Celebrating No Nukes Treaty at Bath Iron Works
Bruce Gagnon / Space for Peace
(January 24, 2021) — Thirty Mainers gathered at Bath Iron Works (BIW) last Friday at noon to celebrate the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (The US and other nuclear nations currently refuse to sign it.)
BIW builds Navy Aegis destroyers that are outfitted with two primary missile systems. The SM-3 interceptor missile is a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. It’s job is to take out Russian or Chinese retaliatory missiles that would be fired after a US preemptive attack.
In other words provide a ‘missile defense shield’ to pick off retaliatory strikes. The US officially refuses to renounce first-use of nuclear weapons while Russia and China have done so – saying they’d only use their nukes in retaliatory strikes after they were attacked.
Additionally, the Aegis warships carry first-strike attack Tomahawk cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. It was one of these Bath-built guided missile cruisers (USS Cowpens) that fired the first shot in 2003 when George W. Bush launched the US’s ‘shock and awe’ attack on Iraq.
Mary Beth and I became close friends with the young woman (former naval officer) who was driving the Cowpens when the preemptive attack was launched. She shared with us how after their volley of cruise missile strikes was over she went below into the dining hall and the crew was cheering as they watched CNN coverage of Baghdad burning. She limped to her cabin in despair and ended up with a severe case of PTSD or war trauma as it is now more accurately described.
Today the US is encircling China and Russia with these Aegis warships. China and Russia have responded to the new nuclear ban treaty by saying that they’d like to get rid of their nukes but can’t afford to as long as the Pentagon refuses to renounce first-strike and continues to surround them with military bases and Navy warships close to their shores.
So the new nuclear ban treaty is a great start but we can’t rest until all the aggressive and offensive US military programs are shut down that remain a trigger for nuclear war.
Convert Bath Iron Works to Sustainable Production
Bath Iron Works is a major shipyard in Bath, Maine (owned by General Dynamics) which manufactures destroyers and cruisers for the US Navy. What if they began producing products that help sustain life rather than destroy it?
Watch the latest Global Network video on converting BIW, as well as other factories, plants and capabilities toward production of tidal power, commuter rail, and other useful products outside of the military-industrial complex.
ideo produced for the Global Network by Iraq & Afghanistan war veteran Will Griffin who also serves on the GN’s board.