Rev. John Dear, Fr. John Dear, SJ
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

Recently, I saw a powerful, disturbing new documentary about the U.S. hydrogen bomb explosions in the islands in the South Pacific, the U.S. government’s campaign to keep the indigenous people on those contaminated islands and the U.S. government’s secret program to monitor the effects of radiation on them.

Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1,” a film by former Greenpeace activist Adam Horowitz, uses recently declassified government film footage of the hydrogen bombs we dropped in the South Pacific and recent interviews with survivors to tell this nightmarish nuclear tale.

In old black-and-white footage, we see excited white, U.S. military men speaking somberly into the camera about the glories of the hydrogen bomb and describing how well “the savages,” his term for the people of the Marshall Islands, were responding to our nuclear bomb explosions. The combination of militarism, U.S. imperialism, nuclear weapons, environmental destruction, sheer racism and total disregard for these gentle, impoverished people is shocking, to say the least.

Of course, the real savages are the Americans who built and dropped these bombs and who maintain our nuclear weapons industry today…

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