View Full Version : US addicted to nuclear weapons

5th September 2010, 21:23
Former Chief UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter says the US is addicted to nuclear weapons to use them as deterrence against its imaginary enemies.

It was the US that introduced the nuclear weapons to the world and it is the only nation in the history of the world to actually have used nuclear weapons in a time of war, Ritter told Press TV in an interview.

Although the US used nuclear bombs under the pretext of shortening the war against Japan and saving hundreds of thousands, the reality is that Japan was on the verge of surrender prior to United States' use of nuclear weapons, he added.

"The documents of the time shows that the key decision makers, especially in Truman administration, were convinced that using the nuclear bomb against Japan wasn't about bringing Japan to its knees, it was about making a statement to the Soviet Union so that the US could control the post-war competition that was going to occur between the West and the Soviet Union," Ritter said.

The US created a policy of deterring the Soviet Union that was based on a threat that never existed, Ritter added.

"The truth of the matter is that nuclear weapons never deterred anything, we talked about deterring the Soviet Union and yet we had conflicts (in different parts of the world) and nuclear weapons did not stop any of these wars. Nuclear weapons are just a myth that we have been addicted to," the top arms control expert said.

The Bush administration ignored Ritter's assertion in 2002 that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

New enemy

After the Soviet Union disappeared, the US was left with a massive nuclear arsenal and no enemy, so it needed to create a new enemy, Ritter pointed out.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Washington fabricated a new enemy called "international terror", he added.

Obama administration followed Bush's path claiming that the number one threat to the US is nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists, Ritter went on to say.

"Now there are no nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists, so it is a hypothetical threat," he added.

In April 2009, Obama gave a visionary speech in the Czech Republic in which he spoke about the potential world free of nuclear weapons, raising a great hope to create a foundation of work that would allow future generations to get rid of nuclear weapons, Ritter pointed out.

But he fumbled by failing to exploit the opportunity for reducing the US and Russia's nuclear arms by not extending the Strategic Arm Reduction Treaty which expired in December 2009, the former UN official said.

The US has lost a lot of opportunities for nuclear arms disarmament, he added.

Nuclear blueprint

In his book "Dangerous Ground: America's Failed Arms Control Policy, from FDR to Obama," Ritter pinpoints the major challenges facing the international community in the post-Bush era and presents a blueprint for confronting them.

He offers a series of concrete proposals ranging from the creation of an international body of weapons inspectors under the aegis of the United Nations to call for the US to abandon the unilateralist actions of the Bush era.

The most important aspect of building the blueprint of this nuclear disarmament is to ensure that the central theme is the elimination of the role of nuclear weapons, Ritter says.

But as long as we believe that deterrence is a valid policy we cannot speak of getting rid of nuclear weapons, Ritter insisted.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is a fundamentally flawed agreement, not necessarily in what it intends to do but in how it is being implemented, he said

"The largest case in this point is the approach that we are taking toward Iran, a nation which is pursuing legitimate nuclear activity under Article 4 of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but this legitimate nuclear activity is being denied by the Security Council on the behest of the United States," he added.

The United States condemns Iran for doing that which is permitted to do under the NPT but it turned a blind eye to Israel, which refuses to sign the NPT but has a massive nuclear arsenal and uses this nuclear arsenal to threaten other nations, he said.