ICAN Scottish Partner

Latest Events

Donate to SCND

Amount to donate:
£  GBP  




ScrapTrident


Letter from America

We had planned to write the obligatory column about the departure of George W. Bush from the White House, but you've heard all the shoe jokes by now. And we'll wait and see whether Barack Obama carries through on his promises to close Guantanamo, end the practices of warrantless wiretapping, torture and rendition, and begin the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

 Image

We had planned to write the obligatory column about the departure of George W. Bush from the White House, but you've heard all the shoe jokes by now. And we'll wait and see whether Barack Obama carries through on his promises to close Guantanamo, end the practices of warrantless wiretapping, torture and rendition, and begin the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Instead we saw an old movie that reminded us of what this is all about. A common thread among 1950s science fi ction films was that the pursuit of science (particularly space and nuclear) almost inevitably lead to disaster. American hydrogen bomb testing awakens and mutates “Godzilla.” Radiation creates “The Amazing Colossal Man” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Astronauts turn an atomic clock into a suitcase bomb to silence an unfriendly planet in “King Dinosaur.” “Rocketship X-M” visits a Mars that had been devastated by interplanetary nuclear war.

 

But this was a film we hadn't seen before and it was arguably the best of the atomic genre, winning an Oscar for the story. “Seven Days to Noon” was written and produced in 1950 before Britain joined the nuclear club, and posed the question, “Does Britain need the bomb?” But it also poses questions of weapons security as Professor Willingdon manages to sneak a suitcase bomb out of the lab which he threatens to detonate to get the British government to suspend their nuclear weapons program.

 

Willingdon explains how he got to this point: “Why did I start? Why? When I was young, I saw in science a way of serving God and my fellow men. I wanted to serve. Now I see my life's work used only for destruction. A dream has become a nightmare... All over the world people are moving like sleepwalkers towards annihilation.” At the end of the film, he is finally tracked down praying in a bombed out church, minutes from detonating the bomb, and runs from the church screaming “It’s too late! Too late!” whereupon he is shot.

 

Is it too late? Have too many countries joined the nuclear club? Has MAD turned into Mostly Assured Destruction? And will President Obama bring the USA back to a position of leadership in both nuclear non-proliferation and strategic arms reduction, and put an end to the new arms race between the USA and Russia? Stay tuned.

 

Joe Falcone & Karri Kaiser
Community Activists from Half Moon Bay, California