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Nuclear Weapons Free Zones

Ralph greets Princeton classmate and nuclear non-proliferation expert, Ambassador Thomas Graham, a former senior U.S. diplomat, who was involved in the negotiation of every single international arms control and non-proliferation agreement from 1970 to 1997. Also, the original Nader’s Raider, Robert Fellmeth rejoins us to talk about the campaign to protect children on Facebook.

Thomas Graham is a former senior U.S. diplomat, who was involved in the negotiation of every single international arms control and non-proliferation agreement from 1970 to 1997. This includes SALT Treaties, the START Treaties, the Anti-ballistic missile (ABM) Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He was president Bill Clinton‘s special representative for Arms Control, Non-Proliferation, and Disarmament. Throughout his career, Ambassador Graham has worked with six U.S. Presidents, including Presidents Richard Nixon Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  His book is entitled The Alternate Route: Nuclear Weapons Free Zones.

“It’s a country (North Korea) that’s probably never going to give up its nuclear weapons short of the world giving up its nuclear weapons.” Ambassador Thomas Graham, former senior U.S. diplomat, who was involved in the negotiation of every single international arms control and non-proliferation agreement from 1970 to 1997

Robert Fellmeth is a Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law and executive director of the Center for Public Interest Law. His areas of expertise include child advocacy/children’s rights, consumer law, family law and professional responsibility. He recently contributed an op-ed to the Washington DC newspaper, The Hill, entitled “Millions of Strangers Can See Facebook Posts By and About Your Kids.” 

“The problem is a term and condition in the Facebook agreement, which of course nobody ever reads. It applies to teen subscribers, who theoretically cannot have contracts held against them. But theoretically, by subscribing… they have consented to the capture of anything in a post, whether it be a photograph, a comment or whatever, and it’s re-transmission to anybody by Facebook for any purpose whatsoever.” Robert Fellmeth Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law and executive director of the Center for Public Interest Law


  1. David Faubion says:

    Thank you for presenting thehe living history of an entire industry in the life’s work of Ambassador Thomas Graham. Likely, he sees what it will take to abolish the nuclear power. That power is the antithesis of the Sun, and now each consumer must take the power of the Sun into our own hands. By doing so, we will have wrested the perverse power of the few who have held us, the many, enslaved in their evil or ignorance.

  2. David Faubion says:

    Monopoly capitalism is not capitalism as Adam Smith and the other classical economists defined and designed it. Monopolies are tyrannies. These cabals of greed and ignorance have always fed off the backs of the social product and, thus, held our real progress, the end of poverty, crime and misery hostage. In fact the monopolist revels in chaos, conflict and disparity.

  3. Marc says:

    If I was NK I wouldn’t give up my nukes either. Because my understanding is that Iraq and Libya did just that and look what happened to them. Complete sovereign implosion, especially Libya which is now just one large human trafficking hub. No, the US needs to have a counterweight elsewhere in the world to keep it honest. Because we’ve seen just how honest the US has been in the world since it became the lone military superpower in the world around 1990.

    On kids and the internet, this is a phenomenon that’s been going on since the WWW began around 1995. My recollection is it started with message boards/forums where people interact, and that attracted an immature if not outright vile demographic. That’s gone by the wayside in favor of social media, for the most part, which has produced youngsters publicly ending their own lives on these media sites due to chronic bullying or other forms of abuse. But another area that kids are vulnerable to are online, interactive video games. Many of these games have a chat function and, as a parent of a 9-year-old boy, that scares me because that attracts perhaps the worst kind of criminal – child molesters. One popular game out right now is Roblox, and when my wife sent me the following news article on it I felt my stomach turn, and this is my own backyard:

    Of course the game developers state their outrage and begin correcting the issue, but why not just get rid of the online interaction altogether? Just have it like the games of old, where the player’s opponents were the computer and not other human players. At one point my kid had Roblox, but I deleted the game and told him he won’t be able to play it anymore due to the chat function. This was before the aforementioned article detailing virtual sexual assault.

  4. Afdal says:

    Another Luddite attack on anonymous discussion and some bonus Russiagate hysteria from Robert Fellmeth. The greatest mass surveillance network in human history (Facebook) predicates on collecting information on and identifying real individuals. It’s the same way that Google has become so powerful. It’s astonishing how Fellmeth can’t understand this. Simply breaking up these monopolies or passing reform legislation won’t protect people from the tyranny of big data. Once this kind of data is out there in the private world it’s out there forever and can freely change hands. How many millions of Americans had no idea how much personal information was being held by and released during the Equifax leak? And finally we come to one of the most insidious examples of all: the mass spying networks of the NSA and CIA. An anonymous, secure internet is the ONLY real protection that people have from these threats. Trying to enforce some sort mandatory identification only empowers the Orwellian survelliance state we currently have even more. Get a grip, Fellmeth.

  5. Bruce K. says:

    This was a very good show on balance, especially the Internet portion.

    Obviously it would be nice if the world did not have wars or nuclear weapons, but I wonder what exactly does nuclear weapons reduction accomplish or mean? Even at current reduced levels any nuclear war would destroy the whole world, or perhaps preferentially the northern hemisphere where such a war would be fought.

    I think it was “joked” that any country that wanted to be sure to win a nuclear war would just have to explode all their bombs in their own country and the radiation and dust would go around the world in nuclear winter and end life on the planet because the very idea is suicide.

    It would be one thing if we saved money from not having all these weapons around, or if we could retire weapons and then use the material to generate electricity, but isn’t what we are seeing more that the “nuclear club countries” are just spending about the same amount of money on updating their bombs?

    Meanwhile rhetoric and policies in the world get more and more insane and confrontational and security and economic issues are escalating such that we seem to be moving closer to armed confrontation of some sort, or it is just a charade to justify taking all our country’s money and spending it on the military. Our own President was rumored to have kept asking the question FIVE times, “why can’t we use nuclear weapons again?”

    The one country I don’t fault for having nuclear weapons is Israel who has been attacked multiple times by their neighbors and faces continued threats from them, while they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Somehow that is completely overlooked by Ralph Nader who seems to give no time or credence at all to Israel’s side of this argument, and always falls for the Palestinian victimhood argument. Israel is so small there is literally no other way they could defend themselves with certainty against such a large threat other than with nuclear weapons.

    Nader is such a courageous critic of all the wrongs of the US, and yet I cannot recall a single time, nor video, where Ralph has inventoried the problems of these radical Islamic countries, both to their people … how about “Radical Islam: Unsafe at Any Creed? I personally know there are plenty of good Muslims and I do not fear or hate Muslims, but by the same taken even if there are a high majority of good Muslims citizens, that still leaves hundreds of thousands to millions of them to cause trouble and incite war and violence. How about some balance on this issue for once.

    As to nuclear weapons, I don’t see them going away, or that arms reduction makes a big difference. I wish it did, but to pin as many hopes and make such a big deal about this shorts other bigger and more urgent issues.

  6. Bruce K. says:

    I just have to comment on Internet Anonymity. I think our country provides for a free ballot, because political action can have far reaching consequences. I believe that comment in forums such a this are important and that they should be based on the facts and logic that a commenter presents, not their authority. Certainly some people’s comments in general have more weight or authority. I give Ralph’s opinion a lot of thought and consideration because of who he is, but I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says. But Ralph is a very famous and powerful public figure.

    There are places I’ve worked where some political Liberal comments I’ve made have alienated me, and should everything I say be easily available online for my co-workers, employers, potential employers, suppliers, contractors, etc – that is a very asymmetric and dangerous way to structure society.

    Already they are talking about how CRM, Customer Relations Management, software can be employed to rank customers by businesses so that if they can determine a rich customer by their previous purchases lining up an order on the Internet they can jack up the price of the product they might want to buy.

    I think enforcing Internet Identification on people would be a very bad thing. Even Winston Smith in 1984 had a few moments of privacy. The way our data is out there now they can extrapolate who we are better at some things than we know ourselves, and we can never even know who the “they” are. Apply for a job and accepted or refused … based on information you do not know is out there or that your possible employer might have access to. This is a real nightmare, and taking away the ability to be anonymous online is very dangerous.

    But, currently, the technology allows everyone to be identified everywhere. Already it is too much, and it is very powerful because we do not know about it. The identification may not be public, but the people behind the scenes know who we are, and if they allow that information to be passed on – we have no idea what it is used for, or how accurate it is, or how it can be distorted to serve someone else’s purpose.

  7. Sister Ardeth Platte says:

    I encourage Ralph Nader and Thomas Graham to catch up with current possibilities led by Nobel Peace Prize Winners (ICAN) International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Their campaign strategy of Parlimentary pledges to sign the (TPNW)Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 7/7/17 completes the NPT signed nearly 50 years ago Go to their web site and carry out their entire campaign plan. It must and will work for Planet safety. I look forward to a program on this.

  8. Carol Gilbert, OP says:

    I was very disappointed in Ambassador Graham. While he mentions the Freeze of the 1980’s he has not kept up with the work of today. He makes no mention of the work of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), winners of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and their work on 7-7-17 Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons at the UN which was signed by 122 countries and now is working on signatures for ratification. He made no mention of Don’t Bank on the Bomb which has been very successful in the Netherlands and has a very active group in NYC. which is the financial piece to the bombs. I would hope that a future program would feature someone like Ray Acheson from Critical Will or Susie Snyder from Don’t Bank on the Bomb or Beatrice Finn the Director of ICAN, I would have thought that you, Ralph would have mentioned this Treaty or the grassroots people working on this issue. Nuclear Weapons Free Zones was part of the discussion last summer but to make no mention of these other groups is a disservice to your listeners,

  9. robert dresdner says:

    activist citizens are always told to talk to your congressman and senators and president —as if citizens united never happened.