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CND- Now More Than Ever

The Story of a Peace Movement

CND- Now More Than Ever
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US$ 14.99
The history of the campaign for nuclear disarmament from 1958 to the present.
Vision Paperbacks; October 2006
288 pages; ISBN 9781433702273
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Excerpt
In 1945, the United States Air Force dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with tragic and devastating consequences. Hundreds of thousands of people died, many instantaneously, others soon after from burns and shock, and yet more from the impact of radiation in the months and years that followed. By 1950, an estimated 340,000 people had died as a result of the two bombs. The impact of nuclear weapons – in both human and environmental terms – is widely recognised. A nuclear war would kill millions, perhaps destroying the entire human race. The radioactive fallout would render parts, if not all, of the planet uninhabitable. There would be no place to run to, no place to hide; in the event of a nuclear war, you may escape the blast but you cannot shut the door on radiation. It will poison and destroy, bringing sickness, cancers, birth deformities and death. The consequences of nuclear weapons are widely understood by governments across the globe. So it seems incomprehensible that, 60 years after the atomic bombs were dropped, nuclear weapons still exist – and that some political leaders still contemplate their use. Today, in the region of 20,000 nuclear weapons are stockpiled – enough to destroy human civilisation and the world as we know it many times over. The US alone has over 10,000 nuclear warheads. Britain has almost 200 nuclear warheads; this perhaps seems small in comparison, but each of Britain’s warheads has eight times the explosive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. That is a phenomenal killing power – potentially 320 million people dead as a result of British nuclear weapons alone. To make matters worse, political developments globally have been such over the past few years that there is an increased danger of the use of nuclear weapons – a fact that became clear in the run-up to the recent war on Iraq. But contrary to what the United States administration and our own government here in the UK would have us think, the danger does not come primarily from rogue states, terrorists or ‘non-state actors’. The people developing scenarios for the use of nuclear weapons are the administration of the United States, aided and abetted by the UK government. It is extremely likely that they are actively developing a new generation of nuclear weapons for use in wars. Our own government has indicated that it would indeed use a nuclear weapon, even against a non-nuclear weapon state. All this constitutes a dangerous escalation that could have unthinkable consequences for every one of us. It is vital for the very future of humanity that we stop this drive to legitimise the use of the most terrible weapons in human history. We can all play a part in that process. In particular, here in the UK we have a responsibility to make our own government see sense.