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‘The day the desert wind cried’: French nuclear tests cast long shadow in Libyan Sahara

Middle East Eye, By Samira Elsaidi,  29 January 2023

Between 1960 and 1966, France detonated 17 bombs in the Algerian Sahara. In neighbouring Libya, the deadly effects are felt to this day

“I search for words that do not exist. My father passed away on the day the desert wind cried, and his absence is still there, like a loud mute cry, like a void that words cannot fill.” 

Abed Alfitory is 64-years old now. But he still remembers his father’s death and the events that led to it.

Alfitory is from Fezzan, the largely desert region of southwestern Libya. It is here, deep in the Sahara, that he spent 20 years collecting material for his book Desert Cry, motivated by the loss of his father’s sight in 1960 and his death a few years later.

Speaking to Middle East Eye from his home in al-Zighan, the professor of philosophy at Sabha university told Middle East Eye that his childhood had come at a great cost, that he struggled amidst hard conditions and that he had been haunted by his father’s blindness.

Later, Alfitory discovered what had caused his father’s condition. He learnt, too, that he was not alone.

Many people in Fezzan had been struck down by respiratory diseases and ophthalmia in 1960. The acute eye infection was so prevalent then that it became known as the “year of ophthalmia”.

This was followed by the “year of smallpox”, the “year of the yellow wind” and the “year of gnawing”. The people of the Fezzan began to get cancer in greater numbers. Acid rain fell. The land was afflicted. What had happened? 

Explosions in the Sahara 

On 13 February 1960, France conducted its first nuclear test at Reggane, an oasis town in southern Algeria. The war for the North African country’s independence had been ongoing since 1954 and French President Charles de Gaulle was keen to show the world that France belonged at the top table of military powers.

To that end, the first French atomic bomb, named Gerboise Bleue after the blue of the tricolour flag and a small desert animal in the Sahara, was detonated in the Algerian desert. It released over four times the amount of energy as that of the US bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

A few months later, as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was in France for an official visit, a second French bomb was detonated in the Sahara.

Between 1960 and 1966, four years after Algeria gained its independence, France detonated 17 bombs in the Sahara, including four in the atmosphere near Reggane. Witnesses to the tests described them as the most brutal thing they’d ever seen in their lives.

Four underground explosions in the Algerian Sahara “were not totally contained or confined”, according to a French parliamentary report.

Most famous of these was the Beryl incident, during which nine soldiers and a number of local Tuareg villagers were heavily contaminated by radioactivity.

The impact of France’s nuclear testing programme in Algeria was immediate and has been ongoing.

Following the first explosion in 1960, radioactive fallout landed in newly independent Ghana and in Nigeria, which was in its last days as a British colony.

Secret defence documents cited by Le Parisien in 2014 revealed that much larger areas than had been claimed by the government had been affected.

In fact, contrary to Paris’s assertions, radiation from the first bomb alone had covered a region that ran from Algeria to Libya to Mauritania and on to Mali and Nigeria. The impact even reached as far north as Spain and Italy…………………………………… more


January 29, 2023 Posted by | AFRICA, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

This man may have saved the world from nuclear war. His story is a heart-pumper.

Even if you don’t know who Petrov was, he might be the reason you’re alive today.

James Gaines 4 Jan 23

In the 1980s, Petrov was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s Air Defense Forces. He was in charge of watching the computers at one of the Soviety Union’s nuclear early warning centers. If the Americans wanted to start a nuclear war, Petrov would be one of the first to know.

At this time, the United States and the Soviet Union were embroiled in the Cold War. Each had stockpiled tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and a nuclear war, though horrific, often seemed imminent

Suddenly, in the early morning of Sept. 26, 1983, a siren started to scream. If Petrov’s computer was to be believed, the Americans had just attacked the Soviet Union.

The word “LAUNCH” appeared in bold red letters across Petrov’s computer’s screen. Then it happened again and again — five missiles in all.

Petrov need to react. If a nuclear attack really was incoming, the Soviets only had a few minutes to save themselves and launch a nuclear counter attack of their own.

It was Petrov’s job, his duty, to alert his superiors — but something seemed off.

Petrov sat there, trying to figure out what to do. If the Americans were attacking, why were there only six bombs? Why not the thousands they were capable of? Why weren’t there corroborating reports from ground radar? Plus this particular computer system was new and unproven. It could be a malfunction.

Did Petrov really think this was enough evidence to potentially start a full-scale nuclear exchange? Kill millions of people? It was a heavy weight to bear.

“Nobody would be able to correct my mistake if I had made one,” Petrov later told the BBC.


After a few pregnant minutes, Petrov made his decision.

He picked up the phone and, though he couldn’t know for sure, told his superiors it was a false alarm. His level-headed thinking may have saved millions of lives.

He was right. It was a malfunction.

For his efforts, Petrov’s reward would be a long time coming. In the immediate aftermath, he actually got reprimanded by his superiors. It wouldn’t be until after the fall of the Soviet Union that the world learned just how close we all came to destruction and the one man who saved it.

January 5, 2023 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

She’s Spent a Decade Fighting to Ban Nuclear Weapons. The Stakes Are Only Getting Higher


March 2017 was an exhilarating time for Beatrice Fihn. The executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was at the U.N. in New York City for talks with more than 120 countries to negotiate a treaty on banning nuclear weapons. One moment still stands out: Nikki Haley, then U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and a group of diplomats from several NATO countries held a press conference outside the General Assembly to protest the talks.

“It was such a hilarious role reversal,” Fihn tells me when we meet for lunch in New York this fall, referring to all the times nuclear-disarmament activists have been outside the corridors of power. “Now, we were in the driver’s seat.”

Fihn, 40, has been trying to shift these dynamics ever since she took the helm of the Geneva-based ICAN nearly a decade ago. In 2017, the charismatic Swedish lawyer was thrust into the spotlight when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for ICAN’s work to draw attention to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and its efforts to establish the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Now ratified by 68 countries, mostly in the Global South, the ban treaty entered into force in January 2021—the first international legally binding agreement to ban nuclear weapons and associated activities, from testing to development.

However, since then, Fihn feels like things have backslid. Vladimir Putin’s threats have reminded the world that nuclear war is not just a Cold War–era concern. In a March poll, 7 in 10 Americans said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increased the possibility of nuclear weapons being used anywhere. Polls in Poland and France reflected similar concerns. “There’s so much happening and it’s hard to keep up—a lot of anxiety and awfulness,” Fihn says. Growing great-power competition—from Kim Jong Un’s nuclear tests to China’s rapidly expanding arsenal—raises the stakes for Western democracies, she argues. “Nuclear weapons make us vulnerable to dictators that do not answer to their people.”

Though Fihn announced in November that she would step down as ICAN’s executive director at the end of January, she plans to remain involved and is optimistic about this moment, pointing to progress made after crises in the 1960s and 1980s when the world came to the brink of nuclear war. “People are talking about nuclear weapons more than they have since the ’80s. We have to use this to build a bigger movement—to double or triple in size—so we can set the stage for when the war in Ukraine is over,” she says. “Tomorrow just needs to be bigger than today.”………………………………………………………………………………

The ban treaty offers, in Fihn’s view, a way for countries to express their condemnation of a system that gives a handful of nations a monopoly on nuclear weapons while the rest will only bear their consequences. “Instead of just waiting for them to come to the table, our goal is to change the landscape,” Fihn says. “What can Jamaica do? What can Fiji do? How can they play a role rather than just waiting for the nuclear-armed states to be ready?”

ICAN also brings in ordinary citizens from countries that hold nuclear weapons, where public support for them is low. A 2019 poll of U.S. and Japanese residents found that a majority—64.7% and 75% respectively—wanted their governments to join the ban treaty; a 2020 poll of six NATO states not including the U.S. found overwhelming support for the same…………………………..

Fihn is undeterred. She was 6 months pregnant with her second child when she assumed her role. “I was worried that it would be too much,” she says, “and it’s been really hard, but I’m proud that I dared to take the job.” From Geneva, she has spent years trying to build a broad coalition of students, artists, lawyers, doctors, environmental activists, and racial-justice activists. ICAN now counts 652 partner organizations in 110 countries.

The Nobel Prize offered them a massive boost. “We weren’t heads of state, or big celebrities. We were just random people doing some petitions, seminars, panels, emailing parliamentarians, nagging politicians, holding meetings.

There are no TV shows about negotiators for a reason,” she laughs.

Though Fihn’s husband has often been the main caregiver, her 8- and 11-year-old kids have joined her for some of these meetings. That means they’ve heard more about nuclear weapons than she perhaps wishes. “I never want to lie to them, but I want to make sure it’s manageable for a child,” she says. “I always try to emphasize that nobody has used them since 1945 and that we just want to get rid of them to make sure there are no accidents.”

Nuclear weapons, Fihn says, are “pretty simple: big bomb goes boom.” What she wants to talk about is what happens afterward: the radiation, the firestorms; the cancers, the miscarriages, the stillborn babies; the collapse of health and food systems. What to do with hundreds of thousands of dead bodies. “I hate that our work is often called naive,” Fihn says. “We’re the ones actually talking about what happens if a bomb goes off. Thinking that we can just wait forever and someday the nuclear-weapon states will just agree? That’s naive.”

Fihn believes that amplifying survivors’ stories is critical to building a movement against nuclear weapons. During the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, she shared the stage with Setsuko Thurlow, an ICAN campaigner who was 13 when the U.S. attacked Hiroshima. “The first image that comes to mind is of my 4-year-old nephew, Eiji,” Thurlow said, “his little body transformed into an unrecognizable melted chunk of flesh…To me, he came to represent all the innocent children of the world, threatened as they are at this very moment by nuclear weapons.”

Fihn has also been successful in highlighting their effects on marginalized communities, from U.S. nuclear tests on the Marshall Islands to British ones on Indigenous lands in Australia. “Her work really opened the door to a much wider understanding of what nuclear-weapons testing has meant in different countries,” says Kate Hudson, the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a leading anti-nuclear campaigner in Britain………………………………………………………….


January 4, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

Atomic Bomb Effects Cover-up Reported in New York Times Dec 22

The below article is an excellent example of how even the New York Times has twisted the facts and manipulated public opinion in order to support a deeper agenda. This revealing story covers the bombing of Hiroshima back in 1945, yet the same deceptive techniques of distortion and manipulation continue to be used today to support the profit-making war machine.

The New York Times itself acknowledged government and media complicity in hiding the effects of the Atomic bomb in an Aug. 3, 2005 Reuters article they published titled “U.S. Suppressed Footage of Hiroshima for Decades.” Read this revealing article on the Times website on this webpage.

[Note: Since this message was originally posted in 2004, the New York Times removed the article at the above link. A web search shows that no other major media have this revealing story posted. Thankfully, you can still read a copy of this Reuters article on a foreign news website.]

Here’s a quote from this Reuters article, “In the weeks following the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, U.S. authorities seized and suppressed film shot in the bombed cities by U.S. military crews and Japanese newsreel teams to prevent Americans from seeing the full extent of devastation wrought by the new weapons.” The below article goes into greater detail on the depth of deception. Please help to inform others by sharing this revealing news with your friends and colleagues and exploring the “What you can do” section below.

Hiroshima Cover-up:
How the War Department’s Timesman Won a Pulitzer

by Amy Goodman and David Goodman, Aug. 10, 2004

At the dawn of the nuclear age, an independent Australian journalist named Wilfred Burchett traveled to Japan to cover the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The only problem was that General Douglas MacArthur had declared southern Japan off-limits, barring the press. Over 200,000 people died in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but no Western journalist witnessed the aftermath and told the story. The world’s media obediently crowded onto the USS Missouri off the coast of Japan to cover the surrender of the Japanese.

Wilfred Burchett decided to strike out on his own. He was determined to see for himself what this nuclear bomb had done, to understand what this vaunted new weapon was all about. So he boarded a train and traveled for thirty hours to the city of Hiroshima in defiance of General MacArthur’s orders.

Burchett emerged from the train into a nightmare world. The devastation that confronted him was unlike any he had ever seen during the war. The city of Hiroshima, with a population of 350,000, had been razed. Multistory buildings were reduced to charred posts. He saw people’s shadows seared into walls and sidewalks. He met people with their skin melting off. In the hospital, he saw patients with purple skin hemorrhages, gangrene, fever, and rapid hair loss. Burchett was among the first to witness and and describe radiation sickness.

Burchett sat down on a chunk of rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter. His dispatch began: “In Hiroshima, thirty days after the first atomic bomb destroyed the city and shook the world, people are still dying, mysteriously and horribly – people who were uninjured in the cataclysm from an unknown something which I can only describe as the atomic plague.”

He continued, tapping out the words that still haunt to this day: “Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller has passed over it and squashed it out of existence. I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world.”

Burchett’s article, headlined THE ATOMIC PLAGUE, was published on September 5, 1945, in the London Daily Express. The story caused a worldwide sensation. Burchett’s candid reaction to the horror shocked readers. “In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like an Eden. The damage is far greater than photographs can show. “When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around for twenty-five and perhaps thirty square miles. You can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made destruction.”

Burchett’s searing independent reportage was a public relations fiasco for the U.S. military. General MacArthur had gone to pains to restrict journalists’ access to the bombed cities, and his military censors were sanitizing and even killing dispatches that described the horror. The official narrative of the atomic bombings downplayed civilian casualties and categorically dismissed reports of the deadly lingering effects of radiation.

Reporters whose dispatches [conflicted] with this version of events found themselves silenced: George Weller of the Chicago Daily News slipped into Nagasaki and wrote a 25,000-word story on the nightmare that he found there. Then he made a crucial error: He submitted the piece to military censors. His newspaper never even received his story. As Weller later summarized his experience with MacArthur’s censors, “They won.”

U.S. authorities responded in time-honored fashion to Burchett’s revelations: They attacked the messenger. General MacArthur ordered him expelled from Japan (the order was later rescinded), and his camera with photos of Hiroshima mysteriously vanished while he was in the hospital. U.S. officials accused Burchett of being influenced by Japanese propaganda. They scoffed at the notion of an atomic sickness. The U.S. military issued a press release right after the Hiroshima bombing that downplayed human casualties, instead emphasizing that the bombed area was the site of valuable industrial and military targets.

Four days after Burchett’s story splashed across front pages around the world, Major General Leslie R. Groves, director of the atomic bomb project, invited a select group of thirty reporters to New Mexico. Foremost among this group was William L. Laurence, the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for The New York Times. Groves took the reporters to the site of the first atomic test. His intent was to demonstrate that no atomic radiation lingered at the site. Groves trusted Laurence to convey the military’s line; the general was not disappointed.

Laurence’s front-page story, U.S. ATOM BOMB SITE BELIES TOKYO TALES: TESTS ON NEW MEXICO RANGE CONFIRM THAT BLAST, AND NOT RADIATION, TOOK TOLL, ran on September 12, 1945, following a three-day delay to clear military censors. “This historic ground in New Mexico, scene of the first atomic explosion on earth and cradle of a new era in civilization, gave the most effective answer today to Japanese propaganda that radiations [sic] were responsible for deaths even after the day of the explosion, Aug. 6, and that persons entering Hiroshima had contracted mysterious maladies due to persistent radioactivity,” the article began. Laurence said unapologetically that the Army tour was intended “to give the lie to these claims.”

Laurence quoted General Groves: “The Japanese claim that people died from radiation. If this is true, the number was very small.” Laurence then went on to offer his own remarkable editorial on what happened: “The Japanese are still continuing their propaganda aimed at creating the impression that we won the war unfairly, and thus attempting to create sympathy for themselves and milder terms. Thus, at the beginning, the Japanese described ‘symptoms’ that did not ring true.”

But Laurence knew better. He had observed the first atomic bomb test on July 16, 1945, and he withheld what he knew about radioactive fallout across the southwestern desert that poisoned local residents and livestock. He kept mum about the spiking Geiger counters all around the test site.

William L. Laurence went on to write a series of ten articles for the Times that served as a glowing tribute to the ingenuity and technical achievements of the nuclear program. Throughout these and other reports, he downplayed and denied the human impact of the bombing. Laurence won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting.

It turns out that William L. Laurence was not only receiving a salary from The New York Times. He was also on the payroll of the War Department. In March 1945, General Leslie Groves had held a secret meeting at The New York Times with Laurence to offer him a job writing press releases for the Manhattan Project, the U.S. program to develop atomic weapons. The intent, according to the Times, was “to explain the intricacies of the atomic bomb’s operating principles in laymen’s language.” Laurence also helped write statements on the bomb for President Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson.

Laurence eagerly accepted the offer, “his scientific curiosity and patriotic zeal perhaps blinding him to the notion that he was at the same time compromising his journalistic independence,” as essayist Harold Evans wrote in a history of war reporting. Evans recounted: “After the bombing, the brilliant but bullying Groves continually suppressed or distorted the effects of radiation. He dismissed reports of Japanese deaths as ‘hoax or propaganda.’ The Times’ Laurence weighed in, too, after Burchett’s reports, and parroted the government line.” Indeed, numerous press releases issued by the military after the Hiroshima bombing – which in the absence of eyewitness accounts were often reproduced verbatim by U.S. newspapers – were written by none other than Laurence.

“Mine has been the honor, unique in the history of journalism, of preparing the War Department’s official press release for worldwide distribution,” boasted Laurence in his memoirs, Dawn Over Zero. “No greater honor could have come to any newspaperman, or anyone else for that matter.”

“Atomic Bill” Laurence revered atomic weapons. He had been crusading for an American nuclear program in articles as far back as 1929. His dual status as government agent and reporter earned him an unprecedented level of access to American military officials – he even flew in the squadron of planes that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. His reports on the atomic bomb and its use had a hagiographic tone, laced with descriptions that conveyed almost religious awe.

In Laurence’s article about the bombing of Nagasaki (it was withheld by military censors until a month after the bombing), he described the detonation over Nagasaki that incinerated 100,000 people. Laurence waxed: “Awe-struck, we watched it shoot upward like a meteor coming from the earth instead of from outer space, becoming ever more alive as it climbed skyward through the white clouds. It was a living thing, a new species of being, born right before our incredulous eyes.”

Laurence later recounted his impressions of the atomic bomb: “Being close to it and watching it as it was being fashioned into a living thing, so exquisitely shaped that any sculptor would be proud to have created it, one . . . felt oneself in the presence of the supranatural.”

Laurence was good at keeping his master’s secrets – from suppressing the reports of deadly radioactivity in New Mexico to denying them in Japan. The Times was also good at keeping secrets, only revealing Laurence’s dual status as government spokesman and reporter on August 7, the day after the Hiroshima bombing – and four months after Laurence began working for the Pentagon. As Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell wrote in their excellent book Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial, “Here was the nation’s leading science reporter, severely compromised, not only unable but disinclined to reveal all he knew about the potential hazards of the most important scientific discovery of his time.”

Radiation: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

A curious twist to this story concerns another New York Times journalist who reported on Hiroshima; his name, believe it or not, was William Lawrence (his byline was W.H. Lawrence). He has long been confused with William L. Laurence. (Even Wilfred Burchett confuses the two men in his memoirs and his 1983 book, Shadows of Hiroshima.) Unlike the War Department’s Pulitzer Prize winner, W.H. Lawrence visited and reported on Hiroshima on the same day as Burchett. (William L. Laurence, after flying in the squadron of planes that bombed Nagasaki, was subsequently called back to the United States by the Times and did not visit the bombed cities.)

W.H. Lawrence’s original dispatch from Hiroshima was published on September 5, 1945. He reported matter-of-factly about the deadly effects of radiation, and wrote that Japanese doctors worried that “all who had been in Hiroshima that day would die as a result of the bomb’s lingering effects.” He described how “persons who had been only slightly injured on the day of the blast lost 86 percent of their white blood corpuscles, developed temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, their hair began to drop out, they lost their appetites, vomited blood and finally died.”

Oddly enough, W.H. Lawrence contradicted himself one week later in an article headlined NO RADIOACTIVITY IN HIROSHIMA RUIN. For this article, the Pentagon’s spin machine had swung into high gear in response to Burchett’s horrifying account of “atomic plague.” W.H. Lawrence reported that Brigadier General T. F. Farrell, chief of the War Department’s atomic bomb mission to Hiroshima, “denied categorically that [the bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.” Lawrence’s dispatch quotes only Farrell; the reporter never mentions his eyewitness account of people dying from radiation sickness that he wrote the previous week.

The conflicting accounts of Wilfred Burchett and William L. Laurence might be ancient history were it not for a modern twist. On October 23, 2003, The New York Times published an article about a controversy over a Pulitzer Prize awarded in 1932 to Times reporter Walter Duranty. A former correspondent in the Soviet Union, Duranty had denied the existence of a famine that had killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933.

The Pulitzer Board had launched two inquiries to consider stripping Duranty of his prize. The Times “regretted the lapses” of its reporter and had published a signed editorial saying that Duranty’s work was “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper.” Current Times executive editor Bill Keller decried Duranty’s “credulous, uncritical parroting of propaganda.”

On November 21, 2003, the Pulitzer Board decided against rescinding Duranty’s award, concluding that there was “no clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception” in the articles that won the prize.

As an apologist for Joseph Stalin, Duranty is easy pickings. What about the “deliberate deception” of William L. Laurence in denying the lethal effects of radioactivity? And what of the fact that the Pulitzer Board knowingly awarded the top journalism prize to the Pentagon’s paid publicist, who denied the suffering of millions of Japanese? Do the Pulitzer Board and the Times approve of “uncritical parroting ” – as long as it is from the United States?

It is long overdue that the prize for Hiroshima’s apologist be stripped.

The original of the above article published on Aug. 10, 2004 is available here.

Amy Goodman is host of the national radio and TV show “Democracy Now!.” This is an excerpt from her new national bestselling book The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, written with her brother journalist David, exposes the reporting of Times correspondent William L. Laurence. Democracy Now! is a national radio and TV program, broadcast on more than 240 stations.

Important Note: A profound 22-minute video features interviews of a number of “atomic soldiers” who were ordered to watch the nuclear bomb blasts from as close as a mile away. They were sworn to secrecy under a penalty of a $10,000 fine (roughly $100,000 in today’s dollars) or 10 years in jail and instructed never to talk to their wives or their fellow soldiers about anything they saw or experienced. Don’t miss this incredible film, available on this webpage, that the U.S. government doesn’t want you to see.

December 25, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Elon Musk – arguably the world’s biggest conman and egoist

Earta Caln 19 Oct 22, In addition to being the world’s wealthiest man, Elon Musk is also the world’s biggest conman and egoist. He lied about providing starlight internet to ukraine. It was completely subsidized, by the US govt.he didn’t pay a dime to get it going as he has said. Musk  lies about perfecting completely autonomous cars that continue, to catch fire and cause accidents. His Mars colonization is one of the greatest jokes and cons in history.
Musk has birthed nine children in collaboration with four different uteruses His wife’s, his girlfriend’s, a surrogate’s, and a senior employee.
Elon musk brags about  feeding his  his babies fukushima applesausce!

This month, Musk diverted  additional attention to himself. There haven’t been enough headlines about his on-again, off-again purchase of Twitter, his alleged romantic interludes, his dope smoking on Joe Rogan, his Tesla overpromising and all the other publicity stunts to stoke his overloaded ego. Now he has said he has drafted himself as a citizen-diplomat to end the Russian war on Ukraine. Putin says he is lying.

Musk’s diplomatic grandstand, with putin would be admirable, if there were any substance to it. Putin denies it.

Nobody accused Musk of conducting his own foreign policy in late February when he tweeted the news that he had activated his Starlink satellite internet service over Ukraine that was payed for by the usa govt, not him, as he lied about it. Because he is the ultimate govt welfare parasite who receive billions from the usa military industrial complex  from nasa for his self-serving space x projects and finally from his boondoggle Mars colonization lies and tin can Mars rocket, that would not get past the moon.

  His peace plan, bs  and toadying is simplistic grandstanding that hasnt  killed anyone,  but will go nowhere like his other conjobs , whereas Starlink’s activation likely sent thousands of Russian soldiers to their graves by giving the Ukrainian military a decided advantage over its Russian invaders.
Radionuclides are the most mutagenic chemicals on earth! Millions of times more genotoxic than their closest,  chemotoxic relatives. Elon musk brags about  feeding his  his babies, fukushima applesausce!

The never-never frontier
Musk will never have colonies in space. First of all, there is too much cosmic radiation, in space. No hull can protect humans from it, from Cosmic radiation. Cosmic radiation is a hundred times more penetrating, than gamma radiation.
Gamma radiation and neutron bursts are the most deadly radiation, on earth. One concentrated burst, of gamma radiation,, will kill you.
Most astronauts are damaged, by their time in space. There are no known propulsion systems, that will  feasibly take large groups of people to Mars. Musk is such a liar and con. His tin can Mars rocket will never go much anywhere. Musk wants to develop nuclear fission drive for Mars colonization and use nuclear bombs to geoengineer Mars for hellsake! Musk also proposes nuclear propulsion for Mars colonization.

Nuclear propulsion is a mIndscrewingly evil joke, that would probably irradiate, any passengers to Mars to death, before they got to Mars. Any attempt at space colonization will finish the earths atmosphere, from the massive propellants pollution, needed to multiply  shuttle material into orbit for his grandiose schemes.  The earths atmosphere is so chemically polluted, it would be ruined ruined not to mention, the accelerating effects on climate change.  Atmospheric pollution, is so bad from chemical pollution that it is almost unbreathable in many areas on earth.
Musk wants to put more nuclear reactors in space!
Radionuclides are millions of times more, genotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic,.and teratogenic
more so, than the closest nitrogen mustard, or any chemical mutagen and woman’s reproductive systems are a hundred times more sensitive to the than mens.
Musk says people in Japan and the world need to have more babies because, the birth rate is going down.  He never  brings  up the fact about how polluted Japan and the world  world  are now  with hormone interrupting toxic industrial chemicals and radionuclides. Radionuclides are the most mutagenic chemicals on earth! Millions of times more genotoxic than their closest,  chemotoxic relatives. Elon musk brags about  feeding his  his babies fukushima applesausce!
The ongoing  fukushima catastrophe, in japan continues to go on spewing radionuclides into the environment and ocean. 1 million snowcrabs  just disappeared in the artic this year and their will be no snowcrab harvests in alaska, this year.
In Japan, their solution, and one applauded by this psychotic out of touch billionaires Musk and  Bill Gates, is to build more nuclear reactors and flood the already overlooked , nuclearwaste ridden earth, with more nuclear waste .
The old fascist Boobs in Japan that are pushing more reactors, are the ultimate nuclear criminals. They are a scripted part of Japan’s imminent collapse. One more meltdown in Japan,  will mean acute radiation poisoning and death for half of Japan. That is  because, the radionuclide prevalence will be large and “undiluted” enough, to cause visible and widespread death in Japan.

The Japanese continue to open air burn nuclear waste from fukishima. In various parts of japan.

Japanese society continues to have serious problems, with the large initial spewing of radionuclides, as far south as Yokohama , as far East as Fukui, as far north as Hokkaido They have actually been burning nuclear waste from fukushima and spreading, the most deadly radionuclides, all over japan since the initial meltdowns occured and now they want to release millions of gallons, of more radionucled water that they have accumulated, since fukushima into the ocean.
Fukushima continues to pour deadly radionuclides into the environment. Birth defect statistics are suppressed. Cancer rates suppressed. There is putrid malaise, in most of japan.

Musk supports fascism in Japan and elsewhere. He wants to put Trump back on twitter. He supported PM Abe the greatest fukushima denier and suppresor of all time.  Musk supports nuclear power in China and everywhere! Abe was a nasty fascist nationalist.  Bill Gates  and Trump  were  best buds with abe .

Read more: Elon Musk – arguably the world’s biggest conman and egoist

Modern Fascism, is deeply linked to organized crime and corruption.  It is the last stage of political organization, in corrupt, industrial societies. It is antidemocratic. It denies, climate change and industrial pollution. Fascism scapegoats groups of people, as the cause of problems. Fascism ignores the results of climate change, industrial pollution, and declining life expectancies, in declining industrial nations. Fascism denies these industrial ills, that cause climate change and dangerous levels of heavy metal and chemical pollution. In fact, fascists, deregulate toxic substance controls and bans.
Fascists, want to increase fossil fuel extraction and, nuclear energy production.
Suicidal denial, projection, and irrationality, in a very sick society.
Turning to fascism, signals the death-knell, for a decaying, dying nationality, in the anthropocene age because, of it’s reactionary and antidemocratic nature.
Italy’s mafias, have dumped concentrated high-level, nuclear waste, in municipalities dumps in Italy,  for  the past 4 decades. Heavy metal pollution like lead,  arsenic,  radionuclides,  and mercury is widespread and has high prevalence in all industrial societies.  Arsenic and radium, comes from car exhaust, from burning fossil fuels.
Lead and uranium are in water, from fracking and leaded pipes.
Mercury and radiocuclides in foods, comes  from years of mercury pollution, nuclear waste, nuclear accidents, and nuclear power.  
High toxic pollution levels exist, in most capitalist and mixed-economy consumption-based, societies.
The metals cause physical disability and dementia, in already failing societies.
Western countries descending into fascism already suffer parliamentry stalemate, austerity economics, economic decline,  the interference  of other countries in their politics and economies. Pollution, climate change,  and fascism, are sure to lead to  the accelerated, suicidal decline of Italy.
It is a society that will only decline further, with such an irrational political system, until it implodes in this anthropocene age, as Japan is, under the weight of Fukushima. As Ukraine did, under the weight of chernobyl.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, PERSONAL STORIES, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Gorbachev Ended Cold War, Eased Nuclear Tensions But Trusted US Too Much – Experts

News Ghana, By SPUTNIK, September 1, 2022,

Late Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was a good, well-meaning man who ended the Cold War and dramatically reduced superpower and global nuclear tensions, but he put too much trust into the unwritten assurances of American leaders, experts told Sputnik.

Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91 in Moscow after a long and serious illness, according to the Central Clinical Hospital. He will be laid to rest at the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow after a public farewell ceremony on Saturday.

Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Chas Freeman paid tribute to Gorbachev’s monumental achievement in easing global tensions and ensuring superpower peace for decades.

“Until his death, he was the most consequential of all living persons,” Freeman said.

Global anti-nuclear campaigner Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of Nobel Peace Prize winning Physicians said Gorbachev had far greater vision and determination to abolish nuclear weapons than his US counterparts.

Global anti-nuclear campaigner Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of Nobel Peace Prize winning Physicians said Gorbachev had far greater vision and determination to abolish nuclear weapons than his US counterparts.

“A global hero died [on Tuesday]. A man who liaised with [then-US president Ronald] Reagan who brought the Cold War to an end and was one of the wisest men, if not the wisest, of this last century,” she said.

Unfortunately, when the two leaders met in Reykjavik, Iceland in October 1986 and almost agreed to abolish nuclear weapons, Reagan insisted on keeping Star Wars, the US-space-based weapons systems, Caldicott recalled.

“Gorbachev opposed this notion, so we still have our lives hanging by a thread, rapidly approaching global annihilation,” she said.

Gorbachev was also opposed to the eastward expansion of NATO in the 30 years following the end of the Soviet Union, Caldicott pointed out. A halt on NATO expansion east of the Oder River and the eastern-most border of Germany had been promised by then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III in the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, she noted.

However, this pledge was “subsequently violated by the great United States of America, hence the murderous mess in the Ukraine [today],” Caldicott commented.

American University in Moscow President Edward Lozansky agreed that Gorbachev was a good man who sought international global security and cooperation for all, especially for the Russian and American peoples, but that he was naive in trusting the assurances of successive US leaders.

“Gorbachev was a good man who clearly saw the mountains of problems in… the Soviet Union but naively expected America’s help in solving them,” he said.

In his vision which Gorbachev presented to Washington he saw this help not as a charity but an investment in the future, involving both mutually beneficial security and economic cooperation, Lozansky explained.

“Taking into account Russia’s enormous natural riches, its huge nuclear arsenal and human capital, that cooperation being performed in an honest way would definitely be good for everyone and prevent many problems that America faces today,” he pointed out.

However, the Washington establishment has chosen another way, Lozansky observed………

Gorbachev will rank high in the annals of the world, Lozansky concluded.

“Still. I believe that his historical legacy will place him in the ranks of the righteous,” he said.

California State University Political Science Professor Beau Grosscup agreed that Gorbachev had courageously approved enormous constructive changes even at the cost of his own standing and career…………..

September 2, 2022 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Nagasaki A-bomb survivor told German foreign minister to spurn ‘nuclear umbrella’

August 9, 2022 (Mainichi Japan) NAGASAKI — Nagasaki A-bomb survivor Shigemitsu Tanaka, 81, used German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s July visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to share his experience of the bombing and ask her to abandon the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”

Germany, a NATO member, participated as an observer in the first meeting of parties to the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons held in Vienna in June, despite being covered by the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. Although Germany has not signed the treaty, the European nation stressed that it will participate in constructive dialogue with the countries and regions that have ratified the treaty.

The 41-year-old foreign minister, who came to Japan for talks with her Japanese counterpart, visited the A-bomb museum on July 10. Tanaka is the chairman of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council and was invited to the museum for the visit.

Baerbock looked Tanaka in the eye, and as if in reply, Tanaka shared his experience of the atomic bombing and his subsequent suffering. He hoped that his wish that there should never be another “hibakusha,” or person exposed to the atomic bombings, reached the foreign minister.

On Aug. 9, 1945, a flash of light engulfed 4-year-old Tanaka in his yard in the Nagasaki Prefecture village (now town) of Togitsu, about 6 kilometers north of the hypocenter. He rushed into an air-raid shelter to escape the noise and the blast. When he went outside again, he found his home’s tatami mats and shoji sliding doors blown away and the windowpanes shattered.

The next day his father, an Imperial Japanese Navy unit member stationed in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, was sent to the bombed city to do rescue work. When he returned home, he complained of physical discomfort and other symptoms. His mother also treated the injured at a national elementary school in the village, and a few days after the bombing, she went to an acquaintance’s home about 1 km from the hypocenter to check if they were all right.

His mother developed diarrhea and rashes on her legs, and later liver and thyroid problems. His father became frustrated with his mother’s many hospital visits, and he turned into a violent alcoholic. Twelve years later, he died of liver cancer…………………………..

When the foreign minister left the museum, she left a comment in the visitors’ book that read, “This is a place that conveys the madness of nuclear war and the terrible suffering caused by the atomic bombs. As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a danger that such a horrific reality will occur again. That is why our commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons will never weaken.”…………………………………

Tanaka had strong words for the Japanese government: “If we say that we are ‘the only country to have experienced atomic bombings’ but do nothing, we will lose the world’s trust. Since Japan claims to serve as a bridge between the nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, now is the time for Japan to take a stance like that of Germany, which participated in the meeting (of parties to the U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty) even though it did not sign or ratify the treaty.”

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takahashi, Nagasaki Bureau)

August 8, 2022 Posted by | health, Japan, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

British soldiers used as radiation guinea pigs in nuclear bomb tests in Australia

British veterans ‘ordered to march through smoking craters’ in nuclear bomb tests, Brian Tomlinson claims the state dumped him and his comrades, many of whom died from cancer after being used in a shocking human experiment, Susie Boniface, Reporter, 24 Jul 2022,

A veteran of nuclear bomb tests has told how British ­servicemen were ordered to march through a smoking crater to find how radioactive it was.

Brian Tomlinson said he also had to dig out scientific instruments buried in the contaminated soil and revealed he was left with bleeding ulcers on his palms for two decades.

But he claims the state dumped him and his comrades, many of whom died from cancer in the years after they were used in a shocking human experiment in the Australian outback.

And Brian supports the Mirror’s campaign for a medal for heroes of the nuclear tests in the 50s.

“That place is still radioactive, it’s in the soil for a hell of a long time, so what chance does a human being have?” he said.

“A medal would get us a little bit of recognition for those who took part. It says you’re someone who’s been noticed and not discarded, which is how we’ve felt for so long.”

Last month, Boris Johnson became the first PM to meet veterans, and promised action before October’s 70th anniversary of the first test. His resignation threw it into doubt and campaigners are seeking ­reassurances from Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss that they will do the same.

Brian, now 85, was a sapper sent to Maralinga, South Australia, in 1957 to take part in Operation Antler, a series of three atomic bomb tests designed to help build the more powerful H-bomb.

His troop of Royal Engineers were blended with Australian soldiers, and 40 of them lived for a year inside the blast zone in canvas tents.

The main base, where scientists, top brass, and most troops stayed, was called Maralinga Village. Brian’s unit was 14 miles deeper into the testing grounds, at Roadside Camp. From there, it was just 9 miles to Ground Zero.

Brian, a 20-year-old corporal at the time, said: “Nobody told us what it was all about, or checked us for ­radiation, but every morning we went into the forward area.

We had pneumatic drills, and had to blast down through the soil. There was about 12 inches of earth, red dust, and below that was rock.”

For each of 3 blasts, the crew had to bury dozens of large steel containers 8ft square. Each had instruments inside to measure the explosion, with pipes protruding above ground level. Those closest to the bombs were sandbagged and concreted to protect them from the shockwave.

A few hours after each bomb, Brian and his crew – wearing only shorts, socks, boots and a hat – had to drive back in, remove the sandbags and concrete, and extract the instruments.

Scientists who went with them wore radiation suits and badges, but Brian said for the first two blasts he had neither.

He added: “After the third bomb, we were given little rubber boots, and a white overall, and a dose badge. We were told to walk through the crater. The mushroom cloud was still overhead. The wind had started to push it away. It was only a few hours after, not very long.”

The first two bombs, ­codenamed Tadje and Biak, were one kiloton and 6kts respectively.

But the third, Taranaki, was 25kts, as powerful as the weapon which destroyed ­Nagasaki in 1945.

Brian, of Yate, near Bristol, said: “As you approached the bomb site it was quite amazing, because it was like a bowling green. Everything was green and smooth. It was only when you were on it you realised the heat from the bomb had crystallised the earth underneath it. It was a crust of molten sand, like glass.

“The crater left there was huge. They told us to walk into that, down into the crater, and up the other side, and then check our meters to see how high the dose was.”

Brian said: “When it reached a certain point they told us to come out. It didn’t take long for it to reach that point. We weren’t told at the time what the dose was supposed to be. But it was just as bad as going through the centre of the bomb as soon as it had gone off.”

The first two bombs were detonated on top of 100ft-high towers built by the sappers, but desert sand was sucked into the fireball and fell to the ground as toxic fallout. The third bomb was tethered to barrage balloons 980ft up, supposedly minimising the risk.

But the size of the bomb, and perhaps the fact the same site was used for previous weapons tests, meant there was still fallout.

After they left the crater, Brian was taken to a decontamination area. The men’s clothes were stripped off and taken away, and the men were put through showers.

“We spent 5 or 6 minutes scrubbing away, then put ourselves in this meter, it was like standing on a weighing machine, and you push your hands through these bars to be tested. If a bell rang, you were still radioactive and had to go back in and scrub under your nails, everywhere, in your hair. I had to do it 3 times. They didn’t give us any more information.”

Documented safety measures at Maralinga included wire fences through which sand could easily be blown, and one wooden post barrier that Brian’s unit passed through each morning.

Brian was not checked for radiation while excavating amid the fallout, nor given long-term medical follow-ups. Six years later, he was medically discharged with a duodenal ulcer.

Radiation is known to cause problems with the lining of the gut, and earlier this year a government study reported nuclear test veterans were 20 per cent more likely than other servicemen to die from stomach cancer.

Brian said: “It wasn’t until later I started having skin problems. It would cover me from head to toes, rashes on my back, chest, legs, thighs. They used to come out on the palms of my hands.

“I’d get a little itchy blister in the centre of my palm, it would break and then spread over the fingers. I used to wear white cotton gloves to ease the pain and itching.

“The skin would go hard, then crack and bleed, and it would start all over again. I had that for 20 years, and no doctor could work out what it was.”

Today, cancer patients are warned radiotherapy using beta radiation can lead to radiodermatitis, which causes rashes, skin peeling, and ulceration. It is caused by the decay of isotopes, including plutonium and cobalt-60, both of which were in the Antler bombs.

Brian said: “I would have a constant itch, all over, and had to take cold showers just to stop the itching and have something of a normal life. I got depressed, to the point where I didn’t want to go and see the doctors because they just have me the same old medication and it never did me any good. Then one day, after 20 years, it just stopped, as suddenly as it came.”

Two decades after his discharge, Brian also had an operation to finally cure his ulcer. It involved cutting the vagus nerve, which controls digestion as well as carrying sensory information from the skin’s surface.

“I told all my consultants what was done to me out there in Maralinga, and asked if it was due to fallout. They all denied it,” said Brian. “Nobody’s ever done anything for us nuclear test veterans except withhold information from us.”

Campaigners have asked the Prime Minister for a medal and a service of national recognition at Westminster Abbey to mark the Plutonium Jubilee in 3 months’ time.

A spokesman for the MoD said it was grateful to veterans, and claimed they were well-­monitored and protected. He added: “The Prime Minister met with veterans recently, and asked ministers to explore how their dedication can be recognised. We remain committed to considering any new evidence”


For 40 years, the Mirror has campaigned for justice for the brave men who took part in Britain’s nuclear weapons tests.

The Ministry of Defence has fought back every step of the way.

We have told countless heartbreaking stories of grieving mums, children with deformities, men aged before their time and widows struggling to hold their families together, all while campaigning for recognition.

Two years ago we launched an appeal for a medal for the 1,500 survivors.

For the first time we were able to prove some were unwittingly used in experiments.

Our appeal was backed by then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson but his review foundered after he lost his job.

It had only six meetings in two years. They never asked to meet veterans. They never questioned the evidence.

Instead they asked for information from the MoD, which has a track record of denying what its own paperwork later proves.

And as our medal campaign gathered steam, civil servants simultaneously withdrew public documents from the National Archives.

Would anyone working in Whitehall today stay there, if 3 megatons of plutonium exploded south of the river?

The test veterans and their families will never stop fighting. The Mirror will never cease to demand they are heard.

Prime Minister, listen to them. Overturn this disgraceful decision.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘Big guns’ keep the world on nuclear high alert – Helen Caldicott

With Russia and the U.S. currently on the warpath during the escalating conflict in Ukraine, the world is again at serious risk of nuclear disaster, writes Dr Helen Caldicott.

By Helen Caldicott | 17 July 2022,

JOHN F. KENNEDY’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and I got to know each other during the last years of his life.

One day, as we were having lunch in the Metropolitan Club, he said to me:

“Helen, I was in the Oval Office during the Cuban Missile Crisis and we came so close – within three minutes – to nuclear war.”

Now, we are at another turning point in history — although most commentators seem not to understand the gravity of the situation. For the first time since then, the two nuclear superpowers armed as they are with thousands of nuclear weapons – many on hair-trigger alert – are facing each other during an escalating war in Ukraine.

As the genius, Albert Einstein said:

‘The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.’

So true.

Here we are with Vladimir Putin who decided to invade Ukraine killing innocent civilians and destroying property at random, while the U.S. military-industrial complex rejoices at the opportunity to make and sell as many weapons as it can, as its shares bound sky high.

The neo-cons that Joe Biden has appointed to his Cabinet are thrilled that for the first time since the Cold War ended, they can take on the “evil” Russia — although Russia seems no longer to be a communist country, but in fact a raging capitalist institution, with many of its state riches stolen by outrageous oligarchs living high on the hog.

During the Clinton Administration, Putin requested that Russia become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but it never eventuated as Russia was too big and too authoritarian.

NATO was created to defend western Europe from the perils of the “aggressive” Soviet Union and, as is well-known when the Cold War ended, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker promised Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move one inch to the East.

This posture however was antithetical to aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin whose president, Norman Augustine took it upon himself to visit these newly liberated countries convincing them to become democracies – that is, part of NATO – which required them to arm themselves to the tune of millions of dollars, enormously benefiting the U.S. military-industrial complex.

America then introduced military and missile equipment in all these NATO countries, targeting, of course, Russia, while NATO expanded from 12 to 30 countries.

Putin originally had two requests:

  • that the missiles targeting Russia be removed; and
  • that Ukraine not be admitted to the NATO block.

He was refused.

The present precarious situation is heightened by the testosterone imperative that has dominated and guided wars throughout history, superimposed by the tenuous control of nuclear arsenals, the launching of which has too often been triggered by false alarms, a rising moon, a flock of geese triggering radar alerts, human fallibility, war games, tapes plugged into the Pentagon system and many more.

Superimposed upon this fragile system is the age-old necessity to “win”.

I wake up each morning, look out the window to see the roses and wonder how much longer they will exist — more frightened now than I have ever been even during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

July 16, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, PERSONAL STORIES, World | Leave a comment

Scotland needs to dissociate from the world’s nuclear madness – a personal story

Brian Quail, Glasgow, 3 July 22,

ON the morning of Monday June 13 I was lying on the road at Coulport, my arm hidden in a plastic tube. At the other end of this, the redoubtable Willemein from Faslane Peace Camp was handcuffed to me. (This is called locking on and is a method of frustrating arrest).

We were accompanied by some young folk from XR Peace, while the wonderful Protest in Harmony sang to keep our spirits up.

After an hour or so, a nice policeman started to go through the five warnings process. Analogous to reading the Riot Act, this is a formality which I always welcome since it means the process of being arrested is actually starting.

I struggled up into a sitting posture when he said that we were preventing people going about their normal business. I pointed out that servicing hydrogen bombs is not legal business. My point was ignored. I was put into a very narrow cage on a van and driven off to Clydebank and several hours of imprisonment in a police cell.

All things are connected. While this is going on here, in Vienna, the United Nations States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) just concluded the first meeting, and condemned unequivocally “any and all nuclear threats, whether they be explicit or implicit and irrespective of the circumstances”. Some 61 countries have ratified this Treaty. It is now compulsory international law – ius cogens – from which there is no derogation.

In Ukraine, civilians are killed by aerial bombing, while the rest of the world looks on in horror. We are not allowed to burn people. We all know that, but we are threatening to do just that every moment of every day with our so-called “deterrent”. Young men are diligently practising their role in using Trident. All things are connected.

In a few weeks we will commemorate our nuclear Original Sin, the greatest single-act war crime in history, Hiroshima. This will be largely ignored. And precisely because we are unrepentant of this atrocity, we are prepared to repeat it – and unimaginably worse – with Trident. All things are connected.

At start of the Second World War when Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, Hitler justified this by saying “better 1000 dead Dutchman than one dead German soldier”. People were aghast and said this was just the attitude we were fighting against. Yet at the end of war bomber Harris blanket bombed German cities. When some scrupulous people protested this he said: “All the cities of North Germany are not worth the bones of one British grenadier.”

I don’t know if Bomber Harris realised he was parroting Hitler, but it hardly matters. What is important is we ended up adopting the morality which we went to war to fight against in the first place. We became the enemy.

When human extermination became the official policy of the advanced states, the finest brains in the world reacted with incredulous horror. Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell published the Peace Manifesto back in 1955, where they said: “Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.” Their anguished plea was ignored.

The good people who wanted us to have a future rallied round the call to “ban the bomb”. We said ban the bomb and – guess what – that is exactly what we have done. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at the United Nations in New York on September 20 2017 and entered into force on January 22 2021. This has finally banned the bomb. The nine rogue nuclear states may ignore this but they are thereby stigmatised as pariah states, and they will ultimately have to accept the rule of law.

Today the Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than at any other time in the past. The nuclear states respond by obdurately modernising their weaponry. Boris Johnston has increased the killpower of Trident by 40%. So we in Scotland have to endure Trident. How long can this tyrannical lunacy endure?

A few days ago I received a letter informing me that my appearance in court on June 29 which I agreed to following my arrest, had been cancelled. Is this an indication that a glimmer of sanity has penetrated the legal bureaucracy? Or am I just clutching at straws?

Scottish independence means freedom from nuclear terrorism not only for us, but for all the countries of the worl. also. If only we can find the courage to seize it Because all things are connected.

July 4, 2022 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What I Know About Human Life as a Nuclear Downwinder

A government that knowingly harms its own citizens must be held accountable. Our lives are worth more than civilization-ending weapons. MARY DICKSON, June 17, 2022

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, we unbelievably find ourselves on the brink of a new Cold War, ironically as casualties of the last Cold War are running out of time to seek the compensation and justice they deserve.

President Biden recently signed into law a stopgap bill to extend for another two years the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which pays partial restitution to select victims of atmospheric nuclear testing on American soil.  While a welcome first step, it fails to address thousands more Americans who have been excluded from compensation despite the devastating harms they have suffered from radiation exposure. Time is running out as many are literally dying as they wait for justice.

I am a casualty of the Cold War, a survivor of nuclear weapons testing. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah during the Cold War I was repeatedly exposed to dangerous levels of radioactive fallout from hundreds of detonations at the Nevada Test Site just 65 miles west of Las Vegas.

Our government detonated 100 bombs above ground in Nevada between 1951 and 1962 and 828 more bombs underground through 1992, many of which broke through the earth’s surface and spewed radioactive fallout into the atmosphere as well. The jet stream carried fallout far beyond the test site where it made its way into the environment and the bodies of unsuspecting Americans, while a government we trusted repeatedly assured us “there is no danger.”

In the spring before my 30th birthday, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Children, especially those under the age of five at the time of radiation exposure, as I was, were most at risk.

I have been sliced, radiated and scooped out. I have buried and mourned the dead, comforted and advocated for the living, and worried with each pain, ache and lump that I am getting sick again. I survived thyroid cancer as well as subsequent health complications that left me unable to have children. My sister and others I grew up with were not so fortunate. They lost their lives to various cancers and other radiation-related illnesses.  Before she died, my sister and I counted 54 people in a five-block area of our childhood neighborhood who developed cancer, autoimmune disorders, and other diseases that ravaged them and their families.

The government’s ambitious program of nuclear testing had tragic consequences for countless unsuspecting, patriotic Americans living downwind. “We are veterans of the Cold War, only we never enlisted and no one will fold a flag over our coffins,” a late friend of mine was fond of saying.     

The U.S. government finally acknowledged its responsibility in 1990 when it passed the bipartisan Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which paid partial restitution to some fallout victims in select rural counties of Utah, Arizona and Nevada. The bill never went far enough. We now know that the harm wreaked by fallout extends far beyond these counties.  We also know that people are still getting sick. The suffering has not ended.

As part of a coalition of impacted community groups working with allied advocates nationwide, we have worked hard for the speedy expansion and extension of RECA through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021. This bipartisan bill would add downwinders from all of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Guam, as well as uranium miners who worked in the industry beyond 1971. It also would increase compensation from $50,000 to $150,00 for all claimants and extend the program for 19 years.

The House bill currently has 68 co-sponsors, the Senate bill 18, Republicans and Democrats from across the country. What we now need are their colleagues in both parties to join them.

As we reach out to Senators and Representatives asking them to support the bills, we are sometimes confronted with questions about cost. What, I ask in return, is a human life worth? Over the last 32 years, RECA has paid out $2.5 billion to 39,000 Americans. To put that into perspective, each year this country spends $50 billion just to maintain our nuclear arsenal.  Are our lives not worth 0.5% of the cost of weapons that harmed us?

What is paramount is rectifying the mistakes of the past. As Rep. Diane Titus of Nevada said, “These people are Cold Warriors and we do not leave our warriors on the field.”

A government that knowingly harms its own citizens must be held accountable. Our lives are worth more than civilization-ending weapons. It’s a simple matter of priorities and justice.

June 18, 2022 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hope, hard reality mix in Fukushima town wrecked by nuclear disaster 

Hope, hard reality mix in Fukushima town wrecked by nuclear disaster, Japan Today , Mar. 20

By Mari Yamaguchi,  Yasushi Hosozawa returned on the first day possible after a small section of his hometown, Futaba, reopened in January — 11 years after the nuclear meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi plant.

It has not been easy.

Futaba, which hosts part of the plant, saw the evacuation of all 7,000 residents because of radiation after the March 11, 2011, quake and subsequent tsunami that left more than 18,000 people dead or missing along Japan’s northeastern coast.

Only seven have permanently returned to live in the town.

“Futaba is my home … I’ve wanted to come back since the disaster happened. It was always in my mind,” Hosozawa, 77, said during an interview with The Associated Press at his house, which is built above a shed filled with handcrafted fishing equipment.

An abandoned ramen shop sits next door, and so many houses and buildings around him have been demolished, the neighborhood looks barren.

A retired plumber, Hosozawa had to relocate three times over the past decade. Returning to Futaba was his dream, and he patiently waited while other towns reopened earlier.

To his disappointment, the water supply was not reconnected the day he returned. He had to fill plastic containers with water from a friend’s house in a nearby town.

The town has no clinics, convenience stores or other commercial services for daily necessities. He has to leave Futaba to get groceries or to see his doctor for his diabetes medicine.

On a typical day, he makes a breakfast of rice, miso soup and natto. In the late morning, he drives about 10 minutes to Namie, a town just north of Futaba, to buy a packed lunch and to shop.

He takes a walk in the afternoon, but “I don’t see a soul except for patrolling police.” He drops by the train station once in a while to chat with town officials. After some evening sake at home, he goes to bed early while listening to old-fashioned Japanese “enka” songs.

He looks forward to the spring fishing season and likes to grow vegetables in his garden.

But Hosozawa wonders if this is the best way to spend his final years. “I won’t live much longer, and if I have three to four more years, I’d rather not be in a Futaba like this,” he says. “Coming back might have been a mistake.”

“Who would want to return to a town without a school or a doctor? I don’t think young people with children will want to come,” he said.

More than 160,000 residents evacuated

When massive amounts of radiation spewed from the plant, more than 160,000 residents evacuated from across Fukushima, including 33,000 who are still unable to return home.

Of the 12 nearby towns that are fully or partially designated as no-go zones, Futaba is the last one to allow some people to return to live. There are still no-go zones in seven towns where intensive decontamination is conducted only in areas set to reopen by 2023.

Many Futaba residents were forced to give up their land for the building of a storage area for radioactive waste, and Fukushima Daiichi’s uncertain outlook during its decades-long cleanup makes town planning difficult.

Futaba Project, which helps revitalize the town through tourism, new businesses and migration from outside Fukushima, sees potential for educational tourism.

“Places with scars of the disaster remain in Futaba … and visitors can see its reality and think about the future,” said Hidehiko Yamasaki, staffer at the nonprofit Futaba Project………………….

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, PERSONAL STORIES, social effects | Leave a comment

I was a nuclear missile operator. There have been more near-misses than the world knows

I was a nuclear missile operator. There have been more near-misses than the world knows, Cole Smith

As a 22-year-old I controlled a warhead that could vaporize a metropolis. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the public is waking up again to the existential dangers of nuclear weapons

rom 2012 to 2017, I worked as a US air force nuclear missile operator. I was 22 when I started. Each time I descended into the missile silo, I had to be ready to launch, at a moment’s notice, a nuclear weapon that could wipe a city the size of New York off the face of the earth.

On the massive blast door of the launch control center, someone had painted a mural of a Domino’s pizza logo with the macabre caption, “World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less or your next one is free.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, I’ve heard more discussions of nuclear war than I did in the entire nine years that I wore an air force uniform. I’m glad that people are finally discussing the existential dangers of nuclear weapons. There have been more near-misses than the world knows.

Greg Devlin was an airman assigned to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) team in Arkansas in 1980. One night he responded to a leak in the missile’s fuel tank. A young airman working in an ICBM launch tube had accidentally dropped a socket from his toolkit; the socket fell down the silo, ricocheted, and pierced a hole in the stage-one fuel tank. The missile’s liquid fuel exploded. Devlin was thrown 60ft down an asphalt road and watched as a massive fireball rose overhead.

The ICBM had a nine-megaton warhead – the most powerful single nuclear weapon in American history – on top. When the missile exploded, the warhead was thrown into the woods, disappearing into the night.

“I was stunned and in pain but I knew the nuke hadn’t gone off,” Devlin told me, “because I remembered those stories from Hiroshima where people had been turned into little charcoal briquettes. I was alive. That’s how I knew the nuke didn’t detonate.” Although the nuclear warhead didn’t explode, the accident still claimed the life of one airman and injured 21 others, including Devlin.

When I was training as a nuclear missile operator, my instructor told me the story of what happened in Arkansas that night in 1980. It’s a famous story within the missile community. Stories like these were a way of impressing upon young officers the integrity required to be a good steward of these weapons and a warning of how quickly things can go wrong. That warning was very much on my mind as I began my first “alert” down in the claustrophobic underground missile silo that housed the launch control center.

But somewhere along my way to nearly 300 nuclear “alerts” – 24-hour shifts in command of a launch crew – I began to brush the story off as a scare tactic for rookies. Similarly, I think that after the end of the cold war, the general public allowed the threat of nuclear warfare to recede into the background. The threat simply didn’t feel real to new generations like it did to those who grew up huddling under their desks during nuclear attack drills in elementary school.

And the young crews who steward this nuclear arsenal today aren’t immune from the post-cold war malaise. In 2013, during my first year on crew, 11 ICBM officers were implicated in a drug scandal. The following year, 34 ICBM launch officers were implicated in a cheating scandal on their monthly proficiency exams.

Deborah Lee James, the secretary of the air force at the time, said, “This was a failure of integrity on the part of some of our airmen. It was not a failure of our nuclear mission.”

In this attempt to save face, Secretary James revealed a state of dissonance that every nuclear missile operator lives with. We are told, day in and day out, that our integrity is crucial to the deterrent value of nuclear weapons and helps make the world a safer place. But what man or woman of integrity could possibly launch a nuclear weapon?

As the war in Ukraine is reminding us, life with nuclear weapons is not safer or more peaceful. If you study nuclear warfare, you’ll learn about “megatons” and nuclear yields, stockpiles and budget expenditures. These numbers quantify the enormous danger of nuclear weapons but also, in rendering that danger abstract, obfuscate it.

Greg Devlin has a different set of numbers from his experience with missiles. “Since that explosion I’ve had 13 spine surgeries and two spinal stimulators. I lived the last decade of my life on morphine,” said Devlin.

Nuclear weapons turn the most important parts of life into nothing more than numbers – which is exactly the thought process needed for a society that believes that launching a nuclear missile is a viable solution to conflict. Because in the wake of a nuclear attack there will be no individuals, only numbers.

March 12, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

The personal toll of nuclear bomb tests on soldiers and their families

Nuclear test veterans were more likely to have cancer and die, government study finds, Mirror, BySusie Boniface 25 Feb 2022

”………………………………………………………….This isn’t history, it is our daily lives’

Ken McGinley was sent to Christmas Island aged 19. He later became sterile and developed a rare blood cancer. He founded the BNTVA in 1983, and has now been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

He said: “This study is proof, but it isn’t the full picture. It doesn’t analyse the sterility, birth defects, or miscarriages, or the number of cancers some of us have had and survived.

“It’s time for full disclosure – a public inquiry. This isn’t history, it is our daily lives, and the government must act now to deliver justice before that anniversary.”

Ken, 83, of Paisley, added: “I was treated like an enemy of the state. I wasn’t given my blood cancer diagnosis although it was in my notes, my benefits were stopped, and when my wife Alice and I were trying for children, a note was added to our file that the doctors would be ‘very interested in the outcome of any pregnancy ’.”

‘Tragedy took over mum’s life’

After The Mirror called for a medal, then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson met campaigners in 2018.

Widow Shirley Denson, whose husband Eric was an RAF pilot ordered to fly through a mushroom cloud in 1958, walked into the room and said: “So, you’re the man responsible for killing my husband.”

Shirley, of Morden, Surrey, had uncovered documents proving Eric was used in an experiment on his plane, and had the equivalent of 1,649 X-rays to his brain in just six minutes. He later took his own life after two decades of crippling headaches, saying he couldn’t stand it any more. A third of his descendants have birth defects, including missing and extra teeth.

Mr Williamson was so impressed by her that he ordered fresh research.

Shirley died before it could be published, in March last year, with the MoD refusing her deathbed plea for a medal.

Daughter Shelley, 59, said: “My mum was a formidable woman. She raised four daughters, and had to deal with the tragedy not just of my dad’s suicide, but his illness in the years before it. It took over her life.

“This study proves what she always said, when the government claimed there was no evidence – we ARE the evidence. All those young men who were sent to their deaths, just married, with children on the way or yet to come, and then left to rot.

“I hope now that the veterans and their families finally get everything they deserve. It would be an awesome legacy for my mum. She fought so valiantly, and it broke her heart that there was no justice for her girls.”…………………

Operation Buffalo took place in Australia and 1956 and included an “indoctrinee force” ordered to walk, crawl and run through fallout to see how much stayed on their uniforms. Some were ordered to sit in tanks close to the blast to test the effect on men and machinery. The study found all of them had a radiation dose, 85 per cent were dead, more than a quarter died from cancer, and they had double the risk of dying from leukaemia and unspecified tumours.

February 26, 2022 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

After the hibakusha: the future of Japan’s anti-nuclear movement

Oka Nobuko age 16 in Nagasaki 1945

After the hibakusha: the future of Japan’s anti-nuclear movement

Yoshida Mayu, NHK World Correspondent, 31 Jan 22,   Activists calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons have long relied on the powerful testimonies of atomic bomb survivors, or hibakusha, to grow their movement. But with ever fewer people to offer that testimony, both the hibakusha and activists know those days are running out. NHK World’s Yoshida Mayu speaks to different generations who have a common goal: a world without nuclear weapons.

Hellish memories

Oka Nobuko was in Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, the day the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city. For most of her life, she avoided talking about her experiences as the memories were too painful.

Last year she finally broke her silence to deliver a speech at the annual ceremony commemorating the date of the bombing.

“When I stood up, I was immediately knocked down and I lost consciousness,” she recounted. “When I woke up, I didn’t know where I was. Pieces of shattered glass were lodged in my body.”

Oka was a 16-year-old nursing student at the time and helped treat other victims at a first aid center.

“No treatment was possible in a lot of these cases,” she said. “There was flesh dangling from exposed bone. Some people jumped off buildings to kill themselves because they couldn’t endure the pain any longer.”

She described the scenes as “hellish” and said she suffered severe headaches every time the memories returned. For this reason, she always avoided going to the area where the first aid center was located.

Time to speak

In a letter to a close friend three years ago, Oka wrote of her worries that her memories and those of other hibakusha would soon be gone.

“The hibakusha are getting older and someday all of us will be gone,” she wrote.

Estimates put the number of living hibakusha at around 127,000, with an average age of 83.This sense that time was running out is what motivated Oka to finally share her story last August.

“We, the hibakusha, will continue to share our experiences and call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We will fight for peace.”

Last November, three months after giving her speech, Oka died at the age of 93.

Inspiring other hibakusha Fukuda Hakaru, a 90-year-old Nagasaki hibakusha, says hearing Oka speak inspired him to share his own story. He wrote her a letter, saying how much her courage had moved him.

Fukuda had gone to the first aid center Oka was working at to get medicine for his father, who was severely injured in the blast.

“I can still hear the screams of the patients,” he says. “Doctors and nurses were running around to help them. It was a painful sight. It is very hard for me to talk about what I saw. The medical workers were the ones who saw up close the inhumanity of the atomic bombs.”

Fukuda was 14 at the time. He did not suffer any serious injuries, but his father, who was working close to ground zero, died a month later.”I’ll never forget how I felt. I had to pick up his remains after the cremation, but I have no idea how I managed. The world needs to know that this is the kind of pain that an atomic bomb causes. It cannot be allowed to happen again.”

Fukuda says he long felt he had a duty to share his story but avoided doing so because he was worried about the anti-hibakusha discrimination he and his family might face.

Many survivors and their families have had to deal with prejudice and discrimination over the years. Initially, little was known about the effects of radiation exposure, and some people incorrectly regarded it as contagious. The social stigma was especially serious when it came to marriage or work.

“The hibakusha continue to suffer today,” says Fukuda. “That’s yet another reason why we need to make sure this never happens again.”

Preserving Oka’s message

In December, a group of university students from Nagasaki hosted a virtual conference about the experiences of the hibakusha, speaking to high school classes about the stories they had heard from survivors.

One of these students was Kaji Misato, who spent a lot of time with Oka during her final days.

“Oka was with her mother and brother at the time of the bombing,” Kaji said at the event. “As she stood up, she realized she was covered in blood.”Kaji spoke to Oka four times last year and recorded five hours of conversation. She said it was an eye-opening experience.

“The atomic bombing always felt like something in the past,” Kaji says. “But after hearing her story, I started to feel a greater sense of attachment. She told us the war had robbed her of her youth and she wanted peace so the same thing didn’t happen with the youth of today.”Every year on August 9, a siren rings out across the city at 11:02 AM, the exact time the atomic bomb exploded. Residents stop what they are doing to observe a minute of silence. But when Kaji visited the city center last year, she was shocked to see how few people were actually paying their respects.

About a month later, Oka was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kaji met with her shortly after.

“She told me she was worried that once all the hibakusha are gone, their memories would fade as well,” Kaji says.

She took her words to heart and decided to share what she told her with people even younger. The high school students who attended the virtual session said it was an insightful experience.”Her vivid memories made me feel the horror of the atomic bomb,” said one student.

“We cannot take peace for granted,” said another. “We have to take care of the people who are close to us.”

This year promises to be a crucial one for the abolition movement. State parties to the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty are planning to hold their first meeting to try to agree on specific actions. In the meantime, young campaigners like Kaji are ensuring that the stories from those who witnessed the horrors of 1945 are documented and heard.

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment