|Reflections by Fidel »
Good Conduct Certificate
By: Fidel Castro Ruz
IN THESE BITTER DAYS WE have seen pictures of an earthquake that reached 9 on the Richter Scale with hundreds of strong after-shocks, and a tsunami 10 metres high whose waves of dark waters dragged tens of thousands of people between cars and trucks over homes and 3 and 4 storey buildings.
Sophisticated mass media has been saturating our minds with the news of civil wars, arms trade associated with drugs that in just five years have killed more than 35,000 people in Mexico, climatic changes in various countries, asphyxiating heat waves, mountains of ice melting at the poles, torrential rains, shortages and growing prices for foods. We really need some consolation and this has just reached us via that life-saving angel of our species, the United Nations Security Council and its colossal invention: good conduct certificates.
Of course we already know, through the Europa Press Agency, that the number of persons who died as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami were 6,539, and 10,259 were missing, “according to the latest toll”.
Although we still do not know “the exact whereabouts of thousands of people”, the governor of a prefecture has suggested that the survivors ought to move to another part of Japan.
“Damaged airports, ports and highways are being gradually repaired”, a Japanese news agency states.
The British agency Reuters was less optimistic when it stated that “a ‘Chernobyl solution’ could be the last resort” but authorities say that “it is still too soon to talk about long-range measures and that first we have to try to cool the plant’s six reactors and the fuel-storage pools.”
Professor Murray Jennex at San Diego State University in California said: “They (reactors) are kind of like a coffee maker. If you leave it on the heat, they boil dry and then they crack, …”
“Putting concrete on that wouldn’t help keep your coffee maker safe. But eventually, yes, you could build a concrete shield and be done with it.”
Another dispatch from the European agency stated:
“We launched a ‘race against the clock’ to cool down the reactors, declared General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano.”
“‘We are dealing with a very serious accident’, said Amano after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, in reference to the Fukushima nuclear plant.”
Without a doubt, the world had been jolted by the unexpected accident in Japan, that moved even the foundations of the planet’s energy development; 442 nuclear plants were functioning, great need for repairs; the Chernobyl accident in 1986 had paralyzed construction programmes of new facilities which were about to resume and be extended.
Wouldn’t our concerns over NATO’s war actions in northern Africa to occupy the rich Libyan fields of light oil and ensure the enormous energy resources in the Middle East after the revolutionary eruption in Arab nations be exaggerated?
Serious threats of a new economic crisis were upsetting economists.
Bad news on the political front keeps on coming.
AFP states that thousands of Shiite demonstrators were shouting anti-government slogans near Manama after Friday prayers, even though Bahraini authorities have prohibited crowds from gathering.
“Repression […] this week caused at least eight deaths: four demonstrators and four police.”
“‘We are ready to sacrifice our blood and our souls for Bahrain’, shouted the demonstrators.”
“Bahraini authorities decreed the exclusion state this week […] within this small kingdom where the US has a base for its Fifth Fleet.”
AFP, March18, 2011
“More than 30 died and around a hundred were injured on Friday after demonstrators were shot at as they demanded the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh in Sanah, according to a new toll reported by medical sources.”
“‘Most of those injured were hit by bullets to the head, neck and chest area’, a doctor told AFP.”
This is a close United States ally that also has the support of Saudi forces.
AP, March 18, 2011
“King Abdullah (of Saudi Arabia) spoke after Muslim prayers on Friday. He thanked residents and security forces for being ‘the hands’ of national stability.”
“Islamabad, March 18, (AFP) – thousands demonstrated on Friday in the streets of several Pakistani cities to protest against the American unmanned plane attack that killed 35 people this week and the liberation of a CIA employee who was being held for murder.” He had been set free after two million dollars had been paid to the relatives of the two men he killed in a Lahore street.
Why do we have the Security Council, the veto, the anti-veto, the majority, the minority, abstention, speeches, demagoguery and the solemn declarations of Ban Ki-moon?
Above all, why do we have NATO, its 5.5 million soldiers (according to highly qualified specialists) and its 19,845 tanks, 57,938 armoured vehicles, 6,492 fighter jets, 2,482 helicopters, 19 aircraft carriers, 156 submarines, 303 surface vessels, 5,728 nuclear missiles, tens of thousands of atomic bombs with the destructive power equivalent to hundreds of thousand times the capacity of those dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
There is more than enough of such stupid power, it wouldn’t be used, nor can it be used; we would need dozens of planet such as Earth. Its only purpose is to demonstrate the waste and the chaos generated by capitalism.
We can dedicate our time to other things, less sinister and more ludicrous.
For example, the DPA agency informs us:
“Port-au-Prince, March 18, 2011. The arrival of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Port-au-Prince this Friday cannot have taken anyone by surprise.”
“January 19: From South Africa, Aristide published an ‘open letter’ where he says he is ‘ready’ to return to Haiti’ at any time to ‘contribute as a simple citizen in the field of education’…”
“January 20: The American State Department is opposed to the return of Aristide before at least the end of the electoral process…”.
The State Department has gotten mixed up even in this: it was the US that gave birth to Papa Doc, and it had overthrown and expelled President Aristide to Africa 7 years ago.
A Notimex dispatch, dated in Panama today, March 18th, informed that WikiLeaks revealed the entry of US warships to Panama:
“The covenant was signed on April 15, 2009 so that military vessels could enter Panamanian waters between May 3rd and the end of Torrijos’ term on June 30th this year, when the president was succeeded by the right-wing Ricardo Martinelli.
“‘Until now, the Panamanian government has always refused to do this requirement arguing that operations with the United States Army were a sensitive matter for Panamanians’…”
Another interesting tale about the trickery of US foreign policy is told today by AP:
“Chile and the United States signed a nuclear energy treaty on Friday, despite the fears of the spread of radiation in Japan”.
“The fear arises after a devastating earthquake and subsequent tidal wave severely affected the nuclear reactors in a plant on the north-eastern coast of Japan”.
“The treaty was signed on Friday morning by US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff and Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Moreno.”
“…White House officials were not able to confirm the highly awaited signing which one supposes would be a notable event during the visit to Chile on Monday of President Barack Obama.”
But no matter, appearances can always be life-saving and public opinion can be manipulated by appearances; White House officials emphasized “that the treaty focuses on training nuclear engineers and not on the construction of reactors.”
Since Japanese nuclear technology is basically Yankee, their technicians surely would acquire more experience studying what happened in that beleaguered country whose population was victim of a cruel and unscrupulous predecessor of the current president of the United States.
Who are Obama, NATO and Ban Ki-moon going to fool with good conduct certificates?
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 18, 2011