The Lewis County Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wrote a Resolution asking the Lewis County Board of County Commissioners to support the abolition of nuclear weapons. We asked them to place it on the agenda of a regular meeting in order to have a public discussion on this important issue. The Commissioners have refused to even discuss the Resolution.
Knowing the conservative bent of the Commissioners, we didn’t have high expectation of the BOCC passing the Resolution. We did have an expectation that since the United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution guarantee a right of redress to the government they would place it on the agenda of public meeting for citizen discussion.
There are approximately 1000 nuclear weapons nearby at the Bangor Submarine Base on the Kitsap Peninsula, approximately 65 miles North of Lewis County and 20 miles West of Seattle. The United States has plans to spend between one and two trillion dollars over the next 30 years to completely rebuild all of its nuclear weapons and weapons systems (missile, submarine and airplane delivery systems).
The willingness to inflict massive indiscriminate destruction on civilian populations undermines our deepest human and ethical values. Massive nuclear retaliation is a form of genocide that should be completely unacceptable from any legal or sane point of view. It violates not only the principles of international law, common decency and common sense, but also the ethical principles of every major religion. The United States and all of its communities, instead of continuing the manufacturing of and the threat of the the use of nuclear weapons, should instead take the lead in the global rejection of nuclear weapons.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed April 8, 2010 in Prague by Russia and the United States and entered into force on Feb. 5, 2011. New START replaced the 1991 START Treaty, which expired December 2009, and superseded the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, which terminated when New START entered into force. New START continues the bipartisan process of verifiably reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals begun by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. New START is the first verifiable U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty to take effect since START I in 1994.
Despite some recent belligerent talk, the governments of the two largest nuclear powers recognize the need to vastly reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world. Previous treaties have called for the eventual abolition of such weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was negotiated at the United Nations headquarters in New York in March, June and July 2017, with the participation of more than 135 nations.
Similar resolutions have been discussed in a number of cities and counties around the country. I would be willing to predict that the majority of people in Lewis County if asked would agree that nuclear weapons should be eliminated. This should not be a difficult decision for the BOCC to make. Ask your Commissioner to make it.