An acute observer discerns a reality (a person, a situation, a thing) at the very moment it rises on the faraway horizon. An ordinary observer notes the reality when it is already half-way to him. A sub-observer notices it only when it becomes obvious: he is simply a nincompoop.
Yes, a nincompoop. But as the number of nincompoops increases, the expression is going out of circulation: you don’t mention ropes to the family of a man who was hanged. Nevertheless, it is only this word — with its sonorous vowels and above all strong consonants — that can adequately classify such a state of mental deficiency.
However, after having said all of this, it is the obvious that I am going to write about. For the final conclusion I shall reach — that is, the most obvious of the affirmations that I shall make — is of an importance beyond measure.
1. It is obvious that the United States is a sovereign nation, having extremely powerful resources to do whatever it wishes in its own territory and fully entitled to do so;
2. It is obvious that the action of a nation aiming to interfere in another constitutes an insolence, an aggression, or even a “casus belli”;
3. Now it is obvious that Iran is the perfect image of the aggressor nation just described. It attempted to force the United States to hand over the overthrown and battered Shah who, stricken by an incurable disease, had knocked on the gates of the Western superpower asking for medical assistance and tranquility;
4. It is obvious that Carter was totally submissive in showing Pahavi’s X-rays to the ambassadors of the Ayatollah to prove that he was indeed suffering from cancer. It is also obvious that the Ayatollah showed a ferocity rare in the course of history, obstinately demanding that the United States hand over its sick guest to him or to an international court to be “judged” and, naturally, hanged;
5. So it is obvious that the dispute has gone beyond the limits of international law and diplomacy to degenerate into an absurd quarrel: the tiny and arrogant Iran treating the greatest superpower like a cat treats a rat;
6. With the invasion and seizure of hostages in the U.S. Embassy in Teheran by fanatical students publicly eulogized by Khomeini, it is obvious that this situation has sunk to unspeakable depths.
7. It was also obviously unspeakable for Iranian protesters to take turns in front of the hospital where Pahavi was, praying Allah to kill him;
8. It is likewise obvious that Carter’s reaction of canceling the insignificant purchases of Iranian oil by the United States, freezing Iranian assets and putting on a naval show in the Persian Gulf is of microbian dimensions in comparison to Khomeini’s outrages. Up to the moment I am writing, that is all that Carter has done;
9. Furthermore, it is obvious that none of this would have taken place in such a way if Khomeini wasn’t certain that Carter would swallow everything to avoid a world war. It is likewise obvious that any proportional action of protest by Carter could be an occasion of war; because, behind Iran, is the Soviet Leviathan.
10. This means that Russia is the one instigating the Iranian aggressions, showing the whole world that she may impunely shove the rival superpower against a wall or throw it to the ground.
In this way the Kremlin aims to show off as lord of the peoples, ruler of the Globe. This ought to bring about, not only in the United States but all over the world, indignant parades of proud multitudes protesting they will never surrender to the vanquisher.
Such demonstrations would cost the Russians much more in terms of influence around the world than they could possibly win by their Iranian game. But the Soviets know there is not much danger of demonstrations. After all, hardly anybody is really indignant about what they have been doing in Cambodia. To their immense advantage, the multitudes are mysteriously anesthetized, nincompoopized.
Startlingly enough, the United States maintains the Soviet regime by furnishing it 25 million tons of cereals per year;
11. Adding obvious to obvious, we have assembled an apocalyptic scene. Are we not witnessing a partial fulfillment of the global punishment announced by Our Lady at Fatima, the worldwide expansion of Russia’s errors? Still to come if men do not convert even now, are the unleashing of persecutions and wars and the disappearance of entire nations…
Our Lady has never failed to carry out her threats or her promises.
This also is obvious. Obvious to the highest degree.
The preceding article was originally published in the Folha de S.Paulo, on November 28, 1979. It has been translated and adapted for publication without the author’s revision. –Ed.