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July 20, 2009

U.S. arsenal caused Cronkite deep worry

In the flood of reports and stories on the passing of the great newsman Walter Cronkite, I barely see mention that in his later years he campaigned on behalf of nuclear disarmament.

"Frankly, I'm worried," he said in 2005 during a 3-minute audio commentary you may play below, "It seems that the United States and the other nuclear weapons states are trying to evade their obligations and responsibilities under [the] critical Non-proliferation Treaty."

The commentary was part of a radio documentary on the six decades since Hiroshima that was produced by Reese Ehrlich and distributed by Public Radio International (PRI). You may find a link to play the full audio from this excellent program at that link.

Play the 3-minute commentary here:

A written version is HERE.
Walter Cronkite (2005): The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? the hibakusha ? have continually warned, "Nuclear weapons and human beings cannot coexist." In the end, I believe this is the most important lesson of Hiroshima. We must eliminate nuclear weapons before they eliminate us.

The best security, perhaps the only security, against nuclear weapons being used again, or getting into the hands of terrorists, is to eliminate them. Most of the people of the world already know this. Now it is up to the world?s people to impress the urgency of this situation upon their governments. We must act now. The future depends upon us.

Anything less would be to abandon our responsibility to future generations.


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