Put an end to 'the refusal of consciousness'
The link between nuclear weapons and great power status can be broken in Europe, by the peoples of Europe. We need a pro-European movement for European Nuclear Disarmament. Pro-European means being in favour of establishing a democratic European state - a real European Union.
Some of the so called fathers of the European Union envisaged such a state, among them Altiero Spinelli and others in the Manifesto of Ventotene (1941) and in the Treaty Establishing the European Union (approved by a great majority in the European Parliament in February 1984, but scrapped by Mrs Thatcher &Co). Mary Kaldor, with her vision of European Nuclear Disarmament, might one day be called a mother of the EU, if we manage to turn the denuclearization into the constitutional issue it deserves to be.
In short: The criminalization of nuclear weapons needs to be inscribed in the basic treaty (the constitution) of the EU. Henceforward, this new great power, the EU, should be identified by its denuclearization.
We should occupy ourselves with things that can be changed. Nuclear weapons definitely belong to this category. Abolishing them is a concrete and limited goal, dependent on our will. It is certainly more difficult to take control over the earth's climate to change it in a certain direction, than to deconstruct the nuclear weapons area by area, starting here in Europe. (It is our duty to get rid of our nuclear weapons, anyway, because it is a prerequisite of the good life.) Besides, it is absolutely contradictory and hypocritical to order new nuclear missiles and invest billions in missile defense on the one hand, and to pretend to tackle the climate crisis, on the other hand. It is a terrible example of what has aptly been called ' refusal of consciousness'. The party is over, as a wise person wrote about the general situation already in 1975. In 2009 it is already too late to say so, because by now now even the orgies of the Nachspiel* have come to their end.
What can be done now, at this moment?
1. The Lisbon Treaty does not criminalize the new French M51-missiles with their new 'oceanic' nuclear warheads; nor does it forbid the British Trident modernization program. It breaks no link between nuclear weapons and the great power status, nor does it decouple the EU from the nuclear weapons of the USA,or the nuclear strategy of NATO. Now is the time for all Europeans to support the NO to Lisbon Campaign of the Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA).
2. Another thing to do is to see to it that the issue of the European (and not only the North East Asian, or Middle East) nuclear free zone is on the agenda, in the public consciousness, at least, when the leaders of the security council member states will be discussing the nuclear issues, at the request of president Obama, on 24 September.
"We need a new generation of politicians, diplomats and citizens who fully understand what has happened in today's world, where nuclear weapons are fast becoming a metaphor for military power in general." Again, Mary Kaldor hits the nail on the head. Hopefully her words come through to my foreign minister, young Alexander Stubb. Greetings from Finland.
- Mikael Böök
* Nachspiel, from German, meaning "after play", and is a kind of party after the party. Involves the people who don't want to go home after the bars close, bad alcohol (usually some leftovers from the foreplay) and a guitar-playing guy on the couch. After an hour or two it involves puking, complaints from the neighbours and drunk people sleeping around the apartment (cf the definition(s) of Nachspiel at Urbandictionary.com).