Our hearts are torn apart between two human-made disasters: One in Japan, the Other in Libya

[Editorial]

The 4th Media’s words of sincere condolences to all those yet fully-unknown number of victims in Japan’s worst disaster

Peoples’ hearts and minds on the whole globe are torn apart in great dismay, shock and sorrow upon hearing the devastating news from Japan’s most disastrous tragedy by far, starting with first 9.0-magnitude earthquake, together with tsunami, and then even with daily horrifying tales of (yet fully-unknown or much too early to predict) imminent nuclear catastrophes in Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants. 

All of our hearts and minds, together with our sincere words of condolences and eulogy, should go first to the yet unknown number of victims in those crisis-stricken areas which are badly damaged (or even a whole city completely wiped out) by both natural (earthquake and tsunami) and/or human-made (nuclear) disasters.

We wish all of them with full and speedy recovery from the heartbroken experiences either from the loss of loved ones, injured or even being contaminated by the exposure to the radioactive gases and/or particles from those failed thereby could-be catastrophic nuclear power plants.

Also we do sincerely hope those nuclear crises, though human-made, in addition to the natural disasters in Japan could be contained and taken care of as fast and sufficient as enough, so that Japanese government, together with the genuine help of other countries who may have come forward with genuine supports and wishes, should be able to control the present disastrous situations as soon as possible.

Serious lessons must be learnt from the past catastrophic incidents

However, in the meantime, when this tragic and sorrowful saga finally comes to an end, most ordinary people of the world who seek to happily, peacefully and symbiotically cohabitate together with other humans on this universe believe the humanity must learn something very serious lessons this time from Japanese catastrophic experiences, particularly from the human-made tragedy.

The lessons we the whole humanity must learn this time should be something radically different from the ones people said then we should learn something from both Three Mile Island accident (1979 in US) and Chernobyl nuclear disaster (1986 in Ukrainian SSR, now Ukraine). Today’s another human-made nuclear disaster in Japan apparently shows the world must have not learnt anything serious from either history. 

What we see today in our world instead with regard to the nuclear issue in general, accidental nuclear disaster and weapon system in particular seems very much identical with the problems we had then in 1970s and 80s. It’s apparent that there haven’t been any serious lessons learnt and/or appropriate preventive changes, measures, and remedies made. 

Here is a distinctive example to show the world hasn’t learnt at all from the past’s human-made nuclear disasters. Tom Zeller, Jr. in his March 16 article at the New York Times argues nuclear powers’ national government regulators and nuclear businesses haven’t done enough to prevent those disasters from taking place again:

The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a “Mark 1” nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated. Dangerous radiation would spew into the environment. Now, with one Mark 1 containment vessel damaged at the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and other vessels there under severe strain, the weaknesses of the design — developed in the 1960s by General Electric — could be contributing to the unfolding catastrophe.”

According to the New York Times’ Editorial on March 15, there are about 30 nuclear power plants in US alone (however, Zeller claims that number 23 instead 30). They are very much same or similar to the types of those GE-made power plants in Japan. It questions the very safety of those 30 plants in the States: “With the United States poised to expand nuclear power after decades of stagnation, it will be important to reassess safety standards. Some 30 American reactors have designs similar to the crippled reactors in Japan. Various reactors in this country are situated near geologic faults, in coastal areas reachable by tsunamis or in areas potentially vulnerable to flooding.”

“Military Industrial Complex” (MIC): Born to be catastrophic

The issue of human-made nuclear disaster is nothing new at all. It’s been that way all along since the manufacturing businesses (known otherwise as the infamous “military industrial complex”) of either nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons and, of course, all sorts of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) have come into being in human history in the middle of last century. Since their introduction into global human affairs, as a matter of fact, born-to-be-catastrophic human-made tragedy has become human’s daily life. No matter whether we realize or not, it’s the deadly serious reality as we see it today in Japan.

As former US president Dwight Eisenhower warned in his 1961 Farewell Address, the whole humanity has become continuously captive by those “military industrial complexes” for their astronomical business profits. 

Therefore, the overall nuclear issue the world is deeply concerned about today shouldn’t be limited to those accidental nuclear disasters only. There are even far more and deadly serious nuclear issue the world must look into. One of the worst examples must be former US president G. W. Bush’s infamous military doctrine of the “first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.” Since Bush era, as well-known, this aggressive, provocative and arrogant thereby catastrophic doctrine has become US government’s official policy.

Two types of doomsday realities from human-made catastrophes

Today humans live with two types of doomsday realities (not as theories anymore!) from those human-made catastrophes: One is with disastrous accidents such as failed Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and today’s Fukushima nuclear power plants; the other with strategic military attacks by the “first use of nuclear weapons,” specifically by USA. Needless to argue, both accidental failures in nuclear power plants and strategic use of nuclear weapons are fundamentally interconnected or intertwined with incalculable business profits of about a dozen numbers of globalized MICs, particularly those major five MICs in US.

So, before too late to avoid those either or doomsday reality as we experience today from Japan, not only those could-be catastrophic radioactive materials at the hands of both most of the rich nations and global nuclear businesses, but also the nuclear weapons businesses should be equally the most urgent issues the world, together with all those supposed-to-be responsible international bodies such as IAEA, must tackle with.

In addition to the yet fully-unknown number of nuclear weapons which could wipe out the entire planet several times at least, if not more than ten times, the world as a whole is now more than any other time in history gravely aware that, in very real sense, the nuclear power plants in their own daily midst they’ve been told “safe and secure” may not be wholly true. The internet-based information technology does help ordinary people find out more about than what government and/or business officials say in public. It seems the intentional cover-ups become more difficult to hide truth from being told anymore.

Therefore, the New York Times’ March 15 Editorial warning was too soft or mild. It wasn’t serious enough at all! It’s most likely useless again. Last over a half century, there is no doubt the world has been dominated by the doctrine of “war is the best business.” Today is still “the business as usual.” I wonder if there will be any major and real changes made, even if someday the Japanese human-made tragedy may come to an end. Again, doubtlessly, the global weapons manufactures still run the world. This sort of mild warning from the New York Times could well end up as another lip-service before those omnipresent evermore powerful lobbies of the US-based global military industrial complex.

Another human-made disaster in Libya

As they did to Iraq in 2003, this catastrophic behemoth like weapons manufactures (i.e., MICs), together with both American and Western oil businesses, are about to create another human-made disaster for another incalculable business profits through another military invasion. But this time their plan seems much more sophisticated, cunning and crafty than the past in its war preparation. So it’s much more deceptive than that of Iraq. But it’s still very much same in terms of its hypocritical nature!

This time it’s Libya. However, as they did against Iraqi leader Hussein then, they’ve masterfully deceived literally the whole world again by “massive information war” against Libyan leader Gaddafi. Prior to US/NATO’s military invasion, mainly in order to justify their military and economic agenda, they’ve poured out to the whole world much more vicious misinformation, disinformation and/or flat lies about Libyan situation!

Why? Of course, it’s all again geared up to typical demonization campaign against Gaddafi, as US has done to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop, Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, DPRK’s (North Korea) Kim Jongil, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s entire collective leadership and so on, and so on. The US/NATO-made massive “information war” seemed very successful so far since it’s even already obtained UN Security Council’s sanctions against Libya .

However, Obama administration hasn’t jumped onto the action yet. They look like as if they are concerned of further human casualties. They look even “indecisive,” according to several Israeli and other pro-US media outlets which have criticized president Obama’s so-called “inaction.” Again, this time, it looks somewhat different from its Iraqi invasion. They must have learnt something from the failed 2003 experience which was disastrous with regard to their PR campaign of the war. So, this time, they seem to spend more time to prepare their invasion. They seem to try more to cover up their real intent as best as they could with the “no-fly zone” card.

US/NATO military invasion another human-made disaster like Iraq

During both natural and human-made disasters in Japan when the whole world’s attentions are tied down by the impending nuclear catastrophe, one of those silent cover-ups went on with US-dominant Arab League’s March 14 call for the so-called “no-fly zone” over Libya. In order to deceive the world further by easily coalescing the US-ruling (therefore “sold-out” body like) Arab League to their side was a convenient pretext for the planned US/NATO military invasion against a sovereign nation.

In his most recent article on Libya (“’Operation Libya’ and the Battle for Oil: Redrawing the Map of Africa”), Prof. Michel Chossudovsky charges US of its imperialist intent. He urges the world must understand the imperialist history of US. He reminds the readers the “2000 Report of the Project of New American Century” entitled “Rebuilding Americas’ Defenses” which calls for the “implementation of a long war, a war of conquest.” He further argues “one of the main components of this military agenda is: To ‘fight and decisively win in multiple, simultaneous theater wars’”.

For the ending of this rather long Editorial, I am going to introduce his last concluding remark together with a quotation he made from Lesley Clark, the former NATO commander in regard to US military agenda in the Middle East and the North African region:

“Libya is targeted because it is one among several remaining countries outside America’s sphere of influence, which fail to conform to US demands. Libya is a country which has been selected as part of a military “road map” which consists of “multiple simultaneous theater wars.” In the words of former NATO Commander Chief General Clark:

In the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan’ (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).”

Related article by Prof. Chossudovsky: http://www.4thmedia.org/archives/5710.html

Related sources on MICs: http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-big-business

Dr. Kiyul Chung is Editor-in-chief at the 4th Media and also Visiting Professor at Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication in Beijing, China.

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