Nevada Desert Experience is able in 2011 to send three delegates to Japan for the commemorative events there on Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day. We thank Gensuikyo for hosting our delegates in Japan this year.
by Jim Haber and Mary Lou Anderson
We feel very privileged to be at this conference with everyone. For both of us, this is our first visit to
East Asia. The motivation is so meaningful, to join in this great peace-making work. If it were only for
ourselves, the expense would be better spent staying close to home, expressing solidarity electronically
and not increasing our carbon footprint.
We regularly hold signs and demonstrate at places like the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), until recently called the Nevada Test Site, or in Las Vegas, where we live, to make people aware that nuclear weapons continue to threaten all of humanity.
Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) organizes interfaith resistance to nuclear weapons and war. We
were important participants in the successful effort to end full-scale testing of nuclear weapons by the
United States in 1991. Unfortunately, the ending of the cold war didn’t end the nuclear problem, it just
made it more invisible and hence harder to confront. There are many ways in which President Obama is
showing himself not to be working for nuclear disarmament, despite earlier statements that sounded like
a call to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world:
• Marching toward “Full Spectrum Dominance” by the “Global Strike Command” to
project US force worldwide in a matter of minutes;
• Developing a nuclear capable remotely piloted bomber;
• Budgeting over $80 billion to rebuild three major facilities to quadruple the output of
new parts for nuclear warheads;
• Resuming and increasing sub-critical and other “stockpile stewardship” tests at the
NNSS and other national laboratories;
• Researching a new generation of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) and ballistic
• Frequently testing ICBMs that can “launch on warning” in a matter of minutes while
issuing bellicose statements against North Korea and Iran for testing inferior, shorterrange
missiles that take days to launch and can’t even reach the United States itself;
• Pressuring South Korea and other allies to construct military bases (e.g. on Jeju Island)
in those countries for US anti-ballistic missile defense units which are actually very
provocative, destabilizing, and which promote the global arms race;
• Promoting the lie that we can construct new, safe nuclear power plants even as the
disaster of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown continues to unfold;
• Looking to new weapons systems and technologies, like drones and other robotics, to
save us from war and environmental problems exacerbated by earlier weapons systems
We will share what we learn here when we return home. Our hope is that by meeting all of you, our
voices will travel further than they do now. So we have come here, not for ourselves, but as allies
representing allies. Gratefully, we’re not alone, and we are happy to bring thoughts and greetings from
mutual friends who couldn’t be here, just as we’re looking forward to bring wisdom from this conference
back with us.
We bring greetings from Claudia Peterson of St. George, Utah, who is a member of our National
Council. She has attended several of these conferences because of the harmful, even deadly, effects that
nuclear weapons have had on her family and friends “downwind” from atmospheric tests 40 years ago in
southern Nevada. Claudia asked us to pass on this message:
“I would like the Japanese people to know they are in our thoughts and prayers. Even though
I am unable to join you this year at the conference, I am with you in spirit.
“With the terrible events of the earthquake, tsunamis and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
power plant accident, it is more important than ever that, together we push for a nuclear free
world. It has been 66 years since the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the suffering
continues. The Downwinders suffering continues also. Our health and environment have been
compromised for power and greed. Working together in solidarity we can make changes for
good. With our convictions to change the wrongs of the past, we can insure the future for our
children and grandchildren.
“My thanks to Gensuikyo for their continued work to help the people of need throughout the
world not only with their continued work for a nuclear free world but also for their work with the
many other disasters which they have assisted with.”
We bring greetings from Johnnie Bobb, NDE Council member and Chief of the Western Shoshone
National Council who some of you met last year while visiting Las Vegas. The meeting of Hibakusha,
Shoshone and other American Downwinders remains very poignant and motivational in our hearts.
We also bring greetings from our friend, Jackie Cabasso. She wishes she could be here again this
year in her capacity as North America Coordinator of Mayors for Peace, Executive Director of Western
States Legal Foundation, Convener of the United for Peace and Justice Nuclear Disarmament and
Redefining Security Working Group, and member of the Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee.
Jackie is remembering the victims of nuclear war closer to home this year at the gates to the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory. Recently, Jackie wrote, “Nuclear weapons have threatened human
security since they were used by the United States against Japan nearly 66 years ago. In a time of
unprecedented global economic, environmental and political upheaval, can we afford to pay for them for
another 70 years, hoping they won’t be used again?”
In closing we want to thank NDE Council member Janet Chisholm for giving us a charge. Janet was
raised watching nuclear tests in Nevada as a child and wanted to be a nuclear scientist. In college she
shifted from physics to religion and has become a leading trainer of nonviolence and popular education.
She told us to “Listen, learn and come back with new ideas.” We plan to do just that. Peace.
Mary Lou Anderson
Nevada Desert Experience
1420 West Bartlett Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89106
415-828-2506 Jim-mobile (Japan and USA)
702-572-7249 Mary Lou-mobile (USA)
This Statement can be found here.