Is the solution for everyone to have a nuclear option?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

May 22, 2014


It was 1962 and the world was in the grip of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Fidel Castro was a rag-tag revolutionary, determined to nationalize American companies in his Cuba, regardless of Yankee pressure.  It didn’t take long for Washington to pass judgement on this cigar chomping, bearded upstart – he was  a ‘commie’ and was to be spurned.  And so, as if in a self-fulfilling prophecy, he was pushed into the welcoming bear-hug of a Soviet Union looking for friends with real estate on America’s backdoor.

Nuclear cloud

That mushroom cloud from a Pacific Island test site has become the symbol of terror – in the wrong hands – terror would reign.

In 1962, Kruschev accepted Castro’s offer to locate nuclear warheads on the island, though he kept the keys in Moscow.  Once JFK was shown the evidence he engaged the world in a dangerous waltz with the Soviet leader.  But in the end ‘The Russians tried. the Russians failed – homeward bound those missiles sailed’ (Phil Ochs).  In return, the US agreed not to invade Cuba and to dismantle some obsolescent missiles in Turkey.

The Ukraine had been the third largest nuclear power in the world before they decided to destroy their weapons and sign onto the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).  That was a bold act for which they demanded and got a quid-pro-quo as Russia, USA and UK put their signatures on 1994 Budapest Treaty guaranteeing Ukrainian’s territorial integrity and preserving it from foreign aggression.

Well we all know how that worked out.  The US and UK turned their blind eyes as Mr. Putin marched in and swallowed Crimea.  So emboldened was the Russian leader by this act of treachery, that he adopted the very same tactics into his play for eastern Ukraine.  It turns out the Budapest Treaty isn’t worth the paper it was written on. 

Nuclear bombs

Stock pile of nuclear weapons. No one really knows how many of the things tehre are in the world – too many,

Still, there is no question where this story leads, as Russia shows no sign of stopping its subversion and planned absorption of part or all of Ukraine into the new Russian empire.  And the US and UK have no intention of lifting their hands in any meaningful way to help, other than the couple of finger jabs they call sanctions.  Though there is an election in a few days and that may resolve or rekindle the chaos currently gripping the country.

Ukrainians are Slavic people which originates from the word slave.  And that pretty much sums up what happens to passive nations which actually believe in peace.  Watching the early events evolve in eastern Ukraine was a bit like reading a Ukrainian version of the 1936 children’s book, ‘The Story of Ferdinand’.  Banned by Franco, burned by Hitler, restricted by Stalin but cherished by Mahatma Gandhi, it is the tale about a bull who would rather smell the flowers than fight in the ring.  That seems to be a passing story, however, as the Ukrainian military finds its momentum.

Cuba prevented American invasion by threatening potentially deadly nuclear retaliation to rain down on Washington.  Would that strategy also work to now protect the Ukraine?   Would American or British nuclear missiles sited in Ukraine, close enough to evade Russian defensive systems, and capable of turning Moscow into a bowl of bubbling borscht,deter further Russian aggression.  Or would it just hasten the end for all of us. 

To be sure the most disturbing aspect of this whole Ukrainian mess is the nonchalance of Obama and Cameron, global leaders who upon inheriting an international treaty to protect Ukraine, have no intention of living up to it.  Ukraine would not have given up its nuclear arsenal without the assurances it got to preserve its territorial integrity.  And nuclear weapons have become the ultimate defence mechanism – the very reason Obama and the Cameron won’t seriously confront Russia.

So, is that the lesson for the rest of the world?  Nobody else is going to protect you from these new renaissance warriors – so you better get yourself a nuke.  Does flaunting or outright breaking of international treaties, protocols and laws have no consequences?   Are we witnessing the death knell of globalization as new trade restrictions, sanctions, and border controls bring the hope of global free trade to an end?

Nuclear - submarine being loaded

Any nation with a coast line and a submarine can transport its weapons anywhere in the world.

Background links:

 Ukrainian Nukes     Canada on Ukraine     Putin VS Hitler     The USSR

Cuban Missile Crisis      Cuban Revolution     Nuclear Disarmament 

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2 comments to Is the solution for everyone to have a nuclear option?

  • Susan Lewis

    Politicians all over the world lie to people and to countries and even sign their names to their lies. It seems to advance their careers and there are seldom any consequences to their lying.

  • Mr. Wonderful

    The current provincial Liberal party is a bigger threat.