The Continual Crossroads of Nuclear Weapons

History of the Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands

After World War II the United States seized the Marshall Islands, a 1,800 mile chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Prior to that the Japanese had occupied the territory as an outpost for their military interventions. One Sunday in February 1946, the island’s US military governor asked the locals if they would be willing to temporarily relocate for “the good of mankind and to end all world wars.”  Operation Crossroads began on July 1, 1946 to determine how nuclear detonations would impact warships. The operation was terminated after many ships were destroyed and a 94 foot tsunami coated everything with radioactive water.  Many of the veterans who were ordered into the testing area referred to themselves as the “Royal Order of Guinea Pigs.” 

The next series of nuclear tests began in March 1954 to explore a “deliverable” hydrogen bomb with Operation Castle. The test was disastrous even by military standards. The explosion, 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb used on Hiroshima, was at least two times more powerful than anticipated and a change in wind patterns led to radioactive contamination to the populated area east of the Bikini Atoll. The residents were not evacuated for over three days and the children thinking the white powder was snow ate it and played in it during that time.

The US military continued nuclear experimentation in the Marshall islands until 1958 with a total of 67 tests. Some of the residents returned in the 1970s hoping to return to ancestral homelands and ways of life. They were then removed from their lands again in 1978 after ingesting large amounts of radioactive material from food grown on lands contaminated by the nuclear tests. Many within the Marshall Islands continue to face permanent, forced relocation.

Long time War Tax Resister, Jim Haber recently wrote about this subject in his “monthly musings” email:

Every year at this time, I bring up the Castle-Bravo nuclear test that destroyed Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on March 1, 1954. It was the largest bomb ever tested by the USA. The people of Rongelap that was known to be down wind at the time of the detonation, continue to suffer physical and emotional harm from its fallout. Look up “jellyfish babies” if you dare. And look up the 2011 documentary “Nuclear Savage.”

Also, bringing this to the present. please don’t take up any of the nuclear-fear hypocrisy of the United States and Israel. Don’t fear North Korea or Iran, especially vis a vis nuclear attack. Unstable Pakistan and Hindu-nationalist India do scare me, but neither Russia nor China have pushed the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation as has the United States. And now we may give nuclear technology to the murderous Saudi crown prince! Talk about a global troika of tyranny or axis of evil: The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

New US nuclear warheads are rolling off the assembly line as of the end of February. The W76-2 is less than a third the size of the bomb used on Hiroshima and is considered “usable” by some “people.” It is highly targetable and concealable as it will be based on Trident D-5 submarines, the most destructive weapon ever built. At the same time, the updated tailfin design for the B61-12 was being tested. It will be highly targetable and of a more “usable” size with a “dial-a-yield” feature.


The government is led by people that want to destroy it, in part, by unfunding itself. Still, resisting war taxes must continue and grow, at risk of playing into the hands of people who say they want small government just so they can pollute wildly and steal from the rest of us. Please, don’t fear the IRS like they are really going to hurt you. They can harass, of course, but they don’t suddenly garnish your wages. Mostly they send notices, or more often, but still not frequently, phone calls. More often, I get spam calls, not related to my tax liability. And when they “assigned” my case to a private collection agency, their ability to harass me or take my money decreased! Check out the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) for a wealth of info, stories, and counseling. Don’t bank on tax refunds. Don’t give free loans to the US military. Resist war taxes now!

Post by Chrissy Kirchhoefer and Jim Haber

One thought on “The Continual Crossroads of Nuclear Weapons”

  1. Michael F Hughes says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for this post. Sometimes hearing the deplorable truths about our military actions is needed to inspire me to ‘dig in’ deeper with this resistance. With only one years resistance on the IRS records, I sometimes need a rap in the skull to let me know I have been complicit for so many years while looking the other way. I have received several letters and now 4 certified in my first year (signed for last one by mistake). My favorite line that I heard in LA last year often comforts me after I go to the mailbox. “The CIA sends assassins, the IRS sends letters !” Then I think “They can f_ _k off, I mean they can f_ _k ALL the way off !” Then I breathe and remember that they are just human beings who need love and compassion like me…soldiers of an evil war machine that I cannot feed. Peace

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