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US let its citizens die rather than accept Cuban aid

Hurricane Harvey brings to mind the devastation of predecessors like Katrina, whose death toll would have been reduced had the Bush administration accepted Cuban doctors.

Shane Quinn

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Of the many stories written about Hurricane Katrina in autumn 2005, and its devastating consequences, one crucial element is virtually overlooked. During the all-important hours after the tropical cyclone laid waste to sections of south-eastern United States, the Bush administration ignored the aid of its Cuban neighbour.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro offered to ship over 1,600 doctors and dozens of tons of medical supplies to the US’s affected areas. Considering the decades-long terrorist attacks perpetrated against Cuba by US governments, in addition to a crippling embargo, it was a noble gesture by the Castro government.

A gesture largely erased from the record too – it wouldn’t do for the powers-that-be to raise Cuba’s profile while questioning the leader of the free world. Castro’s remarkable offer was not altogether surprising if one looks at the record.

Scant coverage is given to the fact that since the early 1960s Castro sent thousands of Cuban doctors to some of the earth’s most neglected areas – from Pakistan to Ethiopia to Guatemala. By 2007, Cuba had shipped more medical personnel to the developing world than the US, Canada, Britain, Germany and France combined. That tells something about the global priorities of the Western powers.

After the 2005 Kashmir earthquake that mostly affected Pakistan, killing tens of thousands of people, Cuba sent over 2,400 doctors and medical staff to the region. This horrific natural disaster occurred just six weeks after Hurricane Katrina, incidentally. Following the Kashmir earthquake Cuban medical personnel treated over a million people in the damaged areas, conducting hundreds of life-saving operations.

Pakistan’s Major-General Abdul Qadir Usmani, overseeing the medical situation in the region, said “the Cuban doctors have won the hearts of the Pakistani nation… We have no words to describe your services for the earthquake victims, but we will remember it for a long time to come”.

Unsurprisingly, such humanitarianism has led to close Pakistani-Cuban relations. Last year, with Cuba enduring its worst drought in over a century, Pakistan shipped 15,000 tons of rice to Cuba. Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said of the crucial lifeline, “We recognise Cuba as a proven friend that has stayed by our side in tough times”, and reflecting on Cuba’s assistance during the earthquake, Sharif continued, “that example of sincerity, care and friendship towards Pakistan has few parallels in modern history”.

Surely Cuba’s vital aid to Pakistan (and others) in its hour of need did not go unnoticed by US President George W. Bush. However, it had already been deemed more important by his administration to preserve the superpower’s prestige rather than protect its own citizens. Over 1,800 Americans died from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, with New Orleans suffering widespread devastation, but many would surely have been saved with Cuban assistance.

Cuba has one of the finest health care systems in the world, with the lowest infant mortality rate in the Western hemisphere. The average Cuban life expectancy is 79 years, one of the highest in the region and greater than that of the US, the most powerful nation on earth.

In the affected areas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the greatest problem was a lack of medical needs – “only a small portion of those seeking medical assistance were receiving care due to a shortage of medical personnel and supplies”. The world’s richest country did not have enough doctors when it mattered most.

Later, a bemused Castro responded to the rejection of his offer by saying that, “the American government’s pride dictated that their own citizens had to die on the roofs of their houses, or on the roofs of hospitals from which no-one evacuated them, or in stadiums, or in nursing homes where some of them were given euthanasia in order to prevent a horrible death by drowning. That’s the country that portrays itself as ‘a defender of human rights’.”

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by President Bush’s rejection of badly needed foreign assistance, especially when examining his own record on human rights – not just in far-flung places like Afghanistan and Iraq, but within the borders of the US.

At the end of Bush’s second term, the number of poor in the US increased by 8.2 million people, much of this decline in living standards occurring before the 2008 economic meltdown. The number of children living in poverty rose by over 20% during the Bush years (to 14.1 million), while the total of medically uninsured Americans stood at 46.3 million people, again a more than 20% rise. The list goes on.

Hurricane Katrina was a signal to everyone in the US that climate change was an issue no longer to be ignored. Still, the Bush administration didn’t lift a finger to tackle one of the great problems of our time – the US, along with China, is the main contributor to rising carbon emissions.

In fact Bush and company made efforts to, “manipulate the work of federal climate scientists and exercise strict control over which scientists are allowed to talk to the media, and which scientific results are communicated to the public”.

Over the past week, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey is another reminder to Americans of the frightening effects of climate change. This follows on from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which inflicted enormous damage on Cuba and much of North America – and was by diameter the largest Atlantic hurricane on record.

Harvey, meanwhile, was the strongest storm to hit Texas in over half a century, killing dozens of people – a year’s worth of rain fell in just a few days over the vulnerable city of Houston, breaking previous rainfall records. Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimates the damage at up to $180 billion, far more costly than the infrastructural outlay following either Hurricane Katrina or Sandy.

The US’s inertia in curbing climate change is now being greatly felt. Yet the Republican Party continues to do nothing – rather, they want to further aggravate the problem by increasing the burning of fossil fuels like coal. As the US is the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse emissions, these policies are having serious implications for the rest of the planet.

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Dennis Morrisseau
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This is the most discouraging and saddening…..and I must say MADDENING ….thing about our past and present so-called “leadership” in the US. THIS UP TIGHT GRIM LACK OF WARMTH AND HUMANITY…
Who are these goddamned ROBOTS and why are they still in charge of my country?

Dennis Morrisseau
US Army Officer [Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR

Lieutenant Morrisseau’s Rebellion
FIRECONGRESS.org
Second Vermont Republic
POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT USA 05775
[email protected]et
802 645 9727

Dot
Guest
Dot

The reason they’re still in charge of your country is because there is no real penalty for their very real crimes. Also, there are no real men to take to the streets with pitchforks and rope as in the old days. Gonna wait for the crooked legal system to fix it?, or would it be better to do the job right by doing it yourself?

Ray Comeau
Guest
Ray Comeau

Dennis. I wish that millions of people with your mind set would speak up, and get rid of whom ever is behind the ‘deep state’ and free the USA from the hands of these murderers!

Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe. I believe in you .

Dwain Fletcher
Guest
Dwain Fletcher

Look no further than the Zionist Bankers. When they say jump our bought and paid for minions say when and how far!.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

The US has to be the most anti social, selfish, arrogant nation on this planet. I don’t see why so many people are in awe of a country that is so lacking morality, integrity, honesty. There are only two things that matter in the US: money and me.

Nofearorfavor
Guest
Nofearorfavor

Yes Vera– unfortunately you are hundred percent correct. All over the world this nation continues wreaking devastation and turning lesser nations’ land into a blood bath, poisoning their soil with DU and leaving it polluted with dumped live munitions. Millions upon millions of civilian lives lost– their countries decimated and yet somehow, these shattered people, despite their unbearable pain and grief, have had the courage to pick up the pieces and start over… how incredible is that! Most people in the US don’t have the foggiest of what their mindless government has brought to bear on nations who never threatened… Read more »

Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

Its important to remember that Cuba has quite a few hurricanes strike there. But their “people protection” system is so good that there are very few deaths in those disasters (usually none). While you hear from their neighboring nations about many deaths during those same hurricanes. That pretty much says it all.

cap960
Guest
cap960

They refused Canadian help, now this. In time as such pride has its limits and refusing help is a sign of arrogance.

louis robert
Guest
louis robert

“… the US is the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse emissions,”

Please adjust the perspective.

1. It takes 3 Chinese citizens to pollute as much as 1 American …

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2

2. Those 3 Chinese are citizens of the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods, and a major supplier to that American world champion polluter.

samo war
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samo war

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BBC producer admits Douma attack was false flag that nearly sparked Russia – U.S. hot war (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 176.

Alex Christoforou

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BBC producer Riam Dalati believes that the scenes caught on video from a hospital in Douma, Syria were staged, all in an effort driven by jihadist terrorists and White Helmet “activists” to draw the U.S. and its allies into full on confrontation with Syria, and by extension Russia.

The viral images caused a media firestorm in 2018, showing children allegedly suffering from chemicals, as main stream media channels, like the BBC itself, called for war with Assad.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the BBC producer’s stunning admission, after a 6 month investigation, that reveals the “‘chemical attack” hospital scenes in Douma were completely staged.

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Emotive scenes of Syrian civilians, among them crying, choking, half-naked children, dominated the airwaves in April last year after rebel-affiliated mouthpieces reported yet another “chemical attack by the Assad regime” in the town of Douma. Disturbing reports, including some from the controversial White Helmets, claimed scores of people had been killed and injured.

Mainstream media quickly picked up the horrific (but unverified) videos from a Douma hospital, where victims were treated after this “poison attack.” That hospital scene was enough to assemble a UN emergency session and prompt the US-led ‘coalition of the willing’ to rain down dozens of missiles on Damascus and other locations.

But Riam Dalati, a reputable BBC producer who has long reported from the Middle East, took the liberty of trying to sift through the fog of the Syrian war.

He believes Assad forces did attack the town, but that the much-publicized hospital scenes were staged.

After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.

Anticipating further queries, he said no one from the White Helmets or opposition sources were present in Douma by the time the alleged attack had happened except for one person who was in Damascus.

Dalati also says that an attack “did happen” but that sarin, a weapons-grade nerve agent, was not used. He said, “we’ll have to wait for OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] to prove chlorine or otherwise.”

However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.

The journalist said Jaysh al-Islam, an Islamist faction that fought the Syrian army there, “ruled Douma with an iron fist. They co-opted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation.”

Dalati’s revelations could have become a bombshell news report, but instead it was met with a deafening media silence. His employer preferred to distance itself from his findings. The BBC told Sputnik in a statement that Dalati was expressing “his personal opinions about some of the video footage that emerged after the attack but has not claimed that the attack did not happen.” 

After a while, Dalati restricted access to his Twitter account which is now open only to confirmed followers.

Interestingly, his previous inputs did not sit well with the official narrative either. “Sick and tired of activists and rebels using corpses of dead children to stage emotive scenes for Western consumption. Then they wonder why some serious journos are questioning part of the narrative,” he said in a tweet which he later deleted over “the breach of editorial policy.”

In all, Dalati is not a lone voice in the wilderness. The Intercept has recently run a story that also cast doubt on the mainstream coverage of Douma, although it doesn’t doubt that the attack itself happened. While a veteran British reporter Robert Fisk suggested there was no gas attack at all, saying people there were suffering from oxygen starvation. Witnesses of the “chemical attack,” for their part, told international investigators the story was a set-up.

Moscow, which supports Damascus in its fight against terrorists, has long stated the Douma incident was staged, calling for an international OPCW inquiry. Last year, the Defense Ministry presented what it said was proof the “provocation” was to trigger Western airstrikes against Syrian government forces.

This time, the military recalled a similar 2017 incident in Khan Sheikhoun, where an alleged chemical attack took place. The ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday that a closer inspection of footage from that location clearly shows this was a set-up as well.

Now the Foreign Ministry has suggested Dalati is being silenced for voicing inconvenient views, with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asking on Facebook: “A telling story. How about Western advocates of rights and freedoms? Had they accused BBC of censorship and pressuring the journalist?”

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President Trump schools liberals with National Emergency declaration

President Trump skillfully defeats Democrat naysayers, by increasing support for the border wall prior to declaring a National Emergency.

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump signed a continuing resolution to keep the US government fully running through the rest of the 2019 fiscal year. The CR contained a $1.374 bn allocation for US border security, and that money includes and pays for the completion of some fifty-five miles of border fence (or wall, or barrier, or “not-a-wall” depending on one’s preferential phrasing.) He also declared a National Emergency, theoretically freeing at least another $8 bn for the continued construction of the border wall.

Yes, it is a wall. And, yes, it is being built right now. And yes, it will be completed. The President of the United States has made this abundantly clear.

Some news reporters talk about this matter still as though there is in fact no wall now, and that there is no construction in progress on any wall. To that we can say, please watch this:

This section of the wall is going up near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. It augments a very well-designed 18 foot wall stretching from west of Santa Teresa, NM to Tornillo, Texas. If someone wants to cross the border without having to negotiate this barrier they have to go very far off the beaten path to do it. President Trump wants to make it even more difficult; in fact, he wants to have the barrier run the entire length of the US-Mexico border.

This second video says a bit more about the situation:

His campaign to get this has been brilliant in terms of getting the American people informed that there is a problem. How did he do this with a press that hates him?

Easy. He made an issue out of it, knowing that the news media has no choice but to cover the President’s every antic, and in so doing, while seeking fodder for criticism, they actually ended up reporting on the actual problem.

This has been an interesting flow of events:

  • Mainstream news slamming the President’s every statement about the need for a wall
  • The fury of Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles “Chuck” Schumer in their 100% opposition – their own temper tantrum whilst blaming that tantrum on Trump, who actually acted more like a strict parent than a bratty teenager
  • The very public presentations of Border Patrol experts that Trump arranged, the purpose being to listen to their own expert assessment of the actual needs at the border

This last issue marks a need for even the conservative press to have a wake-up call. Daniel Horowitz wrote a piece in The Conservative Review excoriating President Trump’s signing of this present deal as a “sell out”, noting that:

Trump originally demanded $25 billion for the wall. Then he negotiated himself down to $5.6 billion. Democrats balked and only agreed to $1.6 billion. This bill calls it a day at $1.375 billion, enough to construct 55 miles. But it’s worse than that. This bill limits the president’s ability to construct “barriers” to just the Rio Grande Valley sector and only bollard fencing, not concrete walls of any kind.

Daniel’s point is great for rhetoric because, of course, the President originally did promise a big beautiful concrete wall running the entire length of the border.

However, he missed the point about using bollard-style walls that can be seen through – the Border Patrol agents themselves said this kind of wall is to their advantage. A solid wall prevents natural visibility and the agents were getting rocks thrown at them from people they could not see on the other side. A see-through capability means that people approaching the wall on the other side can be seen and tracked.

This marks an example of conservative ideology being too strongly fixed, just as the liberals’ ideology is fixed at the level of a four-year old child refusing to let someone else play with his toys.

They both do not understand that President Trump is not concerned with ideology. He is concerned with useful results, which he got in this deal.

Now about that National Emergency. Is this really the constitutional crisis Trump’s detractors say it is?

Probably not.

It has been widely reported that the US is currently running under some 31 other national emergencies, and that the one President Trump declared makes it number 32. The rhetoric from the news media and Democrats is centered around the idea that no President has ever used this power to get money that only the Congress can allot.

We also probably already know that this is an irrelevant point – the President is in charge of the national security of the nation, and he can and must do what he can to ensure it. The huge numbers of illegal crossings, nearly half a million in 2018 were largely apprehended and released into the United States, rather than deported. Half a million is far less than the 1.6 million that came through in 2000, but it is also not zero. Half a million is the size of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

The distractors in the Democrat party and media do not want anyone comprehending this fact, so they try to divert and dissuade. But President Trump has not let any of this get past him. In a media event, the President had parents and relatives of people who were murdered by illegal aliens in a direct face-off with none other than CNN’s provocateur-in-chief Jim Acosta, and the reporter was forced to listen to what these family members had to say about their convictions that the president was correct in his:

Trump pointed to angel moms in attendance, asking them for their thoughts.

“You think I’m creating something? Ask these incredible women who lost their daughters and their sons,” Trump said. “OK, Because your question is a very political question because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news.”

Trump told Acosta the statistics he provided were “wrong” and told him to take a look at the federal prison population for proof.

“See how many of them,percentage-wise, are illegal aliens,” Trump said. “Just see, go ahead and see. It’s a fake question.”

Acosta was subsequently confronted by the angel moms in attendance, after the press conference. As angel moms confronted the CNN reporter, he invited them to appear on the network in the background of a live shot.

“There is no attempt whatsoever to diminish what they’ve gone through, or take away what they’ve gone through, but as you heard in that question that I had with the president … it was really about the facts and the data,” Acosta said on CNN following his exchange with Trump. “Some of these folks came up to me right after this press conference … they’re holding up these pictures of loved ones who lost their lives.”

An angel mom then discussed that a previously deported illegal alien murdered her son.

“President Trump is completely correct on this issue, we need to protect this country,” the angel mom told Acosta.

Acosta actually was a victim of his own passions when he went to the border to a place where the bollard wall presently stands and reported that nothing was happening there. It seemed that he was expecting that there were supposed to be angry mobs on the other side trying to get through. However, no one was there, because it is rather pointless to try to get over this wall at this place. Even liberals were forced to acknowledge Mr. Acosta’s strategic miscalculation.

The new national emergency is about getting results. If we were concerned only with smooth and impressive politics, we could only remark on the President’s success in maneuvering the Democrats (not all of them were slavishly going with the Pelosi-Schumer stance) and his ability to do what he does best – getting his message to the American people, and giving them information with which to decide what they want.

This campaign is not over, but this particular battle appears to have been won with a lot of hard work.

Slowly, oh, so slowly, it would seem that the forces of common sense are making some headway in America.

 

 

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“This is America” reveals a shocking vision of the United States

The Grammy Award winning Song and Record of the Year feature the very darkest vision of what America has become.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Grammy Awards are the second of the three most significant musical achievement awards in the United States. Two of the anticipated awards that many fans of this event look forward to learning are the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year.

The Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriters of a given song, where the Record of the Year goes to the artists, producers and engineers involved in crafting the recording (the “record”) of a song. Both categories are huge and both usually go to an artist or organization responsible for a pop song.

It also happens to be that usually the song that is picked is beautiful and in most cases, reflects the character of beauty (whether in music or lyrics or both) for that year.

This year was quite different. Both awards went to Donald Glover, a.k.a. “Childish Gambino” for his song This is America.

This song features a radically different tone than previous winners going back for many years. Though rap remixes are usually less musical, the Grammy winners among these mixes have nevertheless retained some relatively positive, or at least attractive, aspect.

This is America is very different, especially when watched with its video.

Musically, it is genius, though the genius appears to have gone mad. Glover paints a picture of some very positive segments in American life, but then destroys it with his audible form and message that says absolutely nothing positive, but even more so – it doesn’t make sense unless one knows the context.

That context is revealed in the video with frightening images: someone getting their brains blown out (we see the blood fly), a gospel choir shot up with an automatic rifle while they were singing, and cannabis, front and center, being smoked by the artist himself.

This is America?

For Glover, this song and others on his album do seem to reflect that point of view.  Feels like Summer, one of Glover’s other recent songs, also reflects this sense of hopelessness, though it is far more musically consistent. The video gives the most clear contextual information that one could ask for, and while the video is not violent, it features degradation in society, even though the people depicted appear to be trying to make the best of their life situations.

The image Mr. Glover paints of America is a far cry from that which was known to most Americans only twenty years ago, and in fact, in many parts of the country where cannabis is still illegal there is a corresponding sense of positivity in life that is absent in Childish Gambino’s California-esque view of life.

There is a massive change that is taking place in American society. Our music and art reflects this change, and it sometimes even helps drive that change.

The United States of today is at a crossroads.

How many times have we read or heard THAT statement before?  But does it not seem so now? The attempt of identity politics to separate our nation into groups that must somehow fight for their own relevance against other groups is not the vision of the United States only twenty years ago.

Further, the normalization of themes such as drug-use and racism, the perpetuation of one in reality and the other as a mythological representation of how life “really is” in the US is radically bizarre.

In discussions with people who do not live in the United States, we found that sometimes they believed that white-on-black racism really was happening in America, because the media in the US pumps this information out in a constant stream, often with people like Donald Trump as the scapegoat.

But it is not true. Anyone in America’s new “accused class” of white, Christian, European-descent males (and some women who are not feminists), will note that they are not racist, and in fact, they feel persecuted for their existence under the new mantra of “white privilege.”

But it does not matter what they say. The media pumps the message it wants to, and with such coverage it is easy to get to halfway believing it: I know I am not this way, but I guess things are getting pretty bad elsewhere because all of those people seem to be getting this way…

This is the narrative the press promulgates, but upon conversations with people in “those places” we find that it is not true for them, either, and that they may in fact be thinking this is true about us.

Made in America is a visionary song and video. However, the vision is not a dream; it is nothing that anyone in the country would sincerely hope for. Even in Donald Glover’s case – as one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, and as a big success in music, he is far from being one of the “boys in the ‘hood.” In fact, Time Magazine in 2017 named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Certainly his musical work creates a powerful influence, but it also must raise questions, with the main ones being:

  • Are we really like this?
  • Is this what we really want to be as a country?
  • Is this the kind of image we want our children in the US to adopt?

In fact, if Mr. Glover’s work was viewed with care (rather than just as something that is “cool” because the media says it is), it might help us steer away from the cliff that many Americans are in fact heading towards.

We have elected not to link to the video because it is too disturbing for children. It is even too disturbing for many adults. For that reason we are not making it one-click-easy to get to.

Parents reading this opinion piece would do well to screen the video by themselves without the kids around first, before deciding what they want to do. Even though the video is probably something that they have already seen, the parents still stand as the guides and guardians for their children through all the perils of growing up.

These times call for great guardians indeed.

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