Open thread: Noted sports analyst to discuss Japan crises

posted at 1:35 pm on March 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

OK, that headline might be a little harsh.  How about “Anti-bullying activist to discuss non-intervention in Libya while dictator massacres entire city“? Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear at the moment that Barack Obama will be taking questions but rather will just be issuing a statement:

The White House says President Barack Obama will make a statement later in the day on the deepening nuclear crisis in Japan.

Obama spoke Wednesday night with Japan’s prime minister about steps the U.S. is taking to ensure the safety of Americans there — steps that exceed what Japan is telling its own citizens. The U.S. has also offered to evacuate Americans from three Japanese cities.

It’s unclear what Obama will have to say, other than the US will supply any assistance Japan requests, which Obama already said in an earlier statement.  Today, for instance, the US Navy delivered protective suits to workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has now repeatedly said that the US is safe from any impact from the radiation emanating from the site.  Now the IAEA is calling the situation “stable”:

The situation at Japan’s tsunami-stricken nuclear plant is “very serious,” but at the moment it does not appear to be deteriorating, a senior official of the U.N. atomic agency said Thursday.

As emergency workers frantically worked to regain control of the dangerously overheated nuclear complex, Graham Andrew told reporters that “there had been no significant worsening” over the past 24 hours at the crippled plant.

Andrew, a senior aide to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, emphasized that the situation could change quickly, either improving or escalating into a wider catastrophe.

“It hasn’t gotten worse, which is positive, But it is still possible that it could get worse,” he said. “We could say it’s reasonably stable at the moment compared to yesterday.”

While we’re waiting for President Obama to make a public appearance on the Japan crises, be sure to absorb this report from ABC on the nearly 200 workers who have volunteered for what appears to be a suicide mission to keep the nuclear station from killing their families, neighbors, and countrymen:

“My dad went to the Nuclear Plant. I never heard my mother cry so hard. People at the plant are struggling, sacrificing themselves to protect you. Please dad come back alive,” read a tweet by Twitter user @nekkonekonyaa.

“My husband is working knowing he could be radiated,” said one woman. He told her via email, “Please continue to live well. I cannot be home for awhile.”

An email from the daughter of a Fukushima 50 volunteered was shared on national television and said, “My father is still working at the plant — they are running out of food…we think conditions are really tough. He says he’s accepted his fate…much like a death sentence…”

The nearly 200 workers are rotated in and out of the danger zone in groups of 50, taking turns eating and sleeping in a decontaminated area about the size of an average living room.

There is real courage and sacrifice in this world, and it usually arises in the darkest of moments. Keep these people and their families in your prayers.


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