Today, I sent the following letter to attac-convention, the mailing list of the European Attacs on the subject of the Constitution of the EU.

Dear friends in ATTAC Hungary, Dear Attacies in other countries as well,

in the notes from the scientific council of Attac Hungary (http://attac.zpok.hu/cikk.php3?id_article=761) on ATTACs ABC plan for the EU , there is no mention of the nuclear problem. This omission reminds me of the East-West relations of the European Nuclear Disarmament movement of the 1980s, only that we can now see a similar pattern in reverse.

It seems, in short, that our dear allies in Eastern Europe, then Charter 77, now Attac Hungary, really don't care about nuclear disarmament, and they have not yet learned how to distinguish between legitimate defence and criminal weapons of mass destruction.

Of course, the ATTACies of Western Europe equally deserve to be criticized on this point. Because, neither have they, the Western European ATTACies, sofar shown any clear understanding of the nuclear problem in relation to the EU and its constitution.

Do you really believe that we can ever have a democratic and social European Union, if that European Union is preparing to "defend" itself with nuclear bombs? Do you believe that weapons of mass destruction can co-exist with democracy in the same state? Do you think that people can take decisions about using nuclear weapons, and thus to act like a kind of collective terroristic suicide bomber, in a constitutional and democratic way?

In sum: Have you ever taken the time to think through the nuclear issue? If you have not yet done it, when are you going to do it?

Then there is another point of critique I woud like to make. Tamas, whom I consider my friend and ally - athough I have perhaps not yet met him in real life - writes (in an email): "Let's just stick to ye olde-worlde internationalism." Sorry, Tamas, but Stalin and the Sino-Soviet conflicts managed to break that old internationalism. It was also catastrophic for that internationalism that the USSR and the Chinese People's Republic built atomic weapons. Not to speak about the French Communist Party, which suddenly approved of the French national atomic weapon in 1977. They swore in the name of the proletarian internationalism, and then proceeded to consenting to building atomic bombs pour la gloire de la France!

But you probably do not mean that old internationalism, which should be dead and buried by now?

No, here in Europe, in particular - and also because this is where we happen to live - we desperately need a new cosmopolitan and internationalist Federalism (inspired by, for instance, Altiero Spinelli) which not only takes into account and corrects the mistakes of the past, but also starts from the premise of, for instance, the internet.

By the way: Has it occurred to you that the internet is as much an offspring of modern atomic physics as are the nuclear arms? What I want to say here, is a simple fact: that the electronic internet presupposes the discovery of the atomic nucleus, and then also the discovery of the negative particles, which are called electrons. The atomic age might have brought forth something of value, too - the internet!

Those atomic discoveries were made around the year 1900, and thus at the time of the birth of Leo Szilard (1898-1964), the Hungarian physicist, who became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943. He also became one of the fathers of the atomic bomb, which he might have regretted afterwards. Because, Szilard is said to have "developed an enduring passion for the preservation of human life and freedom, especially freedom to communicate ideas" (Wikipedia).

It seems that even Spinelli, as wise as he became before his death in 1986 (he called his autobiography "Come ho cercato di diventare saggio" , that is, "How I tried to become wise") , did not make up his mind about the nuclear versus non-nuclear defense of the EU. Because if he had, then he would have included a provision about it in his draft constitution of the EU (1984). He would have demanded an outright and clear constitutional criminalization of WMD.

However, Spinelli, like the other Italian Eurocommunists (Spinelli was an independent member of the group of the PCI in the European parliament), was very close to joining the END movement of the 1980s. It is somewhat understandable that, under the conditions of the Cold War and its nuclear terror balance in Europe , they were afraid of "rocking the boat".

Does any such excuse remain for us, who call ourselves "The Justice Movement", not to go on with demanding a nuclear free zone from Poland to Portugal? Do we intend to back up our "justice" with weapons of mass destruction and options of pre-emptive strikes?

A closer look at the life and work of Szilard might actually help us to make up our minds. And let's not go on with this madness any longer. The time has come for scrapping the nukes. That, precisely, is the necessary first step towards "another world".

Gordon Brown, on his recent visit to India, declared: "Facing serious challenges from Iran and North Korea, we must send a powerful signal to all members of the international community that the race for more and bigger stockpiles of nuclear destruction is over."

To which Praful Bidwai, one of India's leading anti-nuke campaigners, commented:

"We certainly welcome Gordon Brown's statement. He puts the issue of nuclear disarmament on the global agenda. Although if he wants to score a major diplomatic and political point he should set an example and destroy Britian's nuclear weapons. That would have given Brown an unprecedented levarage to call the shots in the disarmament debate". (quoted from "Daily News & Analysis", Mumbai 23 january, 2008 http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1147027)

Hear, hear. That is elementary wisdom from the East!

May I end this letter with a quotation from The Open Conspiracy by H.G.Wells: "We have to make an end to war, and to make an end to war we must be cosmopolitan in our politics".

All the best.

 - Mikael