“Israel, probably more than any other state in the world has had more resolutions past against it and has broken those resolutions and yet it seems to be able to exist without any sanctions because it is protected by the United States,” this thought-provoking statement made by Paul Ingram puts the contradictory scenario of nowadays world about nuclear bombs into perspective. Paul Ingram is the executive director of the British American Security Information Council and is involved in developing a long-term strategy to help reduce global nuclear dangers through disarmament and collaborative non-proliferation, coordinating operations in London and Washington. For over sixty years, the United Nations has been unable to establish sustainable security in the world. Although the majority of nations pursue a world free of nuclear weapons the more dominant armed states are reluctant to give up their weapons of mass destruction creating a geopolitical fear to other states who choose to keep the bombs as a deterrent. Through informative, revealing interviews, “Nuke Syndrome” provides food for thought about the status quo of testing and producing nuclear bombs across the globe. We are informed about this sad fact that though horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain a permanent scar on the world, the horrors didn’t stop there since numerous countries have tested nuclear bomb explosions seeking ways to strengthen their destructive force. The U.S. allocated one hundred and eighty five billion dollars to augment its nuclear stockpile over the next decade. Meanwhile, British politicians have plans on spending seventy six billion pounds to renew their navy’s trident missiles. The irony is that while Iran is calling for global nuclear disarmament and the right to peaceful nuclear energy, and while there is no real evidence that Iran is making nuclear weapons, this peace-seeking country is constantly being threatened by war and sanctions for the false accusation leveled against it that it is trying to produce nuclear weapons.
Time code: 00:00_ 05:00
SOUNDBITE [English], Robert Oppenhiemer, Director of Manhattan Project: “We knew the world would not be the same, now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds, I suppose we all thought that one way or another”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Amir Ali Tahouri, Presenter: “Eliminating nuclear weapons seems to be the democratic wish of the world's people. Yet no nuclear armed country currently appears to be preparing for a future without these terrifying devices. In fact, governments like the U.S., Britain and France spend billions of dollars on modernization of their nuclear forces, and some say they have made a mockery of United Nations pledges to disarm these weapons of mass destruction”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vincent Mugambe, Africa Inform International: “I stayed in the Soviet Union during the communist days almost 10 years and just like many other Russian people there we were always afraid that America is going to attack with nuclear weapons. The same I’m sure Americans feared that Russians are going to attack. Now interestingly, ironically there was that state of fear that made each of the super powers not attacks the other. Now we have moved on, there is no cold war anymore but the level of violence seems to be just increasing”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Paul Ingram, British American Security Information Council: “The United States plays a particular role in the whole nuclear weapons, global nuclear weapons system. Every other state possesses nuclear weapons in the world directly or indirectly as a result of the United States introduction of nuclear weapons and terms of their strategic relationship. Russia clearly possesses nuclear weapons to balance out the Americans. The Chinese posses nuclear weapons to balance out the Russians and the Americans. The Indians possess nuclear weapons to balance out the Chinese. The Pakistanis have nuclear weapons to balance out the Indians. And so it goes on, it all comes down to America’s possession of nuclear weapons and particularly America’s commitment to the ideology of maintaining nuclear weapons and seeing nuclear weapons as the currency of global power”.
Narration: Throughout the ages man has developed weapons to protect its people and sovereignty. But there are times those weapons were used to threaten others into submission. 16th Century Italian political scientist Machiavelli, stressed the importance of governing people by advocating fear, a philosophy some leaders still share.
SOUNDBITE [English], Barak Obama, US President: “I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength”.
Narration: The shadow of the threat of nuclear bombs is cast over the whole world. While some governments argue that the existence of nuclear bombs forms stability others foresee a doomed future.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vincent Mugambe, Africa Inform International: “I was in Moscow. I was in Leningrad, St Petersburg now. Walking around, life looks to be normal, but every single day, everything took you back every day to think about the threat that was facing you as a human being and then Russia and then Soviet Union as a group of nations, many Russian friends of mine, many Russian people that I could see where living a life of fear.”
SOUNDBITE [English], Pirouz Motjahedzadeh, Professor of Political Geography: “They have produced peace out of fear. That cannot be sustainable peace. The world cannot live on peace out of fear. That in itself is a threat to human’s peace of mind.”
TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00
SOUNDBITE [English], Robert Jaguaribe, Ambassador of Brazil to Britain: “We have some very original experiences in our region of the world. First of all Latin America became the first region to create a non nuclear area which is enshrined in the Tlatelolco treaty of the late 60’s.”
Narration: For over sixty years, the United Nations has been unable to establish sustainable security in the world. Although the majority of nations pursue a world free of nuclear weapons the more dominant armed states are reluctant to give up their weapons of mass destruction creating a geopolitical fear to other states who choose to keep the bombs as a deterrent. Following the end of the cold war 18 countries held nuclear weapons but in 1989 prior to the collapse of the apartheid regime South Africa disarmed its nuclear arms and in 1995 Kazakhstan voluntarily relinquished its entire nuclear weapon stockpile and joined the non-proliferation treaty. Belarus and Ukraine did the same the following year. Countries without nuclear bombs continue to voice their concern and call for a world without them An event attracting representatives from over 60 countries was hosted in Tehran, Iran calling for global nuclear disarmament and the right to peaceful nuclear energy. Western powers claim Iran is in pursuit of making bombs. It’s evident some medias offer a view of Iran as a nuclear armed menace however, evidence shows the country is far from this. Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; it has repeatedly been free of any evidence from UN inspectors for developing nuclear bombs. Furthermore the leader of the Islamic republic issued a fatwa on nuclear weapons considering the pursuit and possession of the weapons a grave sin.
SOUNDBITE [English], Amir Ali Tahouri, Presenter: “Many NGOs and governments around the world are now comprehending that the threat of nuclear bombs must come to an end, united in a vision that all countries should have zero nuclear weapons but the reality of this has proven to be a far greater challenge”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Paul Ingram, British American Security Information Council: “South Africa is being used by a number of people as an example of how the Israelis could disarm because the Israelis have not admitted they have nuclear weapons. There is no official statement that they have it, just as South Africa did not admit and it could be that there may be a model and there may be lessons to learn from the South African experience that could mean that the Israelis could follow that model and get rid of their nuclear weapons which they do have, everyone realises, even though they don’t admit to it”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vincent Mugambe, Africa Inform International: “It angers me to know that Israel was one of those regimes that went out there to support the apartheid regime to setup that type of situation. I don’t think that the South Africans, the apartheid South African government would have thought, well just need to be a nuclear power so that we are like America and play our role in the cold war. No, they must have wanted to have those nuclear weapons so that first of all they can cause mayhem on the African continent and if Africa united against them which Africa had done during the struggles, they have that capacity and potential to destroy the African continent”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Paul Ingram, British American Security Information Council: “After the South Africans disarmed that then enabled the whole of Africa to join in to becoming a nuclear weapon free zone”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vijay Mehta, Chair of Uniting for Peace: “Although at the time of the 1968 when the NPT was formed there was some kind of weapons program going on in Israel but it was, they somehow escaped signing, pretending or saying that we are not making it so that they didn’t sign the treaty. That way they are not under pressure. One country is perceived as threat like Iran. There is no real evidence that Iran is making nuclear weapons. In the case of Israel there is no pressure because that is considered the ally of U.S. so they can have their nuclear weapons”.
TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00
SOUNDBITE [English], Pirouz Motjahedzadeh, Professor of Political Geography: “Iran is constantly being threatened by war and sanctions, etc. for having even thought of nuclear weapons at the same time Israel has had nuclear weapons for, at least for decades and a number of, large number of warheads. With another comparison, when we consider another comparison the hypocrisy shows itself better. Iran has never been at war with any country throughout, in the past 200 years except the war that Iraq imposed on Iran and Iran had to defend itself. In comparison Israel has been, has constantly been at war since its creation with all its neighbors. Every now and then there is the fire of war between Israel and its neighbors, yet Israel is not a threat to the security and peace of the region, Iran is. This hypocrisy I do not think will allow peace and security especially in the region of the Middle East to spread, to flourish”.
Narration: A document released in Britain in December 2010 revealed that Israel was prepared to use a nuclear bomb in the event of an armed conflict with its neighbors. The official paper discloses communications between a former British ambassador in Tel Aviv and the UK Foreign Office in May 1980. The document reads ‘If they (Israelis) are to be destroyed, they will go down fighting this time. They will be ready to use their atomic weapon’. With a rapidly changing Middle East if the Zionist government’s hostility grows towards its neighbors in the region this could increase the risk of a nuclear missile strike”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Paul Ingram, British American Security Information Council: “Israel, probably more than any other state in the world has had more resolutions past against it and has broken those resolutions and yet it seems to be able to exist without any sanctions because it is protected by the United States”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vincent Mugambe, Africa Inform International: “I think with all these things we are seeing right now in terms of Arab spring, people revolutions and so on, a new dispensation is evolving now and I believe that this new dispensation in the Middle East will mean that we start having stable governments that are for their own people, stable governments that are democratic and so on and I believe that usually those types of stable governments will seek to have negotiations, to have peaceful approaches for solving conflicts. People themselves, simple people in the Middle East and now we are seeing simple people in Israel are starting to rise up for change so I think that we should put much more focus and much more support and perhaps our belief that the people can now force governments like Israel to do the right thing. They can force the United Nations, they can force the Americans to do the right thing.”
SOUNDBITE [English], Amir Ali Tahouri, Presenter: “There is a worldwide reluctance to think about what the consequences would be if nuclear weapons were used. It was discovered that virtually nothing is being published anywhere in the world on the self-destructive use nuclear weapons despite the great peril they present to all.”
Narration: The horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain a permanent scar on the world but the horrors didn’t stop there. Numerous countries tested nuclear bomb explosions seeking ways to strengthen their destructive force.
SOUNDBITE [English], Don James, Nuclear weapons Test Veteran: “All we were told was to squat down, your back to the blast, close your eyes, put your hands in front of your eyes and then over the tonal system there came, they were saying, now the aircraft is in the air, now the Valiant is in the air and they’re coming to the drop zone and they counted down 10, 9 all the way down to 1 and then 0. All you heard was a thunder. They tell you then to be ready because the blast was coming. You had to crouch down, put your hands in front of your eyes, your eyes closed and, when you see an x-ray that’s what we see, you see the bones of your hands”.
TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00
SOUNDBITE [English], Don James, Nuclear weapons Test Veteran: “They were doing tests in Christmas Island, Maraldine Island and Maralinga, Montebello to find out the reaction of nuclear explosions on equipment and personnel. That is in documents released from Q written by very high positioned personnel in the M.O.D.”
SOUNDBITE [English], Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy: “The NPT regime has probably gone as far as it can in preventing proliferation. It now has more weaknesses than it has strengths and what we need to do know is to build a world community dedicated to get rid of proliferation but that also means to get rid of nuclear weapons, to pursue disarmament. That has to be done by NPT states and non NPT states in partnership with civil society”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vijay Mehta, Chair of Uniting for Peace: “The rouge or the bad side of IAEA is that it’s always under pressure from the Western countries but the pressure is put on IAEA for certain countries but not all”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy: “The U.N. security council has to be reformed. Its five permanent members of the Security Council are the five nuclear weapon states. That cannot be right. Either we need to move to a situation where there are no permanent members to the Security Council or we need to bring non-nuclear weapon states such as Brazil and South Africa in to the Security Council”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Roberto Jaguaribe, Ambassador of Brazil to Britain: “Every nation actually, practically believes that some form of change is required in the Security Council related to many problems that it has. Ultimately the most important being that it does not reflect the world as it is today. It was created several years ago, many decades ago and the world has changed significantly since 1945 and the present composition of the Security Council and its permanent members does not reflect how the world is going so there’s a very significant group of countries that is very actively engaged over the past decades, 20 years at least in relation to this issue and Brazil is certainly one of those that firmly believes that without adequate changes the legitimacy of the council, who is going to be called, the representation of the council is not going to be adequate, without adequate representation it loses some of its legitimacy, without its legitimacy it loses ethics”.
Narration: Since the nuclear arms race began over 2000 nuclear weapons were detonated around the world. The blasts released radioactive poisons into the air, land and water. To this day many who fell victim to nuclear tests have demanded compensation from their governments but receive no support. The veterans continue to suffer from the radioactive blasts with long term illness which also passed onto their children.
SOUNDBITE [English], Don James, Nuclear weapons Test Veteran: “We are all disgusted with this government or not just the government, the M.O.D. because as I said we’ve been going on about this since the 80s. All governments turn round and tell us, yes they will help us, when they’re in opposition but once they’re in government, they don’t want to know. And the M.O.D. have still got their hand, heads in the sand, they deny everything. They deny that there was any risk at all which is to me, it’s ludicrous because they were warned about it before the tests had taken place, had even taken place. Because some of the officers had told them, we’re the scientists, what we all test for and they wanted to know the reaction of radiation on personnel.”
TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00
SOUNDBITE [English], Don James, Nuclear weapons Test Veteran: “I’ve got a bad blood disorder and we discovered now that my daughter got a very similar thing. I’ve seen my colleagues that was on Christmas Island, their children and grandchildren are born deformed. So you know it’s, it is freighting, it frightens me to think what the future holds”.”
Narration: 50 strategically placed nuclear bombs detonated simultaneously can destroy all life on the planet. The number of warheads in the world are far greater than this number. Together North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, Britain, China and France hold over a thousand nuclear bombs. With the United States and Russia the global nuclear stockpile amounts to over 11,000. The two countries hold ninety per cent of the world’s nuclear arsenal”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Amir Ali Tahouri, Presenter: “It is known that any use of nuclear weapons by a state is ultimately self-destructive. A nuclear attack by a state not only risks full scale nuclear war, which would clearly have disastrous global consequences, but also endanger its own citizens simply through the massive havoc that a nuclear bomb would create in the environment and the global economy”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Paul Ingram, British American Security Information Council: “Since the end of the Americans have spent somewhere in the region of eight trillion dollars on nuclear weapons. Now eight trillion dollars rolls off the tongue but you know if you were to gather a hundred dollar bills and put them into a brick and then lay those brocks end to end they would go round the world one hundred and eighty times and create a wall that was more than 14 foot high around the equator. That’s the sort of money that has been wasted by one country on these weapons systems, weapons systems that will never be used, let’s hope”.
SOUNDBITE [English], Vijay Mehta, Chair of Uniting for Peace: “It could be a blessing in disguise that nobody wishes to have a recession, nobody wishes to go, wishes that his or her salary is cut but because we are in a recession, because we need the money to fund our hospitals and education establishment and health services and Medicare and employment, we are short of jobs, this money could be utilized, there is a possibility, a remote possibility that this recession could work in favor of nuclear disarmament, that ultimately the governments of this world realize that this is ethically not right, its morally not right, there is no worth in keeping nuclear weapons.”
SOUNDBITE [English], Pirouz Motjahedzadeh, Professor of Political Geography: “They are going ahead spending, all the time spending a lot of money and renewing it and developing it further and further and further. It only signifies some kind of sickness in the theory, in the argument, there is a kind of sickness, there is such a love for power race. The more I have, the more powerful I will be and the more I can influence the rest of the world that is the sickness”.
Narration: The U.S. allocated one hundred and eighty five billion dollars to augment its nuclear stockpile over the next decade. Meanwhile British politicians have plans on spending seventy six billion pounds to renew their navy’s trident missiles.
SOUNDBITE [English], Barak Obama, US President: “This treaty will set the stage for further cuts …”
Narration: Although the reduction treaty of the United States and Russia appears to show progress the two countries are reducing their older relatively weaker nuclear bombs while building more powerful bombs at a faster rate.
SOUNDBITE [English], Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy: “All we have is rhetoric. We cannot let this situation continue or there will be a use of nuclear weapons therefore, the leadership now has to be taken by the non-nuclear weapon countries who are in a majority. There are over one hundred and eighty non-nuclear countries some of which like South Africa gave up their nuclear weapons where as there are only eight to nine nuclear armed states. The world’s population requires that the non-nuclear countries stop begging the nuclear weapon states to do something and start taking responsibility to get that process underway themselves.”
SOUNDBITE [English], Amir Ali Tahouri, Presenter: “Many believe that this century is the century of dialogue and rationale and those who possess nuclear weapons have wasted their money and resources and moreover created a bigger danger to them.”