Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Tell the nation's governors that they can and should proceed with the Clean Power Plan, despite the Supreme Court's stay.

The importance of New START and a larger movement

Posted by Paul Deaton on December 15, 2010

If you are reading the Physicians for Social Responsibility Nuclear Weapons Blog, you may be familiar with our hope to ratify the New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. Thank you for your support and for what you have already done to support efforts to get the treaty ratified.

The United States Senate voted to bring New START to the floor today (December 15th, 2010). It looks like we have been able to secure precious Senate floor time during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress.
Please call your US Senators today if you have not done so during the past week. Friends Committee on National Legislation has set up a toll free number to the Senate switchboard: (888) 475-8162.
What people forget is that after the United States dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was a world-wide movement to disarm based on this act's deadly force. President Truman and his cabinet believed that nuclear weapons were something that the US should use and have in its arsenal, including the more powerful hydrogen bomb. When resistance to the hydrogen bomb surfaced, President Truman advised Secretary of State Dean Acheson, “the least said about the so-called hydrogen bomb by officials…the better it will be for all concerned.” In 1945, the United Nations was formed partly as a response to global desire to manage nuclear technology and coordinate efforts in non-proliferation.
While there have been periodic resurgences in interest in nuclear abolition, it has been difficult to sustain over the past 65 years.
Our numbers have dwindled to small bands of people like the Disarm Now Plowshares 5. During the night of the Feast of All Souls, November 2, 2009, Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York; Bill Bischel, SJ, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington; and Steve Kelly, SJ, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California, cut through the chain link fence surrounding the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base outside Bremerton, Washington. They then walked undetected for hours nearly four miles inside the base to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC). This top security area is where the Plowshares activists say hundreds of nuclear missiles are stored in bunkers.

There they cut through two more barbed wire fences and went inside. They put up two big banners which said "Disarm Now Plowshares: Trident Illegal and Immoral," scattered sunflower seeds, and prayed until they were arrested at dawn.
We also tend to forget the story of David Hahn, the Boy Scout who built a nuclear reactor in his backyard to get a merit badge. His story illustrates how easy it is to enrich uranium. If a Boy Scout can do this, then so too can terrorists and that's the problem.
New START does not go far enough, but absent an abolition movement like there was after we dropped the bomb, it is up to each of us to help rid the world of these weapons. Ratifying New START would be a step in that direction.
Please call your Senators today if you have not done so during the past week. Friends Committee on National Legislation has set up a toll free number to the Senate switchboard: (888) 475-8162.
Thanks for everything you do.

Paul Deaton

As a member of the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Paul Deaton helped focus attention on the gravest threats to global survival: nuclear proliferation, climate change and social injustice. He is outgoing chair of the Johnson County Board of Health and a board member for Veterans for Peace Chapter 161, PEACE Iowa and the Solon Senior Advocates.


Leave your comment

Enter this word: Change

Action Alerts

More action alertsĀ»


  • Video: Can We Prevent Nuclear War?

    The danger of nuclear war is real. PSR's Dr. Ira Helfand spoke at TEDx Vail on the threat to human survival posed by nuclear war and what we can do about it: we can all take action to end nuclear weapons in all forms. Read more »

  • Dr. Ira Helfand Speaks at the UN

    Dr. Ira Helfand spoke before the Untied Nations General Assembly on September 10, 2015 as part of a panel addressing the pursuit of a nuclear weapons free world. Read more »

  • Video: We Have an Iran Deal! Now What?

    Watch PSR Security Program's latest webinar to understand the details of the Iran Deal and what you can do to keep the deal safe from Congress. Featuring speaker Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association. Read more »

In the Spotlight