Libya and Japan: good news and bad news

UN Security Council Resolution No.1973, passed on Thursday evening, is another landmark in contemporary history. Neither of the usual suspects (Russia and China) vetoed it, and instead abstained from voting; which was nice of them. Russia and China would never vote in the UN for direct action against repressive regimes, because of course both Russia and China are repressive regimes.

The world moves in slow, painful steps towards civil society and the rule of law. Take a look at the first Gulf War in 1990/91 and UN Security Council Resolution 660 or UN Security Council Resolution 678 (I don’t usually use Wiki for any references, but I’m tired this evening). One interesting thing about the Gulf War is that it was the first time that members of the UN voted unanimously on an issue (to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait).

That was more than 20 years ago. The crap in Bosnia came shortly afterwards (1992 to 1995) yet the UN did not act decisively to stop the slaughter. Now, in 2011, UN Resolution No.1973, to stop the present slaughter in Libya, has been followed up decisively and hopefully will have a good outcome.

With regard to Japan, and the nuclear crisis, it’s still not looking good. The most worrying thing is that ever since the huge explosion at the reactor No.3 building last Monday, and the smaller explosion and fire at the reactor No.4 building on Tuesday, huge amounts of radiation have been released into the environment. This release of radiation has continued for days before any attempts were made to stop it. One wonders why. The Soviets did a far better job at Chernobyl (they realised it was a catastrophe and immediately started to entomb the damaged reactor, which cost the lives of a great many people).

But at least we no longer seem to have a plethora of ‘experts’ on the western news channels telling us that it is quite safe and normal to have three reactors in meltdown, huge explosions, fuel rods exposed, etc, etc. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is on the coast, and there’s a beach right beside the plant. I think we should put some deckchairs on that beach and make all the ‘experts’ sit in them, since they think it’s so safe.

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