The name “Walter Rodney” has receded from public memory in the last few decades. Only yesterday, it seems to this reviewer, Rodney was the most promising young political scholar of Afro-Caribbean origin, influential from parts of Africa to Britain and North America, not to mention his home Guyana, as well as Jamaica, Trinidad, and other anglophone islands. He was revered: great things were expected of him, as great things were expected of the new phase of regional history in which independence had been achieved and masses mobilized for real change.
Within the current system, there are steps that can and should be taken to lessen the environmental problems associated with the limits of growth: the depletion of resource taps and the overflowing of waste sinks, both of which threaten the future of humanity.… [H]owever, …attempts to trace these problems, and particularly the problem of depletion natural resources, to population growth are generally misdirected. The economic causes of depletion are the issues that must be vigorously addressed (though population growth remains a secondary factor). The starting point for any meaningful attempt actually to solve these problems must begin with the mode of production and its unending quest for ever-higher amounts of capital accumulation regardless of social and environmental costs—with the negative results that a portion of society becomes fabulously rich while others remain poor and the environment is degraded at a planetary level.
In February 1967 came the Arusha Declaration. The ruling party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), issued the Arusha Declaration and a policy of socialism and self-reliance. Our word in Kiswahili, Ujamaa (translated as extended family or familyhood), became the official policy. A number of companies in the commanding heights of the national economy were nationalized by the government. That started a whole new debate at the university. Walter Rodney had just come from SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) and became a young lecturer here. In the conference on rethinking the role of the university in now socialist Tanzania, he played a very important role.
The filmed scenes of the massacre in Libya, starting to be seen, offend for their total absence of humanism and the crass lies that served as an excuse for invading and taking over the natural resources of that country.
With more than 25,000 combat missions, NATO air forces backed up the monstrous crime.
They stated that the Libyan government had funds abroad exceeding 200 billion dollars. At this time, nobody knows where the money is nor what has been done with it.
A fraudulent electoral process ensured the overthrowing of the presidency of the most powerful country on the side of George W. Bush, an alcoholic without medical treatment nor the most basic ethical principles, who ordered West Point graduates to be ready to attack without warning 60 or more dark corners of the world.
Such a deranged person, with the use of a small black briefcase, could decide on the use of thousands of nuclear weapons; with a minimal percentage of these, he could put an end to human life on the planet.
It is sad to remember that on the opposite side of the Yankee super-power, another deranged person, with three bottles of vodka in his stomach, declared the disintegration of the USSR and the dismantling of more than 400 nuclear bases in whose range were all the military bases threatening that country.
Those events did not constitute any surprise. Throughout many years of struggle, experience garnered, contact with events, ideas and historical processes did not come as a surprise.
Today the Russian leaders are trying to rebuild this powerful State which had been created with so much effort and sacrifice.
When Pope John Paul II visited our country in 1998, more than once before his arrival I talked about several subjects with one or another of his envoys. I especially remember the occasion when we sat down to dinner in a small room in the Palace of the Revolution with Joaquín Navarro Valls, Papal spokesman, sitting in front of me. To the right was a pleasant and intelligent priest who had come with the spokesman and assisted Pope John Paul II at the Masses.
Curious about the details, I asked Navarro Valls whether he thought that the immense sky with its millions of stars had been made to please the inhabitants of the earth whenever we deigned to look upwards on any given night. “Absolutely” ―he replied. “It is the only inhabited planet in the universe”.
I then turned to the priest and said: what do you think of that, Father? He replied: “In my opinion, there is a 99.9 percent possibility of intelligent life existing on some other planet”. The answer did not violate any religious principle. Mentally I multiplied the figure, who knows how many times. It was the kind of answer that I deemed to be correct and serious.
Afterwards, that noble priest was always friendly with our country. Sharing a friendship does not mean you have to share beliefs.
Today, on Thursday, as it happens with increasing frequency, a European entity with well-known proficiency in the subject, textually states:
There could be billions of planets not much larger than the Earth orbiting around weak stars in our galaxy, according to an international team of astronomers. This estimated number of ‘super-Earths’ -planets with up to ten times Earth’s mass – is based on detections already made and then extrapolated to include the population of the so-called ‘dwarf stars’ in the Milky Way.
“Our new observations with HARPS show that around 40% of the red dwarf stars have a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting around it in its habitable zone, where there may be water in a liquid state on the surface of the planet,” stated Xavier Bonfils, team leader at the Sciences of the Universe Observatory in Grenoble, France.“Due to the fact that the red dwarfs are so common – there are around 160 billion of them in the Milky Way – this brings us to the surprising results that there are tens of millions of those planets in our galaxy alone.” Their studies suggest that there are ‘super-Earths’ in habitable zones in 41% of the cases, with a range of 28 to 95%. “40% of the red dwarf stars have a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting them in their habitable zone, where water in its liquid state may exist.”
That leads to the obvious question about whether any of those planets may not only be habitable but may also have life. But these stars are prone to stellar eruptions, that can wash over the neighbouring planets with X-rays or ultra-violet radiation, making it less likely that life may exist there.“We have an idea about how to find traces of life on those planets,” stated Stephane Udry, researcher at the Observatory of Geneva.“If we are able to see traces of elements related to life such as oxygen in that light, then we can obtain indications about whether there is life on that planet.”
Simply reading these news items shows the possibility and the necessity we have of enriching our knowledge which today is fragmented and scattered.
Perhaps it takes us to more critical positions on the superficiality with which we deal with cultural and material problems. I have not the slightest doubt that our world is changing much more quickly than we are capable of imagining.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 29, 2012
On March 9th this year, under the title of “NATO, War, Lies and Business”, I published a new Reflection about the role of that warlike organization.
I am selecting some fundamental paragraphs from that Reflection:
“As some may be aware, in September of 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi, an Arab Bedouin soldier of a peculiar character and inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, promoted in the heart of the armed forces a movement overthrowing King Idris I of Libya, a country almost completely covered by desert and having very little population, located in northern Africa between Tunisia and Egypt.”
“Born to a tribal Bedouin family of nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. ”
“…Even Gaddafi’s adversaries assure us that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high-school for his anti-monarchic activities. He managed to enrol in another high-school and later graduated in law at the University of Benghazi at the age of 21. Then he enrolled in the Benghazi Military College where he created what was called the Secret Unionist Movement of Free Officers, concluding his education later on in a British military academy.”
“He had begun his political life with events that were without question, revolutionary.
“In March of 1970, after massive nationalist demonstrations, he managed to have British soldiers evacuated from the country and in June, the United States vacated the great air base near Tripoli, handing it over to military instructors from Egypt, a Libyan ally.
“In 1970, several western oil companies and banking companies having the participation of foreign capital were affected by the Revolution. At the end of 1971, the famous British Petroleum had the same fate. In the agricultural sector, all Italian properties were confiscated, and the colonists and their descendents were expelled from Libya.”
“The Libyan leader got involved in extremist theories that were opposed both to communism and capitalism. It was a stage when Gaddafi dedicated himself to theorizing, something that doesn’t have any place in this analysis, other than to point out that the first article of the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969 established the “Socialist” nature of the Great Socialist People’s Libya Arab Jamahiriya.
“What I wish to emphasize is that the United States and its allies were never interested in human rights.
“The hornet’s nest taking place in the Security Council, at the meeting of the Human Rights Council at the Geneva headquarters and in the UN General Assembly in New York was pure theatre.”
“The empire now wants […] to intervene militarily in Libya and strike a blow at the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world. Up to now, not one word was said; they kept their mouths shut and carried on with business.”
“With the latent Libyan rebellion being promoted by Yankee intelligence, or by Gaddafi’s own errors, it is important that the people don’t let themselves be deceived, since very soon world opinion shall have enough elements to know what to expect.”
“Like many Third World countries, Libya is a member of NAM, the Group of 77 and other international organizations, through which relations are established separately from its economic and social system.
“As an outline: the Revolution in Cuba, inspired by Marxist-Leninist principles and those of Marti, had triumphed in 1959, 90 miles away from the United States which imposed on us the Platt Amendment and owned the economy of our country.
“Almost immediately, the empire promoted the dirty war against our people, counter-revolutionary gangs, the criminal economic blockade, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, watched over by an aircraft carrier and their Marines ready to land if the mercenaries were to gain determinate objectives.”
“All the Latin American countries, with the exception of Mexico, took part in the criminal blockade which is still in place today, with our country never surrendering.”
“In January of 1986, using the idea that Libya was behind the so-called revolutionary terrorism, Reagan ordered economic and commercial relations with that country to be broken.
“In March, a force of aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Sidra, inside what is considered to be Libyan national waters, launched attacks that caused the destruction of several naval units armed with missile launchers and coastal radar systems that that country had acquired in the USSR.
“On April 5th, a Berlin disco that US soldiers went to was the victim of plastic explosives; three persons died, two of them American soldiers, and many were wounded.
“Reagan accused Gaddafi and ordered the Air Force to retaliate. Three squadrons took off from the Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers and bases in the United Kingdom, attacking seven military targets in Tripoli and Benghazi with missiles and bombs. Around 40 people died, 15 of them civilians. Warned of the bombers’ advance, Gaddafi assembled his family and was abandoning his residence located at the Bab Al Aziziya military complex to the south of the capital. The evacuation was in progress when a missile made a direct hit on his residence; his daughter Hanna died and two other children were wounded. The occurrence was broadly condemned: the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning violation of the UN Charter and International law. So did NAM, the Arab League and the OAU, in energetic terms.
“On December 21, 1988, a Pan Am Boeing 747 flying from London to New York disintegrated in mid-air after a bomb exploded …”
“According to the Yankees, investigations implicated two Libyan intelligence agents.”
“A sinister legend was fabricated against him with the participation of Reagan and Bush Sr.”
“The Security Council had imposed sanctions on Libya that were starting to be overcome when Gaddafi accepted to put the two people accused for the plane downed over Scotland on trial, with certain conditions.
“Libyan delegations began to be invited to inter-European meetings. In July of 1999, London initiated the re-establishing of full diplomatic relations with Libya, after some additional concessions.”
“On December 2nd, Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema of Italy made the first visit of a European head of government to Libya.
“With the USSR and the European Socialist bloc gone, Gaddafi decided to accept the demands of the United States and NATO.”
“At the beginning of 2002, the State Department informed that diplomatic talks were going on between the US and Libya.”
“As 2003 began, because of the economic agreement on the compensations reached between Libya and the suing countries, the United Kingdom and France, the UN Security Council lifted the 1992 sanctions against Libya.
“Before 2003 drew to a close, Bush and Tony Blair informed about an agreement with Libya, a country that had handed over to United Kingdom and Washington intelligence experts documentation on the non-conventional weapons programs such as ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometres. Officials from both countries had already visited various installations. It was the result of many months of talks between Tripoli and Washington as Bush himself revealed.
“Gaddafi fulfilled his promises of disarmament. In a few months Libya handed over five units of Scud-C missiles with a range of 800 kilometres and the hundreds of Scud-Bs whose range surpassed the 300 kilometres for short-range defensive missiles.
“From October of 2002, the marathon of visits to Tripoli began: Berlusconi in October of 2002; José María Aznar in September of 2003; Berlusconi again in February, August and October of 2004; Blair in March of 2004; Germany’s Schröeder in October of that year; Jacques Chirac in November of 2004.”
“Gaddafi triumphantly toured Europe. He was received in Brussels in April of 2004 by Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission; in August of that year the Libyan leader invited Bush to visit his country; Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco and Conoco Philips finalized the re-establishing of extracting crude by means of joint ventures.
“In May of 2006, the United States announced the withdrawal of Libya from the list of terrorist countries and the establishment of full diplomatic relations.
“In 2006 and 2007, France and the US signed agreements for nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes; in May of 2007, Blair once again visited Gaddafi at Sidra. BP signed an “enormously important” agreement according to statements, in order to explore for gas fields.
“In December of 2007, Gaddafi made two visits to France and signed contracts for military and civilian equipment for the total of 10 billion Euros; and a visit to Spain where he met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Million-dollar contracts were signed with important NATO countries.
“What is it that has now caused the precipitated withdrawal from the embassies of the United States and the other NATO members?
“It’s all extremely odd.
“George W. Bush, father of the stupid anti-terrorism war, stated on September 20 of 2001 to the West point cadets that:
“Our security will require […] transforming the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment of notice in any dark corner of the world. And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty […].”
“We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries[…] Along with our friends and allies, we must oppose proliferation and confront regimes that sponsor terror, as each case requires.”
Today I add that Afghanistan, a traditionally rebellious country, was invaded; the nationalist tribes, former allies of the United States in its struggle against the USSR, were bombed and massacred. The Dirty War spread throughout the world. Iraq was invaded under excuses that turned out to be false, its abundant oil resources were handed over to the hands of Yankee companies, millions of persons lost their jobs and were forced to move both inside the country and abroad, their museums were sacked and innumerable citizens lost their lives or were massacred by the invaders.
Returning to the Reflection, I pointed out:
“An AFP dispatch from Kabul, dated today on March 9th, reveals that: “Last year was the most deadly for civilians in nine years of war between the Taliban and international forces in Afghanistan, with almost 2,800 dead, 15% more than in 2009, a UN report indicated on Wednesday, underlining the human cost of the conflict for the population.”
“With exactly 2,777 the number of civilian deaths in 2010 increased 15% as compared to 2009, indicates the annual joint report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan…”
“President Barack Obama stated on the 3rd of March his “profound condolences” to the Afghan people for the nine dead children; US General David Petraeus, commander in chief of the ISAF and Secretary of the Defence Robert Gates made similar statements.”
“…the UNAMA report emphasizes that the number of civilian dead in 2010 is four times greater than the number of international forces soldiers killed in combat in that same year.
Referring to Libya, I indicated:
“For 10 days, in Geneva and in the UN more than 150 speeches were made about violations on human rights that were repeated millions of times by TV, radio, Internet and the printed press.
“Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez, in his speech on March 1st before the Foreign Ministers meeting in Geneva, stated:
“Human conscience rejects the deaths of innocent people in any circumstance and in any place. Cuba fully shares world concern for the losses in civilian lives in Libya and wishes that their people attain a peaceful and sovereign solution to the civil war happening over there, without any foreign interference, and ensuring the integrity of that nation.”
“If essential human rights are a right of life, is the Council ready to suspend the membership of states that unleash war?”
“Will it suspend states that finance and supply military aid used by the receiving state in massive, flagrant and systematic violations on human rights and in attacks on civilian populations, such as what is happening in Palestine?”
“Will it apply that measure against powerful countries that carry out extra-judicial executions on the territory of other states, using high technology such as smart bombs and unmanned planes?
“What would happen with states that accept on their territory illegal secret prisons, facilitate secret flights carrying kidnapped persons or participate in acts of torture?”
“We are against the internal war in Libya, in favour of immediate peace and full respect for life and the rights of all citizens, with no foreign intervention that would only serve to prolong the conflict and NATO interests.”
Yesterday, on October 31st, an event was produced that, among others, bears witness to the total lack of ethics in Yankee policy.
UNESCO had just adopted a courageous decision: to grant the heroic people of Palestine the right to participate as an active member of UNESCO; 107 states voted in favour, 14 were opposed and 52 abstained from voting. We all know the reason perfectly well.
The United States representative to that institution, following instructions from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, immediately stated that as of that moment, their country would be suspending all economic aid to the organization that was destined by the UN for education, science and culture.
The dramatic tone with which the lady announced the decision was totally unnecessary. Nobody was surprised by the expected and cynical decision.
Moreover, as if it were not enough, all we need to do is read the AFP cable dated in Washington this afternoon at 16:05:
“‘After the G20 Summit (…) the president (Obama) and President Sarkozy will take part in a ceremony in Cannes to celebrate the US-France alliance’, the office of the US president indicated, adding that the leaders would also be meeting with ‘US and French soldiers who had participated together in the operation’ in Libya.”
I shall continue shortly.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 1, 2011
On March 2nd, under the title of “NATO’s Inevitable War” I wrote:
“In contrast with what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya occupies the first spot on the Human Development Index for Africa and it has the highest life expectancy on the continent. Education and health receive special attention from the State. The cultural level of its population is without a doubt the highest. Its problems are of a different sort. […] The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development.”
“It had enormous incomes and reserves in convertible currencies deposited in the banks of the wealthy countries from which they acquired consumer goods and even sophisticated weapons that were supplied exactly by the same countries that today want to invade it in the name of human rights.
“The colossal campaign of lies, unleashed by the mass media, resulted in great confusion in world public opinion. Some time will go by before we can reconstruct what has really happened in Libya, and we can separate the true facts from the false ones that have been spread.”
“The empire and its main allies used the most sophisticated media to divulge information about the events, among which one had to deduce the shreds of the truth.”
“Imperialism and NATO – seriously concerned by the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world, where a large part of the oil is generated that sustains the consumer economy of the developed and rich countries – could not help but take advantage of the internal conflict arising in Libya so that they could promote military intervention.”
“In spite of the flood of lies and the confusion that was created, the US could not drag China and the Russian Federation to the approval by the Security Council for a military intervention in Libya, even though it managed to obtain however, in the Human Rights Council, approval of the objectives it was seeking at that moment.”
“The real fact is that Libya is now wrapped up in a civil war, as we had foreseen, and the United Nations could do nothing to avoid it, other than its own Secretary General sprinkling the fire with a goodly dose of fuel.
“The problem that perhaps the actors were not imagining is that the very leaders of the rebellion were bursting into the complicated matter declaring that they were rejecting all foreign military intervention.”
One of the rebellion’s ringleaders, Abdelhafiz Ghoga, declared on February 28th, in an encounter with journalists: “What we want is intelligence information, but in no case that our sovereignty is affected in the air, on land or on the seas.”
“The intransigence of the people responsible for the opposition on national sovereignty was reflecting the opinion being spontaneously manifested by many Libyan citizens to the international press in Benghazi”, informed a dispatch of the AFP agency this past Monday.
“That same day, a political sciences professor at the University of Benghazi, Abeir Imneina, adversary of Gaddafi stated:
“There is very strong national feeling in Libya.”
“‘Furthermore, the example of Iraq strikes fear in the Arab world as a whole’, she underlined, in reference to the American invasion of 2003 that was supposed to bring democracy to that country and then, by contagion, to the region as a whole, a hypothesis totally belied by the facts.”
“‘We know what happened in Iraq, it’s that it is fully unstable and we really don’t want to follow the same path. We don’t want the Americans to come to have to go crying to Gaddafi’, this expert continued.”
“A few hours after this dispatch was printed, two of the main press bodies of the United States, The New York Times and The Washington Post, hastened to offer new versions on the subject; the DPA agency informs on this on the following day, March the first: “The Libyan opposition could request that the West bomb from the air strategic positions of the forces loyal to President Muamar al Gaddafi, the US press informed today’.”
“The subject is being discussed inside the Libyan Revolutionary Council, ‘The New York Times’ and ‘The Washington Post’ specified in their online versions.”
“’In the event that air actions are carried out within the United Nations framework, these would not imply international intervention, explained the council’s spokesperson, quoted by The New York Times‘”.
“‘The Washington Post’ quoted rebels acknowledging that, without Western backing, combat with the forces loyal to Gaddafi could last a long time and cost many human lives.”
In that Reflection, I immediately wondered:
“Why the effort to present the rebels as prominent members of society demanding bombing by the US and NATO in order to kill Libyans?”
“Some day we shall know the truth, through persons such as the political sciences professor from the University of Benghazi who, with such eloquence, tells of the terrible experience that killed, destroyed homes, left millions of persons in Iraq without jobs or forced them to emigrate.”
“Today on Wednesday, the second of March, the EFE Agency presents the well-known rebel spokesperson making statements that, in my opinion, affirm and at the same time contradict those made on Monday: “Benghazi (Libya), March 2. The rebel Libyan leadership today asked the UN Security Council to launch an air attack ‘against the mercenaries’ of the Muamar el Gaddafi regime.’”
“Which one of the many imperialist wars would this look like?
“The one in Spain in 1936? Mussolini’s against Ethiopia in 1935? George W. Bush’s against Iraq in the year 2003 or any other of the dozens of wars promoted by the United States against the peoples of the Americas, from the invasion of Mexico in 1846 to the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982?
“Without excluding, of course, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the dirty war and the blockade of our Homeland throughout 50 years, that will have another anniversary next April 16th.
“In all those wars, like that of Vietnam which cost millions of lives, the most cynical justifications and measures prevailed.
“For anyone harbouring any doubts, about the inevitable military intervention that shall occur in Libya, the AP news agency, which I consider to be well-informed, headlined a cable printed today which stated: “The NATO countries are drawing up a contingency plan taking as its model the flight exclusion zones established over the Balkans in the 1990s, in the event that the international community decides to impose an air embargo over Libya, diplomats said’.”
Any honest person capable of objectively observing the events can appreciate the danger lying in the ensemble of cynical and brutal events that characterize United States policy and explain the embarrassing solitude of that country in the UN debate on “The need to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba”.
I am closely following the Pan-American Games of Guadalajara 2011, despite my work.
Our country swells with pride for those young people who exemplify for the world their selflessness and spirit of solidarity. I warmly congratulate them; nobody can take away from them the place of honour they have earned.
To be continued on Sunday the 30th.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 28, 2011
You may agree or not with Gaddafi’s political ideas, but no one has the right to question the existence of Libya as an independent state and member of the United Nations. The world has not yet reached the point which, in my view, is an essential condition for the survival of our human species: access by all the peoples to the material resources of this planet. There is no other in the Solar System that we know that has the most elemental conditions for life.
Yesterday, for reasons of space and time, I didn’t say one word about the speech on the Libyan War given by Barack Obama on Monday the 28th. I had a copy of the official version, supplied to the press by the U.S. government. I had underlined some of the things that he asserted. I reviewed it again and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth wasting too much paper on the matter.
I recalled what Carter told me when he visited us in 2002 about tree farming in the United States; because he owns a family farm near Atlanta. During this visit I asked him again about tree farming and he restated that he plants pine saplings at a distance of 3 x 2 meters, equivalent to 1,700 trees a hectare, and they are harvested after 25 years.
Many years ago I read that a Sunday edition of The New York Times consumed the paper extracted from the felling of 40 hectares of woodland. Hence my concern about saving paper.
Of course, Obama is an excellent articulator of words and phrases. He could earn a living writing stories for children. I know his style because the first I read and underlined, long before he assumed the presidency, was a book entitled Dreams of My Father. I did so with respect and, at least, I could appreciate that its author knew how to select the precise words and appropriate phrases to win the sympathy of readers.
I confess that I did not like his tactic of suspense, concealing his own political ideas until the end. I made a special effort not to search in the final chapter for what he thought about various problems, to my mind crucial at this point of human history. I was certain that the profound economic crisis, colossal military spending, and the young blood spilled by his Republican predecessor would help him to defeat his electoral opponent, despite the enormous racial prejudices in U.S. society. I was conscious of the risks he was running of being physically eliminated.
For obvious reasons of traditional politicking, prior to the elections, he sought backing from the Miami anti-Cuba voters, in their majority led by pro-Batista and reactionary people, who converted the United States into a banana republic in which electoral fraud decided no less than the triumph of George W. Bush in 2000, tossing into the trash a future Nobel Prize winner: Al Gore, Clinton’s vice president and a presidential aspirant.
An elemental sense of justice would have prompted President Obama to rectify the consequences of the notorious trial which led to the inhuman, cruel and particularly unjust incarceration of the five Cuban patriots.
His State of the Union address, his speeches in Brazil, Chile and El Salvador and the NATO war on Libya, obliged me to underline, more than his own biography, the abovementioned speech.
What is the worst of that speech and how to explain the approximately 2,500 words contained in the official version?
From the internal point of view, its total lack of realism places its happy author in the hands of his worst adversaries, who wish to humiliate him and avenge his electoral victory in November of 2008. The punishment they meted out to him at the end of 2010 is still not enough for them.
From the external point of view, the world has become more aware of what the Security Council, NATO and yankee imperialism signify for many peoples.
In order to be as brief as I promised, I will explain to you that Obama began his speech by affirming that he was fulfilling his role of “stopping the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda all across the globe.”
He immediately adds: “For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom.”
As readers know, this is something the veracity of which can be confirmed by we Cubans, Latin Americans, Vietnamese and many others.
After this solemn declaration of faith, Obama invests a large part of his time in talking about Gaddafi, his horrors and the reasons for which the United States and its closest allies: “— like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey — all of whom have fought by our sides for decades […] have chosen to meet their responsibilities to defend the Libyan people.”
He later adds: “…NATO has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone.”
He confirms the objectives of the decision: “Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation — to our military and to American taxpayers — will be reduced significantly.
“So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: The United States of America has done what we said we would do.”
He returns to his obsessions about Gaddafi and the contradictions that are troubling his mind: “Gadhafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous.”
“It’s true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action.”
“The task that I assigned our forces — to protect the Libyan people […] carries with it a U.N. mandate and international support.”
His obsessions are reiterated time and time again: “We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission, or risk killing many civilians from the air.”
“…we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars.”
A few days after the NATO bombings were initiated, news began to circulate that a U.S. fighter plane had been brought down. Later, it emerged, via some source, that that was a fact. Upon seeing a figure parachuting down some campesinos did what is traditionally done in Latin America; they go to see; and if someone is in need of help, they give it. Nobody could know what they were thinking. They were no doubtless Muslims, they were working the land and could not have been in favor of the bombings. A helicopter which suddenly appeared to rescue the pilot fired on the campesinos, seriously injuring one of them, but, miraculously, didn’t kill them all. As the world knows, by tradition, Arabs are hospitable toward their enemies, they put them up in their own homes, and turn their backs so as not to see what road they are taking. Not even a coward or a traitor would ever represent a spirit of social class.
Only Obama could have thought of the outlandish theory that he included in his speech, as can be appreciated in the following extract.
“There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and our values are. […] we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.
“In such cases, we should not be afraid to act — but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action.”
“That’s the kind of leadership we’ve shown in Libya. Of course, even when we act as part of a coalition, the risks of any military action will be high. Those risks were realized when one of our planes malfunctioned over Libya. Yet when one of our airmen parachuted to the ground, in a country whose leader has so often demonized the United States — in a region that has such a difficult history with our country — this American did not find enemies. Instead, he was met by people who embraced him. One young Libyan who came to his aid said, ‘We are your friends. We are so grateful to those men who are protecting the skies.’
“This voice is just one of many in a region where a new generation is refusing to be denied their rights and opportunities any longer.”
“Yes, this change will make the world more complicated for a time. Progress will be uneven, and change will come differently to different countries. There are places, like Egypt, where this change will inspire us and raise our hopes.”
Everyone knows that Mubarak was an ally of the United States and when Obama visited the University of Cairo in June 2009, he could not have been ignorant of the tens of billions of dollars which the former stole in Egypt.
He continued with the moving story:
“…we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith — those ideals — that are the true measure of American leadership.”
“…our strength abroad is anchored in our strength here at home. That must always be our North Star — the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring for our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.”
“And let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world.”
The spectacular story brought to my mind the Tea Party, Senator Bob Menéndez and the eminent Ileana Ros, the big bad wolf who defied laws in order to retain the kidnapped Cuban child Elián González. Today, she is no less than chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Gaddafi is constantly reiterating that Al Qaeda is making war on him and sending in combatants against the Libyan government, because he, Gaddafi, supported Bush’s war on terror.
In the past that organization had excellent relations with the U.S. intelligence services during the battle against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and has a wealth of experience on CIA working methods.
What would take place if Gaddafi’s claims should be correct? How would Obama explain to the people of the United States that part of those land combat weapons had fallen into the hands of Bin Laden’s men?
Would it not have been better and more intelligent to have fought to promote peace and not war in Libya?
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 31, 2011
You didn´t have to be clairvoyant to foresee what I wrote with great detail in three Reflection Articles I published on the CubaDebate website between February 21 and March 3: “The NATO Plan Is to Occupy Libya,” “The Cynical Danse Macabre,” and “NATO´s Inevitable War.”
Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so blatantly shameless regarding the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an event that maybe a lot of people have been recalling over these past days. (more…)
Yesterday was a long day. From midday I paid attention to Obama’s vicissitudes in Chile, as I had done the day before with his adventures in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In a brilliant challenge, that city defeated Chicago in its aspiration to host the 2016 Olympics, when the new President of the United States and Nobel Peace laureate seemed to be an emulator of Martin Luther King.
Nobody knew when he was arriving in Santiago de Chile and what a President of the United States would do there, where one of his predecessors had committed the painful crime of promoting the defeat and physical death of its heroic President, horrific acts of torture and the murder of thousands of Chileans. (more…)
Saturday evening, the 19th, after a sumptuous banquet, NATO leaders ordered the attack on Libya. Of course, nothing could occur without the United States claiming its irrefutable role as supreme leader. From its command post of that institution in Europe, a senior official declared that “Odyssey Dawn” was about to begin. (more…)