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FW: Please contact your senators and representatives

Title: FW: Please contact your senators and representatives
Dear Friends,

this represents a truly terrifying dimension, with Iraq as possible first recipient. Bush'd recent statement re Iraq of '... most serious set of options one might imagine' being used against it, seems to be the writing on the wall. Please circulate and take action. Many thanks, felicity a.

Subj:   PSR statement on Bush abandonment of "No First Use"     
Date:   2/22/2002 10:23:35 PM Pacific Standard Time
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Sent from the Internet (Details)    

Dear All,

The following statement was release today by PSR in response to published reports that the Bush administraion says it will not be bound by past US commitments never to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states.

We urge you all to contact your governments and ask them to protest this extremely unfortunate decision.

Thank you,


No Responsibility: Physicians Denounce Administration Decision to   Abandon Nuclear Weapons Committment

Time-Tested Promise to Limit Nuclear Weapon Use to Foes with Nuclear
Weapons Discarded as 'Unrealistic'

For Immediate Release: February 22, 2002
Contact: Tarek Rizk, 202.667.4260 x215

WASHINGTON DC - Physicians for Social Responsibility denounced a change in US policy announced this week by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton that the United States would no longer respect a long-standing agreement to limit consideration of a nuclear response only to attacks from a nuclear-armed foe.

President Carter made the no-nuclear-use pledge in 1978 as germane to U.S. commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It has been honored implicitly by all subsequent administrations, and was explicitly re-affirmed by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1995.

"Breaking such a serious commitment will compromise the United States in all its relationships with other nations," said Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H., Executive Director and CEO of PSR. "This international insult brings the United States to a new low, where we function as a loaded nuclear weapon pointed at the head of our allies and enemies alike."

The pledge not to use our nuclear forces against countries without nuclear weapons was reiterated by Christopher as the United States continued negotiations on the Non Proliferation Treaty. The four other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council similarly embraced pledges on nuclear weapons use. The pledge has been included as part of a resolution adopted by the Security Council in April 1995.

"Morally, no nation can claim the right to use the supremely dstructive force of a nuclear weapon against an enemy who doesn't possess such a weapon," said Musil. "This careless statement - combined with our growing bellicose rhetoric and treaty-bashing unilateralism - voids our ability to counsel our colleagues on averting war and other calamities."

Undersecretary Bolton claimed the long-standing agreement to avoid using nuclear weapons reflected "an unrealistic view of the international situation." However, PSR believes that the agreement makes the world a safer place by ensuring that international pacts like the Non-Proliferation
Treaty are honored and enforced. The alternative - a lawless world with a few dozen nuclear states with no qualms about using these weapons indiscriminately - would be a dangerous place.

"Now we've committed to using nuclear weapons whenever - and on whomever - we wish," Musil said. "What's to stop Russia from using nuclear weapons in its war in Chechnya? How can we urge India and Pakistan to step back from the nuclear brink? Why would Iraq or North Korea slow their nuclear weapons development programs?"

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