Sixty-nine years ago this Tuesday, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 80-140 thousand people immediately. Three days later on August 9th, a second U.S. nuclear bomb was dropped over Nagasaki. From that week to the present moment the world has been held hostage to the insane threat and potential annihilation by these weapons that now number in excess of 17,000 worldwide.
However daunting, we have witnessed this past year some of the most significant progress and awareness of this threat and work to eliminate nuclear weapons, thus realizing the long standing desires of people everywhere, to live in a world free of nuclear weapons.
First, in December 2013, the Physicians for Social Responsibility and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War released a monumental report identifying the horrific potential devastation and death toll of up to two billion from a small limited nuclear war between Pakistan and India.
Then on April 24th this year the tiny heroic nation of Marshall Islands brought suit against the nine nuclear nations of the world in the International Court of Justice and the U.S. Federal District Court in San Francisco for breech of Article VI of the 1970 Non Proliferation Treaty which states that the nuclear nations of the world will work in good faith to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
In March of this year the Rotarian Action Group for Peace along with Physicians for Social Responsibility and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War launched an international speakers bureau and campaign to educate about the “Humanitarian Effects of Limited Nuclear War.”
In February 2014, 146 nations–three-quarters of the nations of the world– attended the second Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons Conference in Nayarit, Mexico. Remarkably absent were the U.S. and the other P5 nuclear signatory members to the NPT – China, Russia, France and U.K.
A similar conference is scheduled for Vienna in December, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) itself is up for review in May 2015. The U.S. has an opportunity and obligation to lead by example and attend and challenge the other nuclear nations to do likewise. We the people must demand that our elected officials push for this participation and that they represent us. Action speaks much more than words alone.
Read the full op-ed by Dr. Robert Dodge: http://truth-out.org/speakout/item/25340-hiroshima-69-years-later#.U92sqV-v2nA.email