Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at Opednews.com and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: http://www.mach2.com/williams/. Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email DonWilliams7@charter.net.


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Don Williams comments

Obama Would Rid the World of Nukes, Hillary's Not So Clear. What Say You?
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   02/16/2008)

Hillary has suggested Obama's attitudes regarding nukes are naive. And yet, in one of the most under-reported stories of 2007, four Cold Warriors who flexed American might last century went on record just over a year ago in support of a nuclear-free world--the Obama position. In an op-ed letter to the Wall Street Journal, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Sam Nunn and William Perry wrote this:

“Unless urgent new actions are taken, the U.S. soon will be compelled to enter a new nuclear era that will be more precarious, psychologically disorienting, and economically even more costly than was Cold War deterrence. It is far from certain that we can successfully replicate the old Soviet-American “mutually assured destruction” with an increasing number of potential nuclear enemies world-wide without dramatically increasing the risk that nuclear weapons will be used. New nuclear states do not have the benefit of years of step-by-step safeguards put in effect during the Cold War to prevent nuclear accidents, misjudgments or unauthorized launches. The United States and the Soviet Union learned from mistakes that were less than fatal. Both countries were diligent to ensure that no nuclear weapon was used during the Cold War by design or by accident. Will new nuclear nations and the world be as fortunate in the next 50 years as we were during the Cold War?” Read the entire article here:

http://www.2020visioncampaign.org/pages/113/

It's the kind of issue that is a deal-maker-or-breaker for those with the imagination to envision a future in which the world is not put at risk by human folly. Barack Obama envisions a world without nuclear weapons.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/fpccga/

A world in which new nukes would be prohibited and old nuclear stockpiles would be secured and dealt down. Hillary? She would reserve the option to bomb “enemies” who wish to obtain nukes, and fund “friends” who would go nuclear. Yes, one could say she's endorsed the Kissinger, Shultz, Nunn and Perry proposal, but her endorsement, recorded Oct. 15, 2007, at www.Atlantic.com is serpentine and curiously worded.

"Neither North Korea nor Iran will change course as a result of what we do with our own nuclear weapons, but taking dramatic steps to reduce our nuclear arsenal would build support for the coalitions we need to address the threat of nuclear proliferation and help the United States regain the moral high ground. Former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former Senator Sam Nunn have called on the United States to 'rekindle the vision,' shared by every president from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton, of reducing reliance on nuclear weapons."

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:vZn2_TGkmS8J:matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/10/

Sorry, but Kissinger, Shultz, Perry and Nunn went much further. Hillary, in effect, soft-peddles and understates their call for a nuclear-free world, before tacitly endorsing it.

In an Oct. 2, 2007 speech at DePaul University, on the other hand, Obama laid out nine principles of foreign policy that he would adhere to. Number One? Ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Read speech here:

http://www.gsinstitute.org/gsi/newsletter/newsletter_2007-01-17.html#wsj

An article at the think-tank, Foreign Policy in Focus, pretty much sums up my attitude toward Hillary's take on nukes.

"Nuclear Weapons

"Particularly disturbing has been Senator Clinton's attitudes regarding nuclear issues. For example, when Senator Obama noted in August that the use of nuclear weapons - traditionally seen as a deterrent against other nuclear states - was not appropriate for use against terrorists, Clinton rebuked his logic by claiming that “I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or nonuse of nuclear weapons.”

"Senator Clinton has also shown little regard for the danger from the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other countries, opposing the enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions challenging the nuclear weapons programs of such U.S allies as Israel, Pakistan and India. Not only does she support unconditional military aid - including nuclear-capable missiles and jet fighters - to these countries, she even voted to end restrictions on U.S. nuclear cooperation with countries that violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"She has a very different attitude, however, regarding even the possibility of a country the United States does not support obtaining nuclear weapons some time in the future. For example, Senator Clinton insists that the prospect of Iran joining its three Southwest Asian neighbors in developing nuclear weapons “must be unacceptable to the entire world” since challenging the nuclear monopoly of the United States and its allies would somehow “shake the foundation of global security to its very core.” She refuses to support the proposed nuclear weapons-free zone for the Middle East, as called for in UN Security Council resolution 687, nor does she support a no-first use nuclear policy, both of which could help resolve the nuclear standoff. Indeed, she has refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons against such non-nuclear countries as Iran, even though such unilateral use of nuclear weapons directly contradicts the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the same treaty she claims the United States must unilaterally and rigorously enforce when it involves Iran and other countries our government doesn't like.

"Senator Clinton also criticized the Bush administration's decision to include China, Japan and South Korea in talks regarding North Korea's nuclear program and to allow France, Britain and Germany to play a major role in negotiations with Iran, claiming that instead of taking “leadership to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists … we have outsourced over the last five years our policies.” In essence, as president, Hillary Clinton would be more unilateralist and less prone to work with other nations than the Bush administration on such critical issues as non-proliferation." Read entire article here:

http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4811

A PIVOTAL MOMENT FOR PEACE

Meanwhile, my friends at the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance sent the following email my way:

Subject: MAJOR HEARING IN OAK RIDGE: STOP NUCLEAR WEAPONS NOW!

Peace Friends: We stopped Complex 2021, the mini-nukes, the nuclear bunker buster, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW)…now let's stop the planning for “Complex (2030) Transformation”. COME in person. WRITE &/or CALL Congress. Let us know how it goes!

--Carol Green, liaison for the Peace with Justice Committee of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church & OREPA

We have an opportunity to write the future we want to live in—a world without nuclear weapons.

The National Nuclear Security Administration has issued its draft plan for Complex Transformation—THIS PLAN WOULD REBUILD THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX IN ORDER TO:

1. Continue the Stockpile Life Extension Program (upgrading and extending the life of our current arsenal)

2. Build new nuclear weapons (the Reliable Replacement Warhead program which envisions a new nuclear arsenal)

The law requires DOE/NNSA to hold a public hearing on this plan. Here's the scoop:

PUBLIC HEARING IN OAK RIDGE, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 11:00am - 3:00pm and 6:00pm - 10:00pm, New Hope Center, Oak Ridge, TN, (just outside the gates of the Y12 bomb plant)

This hearing, on the Complex Transformation Draft Environmental Impact Statement, is the most significant hearing on nuclear weapons in twenty years.

IT IS OUR ONLY CHANCE TO COMMENT ON THE NEW WEAPONS COMPLEX. WE NEED EVERY VOICE.

We need you to make the effort to come to the hearing and speak. You don't have to be an expert; we need to hear from your heart.

IS IT WORTH IT?

There is great momentum in the public arena toward disarmament—even Henry Kissinger and George Shultz have called for the US to lead a global effort toward complete nuclear disarmament. Now it is the public's chance to speak. An overwhelming turnout at the hearing can turn the tide, stiffen the backbones of our champions in Congress, and put the brakes on the effort to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on new bomb plants.

Please consider the future you would like to write for your children and grandchildren and all the world's children and grandchildren.

If you have to take off work, this hearing is worth it. If you have to travel to get here, it's time to make the trip.

More info, a fact sheet, and talking points are available on OREPA's web site www.stopthebombs.org, or by e-mailing orep@earthlink.net.

Peace,

Ralph Hutchison, coordinator

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

PLEASE POST THIS MESSAGE TO ANY LISTSERV YOU ACCESS. PUT IT IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR E-BLAST. HELP US SPREAD THE WORD.WE ALL HAVE A STAKE IN THE FUTURE. THEIR VERSION IS BOMBS, BOMBS, AND MORE BOMBS.

IF WE WANT A DIFFERENT FUTURE, WE HAVE TO SPEAK NOW.