To President Trump: Prevent Nuclear Tragedy
As community leaders in Washington State, we express our moral outrage that the threat to unleash nuclear weapons is being brandished as if these were simply an extension of more conventional weapons. The weapons that ended World War II demonstrated their catastrophic force.
An attack using nuclear weapons against North Korea would produce an unprecedented and unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe. These warheads produce temperatures greater than the surface of the sun, blast forces that level all structures for miles, and release levels of radiation that kill both quickly and slowly. We have all seen the wrenching images from Hiroshima and Nagasaki - incinerated bodies, flesh torn loose, pathetic survivors grappling at life’s edge.
The threat to use these weapons as proposed constitutes a crime against humanity. The willingness to kill millions of noncombatants under the guise of national security is unconscionable for any nation-state in the modern age, given the undisputed consequences to life on our planet.
There is only one enlightened and responsible path forward to address another nation’s nuclear arsenals and threats: dialogue and negotiation. As the most powerful nation in the world, we, of all nations, should be secure in our willingness to engage in mutually respectful dialogue and to seek reductions in not only North Korea’s nuclear arsenals but also our own.
If this current dilemma has taught us anything, it is that the world’s residents will only be free from the horrors posed by nuclear weapons when their total elimination has been achieved.
We urge you, President Trump, to extend the hand of reason and dialogue to the leadership of North Korea and other nuclear nations, and demonstrate your confidence in our nation’s ability to resolve these escalating nuclear dangers without the incalculable effects that would derive from using nuclear weapons. Millions of lives in Asia and beyond are at stake. Former Strategic Nuclear Commander George Lee Butler concluded that nuclear retaliation “would irretrievably diminish our priceless stature as a nation, noble in aspiration and responsible in conduct, even in the face of extreme provocation.”
The use of nuclear weapons against North Korea must not become America’s second nuclear-age legacy.
Estela Ortega, ED, El Centro de la Raza
Michael Ramos, ED, Church Council of Greater Seattle
Eric Redman, CEO, Thunderbolt Clean Energy, LLC
Rick Steves, Travel writer
Hugh Straley, MD, Oncologist
Kirby Unti, Bishop, NW Washington Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Mark Vossler, MD, Cardiologist
Jean Walkinshaw, Documentarian
Jim Whittaker, Author, Mountaineer
Sunil Aggarwal, MD, PhD, Physician Medicine and Rehabilitation
Bruce Amundson, MD, President, WPSR
Sonya Campion, Philanthropist
Bill Donnelly, PhD
Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH
Dave Hall, MD, Past President, PSR
Gerri Haynes, RN, Palliative Care Consultant
Liz Moore, ED, Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane