Reflections by Comrade Fidel
NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE SURVIVAL OF THE HOMO SAPIENS
(SECOND AND FINAL PART)
On Thursday, Michel Chossudovsky,
professor emeritus at the
Of course, I listened to their debate with particular interest. Chossudovsky spoke in Spanish and showed a complete command of the issues at hand. He is scrupulous about the meaning of words, including phrases coined in English to precisely express a certain idea when they do not have equivalent terms in Spanish.
Chossudovsky said that in the
He confirmed that they have been preparing for
He energetically criticized the justification for
the introduction of the so-called mini-nuke among the arsenal of tactical
nuclear weapons, and of the doctrine that was widely promoted prior to their
introduction, in an attempt to argue that the mini-nuke is safe for civilians
(safe for the surrounding civilian population, in English, he explained). He noted the
irony of how the mini-nukes included bombs that fluctuated between one-third
and six times the power of that which destroyed
us press on immediately with the synthesis of Chossudovsky’s academic address to the students and
teachers at the Faculty of Economics,
"... I want to mention one thing that is very important [...] this war is not a war that creates jobs [...] It is true that the Second World War did create jobs, in Germany under the Nazi regime [...]. That is simply a factual observation. [...]
The same in the United States at the beginning of the Second World
War, which started for them in 1941; there was job creation and that was the
way out of the Great Depression under President Roosevelt. But this war (referring
to a Third World War) is not the same type; it is a high-tech war, not a war of
military equipment assembly. The war in
"... any first year student knows that if you impose austerity measures at a national and global level —as proposed at the G-20 meetings and also under the auspices of the International Settlements Bank, which represents the central banks—, there is a sort of consensus that to solve the crisis we have to implement austerity measures, that austerity measures are not a solution, but a cause of the crisis. Cutting the budget, cutting spending, cutting credit to small and medium enterprises at the same time increases unemployment levels and reduces salaries. This is the case in most European countries."
"... but the stagnation of the civilian economy caused, in a first instance, because of the transfer of wealth, not just in recent years but let’s say from the beginning of the 1980s, when the so-called era of neoliberal policies began which also led to stagnation in the civilian economy [...] if we talk about the United States, these measures were implemented at the end of the Bill Clinton administration [...] the Financial Services Modernization Act, but they have created a financial system that is not regulated, and that is involved, shall we say, in semi-illegal activities. In some ways it is the criminalization of the financial apparatus, and that is not just a word I'm just using, many analysts, including The Wall Street Journal are talking about the criminalization, because there was financial fraud in recent years, and those who have committed this fraud are not being punished."
"... an economic crisis, in my opinion the worst in history, without precedent, not even the 1930s, which was a very localized crisis, not a global crisis as such, it had a dynamic in certain countries and regions of the world. "
"... the financial war is closely
linked to the war in the military sector, there are even links between the
World Bank and the Pentagon. [...]
former United States Defense ministers became presidents of the World Bank
[...] the new world order is run by financial manipulation mechanisms [...]
regime changes, destabilization of governments and military operations of
various kinds [...] capitalism
has institutions, both civilian and military, that work together, this is a very
important concept. Behind these institutions are the intellectuals, the think tanks
"... war is classified as a criminal act, the Nuremberg Convention states this [...] It is the ultimate criminal act. War is a crime against peace. [...] we have indications that this economic crisis led to a concentration of wealth, in a few years, and a centralization of economic power that is unprecedented in history [...] this crisis is not spontaneous, as presented in the neoliberal economy, it is the result of manipulation, of planning, and, at the same time, there is a military component.
With these words, Chossudovsky concluded
his address and expressed his willingness to answer questions: "…I
will leave the issue of resistance and how to reverse this process for you to
debate," he said.
The students' questions were intelligent and serious. From them I have only repeated the essential ideas.
"Moderator .- I believe I convey the sentiments of all present, in thanking Dr. Michel Chossudovsky for the excellent address he has given us, which has provided us with even more awareness about the causes and consequences of the real dangers that threaten humanity ... "
"... we will proceed with the questions that the audience deems pertinent for our guest."
"A student .- ... we would like to know [...] your view on the optimism that has been presented in the media over the current crisis situation in Latin America, what is your opinion about the possibilities of addressing this crisis in the region ... "
"Michel Chossudovsky .- The Caribbean region is identified as a region extremely rich in both oil and gas, and not just Venezuela and Colombia, the truth is that there are known reserves because the oil companies have information that is not public; but what is public is that this region is extremely rich.
"The situation in Haiti is also linked to a project of resource appropriation [...] the humanitarian situation [...] allows capital to gain access to mineral resources and potential oil resources in the region. [...] I’m not saying that's the only reason for the militarization of the region. The other is drug trafficking."
"... there are geographic, geopolitical and resource objectives [...] but also drug trafficking, because it is a very important source of profits for capital."
"... there are two axes of the global drug trade, one is Afghanistan and Pakistan, which represents the heroin trade, and the other is Colombia, Peru, Bolivia. The transfer goes through Haiti and other Caribbean countries to the U.S. market. [...] Afghanistan is an enormously rich country, it annually produces about $200 billion in revenues from the export of heroin, at least according to my estimates. Since the U.S. forces entered into Afghanistan, heroin production has increased 30 fold. Well, I digress.”
"The militarization of the region and operations in Ecuador, an oil power, Venezuela, an oil power, Mexico is also an oil power. These are all countries that have a strategic role in the geopolitics of the U.S. economy. "
"A student .- I am a student at the Faculty of Economics ..."
"My question is: Is globalization, as it has been sold, as presented by the so-called developed countries, currently viable or are there other alternatives, such as integration models?
"Michel Chossudovsky .- It is certainly not viable.
Globalization, as defined by the centers of power is not viable. Perhaps it is viable for one sector, a social minority that becomes richer, but it leads to impoverishment, and that is now very well documented. It is part of a process that has affected developing countries over the past 30 years. You can see the consequences in neighboring countries, the impoverishment that exists in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, a product of that destructive model. [...] There are many countries that have presented different development models, as in the case of Yugoslavia."
"... Yugoslavia had a socialist system, a market economy, a mixed economy with a high standard of living, social services, education, and what did they do? Since the beginning of the 1980s it was completely destroyed and fragmented into many countries, half a dozen countries. Why? Because Yugoslavia represented a model, an alternative that did not suit them."
"... we can also look at the experiences of Latin America: Chile created
an alternative, but then was subjected to a military coup and a process of destabilization
that was carried out by the United States intelligence services, by sabotage,
by embargoes and such, because I experienced that coup.
"There are many examples: Tanzania, in Africa, Algeria, there are many countries that have tried. Indonesia for example, in the 1960s there was also a very important process [...] In 1965 a military coup, once again supported by the CIA, killed more than 500,000 people in planned kilings and a military regime was imposed, which ceded to U.S. interests. "
"... We must produce an economic model of society as alternative to global capitalism. We can do it. But all the alternatives, including the Cuban model, are the subject of sabotage, embargoes, measures of destabilization, assassinations. That is the truth. "
"... Iraq is not a socialist country, but a country that has a certain autonomy. It is a state that does not want to be manipulated, and they do not even want to accept capitalism, is not theirs. That's the world today, there are countries that are capitalist but are enemies of the United States, China is capitalist in a way, Russia too, but Russia’s style of capitalism does not suit their interests, and they want to militarily destabilize or destroy any attempt against the economic and geopolitical hegemony of the United States and its allies. "
“A Professor.- Your presentation, your lecture was excellent. I used to be scared of war, after listening to you, I´m terrified, but I´d like to ask you something.
“At present, there are still Americans who
never heard about the Viet Nam War. So my question is the following: What do
you think must be done to raise awareness in the
Chossudovsky.- That is our
main concern. More than half of those who visit our Website are readers from
“…As they listen to these inquisitorial
discourses, they accept what is false, they accept the lies; and once the lies
become true, you cannot have any real reflection and the debate terminates.
This is all part of a war propaganda that reaches all levels of society, that
tries to hide the real face of war. The number of civilians killed in
[…] there is censorship, but more than
censorship is the manipulation of information. […] we have to fight the media,
this is crucial. We have to set up anti-war networks in all municipalities across
“…I will make an effort to give brief responses, though your questions are very forceful, so I cannot be that brief sometimes.”
“A student.- I’d like to know if it is possible to achieve a technological change in favor of clean technologies to stop the current ecological crisis.”
“Michel Chossudovsky.- Yes, that is a fundamental issue for our societies, but there exists a distortion of environmental realities that yield to economic interests, which are the main actors in the destruction of the environment.”
“…the British Petroleum disaster in the
“It is also important to connect this
event, this environmental crisis and the war. British Petroleum is involved in
You made a brief analysis of the
“Michel Chossudovsky.- Look, about this so-called dynamics of economy, the leadership of the United States, from an economic perspective, is not based on its productive capacity […] the industrial economy has been shutting down over the past 30 years, there are no more assembly lines, production has fallen, there is a service economy, there is the issue of intellectual property control, there is an investment economy, there is an economy where most of consumer goods come from China.”
“…The U.S. economy is bigger than China’s,
but even though it is bigger than China’s economy it does not produce anything,
and the GDP —as we all are well aware— is the sum of added value. The fact is
that a large part of U.S. GDP is the result of imports from
“The technique is simple. If you are going
to import a shirt —and I will use more or less real prices—, a dozen high
quality shirts cost $36. These figures correspond to the 1990s, since these
prices are even lower nowadays. […] a nice shirt costs $3 at the factory; it is
taken to the
“…The fiction of this first world economy
is based on military power […] this is the most important fact. The productive
forces in the
“A student.- …I’d like to acknowledge your stance since it is unusual for us to see someone from your origins strongly criticize the capitalist system as you have done. It deserves acknowledgement.”
“According to Marxism, this is a systemic crisis, not a temporary one.”
“In your opinion, what is the real
capacity of world public opinion and of the possible growing awareness among
“Michel Chossudovsky.- …This is a systemic crisis, although it cannot be measured using the guidelines set out in The Capital. The Marxist methodology is useful for our understanding, since it is based on class conflicts, but today’s structure is quite different than that of the mid 19th century […] as economists, we cannot make it fit one model, we have to consider its institutional nature, the relationship among financial activities on the one hand, covert operations.”
“…The CIA is an entity in Wall Street, a major one […] it has joint ventures with a large number of financial entities. […] since the CIA can foresee events, it can operate in marklet speculation…”
“… Describing this systemic crisis is very important, but we have to establish the way capitalism operates, its institutional structure, its secret agencies, covert operations, both in financial markets and in the geopolitical context, the function of the military, the decisions of think tanks in Washington, the state entities, and we have to identify who the actors are as well.”
“I think that your second question shares
a common element with the previous ones; the need to change public opinion. But
my answer is that we need to shatter the consensus that holds up this system,
which is a lie […] There are different codes of conduct in capitalist
countries. There are the politically active people who usually say, ‘We are
making a petition, please President Obama, stop the
“…People talk about the Spanish inquisition, insane from an historic point of view, but this is even more insane, statements like, ‘We are fighting against Bin Laden and you have to join us, if not, you are a terrorist.”
“A couple of weeks ago, the FBI raided and arrested anti-war activists and accused them of working with Bin Laden. This was reported in US newspapers, and it is part of this dynamic to change public opinion, it is dialectical, we need to revert and dismantle this discourse that supports and legitimizes war and this economic project, along with the lies such as, ‘The crisis is over.’”
“You read the Wall Street Journal, you read the newspaper and it says, ‘The crisis will come to an end in January 2011,’ nobody questions this statement, not even the economists. This ritual of acceptance, is based not on a lack of information but rather because everyone accepts it. We have to break this ritual of accepting the consensus that stems from political power and the financial markets.”
student.- Sustainable development, which for me is
totally incompatible with war because there has never been anything more
destructive than the recent wars, not only the future one that could take
place, but all the recent wars instigated by the
“…They insist on the importance of human development, of boosting the roles of local regions and territories. I’d like your opinion on this issue, how realistic is this objective for our countries?
“Michel Chossudovsky.- I agree with the real objective of sustainable development, but we have to look at the word play behind this objective. This objective has been formulated by several environmental organizations, such as Greenpeace, WWF, […] I am not criticizing these organizations, but if you consider the summits held on the environment like the World Social Forum, the G-7 summits for instance, the G-20, they hardly ever talk about the impact of war on the environment. They make their presentations on city pollution, global warming, but western NGOs do not talk about war, they do not talk about the impact of war on the environment, which is significant.”
“I took part in the social summits up
until 1999. As soon as I mentioned the war in
With these words, Michel Chossudovsky concluded his presentation at the
Before I met with professor Chossudovsky, a coincidence occurred spontaneously. A coincidence related to both the risks of a conflict, which inevitably would lead to global nuclear war, and the need to mobilize world opinion in the face of such a dramatic danger.
Along with nuclear weapons are cyber weapons. Another product of technology which, once transferred to the military sector, threatens to become another serious problem for the world.
The U.S. Armed Forces possesses some 15,000 communication networks and 7 million computers, as reported by journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde on the Cubadebate Website.
Rosa Miriam Elizalde
also wrote: “Four-Star General Keith Alexander, who has compared cyber attacks
to weapons of mass destruction, affirmed that the
I ask the readers to please excuse the length of the two parts of this reflection. There was no way to make it shorter without sacrificing content.
Allow me also to express —I did not forget—
that today marks the 43rd anniversary of the death of Che,
and that two days ago we commemorated the 34th anniversary of brutal Yankee killings
of our Cuban compatriots and other passengers aboard our civilian plane over
Eternal glory to them all!
Fidel Castro Ruz