Tag: Ecocide

Obama’s declaration of incompetence

Obama’s content-free address from the Oval Office will go down in history as an official declaration of incompetence of the US Government. Conspicuous by its absence was the lack of any emergency plan to stop the oil leak by mobilizing the technical resources of the world’s most powerful government. Specifically, there was no mandate to create a task force to deploy unconventional measures to seal the well. Here is Obama’s decision on how to apply the best minds in the Federal Government to the worst environmental disaster in American history:

Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology.  That’s why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy.  Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology.

Translation: Our government is not competent to fix this problem, so we must rely on BP. This, more than any other sign, is conclusive proof of the poisonous fruit of the “Reagan revolution” – a government that declares itself incompetent to protect its people from the most severe crisis.

There has been much talk about the use of a small nuclear device to seal the oil leak, but the US government’s agencies also have extensive experience with the deployment of conventional high explosives underground. In the face of American airpower supremacy, our potential adversaries have been busily digging and tunneling for decades to establish hardened structures protecting their command posts and strategic weapons development sites. America’s response has been to develop steadily more powerful “bunker buster” weapons to destroy deeply-buried structures.

The development of powerful bunker-buster weapons requires advanced research into explosive effects on geological strata. In short, America’s weapons researchers know a great deal about what happens to underground structures when a large conventional bomb is detonated near them. This knowledge is directly applicable to the problem of sealing a runaway oil well. When a new bunker buster was needed to destroy Saddam Hussein’s most deeply buried bunkers, the US Defense Department developed the weapon in just a few months. No such urgency is felt for sealing the runaway well. But even if such a solution could not be devised before the completion of the relief well fix, it would surely be of immense value to stopping future catastrophic spills.

But Obama said exactly nothing about letting our government take the lead in protecting our people. You see, Obama is a great admirer of Reagan, and Reagan said “Government is the problem.” Having declared our government incompetent, America must now rely on predatory corporations to protect public safety. The result will be more and greater environmental catastrophes, as organizations with no incentive to protect the environment continue to pretend to bear this responsibility while maximizing the profits of stockholders and dumping their risks on the helpless people of the world.

Ronald Reagan destroyed the ability of the United States government to protect its own people, clearing the path for rule by corporate oligarchs. Barak Obama is ensuring that that our governmental incompetence remains intact and the power of the oligarchs remains unchecked.

‘The Little Eichmanns’

The black plague spreads.

The leadership lies.

The CEO’s spin.

We are not ignorant of the horrific nightmare you have unleashed.

Chris Hedges has a piece on TruthDig today about our corporate leaders and how these ‘Little Eichmanns’ are doing exactly what many thought would happen when you commoditize every living breathing thing on the planet.

You die.

Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.

Those who carry out this global genocide-men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume”-are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.