Rushing to Armageddon – Mel Hurtig

Took me a while to read this book, as usually happens when I am reading non-fiction. I started the book a few months ago then got side tracked with a few other books but started back into it a couple weeks ago and blazed through the rest of the book quite fine. Before reading this book I already knew missile defense was bad, however now having read the book I can fully understand the extent of how bad it is. Most of this book is quotes taken from very respectable sources, which are all footnoted. The main theme of the book is the following:

  • Missile defense does not work now and will likely never work and it is a huge waste of money.
  • Canada would have no role or say in how this project gets developed whether we sign onto it or not.
  • It is a way for the US to get first strike weapons into space in the continuation of their goals of dominating space.
  • It will likely cause a new arms race with Russia, China, Pakistan, India etc.
  • Efforts and money should be spent on anti-proliferation and the destruction of nuclear weapons rather than building new weapons.

When reading this book about midway through I started dog-earing pages that had quotes I really enjoyed. To finish off this review I will leave you with the quotes I liked from the book.

“It’s impossible to imagine any circumstances in which some suicidal dictator would heave a nuclear missile at the U.S. – a feat that’s exceptionally difficult to do in itself – while knowing that minutes later he himself would be vaporized in a mushroom-shaped cloud.

are quite another matter. If and when they ever acquire weapons of mass destruction, they’ll try to slip them in by ship or by truck. Against such a threat, the U.S.’s anti-missile program is irrelevant, which is to say it’s a gigantic boondoggle.” – Toronto Star, September 22, 2002

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Perhaps most important, we can improve the image of the United States by directing some of the money spent on unneeded weapons at increased foreign aid. The United States spends less on foreign assistance as a percentage of gross domestic product than any other industrial nation – less than one-third that of Germany, one-fifth that of France and one-ninth that of Denmark.” – James L. Hecht

“It is evident that NMD points the world down the wrong path … Unchecked, weapons and counter weapons lead only to the development of further weapons… The international control of armament offers the only protection for the weak, as for the mighty. But dare we tell the emperor that he has no clothes? It would be an act of friendship were we to do so.” –, May 7, 2003

“According to World Band President James Wolfensohn, world defence spending amounts to around $900 billion a year, while total foreign aid is only about $60 billion. ‘That seems to me the most nonsensical thing you can imagine.’” – Yahoo News, April 27, 2004

“With the deployment of NMD, an international reaction will most likely result in a new arms race. With the continuation of these trends, the tragic consequences of the Cold War, which ended in 1990, will only worsen with a second Cold War at the dawn of the 21st century. If continued spending on weapons increases and expands under NMD and TMD, nationally and internationally, there will be a corresponding depletion of human capital, as social programs and investments in health, education, and welfare, are cut even deeper. This, in turn, will result in the inevitable widening of circles of poverty and a growing gap between the haves- and the have-nots. Such an outcome will probably produce revolts, revolutions, and rising levels of terrorism around the globe.” – Terrence Edward Paupp

“We must create worldwide law and law enforcement as we outlaw worldwide war and weapons… For peace is not solely a matter of military or technical problems – it is primarily a problem of politics and people. And unless man can match his strides in weaponry and technology with equal strides in social and political development, our great strength, like that of the dinosaur, will become incapable of proper control – and like the dinosaur, vanish from the earth. As man’s new domain – outer space… The new horizons of outer space must not b e driven by the old bitter concepts of imperialism and sovereign claims. The cold reaches of the universe must not become the new arena of an even colder war.” – John F. Kennedy

“Given U.S. intransigence, other nuclear weapon-states appear to be reevaluating the need for such weapons. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the rest of the world, the vast majority of the international community, to stand up now and tell all of our military leaders that we refuse to be threatened or protected by nuclear weapons. We refuse to live in a world of continually recycled fear and hatred. We refuse to see each other as enemies. We refuse to co-operate in our own annihilation.
We demand here and now that… regardless of any nations that may oppose it, there be a call for the de-alerting of all nuclear weapons, for unequivocal action towards dismantling and destroying all nuclear weapons with a clearly stipulated timetable, and for negotiations on a universal Nuclear Weapons Convention establishing a verifiable and irreversible regime for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.” Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima

“Asked to opine about what I think is one or two of the biggest issues facing us in the coming decades might be, I find myself needing to quote Arundhati Roy, in her anti-nuclear polemic The End of Imagination. Roy writes, “There’s nothing new or original left to be said about nuclear weapons. There can be nothing more humiliating for a writer of fiction to have to do than restate a case that has, over the years, already been made by other people… and made passionately, eloquently and knowledgeably.” She goes on to say, however, that she is “prepared to grovel. To humiliate myself abjectly, because in the circumstances, silence would be indefensible.” – Jody Williams

“As Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement has said, emotions without action are irrelevant. If you do not take action to make the world the place you want, it really doesn’t matter what you feel.” – Jody Williams

“The reality is that any country that is capable of building a long-range missile and has the motivation to launch it against the United States would also have the capability and motivation to build effective countermeasures to the planned defense. To assume otherwise is to base defense planning on wishful thinking.” – Physicist David Wright and Theodore Postol of MIT

Written by stefan klopp

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