America & its Nuclear Hypocrisy

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America & its Nuclear Hypocrisy

Mushroom cloud forming after U.S.A first  H-Bomb explosive.

Mushroom cloud forming after U.S.A first H-Bomb explosive.

Getty Images

Mushroom cloud forming after U.S.A first H-Bomb explosive.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Mushroom cloud forming after U.S.A first H-Bomb explosive.

Jeremiah Johnson and Gabrielle Chambers

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Now more than ever, the threat of nuclear holocaust is seeded in many Americans’ minds. Just this year, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the doomsday clock forward to two and a half minutes from nuclear midnight, the closest it’s been since 1953. Even though America has made it a point to condemn any sort of nuclear weapons programs, being the only country to ever use one on another country, let alone innocent civilians, America isn’t the authority on righteousness it thinks it is.

The moment the first nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August of 1945, the world was thrusted into the “atomic age”, a time when countries competed to create the most devastating weapon they could muster. After the USSR tested its first successful nuclear bomb four years later, the arms race began, issuing in a new vocabulary filled with words like “mutually assured destruction” and “nuclear deterrence theory.”

The real question is, why is the US so offended by other countries following in their footsteps?

In 2015, the United States, along with five other members of the United Nations, made a deal to start the disarmament process in Iran, effectively removing all nuclear bombs from the Middle East (besides from their ally, Pakistan). However, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries reasons for building nuclear weapons are not unlike the United States’ in the Cold War, both built around the deterrence theory that has built up so much tension in the world today.

Back in 2006, when North Korea made their first successful test of a nuclear warhead, America, backed by the UN, condoned their tests as an act of aggression, enforcing sanctions on the country. Kim Jong-il said that these weapons were a way to deter their enemies from attacking the country, similar to how the U.S. did through the 1960’s and 70’s.

While the United States has shed their ignorant ways, they still have been one of the largest hypocrites in the world.

It is thought that an impact to other countries being unable to acquire nuclear weapons is the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The treaty was opened for signature for countries in 1968 and was ratified in 1970. According to the UN’s official website, “The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.” Proceeding forth, the UN states the symbolic statement that the NPT represents “the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.”

One hundred eighty-eight UN member states have signed this treaty. When signing it, that shows that the state either ratifies the idea or has accession. This may show how the treaty may greatly impact as to why not all countries have access towards nuclear weapons like the U.S does.

However, the fact is that the U.S. is a UN member state that ratifies this treaty, yet they go against what it stands for, and therefore further the hypocrisy. Rather than dismantling its nuclear arsenal, it has remained as the biggest nuclear threat in the world, with a total yield of 570 megatons of power, or 570,000,000 tons of TNT, enough to render much of the planet uninhabitable. This is more than an act of deterrence; this is an act of aggression.

A common belief among Americans is that the U.S. needs nuclear weapons because they are the world’s “police”, thus they are the only country capable of having the cool-headedness required to have nukes. However, there are large inconsistencies in this comparison, as most police officers follow set guidelines made by a higher authority, while the U.S. considers itself the highest authority and thus, above the law, including those forbidding use of nuclear weapons against other countries.

While the U.S. continues to micromanage other countries’ nuclear programs, hoping to disarm the rest of the world, they continue to use their own arsenal to instill fear throughout the globe.