Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Proletarian Unity League

Nuclear Blackmail


First Published: Forward Motion, January 1982.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

My brothers and sisters didn’t get to the shelter in time, so they were burnt and crying. Half an hour later, my mother appeared. She was covered with blood. She had been making lunch at home when the bomb was dropped. My younger sisters died the next day. My mother – also died the next day. And then my older brother died ... – testimony of Fujio Tsujimoto five year old resident of Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped on that city, August 9, 1945

For thirty-six years, the world has lived under the cloud of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a cloud that looms larger day by day. Today one push of a button in Washington or Moscow could unleash the complete destruction of human life as we know it. The talk we hear today of “winnable nuclear war” or the need to reach “nuclear superiority” means that our worst nightmares may yet turn to reality.

How can we stop this mad arms-race competition? How can we once and for all dismantle all nuclear weapons and finally dispell the cloud of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the face of the earth?

To Stop Nuclear War – Disarm the Superpowers

Nuclear weapons have radically transformed the terms of world politics, but vital political questions still have to be asked. There are still aggressors in the world and those who defend against aggression. Strategy and tactics still may have meaning – even for the movement against nuclear madness.

For instance, President Reagan wants us to focus our attention on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons to Third World nations. In his words, “further proliferation” is what threatens “international peace, regional and global stability and the security interests of the United States and other countries . . . ”(New York Times, July 17,1981.)

But it is not the development of nuclear weapons by Third World countries which poses the greatest threat to international peace and security. It is first the Soviet Union, and then the United States, which threaten total disaster. Infamous for their aggression, bent on world domination, and capable of carrying out nuclear holocaust, these two superpowers press us to the brink of a new world war.

Our best strategy for disarmament and for world peace will focus on these two aggressors.

A Sensible Proposal

So far high-level strategic arms talks between the superpowers have produced little result. In Europe and the United States a people’s movement grows in response, demanding disarmament now. Recently, former Ambassador George Kennan suggested a way this movement can cut through the red tape. He proposes pressuring the United States to offer a 50% across-the-board nuclear weapons cut in exchange for the same commitment from the Russians. Further mutual cuts would follow until no nuclear weapons remained.

Direct and sensible, this plan challenges the two superpowers to live up to their claims of self-defense or deterrence. Only a nation bent on domination over other nations would set as its goal its own nuclear superiority. A nation genuinely interested in deterrence would embrace the best defense of all – complete elimination of nuclear weaponry.

At the same time, Kennan does not propose unilateral disarmament of the United States. This also makes sense. The atomic bomb was used only once, in 1945 when the U.S. feared no nuclear retaliation from any country. Judging from its fantastic weapons build-up and its current activities around the world, you can bet the Soviet Union would do the same if it had the chance. To make matters worse, no Russian anti-nuclear movement exists to restrain the government. Unilateral disarmament of the United States in these circumstances would hasten, not postpone, a nuclear attack.

The threat of the superpowers’ nuclear arsenals is great, but today the desire for peace is an even more potent force. Joined in an international movement, we can force the United States and the Soviet Union to live up to their rhetoric of deterrence. The rest of the world can break the superpowers nuclear blackmail against us all and dismantle their arsenals of destruction.


August 1981