Statement at Sadako
by Marty Blum, Mayor of Santa Barbara, August
I recently received a letter from the Mayor of
Hiroshima as I am a member of the "Mayors for Peace"
organization. In asking for assistance in his quest for ridding
the world of nuclear weapons, he pointed out the following:
"For a time in the late 1980s and early 90s,
it appeared that we were moving in the right direction. The Cold
War ended amid deep reductions in nuclear weaponry and a moratorium
on nuclear testing. It seemed we would at last take down the words
of Damocles hanging over our heads for so long.
Unfortunately the culture of war has launched a
powerful counterattack. Rather than reducing military spending
and shifting funding toward the alleviation of human suffering,
governments around the world appear to be increasing military
budgets. In the wake of September 11, we appear to be more convinced
than ever that the answer to violence is more killing".
I appreciate his wise words and his commitment
to the cause. As the memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sit with
us over the next few days, your presence acknowledges the importance
of learning from the past and creating urgency today in calling
for a nuclear-free future.
Fifty-eight years have passed since Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, and it seems we have not learned many lessons from the
- The White House has issued an academic-sounding
report called the "Nuclear Posture Review" that views
nuclear weapons as viable, tactical tools of war.
- The Bush Administration has called for resumption
of underground nuclear testing and funds to rebuild the Nevada
- While our armed forces search in vain for weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq, our administration quietly seeks
the repeal of a restriction on the development of so-called
"mini-nukes". What makes our own weapons of mass destruction
so much safer and moral when human lives are in the balance?
- From an environmental standpoint, the US Senate
just passed a bill which seeks deployment of nuclear reactors
and reprocessing of nuclear waste.
For many of our friends and neighbors, it is easy
to ignore what is going on in the world with the pressures of
daily life and the fact that we live in a city as beautiful as
Santa Barbara. Your presence here today, however, brings focus,
attention and intention to a problem that must be addressed. To
cast a wider net, why not talk to a friend or two tomorrow about
what you did today and tell them why you came…. Thank you
all for attending.