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An ‘emperor with no clothes on’ moment in Gaza 

By Christopher Overfelt

Note: Christopher Overfelt, of Veterans for Peace, gave this talk in KC MO Jan. 7 before others reported on the recent UN meeting on banning nuclear weapons.

When we talk about the abolition of nuclear weapons, we are also talking about the abolition of the power structures that enable their application. These power structures lie primarily in the American military-industrial complex. They also lie in the extractive resources—the corporations and the banks and hedge funds that interact with them.

Essentially, those who profit from the manufacture and application of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons are those who control them and decide when they are used and for what reasons.
We are in an “emperor with no clothes on” moment as we watch the American military industrial complex destroy the lives of thousands of children in Gaza, destroy their homes, schools, hospitals, power stations, and food and water sources. There is no other word for this display of power other than genocide.

Genocide was, is, and always will be a tool of the American empire. More tonnage of bombs has been dropped on Gaza since Oct. 7th than what was contained in the nuclear weapons that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

So it is no stretch of the imagination that the nuclear weapons now being developed by the American military industrial complex will be used regularly around the world in the future. What will happen when the world decides it no longer wants to be ruled by the oil and gas conglomerates? By the banking and mining conglomerates?

Gaza is being used as a clear example as to what will happen to anyone who stands against the American empire.
I find it fascinating that there has been no debate in the political rank and file around our war on Gaza. The aircraft carriers and weapons were on their way well before the public had even become aware of what was happening. It is the same with the protection of the merchant ships in the Red Sea right now. Who do you think profits from those merchant ships? It isn’t you and I. American foreign policy has nothing to do with the defense of ordinary Americans. In fact, it makes us much less safe.

It is the same with these nuclear weapons. These nuclear weapons will be used, and they will be used to eat the world for the profit of Boeing and Goldman Sachs and Exxon Mobile. The corporations and plutarchs who profit from the American empire will not stop until they have consumed everything in the world, and if we try to stop them, they will destroy us too. If you want to see a vision of the future, look at what is happening in Gaza.

There is no safety in these nuclear weapons, and there is no safety in the arms of the American empire. There is only death and destruction.

Thank you.

—Christopher Overfelt serves on the PeaceWorks KC Board of Directors. © Christopher Overfelt, 2024, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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