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The Road

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By Cormac McCarthy



By James Joyce

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Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Nuclear Weapons

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Posted on Apr 8, 2010

(Page 2)

3:15 Question From Cynthia Macias

Since the U.S. is obviously in the hegemonic power, do you think that this allows it to set a trend that other states will follow? do you think it will be successful?

Robert Scheer3:15 Robert Scheer

I think that if the United States and Russia, which have 90 percent of the nuclear weapons, do not get serious about cutting back their arsenals, they will not have the credibility to demand that other nations forgo the nuclear option.

Truthdig Logo3:16 Truthdig

We have another question from a reader sent ahead of time:

Truthdig Logo3:16 Truthdig

doublestandards/glasshouses -  Schenectady, NY says:

You obviously still have hope for the democratic party as well as Obama, yet while you disagree with practically everything Chris Hedges says, you are always praising him.  It’s confusing.  What is your vision of the future?  Are we doomed as Hedges believes we are?  Is democracy finished?


Robert Scheer3:17 Robert Scheer

First of all, I don’t believe Hedges is THAT pessimistic. On the contrary, what he is trying to do is rally the American people to breathe life into our democracy rather than abandon it.

Robert Scheer3:17 Robert Scheer

I am more optimistic today than at any point in the last year, because on the most important issue that we face, Obama does seem to be fulfilling his campaign promises.

3:18 Question From Kevin

Is not the United States position on Nuclear Arms a bit hypocritical?

Robert Scheer3:18 Robert Scheer

Of course

Robert Scheer3:18 Robert Scheer

We are the only nation that has actually used these weapons

Robert Scheer3:18 Robert Scheer

we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese and their families

Robert Scheer3:19 Robert Scheer

and so there’s always been an arrogance—and we have the biggest nuclear arsenal—to saying to the world that we alone can be trusted with these devices

Robert Scheer3:19 Robert Scheer

but we have to start back towards reason

3:19 Question From Billy B.

How does the timing (of the signing of this treaty) relate to the bluster of ‘news’ re Iran’s nuclear plans and the speed at which (it appears) they are moving towards that goal?  In other words, is it a shot across the proverbial bow?

Robert Scheer3:20 Robert Scheer

Clearly one important advantage of this is that it will strengthen the international opposition to Iran or any other nation attempting to develop nuclear weapons

3:20 Question From Guest

On the question of Iran, Noam Chomsky said that [Iran] would be crazy not to be developing nuclear weapons. Since America and Israel tend to be very belligerent. Do you think there is a chance that these kind of actions may affect how Ahmedinejad interacts with the west?

Robert Scheer3:20 Robert Scheer

  and the russian statement today on Iran was stronger than previously

Robert Scheer3:20 Robert Scheer

I don’t know what affects him

Robert Scheer3:21 Robert Scheer

but I do know that no nation should rely on nuclear weapons for its security

Robert Scheer3:21 Robert Scheer

and that there are better ways to assure iran that its sovereign rights are intact and that there are consequences that await them if they go down this road.

3:21 Question From Guy Petersen Jr

Considering what happened on the Borders of N & S Korea last week. (Im still not sure what happened) Do you think this agreement will have any effect on how N Korea’s chest pounding and posturing?

3:22 Question From Alex Pierpaoli

Hi Robert, 2 things: isn’t the idea of nuclear power as “Green” energy rather fanciful due to enormous amount of hydrocarbons burned in order to mine uranium?  Also, in today’s Middle East, doesn’t it seem that HAVING nukes is the only way to guarantee you will not be invaded?  if that’s true, why should Iran STOP building a bomb?  ok, maybe that’s 3 things…

Robert Scheer3:22 Robert Scheer

Again, I don’t know what motivates the leadership of north korea, nor does anyone else. But I do know that we do not need a biger nuclear arsenal to confront a threat from what are still very puny military threats from either korea or iran.

Robert Scheer3:23 Robert Scheer

     Having nukes is a way of guranteeing suicide

Robert Scheer3:23 Robert Scheer

these weapons are not usable for defense by anyone

Robert Scheer3:23 Robert Scheer

I think there are steps that Iran can take to guarantee the nation’s sovereignty


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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 11, 2010 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

I read the four pages of transcript and it was not so bad, maybe I am a fast reader?

In the thread on Robert Sheers article this week, the gloom and doom crowd is doing their song and dance routine about Obama not doing enough about Nuclear proliferation, like Sheer stated, this is a start in the right direction.

What will the topic be next week?

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By erichwwk, April 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

I was disappointed that no one raised the issue of whether this START was used to justify the new capacity infrastructure at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Kansas City. To many of us the warhead reductions, while useful in drawing attention to the nuclear weapons issue, has a serious downside in that acyally capacity to develop NEW nuclear weapons has actuallt been significantly increased under Obama. See eg



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By rollzone, April 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

hello. we discovered nuclear weaponry. we developed nuclear energy. from a safety standpoint- both bad ideas. eliminate them. nobody needs them. nobody has to use them. put the technology in the vault alongside free energy, and forgettabouttit. turn the page in nuclear history. the end. no political games- eliminate all of it. it will be a good loss. we do not need it. lesson learned.

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By omop, April 9, 2010 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

This subject matter falls within the “halo” of a sisyphusian discussion.

  To get, say a state like Israel who is reported to have nuclear weapons to agree
to a modus vivendi with Japan, or Syria or Iran or Pakistan or Russia is an
exercise in futility.

  If the intent is to minimize the use of nuclear weapons then by an international
agreement each member state of the UN should be allowed to have a minimum
of half a dozen nuclear bombs made at their disposal to be used when ever they
deem it appropriate.

  If no one can agree on just plain military hardware, like helicopters, missiles,
cluster bombs, what is the rational for ” an agreement on nuclear weapons”.

  As basically “animals” when one know that every one else has an equal
potential of causing havoc the chances [ hopefully ] of using one are diminshed

  At the present the socalled “mad dog” posture of the Israelis to wipe out
everyone including several capitals in Europe according to their military expert
Martin Van Cleveld why should not the Italians, Greeks, Turkey, Poland et al not
have an equal capability?

  A curse and a blessing for some.

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By ofersince72, April 9, 2010 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

There is nothing new ...with this…

The same line of crap we have heard forever
Thats all we during Cinton years….
Iran and North Korea…we might nuk you!!!
So they are getting rid of their old , obsolete nuks
and replacing them with more conventional weapon..
WOW,  were are still the poorest nation in the world
world’s largest debtor nation gobbling up every penny
we can borrow to build more destruction to kill a
boggyman that doesn’t exist making a few extremly
wealthy while we rot our country and the minds of its

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ron_woodward's avatar

By ron_woodward, April 9, 2010 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Nobody in the Middle East will take the USA seriously until she prosecutes her officials for selling US nuclear secrets to potential enemies.
At least a year ago Israel developed an attack plan to take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities with conventional weapons. There is no need to nuke an entire population to disarm them.
Bob Scheer is correct that nukes guarantee self-destruction.
In this regard anyone who votes against ratification of the POTUS treaty should be tried for Sedition.

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, April 9, 2010 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

So, where’s the Mp3 of the live chat; I’m not reading
through 4 pages of transcripts!

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By gerard, April 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

To reinforce the motivation for getting rid of nuclear weapons, and previous to the Senate sessions on the subject (which are bound to be nasty), please consider engaging the opinions of someone who knows first-hand about the actual human, painful, extensive, long-lasting suffering caused by the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  With the passage of time, the horror has rather “worn off” for people who didn’t experience it, and it needs to be reiterated in no uncertain terms.  If anyone has the contacts to do it, a video of film at the time, (or a slide show) on YouTube would be a good idea, too.

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