how we wasted 20 years fighting the “Global War on Terror” instead of climate change.
Among the rash of 9/11 articles, this one from the Intercept caught my eye. “General Failure: How the U.S. Military Lied About the 9/11 Wars” by Peter Maas purports to line up the culprit chain of command:
•The generals Lloyd Austin, now Secretary of Defense, and David Petraeus who both lied to Congress about how well the war was going;
•Politicians complicit with the generals sustaining overseas bloodshed.
So far so bad. What about the people who elect those politicians and who, along with lobbyists given a free hand with Citizens United, back them with obscene PAC bribes? What about the lobbyists and war profiteers? For the most part, from presidents on down, Americans love war, the Ur-baseball of the culture where all is staked on “winning.” But Peter Maas is not a cultural writer.
The military also happens to be the biggest burner of fossil fuel in the world, far outstripping even nations. From the start of the grandiosely titled “Global War on Terror,” from 2001 to the present, the U.S. military’s emissions amount to ½ billion metric tons of greenhouse gasses related directly to war-generated fuel consumption. To better grasp the scope of the miasma produced, below is a graphic from Brown University’s Cost of War Project:
But because Peter Mass is not an environmental writer he overlooks addressing the Ur-Crime of the Anthropocene which results in the inability of our planet to continue sustaining life.
The criminal chain of command from the generals on down to the war profiteers and the people who elect U.S. politicians, aided by the oil and gas corporations with their oiligarch CEOs, the Talking Heads, the satraps like Bremer and Wolfowitz, all are responsible for bringing us the fires in the West, Southwest, and Mediterranean Europe; the floods in Germany and Tennessee and Iowa, the walls of water in New York and New Jersey, the hurricane that destroyed the energy grid in New Orleans, snows that burst the pipes in Mighty Texas where nothing ever goes wrong, displacement of millions of the world’s populations through drought, and now famine and starvation in Madagascar.
If we were bent on retribution, what form might it take? What commensurate punishment might we fix for the loss of our planetary habitat? Such a scene was set some 450 years ago by Shakespeare in Titus Andronicus. (Why, they are…baked in that pie whereof their mother daintily hath fed. — Titus Andronicus, V. 3)
Picture a cosmic banquet to which all miscreants are invited. The vengeful cooks have spent days baking pies. It’s evening now. The table is set. Generals sit at the head, the politicians and oiligarchs sit within reach of the salt, the war profiteers have a table all their own, all the little people sit at the low tables. The banqueters chow down. The meat is tough, half raw; it cries in pain. In the sauce, little arms and legs appear. The banqueters eat undeterred.
Heaving and retching begin when they find the limbs of their own children.
As for the peacemakers, they have had the taste of this banquet in their mouths for a very long time.
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