March was a bad month. The people of Japan began to ‘break human records of suffering’. I was sick. My 911 injuries had flared up and my lungs were bleeding. I couldn’t walk but a few feet without stopping, every breath had been painful for 3 months and I was convulsing and vomiting slime and jelly from my lungs several times per day.
The end result is that I could not go to Japan. I was glad, for the first time in 10 years of daily illness and pain I was glad to be sick. I had experienced the indifference, ineptitude and ‘samurai’ cruelty of the Japanese Government towards its people during the Kobe earthquake. Yes, the Fire Chief of Kobe praised me, the International Department of the Japanese Government and the Mayor of Kobe wrote me letters of gratitude, for my work , in Kobe; however, I had witnessed the hardship which drove 1,700 people to commit suicide.
In Kobe, the government gave neither food, shelter or water to the suffering people. The Japanese Yakusa was the only source of food, blankets or assistance. The outraged people of Japan marched 8 people astride, in a line that went for miles, across the Ginza District demanding that the Prime Minister Resign. He did.
I knew the reality. The people will suffer much more than necessary; the Government will lie..continuously…When I watched on TV, my friend pointed out to me that the lines and rows of ‘japanese government rescuers’ had NOT a single speck of dust, dirt or grime on their uniforms..and this was after 7 days of ‘rescue’. They did not look tired, their goggles sparkled and glistened with ‘newness’. Where were the dirty, tired, exhausted, emotionally overwhelmed rescuers? Who were these guys? Did anybody else who watched CNN think it to be odd that these guys sparkled with cleanliness and they stood to attention and saluted the Prime Minister.
I am a trouble maker. I am a pain ‘in the ass’. I admit it. I always raise hell when bullshit artists let people suffer. For once, in 25 years of devotion, to rescue; I was glad that I was too sick, to go and experience the callous suffering, of the Japanese people.
On April 6, 2011 I was interviewed on a radio program, ‘streamed’ on 6 continents and one of the 5 most listened to programs, on the streaming internet. As always I opened my big mouth and I spoke my mind.
I was scheduled to speak, at an International Conference, in Beijing, from April 17 to 19th, sponsored by the Chinese Red Cross and the International Red Cross. Following that I was to train 400 rescue teams, in China. I had to cancel because of my respiratory problems giving me what I estimated to be less than a 20% chance of surviving the first day. My apologies to Hao Chen and my other ARTI-China team mates.
Nevertheless, Hao Chen and ARTI-China helped the Japanese people. I am very pleased with that.
There are 2 ways I judge a country, in it’s disaster mitigation capacity:
1) What I call the ‘old lady principle’. In other words: “How well do they help the weak and disadvantaged to recover a ‘life’ and how quickly. Do they care about helping the people or are their actions directed towards staying in POWER?
2) How many people will be driven to suicide by their governments actions or lack of action? The more people who are driven to suicide the worse they are.
I expect that the suffering in Japan is exponential and many, many thousands of people will be driven to suicide. At the beginning of the disaster, I told a friend that the Japanese Government would lie and lie and lie..but they will be exposed. I don’t doubt it. I told him that it ‘revolted’ me to hear the CNN reporter describe Japan as ‘one of the best prepared countries, in the world; because they have their annual earthquake drill ( in which they mass the hordes together to ‘duck and cover’ which is the most lethal thing that they could possibly do). I told him that a victim would have a better chance in some impoverished country with no equipment and absolute poverty..if they only had someone or somebody to care.
As I get older, I have less tolerance for bullshit and lieing politicians. May justice be done and let the chips fall where they may.
Engineering News Record Magazine February 20, 1995
“Copp crawled through 50 buildings during a rescue mission and assessed the work awaiting the Japanese……….”
Foreign & Commonwealth Office(London) February 24, 1995
“At the request of the Prime Minister……”
“As head of the Department responsible for our relations with Japan, I have been asked to reply” ” We on our side were impressed by the professionalism of the American Rescue Team International and the International Rescue Corps of Great Britain”
Graham Fry Head of Far Eastern and Pacific Department (British State Dept. Ministry of External Affairs)
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British Consul General – Osaka , Japan March 15, 1995
………” I very much enjoyed working with you briefly in Kobe. I am so full of admiration for all those in organisations like yours and the IRC who work so incredibly hard and at such great personal risk to help those affected by disasters all over the world.” “Go carefully”
David Cockerham HM Consul-General
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City of Kobe – Kobe, Japan May 2, 1995
“The city of Kobe greatly appreciates the services that you provided while working with the Swiss and French Rescue Teams in Kobe.” “Your professional training and experience helped alleviate the pain and suffering of Kobe earthquake victims…………. “The experience you brought with you was a great service to the people of Kobe.”
Kazutoshi Sasayama Mayor of Kobe
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