ACDN PRESS RELEASE, 24 March 2017
The attack in London confirms the failure of the atom bomb. Her Majesty’s missiles and 225 atom bombs failed to deter her subject Khalid Massood from killing other British subjects with a car and two knives. In the fight against terrorism, the billions of pounds spent on renewing the Trident system are a total loss. At the most they will contribute to the break-up of the United Kingdom by inciting Her Majesty’s Scottish subjects, already opponents of Brexit, to want independence so as to close the nuclear submarine base at Faslane - not understanding why it was placed near Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, rather than near London. Perhaps if there’s a war Glasgow would be deemed a preferable target?
It’s been said already that France 300 bombs, capable of killing a billion people, failed to stop the deaths at Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan and Nice. And that the formidable US arsenal did not prevent 9/11/2001. On the contrary, these weapons of domination and terror maintain fear, resentment, rage, hatred, and even maintain the terrorists’ desire to kill. The nuclear nations are giving a very bad example.
In France, 120 MPs and Senators have understood this. They are calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and proposing a bill to organise a referendum on France’s participation in their abolition.
According to them, "the right to survive, and its corrollary the right of people to control their own survival, implies the abolition of nuclear arms, which are weapons of mass destruction, of massacres, of crimes against humanity. Totally useless for throttling terrorism, they share with it the same contempt for human life - on a larger scale. They threaten to annihilate millions of people, whole populations, and humanity itself, for a nuclear war would make the earth uninhabitable."
This situation, they say, flouts Human Rights. "It is contrary to international law, which obliges those nuclear states who have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (as France has): "to pursue in good faith and bring to conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects, under international control that is strict and effective" (Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, 8 July 1996). It is contrary to the French Constitution, which places Human Rights above everything, and requires respect for them, and respect for treaties signed."
They add that it is contrary to good sense, "for it is illogical to defend republican values, including fraternity, while threatening to commit crimes against humanity; illogical to link France’s ’vital interests’ with the use of arms that would be suicidal against another nation that possesses them; illogical to claim to guarantee security by these weapons while forbidding others to obtain them; illogical to thus encourage proliferation while claiming to be combatting it; illogical to want budget cuts while wasting billions on these death-devices that cannot be used against other nuclear states, that cannot deter terrorists, and that would be fearsome in terrorists’ hands if they manage to obtain some."
Finally, it is contrary to democracy, since the French people have never been consulted about nuclear weapons, yet a recent IFOP poll tells us that three-quarters of French citizens would answer Yes to the question which these parliamentarians want to put in a referendum: « Do you want France to negotiate and ratify with all the states concerned a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear weapons, with mutual and international control that is strict and effective ? »
This is an essential question right now, since the UN is opening negotiations in New York for a treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons. France is refusing to take part. The government, the current president, and also the current presidential hopefuls all want to keep a finger on the nuclear button, and make a point of not mentioning this in their campaigns. For France this is a matter of shame.
In New York on March 27 France will be represented not by her diplomats but by some French NGOs, including ACDN. We - along with the MPs and Senators who signed the Appeal for a Referendum and the Referendum Bill for a shared-initiative referendum on France’s participation in the abolition of nuclear weapons - will save the honour of the French people. And if the referendum takes place, the citizenry will take the responsibility.