Aug. 6 and 9 of this year mark the 71st anniversaries of the horrific U.S. nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ultimately led to the indiscriminate death of hundreds of thousands of people.
The only country in history to ever have used nuclear weapons, the United States today maintains an arsenal of over 7,000 nukes, nearly 2,000 of which are deployed and fully operational, menacing countries around the world. These alone could easily destroy the world, nevertheless the Obama administration is readying a dramatic trillion-dollar program to redesign nuclear warheads to make them smaller with better targeting—in other words, much more tempting to use.
The Democrats and the Republicans are both in favor of this enormous step towards a new nuclear arms race.
New Mexico is the birthplace of the atomic bomb. The bombs used in WWII were designed and tested there. It is home to two of the nation’s three nuclear weapons laboratories. It’s also where the lion’s share of non-deployed warheads are stored—an estimated 2,500. In fact, Nuclear Watch NM points out that, “Were New Mexico to secede from the United States it would automatically be the 3rd largest nuclear weapons power in the world.”
New Mexico is the center of the expanding U.S. nuclear weapons complex. It’s also second in overall poverty.
While the government allocates billions of dollars annually to maintain the massive in-state nuclear weapons industry, the state’s population goes on suffering from astounding rates of poverty, hunger and unemployment.
The 2017 congressional budget request for just one of New Mexico’s nuclear weapons labs—the Los Alamos National Laboratory—is $2.4 billion. Of that, 67 percent ($1.6 billion) is earmarked for “nuclear weapons activities.”
Here are some better ways to spend $1.6 billion in New Mexico than on nuclear weapons:
- Create 51,000 living-wage jobs that pay $15 per hour. This would virtually end unemployment in New Mexico.
- Provide all 20,000 high school graduates in New Mexico with a free four-year university education
- Instantly wipe out a quarter of all N.M. student loan debt
- Provide the nearly 250,000 N.M. residents who currently lack insurance with free healthcare
The criminality of the capitalist government’s investment and non-investment pattern could not be starker. Money is provided for military might to bully and enforce imperialist interests internationally, and not to provide for people’s needs.
“The genocidal use of nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. were crimes against humanity to which we socialists say, ‘Never again!’ Nuclear weapons and waste, created by systems of imperialist militarism, are part of the crisis of pollution that is destroying our planet and must be abolished,” said PSL Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva. “For a truly peaceful future, we must end the scenario in which imperialism holds the rest of the world hostage with the threat of nuclear annihilation,” La Riva added.