This past weekend, thousands of activists gathered at Los Alamos and other prominent nuclear facilities across the country to mark the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan. As demonstrators chanted “No more Hiroshimas! No more Nagasakis!,” President Bush chose to honor the anniversary in another way: by proceeding with his plans to build newer, even more powerful nukes.
Last month, the Senate approved Bush’s initial request of $4 million for research on a “robust nuclear earth penetrator” (RNEP)–a bomb that George Monbiot of the UK Guardian writes, has “a yield about 10 times that of the Hiroshima device.” For all Bush has done to condemn the global proliferation of WMD, his actions are almost single-handedly destroying the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a pact signed by nearly 200 nations.
But Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey–co-chair of the recently revamped Congressional Progressive Caucus–is taking a stand against Bush’s hypocrisy. On July 20th, she introduced a resolution calling for the president to fulfill his obligation to the Non-Proliferation Treaty by beginning “verifiable and irreversible reductions in the United States strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.” “There will be no security for America or our world,” Woolsey says, “unless we take all steps necessary for nuclear disarmament.”
Woolsey’s bill is one of several bold new initiatives launched by members of the Progressive Caucus to try to open the suffocating consensus (especially on national security issues) in Congress. Since hiring Bill Goold as the CPC’s first full-time staffer, Woolsey and her colleagues have drawn up several strong, sensible resolutions for withdrawal from Iraq and issued a powerful statement of core values in their “Progressive Promise.”
Woolsey’s H.Res.373 aims to fulfill one of the objectives outlined in the Promise: “To re-build US alliances around the world, restore international respect for American power and influence, and reaffirm our nation’s constructive engagement in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations.”
At a time in which America’s relations with the world continue to be sullied by the politics of Boltonism, voices like Woolsey’s are critical. To join the fight against Bush’s nuclear nonsense, call your representatives and urge them to support H.Res.373.
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Co-written by Sam Graham-Felsen, a freelance journalist, documentary filmmaker and blogger (www.boldprint.net) living in Brooklyn.