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I have to agree with the good cardinal here.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment...597686.ece

Lose Trident and win the moral war by Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Forget the financial, military and political arguments, owning nuclear weapons makes us hypocrites

A recent editorial in this paper on Trident, noting that “national defence is one of the cardinal duties of the statesman”, caused me to reflect on the moral duties of a cardinal.

In the debate surrounding the replacement of Trident, we have heard a great deal about the financial, diplomatic, military and political arguments relevant to retention or rejection. By contrast we have heard precious little about the moral arguments involved. Sometimes the debate around a particular topic becomes so confused and nuanced that the moral considerations of any decision can be lost in the fog.

In the context of Trident renewal, the moral case is really quite simple. It cuts through and across any others. Because it is simple, let me put it simply. In any and all circumstances the use of a nuclear weapon would be immoral. Since, to use these weapons would be immoral, to threaten their use is immoral and to hold them with a view to threatening their use is also immoral.

We not only violate moral principles with our nuclear weapons but undermine our moral authority in the world. We were prepared to engage in a brutal war with Iraq to ensure that nation did not possess any weapons of mass destruction. We did this in the belief that possession of such weapons is morally reprehensible, which it is, unless of course we possess them. Our duality and moral hypocrisy fatally undermined our motivation in Iraq.

We must simply ask ourselves: “Are nuclear weapons useable?” The inherently indiscriminate and devastatingly powerful destructive force of nuclear weapons makes them qualitatively different from any other type of ordnance. Their first use, under any circumstances whatsoever, would be a crime against God and humanity. Likewise, a counter-strike in retaliation would be just as immoral, even more so, because it would be motivated not by defence but by the hollow and hellish vengeance of the vanquished. It is perhaps no coincidence that one of the British Trident fleet is named HMS Vengeance.

In war a primary duty of the military is to protect the innocent and non-combatants. This foundational aspect of military conflict through the ages is brutally and utterly violated when a nuclear weapon is deployed.

Even a tactical deployment would constitute such a violation, yet Britain has no tactical nuclear weapons. Instead 200 identical warheads leased from the US and quartered for the most part in Scottish waters comprise Britain’s strategic arsenal. Each one is eight times more powerful than the bomb that devastated Hiroshima.

We all accept that threatening behaviour is a crime. In the domestic context it instils fear and mistrust and destroys relationships, so too in the international military context. To the Christian and to most people of faith, threatening someone with such awesomely destructive power runs utterly counter to the call of God: a call to love, peace and reconciliation, not destruction, domination and force.

I join this debate as a Christian minister and a human being who believes in the dignity and sanctity of human life. This pro-life message is at the heart of the Catholic Church and is one that the Church champions, “in season and out of season”. No one can uphold the teachings of Christ unless they speak out in defence of life, and the mass killing of innocent victims at any time and in any place.

Life must mean life in all its fullness and at every stage, from conception to natural death, and any premature taking of life at any stage has deep moral implications.

This is why the Catholic Church opposes abortion, stands against capital punishment, works to bring an end to the scandal of child soldiers, the trade in small arms and so much more. It is why the Church has consistently opposed the development of nuclear weapons, and why it demands their abolition, now more than ever. None of what I say comes from me alone, but from the highest moral authority in the Catholic Church; the Pope and the bishops working together and in Council.

The last Council was Vatican II more than 40 years ago, but its teaching on this subject rings down through the decades: “Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation.”

This is moral teaching of the clearest kind, and my duty is to pass that teaching on. To act morally, to do the right thing, often takes courage, and sometimes means taking a stand that others do not agree with or accept. That is the test of leadership. Britain now has a golden opportunity to truly lead and to turn its back on the path of mass destruction.

In doing so we can assist others, particularly Russia and the United States who have shown much more willingness to be courageous than Britain has in recent months, but who have so much farther to go to disarm. Rejecting Trident, not in 2024 but right now, will bring economic dividends at home and give moral leadership abroad. It would allow us, at last, to stand on the moral high ground and to invite the nuclear armed nations of the world to join us there.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien is President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.
(06-30-2009, 12:59 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]I have to agree with the good cardinal here.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment...597686.ece

Lose Trident and win the moral war by Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Forget the financial, military and political arguments, owning nuclear weapons makes us hypocrites

A recent editorial in this paper on Trident, noting that “national defence is one of the cardinal duties of the statesman”, caused me to reflect on the moral duties of a cardinal.

In the debate surrounding the replacement of Trident, we have heard a great deal about the financial, diplomatic, military and political arguments relevant to retention or rejection. By contrast we have heard precious little about the moral arguments involved. Sometimes the debate around a particular topic becomes so confused and nuanced that the moral considerations of any decision can be lost in the fog.

In the context of Trident renewal, the moral case is really quite simple. It cuts through and across any others. Because it is simple, let me put it simply. In any and all circumstances the use of a nuclear weapon would be immoral. Since, to use these weapons would be immoral, to threaten their use is immoral and to hold them with a view to threatening their use is also immoral.

We not only violate moral principles with our nuclear weapons but undermine our moral authority in the world. We were prepared to engage in a brutal war with Iraq to ensure that nation did not possess any weapons of mass destruction. We did this in the belief that possession of such weapons is morally reprehensible, which it is, unless of course we possess them. Our duality and moral hypocrisy fatally undermined our motivation in Iraq.

We must simply ask ourselves: “Are nuclear weapons useable?” The inherently indiscriminate and devastatingly powerful destructive force of nuclear weapons makes them qualitatively different from any other type of ordnance. Their first use, under any circumstances whatsoever, would be a crime against God and humanity. Likewise, a counter-strike in retaliation would be just as immoral, even more so, because it would be motivated not by defence but by the hollow and hellish vengeance of the vanquished. It is perhaps no coincidence that one of the British Trident fleet is named HMS Vengeance.

In war a primary duty of the military is to protect the innocent and non-combatants. This foundational aspect of military conflict through the ages is brutally and utterly violated when a nuclear weapon is deployed.

Even a tactical deployment would constitute such a violation, yet Britain has no tactical nuclear weapons. Instead 200 identical warheads leased from the US and quartered for the most part in Scottish waters comprise Britain’s strategic arsenal. Each one is eight times more powerful than the bomb that devastated Hiroshima.

We all accept that threatening behaviour is a crime. In the domestic context it instils fear and mistrust and destroys relationships, so too in the international military context. To the Christian and to most people of faith, threatening someone with such awesomely destructive power runs utterly counter to the call of God: a call to love, peace and reconciliation, not destruction, domination and force.

I join this debate as a Christian minister and a human being who believes in the dignity and sanctity of human life. This pro-life message is at the heart of the Catholic Church and is one that the Church champions, “in season and out of season”. No one can uphold the teachings of Christ unless they speak out in defence of life, and the mass killing of innocent victims at any time and in any place.

Life must mean life in all its fullness and at every stage, from conception to natural death, and any premature taking of life at any stage has deep moral implications.

This is why the Catholic Church opposes abortion, stands against capital punishment, works to bring an end to the scandal of child soldiers, the trade in small arms and so much more. It is why the Church has consistently opposed the development of nuclear weapons, and why it demands their abolition, now more than ever. None of what I say comes from me alone, but from the highest moral authority in the Catholic Church; the Pope and the bishops working together and in Council.

The last Council was Vatican II more than 40 years ago, but its teaching on this subject rings down through the decades: “Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation.”

This is moral teaching of the clearest kind, and my duty is to pass that teaching on. To act morally, to do the right thing, often takes courage, and sometimes means taking a stand that others do not agree with or accept. That is the test of leadership. Britain now has a golden opportunity to truly lead and to turn its back on the path of mass destruction.

In doing so we can assist others, particularly Russia and the United States who have shown much more willingness to be courageous than Britain has in recent months, but who have so much farther to go to disarm. Rejecting Trident, not in 2024 but right now, will bring economic dividends at home and give moral leadership abroad. It would allow us, at last, to stand on the moral high ground and to invite the nuclear armed nations of the world to join us there.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien is President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.



Well, at least we can tell future generations that our enemies, who KEPT the nuclear weapons (and threatened us with them to the point of submission), were "criminals."  If we're allowed to tell them anything.

What total nonsense.  What naive, foolish, nonsense.  No wonder the Church is in such horrible shape.   
He also misrepresents the Church's teaching on capital punishment.  This man is a deceiver.
wow what a lame article. it just doesn't make sense.
We should make sure all peoples and nations have access to nuclear weapons so they all can defend themselves.  Oh wait, only moral nations like Russia, China, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, and uh, the US should have them. 

So, Epalinurus, why didn't Jesus exhort the Apostles to overthrow the Roman Empire, which Jesus knew would oppress his followers?  For that matter, why didn't Jesus use his power to dominate the world militarily?  Is that not your desire for the United States, that we have military power to dominate the whole world, morality be damned?  It seems to me that I heard somewhere that we should trust in God and do what is right and moral, and not do what we happen to think is expeditious militarily.  I have no desire for my country to be overrun by "our enemies", but trying to eliminate nuclear arsenals does not guarantee that would happen.  Are you one of those people who thinks a nuclear war could be won?  That's pretty foolish. 
When I was last in Nagasaki, I was asked by a teen-aged girl to sign a petition calling for the ban of nuclear weapons. I could not sign it. She looked disappointed. It was not my intention to disappoint her but it was immaterial if I signed it or not. You and I can agree that nuclear weapons are horrible and that killing is wrong but it doesn't matter because people like Kim Jong-Il or Ahmadinejad believe that killing is just a matter of course. The use of nuclear weapons has been used as a very frightening yet successful deterrent from the Cold War on. Yes, these weapons are frightening but Kim Jong-Il (and now Kim Jong-Un) doesn't care.
I don't think we have a choice when we have mad men with big bombs.
(06-30-2009, 01:50 PM)OKinyobe Wrote: [ -> ]When I was last in Nagasaki, I was asked by a teen-aged girl to sign a petition calling for the ban of nuclear weapons. I could not sign it. She looked disappointed. It was not my intention to disappoint her but it was immaterial if I signed it or not. You and I can agree that nuclear weapons are horrible and that killing is wrong but it doesn't matter because people like Kim Jong-Il or Ahmadinejad believe that killing is just a matter of course. The use of nuclear weapons has been used as a very frightening yet successful deterrent from the Cold War on. Yes, these weapons are frightening but Kim Jong-Il (and now Kim Jong-Un) doesn't care.
I don't think we have a choice when we have mad men with big bombs.

So-called "tactical" nuclear weapons are certainly no deterrent.  In reality, it is impossible to prove whether even strategic nuclear weapons acheived deterrence.  Certainly the US and USSR did not destroy one another since WWII, but we have fought numerous proxy wars instead.  If the US were to unilaterally disarm itself of offensive nuclear weapons what would be the result?  Immediate invasion by one or another country?  That is doubtful if we retained our conventional forces and maintained them within our own borders.  So would Russia or China "nuke" us if we did not have nuclear weapons ourselves?  Doubtful, for what would be the gain to Russia or China?  If we were not a threat to them, why would they attack us, especially with nuclear weapons?  They could threaten to do so, but if they attempted invasion we would repel them.  If they could not invade then they could nuke us, but what would be the point?  Who wants a nuked-out country? 

I believe we should disarm ourselves of offensive weapons and work on developing a workable missle defense system.  Bring our troops home and protect our own borders.
i say nuke the bastards to hell! i have no problem: look I am in safe zone if a nuclear holocaust happened.

[Image: aacont2.jpg]

also as i proved in another thread, restoration of Catholic monarchy is only reasonably plausible after a massive nuclear holocaust. therefore we, as catholics, we need nuclear weapons to usher in a new age of monarchy! it will be glorious!



to see if you will live during a nuclear war:
http://www.ki4u.com/nuclearsurvival/list.htm
(06-30-2009, 02:06 PM)Anthem Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2009, 01:50 PM)OKinyobe Wrote: [ -> ]When I was last in Nagasaki, I was asked by a teen-aged girl to sign a petition calling for the ban of nuclear weapons. I could not sign it. She looked disappointed. It was not my intention to disappoint her but it was immaterial if I signed it or not. You and I can agree that nuclear weapons are horrible and that killing is wrong but it doesn't matter because people like Kim Jong-Il or Ahmadinejad believe that killing is just a matter of course. The use of nuclear weapons has been used as a very frightening yet successful deterrent from the Cold War on. Yes, these weapons are frightening but Kim Jong-Il (and now Kim Jong-Un) doesn't care.
I don't think we have a choice when we have mad men with big bombs.

So-called "tactical" nuclear weapons are certainly no deterrent.  In reality, it is impossible to prove whether even strategic nuclear weapons acheived deterrence.  Certainly the US and USSR did not destroy one another since WWII, but we have fought numerous proxy wars instead.  If the US were to unilaterally disarm itself of offensive nuclear weapons what would be the result?  Immediate invasion by one or another country?  That is doubtful if we retained our conventional forces and maintained them within our own borders.  So would Russia or China "nuke" us if we did not have nuclear weapons ourselves?  Doubtful, for what would be the gain to Russia or China?  If we were not a threat to them, why would they attack us, especially with nuclear weapons?  They could threaten to do so, but if they attempted invasion we would repel them.  If they could not invade then they could nuke us, but what would be the point?  Who wants a nuked-out country? 

I believe we should disarm ourselves of offensive weapons and work on developing a workable missle defense system.  Bring our troops home and protect our own borders.

I see your point, Anthem. But perhaps the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation did deter people.
ha! anthem what a load of rubbish. to believe a nation should disarm itself of what?
offensive weapons. well i'm sorry i'm the kind who view all weapons as offensive. that's why they are called weapons and not toys. sure some are more offensive then others  but still a weapon is a weapon. the difference is tactical or strategic. tactical weapons would be those used in or during a battle to support troops in the area of battle or the battles outcome. strategic would be those dandys used against value targets ie the enemies cities and industrial and population centers. what you propose is lunacy of the highest caliber. proxy wars did go down during the cold war but those would of pailed in comparison to a nuclear bloodletting or Ivan and GI Joe going at it in total war.
just saying.
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