The U.S. military is causing devastation to the environment. Joseph Nevins writes in 2010 that "The U.S. military is the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most responsible for destabilizing the Earth’s climate." The article states ". . . the Pentagon devours about 330,000 barrels of oil per day (a barrel has 42 gallons), more than the vast majority of the world’s countries." The amount of oil used by your military machine is beyond belief, and each military vehicle also releases pollutants through the exhaust. Tanks, trucks, Humvees and other vehicles are not known for their fuel economy. Other fuel guzzlers are submarines, helicopters and fighter jets. Each military flight, whether involved in the transport of soldiers or in a combat mission, contributes more carbon into the atmosphere. Candobetter.net editor: Unfortunately the Australian government supports this US war machine. Earth Day is Wednesday April 22, 2015. These letters will be sent for that occasion but they seek to involve the public earlier in this campaign against war.
Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy. But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration and now the Democratic Obama administration are threatening to set off World War III.
"A classic case study of the conduct of US foreign policy as it relates to international law." Most Australians seem to get their opinions on world events from some well-known ABC, Murdoch and Fairfax commentators, and some newer ones sourced from corporate 'think tanks' like the Lowy Institute, and some questionably alternative sources like the Green Left Weekly, who all basically run the same line. If that is how you get your news, then you won't have any idea of what happened to Libya in 2011. To have any understanding of events in the Middle East, it is necessary to read much more widely. I came across this book recently and snapped it up because it was by an international US law professor who personally represented Mohamar Qadaffi in Libya's defense against the Lockerbie airplane bombing accusations and documented successive NATO attempts to draw Libya into war. Written very clearly, with a proper thesis, the book proved to be a fascinating and moving document of one man's attempt to represent his people honestly and truly and to synthesise a way forward for Muslims, men and women together, as a national participant in global affairs.
The US-Empire's present preeminent position of brutal global thug is a self-evident truth based on hard facts regarding the magnitudes of death and destruction; counted in millions of lives, millions of refugees, and nation-wide obliterations of civil infrastructure, not to mention annihilations of national and civil institutions. US crimes do not diminish the importance of injustices perpetrated by non-aligned regimes, but there is an obvious asymmetry of magnitudes that simply cannot be denied. (Article originally published here:
Inside, two interviews with Dr Tim Anderson, Sydney academic, on Syria. The first is by Channel 7 on 24 January 2014 and shows incredible bias. The second is by Journalist Joshua Blakeney, who interviewed Anderson and Hands Off Syria's Jasmine Saadat about their recent visit to Syria where they met with Syrian officials including the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. The interview was conducted at a time when the pro-war Australian press was attempting to discredit members of Hands Off Syria Australia for meeting with members of the Syrian government. See inside for videos.
Another sign of overpopulation and resource competition: We publish a press release from a commercial anti-pirate operation which offers naval escort services across the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, where easy collection of oil is no longer guaranteed. . "In West Africa in the area known as the Gulf of Guinea, where there is no UK, EUNAVFOR or US Naval presence (nor is there planned to be), maritime crime is escalating and is spiralling to such levels that the UN Security Council has recognised it as a specific threat to international security (Resolutions 2018  and 2039 ). It is estimated that the state of Nigeria is losing $1bn of crude oil through theft every month."
This is a fascinating video of a huge protest in Sydney on 5 August 2012 and we have put up a video of it with a number of interesting interviews from marchers, with comments from what they think of the Bashar Assad Government to how they don't like the Australian Greens policy on this matter and believe that we are risking World War Three by backing intervention in Syria. There is also some background on how Syria has been the long-term host one of the largest refugee populations in the world, which makes you wonder why it doesn't receive more support from Greens and Refugee activists. It must seem ironic that some candobetter.net EcoMalthusians are more inclined to give Syria that recognition! Please let us know if you have views on the democratic status of the Syrian government; we find it hard to judge. All comments and greetings welcome.
It is great to see two politically engaged women speak out about Syria. On the one hand we have Syrian Girl Partisan, who has reported in around 20 home-made films. Now a Catholic nun based in Syria has stood up and denounced Western reporting on events there. What she and others seek in Syria is “reform, no violence, no foreign intervention.” She hopes for “a new, third way, a new social pact where the right to autodetermination without outside interference” would be respected. It is great to see two politically engaged women speak out about Syria.
I have hesitated to use the word 'genocide' to date because I think often the rhetoric can get very inflated in discussion of this conflict. Inflated rhetoric muddies the waters and prevents clear thinking. (That doesn't mean we shouldn't use words that express our emotions, but these need to be meaningful. Mistaken and over-use of emotive rhetoric devalues the currency of language. Then we don't have words for realities which do exist. People stop listening when the language has lost meaning. And 'genocide' is problematic because of the wide gap in ordinary usage and its meaning in international law.
The condition of the people of Gaza is utterly dreadful as the article below shows, far worse than for those in Lebanon, bad though that is. So what other word adequately describes what is now going on in Gaza?