapons there has been since the Cuba crisis, but it’s a lot, the question remains will weapons of mass destruction ever be used in any future conflict?
And if not why do we keep them?
The reality is the USA as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan need Europe to support them, just as we in Europe need the USA to support us.
Globalisation doesn’t only apply to business but also to security.
The UK as part of the globalisation of security has and will always have a role to play and as we know through the courage and professionalism of our armed services we always deliver.
To do that we don’t need Trident to play our part in the world so let’s accept what Truman said about its use.
The reality is nuclear weapons are terrible and we should accept that its only effective use would be to bring a country to its knees by using it against the innocent population.
If David Cameron thinks posturing as the man who would push the button makes the people of the UK safer he is clearly delusional and the quicker he is removed from being in a position to do so the better for all of us.
I for one know who I think is a threat to national security and the security of my family and it certainly isn’t the man who says he couldn’t imagine a situation where he would engage in a nuclear war.