Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Death by pudding or parking lot

George Monbiot : The US missile defence system is the magic pudding that will never run out
"It's a novel way to take your own life. Just as Russia demonstrates what happens to former minions that annoy it, Poland agrees to host a US missile defence base. The Russians, as Poland expected, respond to this proposal by offering to turn the country into a parking lot. This proves that the missile defence system is necessary after all: it will stop the missiles Russia will now aim at Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK in response to, er, their involvement in the missile defence system."
The missile defence system doesn't actually work of course, but to be fair, that isn't its job. Its real job, in Monbiot's happy phrase, is to keep the pudding production going. There's big bucks in pudding - $150B so far.

Meanwhile the Czech Republic is also gearing up to host a US pudding factory, pending approval from its parliament.

Linda McQuaig notes that "goal of eliminating nuclear weapons — arguably the most pressing issue humankind faces — has otherwise slipped so far off the political agenda it rarely merits a mention."

We're happy to pretend that installing a missile defence system in Poland has something or other to do with Iran, which doesn't have any nukes, but when it comes to the nuclear weapons of the U. S., Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel, India and Pakistan, we're oblivious.

"Peace advocates Anatol Rapoport and Leonard Johnson (a retired Canadian general) compare our society to the cells of a body in the process of committing suicide. All the cells keep operating normally, each doing its own job, even as the person writes a suicide note, puts a gun in his mouth and prepares to pull the trigger."

In 2002, Canada became the first NATO country to vote for a pro-disarmament resolution, despite strong opposition from the United States, and called for "the complete elimination of nuclear weapons...through steadily advocating national, bilateral and multilateral steps."

Michael Byers noted that last year that the Foreign Affairs website had been amended to say that Canada's nuclear weapons policy is now "consistent with our membership in NATO and NORAD, and in a manner sensitive to the broader international security context."

Death by pudding or parking lot - take your pick. And don't forget to leave a note.

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