Nuclear Spring?


When elephants fight, runs an African proverb, it is the grass that suffers. Last fall, forty nonnuclear nations went before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, requesting what one Egyptian lawyer delicately called "legal limits on the freedom of the elephants": an unprecedented declaration that the use or threat of nuclear weapons amounts to a violation of international law. The World Court's ruling was expected any day as we went to press.

Chances are the Court's "advisory opinion" will be greeted in this country with cynical shrugs in the State Department and the peace movement alike. After all, governments including the United States routinely ignore the Court when it suits them. And fifty years of international declarations did little to stem the arms race; it was in 1946 that the United Nations General Assembly first called for "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons."

But there are reasons to consider this instance a little differently, whatever its outcome. The World Court case marks the first great revolt of the nonnuclear nations. For decades, the five declared nuclear powers--the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France--have settled matters by treaties within their own club, treaties that, as State Department lawyer Michael Matheson bluntly reminded the Court, "do not recognize" any obligation "to refrain from using nuclear weapons." This case is no conventional judicial pleading or diplomatic gesture; rather, the nonnuclear nations are at last pounding on the walls of that clubhouse demanding an end to the life-threatening business inside. "Five countries cannot arrogate to themselves forever the exclusive privilege of having their fingers on the nuclear trigger," as Tan Sri Razali Ismail of Malaysia told the Court.

The case also marks a useful example of what has been called the "Lilliput Strategy" for movements seeking to influence governments or corporations holding a seeming monopoly on global power. In 1986, Princeton international law professor (and Nation editorial board member) Richard Falk first floated the idea of obtaining a World Court opinion to antinuclear activists from New Zealand. Those activists, in turn, approached a handful of transnational disarmament groups--the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and others--that in 1992 formed the World Court Project, eventually joined by more than 700 organizations from around the world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Nuclear Spring?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.