Se muestran los artículos pertenecientes a Marzo de 2009.
Cada nuevo presidente se cuelga sus propias medallas señalando que él es más bondadoso y pacífico que todos sus antecesores. Pero cuando Barack Obama se dirigía a los musulmanes en su discurso de investidura diciendo "con el mundo musulmán, buscamos construir una relación nueva basada en los intereses y el respeto mutuo", su formulación fue demasiado apologética.
¿Resulta "novedoso" reconocer los intereses de los musulmanes y manifestar el respeto que merecen? Obama no sólo lo piensa, sino que lo volvía a decir a millones de personas en su entrevista con al-Arabiya, insistiendo en la necesidad de "restaurar" el "mismo respeto que tenía América con el mundo musulmán hace tan sólo 20 ó 30 años".
Asombroso. Resulta que en estos últimos 20 años, el presunto invierno en nuestras relaciones con el mundo islámico, América no sólo no respetó a los musulmanes, sino que incluso derramó su sangre por ellos. Tomó parte en cinco campañas militares, cada una de las cuales supuso la liberación de un pueblo musulmán: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afganistán e Irak.
Las dos intervenciones en los Balcanes –así como la fallida intervención somalí de 1992-1993 encaminada a alimentar a los musulmanes africanos que morían de hambre– fueron ejercicios humanitarios de alto nivel en el que no había ningún interés estratégico norteamericano en juego. En estos 20 años, nuestra nación ha hecho más por los musulmanes que sufren y son oprimidos que ninguna otra nación del mundo, sea musulmana o no. ¿De qué nos estamos disculpando?
¿Y qué hay de la feliz relación norteamericano-musulmana que Obama imagina que existía "hace tan sólo 20 ó 30 años" y que ahora él va a restaurar? Hace 30 años, en 1979, se produjo la mayor ruptura de relaciones entre Estados Unidos y el mundo musulmán en nuestros 233 años de historia: la revolución islámica radical de Irán y el secuestro de la embajada de los Estados Unidos.
Lo que vino después fue el embargo árabe del petróleo, que sumió a Estados Unidos en una larga y profunda recesión. Lo cual, a su vez, fue precedido del secuestro y ejecución a sangre fría a menos de terroristas árabes del embajador estadounidense y de su agregado comercial en Sudán.
Esto por no hablar de la masacre del cuartel de marines de 1983 y de los innumerables atentados contra instalaciones y embajadas norteamericanas por todo el mundo durante lo que Obama define como los días felices de las relaciones islámico-estadounidenses.
Está muy bien que Barack Obama diga, como lo hizo en al-Arabiya, que tiene raíces y familiares musulmanes y que ha vivido en un país musulmán (insinuando una afinidad especial que le sitúa en una posición única para alcanzar unas buenas relaciones). Pero es falso e injurioso que la era Obama represente una línea que ponga fin a un pasado trasnochado en el que el islam había sido supuestamente satanizado.
Como ya advirtiera Obama: "No podemos meter en el mismo saco a toda una fe como consecuencia de la violencia que se practica en nombre de esa fe". ¿Acaso "hemos" hecho eso, esto es, difamar al Islam por culpa de una pequeña minoría? George Bush acudió al Centro Islámico de Washington seis días después del 11-S, cuando las llamas de la Zona Cero aún no se habían apagado, para anunciar que "Islam es paz", tratando de ampliar los lazos de amistad con los musulmanes y comunicándoles que los estadounidenses les tratarán con respeto y generosidad.
Y América escuchó. Durante los siete años que siguieron al 11-S –siete años en los que miles de musulmanes provocaron altercados en todo el mundo como venganza por unas viñetas– no hubo un solo ataque anti-musulmán en Estados Unidos para vengar la mayor masacre de su historia. Todo lo contrario. Poco después elegimos a nuestro primer miembro musulmán en el Congreso y a nuestro primer presidente con familia musulmana.
Según Obama: "Mi trabajo consiste en comunicar al pueblo estadounidense que el mundo musulmán está lleno de personas extraordinarias que simplemente quieren vivir sus vidas y ver prosperar a sus hijos". ¿Ése es su trabajo? ¿Piensa el pueblo estadounidense lo contrario? George Bush, Condoleezza Rice e incontables líderes más ofrecieron numerosas muestras de ese mismo sentimiento.Cada presidente tiene derecho a retratarse como heraldo de una nueva era de este o aquel ideal. Obama quiere fomentar nuevos vínculos con las naciones musulmanas, utilizando como base su propia identidad y sus relaciones. Está bien, aceptémoslo. Pero si al echarse flores como redentor de las relaciones norteamericano-musulmanas afirma que la América pre-Obama era indiferente o insensible o poco caritativa con los musulmanes, no sólo está construyendo una ficción, sino que además está menospreciando de manera gratuita al país que ahora tiene el privilegio de liderar.
REFLECTIONS FROM ABOVE:
On August 9, 1995 -- at precisely 11:02 a.m. -- wailing sirens will resonate throughout the Urakami Valley until their cries break up in the distance and precipitate a moment of silence on the part of the people of Nagasaki. Those old enough to remember the death and destruction visited on the city fifty years ago by a single atomic bomb, will once again relate their tales of survival and mourn the loss of their friends and loved ones who perished that sultry August morning. Those too young to have witnessed the horror of the occasion will pause from their busy schedules and offer a collective silent prayer that the tragedy never be repeated.
For the residents of Nagasaki the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on the city is a simple, solemn occasion marked by testimony, mourning and prayer. For much of the rest of the world, however, the commemoration evokes a complicated series of memories. While August 6th and Hiroshima are associated with the beginning of the atomic age, and August 15th and VJ Day with the war’s end, August 9th and Nagasaki fall schizophrenically in between. It is difficult for most people outside of Japan to conceptualize the atomic bombing of Nagasaki without envisioning overlapping images of the war’s conclusion and the beginning of the nuclear age. For many, the term "Nagasaki" elicits the kind of mixed reaction that World War II commemorations are presently evoking around the world.
This is not an article that attempts to examine the larger political and moral issues surrounding the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, but rather one that explores the personal story of a young American who helped pilot the B-29 that delivered the bomb which killed tens of thousands in the city fifty years ago. Fred Olivi hopes that mankind will never again use atomic weapons, but he has also long ago come to terms with his role in the dropping of the atomic bomb. He has lived his life in relative anonymity, retiring nine years ago as Manager of Bridge Operations and Maintenance with the City of Chicago. While finally getting around to putting his thoughts down in a self-published book, Olivi has somehow managed to avoid the media -- both American and Japanese. His thoughts on various aspects related to the bombing thus prove to be honest and unrehearsed.
On August 9, 1945 Lt. Fred Olivi, the 23-year-old Chicago-born son of Italian immigrants, flew over Nagasaki as third pilot in the aircraft Bockscar. At 11:02 local time, the plane dropped a 10,000 pound plutonium bomb known as the "Fat Man" over the city, killing more than 70,000 people in what, at this point in time, is the last instance of man using atomic weapons against his fellow human beings. This was the only time that Olivi has ever been to Nagasaki, and even then he saw almost nothing of the bustling seaport town below because of cloud cover -- both natural and bomb-induced. While his view may have been obscured, his memory and subsequent perspective of the day’s events remain quite clear.
Frederick J. Olivi was born January 16, 1922 in the Pullman section of Chicago. When war with Japan broke out, he did not immediately join the service, because he was the sole male provider of his mother and sister. But ten months later in October 1942, the 19-year-old enlisted in the Air Corps against his mother’s wishes; four months later he was called to duty. Olivi then underwent officer’s training, in hopes of becoming a pilot. In August 1944 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
By the fall of 1944, over 1500 military specialists from bases around the world had been brought together at Wendover Field in the Utah desert and divided into squadrons to prepare in secret for what would eventually become the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "On December 17, the five squadrons at Wendover became formally unified under [Colonel Paul] Tibbets as the 509th Composite Group...." Within the 509th, the 393rd Bomb Squadron was entrusted with delivering the bombs.
One of the first people brought in by Tibbets to train crews for the 393rd was Major Charles Sweeney, who at the time was training B-29 pilots at Grand Island, Nebraska. Sweeney was assigned to train Crew C15, piloted by Captain Don Albury. Crew C15 eventually consisted of four officers (Albury, Kermit Beahan, James Van Pelt and Olivi) and five enlisted men (Ed Buckley, John Kuharek, Ray Gallagher, Albert "Pappy" Dehart and Abe Spitzer). It trained at Wendover until January 1945, when it was sent on a two-month training mission to Batista Field outside of Havana to practice long-range flying over water. Co-pilot Olivi, who was the final member added to the crew by Tibbets, arrived at Wendover in January after the others had already left for Cuba. He joined them upon their return to the Utah base.
Once back at Wendover, Crew C15 continued its training and came to be acknowledged by most as the best crew in the 509th. In May some personnel of the 509th began to depart the Utah base for their new home -- North Field on Tinian Island within the Marianas. The members of Crew C15 remained at Wendover until June 20, however, when Sweeney (now commander of the 393rd) flew them to Hamilton Field in Marin County, California in a new B-29 Superfortress with fuel injection and reverse propellers. This would be the first stage of their three-day flight to the South Pacific. In California the plane was blessed by a Catholic priest (Sweeney being an Irish Catholic), before proceeding to Rogers field at Honolulu. Another brief stop was made at Kwajelein before reaching Tinian on June 23.
While on Tinian, Crew C15 had little to do as it awaited orders for its highly secretive mission. What the crew did not understand was that it was waiting for the successful explosion of an experimental plutonium bomb (which occurred July 16 in the New Mexico desert) and delivery of plutonium to its island base. Olivi, a young Catholic lad who neither smoked nor drank when he arrived at Tinian, was talked into drinking one night by his companions and, as a result, experienced his one and only hangover.
The members of Crew C15 decided to christen their B-29 the Great Artiste, after the nickname of their highly skilled bombardier, Kermit Beahan. The plane participated in a few short-range runs and a successful long-range practice exercise over Kobe in late July to prepare for its upcoming mission. Both the plane and the crew appeared ready to perform the task at hand.
On August 6, 1945, in what was described in military terms as a perfect mission, Col. Paul Tibbets and the crew of the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, destroying most of the city and killing approximately 90,000 people. Accompanying the Enola Gay as the instrument carrying aircraft was the Great Artiste piloted by Major Sweeney. In addition to the crew, three scientists were on board. To make room for the scientists, one member of the crew was asked to remain behind on Tinian; the person selected was co-pilot Fred Olivi. Olivi had become expendable when Sweeney took over as pilot of the aircraft. This bumped the Great Artiste’s regular pilot, Captain Don Albury, down to second pilot and eliminated the necessity of Olivi, normally the plane’s co-pilot.
Three days later, Crew C15 prepared to drop a second, much larger, plutonium bomb on Japan. This mission (known as Special Mission No. 16) had difficulties from the start, leading Olivi to entitle his recent account Decision at Nagasaki: The Mission that Almost Failed. The Great Artiste had originally been scheduled for the mission, but since it had been fitted as an instrument plane for the Hiroshima run there was not time to reconfigure the bomb bay for the "Fat Man."< Instead, Fred Bock’s airplane, Bockscar, was substituted, with Sweeney as pilot, Albury as co-pilot, and Olivi as third pilot.
On the morning of August 9, it was discovered that there was a fuel transfer problem from the auxiliary tank to the main tank, thus limiting the amount of fuel available for the flight. The decision was made to go ahead immediately, however, since it was important to convince the Japanese that the United States had multiple atomic bombs and because bad weather was moving in over Japan. The plane would simply refuel at Okinawa before returning to Tinian.
At a little before 2:00 a.m. Japan time (4:00 Tinian time) Sweeney managed to lift the heavy bomb-laden Bockscar off the end of the runway at North Field. He was followed soon after by Capt. Fred Bock piloting the Great Artiste as the instrument plane and Major James Hopkins who flew the Victor 90, which carried movie cameras and scientific observers from England. Victor 90 left minus one of the observers when Hopkins forced Dr. Robert Serber to get out of the aircraft after it had already taxied on to the runway, because the scientist had forgotten his parachute. This presented a problem, since Serber was the only one who knew how to operate the high-speed camera. Officials on the ground were forced to break radio silence in order to instruct Hopkins on its use.
In addition to the regular members of Crew C15 aboard Bockscar, the flight included three outside personnel: Naval officers Commander Fred Ashworth and Lt. Philip Barnes, as well as the electronics specialist Lt. Jacob Beser. Ashworth was a weapons specialist who had helped to field test the bomb at Wendover and Barnes was his assistant. Beser’s job was to ensure that the Japanese "did not jam the bomb’s fuse frequencies and prematurely detonate the Fat Man."
Once in the air, Sweeney, Albury and Olivi took turns flying while rotating brief rest periods. Lt. Barnes was put to work alarmingly early when a red warning light on the black box monitoring the armed bomb began to flicker. For ten minutes an incredible tension gripped the two weapons specialists until Barnes corrected two switches which had been reversed. Ashworth informed Sweeney of the incident, and all three men breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Olivi’s thoughts concerning the impending bombing mission, as summarized almost twenty-five years after the fact by Frank Chinnock, were similar to the views expressed by the other crew members:
"[The members of Crew C15] had been chosen for this vital mission and it was up to them to carry it off to the best of their ability. [Olivi] was convinced that if the enemy had the bomb, they would not hesitate to use it. All he and the others could do was to accomplish their mission and hope it would finish things quickly."
The primary target for the mission was to be Kokura, an industrial city in northern Kyushu, with Nagasaki as the secondary site. The three planes were to rendezvous above the island of Yakushima off the southern coast of Kyushu. Sweeney arrived first a little before 8:00 a.m., and while waiting for the others monitored a message from the weather plane of Charles McKnight at Nagasaki which reported: "Hazy, clearing rapidly, two-tenths cloud coverage, wind 250 degrees at 50 knots. "An earlier weather report from Kokura had also noted good weather there.
Around 8:10 Bock and the Great Artiste joined Sweeney at the rendezvous site, but Hopkins did not show. They waited forty minutes, but finally decided to leave for Kokura since they were running low on fuel.
Based on earlier weather reports, the crew of Bockscar flew to Kokura fully expecting to drop its bomb on the city and return quickly to Okinawa. Upon arrival, however, the military arsenal at Kokura was obscured by industrial haze and smoke from a nearby fire. The bombardier had specific orders not to drop the bomb unless he could see the target. Three times Sweeney passed overhead, but without success. With the fuel supply now an even greater concern and enemy flak becoming a problem, Sweeney took Bockscar on the most direct route to Nagasaki.
Conditions at Nagasaki were even worse than they had been at Kokura, with cloud cover now as great as nine-tenths. With no possibility of reaching Okinawa with its heavy bomb aboard, a decision had to be made. Ashworth decided that rather than "waste" the multi-million dollar bomb by dumping it into the ocean, the "Fat Man" should be dropped by radar over the Nagasaki target. Less than thirty seconds before the bomb was due to be dropped by radar, an opening appeared in the clouds and Beahan shouted that he could make a visual drop. He spotted the Mitsubishi Sports Stadium below and used it as his reference point. This was a couple miles north of the original target near Mitsubishi Shipyards and the center of the city, but still not too far from the Mitsubishi ordinance and steel factories along the Urakami River. The bomb detonated about 1500 feet above ground, killing (by the end of 1945) approximately 74,000 people and injuring a similar number. In addition, 1,650 acres were leveled and 120,000 residents left homeless.
The explosion occurred over Urakami Valley, the heart of Catholicism in Japan, and the home of Christian believers who had kept their faith alive in spite of hundreds of years of government persecution. Urakami Cathedral was less than 2500 feet away from Ground Zero, and everyone praying there that morning died instantly. Also in the area and hard hit were Nagasaki University Medical Hospital, a prison, and various elementary schools.
Because of the local topography, much of the center of the historical city was spared the ravages of the atomic bomb. Fires did cause considerable damage to some parts of the downtown area, but a protective ring of low mountains helped to contain the destruction. Certainly, if there had not been cloud cover and the plane had not been low on fuel, the city of Nagasaki would have suffered significantly more damage and thousands more would have perished.
Olivi’s recollection of the bombing from high above was that a very bright light with a bluish cast, cloud cover, and debris from the explosion made it almost impossible to see any of the city below. In spite of the fact that Bockscar was low on fuel, Sweeney decided to take a second pass over Nagasaki, hoping for better visibility; the results of the second fly over were as disappointing as the first. Olivi remembers three shock waves -- the first being the worst --, a hard right banking of the plane, and a barely successful effort to outrun the radioactive cloud headed toward the plane.
Soon after leaving Nagasaki, Ashworth ordered Spitzer to transmit the following message to Tinian:
"Bombed Nagasaki 090158Z visually with no fighter opposition and no flak. Results ’technically successful’ but other factors involved make conference necessary before taking further steps. Visible effects about equal to Hiroshima. Trouble in airplane following delivery requires us to proceed to Okinawa. Fuel only to get to Okinawa."
This brief statement would be the only official transmission to Tinian until Bockscar touched down safely on Okinawa.
Practically flying on fumes, Sweeney did not have time to wait for traffic to clear at Yontan Field as he approached the runway. When planes refused to move to allow him to land, he ordered Olivi to fire the flares on board to get everyone’s attention. This finally achieved the desired results, and with the assistance of the plane’s new reverse propellers acting as an extra set of brakes, Sweeney was able to land the Bockscar safely, in what one crew member referred to as a "controlled crash." Reflecting back upon the landing years later, Beser commented that "You can’t come any closer to disaster than we had, and live to tell about it."
Once safely on the ground, Sweeney and Ashworth reported the results of their mission to General Jimmy Doolittle, the commander of the Eighth Air Force. Crew C15 stayed only about two hours on Okinawa, before it headed back up in the Bockscar for the return flight to Tinian, joined by the Great Artiste and the tardy Victor 90.
About five hours later all three planes landed safely at North Field, ending the harrowing mission of almost twenty hours in length. It was almost 10:30 at night Tinian time when they arrived, and as Beser notes,, "There were no crowds to greet these crews, no medal pinning ceremony, only those who would be concerned with our interrogation were there." After having their picture taken in front of the Bockscar, the crew members were debriefed, ate a late dinner, and shared a few drinks. They had completed their mission, glitches and all, and now waited to see the response of the Japanese government.
The answer was not long in coming, as on August 15 the Emperor made a radio address to the nation announcing the unconditional surrender of Japan and acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration. For Crew C15 this meant that its mission had been a success and that no more American lives would have to be sacrificed in the name of bringing World War II to a close. For the residents of Nagasaki, on the other hand, the pain and suffering was just beginning.
The end of the war meant that there was no longer a need for Crew C15, or the 509th Composite for that matter, to remain on Tinian. Most were flown or shipped back to the United States soon thereafter to avoid security leaks concerning their up-to-then highly secretive work. The members of Crew C15 were flown to Roswell, New Mexico in November. The vast majority chose immediate discharge from the service, but Olivi decided to sign on as a reservist at Roswell for another two years.
When Olivi finally left the service in 1947, he tried to find employment as a civilian airline pilot, but discovered that those who had gotten out earlier had taken these jobs. The 23-year-old was even low on the waiting list, since he had logged considerably fewer flying hours than most of the returning veterans.
In 1950 Olivi landed work as an engineering draftsman with the City of Chicago in its Bridge Division. Over the years, he worked his way up the ladder, and from 1973 until his retirement in 1986 he was in charge of supervising bridges in Chicago.
Fred Olivi remained in the Air Force Reserves until his retirement at age fifty in 1972; by then he had achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel. During his last fourteen years in the Reserves, he served as a Liaison Officer for the Air Force Academy in the Chicago area, describing the Academy and its various programs to local high school students.
In October 1965, Olivi married Carole McVey, a woman he had known since high school. According to the Olivis, when one was ready for marriage, the other was not, and they wound up postponing the inevitable nuptials until they were both in their early forties. Today, they live happily together in south Chicago.
Although it has been twenty-three years since Olivi retired from the Reserves and nine since he left the City of Chicago, he remains an active individual. He has been especially busy over the course of the past year participating in events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. His activities include traveling to schools, colleges, air shows and civic groups to make presentations on the Nagasaki bombing mission.
Olivi and the surviving members of Crew C15 still meet on a regular basis for reunions. The gatherings began in Chicago in 1962; initially at five year intervals and later two. They met last year, but with 1995 marking the fiftieth anniversary, they have decided to gather once again at Albuquerque, New Mexico, near the Los Alamos Testing Center, between August 5th and 10th.
Six members of the Bockscar mission to Nagasaki have since passed away: Abe Spitzer, the radio operator from New York City, died more than a decade ago in a traffic accident near his home; Sgt. Ed Buckley, the radar operator, died of throat cancer in 1981; Sgt. Albert "Pappy" Dehart, the tailgunner (who did not talk of his role in the mission or attend reunions), died in Texas; Kermit Beahan died in 1990 of a heart attack; two years ago Lt. Jacob Beser, an outside electronics specialist who was the only member to fly on both the Enola Gay and the Bockscar missions, died of cancer; and in December 1994 Dr. James Van Pelt, the navigator and radar operator originally from West Virginia, died of a heart attack while recovering from an automobile accident near his home in Corona, California where he was a physician.
Of the seven surviving members of the Nagasaki mission, two -- Vice-Admiral (at the time Navy Commander) Fred Ashworth and Lt. Philip Barnes -- were outside Navy weapons specialists and not ordinarily part of Crew C15. Neither Ashworth nor Barnes have stayed in touch with the Nagasaki crew or attended the reunions. Besides Olivi, those who still gather for the reunions include: General (then Major) Charles Sweeney, the feisty Irish-American from Boston who piloted the plane; Captain Don Albury, the regular pilot and mission co-pilot from Miami who for thirty-five years flew for Eastern Airlines; Master Sgt. John Kuharek, an engineer with the regular Army who now resides in Florida; and Sgt. Raymond Gallagher, the gunner and assistant engineer from Chicago. Also joining them at times for the reunions are Col. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, and Frederick Bock, the original pilot of Bockscar.
While Olivi has chosen not to return to Nagasaki for fear of harassment by the Japanese media, others have not been as reluctant. As a matter of fact, Sweeney, Albury and Beahan went back to Nagasaki within weeks of the bombing, joining the first American medical team to the city in September 1945. Albury returned in 1977 incognito with his wife and brother-in-law, managing to slip in and out of town without media attention. In 1990 Albury also went with Sweeney and Bock on a BBC-sponsored trip to Hiroshima. Sweeney and Bock continued on to Nagasaki without him. Jacob Beser made a much-celebrated return visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1985, in conjunction with the commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on the two cities. The PBS-supported journey drew heavy media attention and also produced a book by Beser.
In an interview with Fred Olivi in November 1994, the author was accompanied by his wife, Fumiko, a native of Nagasaki. While Olivi made it known that he had only been carrying out orders and that he was glad that the bomb had helped shorten the war, he was clearly uncomfortable when discussing the fact that tens of thousands of civilians had been killed in the bombing. Meeting someone born in post-war Nagasaki for the first time on a face-to-face basis was visibly difficult for him. By the end of the conversation a great weight seemed to have been lifted from his shoulders. It was as if he had undergone a catharsis with the realization that not everyone in Nagasaki held him personally accountable for the bombing. He offered a genuinely warm invitation to join him and his wife for dinner whenever we came to Chicago again. Like Beser on his return trip to Japan, Olivi discovered that most Japanese today are not looking to affix personal blame for actions performed by young men within the context of a war fought fifty years ago.
Unlike others of his generation in the United States, Fred Olivi does not still view the Japanese as his enemy, and he does not want to be perceived as such by them. When I first met Olivi, it was at a presentation he was giving on the Bockscar mission at the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. During the course of conversation after his talk, a local veteran proclaimed that he still did not consider the Japanese to be human beings; they were in his mind just insects. Upon hearing of the comment, Olivi showed clear disgust that people on either side should still feel that way about one another a half century after the cessation of hostilities.
In a later conversation, Olivi related another xenophobic example of misguided American patriotism. A few years ago, he read in a Chicago newspaper that local families had dropped out of a program to host visiting French school children, because the French government had not allowed American war planes to use its airfields in attacks on Libya. The Olivis immediately volunteered to host one of the students, and to this day they look back on it as one of their fondest memories.
On August 9, 1945 a young Italian-American co-pilot named Fred Olivi participated in a military action in which more than 70,000 (mostly civilian) residents of Nagasaki were killed. To this day, he feels that the bombing was necessary and that it helped shorten the war. Reinforcing this view have been the actions of literally thousands of American veterans who over the years have thanked him for saving their lives. Joining in the chorus of appreciation are the wives, children and grandchildren of these veterans.
This does not, however, mean that Fred Olivi is pleased that fifty years ago he helped kill and injure so many citizens of Nagasaki. He wishes that it had never had to happen in the first place. To him, it was not an act of racism or an act of revenge, but simply the last act of a long and brutal war. At this point in his life, the 73-year-old retiree asks only that the record of the mission be set straight, and that nuclear weapons never again be used. He is proud of the fifty-year friendship of Japan and America, and prays for continued good relations between the countries.
AN AMERICAN PILOT’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE MISSION WHICH DROPPED THE ATOMIC BOMB ON NAGASAKI
Lane R. Earns
Pero no cabe duda que la mayoría se lo merece,porque Chávez no está en el poder por un golpe militar,sino porque alguien lo ha votado,y ésos "alguien" no deben ser objeto de pena ni lástima alguna.
Espero que no huyan como ratas,llevándose sus miserias "socialistas del s.XXI"., a otros paises.
Uncut Hears The New Bob Dylan Album
We now know that the new Bob Dylan album, which unexpectedly will be with us on April 27, is called Together Through Life. We know also that it was written and recorded quickly.
Dylan had been asked by the French film director Olivier Dahan, who made the Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie En Rose, which Dylan had apparently liked, to write some songs for his new movie, My Own Love Song. Dylan duly came up with a ballad called “Life Is Hard”, and was so inspired the next thing anyone knew he’d written nine more new songs and not long after that – bingo! – here’s Together Through Life in all its rowdy glory.
What’s it sound like? Well, early reports have hinted at a mix of Dylan’s beloved Chicago blues and the loping border country feel of, say, “Girl From The Red River Shore”, the latter courtesy of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, whose accordion features on every track, alongside Dylan’s formidable current touring band and as yet unidentified guest musicians.
Both musical elements are indeed here, brazenly matched on nearly ever track, Hidalgo either providing lyrical lilting counterpoint to the band’s hard driving blues muscle or flinging himself headlong into the fray with pumping riffs, as on the jumping “If You Ever Go To Houston” (“keep your hands in your pockets and your gun-belts tied”).
The broad template for much of the album would appear to be, let’s say, “Thunder On the Mountain” and “Rollin’ And Tumblin’” from Modern Times, but in truth these tracks are, overall, much punchier, a raucous edge to everything in sight. Only the noble “Life Is Hard” is in the crooning style of something like “Beyond The Horizon” and even here there’s a ragged edge to things that wasn’t apparent on Modern Times, a rawness – emotional and musical – that separates it from that album and its immediate predecessors, “Love And Theft” and Time Out Of Mind.
Together In Life gets in your face immediately – with the wallop of the cheerfully-titled “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’”, which is driven by spectacular drumming and massed horns, a trumpet prominently featured – and over the course of its 10 tracks doesn’t back off, doesn’t appear to even think about doing so, Dylan’s voice throughout an unfettered roar, a splendid growl.
The album broadly is preoccupied with themes of mortality, lost love, grief, the passing of time, memory, waning days and lonely nights. The mood of these songs, however, couldn’t be more different to the mordant reflection of, for instance, “Not Dark Yet”. Together Through Life is a rowdy gut-bucket, by turns angry, funny, sassy, Dylan heading noisily in the direction of that last good night.
“My Wife’s Home Town”, “Shake Mama Shake” and the stingingly ironic “It’s All Good” – an hilariously-wrought litany of personal and national woe – are all eventfully robust, heartily defiant.
“Forgetful Heart”, meanwhile, is set to a measured stalking beat that recalls “Walkin’, Not Talkin’”, while the cantina drift of “This Dream Of You”, with accordion and fiddle taking lead instrumental spots, is fleetingly reminiscent of the first version of “Mississippi” on last year’s Tell-Tale Signs. Elsewhere, there may be things about “Feel A Change Coming On” that will remind you of “Workingman’s Blues”.
On first listen, then, a great album that when it comes out and goes on repeat will get better and better.Allan Jones
March 22, 2009
|1.||Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)|
(Bob on keyboard)
|2.||Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power) (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|3.||I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|4.||Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again|
(Bob on keyboard)
|5.||Tryin’ To Get To Heaven (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|6.||Things Have Changed (Bob on guitar center stage)|
|7.||Watching The River Flow (Bob on keyboard)|
|8.||Blind Willie McTell (Bob on keyboard)|
|9.||I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)|
(Bob on keyboard and harp)
|10.||I Believe In You (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|11.||Honest With Me (Bob on keyboard)|
|12.||Billy (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|13.||Summer Days (Bob on keyboard)|
|14.||All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)|
|15.||Cry A While (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|16.||Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)|
|17.||Forever Young (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
Review by Steinar Daler
What a night! It is allways with a stange feeling in my stomach I go to a
Dylan concert, specially if it is the first of a tour. We had to que up
outside in snow and cold before we were let in to this beautyful venue. A
lot of us were hoping for David Hidalgo to turn up in Bob's band, but alas
it was only the familiar faces from last tour that took the stage together
with Bob. Danny, Stu and Tony in a row on the left side of the stage,
facing Bob on the right side. George and Donnie in normal positions. First
up was an ordinary You go your way, and then Senor. It seemed like the
audience were very happy to hear that one. Nice version, reminded me of
Dallas last spring. I'll be your baby tonight and Stuck inside of Mobile
followed and it felt like this was going to be an average night. Then we
got a really good Trying to get to heaven with some really nice harmonica
blowing from Bob. Back to normal again with Things have changed. As far as
I remember it and my notes is correct, Bob did not played guitar on this
song, as is mentioned elsewhere. But for Watching the river flow Bob
picked up a huge accoustic guitar and moved center stage. A really niice
version and a feeling that this could be a special night wwere spreading
among the audience. Blind Willie as the next one did not let us down, but
I have heard better versions. For the only time tonight it took a while
before I recognised the next sonhg. I could not hear the lyrics (the sound
was not very good in this hall) and the tune remined me of two songs he
had allready played; You go your way and Things have changed. It turned
out to be I don't believe you. I have heard it better, but on the other
hand I have not heard a better version of the next song; I believe in you,
for a long time. The audience loved it. Honest with me, usually a boring
song in my opinion, followed in a very good version. Blistering guitar
solo from Stu. When you are a Dylan fan sometimes you get a question like
this: "If you met Bob before a concert and he asked you what song do you
want to hear tonight, what song is your chice?" When I have been asked
this, I have had the same answer for years: BILLY. I have never expected
it to happen. Tonight he played it. Beautyful version, what more can I
say. Tears running on a lot of faces, first time for me since 2003 in
Hammersmith when he played Romance in Durango. Maybe a once in a lifetime
experience. Who knows? Good solid versions of Summerdays and Watchtower
ended the main set. The first encore; Cry awhile was a surprise. It was
nice too0 when Bob halfway through moved senter stage. LARS followed and
then another small surprise at the end; Forever young with great harmonica
playing from Bob. do you think I look foreward to the next show? YES, I DO!
|1.Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob on keyboard)|
|2.||Lay, Lady, Lay (Bob on guitar)|
|3.||Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on keyboard)|
|4.||Chimes Of Freedom (Bob on keyboard)|
|5.||High Water (For Charley Patton) (Bob on keyboard)|
|6.||Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again|
(Bob on keyboard)
|7.||Love Sick (Bob on keyboard)|
|8.||Desolation Row (Bob on keyboard)|
|9.||Rollin' And Tumblin' (Bob on keyboard)|
|10.||Make You Feel My Love (Bob on keyboard)|
|11.||Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)|
|12.||One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below) (Bob on guitar)|
|13.||Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)|
|14.||Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)|
|15.||All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)|
|16.||Spirit On The Water (Bob on keyboard)|
|17.||Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on keyboard)|
Leonard Cohen, a singer and songwriter of tremendous depth and wisdom, has always been a seeker. In a career spanning more than 40 years, he's examined the mysteries of human sexuality, religion and power with a tremendous range of complex emotions and poetry.
Now 72 years old, Leonard Cohen has spent much of the past decade in solitude, exploring his own spirituality and his place in an ever-changing world. But in July of 2008, he took the stage at London's 02 Arena and gave a stunning performance, as part of his first tour in 15 years. The concert included some of his most influential and best loved songs, including "Hallelujah," "Bird On A Wire" and "Dance Me To The End Of Love." The historic performance was recorded and will be released as a two-CD set on March 31. Until then NPR Music will stream the entire album online, as an Exclusive First Listen, beginning at 11:59 p.m. March 23.
March 25, 2009
|1.||Watching The River Flow (Bob on keyboard)|
|2.||When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob on harp center stage)|
|3.||You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Bob on keyboard and harp)|
|4.||It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (Bob on keyboard, Donnie on banjo)|
|5.||Just Like A Woman (Bob on keyboard)|
|6.||Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again|
(Bob on keyboard and harp)
|7.||Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob on keyboard)|
|8.||I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)|
(Bob on guitar)
|9.||The Levee's Gonna Break (Bob on keyboard, Tony on standup bass)|
|10.||When The Deal Goes Down (Bob on keyboard, Tony on standup bass)|
|11.||Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)|
|12.||A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob on keyboard, Tony on standup bass)|
|13.||Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)|
|14.||Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)|
|15.||All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)|
|16.||Spirit On The Water (Bob on keyboard)|
|17.||Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on keyboard and harp, Donnie on violin)|
(Según narración de Gingi Edmonds).
Algunos habréis oído en las noticias la historia del jet privado que se estrelló en un cementerio en Montana, matando a todos los pasajeros (7 niños y 7 adultos). Pero lo que no han mencionado las agencias de información es que el Cementerio Católico de la Santa Cruz, propiedad de la Asociación de Cementerios “La Resurrección”, en Butte, Montana, contiene un pequeño monumento conmemorativo en torno al cual gente del lugar suele congregarse para rezar el rosario: “La Tumba del No-Nacido”, se llama. Esta lápida conmemorativa, situada cerca de la iglesia en cuyo jardín está el cementerio, fue erigida en memoria de todos los niños que han muerto a causa de un aborto provocado.
(Nota del Traductor: Desde la legalización del aborto en los EEUU en 1973, los niños asesinados por un aborto provocado suman ya más de 55 millones).
¿Y qué más no nos están contando las agencias de noticias? Pues que la familia que murió en el accidente de aviación era la de Irving Feldkamp, dueño de la cadena de abortorios más grande de los Estados Unidos.
La cadena “Planificación Familiar S.L.” fue adquirida hace cuatro años por Irving Feldkamp, dueño, además, de la cadena de clínicas dentales “Allcare and Hospitality Dental Associates” y Consejero delegado, también, del circuito de carreras “Glen Helen”, en San Bernardino, California. Las 17 “clínicas” de Planificación Familiar S.L. (Family Planning Associates) perpetran más abortos provocados que ningún otro “proveedor” (incluida Planned Parenthood) y realizan abortos en los primeros cinco meses de embarazo.
Aunque Feldkamp no es uno de los abortistas que trabajan en sus clínicas, ha hecho fortuna con el dinero conseguido con las decenas de miles de niños asesinados en los abortos realizados en las “clínicas” de las que es dueño. Fueron los beneficios económicos (Nota del Traductor: “La economía lo es todo” ¿Recuerdan?) conseguidos con su negocio abortista los que le permitieron adquirir el jet privado que llevaba a su familia a pasar una semana de vacaciones en el exclusivo “Yellowtone Club”, una lujosa estación de esquí para millonarios.
El avión se estrelló el domingo 22 de Marzo, matando a dos hijas de Feldkamp, a sus dos yernos, y a sus cinco nietos. El avión se estrelló en el cementerio contiguo a la pista de aterrizaje. No hubo supervivientes.
La causa del accidente continúa siendo un misterio. El piloto, que había tripulado cazas militares anteriormente, no dio en ningún momento indicación alguna a la torre de control de tener problema o dificultad alguna cuando se le comenzaron a indicar las instrucciones para el aterrizaje en Butte, Montana. Los testigos afirman que el avión, ya cerca del suelo, cayó de pronto en picado sin que hubiera señales previas que indicasen problema alguno. No había, en el avión, aparato alguno de grabación delas conversaciones del piloto, ni tampoco caja negra. Tampoco hay grabación alguna del radar del aeropuerto, ya que el pequeño aeropuerto local de Butte carece de radar. Aunque se especula que quizás el avión pudo precipitarse debido al un hipotético exceso de hielo en las alas, este modelo de avión en concreto ha sido probado en circunstancias extremas de acumulación de hielo en el fuselaje, por lo que los expertos han descartado ya esta posibilidad.
Durante el tiempo en que he sido voluntaria de la asociación “Supervivientes del Holocausto del Aborto”, ayudé a coordinar y organizar actos semanales en los que los activistas próvida nos congregábamos en las afueras de la mansión de Feldkamp, con signos mostrando imágenes del desarrollo fetal, e intentando que el vecindario conociese qué tipo de “actividades” le proporcionaban tales beneficios económicos. Todos los jueves por la tarde le pedíamos a Feldkamp y a su mujer que se arrepintieran, que buscasen a Dios y que se apartaran de la práctica del asesinato de niños.
Incluso le avisábamos, por el bien de sus hijos, que se lavase las manos de la sangre de los niños inocentes de cuyo derramamiento se beneficiaba económicamente, porque, como dicen las Escrituras, “...y como no aborreciste el derramamiento de sangre, la sangre te perseguirá” (Ezequiel 35:6), y “Porque hoy he puesto ante ti la vida y la muerte....Escoge la vida, para que VIVÁIS TÚ Y TU DESCENDENCIA”. (Deuteronomio 30:19).
Una agencia de noticias informó de que Feldkamp, acompañado por su mujer y sus otros dos hijos, se desplazó hasta el lugar del accidente el lunes. Las imágenes le mostraban de pie, hablando con los investigadores entre los restos del avión, mientras una suave nevada caía sobre las cubiertas que tapaban los cadáveres de sus hijas y de sus nietos.
Mi intención no es convertir esta tragedia en una especie de macabra moraleja espiritual en plan “Ya-te-lo-advertí”. Pero ahora me acuerdo de todas las horas que pasamos ante la mansión de Feldkamp. De cómo Pam Feldkamp (su mujer) se reía de los carteles con imágenes del desarrollo fetal que llevábamos, y de cómo Irving Feldkamp apartaba la vista para meterse en su coche, llevando casi siempre un niño pequeño en brazos o de la mano. Y recuerdo especialmente las palabras que le decíamos para intentar ablandar su corazón: “Piensa en tus nietos”. Me pregunto si Feldkamp estará recordando ahora estas palabras mientras permanecía de pie entre los restos de sus hijos y de sus nietos, justo al lado de la “Tumba del No-nacido”.
Sólo espero y rezo para que, a la luz de esta tragedia, Feldkamp se dé cuenta de su necesidad de arrepentimiento y que cambie su vida. Rezo para que Dios pueda usar esta trágica catástrofe para ablandar los corazones de Irving y Pam Feldkamp, para que busquen al Señor y laven sus manos de la sangre de los miles de niños inocentes asesinados en sus “clínicas”, cada uno de ellos tan valioso e irreemplazable como sus nietos.
March 29, 2009
1. Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob on keyboard)
2. When I Paint My Masterpiece
3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on guitar)
4. Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on keyboard)
5. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Bob on keyboard)
6. I Believe In You (Bob on keyboard)
7. 'Til I Fell In Love With You (Bob on keyboard)
8. Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Bob on keyboard)
9. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (Bob on keyboard)
10. Desolation Row (Bob on keyboard)
11. Honest With Me (Bob on keyboard)
12. When The Deal Goes Down (Bob on keyboard)
13. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
14. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
15. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)
16. Spirit On The Water (Bob on keyboard)
17. Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on keyboard)
Todavía ahora, cuando la tinta del decreto de intervención sobre la entidad y el aval de 9.000 millones no se ha secado, Solbes trata de quitar hierro al asunto diciendo que se trata de un problema de liquidez, pero no de solvencia.
Es posible que Zapatero siga necesitando dos tardes para aprehender cuatro nociones básicas de economía, pero Solbes necesita volver a pasarse por clase de contabilidad. Cuando los pasivos de una entidad son superiores a su activo, de lo que se habla es de insolvencia, de que los acreedores deben lanzarse vorazmente sobre el patrimonio de su deudor para tratar de recuperar una parte de lo que le prestaron. Al fin y al cabo, si el problema fuera de liquidez, ¿de qué habrían servido los 50.000 millones que Zapatero con tan poco control y rigor repartió entre los banqueros? ¿No se nos decía que aquello ya era para inyectar liquidez? ¿De verdad no hemos sido capaces de emplearlos para evitar la suspensión de pagos de Caja Castilla-La Mancha?
Mucho hay que temerse que no. Esencialmente porque esas hipotecas subprime a la española que son los créditos a promotores plagaban el balance de la caja; créditos baratos que ayudaron a realimentar una burbuja inmobiliaria de mano de los cuatro amigos de su consejo de administración. Solbes dice que no existe agujero, pero como poco faltan 3.000 millones de euros. Será que el vicepresidente carece de nociones básicas de contabilidad o que, más simple y probablemente, siga mintiendo; la única estrategia contra la crisis que parecen desarrollar con cierta habilidad los miembros de este Gobierno.
Por desgracia, el agujero manchego no será el único. Los bancos centrales sembraron la semilla de esta crisis y fueron las cajas las que se sumaron a la ola especulativa con mayor entusiasmo: el 70% de todos sus créditos iban destinados a hipotecas, a constructores y a promotores. Parece que nuestro sistema financiero no era tan sólido y fiable como al presidente del Gobierno le gustaba proclamar por los foros internacionales. Y no lo era especialmente en el sector de las cajas de ahorros, auténticos cortijos de la clase política.
Convendría que quienes están abogando por una mayor supervisión política de las entidades financieras o incluso por su total nacionalización (siguiendo el modelo sueco) se pararan un poco a reflexionar sobre lo que están proponiendo: precisamente, la parte más vulnerable, más manirrota y más especuladora de nuestro sistema bancario era la parte menos libre y más copada por los políticos. Al menos, los directivos de los bancos, por torpes y corruptos que hayan podido ser, tenían que responder ante sus juntas de accionistas. ¿Ante quiénes responden los políticos colocados al frente de una caja?
Como bien ilustra el episodio del recurso ante el Constitucional por parte del Gobierno de la ley de cajas madrileña, a los políticos sólo les interesa el control de estas entidades, no su viabilidad y buena gestión. ¿Cómo si no se explica que hace apenas unos días el PSOE estuviera más interesado en meterle el dedo en el ojo al Ejecutivo de Aguirre que en evitar o suavizar el colapso de Caja Castilla-La Mancha?
No, desde 2004 los socialistas sólo han utilizado su escasa política económica con fines electorales. Cuando la burbuja inmobiliaria alcanzaba su cénit, prefirieron vanagloriarse de que estábamos a punto de alcanzar el "pleno empleo" antes que pincharla para evitar que alcanzara proporciones mayores. Cuando la crisis ya empezaba a asomar las orejas –en los meses previos a los comicios del 9 de marzo– se dedicaron a negarla por todos los medios, en lugar de reconocer su dimensión y comenzar a aplicar las medidas necesarias: reducir el gasto público y los impuestos y liberalizar algunos mercados como el laboral. Cuando las cifras del paro alcanzaron niveles insufribles, pasaron a despilfarrar los recursos nacionales en absurdos planes E para colocar a unos miles de trabajadores a costa de hipotecar nuestro presente y el futuro de nuestros hijos. Y ahora que se desmorona el mito de que contábamos con el sistema financiero más sólido del mundo, se dedican a seguir mintiendo y tomando el control de las cajas para que los ciudadanos no averigüemos quiénes eran los responsables de acumular tamañas cantidades de basura en sus balances.