Some of the classified government experiments included:
* Feeding 49 retarded and institutionalised teenagers radioactive iron and calcium in their cereal during the years 1946-1954.
* Exposing about 800 pregnant women in the late 1940s to radioactive iron to determine the effect on the fetus.
* Injecting 7 newborns (six were Black) with radioactive iodine.
* Exposing the testicles of more than 100 prisoners to cancer-causing doses of radiation. This experimentation continued into the early 1970s.
* Exposing almost 200 cancer patients to high levels of radiation from cesium and cobalt. The AEC finally stopped this experiment in 1974.
* Administering radioactive material to psychiatric patients in San Francisco and to prisoners in San Quentin.
* Administering massive doses of full body radiation to cancer patients hospitalised at the General Hospital in Cincinnati, Baylor College in Houston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City, and the US Naval Hospital in Bethesda, during the 1950s and 1960s. The experiment provided data to the military concerning how a nuclear attack might affect its troops.
* Exposing 29 patients, some with rheumatoid arthritis, to total body irradiation (100-300 rad dose) to obtain data for the military. This was conducted at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco.
The Human Radiation Experiments By ALAN R. CANTWELL Jr., M.D.October 8, 2001 By davidjones
—In preparing America for nuclear attack during the Cold War years following World War II, thousands of US citizens became the innocent victims of over 4,000 secret and classified radiation experiments conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Public Health Service (now the CDC), the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration (VA), the CIA, and NASA.
Millions of people were exposed to radioactive fallout from the continental testing of more than 200 atmospheric and underground nuclear weapons, and from the hundreds of secret releases of radiation into the environment. Over 200,000 “atomic vets” who worked closely with nuclear detonations at the Nevada test site during the 1950s and 1960s were especially vulnerable to radiation fallout.
Also affected were the thousands of so-called “downwinders”, who lived in nearby small towns in Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. These downwinders (along with the animal populations) suffered the worst cumulative radioactive effects of fallout, along with a contaminated environment teeming with radioactive food and farm products. The plight of these poor country people exposed to government-induced radiation sickness has been recorded in Carole Gallagher’s remarkable photo-essay American Ground Zero: The Secret Nuclear War (The Free Press, 1993).
In reviewing declassified AEC records (now the Department of Energy) from the 1950s, Gallagher was shocked to discover one document that described the people downwind of the Nevada Test Site as “a low use segment of the population.” Her shock at such callous bigotry caused her to eventually move West to research, investigate and document those who lived closest to the Test Site, as well as workers at the site, and soldiers repeatedly exposed to nuclear bombs during the military tests.
Disinformation and Nuclear Fallout
In the nuclear arms race, government doctors and scientists brainwashed the public into believing low dose radiation was not harmful. Some officials even tried to convince people that “a little radiation is good for you.” Totally ignored was the knowledge that the radiation from nuclear fallout could lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, immune system disease, reproductive abnormalities, sterility, birth defects, and genetic mutations which could be passed on from generation to generation. The full extent of this radiation damage to the American public during the Cold War years will never be known. Continue reading
Ecological Meltdown And Nuclear Conflict: The Relevance Of Gandhi In The Modern World By Colin Todhunter Global Research, January 03, 2016 ………. Gandhi was ahead of his time. Although he might not have used today’s terms, ideas pertaining to environmentalism, agroecology, sustainable living, fair trade, local self-sufficiency, food sovereignty and so on were all present in his writings. He was committed to inflicting minimal damage on the environment and was concerned that humans should use only those resources they require and not amass wealth beyond their requirements. People have the right to attain certain comforts but a perceived right to unbridled luxuries would result in damaging the environment and impinge on the species that we share the planet with. His own lifestyle was a highly sustainable one, focusing on simplicity, austerity and need rather than want…………. government after government aggravates the problems by creating an impression that the villagers are a backward, inefficient and unproductive lot who can survive only on relief. With proper investment and appropriate policies, India’s rural economy could once again thrive.
T N Khoshoo argued that Gandhi’s advocacy of an ‘non-interventionist lifestyle’ provides the answer to the present day problems. The phrase ‘health of the environment’ is not just a literary coinage, he argues. It makes real biological sense because, as Gandhi argued, our planet is like a living organism. Without the innumerable and varied forms of life that the earth inhabits, without respecting the species we share this place with, our world will become lifeless.
Alternatively, before that happens, humans will become extinct and the planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. But, in the meantime, how much damage will have done by then and how much suffering will we have caused by a system that thrives on turning people into slaves to their desires and allowing imperialism to reign free?
Gandhi was “an apostle of applied human ecology,” according to T N Khoshoo. He offered a vision for a world without meaningless consumption which depleted its finite resources and destroyed habitats and the environment. Given the problems facing humanity, his ideas should serve as an inspiration to us all, whether we live in India or elsewhere.
Unfortunately, his message seems to have been lost on many of today’s leaders who have capitulated to an out-of-control ‘capitalism’ that is driving the world towards resource-driven conflicts with the ultimate spectre of nuclear war hanging over humanity’s head. http://www.globalresearch.ca/ecological-meltdown-and-nuclear-conflict-the-relevance-of-gandhi-in-the-modern-world/5499007
South Africa’s Catholic Church Rejects Nuclear Procurement Plans, Calls For Referendum, IBT BY MORGAN WINSOR @MORGANWINSOR ON 12/29/15 The Catholic Church in South Africa urged the government Tuesday to suspend its nuclear power procurement plans until a referendum on the issue is held. The Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference said in a statement the risks of adding nuclear energy to the national grid outweigh any economic benefits, according to South Africa’sFin24.
“Although the probability of a nuclear accident is relatively low, the consequences of such an accident cause health hazards for thousands of people and render hundreds of kilometers of land uninhabitable and unsuitable for any use for decades,” said Bishop Abel Gabuza, chairperson of the commission. “The commission has therefore appealed to the government to urgently call for a nuclear referendum.”
Gabuza said the South African government, which is struggling with power shortages and an economic crisis, has yet to show evidence that nuclear procurement is affordable to the country and consumers. The Christian-majority nation should instead focus its efforts and financial resources on renewable energy, he added.
“Given the enormity of the risks that the South African government is asking its citizens to bear through the nuclear option, including the enormous safety risks and economic risks, it is only fair that the government directly consults its people on the matter,” Gabuza said in the statement Tuesday. “A referendum is the best instrument for realizing the common good on this important matter.”…….
The Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference said the government should look to Italy as a leading example. In June 2011, the Italian government held a similar referendum to poll its citizens on its plans to generate 25 percent of the country’s electricity from nuclear power by 2030. Well over 90 percent of voters rejected the plans for a return to nuclear power generation, the Guardian reported at the time.
“If our government truly believes that its nuclear decision is serving the best interests of the majority of South Africans, it should not be afraid to emulate the Italian example and open up the matter to a national referendum before the formal bidding process commences,” Gabuza said in the commission’s statement Tuesday, according to Fin24. http://www.ibtimes.com/south-africas-catholic-church-rejects-nuclear-procurement-plans-calls-referendum-2242619
Why battling climate change requires a spiritual rebirth, The Gazette By: Matthew Fox November 30, 2015 On Monday (Nov. 30) representatives from 195 nations will gather in Paris to grapple with the greatest moral issue of our time — the war against Mother Earth. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warns that “It is life on our planet itself which is at stake,” and there is an “absolute urgency” to turn things around.
This is not political rhetoric or religious apocalypticism — it is science that is drawing (finally) nations together around our real foe: the environmental danger to our planet. If our forays into space the past 40 years have demonstrated anything they have instructed us that Earth is very special in the universe. Yes, we have discovered exoplanets we hope might some day reveal other forms of life — and hopefully of intelligent life — but for now, and in our neighborhood, Earth stands alone.
We are being urged as a species to wake up and get out of our narcissistic anthropocentrism, that is to say our preoccupation with all things human, at the expense of all our relations with whales and dolphins, elephants and tigers, birds and redwoods, rain forests and rivers, oceans and lakes.
Will we take this opportunity to wake up from denial? Whole political parties in America as well as giant industries supporting such head-in-the-sand candidates seem to prefer denial to truth. Yet only the truth will set us free and get us working…….
I define spirituality as “waking up” and I am not alone in this — the great Indian mystic of the 15th century, Kabir, said: “You have been sleeping for hundreds of millions of years. Why not wake up this morning?” Both St. Paul and Jesus talk about “waking up.” We humans have been in a deep sleep, especially in the West, mesmerized by our own doings and gadgets and projections, but the crisis at hand is a wake-up call.
Our religions must change and be part of the solution and not the problem. ……Each religion must act swiftly and work with, not against, science. Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’” is a good example of this effort. Science too must work out of wisdom paradigms of justice and compassion. Education must be similarly reborn. The wisdom of indigenous tribes is indispensable for this change of consciousness for they have been in communion with Mother Earth and her creatures for thousands of years. They are leaders in a more-than-human awareness…….http://gazette.com/why-battling-climate-change-requires-a-spiritual-rebirth-commentary/article/1564615
Pope Francis says failure of climate summit would be catastrophic, Guardian 26 Nov 15
Pope meets Muslim and other religious leaders in Nairobi to call for success at the Paris summit and for greater environmental protections in Africa. World leaders must reach a historic agreement to fight climate change and poverty at coming talks in Paris, facing the stark choice to either “improve or destroy the environment”, Pope Francis said in Africa on Thursday.
Francis chose his first visit to the world’s poorest continent to issue a clarion call for the success of the two-week summit, known as COP21, that starts on Monday in the French capital still reeling from attacks that killed 130 people and were claimed by Islamic State.
In a long address in Spanish at the United Nations regional office, Francis said it would be “catastrophic” if particular interests prevailed over the common good of people and the planet or if the conference were manipulated by business interests.
In Kenya, at the start of his three-nation Africa trip, the pope also said dialogue between religions was essential to teach young people that violence in God’s name was unjustified.
Bridging the Muslim-Christian divide and climate issues are major themes of the trip that also takes him to Uganda, which like Kenya has been a victim of extremist attacks, and the Central African Republic, a nation riven by sectarian conflict.
“We are confronted with a choice which cannot be ignored: either to improve or destroy the environment,” the pope said in Nairobi, home to the UN Environment Programme headquarters.
He noted that some scientists consider protection of the Congo basin tropical forest, which spreads over six countries and is the world’s second-largest after the Amazon, essential for the future of the planet because of its biodiversity.
Francis, who took his name from St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of nature, has made protecting “God’s creation” a plank of his pontificate. In June, he issued a landmark encyclical calling for urgent action to save the planet……. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/26/pope-francis-says-failure-of-climate-summit-would-be-catastrophic
Pope Francis calls Christmas a ‘charade’ as the ‘world continues to wage war’ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/20/pope-francis-calls-christmas-a-charade-as-the-worl/ By Maria Stainer – The Washington Times – Friday, November 20, 2015
Pope Francis said Thursday in a sermon that Christmas this year will be a “charade” because the “world continues to wage war” and “we do not understand peace.”
“Today, Jesus weeps as well because we have chosen the way of war, the way of hatred, the way of enmities. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes — all decked out — while the world continues to wage war,” he said during Mass at the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.
Holy See: (Vatican Radio) The Holy See on Thursday said it was “incumbent” upon the United Nations “to redouble its efforts” to implement provisions of treaties which aim to reduce further the role of nuclear weapons in international security.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, was speaking during a General Assembly meeting on Disarmament.
“Non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament are vital elements of advancing global security and stability,” said Archbishop Auza. “Without them, the achievement of the just adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is jeopardized.”
The full statement is below
New York, 22 October 2015
My delegation extends congratulations to you as you lead the First Committee, the work of which is critical to the mandate of the United Nations to bring about a more peaceful and stable world.
At the outset of its seventieth session, Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly and spoke directly of the challenges we deal with in this Committee. He noted that “the constant tendency to the proliferation of arms, especially weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons,” is contrary to the foundations of the fundamental juridical framework set out in the Preamble and the first Article of the Charter of the United Nations, and in practice denies them.
The Pope affirmed that “an ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end as ‘nations united by fear and distrust.’ There is an urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the Non-proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.”
Recalling the words of Pope Francis and noting the failure of the Ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to agree on a final document, the Holy See wishes to underline once more that nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction are irreconcilable with, and contrary to, an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and among States……..http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/10/23/holy_see_united_nations_must_work_for_nuclear_disarmament/1181365
In his May encyclical Laudato si, the Pope argued that virtue and faith demand an immediate response to global warming. Many conservatives reply that economic growth, best delivered by free markets, has done more than anything to lift people from poverty. Because low energy prices facilitate growth, they say that responding to global warming in a way that raises energy prices will slow growth and hurt the least fortunate among us.
While much of what conservatives say is true, one does not need to be a Catholic, a socialist or a scientific alarmist to believe that we’re morally required to take action on climate change. Indeed, the moral argument for liberty and free-market capitalism implies that we’re required to act.
According to many conservatives, the core purpose of government is to protect rights to life, liberty and property. If greenhouse gas emissions threaten to violate those rights, then government must act against the threat.
That climate change poses risk of catastrophe is not at issue. Harvard economist Martin Weitzman calculates that, if the scientific assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is correct, there is about a 10% chance that future warming will exceed 11 degrees Fahrenheit.
Climate skeptics in the science community, who don’t buy IPCC narratives, believe that the chance of such catastrophic warming is lower, but concede that a great deal of uncertainty exists, so we can’t know for sure.
A large number of scientists, on the other hand, believe that the IPCC understates the risks………
The fact that we cannot precisely establish the risk we’re taking with our children’s future does not belie the fact that dice are being rolled. Pope Francis argues this poses a “basic question of justice.”
In this regard, he is right, and conservatives should listen. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/25/opinions/taylor-climate-change-conservatives/index.html
Pope Francis warns UN of threats from climate change, nuclear arms, war SEPTEMBER 25, 2015, BY CNN, NEW YORK — Pope Francis, in his address at the United Nations on Friday, praise the Iran nuclear deal and warned that climate change and partisan conflicts threaten humanity.
Francis said the ecological crisis and widespread destruction of biodiversity “can threaten the very existence of the human species.” He said a “right of the environment” exists, and any harm done to the environment therefore is a harm done to humanity. “We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect,” he said.
Pope Francis praised the Iran nuclear deal and said there is an “urgent need” to rid the world of nuclear weapons. “The recent agreement reached on the nuclear question in a sensitive region of Asia and the Middle East is proof of the potential of political goodwill and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy,” he said.
Francis also warned that current global conflicts should “serve as a grave summons to an examination of conscience on the part of those charged with the conduct of international affairs.” …….http://fox5sandiego.com/2015/09/25/pope-francis-warns-un-of-threats-from-climate-change-nuclear-arms-war/
Group hopes Francis will take issue of eliminating nuclear weapons to Congress, National Catholic Reporter, Thomas C. Fox | Aug. 28, 2015 Ira Helfand hopes Pope Francis will call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons when he addresses Congress in September and Helfand has reason for cautious optimism.
The Springfield, Mass., physician is co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. It was awarded a Nobel Peace prize in 1985 “for spreading authoritative information and raising awareness of the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war.”
Helfand has worked for years to raise consciousness regarding the devastating humanitarian impact of nuclear war. In this context, he and John Pastore, a Boston cardiologist, sat down with Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley in June to share details of recent studies that show even a limited nuclear exchange would lead to the starvation of some 2 billion people. By far, the greatest impact of such a nuclear exchange would be on the poorest people of the planet. Continue reading
American Churches and the Iran Nuclear Deal, Weekly Standard, AUG 20, 2015 • BY MARK TOOLEY Most church groups and prominent religious voices speaking to the Iran nuclear deal are supportive. Most notable among them is the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. n April, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, who leads the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote members of Congress to hail the accord as an “important step in advancing a peaceful resolution.” He quoted Pope Francis, who prayed that, “the framework…may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”………
In July, Bishop Cantú again wrote Congress to commend the “remarkable step with Iran in reaching this agreement” and urging Congress to “support these efforts to build bridges that foster peace and greater understanding.”
Liberal Evangelical activist Jim Wallis of Sojourners similarly hailed the accord for pursuing options that will “prevent further war with more dangerous weapons,” which is the “right course of action in a highly imperfect world.” He warned that “those who oppose deals like this often proclaim a binary world of simple good and evil, which we don’t have — and believing so is a dangerous illusion.”………https://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/american-churches-and-iran-nuclear-deal_1015151.html
Can an Islamic climate change declaration inspire 1.6B Muslims? Lisa Friedman, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Monday, August 17, 2015 Islamic leaders from around the globe tomorrow will unveil a declaration calling on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to embrace climate change action as part of their religious duty.
Activists gathering in Istanbul for the event said that just as Pope Francis declared climate change essential to the Catholic faith, they hope Islamic religious scholars can inspire Muslim communities to make the issue a priority.
“Islam is very strong on environmental protection,” said Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network International, who is helping to organize the declaration.
“From the Quran to the hadiths [sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad], it really says it is a human responsibility … that we are tasked with protecting creation and it is part of our duties as Muslims,” he said.
Leaders will be carrying that message when the Islamic Climate Change Declaration is formally unveiled at the conclusion of a two-day symposium organized by Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and GreenFaith.
In addition to emphasizing the Quran’s teachings on environmental protection and the role that Islam can play in addressing climate change, it is expected to call on wealthy countries to “drastically” reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help vulnerable nations grapple with climate impacts.
A call for a fossil fuel-free world
Issuing the declaration will be religious and political leaders from throughout the Muslim world, including professor Din Syamsuddin, president of the Indonesian Council of Ulama; Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, grand mufti of Uganda; and Mohammed El Arwadi, a representative of the grand mufti of Lebanon……..
As home to the world’s second-largest religion, Hmaidan said, Muslim countries and Islamic leadership can play a unique role in shaping the global climate accord that countries hope to sign in Paris in December. Currently, he said, climate change is only sporadically raised in Islamic discussions, usually as part of a particular initiative. He called the symposium and declaration a “first step” in substantively engaging communities during Friday prayer and other occasions.
“To change everything, you need everyone,” he said. “Every key community in the world needs to really start putting climate change on the agenda.” http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060023527
Let us never repeat the sin of nuclear destruction Seventy years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we continue to call on all people to eliminate the evil of atomic weapons, Aljazeera America, August 9, by Greg Boertje-Obed , Megan Rice & Michael Walli
On July 28, 2012, we entered the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and shut it down in an act of non-violent resistance. We hung protest banners, poured human blood and spray-painted graffiti with messages of peace on the uranium facility’s walls. Calling ourselves the Transform Now Plowshares, we tried to stop the continuation of our country’s nuclear weapons production, because it is illegal, immoral and irrational. The reckless quest for enduring nuclear superiority has led our country and our world into a harrowing danger zone in which the threat of planetary annihilation hangs over all of creation.
Because of our action, Y12, a charter facility of the Manhattan Project from which the uranium that obliterated Hiroshima 70 years ago was issued, stopped its deadly work for more than two weeks. We were subsequently charged for property damage and sabotage, tried and sentenced to three to five years in federal prison. After two years imprisonment, an appellate court threw out our sabotage conviction this past May and ordered our resentencing. Our next court date is Sept. 15.
But the challenge to resist nuclear weapons is not ours alone. It is a shared responsibility, and a shared opportunity to secure a future for our human family and for Mother Earth.
Nuclear weapons remain poised to destroy all life on the planet, something no rational person would want. These weapons have been involved in many accidents, and we know they can be set off unintentionally. Despite these dangers, our government has continually updated plans to fight and supposedly win a war using nuclear weapons. Our soldiers repeatedly prepare and train to launch them. As a matter of longstanding international law, nuclear weapons, which are designed to unleash massive indiscriminate destruction on civilians, are weapons to commit war crimes. In fact, preparing to use such weapons is itself a war crime.
Simply mining for the uranium and assembling the weapons already kills many people. Workers in nuclear bomb factories regularly die from many types of cancer. The late scientist Rosalie Bertell estimated many years ago that 10 million people have died from the building and testing of nuclear weapons.
We need to be particularly concerned about nuclear weapons today because many nations are beginning the process of spending massive amounts of economic resources to upgrade and expand the death-dealing power of nuclear weaponry. The U.S. alone is preparing to spend a trillion dollars on this effort. This is unconscionable.
The great religious traditions teach that we ought to act on behalf of life and to intervene for the downtrodden and poor, the orphans and widows. The vast resources dedicated to killing and preparing to kill are a waste and a theft from those who are destitute and in need, and thus contradict that divine directive to cherish and serve life itself. In conscience, we must struggle against the massive forces of death if we are to fulfill our commitment to practice compassion and love for people, life and the planet.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu used to say to his opponents in the latter days of South Africa’s Apartheid: “Come over to the winning side.” We believe that the forces for life and love are stronger than the forces of death and destruction. We invite everyone to join the struggle in order to be on the side of hope and life, even though it often looks as if we are not on the winning side……….
Greg Boertje-Obed, a former U.S. Army officer, is a member of Veterans for Peace and co-founder of Transform Now Plowshares, a non-profit interfaith activist group that favors non-violent resistance to nuclear weapons.
Sister Megan Rice, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus since 1950, is a co-founder of Transform Now Plowshares, an interfaith pacifist group that favors non-violent resistance to nuclear weapons. She served as a teacher in the U.S. until 1962 and until 2003 in West Africa (Nigeria and Ghana).
Michael Walli, a member of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, D.C., is a co-founder of Transform Now Plowshares, a non-profit interfaith activist group that favors non-violent resistance to nuclear weapons. http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/8/let-us-never-repeat-the-sin-of-nuclear-destruction.html
Immmorality of nuclear weapons, power – former International Court of Justice President Mohammed Bedjaoui
Former ICJ head says Japan is world’s conscience against nuclear weapons, power http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201507260018 July , 26, 2015 By ROY K. AKAGAWA/ AJW Staff Writer HIROSHIMA–Due to their bearing witness to the destruction of the atomic bomb and a nuclear disaster, Japan and its people are “the keepers and shepherds of Planet Earth.”
That was the key conclusion of the keynote address by former International Court of Justice President Mohammed Bedjaoui on July 25 at the International Symposium for Peace 2015 titled “The Road to Nuclear Abolition” held at the International Conference Center Hiroshima.
“Japan becomes the only country in the world to have been the victim of both military and civilian nuclear energy, having experienced the crazy danger of the atom, both in its military applications, destruction of life and its beneficial civilian use, which has now turned into a nightmare with the serious incidents of Fukushima,” he said.
He was referring to not only the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, but also the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011, triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Bedjaoui was the president of the ICJ in 1996 when it issued an advisory opinion that marked an important turning point in the international movement to ban nuclear weapons.
Other participants took part in a panel discussion in which they presented their views on what the atomic bombings mean today. The event was sponsored by the Hiroshima municipal government, the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and The Asahi Shimbun. Masako Ikegami, a professor of decision science at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, said the passing of 70 years since the atomic bombings was sufficient time to consider the weapons in a new light.
“In humanitarian terms, nuclear weapons are unacceptable, and discussions have to move toward acknowledging their use as a crime against humanity,” she said.
Max McCoy, a university professor and writer from the United States, visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1986 as part of a project to bring U.S. journalists to Japan.
Showing the photos he took at that time and recalling the interviews he had with hibakusha, McCoy talked about the importance of passing on the experiences of those who survived the atomic bombing.
“We need to remember the testimony of the hibakusha and to know the truth of what (the atomic bombings) were like,” McCoy said.
The symposium began with guest speaker Dai Tamesue talking about what would be needed to maintain peace.
“I believe a major problem arises when an atmosphere develops in society which makes it difficult to speak up in a different way from the vast majority,” Tamesue, a retired athlete, said.
He was asked to speak because he is a third-generation hibakusha. Tamesue, who was the first Japanese track athlete to win a medal at the world track and field championships, was born and raised in Hiroshima. His grandmother was in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city.
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