WASHINGTON – Former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said the U.S. government should give up its nuclear weapons if it wants regimes like North Korea to do the same.
“Korea may be the first instance in the modern era of this kind of a conflict, but it’s going to happen over and over because nonproliferation doesn’t work,” Stein said last week at the “No War 2017” conference organized by WorldBeyondWar.org.
“More and more countries will have nuclear weapons because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for some to have the means of basically ruling the world and others not to have,” she added. “And that was part of the original agreement that it was only a temporary measure and we were going to be working diligently towards abolition.”
Stein noted that more than 50 countries have signed the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to date.
“The treaty makes nuclear weapons illegal once and for all, so it’s not just North Korea. It’s not just North Korea who should pack up their nuclear weapons. Likewise, it’s the United States and the nuclear umbrella. When we talk about denuclearizing the peninsula, it means all of us. This is a two-way street,” she said.
Stein said the U.S. has been “threatening” North Korea with a “first strike by nuclear weapons” for decades.
“So any regime in their right mind is going to develop nuclear deterrence. Even Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence, said as much himself. What we are facing here is basically deterrence against U.S. nuclear weapons, so if we will all put our weapons down we can solve this and ensure that we have a future to live with and on and a planet that we can live on,” Stein said.
“We are at a Hail Mary moment right now where we need big changes on the climate and we need big changes in our foreign policy. I think we need to abolish nuclear weapons right now. I think we need to massively invest in peace and in demilitarization in a Green New Deal,” she added.
Stein said some of her concerns with President Trump’s policies could be traced back to past actions of the Democratic Party.
“Take the war on immigrants. Where did that start? That started with the Clinton policies that militarized the border and began to criminalize undocumented immigrants. You can look at the mass incarceration and thank the Clintons as well for their omnibus crime bill of the 1990s. You can look at Obama’s deportations that equal those of Trump that many say have actually exceeded what Trump has done,” she said.
“I don’t buy this ‘lesser evil’ stuff and I think we will go to our graves here splitting hairs waiting for Democrats to save us. Democrats are not coming to save us and you can look at what they are doing right now on Obamacare and the incredible vacuum in our healthcare. Are they standing up for single-payer? No, they’re not,” she added.
Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. soldier who served time in jail for giving massive quantities of classified information to WikiLeaks, was scheduled to attend the conference but canceled.