WEATHER & WAR
- The typhoon that battered the Philippines with winds almost 200 mph should remind us that there is an emergency at hand. More than 700,000 people were displaced. Yes climate change is real. Yes our Mother Earth's body is in a state of toxic shock and she is thrashing about in pain. Yes we must change the way we live immediately if we hope to offer our children and their children any real chance of life. Yes that means we have to get off our fossil fuel addiction. Yes that means that the Pentagon, with the largest carbon boot print on the planet, must be included in every discussion when talking about dealing with climate change. Yes that does in fact mean we have to stop making weapons and instead we should be building solar, wind, rail and turning the military into the Natural Guard. The military should be trained to do disaster relief as there is going to be a great need for alot of it in the coming years.
- Instead of looking at the real "enemy" we face, ourselves and the climate mess we have created, our mis-leadership in the US continues its military encirclement of Russia and China provoking new tensions and new arms races. NATO is pushing hard to bring Georgia (right along Russia's border) into the alliance just as they are also pushing to bring Finland into the cancerous military arm of corporate globalization.
- Vietnam war veteran, and Veterans for Peace member, S. Brian Willson wrote yesterday about Veterans Day (originally called Armistice Day):
"Thank you for your service." For more than the three decades that I have publicly acknowledged being a veteran, I continue to hear over and over this professed appreciation. Recently I was admitted to the Portland, Oregon Veterans Administration hospital and once completing her medical intake interview the attending physician made sure she thanked me for my service. I cringed. My service? She had left my room before I could compose an honest response. Nothing I did while in my 3 years, 11 months and 17 days of military functioning could be even closely defined as service - not to the US people, not to the people of the world, and certainly not to myself. And the implicit, if not explicit message is a thank you to veterans for preserving "our freedom."
In 2012 the Pentagon (Department of War) launched a thirteen-year national Vietnam War Commemoration public relations project (until 2025) explicitly designed to justify, glorify and honor the Vietnam War, including its soldiers. In fact, it is a poorly masked effort to obliterate from our memory the egregiously criminal US war, and the popular GI and citizen opposition to it. This effort has likely made such thank yous a more pronounced ubiquitous policy. Eradicating memory is a long historical pattern of imperial powers.
It is a shame that the public seems unwilling to grasp that virtually all our military adventures are lawless, imperial barbarisms, violently robbing others of their freedom and autonomy enabling the US people to continue living in fantastic opulence justified by a sense of exceptionalism while we callously outsource the consequential pain and suffering inflicted on innocent others and the sacred earth. Our veteran "service" does not protect our "freedoms", though it does preserve freedom to rob, pillage, and rape, destroying and repressing others devoid of genuine diplomacy or "democracy".