“Faced with the terrifying prospects that are opening up before humanity, we see even more clearly than before that peace is the only fight worth engaging in. This isn’t a plea any more, but an order that has to rise up from peoples to governments, the order to choose once and for all between hell and reason.”
— Albert Camus, after the bombing of Hiroshima
Ted Turner, 72, media and land entrepreneur, and Susan Crane, mom and peace activist, 65, are two United States citizens who are rising up to “choose between hell and reason.”
They are people who have never met and have very little in common, although both have children; Ted Turner has five and Susan Crane has three.
What they share is an intense dislike of nuclear weapons. Turner, who was in Boulder recently to open a restaurant and be honored by the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West, has donated $1 billion to the U.N. for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
This is Ted Turner’s generous and significant gift to the world.
Asked about the world’s most pressing issue, Turner has said, “The greatest single threat is nuclear weapons.”
The presidents of Russia and the U.S. can destroy the world with the press of a button: “That’s not smart,” Turner said. “I don’t want that much power.” And he said if he were in President Barack Obama’s shoes, he would complain about this dilemma.
Crane is one of five Ploughshares activists who on Nov. 2, 2009, entered the U.S. Navy’s West Coast nuclear weapons storage depot. These five were unarmed, nonviolent peace activists who entered a high-security installation to say that nuclear weapons are immoral and illegal.
They now face a possible 10 years in prison and were charged at their arraignment last Saturday in Tacoma, Wash., with conspiracy, trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation and depredation of government property.
They each entered a plea of not guilty to all charges and cited numerous laws to show that the use of nuclear weapons is a war crime under U.S. law and that any threat or use of nuclear weapons is categorically prohibited and constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity or genocide as defined by U.S. criminal code. Their trial is set for Dec. 7.
This is Susan Crane’s generous and significant gift to the world.
Both are “choosing between hell and reason.” They need us all to help.
Judith Mohling is a volunteer with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.