07 August, 2007

62 Years After Hiroshima



WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (OneWorld) - In the history of warfare, nuclear weapons have been used twice, and though it has been 62 years since an atomic bomb has been employed in a conflict, the threat of a nuclear attack remains as present as ever, say arms control advocates.

Both nuclear attacks targeted Japan during the closing days of World War II. On August 6, 1945 Hiroshima was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. Three days later, on August 9th, a second atomic weapon was dropped over Nagasaki.

This week marks the anniversary of these bombings.

Currently there are nine nuclear-weapons-wielding countries: the United States, Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. According to reports from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, these countries maintain approximately 27,000 nuclear weapons, 12,000 of which are currently deployed.

Although most of the world's nations are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an international agreement forged in 1968 to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, four key states that have since developed nuclear arsenals are not: Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.



She was just a junior high school girl, only 14 years old....


The NPT obligates the nuclear weapons states that are parties to the treaty to engage in good-faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament. The International Court of Justice has interpreted this to mean that negotiations must be concluded ''leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.''

However, in a deal finalized last week, the United States government agreed to transfer nuclear technology to India. Although India has assured the world community that the imported technology would be used only for non-military purposes, critics fear the agreement could result in the escalation of a nuclear arms race in a politically volatile region of the world.

Critics have described the U.S. acceptance of India's nuclear weapons program as amounting to ''a major concession'' for a country that has refused to join the NPT.

''As the world's only remaining superpower, the United States can lead the way" in promoting nuclear disarmament, David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said last week. ''[But] it has failed to do so.''

''It is perhaps the least talked about and most worrying irony of our time. The United States has a massive defense budget, but spends relatively little addressing the most immediate danger to humanity,'' Krieger said, referring nuclear weapons.


If your country has a possibility bombing the atomic one in the future, just think it over..... 500,000 of our lovely grandparents died in the flash with Radioactive Heat.....Thousands of bodies were evaporated.....

Other survivors, after 50 years, are still suffering from the effects......


''U.S. nuclear policy undermines the security of its people,'' Krieger added. ''The more the U.S. relies on nuclear weapons, the more other countries will do so.''

The non-profit group Citizens for Global Solutions agrees. "We've told the world that we will reduce our stockpiles of nuclear weapons and not develop new ones. Doing our part will help us convince others to do theirs," the group said in a message to its 35,000 members and supporters last week, adding that U.S. leaders should work with other governments to "revitalize and strengthen" the NPT, which it called "outdated."

But as U.S. voters prepare to choose a new president next year, there are indications that George W. Bush's successor may stay the course set by the current U.S. president on nuclear weapons. Indeed, four Republican presidential candidates have so far been unwilling to take the nuclear weapons option off the table against Iran.

And Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton recently objected to Senator Barack Obama's statement that the use of nuclear weapons in Afghanistan or Pakistan would be a "profound mistake."

"Presidents should be careful at all times in discussing the use and nonuse of nuclear weapons," Senator Clinton remarked.

Leonor Tomero from the Washington, DC-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation called Clinton's approach ''reckless.''

"The United States should not recklessly threaten to use nuclear weapons, particularly against states that do not have these weapons....There is currently no justification for lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons," Tomero said.


TBoth nuclear attacks targeted Japan during the closing days of World War II. On August 6, 1945 Hiroshima was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. Three days later, on August 9th, a second atomic weapon was dropped over Nagasaki.

This week marks the anniversary of these bombings.

Currently there are nine nuclear-weapons-wielding countries: the United States, Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. According to reports from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, these countries maintain approximately 27,000 nuclear weapons, 12,000 of which are currently deployed.

Although most of the world's nations are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an international agreement forged in 1968 to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, four key states that have since developed nuclear arsenals are not: Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

The NPT obligates the nuclear weapons states that are parties to the treaty to engage in good-faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament. The International Court of Justice has interpreted this to mean that negotiations must be concluded ''leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.''

However, in a deal finalized last week, the United States government agreed to transfer nuclear technology to India. Although India has assured the world community that the imported technology would be used only for non-military purposes, critics fear the agreement could result in the escalation of a nuclear arms race in a politically volatile region of the world.

Critics have described the U.S. acceptance of India's nuclear weapons program as amounting to ''a major concession'' for a country that has refused to join the NPT.

''As the world's only remaining superpower, the United States can lead the way" in promoting nuclear disarmament, David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said last week. ''[But] it has failed to do so.''

''It is perhaps the least talked about and most worrying irony of our time. The United States has a massive defense budget, but spends relatively little addressing the most immediate danger to humanity,'' Krieger said, referring nuclear weapons.

''U.S. nuclear policy undermines the security of its people,'' Krieger added. ''The more the U.S. relies on nuclear weapons, the more other countries will do so.''

The non-profit group Citizens for Global Solutions agrees. "We've told the world that we will reduce our stockpiles of nuclear weapons and not develop new ones. Doing our part will help us convince others to do theirs," the group said in a message to its 35,000 members and supporters last week, adding that U.S. leaders should work with other governments to "revitalize and strengthen" the NPT, which it called "outdated."

But as U.S. voters prepare to choose a new president next year, there are indications that George W. Bush's successor may stay the course set by the current U.S. president on nuclear weapons. Indeed, four Republican presidential candidates have so far been unwilling to take the nuclear weapons option off the table against Iran.

And Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton recently objected to Senator Barack Obama's statement that the use of nuclear weapons in Afghanistan or Pakistan would be a "profound mistake."

"Presidents should be careful at all times in discussing the use and nonuse of nuclear weapons," Senator Clinton remarked.

Leonor Tomero from the Washington, DC-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation called Clinton's approach ''reckless.''

"The United States should not recklessly threaten to use nuclear weapons, particularly against states that do not have these weapons....There is currently no justification for lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons," Tomero said.


This year, on August 9, these organizations will celebrate their thirteenth annual Sadako Peace Day, and they have invited individuals to submit their own messages for peace to be sent to the White House.

In a statement commemorating the world's only nuclear attacks to date, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's David Krieger said: "The anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are reminders of the continued peril that humanity faces. This peril is far too serious to be left only in the hands of government leaders."

"Citizens must demand more of their governments," he added. "Their very lives and those of their children could depend upon ending the delusions that nuclear weapons protect us and that nuclear double standards will hold indefinitely."

- Nicole Olsen
OneWorld US

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