Make law not war

Add a comment
Feature story - 10 April, 2003
North Korea prepares to ditch a treaty controlling the spread of nuclear weapons. The Bush administration starts to make noises about where to take the pre-emptive war bandwagon next. India announces that it reserves the "sovereign right" to attack any country that represents a potential threat. The US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security claims "there's no such thing as international law."

A satircal take on the North Korea situation by Mark Fiore. Watch the full animation at

Does anyone else sense the fabric of the global community unravelling?

The Bush administration fervently believes that it can ditch, delay, tear up or ignore international treaties and international law that it disagrees with. Now we see the first sprouts of those recklessly sown seeds. If the US doesn't abide by the rules, other states certainly won't.

Bargaining chips

That's just what North Korea is doing now. In 1994 it used its plutonium program and its nuclear weapons potential as a bargaining chip to get aid from the US. In exchange it claimed to have stopped its plutonium program. The US helped set up the deal for two nuclear reactors in North Korea which were "less likely" to be used for making nuclear bomb material, threw a bit of oil into the deal, and turned its back on the problem. The company that won the contract for the new reactors, ABB, just happened to have staunch war-monger and currently US 'defence' secretary Donald Rumsfeld on its board at the time of the deal.

It looks like North Korea is using its suspected nuclear weapons program as a bargaining chip again, hoping to profit from the dangerous, destructive power any nuclear state can wield. But, having declared North Korea as officially a part of the 'axis of evil' George Bush may make it the next stop on the world 'war on terror' tour.

Threats to world peace

The biggest world powers are reluctant to face the fact that every country with nuclear material can pose a threat to world peace. Because of that, we see the quickening of arms races not just in the Korean Peninsula but between India and Pakistan, secret weapons programs of Israel in the Middle East and supposed solutions like the unproven, hideously expensive Star wars system - more conventional weapons to try and shoot down other nuclear weapons. Without strong international laws to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction the spread of weapons remains unchecked.

Rather than bombs for peace and missiles for defence, the real solution is for all countries to work together to rid the world of the nuclear threat. The next chance for this is approaching fast when, at the end of April, 187 states will gather for talks on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

Rogue states?

Unfortunately, the US and other states holding nuclear weapons will have a difficult time pointing a finger at "rogue states" given that they're not in compliance themselves with a few of the Treaty's more annoying requirements: that they formally end nuclear weapons testing with a ratified Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, that they pursue nuclear disarmament, etc. etc. etc.

North Korea should be urged to rejoin the treaty as a non nuclear power by all states. In turn the US government should truly commit to a world free of nuclear terror by helping to strengthen rather than undermine the Treaty. Only then will we really have a more peaceful world. Make law not war!

No comments are found Add comment

Post a comment 

To post a comment you need to be signed in.