General Butler's Speech to the National Press Club
|General Lee Butler and Mikhail Gorbachev,|
The Nuclear Weapons Elimination Initiative, directed by Senator Alan Cranston, addresses the ongoing dangers which the existence of nuclear weapons pose to our world. The heart of its task, though international in scope, is to lead the U.S., the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, and now the pre-eminent world power, to lead the way internationally to reduce nuclear dangers and finally to end them through abolition.
The Initiative has contributed significantly to the creation of a new serious national and global debate on nuclear weapons through high-level discussions with the governments of the U.S., Russia, U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and India. The purpose is to sustain and expand that debate and to educate policy makers on the necessity of taking steps toward the clearly avowed goal of abolition.
The Initiative has developed and launched a series of public statements by public leaders which are stimulating the rising discussion of the role of nuclear weapons after the Cold War. The Initiative organized the public release of two abolition statements, one by two renowned American generals,the other by 60 more American, Russian and other generals and admirals from a total of 17 nations. A second statement signed by 130 international leaders from 48 countries - including 52 presidents and prime ministers -was made public at a Washington press conference by General Lee Butler, former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Strategic Air Command. The next statement will be made by Mayors of the U.S. and the world's greatest cities. The Initiative is also sponsoring the upcoming broadcast of an unprecedented documentary on nuclear dangers and related town hall meetings which can foster widespread public discussion.
A network of abolition organizations, in close cooperation with the Forum's Initiative, have organized the Middle Powers Initiative to work with governments of key nations - such as Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Japan, Mexico, Slovenia, South Africa, and Sweden - to encourage the leaders of the Nuclear Weapons States to break free from their Cold War mindset and more rapidly to a nuclear weapon free world. Additionally, a collaborative effort, Global Action to Prevent War, will seek to build new strength in the international peace movement by developing cooperation among the various non-government organizations presently working separately on various approaches to reducing the frequency and violence of war.