Friday, October 21, 2011

Dennis Kucinich Speech on Strength Through Peace Oct. 7, 2011

Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s speech at Ground Zero Center for
Nonviolent Action on Sunday, August 7, 2011
(Note: audio starts here)…
been there for Hiroshima to Hope, and that was a very important occasion. Given the
importance of this organization and your dedication to nuclear abolition, I’ve decided to prepare
some remarks especially for this occasion that would reflect the potential that we have to take a
new direction
The human heart is Ground Zero. It’s in the human heart where blind fear hides in dark
chambers. It’s there where murderous intensity is unleashed against our brothers and sisters
and the world. It is there where nuclear explosions first take place. It’s there where the world
The world also begins in the human heart. It’s where courage creates new possibilities. It’s
where nuclear weapons can be abolished, and where war itself can be no more. The human
heart is where the impulse for life resounds with such a powerful pulsation that one person,
indeed all of humanity, experiences love through the energy of the heart, the rhythms of the
heart, the luminosity of the heart. We draw from our hearts our own transformational potential
and the ability to re-create the world.
Here we are free of the death wish. Here we summon the strength to wrest the nuclear Sword of
Damocles from the hands of fates we ourselves have fashioned from the projection of our fears.
Three score and six years ago that nuclear Sword of Damocles was dropped not once but twice
upon the people of Japan. Today we require ourselves to lay our ears on the heart of the world
and to listen to the cries of the souls of our Japanese brothers and sisters who perished in two
flashes or who were poisoned by radiation, and to be mindful of the suffering of the Hibakusha
who live to testify to the nullification of our own humanity through the use of the ultimate
We gather here not only to assert that doctrines of unilateralism, pre-emption and first strike
must be set aside as profoundly dangerous relics. But we come together in recognition that
nuclear weapons represent the ultimate escalation of war, and that it is our responsibility to
make war itself obsolete through direct actions and through concrete steps that can take is in the
direction of peace. For we cannot hope to abolish nuclear weapons unless we change the
thinking that created those weapons and unless we change dramatically the U.S. role in the
We need a new doctrine of strength through peace, which relies on diplomacy the size of human
relations addressing the needs of people everywhere for sustainability, for housing, for
education, clean water, clean air and freedom from fear. A new doctrine of strength through
peace will provide for a strong defense with a powerful basic fighting force of Army, Navy,
Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard that will re-establish America’s role in the world mindful
of the cost and consequences of the US’ current global presence and the benefits of international
cooperation for security through the United Nations.
The doctrine of strength through peace rejects counterinsurgency through recognition that every
insurgency is precipitated and fueled by occupation. Provisions of a doctrine of strength
through peace will call for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq by the end
of 2011. Call upon the US to participate in a negotiated settlement to end the war in Libya. Call
upon the US to stop the use of drone missile strikes. Call upon the US to lead a negotiated
settlement in the Middle East which protects Israel’s survival and the Palestinians’ absolute
right to self-determination while working to strengthen democratic principles, nonviolence,
human rights and non-sectarianism in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia.
A doctrine of strength through peace calls upon the United States to renounce all policies of
assassination. It forbids the Central Intelligence Agency from having any command and control
over weapons systems. It calls upon the Air Force to drop its pursuit of Vision 20/20, which is a
plan for the US to try to achieve superiority over space through putting weapons in outer space.
The doctrine of strength through peace sees that the US will fully comply with all international
treaties and insist that our allies and partners do the same, including full compliance with the
Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons
Convention, the Small Arms Treaty, the Land Mine Treaty, and it calls on the United States to
join the International Criminal Court, and that US officials would have to be accountable to that
criminal court.
A doctrine of strength of strength through peace sees the US in support of the Ground Zero
movement, and that will lead us to nuclear abolition by taking the following steps:
1. to revise and repeal the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, which calls for sustaining nuclear
2. to cancel the order for 12 new ICBM-capable subs,
3. to cancel the $29.4 billion in R&D in connection with that program,
4. to cancel the Air Force’s R&D for ICBM follow-ons,
5. to eliminate $600 million in funding under the National Nuclear Security Administration
fiscal year 2012,
6. to eliminate $4.1 billion in funding for nuclear weapons modernization over the next five
7. to eliminate plans to spend an additional $85 billion for the National Nuclear Security
Administration’s weapons activities over the next decade,
8. to focus the CIA on identifying and if necessary interdicting and seizing nuclear
materials from non-state actors.
Now consistent with that, the most valuable provision in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review calls
for, and I quote, “enhancing national and international capabilities to disrupt illicit proliferation
networks and interdict smuggled nuclear materials and continue to expand our nuclear forensics
efforts to improve the capabilities to identify the source of nuclear material used or intended for
use in a terrorist nuclear explosive device.
The 2010 NPR declares, quote, “The US will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against
any non-nuclear weapons state that are in compliance with this nation’s non-proliferation
obligations.” This is a telling loophole though in the NPT, which opens the door to the threat of
a nuclear attack upon Iran or North Korea, and as such this provision must be changed to forego
the use of nuclear weapons against any nation.
The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review declares the US is not prepared to adopt a universal policy
deterring a nuclear attack, declaring that a nuclear attack is the sole purpose of nuclear
weapons, and would “only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to
defend the vital interests of the US, its allies or partners.” Here again the door is left open to
interpreting circumstances, which would allow for the use of nuclear weapons. This provision
must be deleted from future Nuclear Posture Reviews and deleted from the policy of the United
States today.
It is time for us to challenge the doctrine of deterrence, and reveal it for what it is – a corollary
to mutually assured destruction, which is the opposite of survival. The US must ratify the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty once and for all, and we must stop subsidizing the nuclear
power industry and its concomitant use of uranium where the byproduct creates material, which
can be used for nuclear terrorism.
We can prevent nuclear terrorism by not ourselves threatening it against other nations. We can
prevent nuclear proliferation by not participating in it, and thereby become a model for all
nations. It’s time for us to deepen our partnership with Russia, and to expedite the arms
reduction promise in the Moscow Treaty and START II. It’s time for a new partnership with
China, for nuclear abolition and a new defense partnership with China to stop a new arms race
from occurring and to stop the disagreements of the present from becoming the conflicts of the
Today as we gather in this beautiful setting we have to remember that our destiny and the fate of
the planet is not outside our reach. It is within our grasp if it is within our hearts to abolish all
weapons and to abolish war itself. On this great day when we reflect upon the great human
tragedy of war and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki let us resolve
that we shall become as architects of a new world free of fear, free of nuclear weapons, and free
of war.
Thank you very much. [sustained applause] Thank you. Great to be here with you.
last night, and I see one of my brothers here. Some of you might have
Leonard Eiger, Media & Outreach Coordinator, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.
Congressman Kucinich’s speech was videotaped by Todd Boyle, and is posted at YouTube at
This transcript from the audio recording of Congressman Kucinich’s speech was made by
Founded in 1977, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action offers the opportunity to explore
the meaning and practice of nonviolence from a perspective of deep spiritual reflection,
providing a means for witnessing to and resisting all nuclear weapons, especially Trident. We
seek to go to the root of violence and injustice in our world and experience the transforming
power of love through nonviolent direct action. Learn more at

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dennis Kucinich speaks at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action


The weekend commemorating the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is over.  For all of us at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action it was a particularly poignant weekend.  We had just lost a longtime member and one of the great peace activists of our time, Jackie Hudson, who died last Wednesday.  Earlier in the planning for this weekend we arranged for Dennis Kucinich to visit and speak.  However, it was contingent on Congress adjourning on time, which I assumed would never happen.  It did however, and Dennis showed up.  It was almost as if it was a gift to Jackie, whose spirit was with us throughout the weekend, lifting our spirits and urging us on in our work.

Congressman Kucinich got right to the heart of it as he began his speech:

"The human heart is Ground Zero. It’s in the human heart where blind fear hides in dark chambers. It’s there where murderous intensity is unleashed against our brothers and sisters and the world. It is there where nuclear explosions first take place. It’s there where the world ends.  The world also begins in the human heart. It’s where courage creates new possibilities..."

Todd Boyle captured the entire speech with crisp, clear audio so you won't miss a word of this important speech in which Kucinich states in very clear terms his vision of a world free of fear, free of nuclear weapons and free of war. 



The second video is the question and answer period following the speech.

Read about Congressman Kucinich's visit to Ground Zero at the Kitsap Sun: Kucinich clear on nukes, mum on political plans

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