Operation DIVINE Strake
The test is called, of all things, DIVINE STRAKE (strake is the nose cone of an airplane, a ship or an ICBM) though Diabolical strake would probably be a better name. The test could be interpreted as another demonstration of what the U.S. is getting ready to do in Iran to put pressure on the leaders of that country to give up on developing nuclear power -- perhaps by scaring their people half to death at the prospect of nuclear attack. (Not that WILPF approves of nuclear power --we think it is dangerous for many reasons -- but even worse is to threaten nuclear attack against another country, and certainly against a non-nuclear power that is not an imminent threat. The World Court has already ruled (1996) that use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegal under both international treaties and international customary law.
We in the Nuclear Weapons Abolition movement thought Congress had stopped research on the nuclear bunker buster -- but research continues. (Actually the U.S. already has a variety of nuclear tipped bunker busters available, but wanted to fine tune the stock.) The western Shoshone are trying to stop the test as an environmental disaster (it's on their land, after all). They've recently received support from the UN in their case against U.S. government breaking of treaties with them. The Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW and DISARM committees hope to issue a joint WILPF statement on the Shoshone and Divine Strake.
There will be demonstrations in Nevada, and the WILPF/Global Network sponsored demonstration at Vandenberg Air Force Base on May 20 will also call attention to the test and its dangers and significance.
in peace, Carol Urner
WILPF DISARM Issue Committee