Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world. It was their main weapon when they decided to easily liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first just and sovereign laws were passed in our Homeland: depriving it of oil.
Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed. Venezuela was the nation in this hemisphere that paid the highest price. The United States became the lord and master of the huge oil fields that Mother Nature had bestowed upon that sister country.
At the end of the last World War, it started to extract greater amounts of oil from the oil fields ofIran, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These became the main suppliers. World consumption progressively increased to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels a day, including those being extracted on United States territory, to which later gas, hydro and nuclear energies were added. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, coal had been the basic source of energy that made industrial development possible, before billions of automobiles and engines consuming the liquid fuel were produced.
The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.
When our Revolution arose, Algeria, Libya and Egypt were not yet oil producers and a great part of the abundant reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were still to be discovered.
In December of 1951, Libya becomes the first African country to attain its independence after WW II, during which its territory was the stage for important battles between the troops of Germany and theUnited Kingdom, conferring fame and glory on Generals Erwin Rommel and Bernard L. Montgomery.
Ninety-five percent of its territory is completely made up of desert. Technology permitted the discovery of vital oilfields of excellent quality light oil that today reach one million 800 thousand barrels a day along with abundant deposits of natural gas. Such riches allowed it to reach life expectancy that is almost at 75 years of age and the highest per capita income in Africa. Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other.
Libya, which had a million inhabitants when it attained independence, today has somewhat more than 6 million.
The Libyan Revolution took place in the month of September of the year 1969. Its main leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who, in his early years, was inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that were produced when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.
The inhabitants of that country have age-old warrior traditions. It is said that ancient Libyans were a part of Hannibal’s army when he was at the point of destroying Ancient Rome with the troops that crossed the Alps.
One can agree with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media. One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya. For me, what is absolutely clear is that the government of the United States is not in the least worried about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate in giving NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a matter of hours or a few short days.
Those who with perfidious intentions invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, just as they did yesterday afternoon on Sunday the 20th of February, today received an fitting response from Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolás Maduro when he literally stated that he was “wishing that the Libyan people would find, in the exercise of their sovereignty, a peaceful solution to their difficulties, that would preserve the integrity of the Libyan people and nation, without the interference of imperialism…”
As for me, I cannot imagine that the Libyan leader would abandon his country; escaping the responsibilities he is charged with, whether or not they are partially or totally false.
An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.
The leadership of that war-mongering organization has to do it. We must condemn it!
Catherine Ashton -High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security of European Union
“This is a historic moment for Sudan. The European Union (EU) commends the people of Southern Sudan and the Sudanese parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on the peaceful and credible conduct of the Referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan.
Despite many obstacles, the Sudanese Referendum authorities were able to organise a referendum in a timely and credible manner as witnessed by the EU Electoral Observation Mission. An overwhelming majority of registered voters participated and resoundingly expressed their determination to establish an independent state.
The EU fully respects the outcome of the Referendum as a true reflection of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Southern Sudan. The EU looks forward to further developing a close and long-term partnership with Southern Sudan which is set to become a new state once the CPA expires in July 2011.
The EU welcomes the commitment of the Government of Sudan to respect the outcome of the Referendum.
In the coming months, the EU will continue to support the efforts of the parties to reach agreement on all outstanding CPA issues and the key post-referendum arrangements that will sustain the North-South relationship in the long term.
The EU remains committed to engage both North and South Sudan in the promotion of democratic governance, respect for human rights and a peaceful and prosperous future for all Sudanese people. In this context, the EU will step up its dialogue with both North and South and is ready to play its part in underpinning the development of two viable states.”
Professor Anton Caragea- PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
I have received with enormous interest the official results regarding South Sudan Referendum on Self Determination . The people of South Sudan have spoken and have spoken with clarity on their desire to achieve independence. I congratulated the people and government of South Sudan on this historical result and I express my sincere appreciation on the peaceful and honorable way in which the referendum was organized and hosted. I also congratulate the President of Sudan H.E. Omar Al Bashir for the immediate and unconditional recognition of the South Sudan Referendum results.
I call upon all parties to manage a peaceful transition and to negotiate a comprehensible and honest agreement in order to build as President Omar Al Bashir underlined a brotherly relation between the two countries.
I also expressed to President of Southern Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, upon his request, the openness of European Council on International Relations to support the South Sudan efforts on the path of independence and on building an open and free society, a democratic model for countries of Africa.
I also express our shared vision with High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security of European Union Catherine Ashton as it was laid out in the 7 of February European Union Communiqué that underlined the fact that : EU remains committed to engage both North and South Sudan in the promotion of democratic governance, respect for human rights and a peaceful and prosperous future for all Sudanese people. In this context, the EU will step up its dialogue with both North and South and is ready to play its part in underpinning the development of two viable states.
Many people feel nauseous when they hear the name of that organization.
On Friday, November 19 in Lisbon, Portugal, the 28 members of that aggressive institution, engendered by the United States, decided to create something that they cynically call “the new NATO”.
NATO was born after WW II as an instrument of the Cold War unleashed by imperialism against the USSR, the country that paid for the victory over Nazism with tens of millions of lives and colossal destruction.
Against the USSR, the United States mobilized, along with a goodly portion of the European population, the far right and all the neo-fascist dregs of Europe, brimming with hatred and ready to gain the upper hand for the errors committed by the very leaders of the USSR after the death of Lenin.
With enormous sacrifice, the Soviet people were able to keep nuclear parity and to support the struggle for the national liberation of numerous peoples against the efforts of the European states to maintain the colonial system which had been imposed by force throughout the centuries; states that, in the post-war period, became allies of the Yankees who assumed command of the counter-revolution in the world.
In just 10 days –less than two weeks –world opinion has received three great and unforgettable lessons: G-20, APEC and NATO, in Seoul, Yokohama and Lisbon, in such a way that all honest persons who can read and write and whose minds haven’t been warped by the conditioned reflexes of the imperialist mass media machine, can have a true idea about the problems affecting humankind today.
In Lisbon, not one world was said that was capable of transmitting hope to billions of persons suffering from poverty, under-development, shortages of food, housing, health, education and jobs.
Quite the opposite: the vainglorious character who is the head of the NATO military mafia, Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared, in tones reminiscent of a little Nazi Fuhrer, that the “new strategic concept” was to “act anywhere in the world”. Not in vain was the Turkish government about to veto his appointment when the Danish neo-liberal Fogh Rasmussen, as premier of Denmark, using the excuse of freedom of the press, defended, in April of 2009, the authors of serious offences against the prophet Mohammed, a figure much respected by all Muslim faithful.
There are quite a few in the world who remember the close relations of cooperation between the Danish government and the Nazi “invaders” during WW II.
NATO, a bird of prey sitting in the lap of the Yankee empire, even endowed with tactical nuclear weapons that could be up to many times more destructive that the one that obliterated the city of Hiroshima , has been committed by the United States in the genocidal Afghanistan war, something even more complex than the Kosovo exploit and the war against Serbia where they massacred the city of Belgrade and were about to suffer a disaster if the government of that country had held its ground, instead of trusting in the European justice institutions in The Hague.
The ignominious declaration from Lisbon, vaguely and abstractly states in one of its points:
“I support regional stability, democratic values, the security and integration of the Euro-Atlantic space in the Balkans.”
“The Kosovo mission is oriented towards a lesser and more flexible presence.”
Even Russia cannot forget it so easily: the actual fact is that when Yeltsin broke up the USSR, the United States moved NATO boundaries and its nuclear attack bases forward from Europe and Asia to the heart of Russia.
Those new military installations were also threatening the Peoples’ Republic of China and other Asian countries.
When that happened in 1991, hundreds of SS-19, SS-20 and other powerful Soviet weapons were able to reach, in a matter of minutes, the US and NATO military bases in Europe. No NATO Secretary General would have dared to speak with the arrogance of Rasmussen.
The first agreement on nuclear weapons limitations was signed as early as May 26, 1972 between President Richard Nixon of the United States and Communist Party Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev of the USSR with the aim of limiting the number of antiballistic missiles (ABM Treaty) and to defend certain points against missiles having nuclear payloads.
Brezhnev and Carter signed new agreements in Vienna, known as SALT II in 1979, but the US Senate refused to ratify those agreements.
The new rearmament promoted by Reagan, with the Strategic Defence Initiative, ended the SALT agreements.
The Siberian gas pipeline had been blown up already by the CIA.
A new agreement, on the other hand, was signed in 1991 between Bush Sr. and Gorbachev, five months before the collapse of the USSR. When that happened, the socialist bloc no longer existed. The countries that the Red Army had liberated from Nazi occupation were not even able to maintain independence. Right-wing governments that came to power moved over to NATO with weapons and baggage and fell into the hands of the US. The GDR which, under the leadership of Erich Honecker had made a great effort, was unable to overcome the ideological and consumerist offensive launched from the same capital that had been occupied by the Western troops.
As the virtual master of the world, the United States increased its mercenary and warmongering policy.
Due to a well-manipulated process, the USSR fell apart. The coup de grâce was dealt by Boris Yeltsin on December 8, 1991 when, in his capacity of president of the Russian federation, he declared that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. On the 25th of that same month and year, the red flag bearing the hammer and sickle was lowered from the Kremlin.
A third agreement about strategic weapons was then signed by George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin, on January 3, 1993, that prohibited the use of multiple-warhead Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (the IBMs). It was passed by the US Senate on January 26, 1993 with a margin of votes of 87 to 4.
Russia was the heir to USSR science and technology – which, in spite of the war and the enormous sacrifices, it was able to bring its power up to the level of the immense and wealthy Yankee empire – the victory over fascism, the traditions, the culture and the glories of the Russian people.
The war in Serbia, a Slavic country and people, had severely sunk its fangs into the security of the Russian people, something no government could allow itself to ignore.
The Russian Duma – outraged by the first Iraq war and the war in Kosovo where NATO had massacred the Serbian people – refused to ratify START II and didn’t sign that agreement until 2000 and in that case it was to try to save the ABM Treaty that the Yankees were not interested in keeping by that date.
The US tries to use its enormous media resources to maintain, dupe and confuse world public opinion.
The government of that country is going through a difficult phase as the result of its war exploits. In the Afghanistan war, all the NATO countries, with no exception, are committed along with several others in the world, whose people find hateful and repugnant the carnage that rich industrialized countries such as Japan and Australia and others in the Third World are involved in to greater or lesser degrees.
What is the essence of the agreement approved in April of this year by the US and Russia? Both parties commit to reduce the number of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. About the nuclear warheads in France, the United Kingdom and Israel, all capable of striking Russia, not one word is spoken. About the tactical nuclear weapons, some of them much more powerful than the one that obliterated the city of Hiroshima, nothing. They do not mention the destructive and lethal capacity of numerous conventional weapons, the radio-electric and other systems of weapons to which the US dedicates its growing military budget, greater than those of all the other nations together. Both governments are aware, and perhaps many of them that met there also, that a third world war would be the last war. What kind of delusions can the NATO members be having? What is the tranquility that humankind can derive from that meeting? What benefit for the countries of the Third World, or even for the international economy, can we possibly hope for?
They cannot even offer the hope that the world economic crisis will be overcome, nor for how long that improvement would last. The US total public debt, not only of the central government but of all the rest of the public and private institutions in that country, now totals a figure equal to the world GDP of 2009, totalling 58 trillion dollars. Have the persons meeting in Lisbon even wondered about where those fantastic resources would be coming from? Simply, about the economies of all the rest of the peoples of the world, to whom the US handed over pieces of paper transformed into currency that over the last 40 years, unilaterally, ceased to be backed by gold and now the value of that metal is 40 times as much. That country still has veto power in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Why didn’t they discuss that in Portugal?
The hope of pulling out US, NATO and their allies’ troops from Afghanistan is idyllic. They will have to leave that country before they hand over the power to the Afghan resistance, in defeat. The self-same US allies are beginning to acknowledge now what could happen decades before the end of that war; would NATO be prepared to stay there all that time? Would the very citizens of each of the governments meeting there allow that?
Not to be forgotten that a vastly populated country, Pakistan, shares a border of colonial origin with Afghanistan, as well as quite a large percentage of its inhabitants.
I do not criticize Medvedev; he is very correctly trying to limit the number of nuclear warheads that are pointing at his country. Barack Obama can make up absolutely no justification. It would be a joke to imagine that the colossal and costly deployment of the anti-nuclear missile shield is to protect Europe and Russia from Iranian rockets, coming from a country that doesn’t even own any tactical nuclear devices. Not even a children’s comic book can make such a statement.
Obama already admitted that his promise to withdraw US soldiers from Afghanistan may be postponed, and the taxes for the richest contributors suspended right away. After the Nobel Prize, we would have to award him with the prize for “the best snake charmer” that has ever existed.
Taking into consideration the G.W. Bush autobiography now on the best seller list and that some smart editor pulled together for him, why didn’t they give him the honour of being a guest in Lisbon? Surely the far right, the “Tea Party” of Europe would be happy.
A Colossal Madhouse. This is what the G-20 meeting that started yesterday in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, has been turned into. Many readers, saturated with acronyms, may wonder: What is the G-20? This is one of the many miscreations concocted by the most powerful empire and its allies, who also created the G-7: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada. Later on they decided to admit Russia in a club that was then called the G-8. Afterwards they condescended to admit 5 important emerging countries: China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Then the group membership increased after the inclusion of the member countries of the OECD –another acronym-, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Australia, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. The group was also joined by Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Indonesia, and they all summed up 19. The twentieth member of the G-20 was no other than the European Union. As from this year, 2010, one country, Spain, holds the peculiar category of “permanent guest.” Another important international high level meeting is taking place almost simultaneously in Japan: the APEC meeting. If patient readers bother to add to the former group the following countries: Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Papua-New Guinea, Chile, Peru and Vietnam -all of them with a significant trade volume, with coasts washed by the Pacific Ocean waters- the result would be what is called the APEC: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, and with that the entire jigsaw puzzle is completed. They would only need a map, but a laptop could perfectly provide that. At such international events crucial international economic and financial issues are discussed. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with decision-making powers when it comes to financial matters, have their own master: the United States. It is important to remember that after the Second World War, the US industry and agriculture remained intact; those in Western Europe were totally destroyed, with the exceptions of Switzerland and Sweden. The USSR had been materially devastated and scored huge material losses that surpassed the figure of 25 million persons. Japan was defeated, in ruins and occupied. Around 80 per cent of the world’s gold reserves were sent to the United States. In a remote, though spacious and comfortable hotel at Bretton Woods, a small community of the US north eastern state of New Hampshire, the Monetary and Financial Conference of the recently created United Nations Organization was held from July 1st to 22 of 1944. The United States was granted the exceptional privilege of turning its paper money into an international hard currency pegged to a gold standard mechanism fixed at 35 US dollars per one Troy ounce of gold. Since the overwhelming majority of countries keep their foreign exchange reserves in the US banks -which is the same as granting a significant loan to the richest country in the world-, the gold pattern mechanism established at least a ceiling for the unrestricted issuance of paper money. This was at least some sort of guarantee on the value of the reserves that countries kept in US banks. Based on that enormous privilege -and for as long as the issuance of paper money was limited by the gold standard mechanism- that powerful country continued to increase its control over the planet’s wealth. The military adventures of the United States in alliance with the former colonial powers, particularly the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and the recently created West Germany, led that country into other military adventures and wars that plunged the monetary system established at Bretton Woods into a crisis. At the time of the genocidal war in Vietnam, a country against which the US was at the verge of using nuclear weapons, the US President took the shameless and unilateral decision of suspending the dollar’s gold pattern. Ever since then, there have been no limits to the issuance of paper money. That privilege was so much overused that the value of the Troy ounce of gold went from 35 dollars to figures way above 1 400 dollars, that is, no less than 40 times the value it kept for 27 years until 1971, when Richard Nixon took such nefarious decision. The worst thing about the present economic crisis that affects the American society today is that former anti-crisis measures applied at different moments in the history of the US imperialist capitalist system have not helped it now to resume its usual pace. The US is wracked by a national debt close to 14 billion dollars -that is, as much as the US GDP- and the fiscal deficit remains unchanged. The sky-rocketing banks bailout loans and interest rates almost equal to zero have hardly decreased unemployment to figures below 10 per cent. The number of households whose houses are being closed out have barely decreased either. Its gigantic defense budgets which are much higher than those of the rest of the world – and what is worse, those devoted to the war- have continued to grow. The US President, who was elected hardly two years ago by one of the traditional parties, has been dealt the biggest defeat ever remembered in the last three fourths of a century. Such a reaction is a combination of frustration and racism. The US economist and writer William K. Black wrote a memorable phrase: “The best way to rob a bank is to own one”. The most reactionary sectors in the United States are sharpening their teeth and have appropriated an idea that would be the antithesis of the one expressed by the Bolsheviks in October of 1917: “All power to the US extreme right.” Seemingly, the US government, with its traditional anti-crisis measures, resorted to another desperate decision: the Federal Reserve announced it would buy 600 billion US dollars before the G-20 meeting. On Wednesday November 10, one of the most important US news agencies reported that “President Obama had arrived in South Korea to attend meetings of the world’s top 20 economic powers.” “Tensions over currencies and trade gaps have simmered ahead of the summit following a decision by the U.S. to flood its sluggish economy with $600 billion in cash that has alarmed leaders around the globe. “Obama has defended the move by the U.S. Federal Reserve.” On November 11, the same agency reported to the world’s public opinion the following: “A strong sense of pessimism shrouded the start of an economic summit of rich and emerging economies Thursday […] with world leaders arriving in Seoul sharply divided over currency and trade policies. “Established in 1999 and raised to summit level two years ago, the G-20 has— encompassing rich nations such as Germany and the U.S. as well as emerging giants such as China and Brazil — has become the centerpiece of international efforts to revive the global economy and prevent future financial meltdowns…” “Failure in Seoul could have severe consequences. The risk is that countries would try to keep their currencies artificially low to give their exporters a competitive edge in global markets. That could lead to a destructive trade war. “Countries might throw up barriers to imports — a repeat of policies that worsened the Great Depression. There are countries, such as the United States, whose top priority would be “to get China to allow its currency rise” against other currencies that would allow for a reduction of the huge trading surplus of the Asian giant with Washington, since it will make Chinese exports to be more expensive and US imports cheaper. “There are those which irate over U.S. Federal Reserve plans to pump $600 billion of new money into the sluggish American economy”. They see this measure as a selfish move to fill markets with dollars, thus devaluing that currency and giving US exporters and unfair price edge. “The G-20 countries […] are finding little common ground on the most vexing problem: What to do about a global economy that depends on huge U.S. trade deficits with China, Germany and Japan?” “Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, warned that the world would go “bankrupt” if rich countries cut back on consumption and tried to export their way to prosperity.” “‘If the rich countries are not consuming and want to grow its economy on exports, the world goes bankrupt because there would be no one to buy. Everybody would like to sell…’” The summit started amid a rather pessimistic ambiance for Obama and the South Korean President Li Myung-bak, “whose negotiators failed to agree on a long-stalled free trade agreement that it was hoped could be reached this week.” “G-20 leaders gathered Thursday evening at Seoul’s grand National Museum of Korea for the dinner that marked the official start of the two-day event.” “Outside, a few thousand protesters rallied against the G-20 and the South Korean government.” Today, Friday 12, the summit concluded with a declaration that contained 20 items and 32 paragraphs. Presumably, the world is not made up only by the 32 countries that belong to the G-20 or only by those which belong to the APEC. The 187 nations that voted in favor of lifting the blockade against Cuba, as opposed to the two that voted against and the two that abstained, make a total of 192. For 160 of them there is no forum whatsoever where they could express a single word about the imperial plundering of their resources or about their urgent economic needs. In Seoul, the United Nations does not even exist. Won’t that honorable institution say a single word about it? In these days European news agencies have been publishing really tragic news about Haiti –where, in only minutes, an earthquake killed around 250 000 persons in January this year. According to reports, the Haitian authorities have warned about the speed with which the cholera epidemic is spreading throughout the city of Gonaives, in the northern part of the island. The Major of that coastal village, Pierreleus Saint-Justin, asserts he has personally buried 31 corpses on Tuesday, and expected to bury another 15. “Others could be dying as we speak”, he added. The report states that as from November 5, 70 corpses have been buried only in the urban area of Gonaives, but there are more people who have died in rural areas nearby the city. According to the report, the situation is becoming catastrophic in Gonaives. The floods caused by hurricane ‘Tomas’ could make the situation to be even worse.” Last Wednesday, the health authorities in Haiti fixed at 643 the number of victims who had died until November 8 in the entire country as a result of the epidemic. The number of persons infected with the cholera virus during the same period amounts to 9 971. Radio stations report that the figures to be released on Friday could include more than 700 deadly casualties. The government asserts now that the disease is taking a serious toll on the population of Port-au-Prince and is threatening the capital outskirts, where more than one million people have been living in tents since the earthquake on January 12. News are reporting today a figure of 796 deaths and a total of 12 303 persons infected. More than 3 million inhabitants are now threatened; many of them live in tents and among the rubble left by the earthquake, without potable water. The main US agency reported yesterday that the first part of the US Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti was already on the way now, more than seven months after being committed to help rebuilding the country devastated by the earthquake in January. Reportedly, in the next few days, the agency will transfer approximately 120 million dollars –around one tenth of the amount promised- to the Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti, managed by the World Bank, as was stated by P.J.Crowley, the State Department’s speaker. An assistant of the State Department stated that the money allocated to the Fund would be used to remove the rubble, build houses, grant credits, support and educational reform program to be implemented by the Inter-American Development Bank and support the Haitian government budget. Not a single word has been said about the cholera epidemics, a disease that for years affected many countries in South America and could spread throughout the Caribbean and other parts of our hemisphere.
THE INFINITE HYPOCRISY OF THE WEST by Fidel Castro
In defence of humanity
Although several articles on this subject were published before and after September 1st, 2010, on that day the Mexican daily La Jornada published one of great impact entitled El holocausto gitano: ayer y hoy (The gypsies’ holocaust: yesterday and today) which reminds us of a truly tragic history. Without adding or deleting a single word from the information contained in the article, I will quote some lines referring to some events that are really touching. Neither the West nor -most of all- its colossal media apparatus have said a single word about them.
“1496: boom of humanist thinking. The Rom peoples (gypsies) from Germany are declared traitors to the Christian nations, spies paid by the Turkish, carriers of the plague, witches and warlocks, bandits and children kidnappers.
“1710: century of Enlightenment and rationale. An edict ordered that adult gypsies from Prague be hanged without any previous trial. Young persons and women were mutilated. In Bohemia their left ear were cut off; in Moravia, their right ear.
“1899: climax of modernity and progress. The police of Bavaria founded the Special Section for Gypsies’ Affairs. In 1929, the section was promoted to the category of National Central section and was moved to Munich. In 1937 it was based in Berlin. Four years later, half a million gypsies died in the concentration camps of Central and Eastern Europe.”
“In her PhD’s thesis, Eva Justin (assistant of Dr. Robert Ritter of the Racial Research Section of the Ministry of Health of Germany), asserted that gypsies’ blood was extremely harmful to the purity of the German race. Someone called Dr. Portschy sent a memorandum to Hitler suggesting that gypsies should be submitted to forced labor and mass sterilization because they jeopardized the pure blood of the German peasantry.“The gypsies, who were labeled as inveterate criminals, started to be arrested en masse, and as from 1938 they were put into special blocks at the Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Gusen, Dautmergen, Natzweiler and Flossenburg camps.“In a concentration camp he owned in Ravensbruck, Heinrich Himmler, chief of the Gestapo (SS), created a space to sacrifice gypsy women who were submitted to medical experiments. One hundred and twenty zingari girls were sterilized. Gypsy women married to non-gypsy men were sterilized at the Dusseldorf-Lierenfeld hospital.“Thousands of gypsies were deported from Belgium, the Netherlands and France to the Polish concentration camp of Auschwitz. In his memoirs, Rudolf Hoess (commander of Auschwitz) wrote that among the gypsies deported there were old people almost one hundred years of age, pregnant women and a large number of children.“At the ghetto of Lodz (Poland) […] none of the 5 000 gypsies survived.”“In Yugoslavia, gypsies and Jews were equally killed in the forest of Jajnice. Farmers still remember the cries of the gypsy children who were taken to the places of execution.” “At the extermination camps, only the love of gypsies for music was at times a source of comfort. In Auschwitz, starving and infested with lice, they gathered together to play music and encouraged children to dance. But the courage of gypsy guerrillas who fought alongside the Polish resistance in the region of Nieswiez was also legendary.”Music was the factor that kept them together and helped them to survive, just as much as religion was for Christians, Jews and Muslims.
The successive articles published by La Jornada as from the end of August have reminded us of events that were almost forgotten about what happened to the gypsies in Europe. After having been affected by Nazism, they were consigned to oblivion after the Nuremberg trials in the years 1945 and 1946.The German government headed by Konrad Adenauer declared that the extermination of the gypsies before 1943 was a result of the State’s legal policies. Those who had been affected on that same year did not receive any compensation. Robert Ritter, a Nazi expert in the extermination of gypsies, was set free. Thirty nine years later in 1982, when most of the affected persons had already passed away, the government recognized their right to compensation.More than 75 per cent of the gypsies, whose total number is estimated to be between 12 and 14 million, live in Central and Eastern Europe. Only in Tito’s socialist Yugoslavia, gypsies were recognized the same rights as the Croatian, Albanian and Macedonian minorities.The Mexican newspaper described as “particularly perverse” the mass deportation of gypsies to Romania and Bulgaria ordered by the government of Sarkozy –a Jew of Hungarian descent-; these are the exact words used by the newspaper. Please do not take this as an act of irreverence on my part.
In Romania, the number of gypsies is estimated to be two million.The president of that country, Traian Basescu, a US ally and an illustrious member of NATO, called a woman journalist a “filthy gypsy”. As can be observed, this is an extremely delicate person who speaks in a polite language.
The website univision.com posted some comments about the demonstrations against the deportation of gypsies and the “xenophobia” in France. According to AFP, around “130 demonstrations should take place in France as well as in front of the French embassies in several European Union countries, with the support of tens of human rights organizations, trade unions and left wing and ecologist parties”. The extensive report refers to the participation of well known cultural personalities such as Jane Birkin and the film-maker Agnes Jaoui and reminded readers that Jane “together with Stephane Hessel, a former member of the resistance against the Nazi occupation of France (1940-1944), was part of the group that later on met with the advisors to the minister of Immigration Eric Besson.
“‘It was a dialogue of the deaf, but it is good that this took place, for it showed that most of the population was enraged at that nauseating policy’, said a spokesperson of the network ‘Education Without Borders…” Other news about this thorny issue come from Europe: “Yesterday the European Parliament put France and Nicholas Sarkozy on the spot for having deported thousands of Romanian and Bulgarian gypsies during a tense debate in which the attitudes of José Manuel Durão Barroso and the Commission were described as scandalous and ridiculous for their apparent pusillanimity and for failing to condemn Paris decisions as illegal and contrary to community rights”, according to an article by Ricardo Martínez de Rituerto published by El País.com.
La Jornada published in another article impressive social data. Neo-natal mortality among the gypsy population is nine times as much the European average and the life expectancy rate is hardly above 50 years of age. Before that, on August 29, it had reported that “although there have been plenty of criticisms –from the European Union institutions as well as from the Catholic church, the United Nations and the broad spectrum of pro-immigrants organizations- Sarkozy insists in expelling and deporting hundreds of citizens from Bulgaria and Romania –and therefore, European citizens- using as an excuse the alleged ‘criminal’ character of these citizens.”
“It is difficult to believe that in the year 2010 –concludes La Jornada- after the terrible past Europe had with racism and intolerance, it is still possible to criminalize an entire ethnic group by labeling it as a social problem.” “Indifference, or even consent towards the actions carried out by the French police today and the Italian police yesterday –more European, in general terms- leave the most optimist analyst speechless.”
Suddenly, while I wrote this Reflection, I remembered that France is the third nuclear power in the planet, and that Sarkozy also had a briefcase with the keys required to launch one of the more than 300 bombs he had. Is there any moral or ethical rational in launching an attack against Iran, a country condemned for its alleged intention of manufacturing this kind of weapon? Where are the good sense and the logic of that policy?
Let us assume that Sarkozy all of a sudden goes crazy, as it seems to be the case. What would the UN Security Council do with Sarkozy and his briefcase?
What will happen if the French extreme right decides to force Sarkozy to maintain a racist policy, opposite to the norms that prevail within the European Community?
Could the UN Security Council respond to those two questions?
The absence of truth and the prevalence of deception is the biggest tragedy in our dangerous nuclear age.
If I were to be asked who best knows about Israeli thinking, I would answer that without question it is Jeffrey Goldberg. He is an indefatigable journalist, capable of having dozens of meetings to ascertain how some Israeli leader or intellectual may think. He is not neutral, of course; he is pro-Israeli, no ands ifs or buts. When one of them does not agree with the policy of that country, that too is not done halfway. For my aim, it is important to know the thinking that guides the main political and military leaders of that State.
I feel that I have the authority to have an opinion because I have never been anti-Semitic and I share with him a profound hatred of Nazi-Fascism and the genocide perpetrated against children, women and men, young or aged Jews against whom Hitler, the Gestapo and the Nazis took out their hatred against that people. For the same reason, I abhor the crimes committed by the fascist government of Netanyahu which kills children, women and men, young and old in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank. In his illustrated article “The Point of No Return” that will be printed in The Atlantic journal in September 2010, now available on the Internet, Jeffrey Goldberg starts his more than 40-page paper; I am taking the essential ideas from it in order to enlighten the readers. “It is possible that at some point in the next 12 months, the imposition of devastating economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran will persuade its leaders to cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons. […]It is possible, as well, that “foiling operations” conducted by the intelligence agencies of Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western powers— […]—will have hindered Iran’s progress in some significant way. It is also possible that President Obama, who has said on more than a few occasions that he finds the prospect of a nuclear Iran “unacceptable,” will order a military strike against the country’s main weapons and uranium-enrichment facilities.” “I am not engaging in a thought exercise, or a one-man war game, when I discuss the plausibility and potential consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran. Israel has twice before successfully attacked and destroyed an enemy’s nuclear program. In 1981, Israeli warplanes bombed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak, halting—forever, as it turned out—Saddam Hussein’s nuclear ambitions; and in 2007, Israeli planes destroyed a North Korean–built reactor in Syria. An attack on Iran, then, would be unprecedented only in scope and complexity.” “I have been exploring the possibility that such a strike will eventually occur for more than seven years, […] In the months since then, I have interviewed roughly 40 current and past Israeli decision makers about a military strike, as well as many American and Arab officials. In most of these interviews, I have asked a simple question: what is the percentage chance that Israel will attack the Iranian nuclear program in the near future? Not everyone would answer this question, but a consensus emerged that there is a better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July. […] But I tested the consensus by speaking to multiple sources both in and out of government, and of different political parties. Citing the extraordinary sensitivity of the subject, most spoke only reluctantly, and on condition of anonymity. […]The reasoning offered by Israeli decision makers was uncomplicated: Iran is, at most, one to three years away from having a breakout nuclear capability […]and the most crucial component of Israeli national-security doctrine, a tenet that dates back to the 1960s […]is that no regional adversary should be allowed to achieve nuclear parity with the reborn and still-besieged Jewish state.” “In our conversation before his swearing-in, Netanyahu would not frame the issue in terms of nuclear parity— […]Instead, he framed the Iranian program as a threat not only to Israel but to all of Western civilization.”
“‘…When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the world should start worrying, and that’s what is happening in Iran.”’ “In our conversation, Netanyahu refused to discuss his timetable for action, or even whether he was considering military preemption of the Iranian nuclear program. […]Netanyahu’s belief is that Iran is not Israel’s problem alone; it is the world’s problem, and the world, led by the United States, is duty-bound to grapple with it. But Netanyahu does not place great faith in sanctions—not the relatively weak sanctions against Iran recently passed by the United Nations Security Council, nor the more rigorous ones being put in place by the U.S. and its European allies.” “But, based on my conversations with Israeli decision-makers, this period of forbearance, in which Netanyahu waits to see if the West’s nonmilitary methods can stop Iran, will come to an end this December.” “The Netanyahu government is already intensifying its analytic efforts not just on Iran, but on a subject many Israelis have difficulty understanding: President Obama. The Israelis are struggling to answer what is for them the most pressing question: are there any circumstances under which President Obama would deploy force to stop Iran from going nuclear? Everything depends on the answer. ”
“Iran demands the urgent attention of the entire international community, and in particular the United States, with its unparalleled ability to project military force. This is the position of many moderate Arab leaders as well. A few weeks ago, in uncommonly direct remarks, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba, told me— […]that his country would support a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. […] he said. “Small, rich, vulnerable countries in the region do not want to be the ones who stick their finger in the big bully’s eye, if nobody’s going to come to their support.” “Several Arab leaders have suggested that America’s standing in the Middle East depends on its willingness to confront Iran. They argue self-interestedly that an aerial attack on a handful of Iranian facilities would not be as complicated or as messy as, say, invading Iraq. “This is not a discussion about the invasion of Iran,” one Arab foreign minister told me. “We are hoping for the pinpoint striking of several dangerous facilities. America could do this very easily.” “Barack Obama has said any number of times that he would find a nuclear Iran “unacceptable.” […]A nuclear Iran would be a game-changing situation, not just in the Middle East, but around the world. Whatever remains of our nuclear nonproliferation framework, I think, would begin to disintegrate. You would have countries in the Middle East who would see the potential need to also obtain nuclear weapons.” “But the Israelis are doubtful that a man who positioned himself as the antithesis of George W. Bush, author of invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, would launch a preemptive attack on a Muslim nation.”
“We all watched his speech in Cairo,” a senior Israeli official told me, referring to the June 2009 speech in which Obama attempted to reset relations with Muslims by stressing American cooperativeness and respect for Islam. “We don’t believe that he is the sort of person who would launch a daring strike on Iran. We are afraid he would see a policy of containing a nuclear Iran rather than attacking it.” ““Bush was two years ago, but the Iranian program was the same and the intent was the same,” the Israeli official told me. “So I don’t personally expect Obama to be more Bush than Bush.” “If the Israelis reach the firm conclusion that Obama will not, under any circumstances, launch a strike on Iran, then the countdown will begin for a unilateral Israeli attack. “a strike on Iran, Israeli intelligence officials believe, could provoke all-out retaliation by Iran’s Lebanese subsidiary, Hezbollah, which now possesses, by most intelligence estimates, as many as 45,000 rockets—at least three times as many as it had in the summer of 2006, during the last round of fighting between the group and Israel.) “…Netanyahu is not unique in his understanding of this challenge; several of the prime ministers who preceded him cast Iran’s threat in similarly existential terms. […]“He has a deep sense of his role in Jewish history,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told me.”
Jeffrey Goldberg goes on for several pages to tell the story of Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion, whom he considers to be the most outstanding historian in the world on the subject of the Spanish Inquisition and other important merits, and who recently celebrated his 100th birthday. “Benjamin Netanyahu is not known in most quarters for his pliability on matters concerning Palestinians, though he has been trying lately to meet at least some of Barack Obama’s demands that he move the peace process forward.”At the end of this part of his article, Goldberg carries on with the analysis of the complex situation. At times he is rather tough analyzing a 2001commentary by the former president of Iran, Hashemi-Rafsanjani, in which he is certainly speaking about a bomb that would destroy Israel; a threat that was criticized even by the left-wing forces that are Netanyahu’s enemies. “The challenges posed by a nuclear Iran are more subtle than a direct attack, Netanyahu told me. […] ‘Iran’s militant proxies would be able to fire rockets and engage in other terror activities while enjoying a nuclear umbrella. […]Instead of being a local event, however painful, it becomes a global one. Second, this development would embolden Islamic militants far and wide, on many continents, who would believe that this is a providential sign, that this fanaticism is on the ultimate road to triumph..”
““You’d create a great sea change in the balance of power in our area,” he went on. “Other Israeli leaders believe that the mere threat of a nuclear attack by Iran—combined with the chronic menacing of Israel’s cities by the rocket forces of Hamas and Hezbollah—will progressively undermine the country’s ability to retain its most creative and productive citizens.. […] ‘The real test for us is to make Israel such an attractive place, such a cutting-edge place in human society, education, culture, science, quality of life, that even American Jewish young people want to come here.” “Patriotism in Israel runs very high, according to numerous polls, and it seemed unlikely to me that mere fear of Iran could drive Israel’s Jews to seek shelter elsewhere. But one leading proponent of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ephraim Sneh, a former general and former deputy defense minister, is convinced that if Iran crossed the nuclear threshold, the very idea of Israel would be endangered. “These people are good citizens, and brave citizens, but the dynamics of life are such that if someone has a scholarship for two years at an American university and the university offers him a third year, the parents will say, ‘Go ahead, remain there,’” Sneh told me when I met with him in his office outside of Tel Aviv not long ago. “If someone finishes a Ph.D. and they are offered a job in America, they might stay there. It will not be that people are running to the airport, […]The bottom line is that we would have an accelerated brain drain. And an Israel that is not based on entrepreneurship, that is not based on excellence, will not be the Israel of today.”
“One Monday evening in early summer, I sat in the office of the decidedly non-goyishe Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, and listened to several National Security Council officials he had gathered at his conference table explain—in so many words—why the Jewish state should trust the non-Jewish president of the United States to stop Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold. ” “One of those at the table, Ben Rhodes, a deputy national-security adviser who served as the lead author of the recent “National Security Strategy for the United States” as well as of the president’s conciliatory Cairo speech, suggested that Iran’s nuclear program was a clear threat to American security, and that the Obama administration responds to national-security threats in the manner of other administrations. “We are coordinating a multifaceted strategy to increase pressure on Iran, but that doesn’t mean we’ve removed any option from the table,” Rhodes said. “This president has shown again and again that when he believes it is necessary to use force to protect American national-security interests, he has done so. We’re not going to address hypotheticals about when and if we would use military force, but I think we’ve made it clear that we aren’t removing the option of force from any situation in which our national security is affected.”
“…Emanuel, whose default state is exasperation […](A former Bush administration official told me that his president faced the opposite problem: Bush, bogged down by two wars and believing that Iran wasn’t that close to crossing the nuclear threshold, opposed the use of force against Iran’s program, and made his view clear, “but no one believed him).” “At one point, I put forward the idea that for abundantly obvious reasons, few people would believe Barack Obama would open up a third front in the greater Middle East. One of the officials responded heatedly, “What have we done that would allow you to reach the conclusion that we think that a nuclear Iran would represent a tolerable situation?” “Obama administration officials, particularly in the Pentagon, have several times signaled unhappiness at the possibility of military preemption. In April, the undersecretary of defense for policy, Michele Flournoy, told reporters that military force against Iran was “off the table in the near term.” She later backtracked, but Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has also criticized the idea of attacking Iran. […]“In an area that’s so unstable right now, we just don’t need more of that.”
“…President Obama has by no means ruled out counterproliferation by force.. […]Gary Samore, the National Security Council official who oversees the administration’s counterproliferation agenda, told me that the Israelis agree with American assessments that Iran’s uranium-enrichment program is plagued with problems.” “‘…we can measure, based on the IAEA reports, that the Iranians are not doing well,” Samore said. “The particular centrifuge machines they’re running are based on an inferior technology. They are running into some technical difficulties, partly because of the work we’ve done to deny them access to foreign components. When they make the parts themselves, they are making parts that don’t have quality control.” “Dennis Ross, the former Middle East peace negotiator who is currently a senior National Security Council official, said during the meeting that he believes the Israelis now understand that American-instigated measures have slowed Iran’s progress, and that the administration is working to convince the Israelis—and other parties in the region—that the sanctions strategy “has a chance of working.”
“The president has said he hasn’t taken any options off the table, but let’s take a look at why we think this strategy could work,” […]Last June, when they hadn’t responded to our bilateral outreach, the president said that we would take stock by September.” “Ross […]the sanctions Iran now faces may affect the regime’s thinking. “The sanctions are going to cut across the board. They are taking place in the context of Iranian mismanagement—the Iranians are going to have to cut [food and fuel] subsidies; they already have public alienation; they have division in the elites, and between the elites and the rest of the country.”
“One question no administration official seems eager to answer is this: what will the United States do if sanctions fail? Several Arab officials complained to me that the Obama administration has not communicated its intentions to them, even generally.” “Obama’s voters like it when the administration shows that it doesn’t want to fight Iran, but this is not a domestic political issue,” the foreign minister said. “Iran will continue on this reckless path, unless the administration starts to speak unreasonably. The best way to avoid striking Iran is to make Iran think that the U.S. is about to strike Iran. We have to know the president’s intentions on this matter. We are his allies.” (According to two administration sources, this issue caused tension between President Obama and his recently dismissed director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair. According to these sources, Blair, who was said to put great emphasis on the Iranian threat, told the president that America’s Arab allies needed more reassurance. Obama reportedly did not appreciate the advice.)”
“In Israel, of course, officials expend enormous amounts of energy to understand President Obama, despite the assurances they have received from Emanuel, Ross, and others.” “Not long ago, the chief of Israeli military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, paid a secret visit to Chicago to meet with Lester Crown, the billionaire whose family owns a significant portion of General Dynamics, the military contractor. Crown […] ‘“I share with the Israelis the feeling that we certainly have the military capability and that we have to have the will to use it. The rise of Iran is not in the best interest of the U.S.’”
““I support the president,” Crown said. “But I wish [administration officials] were a little more outgoing in the way they have talked. I would feel more comfortable if I knew that they had the will to use military force, as a last resort. You cannot threaten someone as a bluff. There has to be a will to do it.”“Several officials even asked if I considered Obama to be an anti-Semite. I answered this question by quoting Abner Mikva, the former congressman, federal judge, and mentor to Obama, who famously said in 2008, “I think when this is all over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first Jewish president.” I explained that Obama has been saturated with the work of Jewish writers, legal scholars, and thinkers, and that a large number of his friends, supporters, and aides are Jewish. But philo-Semitism does not necessarily equal sympathy for Netanyahu’s Likud Party—certainly not among American Jews, who are, like the president they voted for in overwhelming numbers, generally supportive of a two-state solution, and dubious about Jewish settlement of the West Bank.” “Rahm Emanuel suggested that the administration is trying to thread a needle: providing “unshakeable” support for Israel; protecting it from the consequences of an Iranian nuclear bomb; but pushing it toward compromise with the Palestinians. […] he past six Israeli prime ministers—including Netanyahu, who during his first term in the late 1990s, to his father’s chagrin, compromised with the Palestinians—to buttress his case. “Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak, Sharon, Olmert—every one of them pursued some form of a negotiated settlement, which would have been in Israel’s own strategic interest,” he said. “There have been plenty of other threats while successive Israeli governments have pursued a peace process.”
“…Israel should consider carefully whether a military strike would be worth the trouble it would unleash. “I’m not sure that given the time line, whatever the time line is, that whatever they did, they wouldn’t stop” the nuclear program, he said. “They would be postponing.” “It was then that I realized that, on some subjects, the Israelis and Americans are still talking past each other.” “IN MY CONVERSATIONS with former Israeli air-force generals and strategists, the prevalent tone was cautious. Many people I interviewed were ready, on condition of anonymity, to say why an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites would be difficult for Israel. And some Israeli generals, like their American colleagues, questioned the very idea of an attack. “Our time would be better spent lobbying Barack Obama to do this, rather than trying this ourselves,” one general told me. “We are very good at this kind of operation, but it is a big stretch for us. The Americans can do this with a minimum of difficulty, by comparison. This is too big for us.”
“These planes would have to return home quickly, in part because Israeli intelligence believes that Iran would immediately order Hezbollah to fire rockets at Israeli cities, and Israeli air-force resources would be needed to hunt Hezbollah rocket teams.” “…in the event of a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran, his mission would be to combat Hezbollah rocket forces. […]to keep Hezbollah in reserve until Iran can cross the nuclear threshold.“…Hezbollah ‘“lost a lot of his men. […] That is one reason we have had four years of quiet. What has changed in four years is that Hezbollah has increased its missile capability, but we have increased our capabilities as well.” He concluded by saying, in reference to a potential Israeli strike on Iran, “Our readiness means that Israel has freedom of action.”“America, too, would look complicit in an Israeli attack, even if it had not been forewarned. The assumption—often, but not always, correct—that Israel acts only with the approval of the United States is a feature of life in the Middle East, and it is one the Israelis say they are taking into account. I spoke with several Israeli officials who are grappling with this question, among others: what if American intelligence learns about Israeli intentions hours before the scheduled launch of an attack? “It is a nightmare for us,” one of these officials told me. “What if President Obama calls up Bibi and says, ‘We know what you’re doing. Stop immediately.’ Do we stop? We might have to. A decision has been made that we can’t lie to the Americans about our plans. We don’t want to inform them beforehand. This is for their sake and for ours. So what do we do? These are the hard questions.”
“Many Israelis think the Iranians are building Auschwitz. We have to let them know that we have destroyed Auschwitz, or we have to let them know that we tried and failed.”“There are, of course, Israeli leaders who believe that attacking Iran is too risky. […]“We don’t want politicians to put us in a bad position because of the word Shoah,” one general said.” “After staring at the photograph of the Israeli air-force flyover of Auschwitz more than a dozen different times in more than a dozen different offices, I came to see the contradiction at its core. If the Jewish physicists who created Israel’s nuclear arsenal could somehow have ripped a hole in the space-time continuum and sent a squadron of fighters back to 1942,…”
“Benjamin Netanyahu feels, for reasons of national security, that if sanctions fail, he will be forced to take action. But an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, successful or not, may cause Iran to redouble its efforts—this time with a measure of international sympathy—to create a nuclear arsenal. And it could cause chaos for America in the Middle East. […]Peres sees the Iranian nuclear program as potentially catastrophic, […]When I asked if he believed in a military option, he said, “Why should I declare something like that?”
“Based on months of interviews, I have come to believe that the administration knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program; […]Earlier this year, I agreed with those, including many Israelis, Arabs—and Iranians—who believe there is no chance that Obama would ever resort to force to stop Iran; I still don’t believe there is a great chance he will take military action in the near future—for one thing, the Pentagon is notably unenthusiastic about the idea. But Obama is clearly seized by the issue. […]Denis McDonough, the chief of staff of the National Security Council, told me, “What you see in Iran is the intersection of a number of leading priorities of the president, who sees a serious threat to the global nonproliferation regime, a threat of cascading nuclear activities in a volatile region, and a threat to a close friend of the United States, Israel. I think you see the several streams coming together, which accounts for why it is so important to us.”
“When I asked Peres what he thought of Netanyahu’s effort to make Israel’s case to the Obama administration, he responded […]his country should know its place, and that it was up to the American president, and only the American president, to decide in the end how best to safeguard the future of the West. The story was about his mentor, David Ben-Gurion. ““Shortly after John F. Kennedy was elected president, Ben-Gurion met him at the Waldorf-Astoria” in New York, Peres told me. “After the meeting, Kennedy accompanied Ben-Gurion to the elevator and said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I want to tell you, I was elected because of your people, so what can I do for you in return?’ Ben-Gurion was insulted by the question. He said, ‘What you can do is be a great president of the United States. You must understand that to have a great president of the United States is a great event.’”
“Peres went on to explain what he saw as Israel’s true interest. “We don’t want to win over the president,” he said. “We want the president to win.”
“Jeffrey Goldberg” “Jeffrey Mark Goldberg is an American-Israeli journalist. He is one of the writers and staff journalists on The Atlantic journal. Previously he worked for The New Yorker. Goldberg mainly writes on international subjects, preferring the Middle East and Africa. Some have called him the most influential journalist-blogger on matters dealing with Israel.”
FIDEL CASTRO SPEAK ABOUT OBAMA , WIKILEAKS AND A US HERO: BRADLEY MANNING
A few days now an article that contained a number of facts related to the oil spill that occurred 105 days ago was published. President Obama had authorized the drilling of that well because he trusted the capabilities of modern technology to produce oil –which he wanted to be available in abundance- thus relieving the United States of the dependence on the foreign supplies of such a vital product for the present civilization. The excessive consumption of oil had already led to a vigorous protest by the environmentalists. Not even George W. Bush ever dared to take that step, given the bitter experience in Alaska with a tanker that carried the oil extracted from that area. The accident had occurred while searching for the product that is desperately needed in the consumers’ society that the newer generations inherited from the preceding ones, the only difference being that now everything moves at an unheard of speed. Scientists and environmentalists have explained the theories related to the catastrophes that occurred during hundreds of millions of years with the so called huge bubbles of methane that caused the gigantic tsunamis that swept across much of the planet. Their winds, which reached twice the speed of sound, and their waves, which were 1 500 meters high killed 96 per cent of all living species.
They expressed their fear that in the Gulf of Mexico, which for some cosmic reason is the region of the planet where karstic rocks separate us from the enormous methane layer, the latter could be drilled, in this desperate quest for oil, with the very modern equipment used by the technology available today. After the oil spill caused by British Petroleum, the news agencies reported as follows:
“…The [US] Federal Government has warned people to keep away from the epicenter of operations, threatening to impose a 40 000 dollar fine for every transgression and carry out arrests in case there is any felonious act.
“…The EPA [The United States Environmental Protection Agency] has officially pointed out that Platform No. 1 is releasing methane, benzene, hydrogen sulphide and other toxic gases. Workers on the ground are now using modern protection means which include state- of- the art gas masks supplied by the military.”
Extremely transcendental events are becoming unusually frequent. The first and most imminent is the risk of a nuclear war after the sinking of the sophisticated flagship ‘Cheonan’ which, according to the South Korean government, was torpedoed from a Soviet-made submarine –both the torpedo and the submarine were manufactured more than 50 years ago- while other sources point to a unique possible and non-detectable cause: a mine planted by the US intelligence services on the Cheonan’s hull. The government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea was soon to blame for that. This weird occurrence was followed a few days later by the adoption of Resolution 1929 of the UN Security Council, which called for an inspection of all Iranian merchant ships to begin in no later than 90 days.
A second event, which in part is already rendering its demolishing results, has been the progressive advance of climate change, whose impact is even worse, which led to a denunciation contained in the documentary film “Home” produced by Yann Arthus-Bertrand with the participation of the most prestigious environmentalists of the world. And now there is this oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a few miles away from our homeland, which has given rise to all sorts of concern. On July 20 a report by the EFE news agency referred to the statements made by the already well known Admiral Thad Allen, coordinator in charge of the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico, who said he had authorized British Petroleum, the owner of the well and the one responsible for the spill, to continue for another 24 hours the tests to determine the soundness of the ‘Macondo’ structure after the installation, 10 days ago, of a new containment cap.” “According to official data, there are around 27 000 abandoned oil wells in the sea bed of the Gulf of Mexico…” “Ninety two days after the BP platform accident, the US government main concern is that the underground structure of the well is damaged and leaking oil through the rocks and flowing in multiple end points of the seafloor”It is the first time an official statement refers to the fear that the oil may start to emanate from the wells which are no longer productive.
Readers showing interest on the issue are now able to make a difference between the sensationalist and the scientific data. To me there is no satisfactory explanation for some facts. Why Admiral Allen stated that “the main concern of the US Government is that the underground structure of the well is damaged and leaking oil through the rocks and flowing in multiple end points of the seafloor? Why did BP state it can not be blamed for the crude that gushed 15 kilometers far from the blown out well? We will have to wait another 15 days for a relief well to be drilled, following a trajectory that is almost in parallel with the one that caused the spill, at a distance of no less than 5 meters one from the other, according to the Cuban group that analyzes the problem. Meanwhile we, as well educated children, should keep on waiting. If there is so much confidence in the well in parallel, why didn’t they resort to that measure before? What shall we do next if that action fails, as it has happened with all others?
In a recent exchange I held with a person too well informed about the details of the accident, given his country’s interests, I learned that because of the characteristics and the situation around the well, in that case there is no risk of a methane emanation there. No news on the subject was published on July 23. On the 24th, the news agency DPA stated that a “prominent US scientist had accused British Petroleum of bribing the experts that investigate the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico to delay the publication of data, as was denounced by the scientist to the BBC network”, but it establishes no connection between that immorality and any possible damage in the structure of the sea floor, the oil emanations and the unusual levels of methane. On July 26, London’s most important media –BBC, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, among others- reported that the “Board of Directors” of British Petroleum would “discuss today the timing of Chief Executive Hayward exit “over his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.” Notimex and El Universal of Mexico published that British Petroleum “…has not decided on any change among its executives”, and adds that “a meeting of the Board of Directors is due to take place this afternoon.” On the 27th, news agencies reported that the British Petroleum Chief Executive had been fired.
July 28: Twelve wire services and 14 countries, among them the US and several of its most important allies, made some embarrassing statements over the publication by Wikileaks of secret documents about the war in Afghanistan. Although Barack Obama admitted to be ‘concerned’ about the leak, […] he pointed out that the information is old and contained nothing new.”
That was a cynical statement.
“The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said that the documents are an evidence of the war crimes committed by the US troops.”
And they evidenced them so accurately that they have shaken the very foundations of American secrecy. Such documents refer to the “deaths of civilians, which were never accounted for publicly”. This has created conflicts among the parties involved in the commission of such atrocities.As for the risks of methane emanations from the wells that are not in production, there is a complete silence. July 29: AFP reports the unimaginable. Osama Bin Laden used to be a man of the US intelligence services: “…Osama Bin Laden appears in the secret reports published by Wikileaks as an agent that is active, present and praised by his men in the Afghan-Pakistani border.”It was known that, during the Afghan war against the Soviet occupation, Osama collaborated with the United States, but the whole world thought that in his struggle against the foreign invasion he had accepted the support offered by the United States and NATO out of necessity and that, after that country was liberated, he refused foreign interference and created Al Qaeda to combat the United States.
Many countries, Cuba among them, condemn his terrorist methods which do not exclude the death of countless innocent victims. Just imagine how surprised the world’s public opinion was when it learned that Al Qaeda had been a creation of the government of that country.It was the justification used to launch the war on the Taliban in Afghanistan and one of the motives, among others, for the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US troops later on. These have been two countries where thousands of American youths have been killed and a great number of them have been maimed. More than 150 000 American soldiers –joined by the members of the units of the belligerent NATO and other allies such as Australia and South Korea- have been indefinitely deployed in these two countries.
On July 29, the picture of a 22 year-old American youth, Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst who leaked 240 000 classified documents to the website Wikileaks, was published. He has not pleaded guilty or innocent. However, nobody will be able to lay a finger on him. The Wikileaks members have sworn they will spread the truth throughout the world. On July 30, the Brazilian theologian Frei Betto published an article entitled “Grito de la Tierra, Clamor de los Pueblos” (Cry of the Earth; Clamor of the Peoples).Two paragraphs summarize the essence of its content: “The Greeks of ancient times had already noticed it: Gaia, the Earth, is a living organism. We all come from it, after 13 700 million years of evolution. However, during the last 200 years, we have not learned how to take care of it; we turned it into a merchandise in exchange for which we hope to get maximum profits.” “Today, all forms of life in the planet, including the human species –two thirds of the world population survive under the poverty line- and the Earth itself are threatened. To prevent the anticipation of the Apocalypse it is necessary to question the myths of modern times –such as market, development, nation States- all of them based on an instrumental rationale.”
On that same day, AFP published the following: “The People’s Republic of China disapproves of the unilateral sanctions adopted by the European Union against Iran, said today Juang Yu, the spokesperson of the Chinese chancellery.” Likewise, Russia strongly protested against the condemnations that resulted from the sanctions adopted by that region that is in close alliance with the United States. On July 30, AFP reported that the Minister of Defense of Israel stated the following: “The sanctions that the United Nations adopted against Iran […] will not force that country to suspend its uranium enrichment activities aimed at manufacturing an atom bomb.”
On August 1st, AFP reported that “a top military official of the Guardians of the Revolution warned the United States today against a future attack against Iran.”“Israel did not rule out the possibility of a military action against Iran aimed at halting its nuclear program.”“The international community headed by Washington recently increased its pressure on Iran, which is accused of trying to equip itself with a nuclear weapon by means of a covert civil nuclear program.”“Javani’s assertions preceded a statement by the Chief of the US Joint Chiefs of Staffs, Michael Mullen, who reaffirmed this Sunday that the US has a plan to attack Iran to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons.”On August 2, a news published by AFP, whose content was similar to the ones published by all other news agencies, read as follows:
“I have to travel to New York on September to attend the UN General Assembly. I am ready to sit down with Obama, face to face, man to man, to talk freely about world issues in front of the media and find the best solution”, said Ahmadinejad during a speech broadcast by state television.”“But President Ahmadinejad warned that the dialogue should be based on mutual respect.”
“If they think they can swing around a wand and tell us that we should accept everything they say, this will never happen”, he added. Western powers ‘do not understand that things have changed in the world’, he said.”
“You are supporting a country that has hundreds of atomic bombs; but you say you want to stop Iran, which could eventually have them some day…”The Iranians have declared that they would shoot one hundred missiles against each of the US and Israel ships that blockade Iran as soon as they start inspecting an Iranian merchant ship.Thus, by the time Obama gives the order to comply with the Security Council Resolution, he would also be ordering the sinking of all US warships in that area.
No other US President has been faced with such a dramatic decision. He should have foreseen that.
On this ocassion, for the first time in my life, I address myself to Barack Obama, the President of the United States:
You should know that it is in your power to offer humankind the only real possibility of peace. Only once will you be able to make use of your prerogatives to give the order to open fire.It is quite possible that later on, after this traumatic experience, the solutions found will not lead us again to this apocalyptical situation. Every citizen in your country, even your worst left wing or right wing adversaries, will most certainly appreciate it, as will the people of the United States, which is in no way to blame for the situation created.I am asking you to deign to listen to this appeal I am making to you on behalf of the Cuban people.
I understand that a quick response is not to be expected; nor will you ever give one. Think it over and consult your specialists; ask your most powerful international allies and adversaries for their opinion about the subject.
I am not interested in honors or glory. Just do it! The world could truly get rid of both nuclear and conventional weapons.
The worst variant of all will be a nuclear war, which is already virtually inevitable.
Fidel Castro Ruz
August 3, 2010
Support Bradley Manning – support a liberty hero.Make your voice heard
On July 4, I said that neither the United States nor Iran would give in: “one, prevented by the pride of the powerful, and the other because it has the capacity and the will to fight oppression, as we have seen so many times before in the history of mankind.” In nearly every war, one party wishes to avoid it and, sometimes, the two parties do. This time it will happen although one of the parties does not wish it. That was the case of the two World Wars of 1914 and 1939, only 25 years one from the other. The carnage was awful in both wars, which would not have erupted had it not been for previous miscalculations. Both defended imperialist interests and believed they could accomplish their goals without the exceedingly high price finally paid. In the case in question, one of the parties involved advocates absolutely fair national interests. The other pursues illegitimate and coarse material interests. An analysis of every war fought throughout the recorded history of our species shows that one of the parties has pursued such goals.
It’s absolutely wrong to entertain the illusion that this time such goals will be attained without the most dreadful of all wars. In one of the best articles ran by the Global Research website, on Thursday July 1, signed by Rick Rozoff, the author offers plenty of indisputable arguments, which every well-informed person should be aware of, about the intentions of the United States.
According to the author, the United States believes that “…you can win if the adversary knows that it is vulnerable to a sudden and undetectable, appalling and devastating strike that it has no possibility to respond to or to defend from.” “…a country with the aspiration of continuing as the only one in history with full military predominance all over the Earth, in the air, the sea and in space.” “A country that keeps and expands military bases and troops as well as fighting-groups of aircraft carriers and strategic bombers on practically every latitude and longitude, and which does so on a record war budget after World War II amounting to 708 billion dollars next year.” It was also “…the first country to develop and use nuclear weapons…” “…the United States has deployed 1,550 nuclear warheads while keeping 2,200 in storage (or 3,500 according to some estimates) and a triad of ground, air and submarine delivering vehicles.” “The non-nuclear arsenal used to neutralize and destroy the air and strategic defenses, and potentially all the major military forces of other countries, will consist in intercontinental ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hypersonic bombers, and super-stealth strategic bombers that can avoid radar detection and the ground- and air-based defenses.” Rozoff enumerates the numerous press conferences, meetings and statements given in the past few months by the chiefs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the senior executives of the US administration. He explains the NATO commitments and the reinforced cooperation with the Near East partners, meaning Israel in the first place. He says that “the US is also intensifying the space and cyber war programs with the potential to paralyze other nations’ military command and surveillance, control, communication, information and intelligence systems rendering them helpless except in the most basic tactical field.”
He refers to the signing by the US and Russia, on April 8 this year, in Prague, of the new START Treaty, “which contains no restriction as to the actual or planned potential for a US conventional prompt global strike.” He also reports a number of news on the issue and offers a most striking example of the US objectives.
He indicates that “…the Defense Department is currently examining the entire range of technologies and systems for a Conventional Prompt Global Strike that could offer the president more credible and technically adequate options to tackle new and developing threats.” I sustain the view that no president –and not even the most knowledgeable military chief– would have a minute to know what should be done if it were not already programmed in computers. Rozoff proceeds undisturbed to relate what Global Security Network states in an analysis from Elaine Grossman under the title, The Cost of Testing a US Global Strike Missile Could Reach 500 Million Dollars.
“The Obama administration has requested 239.9 billion dollars for research and development of the prompt global strike by US military services in fiscal year 2011…if the level of funds remains as anticipated for the coming years, by the end of fiscal year 2015 the Pentagon will have spent 2 billion dollars in prompt global strike, according to budget documents introduced in Congress last month.” “A comparable terrifying scenario of the effects of a PGS, in this case of the sea version, was described three years ago in Popular Mechanics: “An Ohio-type nuclear submarine emerges in the Pacific ready to execute the President’s order for launching. When the order comes, the submarine shoots to the sky a 65-tons Trident II missile. Within 2 minutes, the missile is flying at 22,000 km/h. Over the oceans and out of the atmosphere it speeds for thousands of kilometers. “At the top of its parabola, in space, the four warheads of the Trident separate and start descending on the planet. “The warheads flying at 21,000 km/h are full of tungsten rods with twice the resistance of steel. “Once on target, the warheads explode and thousands of rods fall on the area, each carrying 12 times the destructive force of a .50 caliber bullet. Everything within 279 square meters of that whirling metal storm is annihilated.”
Then Rozoff explains the statement made this year, on April 7, by the chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Leonid Ivashov, under the headline Obama’s Nuclear Surprise, where he refers to the US President remarks in Prague last year with the following words: “The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War,” and about the signature of the START II in that same city on April 8, the author points out:
“In the history of the United States during the past century, there is not one example of sacrifice of the US elites for humanity or for the peoples of other countries. Would it be realistic to expect that the arrival of an African-American president to the White House might change the political philosophy of that nation traditionally aimed at achieving global domination? Those who believe that something like that could happen should try to understand why the US –the country whose military budget exceeds that of all the other countries of the world combined– continues spending huge amounts of money in war preparations.” “…the concept of Prompt Global Strike envisions a concentrated attack with the use of several thousand conventional precision weapons that within 2 to 4 hours would destroy the crucial infrastructure of the targeted country and force it to capitulate.”
“The concept of Prompt Global Strike is aimed at ensuring the US monopoly in the military field and to widen the gap between that country and the rest of the world. In combination with the defensive deployment of missiles that should supposedly preserve the US from retaliatory attacks from Russia and China, the Prompt Global Strike initiative will turn Washington into a global dictator of the modern era.” “Essentially, the new US nuclear doctrine is part of the new US security strategy that could more adequately be described as a strategy of complete impunity. The US increases its military budget, gives free rein to NATO as a global gendarme, and plans exercises in a real situation in Iran to prove the efficiency of the Prompt Global Strike initiative.” In substance, Obama intends to mislead the world talking about a world free of nuclear weapons that would be replaced with other extremely destructive weapons designed to terrorize the leaders of other States and to accomplish the new strategy of complete impunity.
The Yankees believe that Iran will soon surrender. It is expected that the European Union will inform about a package of its own sanctions to be signed on July 26. The latest meeting of 5 plus 1 was held on July 2, after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that “his country will resume the talks by the end of August, with the participation of Brazil and Turkey.”
A senior EU official warned that “neither Brazil nor Turkey will be invited to the talks, at least not at this point.” “Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki remarked that he is in favor of challenging international sanctions and proceeding with the upgrading of uranium.” Since Tuesday July 5, and in view of the European insistence in promoting additional measures against Iran, this country has responded that it will not negotiate until September.
Thus, with every passing day there are fewer possibilities to overcome the insurmountable obstacle.
What will happen is so obvious that it can be exactly foreseen. As for me, I should be self-critical since I made the mistake of affirming in my Reflections of June 27, that the conflict would break out on Thursday, Friday or Saturday at the latest. It was known that Israeli warships were moving toward their target alongside the Yankee naval forces. The order to search the Iranian merchant ships had been issued. However, I lost sight of a previous step: Iran’s continued refusal to allow the inspection of a merchant ship. In the analysis of the Security Council’s intricate language to impose sanctions on that country, I overlooked the detail of that previous step for the inspection order to be enforced. It was the only required step.
The 60-days period assigned by the Security Council on June 9, to receive information on the implementation of the Resolution, will expire on August 8.
But something more unfortunate still was happening. I was working with the latest material on the issue produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba and the document did not include two crucial paragraphs which were the last of said Resolution and which literally read: “It requests that, in a 90 days period, the Director General of the IAEA submits to the IAEA Board of Governors and, simultaneously, to the Security Council for its examination, a report indicating whether Iran has carried out the complete and sustained suspension of all the activities mentioned in Resolution 1737 (2006), and if it is implementing every measure demanded by the IAEA Board of Governors and observing the remaining provisions of Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and the current Resolution;
“It affirms that it will examine Iran’s actions in the light of the report mentioned in paragraph 36, which shall be submitted in a period of 90 days and that a) it will suspend the implementation of the measures provided that Iran suspends every activity related to upgrading and reprocessing, including research and development, and while the suspension stands, the IAEA will verify, to allow the celebration of negotiations in good faith to reach a prompt and mutually acceptable result; b) it will cease to implement the measures specified in paragraphs 3,4,5,6,7 and 12 of resolution 1737, as well as in paragraphs 2,4,5,6 and 7 of resolution 1747, in the paragraphs 3,5,7,8,9,10 and 11 of Resolution 1803 and in paragraphs 7,8,9,10,11,12, 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23 and 24 of the current resolution, as soon as it determines, after receiving the report mentioned in the previous paragraph, that Iran has fully observed its obligations in compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and the requisites of the IAEA Board of Governors, a determination to be confirmed by the Board itself; and c) in case the report indicates that Iran has failed to abide by the provisions of Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and the current resolution, it will adopt, in accordance with article 41 of chapter vii of the UN Charter, other appropriate measures to persuade Iran to do as provided in said resolutions and the requisites of the IAEA, and underlines that other decisions shall be adopted if such additional measures were necessary…”
Apparently, after many hours of hard work making copies of every document, somebody at the Ministry fell asleep, but my eagerness to seek information and exchange views on these sensitive issues enabled me to detect the omission. From my viewpoint, the United States and its NATO allies have said their last word. Two powerful states with authority and prestige failed to exercise their right of vetoing the perfidious UN Resolution. It was the only possibility to gain time in order to find a formula to save peace, an objective that would have given them more authority to continue struggling for it.
Today, everything hangs by a thread.
My main purpose was to warn the international public of what was developing.
I have done so partly watching what was happening as the political leader that I was for many long years facing the empire, its blockade and its unspeakable crimes. I’m not doing it for revenge.
I do not hesitate to take the risk of compromising my modest moral authority.
I shall continue writing Reflections on the subject. There will be others after this one to continue delving in the issue on July and August, unless an incident occurs that sets in motion the deadly weapons that are today aiming at each other.
I have greatly enjoyed the final matches of the Football World Cup and the volleyball matches, where our brave team is leading its group in the World League.
When these lines are published in the Granma newspaper tomorrow, Friday, the date of July 26, when we proudly remember the honor of having resisted the imperialists’ attacks, will be felt distant, despite the fact that it is only 32 days away. Those who determine every step of humanity’s worst enemy –the US imperialism, a combination of miserable material interests, contempt and underestimation of the other peoples who inhabit this planet—have calculated everything with mathematical precision.
In the Reflection of June 16, I wrote: “The diabolic reports slide down little by little in between matches of the Football World Cup, so that nobody takes notice.” The famous sports contest is now in its most exciting moment. For 14 days, the teams with the best players from 32 nations have been competing to advance to the stage of quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final competition. The sports enthusiasm grows constantly attracting hundreds of millions or perhaps even billions of people worldwide.
But, we should be wondering how many are aware that from June 20 US warships, including the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, escorted by one or more nuclear submarines and other warships carrying missiles and cannons more powerful than the old battleships used during the last World War between 1939 and 1945, have been moving towards the Iranian coasts via the Suez Canal.
This movement of the Yankee naval forces is accompanied by Israeli military ships, carrying equally sophisticated weaponry, intended to supervise any vessel involved in the import or export of commercial products required by the Iranian economy for its operations.
Following a US proposal supported by the United Kingdom, France and Germany, the UN Security Council passed a tough resolution which was not vetoed by any of the five countries with the right to do it. Another tougher resolution was adopted by the US Senate. Later, a third and even tougher resolution was approved by the member countries of the European Community. All of this happened before June 20, which motivated French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make an urgent trip to Russia –according to press reports– to meet with the head of Sate of that powerful country, Dmitri Medvedev, in hope of negotiating with Iran and preventing the worst from happening.
Now, it’s a matter of calculating when the American and Israeli naval forces will be deployed off the coasts of Iran joining there the aircraft carriers and other US military ships already on watch in the region. It is still worse that, the same as the United States, Israel –its gendarme in the Middle East—has state-of-the-art fighter planes and sophisticated nuclear weapons supplied by the United States, which have turned it into the sixth nuclear power on Earth, in terms of its fire power, and one of eight such powers that include India and Pakistan.
The Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 without firing one shot. But then the United States imposed on that nation a war with chemical weapons whose components it supplied to Iraq along with the information required by this country’s combat units; such weapons were used against the Guardians of the Revolution. Cuba knows this because, as we have said before, our country chaired the Non- Aligned Movement at the time. We know very well the damage done to the populations. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, currently the head of State of Iran, was chief of the sixth army of the Guardians of the Revolution and chief of the Guardians Corps in the western provinces, which carried the bulk of that war.
Today, in 2010, thirty-one years later, both the United States and Israel underestimate the one-million men that make up Iran’s Armed Forces and their fighting capacity on the ground as well as the air, sea and ground forces of the Guardians of the Revolution. These forces are compounded by 20 million men and women, ages 12 through 60, selected and systematically trained by their various armed institutions, from the 70 million people who live in that country. The US administration worked out a plan to promote a political movement that based on capitalist consumerism would divide the Iranians and overthrow the government.
Such hope is now harmless. It’s simply ridiculous to think that the US warships and Israeli forces combined could win the sympathies of even one Iranian citizen. I initially thought, as I analyzed the current situation, that the conflict would start at the Korean peninsula, where the second Korean War would break out, and that another war would immediately follow; the one that the United States would impose on Iran.
Now, we are witnessing a different turn of events: the war in Iran will immediately spark off that of Korea.
The leadership of North Korea, which was accused of sinking the ‘Cheonan’ and which knows only too well that said ship was sunk by a mine attached to its hull by the Yankee intelligence services, will not miss a second to act as soon as Iran is attacked. It is only fair that football fans freely enjoy the competitions of this World Cup. I simply fulfill my duty of informing our people, as I think mostly of our youths, full of life and hopes, especially our wonderful children, so that the developments do not catch them by surprise.
It hurts to think of the dreams conceived by human beings and the amazing things they have created in barely a few thousand years.
At a time when the most revolutionary dreams are coming true and our homeland is firmly on the path to recovery, I would so much like to be wrong!
Barack Obama is a zealous believer in the imperialist capitalist system imposed by the United States to the world. “God bless the United States,” is the final phrase of his speeches.
Some events hurt the sensitivity of the world public which sympathized with the victory of the African-American over the far-right candidate in that country. On the basis of one of the deepest economic crises the world has known, and on the pain brought on by the young Americans who lost their lives or were injured or maimed in the genocidal wars of conquest unleashed by his predecessor, he won with the vote of the majority of the 50% of Americans who cast a vote in that democratic nation.
Out of an elementary sense of ethic, Obama should have refrained from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize when he had already decided on sending forty thousand troops to an absurd war in the heart of Asia.
The warmongering policy and the plundering of natural resources, as well as the unequal terms of trade of the current administration toward the poor countries of the Third World are no different from those of his predecessors, most of them from the far-right, –with few exceptions—throughout the past century.
The antidemocratic document imposed at the Copenhagen Summit on the international community, which had given credit to his promise to cooperate in the struggle against climate change, was another one of those events that disappointed many people around the world. The United States, the largest producer of greenhouse-gas emissions, was not willing to make the necessary sacrifices despite the flattering previous words of its president.
The list of contradictions would be endless between the ideas defended by the Cuban nation for five decades with great sacrifices and the selfish policies of that colossal empire.
Still, we don’t feel any animosity toward Obama, much less toward the American people. We feel that the Healthcare Reform has been a significant battle and a success of his administration. However, it is really amazing that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence proclaimed in Philadelphia in the year 1776, which drew inspiration from the ideas of the great French encyclopedists, the government of that country has approved medical care for the overwhelming majority of its citizens, something that Cuba accomplished for its entire population half a century ago despite the cruel and inhuman blockade imposed –and still in force– by the mightiest country that has ever existed. In the past, it was only after almost a century of independence and following a bloody war, that Abraham Lincoln could obtain the legal emancipation of the slaves.
On the other hand, I can’t help but think of a world where over one-third of the population have no access to medical care or the basic medicines required to ensure health.
And this situation will be aggravated as climate change, and water and food shortage worsen in a globalized world where the population grows, the forests disappear, the arable land decreases, the air is more polluted, and the human species inhabiting it –which emerged less than 200 thousand years back, that is, 3.5 billion years after the first forms of life on the planet—is running the real risk of annihilation.
Even conceding that the Health Reform comes as a success to the Obama administration, the current President of the United States cannot ignore that climate change poses a threat to health, and worse still, to the very existence of every nation in the world, as the rise in temperature –beyond critical limits which are already in sight—melts down the water of the glaciers, and the tens of millions of cubic meters contained in the enormous ice caps of the Antarctic, Greenland and Siberia melt down within a few decades leaving under water every port facility in the world and lands where a large part of the world population lives, works and eats today.
Obama, the leaders of the wealthy nations and their allies, as well as their scientists and sophisticated research centers are aware of this; they cannot ignore it.
I understand the satisfaction expressed in the presidential speech and his recognition of the contribution made by the members of Congress and the administration to make possible the miracle of the Health Reform, which strengthens the government’s position vis-à-vis political lobbyists and mercenaries that curtail the authority of the administration. It would be worse if those responsible for tortures, murders on contract and genocide were in charge of the US government again. As a man unquestionably smart and sufficiently well informed, Obama knows there is no exaggeration in my words. I hope the foolish remarks he sometimes makes about Cuba do not cloud his mind.
In the aftermath of his success in this battle for the right of every American to healthcare, 12 million immigrants, most of them Latin American, Haitian and from other Caribbean countries are demanding the legalization of their presence in the United States where they do the hardest work and the American society cannot do without them, but where they are arrested, separated from their families and sent back to their countries.
The overwhelming majority migrated to America escaping the tyrannies imposed by the United States on the countries of the region and the dire poverty these have endured as a result of the plundering of their resources and the unequal terms of trade. Their family remittances make up a high percentage of the GDP of these countries’ economies. Now, they expect an act of basic justice. If the Cubans have been singled out with an Adjustment Act which promotes brain drain and the enticement of their educated youths, why are such brutal methods applied to the illegal immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean?
The devastating earthquake that battered Haiti –the poorest nation in Latin America, hammered by an unprecedented natural catastrophe that took the lives of more than 200 thousand people—and the terrible economic damage that a similar phenomenon brought on Chile are eloquent proof of the dangers looming over the so-called civilization and of the need for dramatic measures that can give the human species the hope to survive.
The Cold War failed to benefit the people of the world. The huge economic, technological and scientific power of the United States would be unable to survive the tragedy hovering on the planet. President Obama should look up in a computer the relevant data and talk to his most outstanding scientists; then, he will see how far his country is of being the model it promotes for humanity.
As an African-American, he suffered the offense of discrimination, according to his own narrative in the book “Dreams From My Father.” He was acquainted with the poverty of tens of millions of Americans; educated in that country and as a successful professional he has enjoyed the privileges of the rich middle class and ended up idealizing the social system where the economic crisis, the lives of Americans uselessly sacrificed and his undisputable political talent gave him political victory.
Yet, to the most intractable right-wing Obama is an extremist; and they threaten to continue fighting in the Senate to neutralize the effects of the Health Reform and to openly boycott it in several States of the Union by declaring it an unconstitutional law.
The problems of our times are much more serious.
The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international financial institutions strictly controlled by the United States –the creators of tax havens and the culprits of the financial chaos in the planet– allow the bailout of the big American banks by their government every time one of the frequent and increasingly intense crises of the system hits that country.
The United States Federal Reserve capriciously mints the hard currency that pays for the wars of conquest, the profits of the Military Industrial Complex, the military bases distributed around the world, and the large investments used by the transnational companies to control the economy of many countries worldwide.
Nixon unilaterally suspended the gold standard while the vaults of the New York banks keep seven thousand tons of gold, little over 25% of the world reserves in that metal, a figure that at the end of World War II was in excess of 80%. It is said that the US public debt exceeds 10 trillion dollars, which is more than 70% of its GDP and stands like a burden for the new generations. This is said when the truth is that the world economy is the one paying that debt with the huge amounts of US dollars spent in purchasing goods and services, the same dollars that the large transnationals of that country use to buy a considerable portion of the world riches and to sustain that nation’s consumer society.
Anyone understands that such a system is unsustainable and also why the wealthiest sectors in the United States and their allies in the world advocate a system that can only be sustained with ignorance, deception and the conditioned reflexes created in the world public through the monopoly over the mass media, including the main networks of the Internet. Today, the structure is crumbling with the accelerated advance of climate change and its disastrous consequences which are placing humanity face to face with an exceptional dilemma.
The wars between powers seem no longer a possible solution to the great contradictions as they were until the second half of the 20th century. Still, they have had such an impact on the elements that make human survival possible, that they could prematurely put an end to the existence of the current intelligent species that populates our planet.
A few days ago I expressed my firm belief that, in light of the scientific knowledge prevailing today, the human beings will have to solve their problems on planet Earth since they will never be able to cover the distance separating the Sun from its closest star located four light-years away, –one light-year equals 187,500 miles per second, as our high school students know—provided a planet similar to our beautiful Earth existed around that sun.
The United States invests huge amounts of money to confirm the presence of water on planet Mars, or if there was or is any elementary form of life there. No one knows what for, if not out of mere scientific curiosity. Millions of species are disappearing from our planet at a faster pace and its enormous water sources are constantly being poisoned.
The new laws of science –following Einstein’s formulas on energy and matter, and the big-bang theory as the origin of the millions of constellations and infinite stars and/or other theories—have given rise to deep changes in such basic concepts as space and time, which draw the attention of and are subjected to analysis by theologians. One of them, our Brazilian friend Friar Betto, deals with the subject in his book “The Work of the Artist: A Holistic Vision of Universe,” presented in the recent International Book Fair held in Havana.
The advancement of science in the past one hundred years has had an impact on the traditional approaches that prevailed through thousands of years in social sciences and even in Philosophy and Theology.
The most honest thinkers are paying significant attention to the new knowledge but we know absolutely nothing of how President Obama feels about the compatibility of consumer societies with science.
In the meantime, it is worthwhile meditating about these subjects now and then; this will certainly not prevent human beings from dreaming and from taking things with due serenity and steely nerves, but it is the duty of at least those who chose to become politicians and who sustain the noble and unwavering objective of a human society where justice and solidarity prevail.