The Most Dangerous Time

libya attacksIt feels like the most dangerous crisis of my lifetime.

We are fighting a trillion-dollar Long War in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and a dozen other secret battlegrounds, including Saudi Arabia. Our government claims we are fighting terrorism, but the wars are breeding more terrorists. Our most questionable allies in the war on terrorism – Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, etc – are going down or faltering fast. Now we lurch into intervention in Libya, and we back the theocratic Saudi dictators as they invade Bahrain with our Apache helicopters.

The underlying deal is that we buy their oil, they spend the petrodollars on our weapons, we look the other way, and the lobbyists get rich. All that real-politick is as solid as the sand.

Our smart young president formulates platforms to please us all: withdraw from Iraq [still in question], double-down in Afghanistan, keep the killing there and in Pakistan secret, promise the peace voters a four-year withdrawal instead of permanent war. Pass on the cost to future taxpayers. The madness concealed beneath the surface was made obvious this week as outgoing Defense Secretary Gates told West Point cadets that anyone advising the American president to invade countries like Iraq and Afghanistan had to “have his head examined”, but then lectured NATO on heading to the exits without a military victory.

On energy, the please-us-all platform has been: offshore oil drilling, mountaintop coal mining, billions for new and improved nuclear power plants, and some green jobs thrown in.  The national groups have gone along with the deal, and some have become ardent nuke advocates. But, like the Long War promises, Obama’s energy promises have all evaporated this year, in a mining disaster in West Virginia, a deepwater disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and now the worst nuclear meltdown our world has ever known.

Isn’t it time to rebel? Rebel against the thinking that got us here, rebel against the institutions that take us faster on the treadmill to hell.

Our clear message should be to end these infernal wars and to reinvest in energy conservation and renewable resources—now, not later—and not as a gesture to placate environmentalists, but as the cornerstone of economic recovery, a cleaner planet and global security.


  1. Joe Weinstein says

    And the good news is that instead of nuclear they are ready to give us clean natgas, obtained by fracking. (Oh, the gas itself is clean all right. As Lehrer sang in 1965, ‘Just one thing you must beware, don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air’.) If you don’t have the time to see GASLAND, just remember one fact: Cheney and company engineered the Congress and President to allow gas frackers wholesale violation of the Clean Water Act.

    In brief, it you are (or can claim to be) extracting gas, you have the right to dump all kinds of published and unpublished carcinogenic chemicals into leased exploration ground, no matter that you know full well that they will come back into streams and wells.

    At least the nuke guys don’t yet have the right to dump spent nuke wastes into wherever they can lease..

    Yes, per Grumet, ‘the world is fundamentally a set of relative risks.’ Funny how (at least during the OBushma era) that always turns out to mean that at any given time at least one kind of profound eco-crime is politically correct in DC.

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