Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Obama the Warmonger

When former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell made his fraudulent claims at the United Nations about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, his assistants hung curtains over the famous anti-war painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso, which hung in the lobby outside the UN chambers. Today, as the United States military prepares to escalate its destabilization campaign in Africa, President Obama has sent his newly appointed commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Carter Ham, on a US speaking tour to promote the idea of expanding the war on terror in Africa.

One week prior to General Ham's speaking tour, U.S. Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson suggested the time is fast approaching when the task of defeating terrorists would become less a military function and more one of law enforcement. Ham's subsequent tour and the militaristic echo to his remarks sounded by the Wall Street Journal, point to the reality of war -- whether on terror or anything else -- as a business, conducted on behalf of business, not national security. The counterpoint emanating from the Washington Post demonstrates that Obama's perceived need to get out ahead on public relations if he wants public support for his war on Africa, not to mention despoiling the continent for his friends on Wall Street, is an accurate one.

As Horace Campbell points out in his lengthy article about the need to dismantle AFRICOM, the United States has always been on the wrong side in Africa--opposing Mandela, assassinating Lumumba, and backing the ruthless Ugandan and Rwandan dictators committing genocide in the Congo. Contrary to the Obama PR campaign, AFRICOM, says Campbell, is the principal obstacle to peace and stability in Africa. Obama the warmonger might not be what Americans voted for, but it's what they got. Now they have to decide what, if anything, to do about it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Misguided Priorities

While worldwide famine and drought and species extinction might seem like a small price to pay for making a bundle on the depletion of Canadian and American energy reserves, the accelerated extraction and export of coal, oil and gas to China has a limited payback. Regardless of the billions banked by investors and governments over the coming decades, looming at the grande finale of the fossil fuel extravaganza is unparallelled misery. When all is said and done, the climate change impacts from the turbo-charged carbonizing of North American energy projected over the next half century are beyond any society's ability to adapt or recover. In other words, the certainty of utter devastation -- as documented by all scientific bodies worldwide -- is still deemed a reasonable risk to take by the governments of Canada and the US. Indeed, it is presently promoted by both financiers and politicians as indispensable to our way of life. Unfortunately, due to their misguided priorities, that way of life is fast coming to a close.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Narrative of Power

The dominant narrative of power is always how to get more, but in the face of climate change, rather than continuing to invest in ways to power up, we need to look for ways to power down. Viewing climate change as a crime against humanity, carbon killers like the Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin and Black Mesa coal mines need to be shut down. Until we reorient ourselves to a sustainable lifestyle, common wealth and public health will remain elusive.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Straight to Hell

We all live on the same planet. Breathe the same air. Drink the same water.

As a planet in motion, that air and water -- along with mammals, fish and birds -- moves around. Nuclear meltdown in Japan leaves infants dead in Canada. Oil spills in the Salish Sea kill whales from California.

As the Government of Canada risks the pristine wilderness of its Pacific coast to export Tar Sands oil to China, the Government of the United States likewise risks the rich marine ecosystem of the Salish Sea to export Powder River coal for use in Chinese industry. While organized labor in the US seeks a piece of the carbon cartel pie, workers in China demonstrate daily against the Government of China over air pollution and other toxic wastes that are killing their communities.

With oil and gas companies in the US fracturing water tables and poisoning aquifers with toxic chemicals, American communities are waking up to the insanity of globalization. With fossil fuel generated climate change ravaging the glaciers, icecaps and shorelines of the world, promoting a fossil fuel frenzy by exporting North America's energy reserves to Asia isn't just foolish, it's suicidal.

But then, apocalypse has never been anything that worried Wall Street. As we enter the second great depression thanks to their recklessness, the guiding hand of the Free Market is leading us straight to hell.

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