The most important international event of the week was the earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan.
The current estimate of the dead is in the 10,000 range, and it is reported in the New York Times that two nuclear reactors have at least partially melted down and it is likely that two more will and two more than that could.
Epic horror. Governments can help by sending rescue equipment and personnel, supplies, and do everything possible to prevent meltdowns of the affected plants.
Its enough to scare anyone off the idea that nuclear power is a magic bullet to energy supply or global warming concerns. Iran’s plant is similarly built near a geologic fault line, and Iran has had recent similarly devastating earthquakes (though no sea exposure to tsunamis).
In watching video of the path of the wave(s) that came in after the quake, I was struck by the waves’ tenacity. Like water in general, that finds its way into cracks in everything, the path of the waves was both expected and unexpected.
With the mass of debris at the front of each wave, the waves were more like quickly creeping mud or lava, somewhere between solid and liquid.
The waves seem to have minds of their own. They would hit an obstacle and then creep around the obstacle until the force of the wave surrounding the obstacle overwhelmed submerged it, creating an open playing field.
Then, when the waves reached the extent of their forward thrust, they turned (often close to 90 degrees) and drifted sideways, then back to the ocean.
Then, 15 minutes later, a subsequent wave would come and forge a revised path along the precedent, but finding new weak pressure spots to establish peninsulas of flood.
Now, a day later, there are no more tenacious waves and the ocean looks calm and balanced. The terrain doesn’t. The underlying infrastructure and particularly infrastructure supporting necessary functions within the nukes in question, don’t look calm and balanced, but explosive and grossly toxic.
While all of this was happening, in Israel/Palestine, a murderous terrorist attack was perpetrated on a family in an intrusive settlement in the West Bank that had been the object of earlier attacks and the staging point of retribution.
Who started the avalanche rolling? Who knows? Some that adopted similar logic to 911 conspiracy theory declared it a false flag attack perpetrated by Israel for some unknown purpose. Some right-wing Israelis “accepted the acknowledgment” that it had been perpetrated by the Al Aqsa Martyrs (the militia associated with Fatah in the second intifada, that has subsequently surrendered their arms and committed to renounce terror). That turned out to be false, intended to cast all Palestinians as bloodthirsty, implying that Fatah had not changed its spots.
The significance of the attack is escalating, each polemical side invoking their own rohrshach stimuli, with leaders choosing to exagerate rather than diminish tensions. For example, rather than condemn the attacks, some on the left spoke/wrote in some translation of “they had it coming” (beyond “its no surprise”).
And, then the Israeli government insensitively announced that because of the attack, they were intentionally authorizing the construction of 1000 new homes in the West Bank.
How do the insensitive responses help in any way? Will they stop now? Will only an eye for an eye suffice? Or, will it take a dozen eyes to assuage anger, and what about the subsequent anger created.
What will the hypothetical third cousin of the family murdered think and then do, and to whom?
The only insight I thought that I’d share/invoke, is the hope that what remains after catastrophe is used well, morally well, so that subsequent outcomes are benign.
It takes kind hearts and some forethought to happen, healing.