I remember that, when I visited the People’s Republic of Poland, during Gierek’s government, I was taken to Osviecim, the most notorious of all concentration camps. There I learned about the horrible crimes committed by the Nazis against Jewish children, women and senior citizens, which resulted from the implementation of the ideas contained in the book Mein Kampf written by Adolph Hitler. Those ideas had been implemented before at the time when the territory of the USSR was invaded in the quest for ‘living space.’ By that time, the governments of London and Paris incited the Nazi chief against the Soviet State.
The Soviet army liberated the prisoners kept at Osviecim and those of almost all the Nazi concentration camps, condemned those events and took pictures and films which traveled around the world.
Obama spoke at the Buchenwald concentration camp, within the German territory. A grand-uncle of his, who is still alive and was accompanying him at the rally, had helped to release the prisoners of that camp.
The most important activity he carried out in Europe was his attendance to the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landing, where he pronounced a second speech. He went out of his way to praise Dwight Eisenhower, who commanded the landing. He recognized, in all fairness, the courage of the American soldiers who fought down a few kilometers of coastline, with the support of the US and the British navy and of thousands of planes that came mostly from the US factories. The paratroopers divisions were not dropped at the most correct positions and therefore the battle extended unnecessarily.
The bulk of Hitler’s army and its elite divisions had been annihilated by Soviet soldiers at the Russian front, after they recovered from the damages caused by the first military attack. The resistance put up by the city of Leningrad to a prolonged siege, the combats waged by the Siberian divisions a few kilometers away from Moscow, and the battles of Stalingrad and of the Kursk salient will go down in the history of wars as some of the most significant and decisive events.
Obama, who spoke at the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landing, thanks to which, as can be inferred from his speech, Europe was liberated, dedicated only 15 words to speak about the role played by the USSR –hardly 1.2 words per every two million Soviet citizens who died in that war. That was not fair.
After the end of that bloody war, Iran, which played a significant role in that war given its natural resources and its geographical position, was turned by the United States into its strongest and better armed gendarme in that strategic Asian region.
The Iranian people, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, with the masses unarmed and ready to make any sacrifice, overthrew the powerful Shah of Iran. That happened during the last two years of the government of Jimmy Carter, who suffered the first consequences of the wrong foreign policy of the United States. That policy shortened his mandate and facilitated Ronald Reagan’s coming to power.
The Shah died on July 27, 1980, in Cairo, the same city where Obama delivered his speech on June 4 last. The absurd war between Iraq and Iran which began in 1980 lasted eight years and was not caused by Khomeini. Reagan got as much as he could out of it. He first sold weapons to Iran. With those weapons and the revenues from drug trafficking he funded the dirty war against Nicaragua, thus evading the decisions adopted by the Congress whereby it refused to grant funds for that cruel adventure that took the life of so many ‘Sandinista’ youths. Reagan then supported Iraq’s war against Iran.
The US government authorized the supply of raw materials, technology and gases for the chemical war against Iran, which killed tens of thousands of soldiers of that country; the civil population was severely affected. American companies collaborated in the manufacturing of chemical weapons. Besides, satellites provided the necessary information for all land operations; 600 000 Iranians and 400 000 Iraqis died in that war; hundreds of billions of dollars were spent by those two major oil producing countries before both parties accepted the peace project drafted by the United Nations.
It is not an easy task for a US President to deliver a speech at the Muslim University of Al-Azhar of Cairo. Nor is it to be expected that the Iranians and the Arabs would feel very enthusiastic about said speech.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 14, 2009