Category Archives: War and Peace

73 Years of Nuclear Attack Remembrances: Still Threatened by Nuclear War.

Each year at this time I write about two historical events in 1945 that will never be forgotten – Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9).  Hiroshima today recognized The 73rd anniversary of the the nuclear attack on its city with the annual minute of silence and Peace Declaration speech by Mayor Kazumi Matsui. It is unfathomable that the world must continue to add to its ceremonial remembrances, year after year, pleas to the world’s leaders to abolish nuclear weapons once and for all. Despite all the events, photos, survivor and families of survivors stories, and health impacts we are still a world that lives in fear of nuclear war. The threat has not been reduced.  It may likely be more of a threat than ever.

Mayor Matsui in his speech painted a picture of devastation by referencing theTrump administration and its increasing “self-centered nationalism” around the world, as well as the 14,000 nuclear warheads remaining across the globe.  “The likelihood is growing that what we saw in Hiroshima after the explosion will return, by intent or accident, plunging people into agony.”

“What occurred in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 cannot and must not ever happen again. The future of our children and of our children’s children depends upon it.” ~ Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui

 

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was passed in July 2017, in a measure to work towards eliminating nuclear weapons. The agreement is legally binding to those signed on to it.

[The Treaty] prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities.

A nation that possesses nuclear weapons may join the treaty, so long as it agrees to destroy them in accordance with a legally binding, time-bound plan. Similarly, a nation that hosts another nation’s nuclear weapons on its territory may join, so long as it agrees to remove them by a specified deadline.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

The Treaty will replace the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), therefore becoming international law, once 50 nation-states have signed on and ratified it. To date, 60 nations have signed the treaty but only 14 have ratified. Despite the June summit talks between the United States and  North Korea, which resulted in a joint statement agreeing to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and eventual withdrawal of troops stationed in South Korea,  among other measures, the United States has not signed on to or ratified the Treaty.  And following a statement from Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan will not join the nuclear ban treaty because “its approach is different from the Japanese government’s’, Atomic Bombs survivors groups are demanding that Japan sign on and ratify.

One year ago I wrote about Trump’s “Fire and Fury” with North Korea. I referred to statistics where1 in 5 people supported Trump’s  threats of nuclear action against North Korea.

Part of the justification is over the belief that U.S. troops were in Japan two weeks following the horrific events of 1945 without suffering the effects of fallout. Therefore we would be “safe” from the effects of any military action involving nuclear weapons.

Questioning the intelligence of Trump supporters,  I wrote that anyone who even has a cursory knowledge of the effects of nuclear fallout, including on those who were exposed during testing efforts at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site (which was renamed “Nevada National Security Site”) and downwind of the test site, not to mention the survivors of the devastation in 1945, are well aware of the effects of nuclear fallout.

Nuclear Devastation=World Health Crisis=Planetary Destruction.

I continue to say this: Nuclear weapons and nuclear war will always be a threat as long as there are nations that consider their arsenal necessary for national security. We must hold our leaders accountable to putting their words into actions.  We as global citizens must do whatever it takes to make this happen.  What are we doing in our daily lives to work towards that goal?

We must not let this happen again.

 

 

“Fire and Fury”

This past week marked two historical events in 1945 that will never be forgotten – Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9).  Ironically, it was during this same week the tensions continued to rise over the threat of the use of nuclear weapons between the U.S. and North Korea.  

As President Donald Trump was threatening “fire and fury” against the North Korean regime and boasting of his nation’s nuclear arsenal on Twitter Wednesday morning, Nagasaki residents held an annual ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. attack on the Japanese city.

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-threatens-nuclear-war-north-korea-japan-nagasaki-peace-bell-648768

Trump has stated that the U.S. will respond with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” This rhetoric insinuates that a tragedy worse than Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be imminent.

What is even equally as disturbing are reports to the effect that 1 in 5 people support Trump’s  threats of nuclear action against North Korea. Part of the justification is over the belief that U.S. troops were in Japan two weeks following the horrific events of 1945 without suffering the effects of fallout. Therefore we would be “safe” from the effects of any military action involving nuclear weapons.

Bullshit. Any intelligent person (emphasis on intelligent) who even has a cursory knowledge of the effects of nuclear fallout, including on those who were exposed during testing efforts at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site (which was renamed “Nevada National Security Site”….whatever) and downwind of the test site, not to mention the survivors of the devastation in 1945, are well aware of the effects of nuclear fallout.

Nuclear Devastation=World Health Crisis=Planetary Destruction.

‘”The nuclear threat will not end as long as nations continue to claim that nuclear weapons are essential for their national security,” [Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa] Taue [stated].’

We are all pebbles that form the rock – inspiration from a brave woman on the 8th anniversary of the Iraq invasion

A timely item came across my desk yesterday from my great friend Jacqui of Maine (my “angel in disguise”) who shared with me the story of a wonderful strong woman named Carole Whelan.  Carole Whelan stood up yesterday at an event to Honor Senator Susan Collins (where she was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame) and spoke out to request that such an honor be declined until all of our troops are home.

This was timely for me because yesterday was a day when I experienced a high degree of hopelessness.  A day that signified the anniversary of an event that so many of us tried to stop through letters

I stand on and around rock, reminded of my small impactful part as a pebble that forms the rock.

and visits to our representatives, protests on the streets, and civil disobedience actions where some of us served jail time or paid fines for our actions.  A day that while the wars continue, from those 8 years ago and long before, and also a day symbolizing new conflicts, adding to the massacres and devastation of our world.  A day when the world was still reeling (and continues to reel) from the horrible devastation in Japan, with so many stories coming out of that event  leaving me awed in so many different ways.  Yet as the people of that nation fight to survive, as world hunger increases, as children around the world are subject to the atrocities created by the rich and greedy, as forests are disappearing…. the wars continue, families continue to be torn apart, the priorities of protecting and preserving life (or lack thereof) are only in the best interest of those that make the most monetary profit, the rate of unemployment and homelessness continues to rise, our civil rights continue to be degraded, the future of life on our planet continues to be held in question as the “leaders” continue to ignore the realities of climate change and also the inherent risks associated with the continuing development of energy using poison for fuel….and so, yes, I had a few moments yesterday of feeling like no matter what I do, my acts do not have any kind of impact in the scheme of things.

And then appeared Carole Whelan’s act of bravery in speaking the truth.  A smile came across my face as I knew then that her dignified act reminded me that I am a pebble amongst all the other pebbles of inspiration in this world, and that all the acts, small and large – from these pebbles united – all of us here and the many other women and men in the world – form the rock that prove to be the foundational inspiration to others who will choose to be pebbles among us. Our continuing fortitude, persistence, unwavering commitment to life on our planet continue to serve as examples to those who will follow…..together we are the conglomerate rock on which our future generations will stand to move forward with the conviction and bravery to take action against the injustices in our world.

Below is the text of Carole Whelan’s short but powerful statement, followed by media footage links. Continue reading