Fidel Castro: Obama's cynical action

Issue 

The article below was the December 9 "reflections" column by former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

In the final paragraphs of my October 9 "reflection", I mentioned the climate change problem brought on humanity by imperialist capitalism.

On carbon emissions, I said: "The United States is not making any real effort but accepting just a 4% reduction with respect to the year 1990." At that moment, scientists were demanding a minimum of 25-40% by the year 2020.

Then I added: "In the morning of this Friday 9, the world woke up to the news that 'the good Obama' of the riddle — as explained by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

I do not always agree with the positions of that institution but I must admit that, at this moment it was, in my view, a positive action.

I said: "Many will feel that he has yet to earn the right to receive such an award. Rather than a prize to the President of the United States, we choose to see that decision as a criticism of the genocidal policy pursued by more than a few presidents of that country who took that nation to the crossroads where it is today.

"That is, as a call for peace and for the pursuit of solutions conducive to the survival of the species."

Obviously, I was carefully watching the Black president, elected in a racist country afflicted by a deep economic crisis; however, I avoided prejudiced judgments based on his campaign statements and his position as leader of the Yankee executive.

Nearly one month later, in another reflection entitled "A Science Fiction Story", I wrote: "The American people are not the culprits but rather the victims of a system that is not only unsustainable but worse still: it is incompatible with the life of humanity.

"The smart and rebellious Obama who suffered humiliation and racism in his childhood and youth understands this, but the Obama educated by the system and committed to it and to the methods that took him to the US presidency cannot resist the temptation to pressure, to threaten and even to deceive others."

And immediately added: "He is a workaholic. Perhaps no other American president would dare to engage in such an intense program as he intends to carry out in the next eight days."

As it shows in that Reflection, I analysed the complexity and contradictions of his long journey through Southeast Asia and wondered: "What is our distinguished friend planning to discuss during his intense journey?"

His advisors had claimed that he would be discussing every issue with China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and so on, and so forth.

It is clear now that Obama was paving the way for his December 1 remarks in West Point.

That day, Obama made a thorough analysis. He carefully chose and produced 169 phrases aimed at pressing the right "keys" that would win him the support of the US people for a certain war strategy.

Cicero's diatribes would pale beside his assumed postures. That day I had the impression to be listening to George W. Bush. His arguments were no different from the philosophy of his predecessor, except for a fig leaf: Obama was opposed to torture.

The fact remains that the main leader of the organisation blamed for the terrorist act of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, had been recruited and trained by the Central Intelligence Agency to fight the Soviet troops occupying Afghanistan, even when he was not an Afghan.

Cuba's condemnation of the 9/11 terrorist action and other additional measures were made public that same day. We also warned that the way to fight terrorism was not through war.

The organisation of the Taliban — a word meaning student — sprang up from the Afghan forces fighting the USSR; they were no enemies of the United States. An honest analysis would lead to the true story behind that war.

Today, it is not the Soviet troops but the US's and NATO's that are occupying that country with great violence.

The policy that the new US administration is offering the US people is the same as that of Bush, who ordered the invasion of Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with the attack on the Twin Towers.

The US president is not saying a word of the hundreds of thousands of people, children and elders included, who have perished in Iraq and Afghanistan or of the millions of Iraqis and Afghans suffering from the consequences of the war, even when they had no responsibility whatsoever with the events of New York.

Rather than a wish, the final phrase of his speech, "God bless America", sounded like an order to heaven.

Why did Obama accept the Nobel Peace Prize if he had already decided to fight the war in Afghanistan to the very end? His cynical action was uncalled-for.

He later announced that he would be receiving the prize in the Norwegian capital on December 11, and then travel to the Copenhagen Summit on the 18th.

Now, we should expect another dramatic speech in Oslo; a new textbook of phrases hiding the real existence of an imperial superpower with hundreds of military bases deployed all over the world; 200 years of military interventions in our hemisphere; and more than a century of genocidal actions in countries like Vietnam, Laos and others in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and elsewhere on Earth.

The problem for Obama and his wealthiest allies is that the planet they dominate with an iron fist is falling apart.

The crime against humanity committed by Bush is well known, as he ignored the Kyoto Protocol and failed to do for 10 years what should have been done long before that.

Obama is not an ignorant. He is aware of the grave danger threatening us all, but he hesitates and shows weakness vis-a-vis that country's blind and irresponsible oligarchy.

He does not act like Lincoln did in 1861 to resolve the slavery issue and preserve national integrity, or like Roosevelt to cope with the economic crisis and fascism.

On December 8, he merely cast a timid stone in the troubled waters of international opinion.

The manager of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, said the threats to the US people's health and wellbeing posed by global warming make it possible for Obama to take action without consulting Congress.

None of the wars known to history pose a greater danger.

The wealthiest nations will try to place on the poorest ones the bulk of the burden to save the human species. The wealthiest should be asked to make the greatest sacrifices, be most rational in the use of resources and bring a maximum of justice to human beings.

It is likely that in Copenhagen only a minimum of time will be bought to reach a binding agreement that can really help to find solutions. If that were the case, the Summit could at least be considered a modest step forward.

Let's see what happens!