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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 9, 2011 8:30am-9:45am EDT

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>> right. no be, i think it's an absolutely interesting parallel between vietnam and the current war in afghanistan because, you know, you think about world war ii, i mean, my father, my uncles, they all fought. and it's, like, are we making progress? yeah, we took guadal canal, then we hit the marianas, it was clear what we were doing. and you go to vietnam, and it's becoming, like, unclear. so how do we measure success? it devolved into body count. and i am clear in my own mind that body count is a very bad measure of success. first of all, it's immoral. the warrior's job is to stop the other side from using violence. and when that other side stops doing it, then you're done. and the job is not to kill the other side, you sometimes have to kill people on the other side to dissuade them from doing what they're doing. that's the bad part of it. but the objective should not be
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killing people. that's not a proper objective. it's just inhumane. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> next, thad daley argues for the need to abolish nuclear weapons and outlines a strategy to accomplish it. it's a little over an hour. >> well, good eveningment -- evening. i am delighted to be here for my friend tad, and i am delighted to be here for teaching and change at busboys and poets where i have heard many a good speaker, left many a good tip. and i am cognizant that we're meeting in a pretty grim time, the kind of, you know, month or week where people ask of themselves, boy, how could things get any worse. well, our speaker tonight is an
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expert about how things could get horrifically worse and, more significantly, how to keep them from getting significantly worse. that is his value added, as we say, to the very important discussion of nuclear war, nuclear accident, nuclear disaster, nuclear holocaust, asoy dance -- avoidance thereof. yesterday, um, former republican senator from oregon mark hatfield died. a, almost the last of a vanished race, a liberal republican. and in reading his obituaries, i was always cognizant as a young man that hatfield was elected to the senate back in 19 either 68 or 70 as an anti-war republican introduced legislation to end the vietnam war co-authored by george mcgovern.
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but what i either had not known or had totally forgotten that the obituary made clear was that hatfield had served in the pacific during world war ii, had been at okinawa and iwo jima and then had visited hiroshima. and his strong, already strong anti-war fervor was clearly put into a kind of understandable overdrive by that visit. and i think it sufficient fused the horror of that, sufficient fused much of the rest of his life's, of his life's work. tad in the course of, career of anti-nuclear activism and scholarship worked for some time with one of hatfield's colleagues, another united states senator who not only was
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opposed to nuclear war, but who devoted the entirety of his retirement after 1992 to that cause which is when tad worked for him. that was alan cranston, former senator from california. and someone who i worked for a very long time ago as a young man when he was still in the senate. and that kind of perspective and dedication but also real smarts, real strategic and tactical smarts that someone like alan cranston brought to this cause is abundantly there on every page of apocalypse never. which not only talks common sense on the whole panoply of nuclear possibilities each more terrifying than the next, and we've gone, of course, from being afraid of the kind of
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nuclear conflagration that was always implicit there in the cold war to other fears including things that we've seen just in the last half year; nuclear accidents and where they can go. but it, even as all kinds of people who have been associated with nuclear strategy and nuclear war, many of them at some point in their life have sort of thrown up their hands and say this is crazy. why are we doing this, why are we not reducing nuclear arsenals? even as they have been saying this and doing this as tad points out in the his book, the results have been far less than these changes and sentiments may have led one to hope. and the question, therefore, is how do you get from here to there, how do you get from a world which is still ridden with
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thousands and thousands of nuclear warheadsing and all the possibilities -- warheads and all the possibilities that creates for accident, mischief or huge miscalculated strategy, how do we move from that world to the safer one where instead of nuclear deterrence we're talking about nuclear elimination? tad's book, "apocalypse never," i think, makes a real-world, plausible, brilliant and well written case for how we get from here to there. a very important book, and i'm delighted to welcome him here tonight, tad daley. [applause] >> well, thank you very much. i want to thank andy of busboys and poets who invited me here, and i want to thank don and laticia. they're two separate entities,
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busboys and poets restaurant and the marvelous teaching for change bookstore which is just a real, tremendous contribution to our cultural life here in d.c., especially the cultural life of the left. and i also want to tell you something about harold meyerson. harold, for many years, was the progressive political sage at the l.a. weekly. i lived in southern california for many years, so got to know him back then. he is now the wednesday op-ed columnist for "the washington post". many people know that bernie sanders is the only socialist member of the u.s. senate, fewer know but more should know that harold meyerson is the only socialist columnist for "the washington post". [laughter] >> too much competition. [laughter] >> but that's not really harold's important incarnation. he is also editor of the american prospect magazine. here is my copy of a recent
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edition, and the american prospect is really something, folks. it really offers a vision of what a holistic, inclusive, progressive and most importantly economically-just society would look like. and every issue offers really practical political messaging and tactics for moving in that direction. so i often pick these up at the newsstand at union station. but, harold, i am here to tell you tonight that i ain't going to do that anymore. why? because i have a present for you. here is my subscription and my subscription check. i have finally decided to subscribe to the american prospect magazine. it is a magazine very much deserving of your support, and i hope some of you tonight will consider supporting it as well. so laticia mentioned, and i suspect many people in this room know that tonight is the 66th
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anniversary of the american obliteration of the japanese city of nagasaki. if i may, please, raise your hand if you've heard of the japanese city of nagasaki. yeah, good. thank you. pretty much everyone. please raise your hand if you've heard of hiroshima. good, thank you very much. please raise your hand if you've heard of a japanese city called cocur rah. a few. a few, but not nearly as many. i would like to tell you something about this japanese city of kokurra. it's very unremarkable. it is a medium-sized city, maybe about 750,000 people. it has a well preserved maybe 4 or 500-year-old temple near the city center but not a whole lot that is remarkable about it. it is pretty much like most medium-sized cities elsewhere in japan and even we could see other medium-sized cities elsewhere all around the world. except for one thing. one episode in its history which
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makes it completely unique in all the history of the human race. on the morning of august 9, 1945, an american b29 bomber called boxcar car i riing -- carrying the world's third atom bomb, the first was tested in new jersey, the second was in hiroshima, and the third was in this boxcar, kokurra was the target. nagasaki was not the target. kokurra was the target. the mission was was bedeviled by problems from the outset. boxcar takes out from an island in the south pacific, and a fuel pump fails immediately. the commander, major charles sweeney, decided to proceed. a few hours later they arrive off the coast of japan, they're supposed to meet up with a photographic plane. never showed up. they waited for about an hour for this third b-29 to show up.
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major sweeney again decided to proceed. a few hours after that they arrive over the city of kokurra itself, but there was just one small problem. they couldn't see it. the city was completely covered over by clouds, by haze, and how's this for historical irony, by the still-churning smoke from american fire bombing raids several cities away several days earlier. the twin b-29s made three long passes over the city. just think about that moment. think about a citizen of kokurra just going about their business on the morning of august 9th, and there's a b-29 overhead with an atom bomb just looking for a break in the clouds so they could visually confirm their target. had the cloud cover broken for even a moment, that would have t of kokurra's doom. but it did not, so major sweeney
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decided to proceed to the designated secondary target, the japanese city of nagasaki, and we all know the rest of the story. not a lot of americans i have found know the story of kokurra, but almost everyone in japan does. they even have a phrase. they call it kokurra luck. and the reason that i like to talk about kokurra is because it seems to me 66 years later to this day that kokurra can be taken to represent every city in the world. kokurra escaped its nuclear fate totally by luck. totally by a roll of the dice, totally by the most capricious whim of the gods. and i think it's fair to say that so, too, has every city this world, so, too, has the whole of the human race now for 66 years and counting. and someday i fear our kokurra
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luck is going to run out. so i have written this book. it is called "apocalypse never." i will sum it up in one sentence. it's about, one, the many facets of the immediate nuclear peril. two, the vision of banning and dismantling every last atom bomb on planet earth and, three, plausible pathways by which we might ascend toward that summit. that was a long sentence, but it was, in fact, a single-sentence summary of my entire book. thank you for having me tonight. [laughter] but maybe i can offer a few more comments. i guess there's one other thing that i'd say about the book it's which it's -- itself which is that i set out to very much write a book about the nuclear big picture that was not for experts, not for scholars, but really for ordinary women and men, for ordinary citizens who care about the fate of the human race. why? not just to get them to buy the book and to read it, but my goal
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and the goal of the work that many of us do in this field is to build a mighty movement that focuses on nuclear disarmament that will climb up on the ramparts and become so powerful that our politicians will find it impossible to ignore. i cannot promise that either my book or the other work that many people in this field do will have that result, but as the great hockey star wayne gretzky likes to say, you always miss 100% of the shots that you don't take. so i think in this realm and any other realm it's important to always give it a shot. so let me try to open by making the case that we are all at this very moment live anything kokurra, that we are all at this very moment living with a b-29 with an atom bomb circling overhead, and someday that cloud cover is going to break. and, you know, i am especially in the recent weeks, i almost want to apologize for having to go through this. i mean, we've had this horrible
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debt ceiling thing, and apparently just since yesterday morning the whole world is apparently, according to some, on the brink of a horrible recession, and we've all got so many other micro problems to worry about. and now daley comes along and says, you know, you want us to worry about an atom bomb going off in our city as well? and i feel terrible to have to bring that up but, yes, we do have to worry about atom bombs going off in our cities and, indeed, we still have to worry about bringing about the end of the world by our own hands. the paradigm that i sort of adopt in the book is that i have four different scenarios which o think we have come very close to nuclear cat crism in the past -- cataclysm in the past and by which i think it is very likely we will meet some type of nuclear cataclysm in the future. chapter three is on the nightmare of nuclear terror.
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and i think you're all somewhat familiar with the scenario. we've had shoe womanners, we've had underwear bombers, and someday we're going to have a nuclear bomber. my chapter really makes the case that i don't think nuclear terror will be terribly difficult to pull off, and i don't think nuclear terror will be terribly easy in the long term to prevent. and it pains me a great deal to say this, but i'm kind of surprised it hasn't happened already. i'm surprised that at least one person at one time hasn't gotten their hands on an atom bomb or managed to build a primitive atom bomb and set it off in some major world city. and in my chapter i talk about the human casualty consequences and the economic and the psychological consequences, the civil liberties consequences. i don't think our bill of rights would survive an atom bomb going off tomorrow morning in phoenix or st. louis or chicago. our reactions in the international arena. we've got to strike back somewhere, dammit. i mean, isn't that the kind of
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sentiment that we're likely to hear this aftermath of losing denver or philadelphia or seattle? the clock is ticking, and the handwriting is on the wall. but that is only one facet of the immediate nuclear peril. we aral live anything kokurra because of what i call nuclear crisis mismanagement, the scenario where some kind of international political beast between one or more nuclear-armed nations unfold and the leader is sweating and hasn't slept in three days and maybe misjudges the politics or the weather or the mood of his mistress and begins to engage in this insidious logic that the other side is probably thinking about launching a nuclear first strike, so we'd better launch a nuclear first strike first. i think it's only a matter of time before that's going to happen. most people in this room know about the cuban missile crisis of 1962. i suspect fewer know about the able archer crisis in 1983.
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and maybe i'll just save that for q&a if somebody wants to talk about it. it was a situation of, again, in my paradigm nuclear crisis mismanagement and misinformation and misunderstanding where i think we came even closer to bringing about the end of the world totally by misi understanding -- misunderstanding. we are also, i think, living in kokurra with that b-29 overhead because of what i call simply conscious intentional use. the cold, sober, rational nuclear weapons employment doctrines. there are nine nuclear-armed nation on the atlanta now, and each one of them has some kind of formal defense doctrines where they say in this set of circumstances n this kind of geopolitical situation we will launch a nuclear first strike, we will start a nuclear war. and, yes, that does include this nuclear-armed nation and, yes,
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that does include this administration, even the enlightened in many ways regarding nuclear matters administration of barack obama still has something called a nuclear posture review that says here are the circumstances in which we will start a nuclear war. we can talk about that a little bit more afterwards. and if you don't think that's terribly plausible, what about president rick perry? what about president michele bachmann, you know? i mean, if we hang on to these things long enough, someday there's going to be a leader who says our national interests will be served by launching a nuclear first strike. and the fourth of these four scenarios that i talk about, these scenarios by which i maintain we are living in kokurra is what i call aaa. the possibility of accidental atomic apocalypse. and if any of the chapters in the book just chill your -- will
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just chill your bones, it is this one. there have been dozens and dozens of documented episodes where some kind of nuclear mishap, maybe even an accidental launch of nuclear weapons, has come about by accident. by computer error. by computer mistake. and on at least three occasions -- one in 1979, one in 1983 and once in 1995 -- the human -- it was twice in the soviet russian case and once in the american case -- we came within three minutes, when i say we in this sentence, i mean we the human race. we came within three minutes of launching a full-scale nuclear war totally because of computer error. and now there are nine nuclear-armed nations on the planet, and there likely will be more before there will be less, and god knows that all those other countries don't have the same compute beer sophistication
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that, perhaps, we do and how long can we wait before one of those computer mishaps is resolved not with three minutes to spare, but instead three minutes too late? so i invite you to consider that, i invite you to consider the decades to come. three, four, five decades, let's just say the next 66 years since that's the anniversary we're marking tonight. how likely is it that we will continue to dodge every one of those nuclear bullets every single time? the macro thesis of apocalypse never is that permanent human fallibility combined with infinitely dangerous technologies will eventually -- i can't say when, but i can say over a long enough period of time absolutely certainly -- will yield infinitely catastrophic results. that, my friends, i fear is our appointment with nuclear destiny
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someday, perhaps one day quite soon, our kokurra luck is going to run out. so let me shift gears here slightly. i would like to remind us all especially, if i may, perhaps some of the younger people in the room who didn't like meyerson and daley grow up under the shadow of the cold war and didn't grow up with this recognition and knowledge of the nuclear peril, i'd like to remind us all what it is, exactly, that nuclear weapons do. i think it's fair to say that they do two things above all with extreme, unparalleled intensity. one is nuke already weapons -- nuclear weapons kill a lot of people. nuclear weapons more than anything else can kill an extremely large number of people in an extremely short period of time. an atom bomb can destroy a city in a second. think about that. a whole city this one second completely disappeared because
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an atom bomb goes off. a nuclear weapon can kill 10,000 people, 100,000 people, a nuclear weapon with a large enough yield as the policy wonks like to say could kill more than a million people just like that. in the blink of an eye. the snap of a finger. the single beat of a human heart. and one might think that would be enough for us to look at these things and say, you know, maybe we need to come up with some other better idea for maintaining our national security. but, of course, that isn't the only thing that nuclear weapons do because they also, the second great thing that they do is they give off this thing called radioactivity that's both in the form of rays, gamma rays and beta rays, and it's in the form of debris. if an atom bomb went off here in washington and the city was destroyed in this a second, this building and our bones and the cars outside and everything around it would all be converted
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into radioactive dust, and it would be hurled dozens of miles in the sky, and then depending on the prevailing winds could drift hundreds of miles away and then finally rain down like an atomic fairy dust sprinkled on unsuspecting victims. and, of course, nuclear weapons have only been used in anger twice on august 6th and august 9th, 1945. but we have a fair bit of evidence about this second peril because there's been many other nuclear detonations, primarily in the 1950s and 1990s there was this whole era of atmospheric nuclear testing primary primarily by the americans. and they always tried their best to, obviously, clear people away and do it in an uninhabited area and they always tried to do their best to figure out how far away the fallout might drift. but they didn't always get it
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right. so i've asked one of our patrons tonight, iesha sanchez is going to come up here and share with us some testimony. this is the testimony of a woman who was a very young girl in the 19 -- come on up -- i think it's 1954 at the time of the bravo hydrogen bomb test. i think it was 200 miles away. and many years later the woman testified, page 215, about the effect that the west virginia slow hydrogen bomb had on her community and on her, and i would like iesha to share with us the testimony. >> i was 8 years old at the time to have bravo test in 1953. i woke up with a bright light in my eyes. there was a huge, brilliant light that consumed the sky. soon after we heard a big, loud noise, and the earth started to sway and sink. a little later it began to snow.
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we had heard about snow from the missionaries, but this was the first time we saw white particles fall from the sky. we kids were play anything the powder, but later everyone was sick, and we couldn't do anything. my own health has suffered as a result of radiation poisoning. i cannot have children. i have had seven miscarriages. one was severely deformed. it had only one eye. many of my friends keep quiet about the strange births they had. they gave birth not to children as we like to think of them, but to things we could only describe as octopuses, apples, turtles and other things this our ex-- in our experience. the most common have been jelly fish babies. these babies are born with no bones in their bodies and with transparent skin. we can see their brains and hearts beating. there are no legs, no arms, no heads, no nothing.
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[inaudible conversations] >> your country did that to those women in the name of your national security. iesha, thank you very much for sharing with us that excruciating testimony. and i think it's so important to really talk about the human toll because that's not only what nuclear weapons do, but that's what nuclear deterrence is. when you hear some intellectual in this town say we need to rely for many decades to come on a strong nuclear deterrent, what they're saying is we need to threaten to do that to million of 8-year-old girls because that's what nuclear deterrence is. and i just think that we can come up with some better ideas for maintaining american
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national security than that. i just insist that it's within the power of the human imagination to come up with some other better ideas for maintaining peace on earth. so now i would like to shift gears from a message of fear to a message of hope. because not one of us, said george bernard shaw, has enough knowledge to be a pez mist. pessimist. and there are several things in my book that i hope will encourage you that someday regarding the abolition of nuclear weapons we should instead be optimists. chapter two of my book is on the nuclear double standard, what i call america's nuclear hypocrisy, the notion that some countries can maintain thousands of nuclear weapons for decades and decades to come while others cannot be permitted even one. and i argue there's a growing sense all around the world that it is militarily unnecessarily and most importantly that it is politically unsustainable.
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chapter seven is on the grand bargain of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the unambiguous reality that in return for a promise by the vast majority of the states of the world to remain forever non-nuclear, our country formally and legally policemenned to get rid of our -- pledged to get rid of our entire nuclear arsenal in 1968. 43 long years ago our country and all the ore nuclear weapon -- other nuclear weapons states. and there's an increasing perception all around the world growing every day, i think, among i think it's 190 non-nuclear armed nations on the planet that we're not upholding our end of the deal. chapter nine is the chapter where i try to present the elaborate thinking that's already been undertaken by international lawyers and diplomats and scientists on the global governance architectures that we'll have to invent both to bring about and to to maintain a nuclear weapon-free world. and i'd be delighted to talk about that some more in the q&a.
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we've actually got a pretty good idea of what an actual nuclear weapons enforcement convention might look like. we just need people like us to join us on the ramparts to make it a reality. and chapter chapter 11 of the 1r is perhaps my own personal favorite, it's called how it might happen. and that's the chapter where i really try to remind people that social movements have moved history over and over again. the abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, fundamental rights for workers on which my colleague, harold meyerson, has spent so much of his life. all of these have come about and have improved because people marched in the streets for decades and decades to make them come about. ..
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>> we don't have the comprehensive test ban. we have a limited test ban treaty. but if it has banned all those tests in the air on people hundreds of miles away. why did that come about? because of social movement. mobilize and demanded that it come about. it took 2012 years from the early 1950s until the treaty was signed in 1963. some of the biggest figures, he cites people industry, people like albert einstein and others
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really got on board that train. they move the nuclear age in the right direction. the other great example a talk about is the reagan years. ronald reagan started out with both the huge nuclear build up, in 1981. by the time he left office in 1989 had become the first president to actually reverse the nuclear arms race and start building it down and moving in the opposite direction. why? honestly there are many variables that we could offer to explain that, but one surely is the mighty nuclear freeze movement. did you know that nearly 1 million people gathered in central park on june 12th, 1982? did you know it's the single largest political demonstration in american history? that had a huge impact on moving, on freezing the arms race actually starting to
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reverse and sending the train back to the station. most importantly here we are at 66 years, and 66 years today we can say so far there's been no nuclear war. one reason for that in large measure is because of the universal public revulsion that emerged in the early years of the nuclear age and has continued consistently since then. so what my book is about is the work that so many of these organizations that work on the nuclear issue or a about the notion that now it is time to build a movement not just to an atmospheric nuclear testing, not just to freeze and arms race that is spiraling forever out of control, now it is time to build a movement for banning and dismantling every last atom bomb on earth and ensuring that they never enter the history, reenter the history of the human race again. because after all, said victor
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hugo, no army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come. so just a couple more things and then i will wrap up. people sometimes ask me why do you do this? what really motivates you on this issue as opposed to many other issues?7ww and my answer might surprise you. i had an official answer for a while but do you know what my real answer is? its cosmology. it's our place here in the universe. there's only two alternatives said arthur c. clarke. one is we live with the universe in a cosmos full of civilization, and who knows? may be out there they are waiting for us to achieve a minimal level of social andç[ political maturity before we are invited to join the galactic community. and i don't know that nuclear deterrence would meet that test. i don't know that rain down radiation on an eight year-old girl would meet that test. but there's another possibility,
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and it's far from a trivial possibility. it may be that we are utterly alone. it may be that the emergence of life and the emergence of sensing and likes of the universe can be, aware of itself is such a rare event that it has only happened one time in all of space, and all the 13.7 billion years since the big bang. it may be that we, in all of space and time, are utterly and completely alone. and i told you tonight that five times in 50 years, twice by nuclear crisis mismanagement, three times by computer error, we nearly brought about our own extinction by our own hands. i this incredible stupidity, we nearly, possibly brought an end to the only place where life has ever existed in all of the universe.
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my friends, the stakes of our quest could be no less than infinite. and it's up to us to come up with some national security doctrines that don't pose this possibly infinite risk to all of god's creation. and some better ideas for maintaining peace on earth. so before i close i want to do a commercial here. rutgers university press has published my book. they are very brave and very intricate and have a marketing staff two women working for 99 authors, so they told me i should engage in carella marking. there are three things, i would invite you to do. one is become a fan of the book on facebook if you would, please. there's a facebook page. if you like it, you know how that works. all your friends will see and check it out themselves. you can write a customer review on amazon. you could even do it tonight before you have read the book. you can go home instead i haven't read the book, but i
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heard ted daly, he was a resistant we have some, and he convinced us that the only possible solution to the threat of nuclear annihilation is the abolition of nuclear weapons. and a third and final thing is i don't feel considered buying the book not from amazon here tonight to support this wonderful institution, the teaching for change bookstore at the busboys and poets bookstore. you see things as they are, said george bernard shaw, again, and you see why? i say things that never were, and i say why not? why not? i like to say that my book is all about abolishing nuclear weapons but innocent it's about something else entirely, and i think, i think what i'm about to say is true of all of us who work for some mission, some cause, all of us who strive to improve the human conditions,
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who strive to build a better future or humanity, because when we toil in those vineyards we simply make a statement that we have hope. we say that we have optimism. we say that we believe in measures human possibility. when we toil in the vineyards of peace and justice we say we're not doomed to become the victims of our own folly. we say that the human race won't have to live forever out of the dark shadow of fear and terror. we say that we can create a better world for the grandchildren of our grandchildren. we say that human destiny lies in human ends. and all of us who live in peace and justice and hope i think that's what we're about is saying is within our power to build a better world. so i had, aisha. and a reading so perhaps now i will close with the reading of my own, if i could find my
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glasses. my goodness come here they are. i came across this news clipping two or three months ago. for some reason it moved me. it was this archaeological discovery. it was either in siberia or alaska, a period when humans were migrating first from what we call the old world and the new world, maybe 12 or 13,000 years ago. it was just a simple thing but they had discovered a settlement that had lasted for a few centuries, obviously through a few generations, and their were reminiscent of a stone building and a stone hearth. they could see the ashes i guess and they could see two or 300 years worth of ashes in this stone hearth. at the very top was the remains of the baby. probably a baby who had died and maybe because of climate change
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and the conditions there were not as good as they might have been, so they gave a little funeral fire to their little children, and then they laugh. that's the last we know about this little community. and it just kind of mood me because i say this about my work on nuclear abolition and i say this about all our work to build a better world. it seemed to me that what we are doing with that kind of undertaking, what we are doing with that type of toil in the vineyard is not just to build a better world today, and it's not even just to build a better world for our descendents. it's also kind of a tribute to our ancestors. it's an obligation to our ancestors. that family, 13,000 years ago, or one of the reasons that i'm here today. i don't just think biologically genetically. i mean those people and countless others toiled to build a civilization that we now live in and are the temporary stewards of it. so with that i will close by
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reading to you i guess this is the closing chapter of the opening passage. i'm sorry, the opening, the closing passage of the opening chapter. of "apocalypse never." in the end the possibility of nuclear apocalypse rest not just with the likes of artisans but also the legacies of our ancestors. think about how they toiled to build the art, science and civilization that all of us now temporarily enjoyed and used and in have it. could anything degrade their memories more than to dance with this kind of disaster? theodore sturgeon called upon us to honor quote, the main current with created you, and it was you who agree greater things still, referencing those who bore you and the ones who bore them. akin back to the first wild creature was different because his heart leaped when he saw a
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star. our imperative to keep ourselves from blowing up our world is our obligation to our predecessors. those who invented writing and before that, language, and before that rational thought, the geniuses who took it slowly, step by step by step from creatures not so very far from our animal origins to something a little bit closer to our divine destiny. we must abolish nuclear weapons and keep them abolished forever, because that is the debt we owe it to jane addams and dorothy jane. to bolivar and bock, the gutenberg and galileo, the magellan and michelangelo, and caesar against us. it is our destined to slave to build the great pyramids, considered by their builders to be stairways to heaven, pointinq toward the infinite sky.
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it is our destiny to the men and women, our grandparents who painted this breathtaking landscapes in the caves some 20= long centuries ago. and to help in their hearts the fairest glance of the human destiny of infinite possibility. it is up to us to carry on their work. tanks for having me tonight. [applause] >> antad, the question of nucler elimination raises the question
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of nuclear weapons and then nuclear power. two related but distinct entities. can you eliminate nuclear weapons without eliminating nuclear power, the power plants that are all over the world, the power that generates power for warships, distinct from the weapons on them? is that plausible? is that realistic? >> well, thank you. they are distinct questions. my book is about nuclear weapons. it is not about nuclear energy. by to tackle the precise question that you ask, and my answer is yes, i think if we could get rid of all the nuclear energy and are actors and everything else around the world
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tomorrow it would be infinitely easier to verify and enforce a ban on nuclear weapons. but in that chapter that i told you about called the architecture of a nuclear weapon free world i really try to tackle the question of if without being for nuclear power or against nuclear power, but if nuclear power business for decades to come, can we imagine actually being able to enforce the ban on nuclear weapons. i think we can, and the way to do it is, put it in one or two sentences, to turn over control and authority of all things nuclear, nuclear energy, nuclear materials, to some kind of international authority. that would really make sure that individual countries could have their own facilities for making the nuclear fuel. because that is the connection between the two that the facilities that are used to make the nuclear fuel or nuclear reactors and nuclear power plants are the same facilities that can be used to enrich uranium to a higher level, or to
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recross plutonium at the other end to use an atom bomb. i do think it's possible but now let me answer a question that is not exactly the one you asked, but i would like to say for the record. in the book i call myself an agnostic on the question. i say i am neither strongly for nor strongly against the continuation of nuclear energy. but the book came out last summer and some things have happened since last summer. so i think i changed my mind. the fukushima disaster is really a game changer. germany is a game changer. germany as i think many people in this room know decided that they're going to totally get rid of nuclear power, totally phase it out. that shows how quickly the political winds can change. and i'm no scientist on these matters but i think it's fair to say nobody knows yet the ultimate physical and radiological damage from fukushima. for all i know there's a bbc was out there in the ocean off the
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coast of japan right of giving birth to godzilla. and the thing about nuclear energy is taken go right for many decades but then when something goes wrong with it, they can go really, really wrong, both in space and in time. it is not my phrase but i think it's one of the best phrase many people call nuclear energy a crime against the future. so i think i've kind of changed my mind and i now think that we should aspire not just to a nuclear weapon free world which is what my book is about, but indy to a world free of nuclear activities of any kind. it's going to be hard to get from here to there but i think that ought to be a mountaintop to which we aspire. [inaudible] please elaborate around the microphone. [inaudible]
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>> i'm from the caribbean. i was smart enough to completely and continue to disagree with on this. [inaudible] i remember a story walking, i was very small, extremely small. and listening to the radio, and i can remember that, i could understand what was going on, but there were people, the elders were not behaving in a normal fashion. [inaudible] it became clear that this was
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not happening. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> but let me put two questions to you on this issue. the united states which is clearly at this point in time losing power in the world, economical, social, political, and military power.
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[inaudible] [inaudible] the growing power of india, the growing power of china. it would seem to me that -- [inaudible] what i'm thinking is that you believe want a nuclear world,.
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> thank you very much. you didn't say where you come from in the caribbean, where ever it was that surely anywhere in the caribbean would have been victims if the atom bomb would start falling during the cuban
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missile crisis. i don't see that fundamental rethinking happening a lot either. that's kind of life i tried to write this book. i, too, like you see sort of an external engine of proliferation. one thing i didn't mention in remarks but i do write about in the book is the presence, and i think likely to continue for many decades, for a few decades to come, is the overwhelming conventional military superiority of the united states. if there's any country that can threaten massive retaliation, that's not a term we use anymore, but it still kind of a concept, they can threaten to impose damage on some adversary through conventional retaliation alone, it's the united states. so if there's any country to which we can make the case that we can protect our national security without resort to nuclear weapons and without the
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need to rely on a nuclear deterrent, it is our country. but there's a real paradox in there, and it's funny this is the first question because i just sort of hint at it in the book by must say that to me it's the most fundamental paradox on the road to zero that i myself feel like i at least have result and i'm not sure that anyone else has it and it is this. is a powerful country like the united states can rely on its conventional military superiority and consequently saved we don't need nuclear arms to defend ourselves due to terror and aggression against us, the opposite is true of smaller and weaker states, like iran, like north korea. we can talk more about this if you wish, but if i, i don't think north korea and iran are perfectly responsible actors on the international stage. i don't think their leaders are perfectly predictable our rational or volatile. but if i were a defense planner in the army of north korea or in
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the army of iran, i would be saying the way for us to deter aggression against us is to acquire a small nuclear deterrence to deter the mighty powers, most especially the united states. that's true even if the united states it's rid of all of its nuclear weapons. said this gets, and with this i will stop, but this gets to your fundamental rethinking. and i quote mikhail gorbachev in the book on this, who says happy to hear all this talk in american circles and elsewhere about nuclear abolition, but in less, says gorbachev, i'm paraphrasing, we fundamentally rethink the conventional, the overwhelming conventional military superiority of the united states, far beyond, says gorbachev, any reasonable security needs. will never convince any of the other countries of the world to go in a nuclear free direction. and then we'll end up with a world of 19 or 29 or 39 our nation's instead of nine.
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what then do you think the chances that america can avoid? it's like running out. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> you know, i, maybe has been mentioned that one of the gigs i've had in the past is that i worked for congressman dennis kucinich. i was the chief policy one in his first presidential campaign. one might think that dennis kucinich and paul are exact opposites but they're really not in a lot of ways. in fact, i quote ron paul. i know this is not exactly a question. mentioned in passing. but i quote from poverty and will be in the book. i think was a debate in the 2008 presidential primaries when he was running for president, and
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he said, you know, the terrorists out there, even 9/11 terrorists or the potential terrorists of the future, nuclear or otherwise, they don't hate us because they hate freedom and they hate what we stand for. they hate the actual activities that we are doing around the world. and ron paul said, what was the quote? it was something like, they're not out to get us because they want us to get us over here. they're out to get us because we already over there. this does get to your question because i think one of the ways, serving the nuclear care round to diminish the enactment of nuclear terror is not only to secure nuclear mitchell, not on to move towards nuclear weapons abolition, but to try to reduce the motives that people might have a nuclear terror case for getting their hands on getting and wanting to commit a heinous act. and in the case of states, for wanting to malevolence these
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with the nuclear arsenals of their own. i think the best answer i can get, that i can offer for what i feel like you have presented is nations ultimately ask country act in their own individual interests. and america, to choose our example might see that we have some kind of national interest, some kind of national security benefits from having nuclear weapons of our own, just from our perspective. but if we keep nuclear weapons of our own, that sends a message to both states and nonstate actors around the world that they should acquire them, that they should rely on them for their own national security. if they're good for us, they are good for them. that means we live in a world where we have 29 or 39, and then the chances that america will finally suffer a nuclear fate become infinitely greater.
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and i think ultimately the case we need to make of the individual states will find it in their individual national interest to live in a world where no states have nuclear weapons, rather than the world where our state has them, but so too do many others. that's the fundamental choice facing us. and i think the way we should come out on that choice is pretty clear. >> i just want to thank you for coming out today. i haven't had a chance to read your book, but. [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> thank you very much. there are people out there who want to get their hands on atom bombs and set them off in denver today. and i feel quite confident that lets a half a century from now there will be people out there who want to get their hands on atom bombs or material to build one and set it off in denver as well. so what is the most likely scenario, that we can keep, let's assume there's always going to be people out there who are out to get us, always going to be people out there who would like to do it. once in her is to maintain the status quo and a benign nuclear armed nations we have now, and to essentially let the engine of proliferation run unchecked and had lots of nuclear weapons around the world and lots of nuclear material around the world. and that in many more opportunities for nonstate actor to get their hands on an atom
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bomb. you point out that distinction very well, yes. it is my hope that a half-century from that, actually i hope it happens a lot sooner. i don't think we have that much time to spare, most of that all individual states will find in their individual interest to not have nuclear weapons. but those nonstate actors who might want to get them, the challenge for them is simply keeping, not just the know-how because they know all is ari out there, keeping the matures and the mechanisms from building things out of their hands. and i think there's no question that it would be almost infinitely harder for our hypothetical nonstate actor, our hypothetical cousin of the hamas out of to try to get his hand on the much bill for an atom bomb in the world that i and other abolitionists who work in this field really advocate which is something like a nuclear weapons elimination convention, controls over all things nuclear which is
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a worldwide inspection regime. i think in the world it will become as close to impossible as we can imagine for those malevolent creatures, either today or 50 years from now for aggregating their hands on and committing the ultimate disaster to give. 's. we'll take these last two questions in front and in the back. >> i don't know quite how to say this but it seems like it's very optimistic that we can get people to change their fundamentals viewpoint. the metaphor that harry truman used when he went to negotiate the fate of europe, he and jimmy burns talked about caring a six gun on the hit. and basically that's a reference
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to the old west view that the six gun was an equalizer. it's going to be hard i think who ever overcome that, that maybe you can speak to that. >> well, i'm more optimistic than you, sir, because i have perhaps more faith in human rationality than you, perhaps. because sure, we've got the six gun, and sure it is the great equalizer, not as i suggested a couple times tonight, if we insist on keeping the six gun on our hip forever until the end of time, it ensures that lots of other people are going to have them as well him and lots of other people are going to seek to acquire them as well. that makes it to me a virtual certainty that the nuclear genie
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is eventually going to come back and haunt us. i think we need to recognize that we will be safer in a world, i've said it before, where we don't have the six gun and nobels does, whether we have one but so do lots of other small, and the the the nonstate actors that we are talked about tonight. you say i'm overly optimistic, and you know, i think we are to be optimistic in order to try to at least aspire to the mountaintop. but it's worth saying that, i've said a few times tonight, there's my nuclear armed nations on the planet. that means there's about 190 he were not. i refuse to accept that the only possible notion we can come up with to protect any states national security is to threaten to inflict unimaginable a letter ration on some other state. right now 190 states on the planet, some of them are big strong states, some of them are
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small weak states but 190 of the roughly 200 states on the planet have said we can come up with some way to maintain and protect our national security and to feel safe in the world without needing to rely on a nuclear deterrent, without needing to resort to focus of the apocalypse but and i think that provides a pretty good model for the others to aspire to follow their lead. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> yeah, believe me, i'm well aware, thank you, of the late, one of the same people to whom my book is dedicated and he called it the tentacles of the military-industrial complex, which extends into all 435 congressional districts around the united states. that, of course, exists in both the nuclear and nonnuclear realm. and eisenhower as a point in this room knows board against. so far few of us have been able to do anything about it. but that hardly means that we shouldn't try. it hardly means we shouldn't sound the alarm bell. that hardly means we should say if this persists, especially in the nuclear realm, that eventually something is going to go wrong. you heard me at the beginning of my [talking over each other] about nuclear terror, talk about
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conscious intentional use. talk about accidental atomic apocalypse. maybe we can get through the thick skulls of the military-industrial complex honcho's are making so much money off this, when one of those eventualities eventually comes to pass. is probably going to affect the value of their portfolio. that's probably going to affect their financial prospects. ultimately we will all be safer, and i daresay brads even richer in a world with no nuclear weapons rather than in a world awash in nuclear weapons. >> that was the last question for the evening. we will bring you guys into this room for the signing of books by tad daley. i want to thank all of you for coming out, and all of you for
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participating in our conversation. thank you very much. [applause] >> you were watching the tv on c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. >> what function does the media serve when there are disease outbreaks? >> well, when disease outbreak, media has two different functions. one, the media works as news coverage, powerful media that conveys information to the public from scientific or medical communities. and at the same time media should only ask analytic tools. they provide different information, diverse perspectives. but during the time of outbreak, for the media to focus on their fact base object is coverage a
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loan instead of providing a lot of different interpretations. >> what constitutes an outbreak? >> and outbreak is defined as certain abnormal excessive disease occurrence in a certain community or region or people. so, in case of, for example, in case of west nile virus nobody expected that west nile virus would occur in the united states, but it happened in new york. maybe not a massive scale but it occurred. it was defined as outbreak. >> do you think that news media lives up to their responsibility on how they handle outbreaks, or do you think that they need to work on that? >> it is kind of hard to say because there's no clear-cut standard how much coverage news me should have or should not have. but according to my research, the news coverage is pretty much
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balanced. usually we say there are two distinct frameworks when news media cover this outbreak. the first one is usually called diagnostic frame, which focuses on what is the risk and what happens, how many people died and who is taking care of what. and then we have prognostic framework which is focused on telling us about what our causes, how do we do, or what do we do, what should we do to prevent and what she would do in immediate action. so my analysis shows that the news media around new york at the outbreak of west nile virus was written much balance in coverage. >> tell us a little bit about how you did your research and
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why use the west nile virus as you are case study. >> i was interested in two different conflicts rising doctrine program. the first one was how media works, and the second one was how risk of communicate she works in this society. i didn't have any particular interest in west nile virus back then. west nile virus was not very little even. but at the time of planning that dissertation i was looking for specific top of it and it was west nile virus outbreak. if it had been s/crs, sars, my dissipation would have been about sars mimicked so since then there have been sars, there's been the swine flu outbreak. have you noticed that media has changed the way that they're reporting on health risks? >> well, not really. there was no substantial change
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in terms of covering health risk issues outbreak, but i see that there was change in terms of how people recognize the principles of outbreak to mutation. so for example, in 2003, w.h.o. and cdc came up with a five interesting principle of our communication. that is very helpful health professionals and officials to deal with outbreak situations. and also it helps the journalists. >> now that we have the 24 hour news cycle, do you think that the media and reporting on health issues has changed? >> yes. having 24 hour cycle news media helps people to access to really indictable information when you run into outbreak situations.
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>> what about social media? none with facebook and twitter. >> yes. it gives ample opportunity to access to this medical and scientific data about this outbreak. so it had a lot of potential and benefit for an audience. but there is another side we have to consider. usually when this outbreak happens, scholars think there is time for what they call psychosocial epidemics. psychosocial epidemics is a term to record the crisis period of attack while the scientific and medical community could not provide any definite answer to this outbreak. so for example, west nile virus occurred in 1999, and it took several months before the scientists and the medical community came up with a certain
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brief explanation about that. so during that time media covering a lot of reporting, stories and theories, explanations. and people are seeking for answers to remedy, as a remedy for their feelings. so this is high important, psychosocial epidemics. sisal -- they can appear in three things. the first one is epidemics of fear, the fear is spreading out. and next, epidemics of explanation. because the medical and scientific community does not provide, there is only level of explanation, and people are consuming. acd third, in terms of an


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