The Guardian 3 August, 2005

60th anniversary:

On August 6, 1945, at 8:15am, Japanese time, a B-29 bomber flying at high altitude dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. More than ten square kilometres of the city were instantly and completely devastated. Ninety thousand people were killed instantly and 69,000 injured.

On August 9, at 11:02am, another B-29 dropped a bomb on the industrial section of Nagasaki, totally destroying two and a half square kilometres of the city, killing 75,000 men, women and children and injuring 75,000 more.

By the end of 1945, over 145,000 people had died in Hiroshima. Tens of thousands more suffered serious injuries. Deaths among survivors of the bombings have continued over the years due primarily to the effects of radiation exposure.

The bombs were dropped on cities which had been quarantined from previous US attacks in order to test the full effects of a uranium bomb in Hiroshima and a plutonium bomb in Nagasaki.

They were also intended to intimidate the then Soviet Union. In an act of terrorist mass murder, the first shot in the coming Cold War cost 214,000 lives.

The orthodox view that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incinerated to end World War II and save American lives is a lie that cannot cover up the cold blooded barbarity of these acts.


Nuclear weapons have not disappeared. The United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan and India still have more than 28,000 nuclear weapons.

The Bush administration is not cutting its nuclear weapons. Instead it has developed more sophisticated and powerful bombs and is now developing mini-nukes, bunker busters and nuclear weapons for space.

In January 2002, the US Government presented its "Nuclear Posture Review" to Congress. This includes plans to use nuclear weapons against China, Iraq, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. The threat of nuclear annihilation has been revived by George W Bush.

On the 60th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the people of the world are calling with renewed determination for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.


The US has shown it will inflict "pre-emptive" attacks and "preventive" wars on any state that threatens its interests, creating fear and insecurity, replacing the rule of international law with the law of the jungle, and fuelling the arms race. The US also claims the "right" to attack any country from space.

The administration is planning third generation nuclear weapons — mini-nukes, bunker busters and weapons suitable for space deployment.

The Howard Government has given unconditional moral, political and practical support to all the recent US aggressive actions.

Providing the US with specialist military forces, a secure base for satellite spying activities, training facilities and logistical support can only alarm our neighbours and even spark a regional nuclear arms race.


The US Star Wars or Missile Defence program is not a defensive nuclear umbrella. It is intended to give the US a nuclear first strike capability.

For the first time in our history, there will be weapons, nuclear weapons, in space.

The US Space Command says its job is "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment".

Australia is directly involved through the US bases here, especially the ballistic missile launch detection system at Pine Gap. Australia is also involved through the Jindalee over the horizon radar system and the planned Aegius-armed air warship to be stationed off the coast of West Australia.


The US military budget is now over US$437 billion(A$540 billion) every year. This is larger than the whole Australian economy. Yet global poverty and inequality are getting worse and millions of people die of hunger.

The Howard Government’s military budget has escalated to over $60 million a day. This steals resources from health, education, job creation, the environment, and services for the poor and disadvantaged.


Australia does not have to be a cog in the US military machine. An independent, made-in-Australia policy for reduced military spending and respect for the sovereign rights of nations to independence, equality and self determination would best serve the need for peace and stability in our region.

Australia should support the strengthening of nuclear free zones, the creation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention and other international agreements to abolish nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. We should end the mining of uranium that fuels nuclear proliferation, and close the US military bases in Australia that support nuclear warfare.

Sixty years ago this August, the US dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is imperative that we never forget what this meant, and that we do everything we can to make sure it never happens again.

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