What an amazing thing it is to have an American President campaigning to get rid of nuclear weapons. And he is being so clever about it.
I believe his opposition to nukes comes from a personal belief that these weapons are abhorrent and their use can never be morally justified. Yet, Obama is clever enough not to go out and argue that point. Instead, he has used terrorists as a specter that all nuclear powers can jointly fear, and thereby convinced them that reducing and better securing nuclear arsenals and stockpiles of fissile material is the way forward.
New Zealand is at the conference because we have led the world. While the powers were jousting in a tense peace maintained only by the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, New Zealand rejected the madness of that logic altogether and, at a very real cost, we declared ourselves nuclear-free.
Our Prime Minister should be celebrating that fact and pointing to our achievement as a model for the whole world.
What a shame, then, that John Key is not even mentioning our nuclear-free status at the conference. One wonders why he is even there if not to set New Zealand as an example. And one wonders if he really believes in a nuclear-free New Zealand if he is not willing to talk about it. Could you imagine David Lange, Helen Clark, or Phil Goff as Prime Ministers going to a nuclear disarmament conference and not wanting to talk about our country’s achievement?
Some say Key is scared of being seen to ‘tell off’ other countries that haven’t followed our lead. What rot. We’ve been invited because we are world leaders. Talking about what that means for us does not have to mean attacking others. Our Prime Minister should have the pride to spread the word, especially as the weight of the President of America goes behind our cause.
While we’re on the topic, here’s French Letter by Herbs:
“Let me be more specific, get out of the Pacific” Still one of the best lines ever.