Friday, 25 April 2014

Last night I read this article , and for a change I thought I'd share some positive news.  First some background, for those who do not know anything about the Marshall Islands, it is a small pacific island nation where the unites states government conducted nuclear tests in the 40's - 50's.  Here is a quote from Wikipedia's article on Marshall Islands:
From 1946 to 1958, as the site of the Pacific Proving Grounds, the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands,[17] including the largest nuclear test the U.S. ever conducted, Castle Bravo.[18] In 1956, the United States Atomic Energy Commission regarded the Marshall Islands as "by far the most contaminated place in the world".[19]
Nuclear claims between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands are ongoing, and health effects from these nuclear tests linger.[18] Project 4.1 was a medical study conducted by the United States of those residents of the Bikini Atoll exposed to radioactive fallout. From 1956 to August 1998, at least $759 million was paid to the Marshallese Islanders in compensation for their exposure to U.S. nuclear testing.[20]
With the 1952 test of the first U.S. hydrogen bomb, code named "Ivy Mike", the island of Elugelab in the Enewetak atoll was destroyed."

 This Island nation has filed a lawsuit against nine nations with nuclear warheads who have promised and failed to disarm them.  The nine nations in the lawsuit are: The U.S., Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Isreal.

In the article about the lawsuit, discusses the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Quote from that article: "The NPT, which came into force in 1970 is essentially a compact between the non-weapon states, who pledged to not to acquire nuclear weapons, and the weapons states, who in return undertook to disarm under article VI of the treaty."

I hope something comes of this lawsuit.  I would hate to see people having the "jellyfish babies" described by survivors of the Marshall Islands Nuclear tests.

In an other story about the Marshall Islanders at the UN, one resident on stand described her experience as a young person on one of the most affected islands.

On March 1st, 1954, I was 14 years old, living on the island of Eneaetok on Rongelap Atoll. This was the day I first experienced injustice. It was the day that deprived me of peace. The bomb by the code name 'Bravo' was exploded on Bikini Atoll just 180 km upwind from Rongelap. Unlike other nuclear weapons tested over the previous 8 years, there was no warning given to the people on Rongelap and other islands downwind of the blast. I was playing when the poisonous debris from the bomb fell on me. I didn't know what it was but because it looked like snow, I began playing with it. But suddenly it burned my eyes and mouth. Later in the evening I was so sick. All the people on the island were very sick, especially the children. The next day my skin was torn up and covered with sores. I had skin burns so badly I was in pain. My hair started to fall off. After two days of drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food and breathing the contaminated air, we were evacuated by the U.S.
One would think being rescued by a big military ship abandoning the poisonous atoll would end the injustice, but no, that was just the beginning. Much more inhumane treatment was yet to be bestowed upon us. After evacuation we became subjects of study in a top-secret research program that documented, but did not treat our injuries. The studies continued and expanded when were returned to home islands three years later, with twice-a year visits from scientists who probed, sampled and documented the changes in our bodies in a research effort that continued for decades."

And then here is her description of jellyfish babies:

"This deeply disturbing history has immense and painful consequences. To this day women in the Marshall Islands give birth to jellyfish babies, or babies born with no bones in their bodies and translucent skin. Sometimes they are born alive and live for a few minutes or hours, and you can see the blood moving through their bodies before they die. We give birth to babies with missing limbs, or their organs and spinal cords on the outside of their bodies. We never experienced these types of births before the U.S. testing program. We have complained about these births for decades and we are always told by the U.S. Government that they are not the result of radiation exposure. Yet, our language, our history, our stories have no record of these births before the testing program. After the testing program we've had to create new words to describe the creatures we give birth to."

Anyway, it is nice to see that the islanders refuse to be destroyed by the U.S. government's atrocities and the lack of justice they received.  Instead they are trying to help the rest of us by speaking up and suing those nations which have Violated the NPT.

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