The START Treaty – Betsy Crites

The August 8 AP article “Abolishing Nukes: flicker of hope to global cause” notes the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan.  According to the article, in 3 days in 1945 the US killed 220,000 people, yet the world still stockpiles enough nuclear weapons for 150,000 Hiroshimas.

Nuclear weapons threaten all of us.  Is there any hope?  In addition to the Global Zero initiative, four US foreign policy leaders are speaking out.  Former Secretaries of State George Schultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, and former Senator Sam Nunn have proposed specific steps to free the world of nuclear weapons.

Even more significant, in April the US and Russia, which together possess 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons, signed a treaty to reduce their nuclear warheads to 1550 each.  This Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will be up for ratification before the US Senate in September.  Neither of NC’s Senators has committed to supporting it.

There’s a saying, “If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”  Lacking political leadership, North Carolina citizens will need to step up.  Senators Burr and Hagan need to hear we support ratification.   Opposition to START will leave them in the political and historical dust.

—Betsy Crites, Executive Director NC Peace Action

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