Published on June 18th, 2014 | by Krista van Velzen


Do you really want to quit?

Don’t we all have friends that both keep on buying one box of cigarettes after the other and say they really want to quit?


By Krista van Velzen

The inconsistency of a nicotine addict pales by the inconsistency of the nuclear addict.

This week SIPRI launched a report with the sad conclusion that the speed of nuclear disarmament is slowing down seriously and all nuclear weapon states are modernising their arsenals and making massive investments in their nuclear programmes.

Whereas at the start of 2013 the global arsenal counted 17.000 nuclear warheads, one year later we are only at 16.300 and the warheads that have been dismantled weren’t even the ones that were on alert.

At this pace global zero would only be reached in 2037, nearly one hundred years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That is, if the pace would not be slowed down any further…

And yes, they keep on repeating they want to quit, they really do. They promised to negotiate nuclear disarmament. And they keep on repeating their wish to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

So what to do?

  • Keep on reminding your addicted friends of their wish to quit.
  • Point out their inconsistency but praise their dreams.
  • Point out the dangers of not quitting for their health and that of the people surrounding them.
  • Do the maths and show them how much money they could spend on other things if they would quit this addiction.
  • If all this doesn’t work: Ban the stuff they are addicted to. It can be done!

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About the Author

Krista van Velzen is a former Dutch MP and is currently working as nuclear disarmament campaigner with PAX in The Netherlands. She is running a citizens initiative in the Netherlands in order to get national legislation banning nuclear weapons. Van Velzen has been working on disarmament issues since the early nineties. As spokesperson on defence and foreign affairs she has convinced the Dutch government to ban and eliminate clustermunitions and and to prohibite investments as well. She has worked in Central and Eastern Europe creating a network of campaigners on the nuclear issue. She organised a Walk for Nuclear Disarmament from Brussels to Moscow. Her attempts to disarm a British Trident submarine gave her truly interesting experiences inside a Scottish jail. Disagreeing with president Obama, she believes a world without nuclear weapons is achievable in this lifetime.

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