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Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Nuclear Weapons

Posted on Apr 8, 2010

(Page 3)

Robert Scheer3:24 Robert Scheer

     And there is no question that the US has the power to prevent Israel in engaging in such an attack since we finance much of their military development.

Robert Scheer3:24 Robert Scheer

     On green power and nukes

Robert Scheer3:26 Robert Scheer

     I was impressed in an interview with Hans Bethe—one of the great nuclear physicists and nobel prize winners—that one can make a plausible argument for peaceful uses of nuclear power. However the issues connected with making that safe are VERY different from the concerns addressed here about deliberate use, particularly in a first strike capacity of nuclear weapons

3:26 Question From Cynthia Macias

I think that also is a part on the US to lead the way of making amends with these nations and recognize them so that they don’t have to resort to these measures for political visibility

Robert Scheer3:26 Robert Scheer

True enough.

Robert Scheer3:26 Robert Scheer

But let’s not lose sight of what’s involved here

Robert Scheer3:26 Robert Scheer

which is the uniquely destructive power of nuclear weapons to eliminate all that we care about

Robert Scheer3:27 Robert Scheer

This is what Obama’s proposal and the new defense dept. strategy addresses.

Robert Scheer3:27 Robert Scheer

And it’s what this arms control negotiation is all about.

Truthdig Logo3:27 Truthdig

We have another question from a reader:

Night-Gaunt, Houston, TX

How can we get Pres. Obama to do much more with this including sanctions against all nuclear countries who have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaties like Pakistan, India and Israel? (North Korea is already living like they are under sanctions.)


Robert Scheer3:28 Robert Scheer

We will doom this effort if we insist that it solve every problem related to nuclear weapons in this world

Robert Scheer3:28 Robert Scheer

what it is is a major step in the right direction and we should not let the kneejerk opponents of everything Obama endorses derail this

Robert Scheer3:29 Robert Scheer

It is outrageous that the Bush administration advocated building even newer nuclear weapons and developing a warfighting capacity to replace conventional weapons with nuclear ones as in the case of bunker busters

Truthdig Logo3:29 Truthdig

We have time for about one more question…

3:29 Question From Billy B.

I’m guessing the Israelies were NOT present in Prague?  Who, in your opinion, which nation, constitutes the highest level of nuclear threat (outside the USA)?

Robert Scheer3:30 Robert Scheer

If the United States and Russia can find common ground for prohibition on the use and development of nuclear weapons, they can find ample support in the world community to carry that vision through.

Robert Scheer3:30 Robert Scheer

     They will certainly have the capacity to control any other nation that seeks to go down this road

Robert Scheer3:30 Robert Scheer

either through sanctions or other forms of making that point

Robert Scheer3:30 Robert Scheer

Pakistan, Israel, India

Robert Scheer3:30 Robert Scheer

Are nations that very much need support of the united states

Robert Scheer3:31 Robert Scheer

and if the US has the will to resist their reliance on nuclear weaponry it wil cary the day

Robert Scheer3:31 Robert Scheer

I will point out that in the case of Pakistan and Israel, the delivery systems needed to make these weapons truly threatening, were supplied by the United States.

3:31 Question From Graham Webb

Robert what are your thoughts on economic and diplomatic sanctions? It seems from my perspective trying to impose and force through sanctions do little to no good in motivating sovereign countries seeking or already having developed nuclear weapons.

Robert Scheer3:32 Robert Scheer

I am inclined to agree with that view.

Robert Scheer3:32 Robert Scheer

Because economic santions generally hurt the innocent in the countries affected and strengthen the power of dictators who can play the nationalist card ever more effectively

Robert Scheer3:33 Robert Scheer

however it is perfectly in order for there to be common agreement to deny Iran or any other country access to the materials or technological knowhow needed to advance a nuclear weapons program


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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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