During my first college year, I had a roommate, and though she was a young thing, she was politically aware. Every week or so, I would share my favorite English words, overwhelmed at the delicacy of language. And she, would share facts about a country I hadn’t heard of up until then. She was far more consistent than I was.
Ambassador representatives from the Republic of Kazakhstan visited the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College today. They came to speak about the ATOM Project.
When Ambassador Vassilenko asked for a raise of hands from those aware of his little (not so little country), it seemed to me that the whole room had raised their hand. Of course, it was only the majority, but being in the minority is not exactly attractive.
I learned some history: During 1949, a small village in Eastern Kazakhstan, was pronounced a testing site of nuclear weapons by the former Soviet Union. Since these tests were conducted, 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan have experienced their effects–turns out a bomb’s aftermath lives on for generations, leaving behind a legacy of environmental destruction and human deformity.
Ambassador Kairat Umarov stressed that it is possible to give up nuclear weapons, the problem isn’t what to do with them: the problem is that “the world lacks mutual understanding.” The heart of the matter is that we live in a society of mistrust. We can’t trust our neighbor, let alone trust another nation in the opposite side of the world. But we can’t wait for individual trust, our global leaders must take action, and be able to expect support from other nations.
We’re working for a common goal. It’s in the interest of all parties. We don’t need nuclear weapons for safety. For one thing, it is a human quality to be inventive. There will be other methods of torture (yes, I suppose I’m very optimistic). Even when it’s not about military strength, when we’ve reached the point that a combination of the world’s bombs can wipe out our entire earth, we’ve reached a point of reevaluation. Do we really need to blow up the earth to find out we’re taking it for granted?