Friday, July 13, 2007

Slow Down the Arms Race

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/07/13/north.korea.nuclear/index.html

I give a props to N. Korea for taking a step in the right direction by showing their intention of hopefully disarming their nuclear program. The threat of nuclear war escalates each day with more and more individuals seeing these weapons as the greatest means of acquiring power due to the devastation that such weapons can wreak upon civilization. With various nations already having somewhat of a nuclear arsenal already, the desire to have such weapons as "a means of defense" seems to be on the minds of many throughout the world. The unfortunate reality though is that some nations are willing to jeopardize the well-being of their people just so they can attain a level of prestige and power that almost catapults them into the higher rankings of the global leaders in the international hierarchy.

I am not a supporter of nuclear arsenal, nor nuclear programs that are tailored towards weapons development but if the most powerful nations already have an arsenal at their disposal, then the only way that weaker nations can feel protected from such a threat would be to develop their own program. The worst part about this whole arms race is that many nations are willing to place this as their main priority while their people are greatly suffering. Have we lost sight of those who live in poverty everyday and do not get the satisfaction of attaining the bare necessities that every human being is entitled to? Compared to most people in the world, Americans in general live in the lap of luxury but with priorities placed upon such things as nuclear programs, the focus upon those in dire need of attention and assistance is greatly neglected.

The US was called by N.Korea as being "belligerent" due to its constant pressurizing for N. Korea to disarm its nuclear program and if the US continues to throw its weight around, then the disarming would be in jeopardy. The US should act as a strong role model to the world and not as an entity that deems itself superior to those around and could easily just force any nation to abide by its own standards. The US does have a lot of leverage but as time has shown, the current administration has not only jeopardized the well-being of its own people, but have continuously flaunted their power as a means of pressuring the international world to see the world through one set of lenses: that of the US.

It was what Al Gore wrote in Assault on Reason that I feel fits almost perfectly into this scenario: that leaders need to actually discuss issues without automatically assuming that what believes is gospel in relation to the views of anyone, especially those who disagree. Discussion is what essentially is lacking in the government scene, since most individuals go in with the mentality of debating their own views and closing their minds to the beliefs of others....it has become a struggle for power. The fact that N. Korea wants to have direct talks and have shown progress over the past few months have shown that they are on the right track to what a nation should do: discuss a problematic situation and determine what truly is the best course of action for themselves, as well as the international community. The US, in my opinion, should take a page out of this playbook and realize that just because the nation at one point possessed such a strong reputation, does not necessarily mean that they can act and utilize pressure as a means of getting their way. Rather than "bullying" other nations, the US should learn to cooperate and work with other leaders on a one-to-one basis in hopes of hammering out the problems that plague society in general. The nuclear problem in society is one issue, but there are countless others: the time is now to take initiative for change.

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