Obama’s speech in Arizona

I listened to it yesterday when he spoke at the University of Tucson during a tribute to the six people murdered and the 14 injured in the Arizona massacre, and in particular to the Democratic Congresswoman for that state, seriously wounded by a shot to the head.

The deed was the work of an unbalanced person, intoxicated by the hatred reigning in U.S. society, where the fascist Tea Party group has imposed its extremism on the Republican Party which, under the aegis of George W. Bush, led the world to where it is now, on the edge of the abyss.

 

The disaster of the wars was compounded by the greatest economic crisis in the history of the United States with a government debt already equal to its Gross National Product, plus a monthly deficit in excess of $80 billion and, once again, an increasing number of homes lost to foreclosure. The price of oil, metals and foodstuffs are progressively rising. Lack of confidence in paper money is increasing purchases of gold, and more than a few people are predicting that , by the end of the year, the price of this precious metal will rise to $2,000 per troy ounce. Some believe that it might even rise to $2,500.

 

Climatic phenomena have intensified, with considerable losses in the harvests of the Russian Federation, Europe, China, Australia, North and South America, and other areas, endangering the food supplies of more than 80 Third World countries and creating political instability in a growing number of them.

 

The world is confronting so many problems of a political, military, energy, alimentary and environmental nature that no country desires the return of the United States to extremist positions which would increase the risks of a nuclear war.

 

International condemnation of the Arizona crime, in which an expression of that extremism could be seen, was almost unanimous. Nobody expected the President of the United States to make an impassioned or confrontational speech, which would not be in keeping with his style or internal circumstances, and the climate of irrational hatred prevailing in the United States.

 

The victims of the attack were undoubtedly courageous, with individual merits and, generally speaking, modest citizens; if not, they would not have been there defending the right to medical aid for all U.S. citizens and opposing laws against immigrants.

 

The mother of the nine-year-old girl who was born on September 11, had bravely stated that the hatred unleashed in the world must stop. For my part, I do not harbor the slightest doubt that the victims were deserving of the recognition of the President of the United States, as were the citizens of Tucson, the university students and doctors who, as always in the case of events of this nature, unreservedly express the solidarity that human beings share. Gabrielle Giffords, the seriously wounded Congresswoman, is worthy of the national and international recognition conferred on her. The medical team continued to give positive news on her progress today.

 

However, Obama’s speech lacked the moral condemnation of the politics which inspired such an action.

 

I tried to imagine how men like Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have reacted to a similar event, not to mention Lincoln, who did not hesitate to give his famous Gettysburg Address. What other moment is the President of the United States waiting for to express the judgment which I am certain is shared by the vast majority of the U.S. people?

It is not about the lack of an exceptional figure leading the government of the United States. What converts a president capable of reaching that position through his own merits into a historical figure is not the person, but the need for him at a certain moment in the history of his country.

 

When he began his speech yesterday, I observed that he was tense and highly dependent on the written pages.

 

He soon recovered his serenity, his usual presence on the stage and the precise words for expressing his ideas.

 

What he did not say was not said because he did not want to say it.

 

As a literary piece and just praise of those who deserve it, it could be given a prize.

 

As a political speech it left much to be desired.

 

Fidel Castro Ruz
January 13, 2011
7:38 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

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