Chiseler editor Daniel Riccuito recently met with Dr. Michael Parenti to discuss three global issues: Fukushima, Palestine and TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership). What follows is installment one of three.

Why isn’t President Obama more vocal about the ongoing environmental calamity caused by Fukushima?

For over two years, President Obama has been as mute about the calamity looming at Fukushima as the Japanese government itself—-and for the same reasons.  First, the potential danger is stupendous and it is in the manner of leaders, when facing something that might develop into a super catastrophe, to keep the public’s mind off it. The last thing they want is to put the public into a fright and fury about their own survival vis-a-vis nuclear power.

Were people to focus on Fukushima they might very well come to the correct conclusion that nuclear power is too utterly dangerous to sustain. Building nuclear plants is akin to creating potential cataclysms.  The public already is troubled about the possible disasters that are looming, including the need to find adequate aquatic sources for cooling purposes; the need to prevent meltdowns and massive explosions in the face of tsunamis, earthquakes, and onsite accidents; and finally, the need to develop faultless means to decommission troubled plants or keep them safely intact for the next 45,ooo years in order to prevent a meltdown and explosion that would make Hiroshima seem incidental.

Should Obama broach the subject of Fukushima he would leave himself open to a host of questions (assuming there are any members of the press who know enough to question). It would immediately become apparent that he has no explanation, no solutions, no reliable analysis. It would become apparent that he and the others have no sure answer regarding how they are going to decommission the nuclear plants without blowing up or contaminating almost half the earth and the people living on it. He would have to confess that his boys at Fukushima are using stickers, wires, and prayer to hold the whole thing together.

So the less said about Fukushima, the better it is for the leaders who do not want to do without nuclear power despite its terrible dangers. Several years ago President Obama announced that he was going to allocate many billions of dollars to build a new nuke plant in the USA. Looking proudly into the camera, he exclaimed, “I support nuclear power.”  He admits he is a shill for nukes. He promotes them. And the nuclear industry thinks well of him for doing so. Why would he advertise the horrifying threat that looms in Fukushima? Why would he want to trouble you—and himself—with terrifying scenarios?  Why would this presidential mouthpiece of global capitalism and corporate industry be different from any of the other puppets for plutocracy?

Michael Parenti  is an internationally known, award winning scholar, with a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.  His twenty-five books include The Face of Imperialism (2011); God and His Demons (2010); and The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2003). He  recently published an “ethnic memoir” of his childhood entitled Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life. Hundreds of his articles have been published in scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers, books of collected readings, and online publications. Dr. Parenti lectures frequently across North America and abroad. His work covers a wide range of subjects, including politics, history, empire, wealth, class power, culture, ideology, media, environment, gender, and ethnic life. For further information, visit his website:

January 20, 2014