The Hypocrisy Of Obama’s Speech

Nuclear-free aspirations of Obama, Abe conflict with reality
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Originally published May 25, 2016 at 11:31 pm Updated May 26, 2016 at 7:26 am
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Ujibashi bridge as they visit the Ise Jingu shrine in Ise, Mie prefecture, Japan Thursday, May 26, 2016 , ahead of the first session of the G-7 summit meetings. (Toru Hanai/Pool Photo via AP)
By FOSTER KLUG
The Associated Press
TOBA, Japan (AP) — There is the soaring rhetoric. And then there’s the messy reality.
When U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe make a historic visit to Hiroshima on Friday — the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the site of the first atomic bomb attack — their words advocating nuclear disarmament will clash with real-world security necessities.
Far from backing up the vision of a world without nuclear bombs that Obama laid out in a 2009 speech that helped secure a Nobel Peace Prize, his near-finished presidency has seen a multibillion-dollar modernization of the U.S. nuclear force.
Japan’s long postwar commitment to disarmament, meanwhile, is only possible because of its reliance on the so-called American “nuclear umbrella” that protects it from antagonistic North Korea and China. Tokyo, should it choose, could probably easily convert its advanced civilian nuclear program into a weapons program, and some conservatives in Abe’s ruling party have argued that the country’s pacifist constitution technically allows nuclear weapons.
In advance of flying to Hiroshima, Obama said Thursday that the dropping of the atomic bomb was an inflection point in modern history and something everybody must deal with.
“I do think that part of the reason I’m going is because I want to once again underscore the very real risks that are out there, and the sense of urgency that we all should have,” Obama told reporters in Shima, Japan, after meeting with leaders of major advanced economies. “It’s not only a reminder of the terrible toll of World War II and the death of innocents across continents, but it’s also to remind ourselves that the job’s not done.”
Despite his own mixed record on nukes, Obama likely sees his Hiroshima visit as a worthwhile expenditure of political capital in order to shore up a global nonproliferation effort that seems at times to be crumbling.
Before the most recent of a series of nuclear security summits meant to reduce and protect nuclear material, Obama wrote in March that eliminating all nuclear weapons may not happen in his lifetime. “But we have begun. As the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them. Still, no one nation can realize this vision alone. It must be the work of the world.”
Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons was challenged almost immediately.
His April 2009 speech in Prague happened within hours of North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket that outsiders, including the United Nations, called a cover for a test of banned missile technology. Pyongyang is still barreling ahead in its push for nuclear-armed missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland.
Obama secured a deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program, if it can be implemented amid mistrust on both sides. But Pakistan and India are still locked in a nuclear standoff. The United States and Russia, which have most of the world’s nuclear weapons, often see their geopolitical jockeying for position interfere with disarmament efforts. And there are growing worries about the security of nuclear fuel sites around the world.
Obama’s trip to Hiroshima also comes amid anxiety that North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile capabilities could lead to the top U.S. allies in Asia, Japan and South Korea, starting their own nuclear weapons programs.
It is highly unlikely either country will go nuclear. It could cause huge political and economic damage — crippling sanctions, global condemnation — and jeopardize their alliances with the United States.
But a small group in South Korea, including some conservative members of the ruling party, and some in Japan see the North Korean danger as too grave to rely only on the protection of another country. They also question whether, despite rhetoric from U.S. officials about an “ironclad” alliance, Washington would really use nuclear weapons and risk the lives of thousands of American troops should a belligerent North Korea attack.
The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s top newspaper by circulation, said in an editorial weeks after North Korea’s nuclear test in January that discussions in Seoul on acquiring nuclear weapons were inevitable.
Judging by the level of American involvement in crises in Ukraine and Syria, for example, the newspaper said any U.S. help would come only after Seoul is turned into a “pile of ashes” by a North Korean nuclear attack.
This fear has been highlighted by Donald Trump, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican party in the United States. He has questioned the amount of money the U.S. military is forced to spend to protect its allies, and has suggested that Japan and South Korea should be allowed to develop their own nuclear weapons.
Japan prides itself on its pacifism and disarmament, but it is only through U.S. nuclear deterrence that the country can live alongside nuclear-armed North Korea, China and Russia, without going nuclear itself.
“Some say this is hypocritical,” said Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank, “but I think it is just common sense and good national security policy. The Japanese would certainly be happier if no one had nuclear weapons, but as long as several of its neighbors have them, they welcome being under America’s nuclear umbrella.”
Yukio Okamoto, a former Japanese diplomat, said Tokyo “is in the most difficult position” because it is a nuclear bomb victim, surrounded by potentially hostile nuclear-armed states and dependent for its survival on U.S. nuclear deterrence.
“We have to walk through a very narrow passage of trying our sincere efforts toward total elimination in the long term, but at the same time trying to preserve the alliance with the United States and not to tarnish the security relationship, especially the nuclear deterrence,” Okamoto said.
Obama finds himself divided between his anti-nuclear vision and the realities of leading a global power.
Worries about Japan and South Korea producing nuclear weapons mean the United States must offer them nuclear protection, thereby “going against Obama’s own call for global denuclearization,” Charles Armstrong, an Asia expert at Columbia University, said. “At the same time, the U.S. is modernizing its own nuclear arsenal. Thus, U.S. actions and goals are not entirely consistent.”
Obama’s trip to Hiroshima will be filled with images of the horrors of nuclear war, and lofty statements about the need to eliminate those weapons. But some argue that for the visit to be successful, it must highlight Asia’s real nuclear dangers.
Michael Auslin, an analyst with the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, told The Japan Times: “Asia is concerned about how Washington will deal with a more assertive China and a nuclear North Korea, not with an unrealistic aspiration to rid the world of nuclear weapons.”
Obama may not be able to escape criticism from all sides.
Many conservatives in the United States believe a Hiroshima visit will be a failure because it will be seen as an apology. Nonproliferation activists believe he has not gone far enough in efforts to “earn” his Nobel Prize.
“I did think Obama was serious about his nuclear-free world, but that was six or seven years ago. We are no closer today than we were when he took office to achieving that end,” said Bruce Cumings, an Asia expert at the University of Chicago. “I’m sure he will bring up getting rid of nukes in his speech, but he’s in a much weaker position today, because of the ongoing upgrading of American nuclear weapons.”
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AP writer Ken Moritsugu contributed to this report from Tokyo.

The U.S. Visits The Site Of The Crime

Hiroshima: We Are Death

Hiroshima: We Are Death

Why Obama’s Trip to Hiroshima Matters more than You Might Think

William Lambers is the author of Nuclear Weapons and The Road to Peace. His writings have been published by History News Network, Huffington Post and Spectrum, the official magazine of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

History is being made this week with President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. He is the only sitting U.S. president to make the trip to the site of the first atomic bombing on Japan during World War II.
Mary Popeo, of the nuclear disarmament group Global Zero, exclaims, “Having spent three summers in Hiroshima and Nagasaki working with the Japanese bomb victims and the Japanese peace movement, I can tell you that Obama’s trip is a huge deal!”

The President should use this historic opportunity to build support for the global treaty ending nuclear weapons testing. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is the key to unlocking the door to a future without the crushing burden and fear of nuclear weapons. 

But the United States, Israel, China, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea have yet to ratify the treaty. So it has not taken effect worldwide. It just sits waiting for leadership to act. Most notably is the absence of the United States, the leading nuclear power.

Now Japan has acted. They have ratified the treaty and been outspoken in its support. Japan is taking a leadership role with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, trying to get every nation to join. We should listen to them. 

The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War II, a conflict which caused so much suffering for Americans, Japanese and many other peoples. Ever since we have lived with the risk that these weapons could be used again. Only they would be even more powerful. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, quotes a Hiroshima survivor: “the threat of nuclear weapons, created by the wisdom of mankind, is a serious issue of human survival that cannot be ignored even for a day.”

In 1946, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey studied the effects of the atomic bomb. Their report concluded: “No more forceful arguments for peace and for the international machinery of peace than the sight of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have ever been devised. As the developer and exploiter of this ominous weapon, our nation has a responsibility, which no American should shirk, to lead in establishing and implementing the international guarantees and controls which will prevent its future use.”
During the Cold War nuclear weapons testing by both the United States and the Soviet Union proliferated, causing major international tension. President Dwight Eisenhower, in his second term, was influenced greatly by his science advisors that a ban on nuclear testing was possible and essential for national security. 

Eisenhower, in a 1961 interview with Walter Cronkite, said that not achieving a ban on nuclear testing would “have to be classed as the greatest disappointment of any administration — of any decade — of any time and of any party.” He thought it was vital to take the expensive burden of nukes off the backs of mankind. 

Ike’s efforts helped lead to a limited treaty signed by President Kennedy in 1963 banning nuke explosions in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. It had the support of both Republicans and Democrats. In fact, Eisenhower administration members worked to help Kennedy achieve passage of the treaty in the Senate. 

But with underground tests allowed to continue the treaty was only a stepping stone. We have not yet taken that crucial next step.
The United States had a chance to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1999 when Bill Clinton was president. They could have slammed the door on nuclear testing for good. Former Eisenhower aide and leading national security advisor, General Andrew Goodpaster, wrote to the Senate urging them to vote in favor of the treaty. The CTBT was rejected by the Senate in late 1999 much to disappointment of the world.

The Republican Party, which had done so much to advance the cause of ending nuke testing, turned against it in that Senate vote. This was a major blow for nuclear arms control, disarmament and peace efforts. 

Today, the United States and Russia still have thousands of nukes each. And China, India, Pakistan and other nations are well armed with nukes. With no treaty in effect, nations could resume testing nukes at any time. This would cause a major arms race. 

The risk of nuclear terrorism or accidental launch make nuclear disarmament a very crucial goal for all nations.

Then there is the cost. Global Zero estimates that nations will spend a trillion dollars on nuclear weapons over the next decade. 

How can we justify pouring money into these weapons when there is so much hunger, disease, and poverty? These issues threaten stability more than anything. Look at the massive number of refugees around the world. We can’t ignore their plight. 

So all nations share a common interest in getting the burden of nukes off their backs. But reducing nuclear weapons is not something you achieve overnight. You have to build confidence in the process. 

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a step that the United States can take now. The Republican led Senate could show leadership for peace and ratify the treaty. President Obama would sign it.

We have no need to test nuclear weapons because computer technology under the Stockpile Stewardship program monitors their safety and reliability. Vice President Joe Biden says “our labs know more about our arsenal today than when we used to explode our weapons on a regular basis.”

The International Monitoring system of the treaty has detected all of North Korea’s nuclear tests. There are stations all over the globe, so it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a nation to cheat.

Japan wants to work with the United States on ending nuclear testing and building a world with no nukes. The visit by President Obama to Hiroshima this week is a fantastic opportunity to invigorate this peace movement. Japan and the United States, once at war, can now walk together in peace. What more fitting than for the two nations to lead a global movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. The right place to start would be to end nuclear testing by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

A Sign of the End: Visiting The Crime Scene (Ezekiel 17)

Obama to make first Presidential visit to US atomic bomb attack site in Hiroshima

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WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Barack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit the site of the US atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, Japan, later this month, the White House said Tuesday.The visit fulfills a wish Obama expressed early in his presidency to visit the charged location where tens of thousands of Japanese civilians were killed in a nuclear blast at the end of World War II.
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Weighing the visit, the White House officials faced a careful balance of whether Obama’s presence would amount to an apology for using nuclear weapons, a move many historians consider essential to ending the war, the CNN reported. 
 
Today Hiroshima is the site of a park and museum dedicated to memorializing the victims of the attack and promoting peace and nuclear disarmament. The president’s visit will “highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the White House said in a statement.

According to the White House, the United States does not owe Japan a formal apology for using the atomic bomb in August 1945. But officials say the visit will serve as a reminder the terrible destruction that nuclear weapons can inflict.

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“He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, wrote on Medium Tuesday. “Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”

Rhodes said Obama would deliver remarks on nuclear non-proliferation – a central tenet of the President’s foreign policy – during the stop in Hiroshima, which is scheduled for May 27.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would accompany Obama on the stop, which comes after a meeting of the Group of 7 in Ise-Shima.

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Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-ranking US official to pay respects at the site, and hinted that Obama would soon make his own visit.

Obama and his aides have long debated making a presidential stop in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, where the US dropped a second atomic bomb three days after the Hiroshima attack.

On his first visit to Japan in 2009, Obama expressed a desire to stop in one of the cities before leaving office. “The memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are etched in the minds of the world, and I would be honored to have the opportunity to visit those cities at some point during my presidency,” he said.

Hiroshi Harada, a 75-year-old atomic bomb survivor and former head of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan.–File photo

Hiroshi Harada, a 75-year-old atomic bomb survivor and former head of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan.–File photo

But even in Tokyo, a visit by a US president to the site of the nuclear destruction hasn’t always been welcome. Ahead of Obama’s first trip to Japan in 2009, a Japanese government official said “it would be premature to include a visit to Hiroshima,” recommending instead that Obama remain near the capital.

But as the United States and Japan have worked through other World War II-era grievances, a visit to the location became more tenable.

Why Hiroshima Never Should Have Happened

Kerry says Hiroshima ‘gut-wrenching’ reminder world should abandon nuclear weapons

Kerry says Hiroshima ‘gut-wrenching’ reminder world should abandon nuclear weapons
HIROSHIMA: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called his visit to a memorial to victims of the 1945 US nuclear attack on Hiroshima “gut-wrenching” and said it was a reminder of the need to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons.

The first US secretary of state to visit Hiroshima, Kerry said President Barack Obama also wanted to travel to the city in southern Japan but he did not know whether the leader’s complex schedule would allow him to do so when he visits the country for a Group of Seven (G7) summit in May.

Kerry toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum, whose haunting displays include photographs of badly burned victims, the tattered and stained clothes they wore and statues depicting them with flesh melting from their limbs.

“It is a stunning display. It is a gut-wrenching display,” he said. “It is a reminder of the depth of the obligation everyone of us in public life carries…to create and pursue a world free from nuclear weapons,” he told a news conference.

After the tour by Kerry and his fellow G7 foreign ministers, the group issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to building a world without nuclear arms but said the push had been made more complex by North Korea’s repeated “provocations” and by worsening security in Syria and Ukraine.
The ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States laid white wreaths at a cenotaph to the victims of the August 6, 1945, bombing, which reduced the city to ashes and killed some 140,000 people by the end of that year.

While he is not the highest-ranking US official to have toured the museum and memorial park, a distinction that belongs to then-US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in 2008, Kerry is the most senior executive branch official to visit.

“Everyone in the world should see and feel the power of this memorial. It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself,” the chief US diplomat wrote in a guest book.

Asked later if this meant Obama should come, Kerry said: “Everyone means everyone. So I hope one day the president of the United States will be among the everyone who is able to come here. Whether or not he can come as president, I don’t know.”

‘First step’

At Kerry’s suggestion, the ministers also made an impromptu visit to the Atomic Bomb Dome, the skeletal remains of the only structure left standing near the hypocentre of the bomb explosion and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Three days after a US warplane dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945. Japan surrendered six days later.

A visit by Obama could be controversial in America if it were viewed as an apology.

A majority of Americans view the bombings as justified to end the war and save US lives, while the vast majority of Japanese believe it was not justified.

Hopes for Obama’s visit to Hiroshima were raised after an April 2009 speech in Prague when he called for a world without nuclear weapons.

He later said that he would be honoured to visit the two nuclear-attacked cities.

The G7 foreign ministers’ trip to the museum and memorial is part of Japan’s effort to send a strong nuclear disarmament message from Hiroshima, the world’s first city to suffer atomic bombing.
“I think this first-ever visit by G7 foreign ministers to the peace memorial park is a historic first step towards reviving momentum toward a world without nuclear weapons,” Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement.

He later told a news conference that it was “inconceivable” that Japan would ever decide to have nuclear weapons.

Last month, US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Japan and South Korea should build such weapons to deter enemies.

In a separate, detailed statement, the G7 ministers singled out North Korea for sharp criticism, condemning its recent nuclear test and launches using ballistic missile technology.

And in a statement on maritime security, they voiced their strong opposition to provocative attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas, an apparent reference to China, which is locked in territorial disputes with other nations including the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.

Babylon the Great Will Pay For Hiroshima (Revelation 17)


Kerry plans no apology for wartime atomic bomb on Hiroshima visit


By Arshad Mohammed and Kiyoshi Takenaka

HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – John Kerry will not offer an apology for the United States’ use of the atomic bomb against Japan when he becomes the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Monday, a senior U.S. official said.

Kerry is visiting the city, which was obliterated by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, to attend gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies that Japan opened on Sunday with a call to end nuclear weapons.

The U.S. diplomat is to join his counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan on Monday to tour the city’s atomic bomb museum and to lay flowers at a cenotaph for its victims, becoming the first in his post to do so.

“If you are asking whether the secretary of state came to Hiroshima to apologise, the answer is no,” a senior U.S. official told reporters late on Sunday.

“If you are asking whether the secretary and I think all Americans and all Japanese are filled with sorrow at the tragedies that befell so many of our countrymen, the answer is yes,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.

Kerry’s trip could pave the way for an unprecedented visit to Hiroshima by a sitting U.S. president when Barack Obama attends the annual G7 summit to be held in Japan next month.

While saying the White House has yet to make a decision, the senior U.S. official said Obama has shown he is willing to do controversial things such as visiting Havana last month.

The official suggested there was no “great or insurmountable angst about the optics or the politics of a visit to Hiroshima.”

He also said there was no Japanese effort to seek a U.S. apology, “nor is there any interest in reopening the question of blame for the sequence of events that culminated in the use of the atomic bomb.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who presides over the two-day meeting, on Sunday said ministers will discuss anti-terrorism steps, maritime security and issues related to North Korea, Ukraine and the Middle East.

The Many Sins of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18)


America’s “Love Affair” With Nuclear and Radioactive Weapons
By Ulson Gunnar
Global Research, February 13, 2016
The United States would have the world believe that it is in mortal danger should nations like Iran or North Korea obtain operationally effective nuclear weapons. We are told that there is a grave risk of these weapons being used against another nation and that the US (with the support of the “international community”) must confront these government, and if possible undermine and overthrow them. Why?
Since a nation has already used nuclear weapons against another state, ironically enough that nation being the United States itself, we already know the devastating effects of nuclear weapons. Besides the immense, indiscriminate initial blast, nuclear weapons also produce a persistent radioactive threat amid the fallout afterwards.
The fallout and the catastrophic effects it has on human health for years afterward make nuclear weapons particularly horrifying and abhorrent. The United States didn’t drop only one nuclear bomb on another nation, Japan, it dropped two. The data collected in the aftermath of these attacks have helped form our collective fear of these weapons.
Ironically the US is using the fear its own nuclear warfare has created as leverage to wage still more war.
Depleted Uranium – All the Fallout, None of the Bang
But what if the catastrophic human health effects of fallout could be achieved without the immense, city-flattening initial explosion? What if you could use a weapon to induce long-term spikes in cancer and birth defects without the political ramifications of dropping a nuclear bomb on a population? Some readers may be tempted to cite “dirty bombs,” and they would be partially correct. But there is another correct answer. Depleted uranium or DU ammunition.
Depleted uranium is one of the densest materials munitions can be made out of. Because of their density, they are able to penetrate armor other rounds cannot. DU was initially conceived as an additional deterrence, a weapon of last resort in the event of a full-scale Soviet invasion of Western Europe during the Cold War.
Because of the overwhelming number of tanks the Soviet Union possessed, it was believed extraordinary measures would be needed to even the odds, even at the cost of radioactive contamination of the battlefield.
The catastrophic effects of littering the battlefield with contaminated ammunition possessing a half-life of several billion years was a risk NATO was willing to take to ensure the survival of Western Europe. How then, did this weapon of last resort become a weapon commonly used?
The first Gulf War in 1990, Operation Desert Storm, included the heavy use of this doomsday contingency. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) in their recent piece titled, ““The most toxic war in history” – 25 years later,” would note:
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Gulf War. Precipitated by Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait in August 1990, the conflict was the first to see the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition. US and UK forces subsequently acknowledged firing a combined 286,000kg of DU – the vast majority of which was fired by US Abrams and M60 tanks, and A10 and Harrier aircraft.
ICBUW would also note that the use of DU has impacted both soldiers who used the weapons as well as civilians trapped on or near battlefields they were used on.
Latinos Health included in one of their recent articles the following caption:
The Czech military is testing all of its soldiers that served in the Balkans for possible signs of Balkan Syndrome, an unexplained condition that is thought to be caused by depleted uranium used in NATO ammunition. Recent media reports claim that scientists have found evidence of Uranium 236 in blood samples from soldiers who served in the Gulf War, where depleted uranium ammunition was also used.
It should strike people as disturbing that the United States poses as the greatest advocate against weapons of mass destruction and a champion for preserving the lives and wellbeing of innocent people affected by war, all while using weapons of mass destruction, repeatedly, at the expense of innocent lives affected by their various wars.
DU has turned up in both Iraq wars, NATO’s intervention in the Balkans and in Afghanistan. Courts around the world have ruled in favor on several cases regarding the effects of DU, including a British Gulf War veteran who became ill because of the radioactive weapons.
The BBC would report in their story, “Gulf soldier wins pension fight,” that:
A former soldier is believed to be the first veteran to win a war pension appeal after suffering depleted uranium poisoning during the first Gulf War.
A tribunal in Edinburgh found in favour of Kenny Duncan from Clackmannanshire who became ill after his service in the Middle East.
He had helped move tanks destroyed by shells containing depleted uranium.
One can only wonder how many nameless, faceless and voiceless civilians living on or near former battlefields have also been affected like Mr. Duncan from Clackmannanshire, who will never receive the assistance needed to recover from what America’s indiscriminate and unnecessary use of radiological weapons has done to them and their communities.
While it is hopeful seeing mounting awareness and subsequent pressure being applied to the United States and other governments around the world who might also consider using this weapon and others like it, we are still faced with the problem that the US, essentially the worst violator when it comes to nuclear and radiological weapons, poses as the primary advocate policing the world against them.
Not only is the US guilty of immense hypocrisy, it has managed to hijack what are supposed to be “international institutions” to help perpetrate this hypocrisy. This is yet another example of just how important it is to establish a true balance of global power through a multipolar system of sovereign nations, in place of the “international order” that currently exists, which sidesteps nation sovereignty and empowers global criminality rather than stopping it.
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Too Little Too Late (Revelation 9)

 

70 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Urgency of Banning Nuclear Weapons
 
15 hours ago | Updated 14 hours ago

Catherine Maia Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University Lusófona of Porto (Portugal), visiting professor at Sciences Po Paris and the Catholic University of Lille (France)
Jean-Marie Collin Vice president of the organization Arrêtez La Bombe and France Director of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (France)

Seventy years ago, the two nuclear bombs that were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the world into the era of mass destruction by killing, in a flash, more than 200,000 people. Nowadays, nine states still hold 16,000 nuclear weapons, of a power far greater than that of Little Boy and Fatman used on August 6th and 9th, 1945. Regarding their devastating impact on natural and human environment, it is more than time to move forward on the way to the prohibition of such weapons.

The typology of weapons is divided into two camps: on the one hand, conventional weapons, which have a limited impact and scope; on the other hand, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), intended to kill indiscriminately both soldiers and civilians, and more widely all living organisms, with devastating and lasting effects on the environment. Within this second category, are gathered chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Due to their non-selective action and long-term consequences, the international community has endeavored to adopt conventions aimed at the prohibition of the development, the production, the storage and the use of chemical and biological weapons.

Paradoxically, if these weapons are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, their use remains complex, because subject to numerous uncertainties, in particular meteorological ones.

Nuclear weapons, for their part, have much more destructive effects, as illustrated by the case of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. As the environmental, health and human impact of the 67 tests conducted on this small territory in the 1950s and 1960s continue to persist today, this David of the Pacific decided in 2014 to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in order to gain recognition of the violation, by the nuclear Goliaths, of their obligations in the field of nuclear disarmament.

Surprisingly, while the proliferation of nuclear weapons is combated legally and diplomatically, with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for now, there is no universal consensus to promote their ban. Certainly, efforts have been made on this path. Thus, the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) came to restrict the right to own such weapons to the five states that detonated a nuclear device before January 1st, 1967 (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China). In return, they committed themselves to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a general and complete nuclear disarmament. Furthermore, as recognized by the ICJ in an advisory opinion of 1966, “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law”, in particular because they operate indiscriminately and cause unnecessary harm.
It is certainly to protect itself against potential convictions that France was careful to join to its ratification of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) of 1998 an interpretative declaration – the validity of which is questionable – that provisions on war crimes would concern exclusively conventional weapons and could not prohibit the use of nuclear weapons. France is, moreover, the only country in the “nuclear club”, with Britain, to have ratified this treaty. Sign, however, that this approach is far from consensual, its interpretation remained isolated, while other countries (Egypt, New Zealand, Sweden), on the contrary, declared in the occasion of their signature or ratification of the ICC Statute that the provisions concerning war crimes apply whatever the means and the types of weapons used, including nuclear weapons. In May 2015, the NPT Review Conference highlighted this categorical opposition between the minority of nuclear states and the majority of non-nuclear states.

Despite this opposition, nowadays, the request to prohibit nuclear weapons is always more significant. There are many resolutions, including those of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Health Organization and the General Assembly of the UN, which emphasize that nuclear weapons represent a real threat to the very existence of humankind and, therefore, that the only path to follow is their legal prohibition.

Since 2010, the humanitarian imperative that prevailed in the various international forums consisted in stressing the dangers caused by a detonation, whether it is voluntary, accidental or malicious. This approach has allowed the emergence of awareness of states about the urgency to fill the legal vacuum surrounding these weapons, which, as noted by the ICJ in 1996, are neither authorized nor completely and universally prohibited by international law. Thus, following the 3rd Intergovernmental Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, held in Vienna (Austria) in 2014, a “Humanitarian Pledge”, inviting the parties to the NPT to take effective measures to prohibit and then to eliminate nuclear weapons, has been joined by a growing number of signatories, now amounting to 113 states.

Promoting the prohibition of nuclear weapons is not an easy task in front of the determination of the nuclear powers and states under the NATO umbrella to defend the deterrent value of nuclear weapons for their security. However, it is a priority for many states and civil society organizations for which a multilateral agreement of banning is essential. The goal is to create the legal basis that will open the door to the second stage, that of the total abolition of nuclear weapons. It is, in fact, impossible to implement a process of elimination, probably lengthy and complex, if the possession of a nuclear arsenal is not previously prohibited.

Seventy years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world can not remain in this legal no man’s land, between threat of mass destruction and balance of terror. Accepting the status quo means admitting the scenario of a backward and, thereby, that an atomic bombing could again occur.

1945 Survivors Warn Us Of The Bowls Of Wrath (Rev 16)

 

Japan’s atomic bomb survivors continue in fight against nuclear weapons

As Japan prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear attack, survivors ponder how to continue warning of the horrors of nuclear war

Justin McCurry in Hiroshima
Friday 31 July 2015 09.15 EDT

It is not as if Sunao Tsuboi needs another reminder of his violent encounter, as a 20-year-old university student, with a “living hell on earth”. The facial scars he has carried for seven decades are proof enough. But, as if to remind himself of the day he became a witness to the horrors of nuclear warfare, he removes a a black-and-white photograph and points to the shaved head of a young man looking away from the lens.

“That’s me,” he says. “We were hoping we would find some sort of medical help, but there was no treatment available, and no food or water. I thought I had reached the end.”

The location is Miyuki Bridge, Hiroshima, three hours after the Enola Gay, a US B-29 bomber, dropped a 15-kiloton nuclear bomb on the city on the morning of 6 August 1945. Between 60,000 and 80,000 people were killed instantly; in the months that followed the death toll rose to 140,000.
In the photo, one of only a handful of surviving images taken in Hiroshima that day, Tsuboi is sitting on the road with several other people, their gaze directed at the gutted buildings around them. To one side, police officers douse schoolchildren with cooking oil to help soothe the pain of their burns.

As Japan prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear attack in history, Tsuboi and tens of thousands of other hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) are again confronting their own mortality.
“People like me are losing the strength to talk about their experiences and continue the campaign against nuclear weapons,” says Tsuboi, a retired school principal who has travelled the world to warn of the horrors of nuclear warfare.

The average age of the 183,000 registered survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks rose just above 80 for the first time last month.

While each has a unique recollection of the morning of 6 August and its aftermath, near disbelief at the scale of destruction is a theme that runs through hibakusha testimony.

Tsuboi remembers hearing a loud bang, then being blown into the air and landing 10 metres away. He regained consciousness to find he had been burned over most of his body, his shirtsleeves and trouser legs ripped off by the force of the blast.

“My arms were badly burned and there seemed to be something dripping from my fingertips,” said Tsuboi, who is co-chair of Nihon Hidankyo, a nationwide organisation of atomic and hydrogen bomb sufferers.

“My back was incredibly painful, but I had no idea what had just happened. I assumed I had been close to a very large conventional bomb. I had no idea it was a nuclear bomb and that I’d been exposed to radiation. There was so much smoke in the air that you could barely see 100 metres ahead, but what I did see convinced me that I had entered a living hell on earth.

“There were people crying out for help, calling after members of their family. I saw a schoolgirl with her eye hanging out of its socket. People looked like ghosts, bleeding and trying to walk before collapsing. Some had lost limbs.

There were charred bodies everywhere, including in the river. I looked down and saw a man clutching a hole in his stomach, trying to stop his organs from spilling out. The smell of burning flesh was overpowering.”

He was taken to a hospital, where he remained unconscious for over a month. By the time he came to, a defeated Japan was under the control of the US-led allied occupation. “I had no idea that the war had ended,” he said. “It was difficult to take in.”

Since then Tsuboi has been hospitalised 11 times, including three occasions when doctors told him he was about to die. He takes drugs for several illnesses, including two cancer diagnoses, which he says are connected to his exposure to radiation.

While the A-bomb survivors’ testimony is now a matter of historical record, the hibakusha are trying to ensure that their experiences don’t die with them, at a time when the world is facing nuclear threats from North Korea and Russia.

Earlier this year one of the most active branches of Hidankyo announced it would disband after its members, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s, conceded they were too old to continue their activities.

“In 10 years, I’d be surprised if there are many of us left,” says Hiroshi Shimizu, a Hidankyo official who was three years old when the Hiroshima bomb exploded a mile (1.6km) from his home.
“If the hibakusha continue to speak out against nuclear weapons, then other people will follow suit. That’s why we have to continue our campaign for as long as we are physically able.”
Hiroshima and Kunitachi, a small city in western Tokyo with a small population of A-bomb survivors, have tried to preserve the hibakusha legacy by setting up “storyteller” courses open to people who have no direct experience of the attacks and no A-bomb survivors among their relatives. Hidankyo, meanwhile, has started reaching out to the children and grandchildren of hibakusha.
Last month, Yoshiko Kajimoto, an 84-year-old survivor, recounted her experiences via Skype to dozens of members of the British parliament, and a delegation of hibakusha recently took part in a 24-country “voyage for peace” with the Japanese NGO Peace Boat.

As of August 2014, the number of people recognised as having died from the effects of the two atomic bombs stood at more than 450,000: 292,325 in Hiroshima and 165,409 in Nagasaki, which was bombed three days later. On 15 August, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to a shattered nation.

“I won’t be here in 10 or 15 years’ time, so the question we’re all asking is how to continue sending our message,” said Hiroko Hatakeyama, who was six in 1945.

“I barely have the energy to campaign these days, and I’m no longer scared of dying. But at the same time I realise that it’s our duty as survivors to carry on for as long as possible, to honour the memory of those who are no longer with us.”

Tsuboi, who went on to have three children and seven grandchildren, will make his annual pilgrimage to Hiroshima Peace Park on 6 August. That evening, he will release a lantern along the Motoyasu river – where thousands fled to escape the heat of the nuclear blast – to “guide” the spirits of the dead.

In his role as one of the world’s most active A-bomb survivors, Tsuboi will have a brief conversation with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, whom he has criticised for attacking the country’s postwar commitment to pacifism.

“On behalf of all A-bomb victims, I will ask him to do everything in his power to rid the world of nuclear weapons,” Tsuboi said. “I will continue to repeat that demand until my last breath.”

The Bowls Of Wrath (Revelation 16)

Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki, Aug. 9, 1945. Credit U.S. Army A.A.F. photo/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
There are good reasons for writing a book about the atom bombing of Nagasaki and its agonizing aftermath. Most people have heard of Hiroshima. The second bomb — dropped by an Irish-American pilot almost exactly above the largest Catholic church in Asia, which killed more than 70,000 civilians on the day and more in the long term — is less well known.
Susan Southard’s harrowing descriptions give us some idea of what it must have been like for people who were unlucky enough not to be killed instantly: “A woman who covered her eyes from the flash lowered her hands to find that the skin of her face had melted into her palms”; “Hundreds of field workers and others staggered by, moaning and crying. Some were missing body parts, and others were so badly burned that even though they were naked, Yoshida couldn’t tell if they were men or women. He saw one person whose eyeballs hung down his face, the sockets empty.”
Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, which had developed the atom bomb, testified before the United States Senate that death from high-dose radiation was “without undue suffering,” and indeed “a very pleasant way to die.”
Many survivors died later, always very unpleasantly, of radiation sickness. Their hair would fall out, they would be covered in purple spots, their skin would rot. And those who survived the first wave of sickness after the war had a much higher than average chance of dying of leukemia or other cancers even decades later.
What made things worse for Japanese doctors who tried to ease the suffering of atom-bomb victims is that information about the bomb and its effects was censored by the American administration occupying Japan until the early 1950s. Even as readers here were shocked in 1946 by John Hersey’s description of the Hiroshima bomb in The New Yorker, the ensuing book was banned in Japan. Films and photographs of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as medical data, were confiscated by American authorities.
The strength of Southard’s book is that her account is remarkably free of abstractions. She is a theater director, albeit one with an M.F.A. in creative writing, and her interest in the story began in 1986, when she was hired as a translator for one of her subjects who was on a speaking tour in the United States. Instead of statistics, she concentrates, like Hersey, on the fates of individuals. We read about Wada Koichi, an 18-year-old student worker for the municipal streetcar company, as well as a 16-year-old schoolgirl named Nagano Etsuko, another teenage girl named Do-oh Mineko, a 13-year-old boy named Yoshida Katsuji, and several others.
They were so badly disfigured by the blast that it not only took them years to recover some kind of health, but they were also hesitant to reveal themselves in public. Children would cry or run away from them, thinking they were monsters. Younger survivors were often bullied at school. Atom-bomb victims (hibakusha) found it hard to find marriage partners, because people were afraid of passing genetic diseases to their offspring.
The only reason we know about the people described by Southard is that all of them overcame their deep embarrassment and “came out,” as it were, as kataribe, or “storytellers” about the atom bomb, reminding people of the horrors of nuclear war by speaking in public, at schools, conferences and peace gatherings all over the world.
Without excusing Japanese wartime behavior, Southard writes with compassion about Japanese victims, and measured indignation about postwar American evasions and hypocrisy. Although her lack of theory and abstraction is a blessing, she might have analyzed the politics of discrimination, as well as the nuclear issue in Japan, a bit more closely.
Hibakusha were not just ostracized because of their grotesque scars. It so happened that the epicenter of the bomb was over an area called Urakami, which was inhabited not only by a large number of Christians, but also by traditional outcasts, or burakumin, the people who did jobs that were polluted in Buddhist eyes: jobs that had to do with death, like those in the meat or leather industries.
As a consequence, the borderlines between hibakusha and burakumin became blurred. Christians, too, although not outcasts, had been persecuted, even after religious freedom was granted in the late 19th century, because of their suspected lack of patriotism. It was often assumed that they would be more loyal to the Vatican than to the Japanese emperor.
And yet the most celebrated victim of the bomb was a young man named Nagai Takashi, a Christian physician who wrote “The Bells of Nagasaki” in 1949, before dying a few years later. Dr. Nagai, also known as “the saint of Urakami,” regarded the bombing in terms of Christian martyrdom: Nagasaki was sacrificed to pay for the sins of war.
The subjects of Southard’s book did not see their suffering in this light. But there is something evangelical about the kataribe’s mission of peace. Wada, Do-oh, Yoshida and the others found a meaning in their lives by spreading the word about the evil of nuclear bombs. World peace became something like a religious mantra. One has to feel sympathy for this. Their suffering ought not to be forgotten, and neither should the horrendous effects of such cruel and destructive weapons. What could be unleashed on cities today would be immensely more devastating than the bombs that obliterated much of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Nonetheless, preaching world peace and expressing moral condemnation of nuclear bombs as an absolute evil are not a sufficient response to the dangers facing mankind. For even though the kataribe of Nagasaki, and their sympathetic American interlocutor, are driven by human rather than political concerns, the peace movement they promote was politicized from the beginning.
Southard mentions Nagasaki Peace Park, for example, with its many monuments to world peace. The park was established in 1955. Many of the monuments donated by foreign countries were from such places as the Soviet Union, Poland, Cuba, the People’s Republic of China and East Germany. The peace movement was at least partly a propaganda tool in the Cold War. That killing a massive number of civilians with a radiating bomb is an act of barbarism is hard to refute. Whether the world would have been a safer place on the terms of the Soviet Union and its satellites is less clear.
Domestically, too, Japanese anti­nuclear and peace organizations were manipulated by political interests, conservative as well as leftist. Right-wing nationalists like to cancel out the history of Japanese atrocities (which they often deny anyway) by claiming that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were far worse. Left-wing pacifism has often been just as anti-American, but from the opposite political perspective.
Since Southard set out to concentrate on individual lives, rather than politics, one cannot really blame her for dodging these complications, but when she does mention them she can be oddly off beam.
In 1990, Motoshima Hiroshi, the Christian mayor of Nagasaki, was shot in the back by a right-wing extremist for publicly holding the Japanese emperor partly responsible for the war. Southard explains that Motoshima “broke a cultural taboo.”
In fact, Motoshima was courageously challenging a right-wing political goal, which is to strengthen the imperial institution, and undo some of the postwar liberal reforms, including pacifism. Southard says these reforms were “forced on Japan by an occupying nation,” which is also what right-wing nationalists claim, I think wrongly. Most Japanese were happy to enjoy their new freedoms. They didn’t have to be forced, for they cooperated quite willingly with the Americans who helped instigate them.
Still, the merits of Southard’s book are clear. It was bad enough for the Americans to have killed so many people, and then hide the gruesome facts for many years after the war. To forget about the massacre now would be an added insult to the victims. Southard has helped to make sure that this will not happen yet.

The Canadian Nuclear Horn (Rev 15:2)

  
On this day in Canadian history

By Rev. Eric Strachan

Saturday, May 16, 2015 3:53:18 EDT PM

Although science and technology open up boundless opportunities, they also present great perils because Satan employs these marvelous discoveries to His great advantage. JAMES E. FAUST
It was on this day, May 16, back in 1930, 85 years ago that Gilbert Labine, a 40-year-old avid prospector, discovered pitchblende at Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories.

Labine, who was born in Westmeath in Renfrew County, Ontario, in 1890, had first seen the brownish-black mineral ore in the hands of a lecturer when he was 17, and as he uncovered the rare shining mineral in the wilderness around the great lake that day, he knew as he recalled the lecture 23 years previous that he had discovered the rare ore from which comes radium and uranium. Such discoveries as James E. Faust once noted, have amazing potential for good, but the same unlimited potential for peril.

Modern technology has given us the Internet with all its incredible ability to accomplish good, but with it has come a proliferation of pornography, hacking, cyberbullying and the current ISIS recruitment. Modern science has produced many wonder drugs that cure, ease pain and sustain life, but the availability of the same drugs have led many to overdose, commit suicide and date rape. For certain, virtually every new discovery has the power to be used for either good or evil, and on that day back in 1930 Labine had absolutely no idea what he held in his hands or what it would be used for in the hands of others in the days ahead.

Uranium of course has many uses. It is used in glass and ceramics, used as ballast in boats, material for armour and of course for nuclear energy, but it is from this same rich ore that there comes the refined product that creates nuclear reactions, the splitting of the atom, the release of extraordinary energy and the atomic bomb. Not long after Labine’s discovery he and his brother Charles opened up the Eldorado uranium mine at Great Bear Lake, employing mostly the Dene (pronounced DEN-ay) people, an aboriginal group living in the Northwest Territories. This was followed soon after with the opening of a refinery in Port Hope, Ont. where both radium and uranium were produced.

As the world moved into the late ’30s it became known to many that German scientists were busily engaged in attempting to build an atomic bomb, and as a counter measure the race for the bomb began with the United States government engaging its own scientists in what was called ‘The Manhattan Project“. In essence the project’s chief aim was to produce an atomic bomb and with so much uranium required for its production and required quickly, the Americans came North to Canada to buy the much needed resource. But on Dec. 7, 1941 something happened that caught the United States by complete surprise, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the American naval base in Hawaii, with bombers, fighter planes and submarines, and completely devastated the American navy. The Americans were therefore thrust into the Second World War, the massive loss of life at Pearl Harbour and the blow to the nation’s pride and patriotism demanded some sort of retaliatory response, an eye for an eye. While the war with Japan continued scientific research in The Manhattan Project was moving along.

Meanwhile in 1944 Eldorado Mines became a Crown Corporation now owned by the Canadian government. It was in July of 1945 that American scientists believed the day had come for them to test the atomic bomb at Los Alamos in New Mexico. History records that on that day, July 16, Robert Oppenheimer the American physicist who oversaw the project and the development of the bomb remarked as he saw the characteristic mushroom cloud, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of the worlds. Now we are all sons of bitches.”

The intensity of the light dispersed from the detonation was so strong that day that a blind girl saw the flash 120 miles away. It took the United States less than a month to respond to Japanese aggression and the ignominy of Pearl Harbor. On Aug. 6, 1945 the monster of the atomic bomb was let loose on Hiroshima, and three days later Nagasaki experienced the same frightful horror. While the uranium was being produced and sold to the United States, the Dene people had absolutely no knowledge of what the uranium was being used for, and when they suddenly discovered it was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki they were in complete shock. For to these aboriginal peoples the land is a sacred trust, and they hold themselves responsible for both its preservation and what it’s used for. The discovery that what was extracted from the mine on their land, by their hands, was a shock to them.
So in 1998 a Dene delegation left their homeland in the Northwest Territories and travelled to Hiroshima to attend the anniversary of the 1945 dropping of the bomb and the accompanying peace ceremonies. There in a filmed and documented emotional exchange they humbly apologized to the Japanese for their involvement in the process that ultimately led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The course of history sometimes weaves a mysterious and complicated pathway. If inventors, scientists and discoverers could somehow see prophetically into the future and envision the results of their discovery, many would chose not only anonymity but would wish, I’m sure, that their discovery had remained a complete mystery to humankind. But on this day on May 16, 1930, a middle-aged man made a discovery . . . and the rest is now history.