WEATHER »

Nukes Under that Smoke Ring


Your coverage of the Air Force’s March 23 launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, “Missile Blasts Off and Blows Smoke Ring,” made light of a very dark situation. The article failed to inform readers that the Minuteman III is the United States’ land-based missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to most places on the planet within minutes. The U.S. keeps 450 of these missiles on hair-trigger alert in silos dotted across North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Despite decades-old legal obligations to end the nuclear arms race and negotiate nuclear disarmament, the U.S. continues not only to test fire its missiles but also plans to spend at least $1 trillion over the next 30 years to upgrade its nuclear weapons, production facilities, and delivery vehicles. The U.S. is joined in this continued nuclear arms race by all of the other eight countries that possess nuclear weapons, each of which is engaged in some level of nuclear “modernization” of its own.

The missile tested on Monday by the Air Force — with little or no public notice and under the cover of darkness — landed in the Marshall Islands. Last year, the Marshall Islands filed landmark lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed nations in the International Court of Justice and U.S. Federal Court that seek the fulfillment of legal obligations to end the nuclear arms race and negotiate nuclear disarmament. This courageous stand by a small island nation is what should be celebrated, not a smoke ring party trick by a missile that is capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people in an instant.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.