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Nuclear Disarmament: If Not Now, When?


Nuclear Disarmament: If Not Now, When?

Robert C. Koehler

Oh plaintive cry for justice, for change, for the world we must create, welling up from a tiny island nation in the Pacific Ocean. I can only pray: Let there be an authority large enough to hear it.


“History’s conquerors will not be the ones who free humanity from its suicidal vise. This is the paradox. The transition we have to make must emerge beyond the institutions that have trapped us.”

The above statements are true.

“Nuclear weaponry is the outcome of 10,000 years of human experimentation outside the circle of life.” But this quote discounts the record of researchers like Merlin Stone and Riane Eisler. They assert that the male-centered, aggression-based dominator model has been the only (and ruling) societal model for 10,000 years. THAT is not true. About 4500-5000 years ago a non-war centered set of civilizations, ones that worshipped the Goddess-Mother rather than the angry God, the father, thrived.

When otherwise thoughtful writers bear this alternative no witness, they argue FOR the existing paradigm. Alternatives do exist and have existed. It’s important to learn from them if indeed a means to transcend the habit for violence is the writer’s intention.


Whether they are politicians, oligarchs, theocrats, generals, or poor evangelicals, conservative abusers and abused all over the world are too greedy, frightened, superstitious and reactionary to ever disarm.

One best way to achieve peace is to vote for humanists, liberals, progressives and other peacemakers whenever possible. If not possible, to vote for the lesser evil. Voting for the lesser evil every time will progressively lessen the evil. In the end, the good, the peaceful, will win.

Conservatives gain power by suppressing your vote or using psyops operatives to convince us to waste it. With conservatives and neoliberals in power, there has never been peace.

Go Bernie!


ON the First of March, 1954, the United States detonated the Castle-Bravo blast at Bikini. It was a fifteen megaton surface blast. It blew a hole over a mile wide and four hundred feet deep in the atoll, completely obliterating the island and vaporizing over thirteen billion cubic feet of coral, rock and water, sending it in a radioactive cloud extending into the stratosphere. The fallout over the atolls downwind was devastating to the people and ecology there. All of that material is rendered extremely radioactive and as it cools it condenses to fall as rain or radioactive “snow” which contaminates everything it touches. The effects are felt worldwide.
In February of 2004, Marsha, a lady who has been a tireless worker for Downwinders had heard of my anti-nuclear writing and contacted me to ask if I would contribute a poem as a memorial to the victims of Castle Bravo. I agreed, and wrote The Day of Two Sunrises from the point of view of a young boy on Rongalap, basing much of it on eyewitness reports of the test…

			***The Day of Two Sunrises***

My brother and I went to play
By the boats pulled up on the beach.
We raced and played tag
And chased land crabs in the predawn light.

The sun began to light the east
As it always had before,
Suddenly, a second sun arose in the west
Where never the sun had risen!

We ran to Mama to ask her what and why.
She did not know and the new sun died
As quickly as it grew.
In the Men’s House, they talked and remembered.

The day began as always, the men to fish in their outriggers,
The mothers cooking and digging taro, gathering plantains
And watching over the children
Who played at fishing and gathering and ran and played tag.

Suddenly, from the sky fell white powder!
Once a missionary had told of snow. Perhaps this was snow!
It came down covering everything. It was sticky.
We played, and scooped it up and threw it at each other. It was fun!

That evening I did not feel so well. My eyes hurt and my stomach turned to water.
My brother’s body was covered with blisters and his skin began to fall off.
Mother was vomiting, too, and her beautiful hair
Began to come out in handfuls.

Mother wondered if it was the snow, so she washed us,
But the water was filled with snow and the scrubbing removed the skin.
Soon, the whole village was sick, and the animals, and the plants,
All were sick.

After two days, the strange men came, in boats with a large mouth
Which dropped open on the beach and white clad creatures came out.
They wore masks with strange eyes and a long round mouth.
They pointed sticks at us which buzzed and crackled.

They pointed the sticks at everything, the trees, the well, the fish,
And listened to the buzz and crackle, then made marks on little boards they carried.
Finally they left, but told us we were very sick and not to eat
Of the fish, the coconuts, the plantains, the taro, that they were now tabu.

The men returned in their large boats and said our island was now tabu.
They gathered us up, leaving everything behind
We were taken to another place where we were poked and bled.
We looked so terrible that the people must have been afraid.

They wore the strange white suits when they looked in on us.
My brother looked the worst, like an old man with scabs
Which broke and bled and his teeth fell out
And then he was dead.

Mama became an old woman with patchy hair
And always a sickness.
Each time she saw me, she cried.
I was so sick, so tired, and then one day I died.

* * *

*  In memory of the Rongalapese and other Islanders who were poisoned by Castle Bravo (15 megatons, 1 March 1954) and other bombs. Just collateral damage in the quest for knowledge and power.
Steve Osborn
25 February 2004