Public disarmament is nation's best hope


To The Eagle:

I thoroughly enjoyed my years on the debate team. Judges would declare the season’s subject. Five minutes before a scheduled debate, the flip of a coin determined whether one would argue in favor or against an issue.

To be well versed in the related pros and cons, extensive reading on the subject was necessary. There was no internet. Many library books and tons of magazine and newspaper articles required digestion. One had to cross reference multiple sources to check the accuracy of facts. Those were committed to my rolodex or file card box--a trove of notations and statistics ready to be incisively quoted.

The last year I debated, the subject was nuclear weapons, their proliferation, and the tactical deterrence of MAD (mutually assured destruction). My favorite source material was the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a periodical with a tiny ‘doomsday’ clock in the upper corner of the cover. The closer the hour hand was to noon, the closer the world allegedly was to nuclear Armageddon.

Was the threat of nuclear weapons deterred because every nation possessing them knew it was MAD to use them and suffer nuclear retaliation? Are we living just one treaty, one technical glitch, one powerful madman, away from nuclear annihilation? Nuclear brinksmanship, pushing a nuclear threat to the very edge of safety, is Putin’s present ploy. Nuclear disarmament is the only solution, the only guarantee of true safety.

At least 72 million people in this country are carrying the equivalent of small nuclear weapons on their hip, hoping such deterrence fosters safety. They have no intention of giving up that trigger. Too many know intimately how pulling that trigger can precipitate a bottomless catastrophe. In my opinion, public disarmament is this nation’s best hope of avoiding our mutually assured destruction.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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