MARGARET Thatcher once said: “A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.”
Not for the first time, I whole-heartedly disagree with Mrs Thatcher.
Nuclear weapons are an abomination and we should dance in the streets when the world is free of them.
I agree with Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, that we should hope for the time when ‘the number of nuclear weapons is down to zero’.
It is definitely time for us in Britain to think about our priorities in the 21st Century and act to get rid of the monstrosity of our nuclear arsenal.
We live in a time when many families face unimaginable financial pressures, difficulty in providing their children with the best upbringing. It is the time to say the money spent on nuclear capabilities can be better used investing in building a better world.
Firstly, the primary aim of nuclear weapons is destruction, to annihilate the homes, the lives and the families of those in other countries. This alone should cause the world to weep a sea of sorrow. The immense human suffering nuclear weapons cause should mean nations steer clear of these destructive methods.
We should not even allow for the capability for nuclear war. Hiroshima is one of two examples of nuclear weapons’ use. It killed over 250,000 people and brought a city to its knees. This immense destruction caused the world to look on in horror. We should make it essential to say ‘never again’. It posed the world the question — can the deaths of these citizens ever be justified? The only answer is no.
The case against nuclear weapons is particularly prominent on the anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, arguably the nearest the world has come to nuclear warfare. At all costs, we should ensure that as a global community we never again should come even anywhere close to World War III, it should be our priority to get rid of the threat all together.
I thoroughly believe that owning these destructive capabilities makes us morally corrupt, even thinking of using such weaponry goes against our fundamental moral code as human beings. Every human being is universally guaranteed the right to ‘life, liberty, and security of person’. Nuclear weapons are an intrusion on this right, they mean that citizens at times of great crisis can be hours away from obliteration. Nuclear weapons mean that in a nuclear war this fundamental right is just ignored by world leaders.
After all, the citizens killed in such an attack are people like you and me, ordinary people going about their everyday lives. Do they deserve to be slaughtered due to the politics of their leaders? Should we punish them for their leaders’ faults?
A meaningful quotation that stuck me when researching this article was by a priest, who said that ‘what it is wrong to do, it is wrong to intend to do. If it is wrong for me to kill you, it is wrong for me to plan to do it. If I get my gun and go into your house to retaliate for a wrong done on me, and then find there are police guarding your house, I have already committed murder in my heart. I have intended it’.
This links to the mad principle that surrounds nuclear weapons, meaning that it is okay for us to kill them if they kill us. Surely that is unacceptable, an eye for an eye means that everybody is blinded. If mass murder in this sense can be justified, then we have reached a low point in human history.
We should use our place as global leaders to help others to rise above the parapet, to live without nuclear weaponry and defend the principles of freedom and human rights. The fact that our own leader David Cameron can say that ‘nothing is off the table’ shows an outright disagreement with the principles of human rights, to even imply nuclear action against Iran is a moral damnation.
For this to happen, we must stand up and say no.
No, to the suffering. No, to the destruction, and no to the justification of mass murder.
This is the time for the UN to act as a shining beacon of hope, to show that we can build the world to be a better place for all. This will enable us to help those less fortunate than ourselves, where the luxuries of the West are an unimaginable dream.
The money nations spend on nuclear weaponry and defence systems could be used to solve poverty, invest in eradicating diseases and provide our own people with the best education system the world has ever known. To demonstrate to nations like Iran that the way forward is to invest in the happiness of its people, in infrastructure not global conflict. This is time for the West to lead the world in a new age of global prosperity.
Nuclear weapons divide the world in the worst way imaginable, pitting nations against each other like attack dogs. Our priority should be to allow nations to work towards the common goal of building a better global community for all.
CALUM THOMPSON, Year 13