To the editor:
Aug. 6 will mark the 45th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan. This and the subsequent bombing of Nagasaki were followed by decades of nuclear standoff between the USSR and the United States while we expanded our nuclear stockpiles exponentially. Fear was used by leaders of both sides for political purposes.
Despite past arms reduction treaties, our current nuclear arsenal is estimated to have 150,000 times the destructive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The treaty recently signed by the U.S. and Russia calls for a reduction to 1,550 deployed warheads. This quantity of weapons of mass destruction still is obscene! President Obama is recommending billions of dollars a year just to maintain the weapons, and there will be additional costs for delivery systems and personnel.
At least the current treaty is a step in the right direction, but it must be ratified by the Senate. We should be asking current senators and candidates for the Senate, especially those in the “Party of No,” what their position is on this treaty. Do they intend to work for further reductions? Must we continue to live in such fear that we reserve the right to destroy the world in the name of self-defense?
On Aug. 6, the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice will sponsor a vigil from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Ninth and Massachusetts to commemorate those who died in the nuclear attacks. Please join us.