“Countdown to Zero” – A call to eliminate nuclear arms
Approximately 95 or 96 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal is in the possession of the Untied States or Russia .The US Senate is working to ratify the treaty, which would commit the nations to a modest reduction in nuclear arms. The film calls for total disagreement, while small percentages of arms reduction continue to face opposition.
Lawrence Bender, the producer of “Countdown to Zero” said the Senate is currently working towards a ratification of the treaty, and that it does have bipartisan support.
“Hopefully it will be ratified,” said Bender.
Historically, START treaties and nuclear arms reduction have garnered a positive bi-partisan response. There have however been a number of conservative politicians and Tea Party activists in the US who have come out against the treaty.
Likely 2012 presidential hopefully Mitt Romney has spoken out against the START Treaty and nuclear arms reduction. Romney’s expected run for president has likely fueled his outspoken opposition to the treaty, as an appeal to Tea Party and conservative voters. Though, many other conservatives do support the treaty.
Unlike the cold War era, the biggest concern today is Terrorism, argued Bender.
“During the cold War we had this thing called M.A.D. – Mutually Assured Destruction. If we attacked Russia or if Russia attacked us the other side knew that we would ultimately respond in kind and we’d blow each other up and we’d all be destroyed, dead. Right now the biggest fear is not that. The biggest fear is a terrorist smuggling a nuclear weapon into a particular city and blowing it up and not worrying about reprisal,” said Bender.
The START Treaty allows for a greater level of transparency. It makes public more about the nuclear arsenals of both sides and builds trust, argued Bender. Further, it will make both sides accountable for their nuclear weapons, thus preventing arms theft and the misplacement of arms.
Many today have no understanding of a nuclear threat, said Bender, explaining that the younger generations do not remember the cold war. Bender said that he made the movie to educate people about the seriousness of the nuclear threat and encourage individuals to call for action.