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Earth Day 2014: War is the Wrong Kind of Green

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According to Secretary of State John Kerry, the world needs to engage in punitive action against Russia because it has invaded the Ukraine. Let's be unmindful of the fact that the United States has military advisers and armed forces in 120 other countries simply as a matter of course.[1]

Rather than a conciliatory or peaceful stance, U.S. leaders are adopting a big-stick approach to nuclear powered Russia. With unqualified U.S. support NATO forces have moved towards the Western Ukraine border, and the U.S. and NATO plan to conduct military exercises in the Black Sea this June.[2]

The World Bank (and IMF) and Western nations appear to have a lot to gain by trying to weaken Russia: they want unfettered access to all countries with black gold. The fossil fuels of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and even Russia are beckoning the corporate syndicates to use national armed forces to secure state assets and resources once again.[3]

These kinds of pushy attitudes and behavior would qualify as bullying if nations were people (which they are since the Citizens United ruling that corporations are people). In today's hypocritical society, it is fine to be a bully if you come from the right family or political party.[4]

More than once, Russia has opted to intervene in the path towards world peace. This year's Nobel Prize, free of Western prejudice, ought to be rewarded to President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov for peace talks on Syria, and for the about face with regard to Western sanctions.[5]

But how can anyone continue to promote peace under threat of constant bullying and harassment? If the U.S. were a person (and it is), we are simply asking for it. Personally, I wouldn't want that kind of punch on the face; except, here, it could be a gigantic punch on the face of Earth.

Obviously, the U.S. and Western allies believe that this kind of rhetoric (rhetoric means to persuade and inform, not lies and intimidation) of tough talk and promotion of armed aggression works.

But actually it doesn't work as evidenced by the success of associated austerity measures in undermining the middle class and promoting unrest.

War is not effective, and it is definitely not kind to the Earth. In fact, in observation of Earth Day, I will cite some interesting rhetoric including from "War is a Lie" by activist-author David Swanson, whose book is filled with effectively presented arguments on why war is also the wrong kind of green:

  • War's Effects in Foreign Countries are Not Humanitarian:

Regarding the U.S-backed rebel attacks and war in Syria, so far:

The war has claimed more than 100,000 lives in fighting since March 2011 and some 9 million have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries. [6]

Regarding the wars in Iraq:

Two intense wars and many years of bombing and deprivation later, the evil ruler of Iraq was gone, but we’d spent trillions of dollars; a million Iraqis were dead; four million were displaced and desperate and abandoned; violence was everywhere; sex trafficking was on the rise; the basic infrastructure of electricity, water, sewage, and healthcare was in ruins (in part because of the U.S. intention to privatize Iraq’s resources for profit); life expectancy had dropped; cancer rates in Fallujah surpassed those in Hiroshima.[7]

  • War Promotes Morally Wasting Behaviors:

The mutilation of bodies, whatever drives it in each case, is a fairly common practice in war, although engaged in mostly by people who were not inclined to murderous violence prior to joining the military. [8]

  • War Does Not Bring Security and Is Not Sustainable:

The damage of our wars in the global battlefield outlasts the memories of elderly survivors. We leave landscapes pock-marked with bomb craters, oil fields ablaze, seas poisoned, ground water ruined. We leave behind, and in the bodies of our own veterans, Agent Orange, depleted uranium, and all the other substances designed to kill people quickly but carrying the side-effect of killing people slowly.[9]

  • War Wastes Taxpayer Public Monies

We routinely dump over half of our discretionary public spending into the military, and any additional trillions will be found or borrowed — no questions asked.[10]

  • War-Talk Disrupts Our Spiritual Growth

We also have war on our minds...War is in our toys, our movies, our television shows. And it’s a huge part of our economy and of our institutions of higher learning...The military funds and consults on Hollywood movies...and arranges to be honored before and during major sporting events...Through this infiltration of every corner of our country, war is made to appear normal, sane, safe, and sustainable.[11]

  • War Promotes Nuclear Destruction

The environment as we know it will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive “conventional” war, understood to mean the sorts of wars we now wage. Intense damage has already been done by wars and by the research, testing, and production done in preparation for wars.[12]

  • War Decimates Natural Habitat and Resources:

Most of the migratory birds that used to pass through Afghanistan no longer do so. Its air and water have been poisoned with explosives and rocket propellants.[13]

  • War Consumes Huge Amounts of Fossil Fuels:

The wars themselves, whether or not fought for oil, consume huge quantities of it. The world’s top consumer of oil, in fact, is the U.S. military... The U.S. military burns through about 340,000 barrels of oil each day. If the Pentagon were a country, it would rank 38th in oil consumption.[14]

Consider also this point in fact:

The United States uses the most oil in the world--about 20 million barrels each day. That's 840 million gallons of oil every single day! [15]

  • War Causes All Kinds of Pollution:

The U.S. Department of [War] is the world’s worst polluter, belching, dumping, and spilling more pesticides, defoliants, solvents, petroleum, lead, mercury, and depleted uranium than the five biggest American chemical corporations combined.[16]

Consider also this point in fact:

About 6 million tons of petroleum end up in earth's waters every year.[17]

The list of subtractions from being able to counter global climate change, promote sustainable energy products, new green economies, and massive corruption-free stimulus investment for local levels awaits further discussion.

Notes:

1."UNAC Statement on the Situation in Ukraine and Venezuela," UNAC, https://www.unacpeace.org/

2. "Black Sea: U.S. to Deploy Guided Missile Ship Against Russia," Stop Nato (blog), April 3, 2014, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/black-sea-u-s-to-deploy-guided-missile-warship-against-russia/.

3. "Black Sea: Pentagon's Gateway to Three Continents and the Middle East," Stop Nato (blog), August 27, 2009, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/tag/black-sea/.

4. "Public Citizen Presses to Overturn Citizens United," Public Citizen, http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=4788.

5. "Pope Francis Discusses Ongoing War in Syria," Catholic Herald, November 26, 2013, http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/11/26/pope-francis-discusses-ongoing-war-in-syria-with-vladimir-putin/.

6. Wooden, Cindy, "Pope Francis Discusses Ongoing War in Syria," Ibid.

7. War is a Lie, DavidSwanson.org, 2010, Adobe Digital e-book, 21.

8. Ibid., 126.

9. Ibid., 195.

10. Ibid., 224.

11. Ibid., 225.

12. Ibid., 229.

13. Ibid., 234.

14. Ibid., 234.

15. Reilly, Kathleen, Energy, Chicago: Nomad Press, 2009, 36.

16. War is a Lie, Ibid., quote from Ted Rall, 234.

17. Reilly, Kathleen, Ibid., 42.

18. Children's Cloth of Many Colors, Worldpeace.org, April 7, 2014.

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