Our first speaker is Harvard Professor Elaine Scarry whose recent book "Thermonuclear Monarchy - Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" highlights the contradictions between the nominally democratic structure of the US state and its the increasingly dictatorial fashion in which it has been waging war as nuclear weapon technology has been developed. Her thought provoking January 2015 talk is intended to give peace activists food for thought, as she argues that nuclear weapons are fundamentally incompatible with two points of the US constitution. Should the President of The United States have the exterminate humanity by letting off nuclear weapons? Why is Obama committed to expanding this complex and what pretexts could possibly be used to try to justify the nuclear complex - arguably more dangerous and demonstrably more expensive than ever? Scarry's talk lasts around 50 minutes and was slightly edited to remove hesitations and misspeakings. The introduction, by Maria Gilardin, picks up on a remark of Richard Nixon to reporters in 1974: "I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes, 70 million people will be dead".
The remainder of the show consists of three recordings from the third session of the first day of the 2015 symposium on The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction, organized by Helen Caldicott. We begin with academic Greg Mello, Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group on "The Role And Funding Of The US Nuclear Weapons Labs". He notes that the nuclear complex is extremely profitable and that it appears to have successfully removed any autonomy of the US government in decisions pertaining to nuclear matters. Next we hear Bob Alvarez of the Institute of Policy Studies, whose talk entitled "Lateral Proliferation Could Trigger a Nuclear Holocaust", who terms the US nuclear weapons program "a very large and expensive cargo cult". We conclude with Robert Parry of Consortium News on "Ukraine and the Human Factor: How propaganda and passion can risk nuclear conflagration" who looks at the efforts surrounding the Ukraine coup to re-ignite the cold war.
Thanks to TUC Radio for the introduction of the Elaine Scarry talk and to Dale Lehman for recording the symposium and posting the recordings to Radio4All.Net.