Nuclear nonproliferation: How can it be a reality?

The April 27 article "New gaps in controlling the spread of nuclear arms" describes many of the issues that the 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference must consider this month. However, it does not adequately discuss the damage to the NPT caused by the arrogance of the US.

Thirty-five years ago, the US ratified the treaty, which provided that if the nuclear powers disarmed, the nonnuclear powers would refrain from developing their own nuclear weapons.

By persisting with development of new nuclear bombs rather than disarming, the US has taught that to be respected a nation must also have nuclear arms. The result is proliferation.

The US still maintains about 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. We are ready to launch a retaliatory strike within 15 minutes of a warning of an incoming attack.

We must take all nuclear weapons off alert immediately, and assure the world that we will neither use them against a non-nuclear nation nor be the first to use them against a nuclear nation.

Then let's work with the NPT and get serious about the nuclear disarmament we promised 35 years ago!
William F. Santelmann Jr.
Lexington, Mass.

In your April 28 editorial "Atomic Logic," you alluded to the nuclear ambitions of the Bush administration in wanting to build new nuclear devices.

Such weapons are each on the order of one atomic bomb, such as the one dropped on the Japanese people in 1945.

You advocate measures that the US can take to help deter proliferation of nukes in the world.

However, you failed to identify self-restraint and fidelity to treaties we have made in the past as necessary first steps not only to free the world of nuclear weapons but also to establish our own credibility.

The US can be responsible in restraining nuclear development only when self-restraint begins at home.
Gerald J. Bettice
Memphis, Tenn.

Regarding the May 3 article "A tough road in curbing spread of nuclear arms": Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has recently described the way a nuclear Iran would totally upset the present world-order.

It would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and a world in which there are 30 or 40 nuclear powers threatening each other. Armageddon in these circumstances would always be on the world's doorstep.

Thus the key goal of the present UN conference should be to prevent any states from attaining any further nuclear weapons.

It is to be hoped that the United States will not be alone in this, but that the European countries will understand that halting proliferation is a question of their survival, also.
Shalom Freedman

CAFTA: more pitfalls than it's worth

I am a great fan of your newspaper, but I very much disagree with your May 11 editorial "Free Trade's Destiny in CAFTA."

CAFTA should be defeated in its present form for the following reasons:

It will lead to US companies relocating their factories to Central America, where wages are much lower.

It will allow the dumping of cheap agricultural products from the US onto Central American countries. This will undermine their farmers.

It will damage the environment because there are no safeguards written into the agreement for the environment.

None of these things should be allowed. Corporations may profit from this agreement, but workers and farmers will not.
Ensign Leininger

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