What do 20-somethings think when they think of “nuclear weapons”?
Most I know, myself included, think of random cultural references like
old black-and-white mushroom cloud videos, zany ’80s sci-fi flicks,
maybe our high school English readings of “Brave New World” or G.W.’s
infamous mispronunciation. Even though it’s still a hot topic on the
international stage — a la Obama’s meeting
last week in Moscow with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about
reducing nuclear weapons worldwide — it seems most of us spend little
time stressing about anything atomic.
So it’s tough to swallow that the threat of devastating nuclear
attack somewhere in the world looms large as long as states continue to
produce nuclear weapons — the United States included. A huge movement
of people have been working in waves since the ’50s to prevent nuclear
war and pressure the U.S. government to dismantle its nuclear systems.
Alice Walker, of CODEPINK NYC, has been a leader in the anti-nuclear
movement and now serves as the New York director of the Nuclear Peace
Age Foundation and a co-founder of Abolition 2000. She just penned this
great piece for CounterPunch critiquing Obama’s meeting with Medvedev and the challenge of changing the nuclear paradigm.
It seems the nuclear conversation now is not that of bomb shelters
and post-apocalyptic fantasies but of wheeling and dealing, a
bargaining chip of fear and “I’m badder than you.” What do you think of
the U.S.’ role in the nuclear conversation?