Still Hope to Prevent Nuclear War Yet US Ambassador Snubs Nobel Ceremony

Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Goes to ICAN

Today the Nobel Peace Prize is being awarded in Oslo as the possibility of nuclear conflict is in the news again.  Itʻs the holiday season, which is supposed to be about peace, reconciliation, brother and sisterhood.  Now is not a good time and there is never a good time for nuclear conflict.  Even if war is sometimes justified, nuclear war is not normal war.  It is not precise, it creates fallout that travels across oceans and borders, it inevitably kills children and other innocents.  Even a limited nuclear war could destroy economies, destroy the internet as we know it, destroy crops, create famine, create an ice age.  It sounds alarmist and Iʻm sorry about that, but the scientific community agrees on these things.  It always puzzles me why we canʻt all learn to somehow get along.  It sounds simplistic I know, but it seems to me that in the end we eventually become friends with our enemies:  Witness our relationships with former enemies Vietnam, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia.  Okay, Russia is complicated, but we have reduced the threat of nuclear war by leaps and bounds through hard work that continued from administration to administration for decades.   Bipartisan efforts such as the Nunn (Democrat) Lugar (Republican) mutual threat reduction initiatives paid off and the threat has been greatly reduced, despite simmering tension and protracted differences on many other issues.  Both between the US and USSR and between Democrats and Republicans.  So progress is always possible and peace is always possible.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2017 is being awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.  A Hiroshima survivor, Setsuko Thurlow , will be accepting the Award for ICAN.  As a 13 year old she experienced the indiscriminate brutality of the first nuclear weapon to be used on a human population.  She made some recent statements that are provocative.  According to this report she is begging the US and North Korea to find a diplomatic solution.  You would think her voice would be worth listening to, so itʻs surprising, if true, that the US Ambassador will not be attending the ceremony, as is the usual protocol.  But thatʻs what Reuters reports is happening.

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