Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia should stop selling uranium to nuclear weapon states and not sell uranium into unstable regions.

David Noonan  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 27 Oct 20, 

 

Nuclear Weapons Treaty Ban to come into Force on 22 Jan 2021
Australia should stop selling uranium to nuclear weapon states and not sell uranium into unstable regions.
BHP Olympic Dam will soon bear near sole responsibility for Aust’s uranium sales supply chain issues.
Aust has signed uranium sales deals into India – in a regional nuclear stand off with Pakistan; to Ukraine – in cross border conflict with Russia & separatists & cyber hackers; and to the UAE – into the unstable Middle East.
Dept Foreign Affairs and Trade says this is good business.
Nuclear reactors are targets.
Attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia shows US military gear can not stop attacks on energy facilities in the region.
Aust and BHP Olympic Dam can stop selling uranium.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Michelle Fahy blows open the disgraceful collusion between Australian politicians and weapons industries

October 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia needs a permanent war crimes investigation unit

Australia needs a permanent war crimes investigation unit, The Age, By Rawan Arraf

October 7, 2020 — The public has been shocked by revelation after revelation of serious allegations of war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. There’s been a steady stream of statements from the Defence Minister and, most recently, the Chief of the Army, preparing us for worse to come.

At the conclusion of Justice Paul Brereton’s Afghanistan inquiry we know there will be more referrals to the Australian Federal Police for criminal investigation of war crimes allegations.

We know so far that Brereton’s inquiry has investigated more than 55 incidents of alleged unlawful killings and cruel treatment of Afghan civilians and captured combatants. We know that the AFP is investigating at least three incidents, and it has been put on notice to prepare for more.

Our legal centre was established to push Australia to undertake more investigations and prosecutions into international crimes and to contribute to the global effort to end the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of these crimes. It has been saying for some time that the AFP needs specialist training, skills, and resources to undertake such investigations. Experience shows that authorities often find the challenges involved in investigating and prosecuting crimes committed extraterritorially daunting, and consequently choose not to prioritise these cases………….

Rawan Arraf is principal lawyer and director of the Australian Centre for International Justice, a legal centre that has been working with survivor and victims’ communities on criminal complaints to the Australian Federal Police. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/australia-needs-a-permanent-war-crimes-investigation-unit-20201005-p562a2.html

October 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pretty despicable -tax breaks for company exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, UAE.

Tax break for weapons exports to Mid-East countries accused of war crimes, Michael West Media, by Michelle Fahy | Oct 6, 2020   Australian weapons manufacturer Electro Optic Systems, with financial support from the federal and ACT governments, is capitalising on the ‘growth market’ of the Middle East, one of the world’s most volatile regions. Michelle Fahy reports.

As has been reported repeatedly, remote weapons systems manufactured by EOS are being exported to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia despite both countries being accused of war crimes. Numerous UN reports have detailed shocking human rights violations over the six years of the Yemen war.

After a shutdown due to Covid-19, EOS announced last month that it is exporting again.

EOS and the federal government have been asked repeatedly for proof that its weapons are not being used in Yemen. “Trust us,” is the standard response.

Assurances from a company chasing millions in profit and a government intent on catapulting Australia into the global top 10 of weapons exporters seem to be the best the public can expect in terms of accountability.

There is zero transparency when it comes to Australian weapons exports………..

Government support for EOS

EOS has received extensive government support, including an exemption from paying state payroll tax. Under questioning last November by the ACT Greens, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT Government provided support to EOS (PDF p44), “principally for its space industry related activity”. While EOS separates its space industry work from its weapons side, both companies operate in the same group under the same board……..

EOS has so far supplied the UAE and Saudi with its remote weapons systems. The systems are mounted on armoured vehicles and can incorporate a light cannon, machine gun, grenade launcher or anti-tank missile, which EOS does not manufacture. The system enables the weapon to be operated from inside the vehicle, which makes the soldier safer. It can identify targets and automatically aim the weapon, making the firing of the weapon faster and more accurate. In military parlance, the system enhances lethality. See it in action here.

The claim that it was not a weapons manufacturer may have been technically correct when asserted by EOS and Barr, but that is no longer the case.

Last month EOS announced it had moved into production with a new range of directed energy (laser) weapons. The weapons are being marketed by EOS as ‘drone kill’ technology (counter unmanned aircraft system or CUAS). EOS says “CUAS are entirely defensive systems”. The potential market is large. EOS has named its new range of weapons Mopoke, after the small native Australian owl.

EOS has not disclosed its list of interested customers for Mopoke, but industry insiders – such as AuManufacturing – have noted that its first customers are likely to come from the Middle East, given drone attacks on infrastructure there……….

EOS is now unequivocally a weapons manufacturer, and likely to soon start exporting its weapons to the Middle East.

Supplying weapons to war crimes accused

Melissa Parke, a lawyer, former federal Labor MP, and human rights expert, is one of three UN-appointed Eminent Experts on Yemen. Parke told SBS Dateline last year:

“No country can claim not to be aware of the violations being perpetrated in Yemen. To continue to provide weapons in the knowledge of such violations is both morally and legally hazardous.”

A former secretary of the Defence Department, Paul Barratt, has also stated his position on these weapon sales:

“Regardless of whether Australian-made weapons [are] crossing the border into Yemen, Australia now has a national policy which seeks and facilitates weapons sales with countries that stand accused of gross violations of human rights and likely war crimes. When did this particular trade in arms become official Australian policy? As a country that routinely asks other countries to abide by the rules-based international order, it would seem hypocritical, at best, that Australia is now willing to … make a profit from weapons sales to nations that are openly flouting this international order.”……….

In addition to ministerial lobbying, EOS Defence Systems has received federal financial support, including:

  • $3.7 million from Defence between 2013 and 2016
  • $41.5 million performance bond from Export Finance Australia (EFIC) (PDF p66)

The company has also gained from influential appointments to its board. Former Chief of Army, Peter Leahy, joined the EOS board in May 2009, just 10 months after retiring as army chief. In April 2016 Leahy was joined by former Chief of Air Force, Geoff Brown, less than 10 months after he had retired from the air force…… https://www.michaelwest.com.au/eos-weapons-export-transparen

October 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

 Pine Gap could play role in accidental US-China nuclear fight 

 

 Pine Gap could play role in accidental US-China nuclear fight  NT News, 30 Sept 20

Heightened US-China tensions have increased the risk of an accidental nuclear exchange between the two superpowers — and whether or not the Northern Territory’s Pine Gap surveillance base is playing a role in hyping this up needs to be looked at ……. (subscribers only)

October 1, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Legacy of Maralinga bomb tests -a reminder of need for safety in matters nuclear

Sixty years on, the Maralinga bomb tests remind us not to put security over safety, The Conversation    Liz Tynan, Senior Lecturer and Co-ordinator Research Student Academic Support, James Cook University September 26, 2016   It is September 27, 1956. At a dusty site called One Tree, in the northern reaches of the 3,200-square-kilometre Maralinga atomic weapons test range in outback South Australia, the winds have finally died down and the countdown begins……….
And so, at 5pm, Operation Buffalo begins. The 15-kilotonne atomic device, the same explosive strength as the weapon dropped on Hiroshima 11 years earlier (although totally different in design), is bolted to a 30-metre steel tower. The device is a plutonium warhead that will test Britain’s “Red Beard” tactical nuclear weapon.

The count reaches its finale – three… two… one… FLASH! – and all present turn their backs. When given the order to turn back again, they see an awesome, rising fireball. Then Maralinga’s first mushroom cloud begins to bloom over the plain – by October the following year, there will have been six more.

RAF and RAAF aircraft prepare to fly through the billowing cloud to gather samples. The cloud rises much higher than predicted and, despite the delay, the winds are still unsuitable for atmospheric nuclear testing. The radioactive cloud heads due east, towards populated areas on Australia’s east coast.

Power struggle

So began the most damaging chapter in the history of British nuclear weapons testing in Australia. The UK had carried out atomic tests in 1952 and 1956 at the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia, and in 1953 at Emu Field north of Maralinga.
The British had requested and were granted a huge chunk of South Australia to create a “permanent” atomic weapons test site, after finding the conditions at Monte Bello and Emu Field too remote and unworkable. Australia’s then prime minister, Robert Menzies, was all too happy to oblige. Back in September 1950 in a phone call with his British counterpart, Clement Attlee, he had said yes to nuclear testing without even referring the issue to his cabinet……….
He was also exploring ways to power civilian Australia with atomic energy and – whisper it – even to buy an atomic bomb with an Australian flag on it (for more background, see here). While Australia had not been involved in developing either atomic weaponry or nuclear energy, she wanted in now. Menzies’ ambitions were such that he authorised offering more to the British than they requested.

While Australia was preparing to sign the Maralinga agreement, the supply minister, Howard Beale, wrote in a top-secret 1954 cabinet document:

Although [the] UK had intimated that she was prepared to meet the full costs, Australia proposed that the principles of apportioning the expenses of the trial should be agreed whereby the cost of Australian personnel engaged on the preparation of the site, and of materials and equipment which could be recovered after the tests, should fall to Australia’s account..…..
Britain’s nuclear and military elite trashed a swathe of Australia’s landscape and then, in the mid-1960s, promptly left. Britain carried out a total of 12 major weapons tests in Australia: three at Monte Bello, two at Emu Field and seven at Maralinga. The British also conducted hundreds of so-called “minor trials”, including the highly damaging Vixen B radiological experiments, which scattered long-lived plutonium over a large area at Maralinga.

The British carried out two clean-up operations – Operation Hercules in 1964 and Operation Brumby in 1967 – both of which made the contamination problems worse.

Legacy of damage

The damage done to Indigenous people in the vicinity of all three test sites is immeasurable and included displacement, injury and death. Service personnel from several countries, but particularly Britain and Australia, also suffered – not least because of their continuing fight for the slightest recognition of the dangers they faced. Many of the injuries and deaths allegedly caused by the British tests have not been formally linked to the operation, a source of ongoing distress for those involved.

The cost of the clean-up exceeded A$100 million in the late 1990s. Britain paid less than half, and only after protracted pressure and negotiations.

Decades later, we still don’t know the full extent of the effects suffered by service personnel and local communities. Despite years of legal wrangling, those communities’ suffering has never been properly recognised or compensated.

Why did Australia allow it to happen? The answer is that Britain asserted its nuclear colonialism just as an anglophile prime minister took power in Australia, and after the United States made nuclear weapons research collaboration with other nations illegal, barring further joint weapons development with the UK. …..Six decades later, those atomic weapons tests still cast their shadow across Australia’s landscape. They stand as testament to the dangers of government decisions made without close scrutiny, and as a reminder – at a time when leaders are once again preoccupied with international security – not to let it happen again.  https://theconversation.com/sixty-years-on-the-maralinga-bomb-tests-remind-us-not-to-put-security-over-safety-62441?fbclid=IwAR3-AXJA_-RZTlr1AW6qxgcFRPuOX5IIi163L75vLWXFyIOcZGKxbet5DDE

October 1, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, politics, reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Does Australia really need nuclear submarines, and the whole nuclear shebang

September 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia entangled in the military-industrial-intelligence-security complex 

August 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Military to Weapons Sales – Professor Peter Leahy and the revolving door

Professor Peter Leahy AC Australian Defence Force | Military | Revolving Doors, Michael West Media, 19 Aug, 20

Lieutenant-General Peter Leahy retired from the Australian army in July 2008 having concluded his 37 year military career with six years as Chief of Army. Within a year he was on the boards of Codan and Electro Optic Systems (EOS). More recently, EOS has been exporting its weapon systems to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates while the Yemen war has raged despite multiple reports of war crimes by these countries and a situation in Yemen which the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Current Positions

Public
Professor and foundation director, National Security Institute, University of Canberra (7.10.08present^)
^ Website accessed 10.08.20

Corporate
Member, Advisory Board, WarpForge Limited ([??]–present^)
Director, Citadel Group (28.6.14*–present^; including as Chair from 12.11.19)
Director, Electro Optic Systems (4.5.09*–present^)
Director, Codan Limited (19.9.08*–present^)………. https://www.michaelwest.com.au/peter-leahy/

August 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki – time for the Global Nuclear Ban Treaty – theme for August 2020

August 6th and August 9th are the days that remind us of the horror of nuclear weapons.  The failing and desperate nuclear industry would like us to forget  about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’d like us to swallow their spin about new small nuclear reactors. (But new small nuclear reactors are just the latest gimmick to support the nuclear weapons industry, and put a friendly mask on it. They really have no other purpose.)

In this time of pandemic and global heating, Trump’s USA, Putin’s Russia, and other nations, are putting obscene amounts of money into nuclear weapons. The U.N.’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  (passed by a vote of 122-1-1 at the United Nations in 2017) is looking ever more rational and necessary.  It will enter into force when 50 nations have ratified it. It’s now up to 43 ratifications.

“The pandemic has taught us that all the world’s great needs and threats are linked. By reallocating bloated military spending and reorienting nations to resolve conflict through peaceful negotiation, people and governments throughout the world can more easily tackle the enormous economic and civil injustices that give rise to conflict and fuel the fire of climate change. Each victory in each arena must be used to feed progress elsewhere if humanity is to survive this century.

As we remember the victims of the atomic bombings 75 years ago and hear the stories of the survivors, we realize more than ever: we are all in this together. ” – Michael Christ, Executive Director, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

August 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Although Australians started a move to abolish nuclear weapons, The Australian government tried to sabotage the U.N. nuclear ban treaty

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the arms race isn’t over,  Independent Australia By Binoy Kampmark | 12 August 2020,“………………The 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings might have encouraged some reflection on current attitudes to the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Passed on July 7, 2017, it has become a focal point for advocates of a nuclear weapons-free world and a source of irritation for nuclear weapons states.

Most perversely of all are those powers not in possession of nuclear weapons yet derive some form of security from states who have them, a strategic figment of the military imagination known as the ‘umbrella of extended nuclear deterrence“.  For that reason Japan, despite being a global town crier for the banning of nuclear weapons, has refused to add its name to the nuclear weapons ban treaty.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui took the commemorative occasion to encourage the Japanese government to abandon that position:……

Australia, another U.S. annex in the Asia Pacific, similarly refuses to join the club of prohibitionists. When it participated in the UN working group on nuclear disarmament in 2016, Australian diplomats made it clear that they had no interest in seeing any document banning nuclear weapons emerge.

The disruptive involvement of Australian officials in the group was keenly exposed in documents obtained under Freedom of Information by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). ‘So long as the threat of nuclear attack and coercion exists,’ states one document from foreign ministry officials, ‘U.S. extended deterrence will serve Australia’s fundamental national security interests’.

Such a position would have to be renounced were Canberra to sign up to any treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. To avoid that outcome, they were to serve as spoilers, providing ‘a strong alternative viewpoint, notably against those states who wish to push a near-term ban treaty’.

During the course of negotiations, Australian officials also served as the ears and eyes of Washington, a role they have been accustomed to for decades. As the United States had boycotted the meetings, Canberra felt it necessary to remain in “close contact” with Washington ‘about our shared concerns’ on the working group’s disturbing move towards recommending ‘negotiations on a ‘ban treaty”’.  Happily, Australia’s spoiling role merely served to strengthen the resolve of the other parties.

Canberra’s current position is that of a jaded cynic in realist’s clothes. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade states:

‘Australia does not support the “ban treaty” which we believe would not eliminate a single nuclear weapon.’

It scoffs at efforts that have ignored powers possessing nuclear weapons in negotiations, avoiding ‘the realities of the global security environment’. The document, furthermore, lacks the teeth of the NPT and ‘would be inconsistent with our U.S. alliance obligations’.

As long as the nuclear weapons option remains genuine, credible and desirable, there will always be a prospect for use. Once acquired, their abandonment has only ever proven exceptional (South Africa provides a unique case of this).

As things stand, a good number of countries could go nuclear overnight. It has taken much persuasion, and long discussion, to reassure South Korea and Japan not to do so before the nuclear ambitions of North Korea. The atom, in other words, still retains a deadly magic, tempting to upstarts, arrivistes and possessors. https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/75-years-after-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-the-arms-race-isnt-over,14192

August 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Four more states ratify Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and Australians commemorate anniversary of atomic bombing

ICAN 10 August 20, As the world commemorated the 75th anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in recent days, four countries became states parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Ireland, Niue, Nigeria and St Kitts and Nevis completed their ratifications to honour the hibakusha and strengthen the growing international consensus against these abhorrent weapons.

The Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, said: “I am proud that Ireland today ratifies the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons … It honours the memory of the victims of nuclear weapons and the key role played by survivors in providing living testimony and calling on us as successor generations to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mark Brantley, said on Sunday “The bombing of Nagasaki was the apogee of human cruelty and inhumanity. As a small nation committed to global peace, Saint Kitts and Nevis can see no useful purpose for nuclear armaments in today’s world. May all nations work towards peace and mutual respect for all mankind.”

In Australia, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries were honoured by activities and events on and off line, with the demand for Australia to join the nuclear weapon ban treaty loud, clear and persistent.

The Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, said: “I am proud that Ireland today ratifies the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons … It honours the memory of the victims of nuclear weapons and the key role played by survivors in providing living testimony and calling on us as successor generations to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mark Brantley, said on Sunday “The bombing of Nagasaki was the apogee of human cruelty and inhumanity. As a small nation committed to global peace, Saint Kitts and Nevis can see no useful purpose for nuclear armaments in today’s world. May all nations work towards peace and mutual respect for all mankind.”

In Australia, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries were honoured by activities and events on and off line, with the demand for Australia to join the nuclear weapon ban treaty loud, clear and persistent.

special webinar on Tuesday night titled “Remembering the Atomic Bombs: History, Memory and Politics in Australia, Japan and the Pacific” featuring one of our wonderful board members Dimity Hawkins. Click here for info and registration.

August 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s ICAN and Conservation Council of Western Australia commemorate Hiroshima Day

On August 5th, people from across Australia gathered, via Zoom, to commemorate the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and to hear speakers from ICAN Autralia (International Campaign to Abolish Nucleat Weapons).

Medlissa Clarke spoke of the human effects of this catastrophe, and of the efforts over time, towards disarmament.  The biggest leap forward in this has been, in 2017, the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty now has over 200 nations signed up, with 40 ratifications – not far from the 50 required to make it international law.

Most Australians want a nuclear weapons free world.But Australia’s policy does endorse nuclear weapons. A future Labor government might change that.

Dimity Hawkins described the misery experienced by the Japanese, the agonising stories of the survivors.  Since Hiroshima, the nuclear bombs developed are greatly stronger, and have  been tested over many years, on the Marshall Islands, on Maralinga, South Australia, and on other Pacific Islands, in nuclear colonialism that has never properly been cleaned up.  Australia is part of that nuclear chain. But now,the survivors are speaking out. Red Cross and Red Crescent,  the world’s greatest non government emergency service is strongly behind the Treaty movement, and the indigenous people, particularly Australia’s Aboriginals .

Former Senator Scott Ludlam commemorated the Hibakusha, and the impact of the nuclear weapons industry on indigenous people world-wide. He drew attention to the ?proud statement of U.S. Strategic Command – that their nuclear weapons are to be used in a “safe, secure and lethal way”.

The Treaty was an Australian initiative, brought about by the work of, at first, a few, who by-passed official systems, and went out getting signatures, setting up ICAN, which became an international movement.-, – showing that people can do this, have an effect and an influence.  As cities will be the places to bear the catastrophe of nuclear annihilation,  many Mayors of many have City Councils have signed up to the Treaty.  The Treaty shows that no-one can now claim that nuclear weapons are acceptable, in the same way as biological and chemical warfare are unacceptable.

For information on the continuing  CCWA webinar series go to  http://www.ccwa.org.au/yellowcake_country_webinar_series

August 7, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now 

Today, an unprecedented campaign of propaganda is shooing us all off like rabbits. We are not meant to question the daily torrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric, which is rapidly overtaking the torrent of anti-Russia rhetoric. Anything Chinese is bad, anathema, a threat: Wuhan …. Huawei. How confusing it is when “our” most reviled leader says so.

The target is China. Today, more than 400 American military bases almost encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to South-East Asia, Japan and Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, as one US strategist told me, “the perfect noose”.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, tireless China-basher Peter Hartcher described those who spread Chinese influence in Australia as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”. Hartcher, who favourably quotes the American demagogue Steve Bannon, likes to interpret the “dreams” of the current Chinese elite, to which he is apparently privy. These are inspired by yearnings for the “Mandate of Heaven” of 2,000 years ago. Ad nausea.

To combat this “mandate”, the Australian government of Scott Morrison has committed one of the most secure countries on earth, whose major trading partner is China, to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American missiles that can be fired at China.

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now    https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/5856084/posts/416010

by JOHN PILGER   6 Aug 20, When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.

At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.

I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”

Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukaemia.

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

Only one reporter, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian, had braved the perilous journey to Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing, in defiance of the Allied occupation authorities, which controlled the “press pack”.

“I write this as a warning to the world,” reported Burchett in the London Daily Express  of September 5,1945. Sitting in the rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter, he described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called “an atomic plague”.

For this, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared. His witness to the truth was never forgiven.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

“Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Nothing was done.

The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

Stimson’s foreign policy colleagues — looking ahead to the post-war era they were then shaping “in our image”, as Cold War planner George Kennan famously put it — made clear they were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the [atomic] bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the atomic bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Harry Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

The “experiment” continued long after the war was over. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States exploded 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific: the equivalent of more than one Hiroshima every day for 12 years. Continue reading

August 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Senate committee to report by August 31 re Kimba Nuclear Waste Dump plan

[Ed. According to some reports  – “Woomera has nothing to worry about, Defence say no, so they are safe.”]

Nuclear waste push for Woomera over Kimba ‘fails pub test’, local mayor saysMichelle Etheridge, Regional Reporter, The Advertiser

A push to swap Kimba for Woomera as the site of a new radioactive waste storage site is disrespectful and “fails the pub test” following years of consultation, the local mayor says.

Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson on Monday told a Senate committee that after much debate, the district was “the best informed community in Australia when it comes to radioactive waste and how it’s handled”.

His comments follow Senator Patrick’s suggestion that the contentious storage facility, planned for farming property Napandee, near Kimba, be built at Woomera instead.

Our community has engaged and invested in the process for a really long time and to throw it in another location now, like Woomera, is just disrespectful on so many levels,” Mr Johnson said.

It’s a bad idea that fails the pub test and the common sense test.”

Senator Patrick has said Federal Parliament should be given a choice to build the dump in the remote and highly-secure Woomera Protection area, where low and intermediate level waste has been stored for decades. However, Defence has argued building the facility at Woomera would “not align with Australia’s strategic interests”.

Kimba stands to receive a $31 million funding package under the plans.

Mr Johnson said the facility would deliver a new industry for the Eyre Peninsula town, and help the area “not just survive, but thrive”.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation have opposed the legislation on the basis that it removes the organisation’s right to seek a judicial review of the Government’s decision to go ahead with the site.

Its chairman Jason Bilney asked the committee to consider the impacts of a decision to go ahead as planned, despite traditional landowners objecting.

What does that say to indigenous people – we’ve won our country but we still don’t have a right to say what we need to about our country? It’s very disrespectful to the community and our elders,” he said.

Kimba Council last year ran a poll on whether locals supported the waste plan, but traditional landowners not living in the area were excluded.

Meantime, No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA president Peter Woolford said the waste site should be built somewhere it posed no risk to agriculture. “The sad thing that’s been forgotten here is the impact on people – people are thinking about whether they’re going to move out because of their mental health,” he said.

We’re (also) trying to stand up for people outside of Kimba that have been denied a say.”

The Senate committee will report back by August 31.

 

August 4, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment