Why Saudi nuclear weapons talk must be taken seriously
Topic | Saudi Arabia
Published: 7:25am, 3 Dec, 2020
Updated: 7:25am, 3 Dec, 2020
Saudi Arabia’s pronouncement that it could acquire nuclear weapons in the face of the possibility of Iran developing them is a dangerous and deadly escalation of the quest for supremacy in the region.
Nuclear weapons present humankind with an immense challenge, one far greater than most people understand. Seventy-five years ago, they were used to destroy the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with a single weapon destroying each city. These weapons go beyond homicide and genocide, carrying the possibility of omnicide or death to all.
The attacks on Japan have left an indelible mark on human consciousness and our collective conscience. Nuclear weapons are often presented as promoting security, particularly during times of international instability, but weapons that risk catastrophic and irreversible consequences cannot be viewed as protecting civilians or humanity as a whole.
A nuclear strike resulting in the destruction of present life forms on the planet would also obliterate the past and the future, destroying both human memory and possibility.
We cannot hide from the threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity and life in general. Nuclear weapons are morally and legally unjustifiable because they destroy indiscriminately – soldiers and civilians, men, women and children, the aged and the newly born, the healthy and the infirm. In the aftermath of a nuclear war, the living will envy the dead.
Farouk Araie, Johannesburg