'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami 

For updates, go here and here and here. The situation in Japan is almost beyond comprehension, as indicated by this Guardian live blog entry:

9.01pm GMT: Kyodo news agency is reporting that four commuter trains are still unaccounted for in the Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, the coastal area of northeastern Japan that were hardest hit by the tsunami.

Now, there is increasing concern about radiation releases from the damaged Fukushiima Daichi nuclear power plant, with the evacuation area around the plant expanded from three miles to ten miles. According to an Associated Press news alert, radiation levels have surged outside the plant, and it has already been reported that radiation levels inside the control room are 1,000 times normal. The sun has risen in Japan and the scope of the destruction is becoming shockingly known.

On a more mundane note, the New York Times can't resist exploiting the situation as an opportunity to cast the US military presence in Japan, disliked by many people there, in a favorable light. The US military is, after all, first and foremost, a humanitarian institution.

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