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The Military Earth The Courts United States

Former US Test Site Sues Nuclear Nations For Disarmament Failure 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-your-bombs-to-yourself dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands, scene of massive U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries on Thursday, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of 'flagrant violation of international law' for failing to pursue the negotiations required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It filed one suit specifically directed against the United States, in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, while others against all nine countries were lodged at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, capital of the Netherlands, a statement from an anti-nuclear group backing the suits said. The action was supported by South African Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said."
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Former US Test Site Sues Nuclear Nations For Disarmament Failure

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  • Ukraine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @11:36PM (#46838519)

    Yeah, Ukraine agreed to disarmament and look what happened. I'm willing to bet that if that country exists in two years we'll see them performing at least one nuclear test.

    They should have tried this after Fukushima, now it looks like any country that does disarm is just asking to be conquered.

    • Re:Ukraine (Score:5, Informative)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Friday April 25, 2014 @12:01AM (#46838599)

      If Ukraine does go nuclear again they will only be following Putin's advice.

      Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again? [cnn.com]

      Ironically, the notion of reacquiring nuclear weapons as a security guarantee is a position publicly advocated by Putin himself: "If you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. ... This is logical: If you have the bomb, no one will touch

      Putin: Both causing and suggesting the solution to Ukraine's security problems. Thanks Vladimir Vladimirovich!

      And look! He's turning up the heat because in brinkmanship too much is never enough.

      Russia Threatens Invasion Unless Ukraine Stops Stopping Separatists [reason.com]

      Dutch scramble jets after Russian bombers approach [myfoxdc.com]

      The Dutch defense department says several NATO member countries scrambled jets Wednesday afternoon after a pair of Russian bomber planes approached their airspace over the North Sea.

      The Dutch ministry identified the planes as two Russian TU-95 Bears, and said it had launched two F-16s from Volkel air force base to intercept them. The Russian jets were escorted by aircraft from the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark until they departed.

      • Re:Ukraine (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cenan (1892902) on Friday April 25, 2014 @12:35AM (#46838699)

        Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?

        Putin wanted Ukraine to build a nuclear arsenal, because he knew that they would have to buy back the ones they gifted Russian in order to do so. Ukraine does not have a nuclear weapons program and would be starting from scratch. So no, Ukraine is not about to "go nuclear".

        Russia Threatens Invasion Unless Ukraine Stops Stopping Separatists

        In other words: Military power threatens invasion based on made up issue. Gee, where have we heard that before? It sounds like something we've witnessed recently. Oh shocker! I turns out that is pretty much always the case when someone invades someone else. Putin lost the diplomacy battle and now he's doing what he does best, and what he really wanted to do all along.

        Dutch scramble jets after Russian bombers approach

        Russia sends bombers out all the time, allegedly to test "the enemy". The NATO air police missions in the Baltic regularly have to scramble against Russian aircraft. Of course, that doesn't make for much of a story, so I can see why a journalist would forget to ask how often something like that happens.

        • I doubt that either Ukraine or Russia foresees Ukraine buying back nuclear weapons from Russia to point back at Russia.

          Ukraine inherited significant portions of the Soviet ICMB design and manufacturing infrastructure. They almost certainly have the needed expertise to build nuclear weapons as well. Ukraine has a significant nuclear power infrastructure.

          After the fall of the Soviet Union Russia didn't send bombers to probe NATO and US defenses until the last few years. When and how that is done can also b

          • by gsnedders (928327)

            After the fall of the Soviet Union Russia didn't send bombers to probe NATO and US defenses until the last few years. When and how that is done can also be a signal.

            2007. That's seven years ago now, and long before any dispute over Ukraine, though is around the time of the Russo-Georgian war. (And "NATO and US" defences is a bit redundant, given the US is part of NATO. AFAIK these incurious are typically dealt with by the RNoAF and RAF alone, with the USAF having nothing to do with them, and as such they

          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            Ukraine inherited significant portions of the Soviet ICMB design and manufacturing infrastructure.

            Most of which is in the Eastern Ukraine provinces, which are (popularly, as far as I hear from Auntie Vala, who lives there) moving towards secession. So I doubt that Ukraine will have that capability for more than a few days more.

        • Re:Ukraine (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Evtim (1022085) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:49AM (#46839005)

          And NATO does exactly the same. Both sides test the awareness of the others all the time. Such "accidents" happen tens of times per year...of course the public is ignorant and unwilling to educate themselves so it is easy to manipulate in this manner....

          The wackos are preparing for WWIII. It scares the hell out of me and don't you think for a second that there is a good guy in this mess. They are all guilty as sin – the Russians and the West.
          Do you know what actually happened? On a psychological/diplomatic/social level. The winners from the cold war turned out to be ungracious winners. Military doctrine states that after you win if you do not use your victory properly, if you overdo on punishing, pillaging and humiliating the losers, sooner or later they will rise aging and kick you. Germany after WWI anyone? Russia after the Cold war? First, the “sound financial advices” from the west almost destroyed Russia [don’t tell me you don’t know that IMF are the modern day slave-traders], the mafia gained the power, the military bases started cropping, the promise that NATO will not expand east was broken. What did you expect would happen after such humiliation and desperation? Naturally, a strong leader emerges [reinforced by historical tradition] that turns all the tables against the west and start solidifying the nation around anything, anything at all that is different from the western ideology.
          Very simple, but very notable example, just for illustration – the prevailing opinion in the east these days is that west is a bloated plutocracy populated chiefly with drug-users, pedos and gays [notice the lumping those people together in one group of “evils” – already the propaganda is apparent]. And the fact the west has all those evils is due to the very socio-economic system they live in so we should never, ever adapt it or even respect it – it only breeds “monsters”. And so on and so forth it goes.naturally similar stereotypes are propagandized in the west as well. So that when the bastards on the top make the wars they so much desire the people will support them since we are fighting sub-humans anyway
          Thus, in my opinion, anyone who expresses preference to either side in this conflict is supporting the devils themselves and acts against his/her own interest and the interest of the species.

          And BTW, admins, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.

          • And BTW, admins, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.

            True. The Hague is the seat of government though, and the location of the ICJ.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Cenan (1892902)

            I'm not taking sides, because I don't believe either side has a cause worthy of siding with. Whenever a leader of a nation decides that rolling out the guns is the correct cause of action, they automatically lose whatever credibility their stated cause might have had. Leaders acting like school children, but employing the resources of a nation, are pathetic. Resources, mind you, that were created by the people. Leaders, also created by the people, set in place to manage said resources, and they're now playi

            • by Immerman (2627577)

              >Whenever a leader of a nation decides that rolling out the guns is the correct cause of action, they automatically lose whatever credibility their stated cause might have had.

              Does that include when defending against a foreign invader?

              • by RockDoctor (15477)

                a foreign invader?

                Why do people use that phrase? Do you know of any examples, ever, of a native invader?

                • by Immerman (2627577)

                  Most every military coup ever? Or for that matter most every coup ever, where a small cabal of natives manage to invade the government, openly or discretely, and seize control for their own ends. The end result is much the same as a foreign invader, even if the bloodshed is often less. What matters the nationality of your new masters?

            • Whenever a leader of a nation decides that rolling out the guns is the correct cause of action, they automatically lose whatever credibility their stated cause might have had

              Hmm, FDR lost all credibility in December of 1941, eh? Interesting theory, that.

              And no, it's not like the USA had to join in WW2 just because the Japanese attacked us. We could have quietly ignored the provocation, and let the Axis win....

          • don’t tell me you don’t know that IMF are the modern day slave-traders

            Funny you should mention that in an article about the Marshall Islands :( It's the only US territory where slavery is not just a freak occurrence perpetrated by a kidnapper but instead a more frequent event.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Yeah, Ukraine agreed to disarmament and look what happened. I'm willing to bet that if that country exists in two years we'll see them performing at least one nuclear test.

      Perhaps... but the weapons they had access to that they gave up were strategic weapons developed in Russia.

      The Ukraine gov't themselves wouldn't have been able to build these. They would be starting from scratch, essentially, with no fissile materials.

      It wouldn't be hard for other countries to slow down any progress towards Ukraine

      • Re:Ukraine (Score:4, Interesting)

        by cold fjord (826450) on Friday April 25, 2014 @12:17AM (#46838647)

        It looks to me like you've got that completely wrong, not the least of which is the strategic weapons Ukraine had were developed by the Soviet Union of which both Russia and Ukraine were a part. As to the rest ...

        Half of Ukraine's electricity is from nuclear power. That have 13 reactors now, and plan to add 11 more. Access to enriched nuclear materials isn't likely to be much of a problem.

        Ukraine's strange love for nuclear power [bbc.co.uk]

        Missile [nti.org]

        Ukraine is capable of producing advanced intercontinental range ballistic missiles, and its missile industry is second only to Russia's among the former Soviet republics. The linchpin of this industry is the former Yuzhnoye Scientific Production Association, arguably the preeminent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) design and production facility in the Former Soviet Union, whose capabilities are matched only by a handful of U.S. and Russian missile enterprises.

        • Exactly, the weapon design bureau currently known as Pivdenne, one of the largest industrial enterprises in Ukraine, with 13,000 workers is located in Dnipropetrovsk in the East. Presumably this is what Russia wants to get hold of with its occupation of town halls by special forces. Given that Russian propaganda though blatant and obvious is being lapped up by the people of the world there is nothing anyone can or will do about this. The Syrian regime uses exactly the same methods and everyone sided with Pu

          • Syria's case is totally different. Syria is not invading its neighbors. It is getting invaded.

          • Exactly, the weapon design bureau currently known as Pivdenne, one of the largest industrial enterprises in Ukraine, with 13,000 workers is located in Dnipropetrovsk in the East...... The sooner the Americans get a conference together to organize handing over Eastern Ukraine to the Russians the better.

            That is obviously backwards. It would seem that if Russia is becoming an imperialist aggressor to steal resources to make itself more powerful, some say to rebuild the Soviet Union, that the last thing the world should do is enable that. Othewise, where does it end? Until Putin says, "‘This Is the Last Territorial Demand I Have to Make in Europe’ [nationalreview.com]"?

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      No nuclear weapons means a world safe for massive conventional warfare between superpowers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    mutually assured destruction somewhat works in preventing nuclear weapon use during warfare.
    and disarmament will only work if all country's that have nuclear weapons will disarm at exact the same time.

    I don't see North Korea disarm any time soon.

    • MAD works.. for the countries that have nukes. If you don't have a nuke, or aren't kissing the ass of a country that does, it's not mutually assured destruction, it's assured destruction.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Nobody with nukes has a problem with this. And nobody else matters. Stop being such a a whiner. };-)

      • by dbIII (701233)

        MAD works

        Way back in the day Kennedy and Khrushchev kind of proved that it doesn't.
        Things went far beyond utterly stupid and it was only a lot of backpedelling that prevented tragedy.

  • by Tailhook (98486) on Friday April 25, 2014 @12:00AM (#46838587)

    Bye bye boys!
    Have fun storming the castle.
    (think it'll work?)
    (it would take a miracle...)
    Bye Byyyye

  • Good for them! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arker (91948) on Friday April 25, 2014 @12:00AM (#46838589) Homepage
    'The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said the five original nuclear weapons states - The United States, Russia, Britain, France and China - were all parties to the NPT, while the others - Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea - were "bound by these nuclear disarmament provisions under customary international law."'

    It's an excellent point though not a new one. One that is often studiously ignored by the media, so it's good to see it getting a little press. The terms of the NPT are pretty clear, and while they are unfortunately not operational and thus subject to all the normal lawyer tricks... the fact is every signatory has been pretty blatantly violating it almost from the moment of signing. No one has been negotiating in good faith towards eliminating nukes even after being maneuvered into solemnly agreeing on the record to do so.

    The mainstream media outlets are always happy to press this case on North Korea. They have ratchetted back and forth a bit over Russia and China, but always at least hostile. Yet how often do they say anything about the other members of this 'club?'

    And just how do these nuclear signatories of the NPT expect to have credibility in pushing non-signatory states to accept being bound to it by custom despite having deliberately declined to sign, when they themselves flaunt its obligations?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Russia has at least reduced some of its stockpile with the nukes for megawatts program

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm not reading your comment because you monospaced it. It's harder to read. That was totally stale, bro.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    By the way, The Hague is not the capital of the Netherlands, although it is where the pairlement is seated.

  • Save that Goliath has an M1 Abrams loaded with canister rounds and David... still has a sling.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "the International Court of Justice in The Hague, capital of the Netherlands,"
    The Hague is where the international court is located, but it's not the capital, that's Amsterdam.

  • by freakingme (1244996) on Friday April 25, 2014 @01:05AM (#46838781)

    According to the Dutch constitution Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, although the parliament and the Dutch government have been situated in The Hague since 1588, along with the Supreme Court and the Council of State.[1][2]

    Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

    • by captainpanic (1173915) on Friday April 25, 2014 @03:32AM (#46839113)

      Yeah, yeah... tl;dr. Not interesting if you're living in New York, capital of the USA.

    • A capital city or capital town (or simply capital) is the municipality enjoying primary status in a state, country, province, or other region as its seat of government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the offices and meeting places of its respective government and is normally fixed by its law or constitution. In some jurisdictions, including several countries, the different branches of government are located in different settlements.

      According to the Dutch constitution Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, although the parliament and the Dutch government have been situated in The Hague since 1588, along with the Supreme Court and the Council of State. [...] Only once during its history was Amsterdam both "capital" and seat of government. Between 1808 and 1810

      So it sounds like Amsterdam is the capital about as much as USS Constitution is considered an active ship in the U.S. navy.

  • Boy I hope this turns into a winnable case.

    That treaty has never been enforced. This lawsuit won't change that- but it might inform the generation coming into power that there is a need to disarming.

    Go Marshall Islands!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one that saw this? The capital of the Netherlands is Amterdam...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rastos1 (601318)

      Am I the only one that saw this? The capital of the Netherlands is Amterdam...

      No, you are not alone. Interestingly the sentence came from the article itself - written by Reuters. I though Reuters was one of the places where you could find real journalists. So ... you could say that /. reached the quality of Reuters which is undoubtedly a great achievement.

  • Funny thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Friday April 25, 2014 @01:42AM (#46838879) Homepage

    When it comes to things like free trade, our fearless leaders squawk about how their hands are tied because treaties. But here we have a treaty that they have managed to start ignoring completely before the ink even dried, and then for more than 40 years.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Friday April 25, 2014 @01:52AM (#46838907)

    but this isn't quite how it works.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was just reading Carl Sagan's Cosmos this evening. He mentions the Marshall Islands nuclear test near the end of the book:

    The Hiroshima explosion, unlike the subsequent Nagasaki
    explosion, was an air burst high above the surface, so the fallout
    was insignificant. But on March 1, 1954, a thermonuclear weapons
    test at Bikini in the Marshall Islands detonated at higher yield
    than expected. A great radioactive cloud was deposited on the
    tiny atoll of Rongalap, 150 kilometers away, where the inhabitants
    likened the explosion to the Sun rising in the West. A few
    hours later, radioactive ash fell on Rongalap like snow. The
    average dose received was only about 175 rads, a little less than
    half the dose needed to kill an average person. Being far from the
    explosion, not many people died. Of course, the radioactive
    strontium they ate was concentrated in their bones, and the
    radioactive iodine was concentrated in their thyroids. Two-
    thirds of the children and one-third of the adults later developed
    thyroid abnormalities, growth retardation or malignant tumors.
    In compensation, the Marshall Islanders received expert medical
    care.

  • ... of anyone discussing the topic? In case everyone has forgotten, that is the attempt by the Marshall Islands to sue the nuclear powers for ignoring their obligations to disarm. Also to sue the USA for exploding nuclear and thermonuclear weapons on its (tiny) territory?

  • How do they have standing to sue us? Are they even a real country? I believe we owned that test island at the time.

    And that particular explosion saved us all from a hundred years of a world wide communist dictatorship.

    You're welcome.

  • One Big Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cirby (2599) on Friday April 25, 2014 @06:13AM (#46839561)

    "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

    Note that this part of the Treaty does NOT say that they have to continually pursue negotiations until the end of time. All they had to do was pursue negotiations ONCE in order to fulfill the Treaty.

    There were regular nuclear disarmament negotiations during the 1970s and 1980s - right up until the point where one of the participants in the NNPT effectively disbanded.

  • For the US and Russia, they will point to arms reductions treaties over the years. China will say our arsenal is smaller than theirs. UK and France may opt for the same. India, Pakistan and North Korea will say they are not bound by the treaty and Israel will say "What weapons?" This is the latest effort: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

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