Nuclear Weapon States and Fourth World Nations

Nuclear Geography

All nuclear weapon states explode their bombs on unconsenting nations. No nuclear state tests bombs on its own lands and peoples. Americans don't set off nuclear weapons in Santa Barbara or Washington; they bomb the Western Shoshone Nation. Russians bomb Kazakhstan, Han Chinese bomb Uygur territory, French bomb Tuamotu Island peoples. Great Britain has bombed both Australian Aboriginal nations and the Western Shoshone.

All nuclear states are composed of many nations but each is controlled by a single nation that has the bomb. Britain's bomb is English, not Irish; the Soviet bomb is Russian, not Ukrainian; the French bomb is Parisian, not Corsican; the Chinese bomb is Han, not Tibetan; and the US bomb is White American, not Lakotan.

From England with Love

If the English were to test their nuclear bombs on or under Ulster (Northern Ireland), open warfare and worldwide condemnation would result. Instead, the English bomb distant nations to see how their nuclear weapons would work if they were used to bomb nearby nations. From 1952 to 1963 the English exploded nine above-ground bombs on at least 11 Aboriginal nations in Australia. Permission was not sought from Aboriginal peoples, nor were they warned. Radioactive contamination was widespread and entry into large contaminated areas is prohibited today.

In 1980 an Adelaide newspaper interviewed a Yankunytjatjara survivor of a 1953 English aboveground nuclear test. The witness told of hearing the explosion and then seeing the black mist sweep across their land. The people dug holes in the sand dunes for their children; then the old people covered the children with their bodies. Two days afterwards, "everyone was vomiting and had diarrhea and people were laid out everywhere. Next day people had very sore eyes, red with tears and I could not open my eyes. Some were partly blind and I lost the sight in my right eye...Five days after the black cloud came, the old people started dying".

During the late 1950s and early 1960s Great Britain used Christmas Island as a test site (today a part of independent Kiribati) and "borrowed" US-annexed Enewetak Island (Marshall Islands) for other tests.

The 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty prohibited further atmospheric and underwater nuclear explosions. Great Britain and the US concluded that underground testing on the annexed coral islands was too dangerous; they subsequently moved their nuclear weapons facilities from Pacific nations to the Western Shoshone Nation. (Curiously, as Great Britain and the US were shifting from annexed coral island nations to an annexed desert nation, the 1962 Algerian Revolution forced the French from their annexed desert nation to an annexed coral island nation - Tuamotu in the Pacific.)

The Most Bombed Nation in the World

The US dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945. Since 1963, the US has exploded 651 nuclear weapons and "devices" on Newe Sogobia, the Western Shoshone Nation; Great Britain has set off 19 in the same region. Newe Sogobia could also be bombed by the USSR if Washington and Moscow agree to set off nuclear explosions in each other's test site in order to calibrate test ban detection equipment. Additionally, Washington plans hundreds more nuclear explosions as part of its Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars").

Because they destroy, the 670 nuclear explosions in Newe Sogobia have been classified by the Western Shoshone National Council as bombs rather than "tests." The purpose of a bomb is to destroy; if the "tests" were not destructive, they would be performed in the "Americans'" territory. A part of the nation of Newe Sogobia has been destroyed by the nuclear bombs from two nuclear powers. No treaty, accord, agreement, vote or sale exists that gives the US permission to explode nuclear bombs or devices on or under the Western Shoshone Nation. The bombs constitute an attack against the Shoshone nation because they destroy part of it. The US nuclear test site is located in another nation that does not consent to US occupation and the explosion of US nuclear weapons. The US cannot show ownership of the test site; the Western Shoshones can.

In 1863 representatives of the US and the Western Shoshones signed the Treaty of Ruby Valley. The US proposed the treaty in order to end Shoshone armed defense of Sogobia, acquire gold from the territory and establish protected communication and transportation routes to California. President Lincoln needed gold from California and Sogobia to finance the North's forces in the Civil War, but Shoshone resistance blocked this strategic east-west corridor. The treaty ended hostilities; averted further massacres of unarmed Shoshones; and gave the US use rights for stagecoach, railway and telegraph routes, military posts, and lands for mining, agriculture and ranching. The treaty recognized Shoshone territorial sovereignty; no ownership rights were transferred. The US Senate ratified the treaty in 1866 and President Grant confirmed it in 1869. The treaty is still in effect.

The nation of Newe Sogobia has an area of some 43,000 square miles (about the size of Honduras) bounded by western Nevada, southern Idaho, eastern Utah and the Mojave Desert in southeastern California. To invade and occupy this large nation the US has employed a range of land-grabbing strategies not covered or permitted by the treaty. The US has usurped almost 90 percent of Shoshone lands and resources and placed them under the control of the Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Park Service, Fish and Wildlife, etc.), Department of Energy (Atomic Energy Commission), Department of Defense, Department of Transportation and many other agencies used as part of the occupation. But Western Shoshone people assert their nation cannot be taken, sold or bought by people of another nation regardless of how much Indian land is needed for "national defense" or for conservation, recreation and profit for non-Shoshones.

Western Shoshone claims to their territory have promoted a Supreme Court case (United States of America v. Mary and Carrie Dann) over ownership - a setback to development of the MX "racetrack" missile system. Shoshone have title to the proposed Great Basin site and have been demonstrating against nuclear testing within Newe Sogobia. The US has offered $26 million (about $1.50 per acre) to "extinguish" Western Shoshone title to territory covered by the treaty.

Rather than sell their nation for $26 million, the Shoshones should receive approximately $670 million in back rent for land used for several US military bases and installations in Newe Sogobia. This rough estimate is based on the area of the military bases and the amount of money the US gives to Spain, Turkey and the Philippines in exchange for military bases in those countries.

Nuclear Trespassing

In 1986 the Western Shoshone National Council began issuing one- and two-day permits to be on Shoshone land to demonstrators at the Nevada test site. The strategy was to use arrests for trespassing as a means of demonstrating that the US cannot accuse someone of trespassing on land it does not own. The government of the Western Shoshone wants to show that it is the US who is trespassing.

The following information accompanied the permit.

The United States, Britain and France have all chosen to forcibly invade sovereign native nations for the purpose of testing nuclear weapons. Obviously, they do not want to contaminate and destroy their own lands, and expose their own people to the health hazards of such tests. The United States has tested nuclear weapons here in Nevada on the lands of the Western Shoshone Nation, in Alaska on the lands of the Natives and in the South Pacific on islands belonging to Polynesians. The Western Shoshone Nation is calling upon citizens of the United States, as well as the world community of nations, to demand that the United States terminate its invasion of our lands for the evil purpose of testing nuclear bombs and other weapons of war. We must have your political help because we are militarily unable to resist the United States. (Western Shoshone National Council, "Western Shoshone Land Rights and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site").

For more information, write:

Western Shoshone National Council

P.O. Box 68

Duckwater, NV 89314

Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc.

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