U.S. authorities have been increasingly concerned about the intensifying partnership between Russia and Venezuela, the world's leading oil producers. Washington has accused their leaderships of failing to uphold democratic values. From an article headlined, "Venezuela to buy Russian submarines, air defense systems - source," 06-18-07, RIA Novosti.
June 20, 2007
he preoccupation of some scientists, pseudo-scientists, and the global media with "Global Warming" is something to behold. From the predictions of the pessimists one can visualize the water lapping at the upper floors of the Empire State building.
In Germany in February of 2007, the preoccupation of the television media, driven to a panic by the unusually mild winter, was such that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had ceased to exist. Measured against the prospect of the media elite getting their feet wet some time in the next 200 years versus the US' latest killing sprees the latter was a non-issue.
Actually, global warming has a political aspect as distinct from its physical aspect and it may be of interest to look at the historical context of the former. By its physical aspect I mean quantifying it and relating it to a cause or causes. In other words determining a function f and the variables xi and t so that one can write
Tearth = f(x1, x2, …, xN, t) ± è
where: Tearth is the Earth's temperature
and è is the uncertainty in the calculation.
The field of science into which this issue falls is thermodynamics, one of the most elegant branches of human knowledge.
By its political aspect I mean the impact of the question itself, as distinct from its answer, on human affairs. The political aspect is actually more interesting, not least of all because its impact is immediate. It's also more important because it will determine the resources that rationally should be allocated to solving the physical problem and this will involve moral choices.
In politics as in crime the main question is, who is the perpetrator. The second is, who are the beneficiaries, because the perpetrator will certainly be among them.
"Global Warming" as a political issue is part of the issue of "Environmentalism." Environmentalism was raised to the level of a poltical issue in the US when then-President Richard Nixon declared Earth Day in 1970.
What was the political climate in the US in 1970?
Ironical Chronical chart
By the end of 1969 the US had 39,600 kia's. In 1968 the average kia rate was 279 per week. The Tet offensive had shattered the propaganda edifice of democratic elections, strategic hamlets, and the light at the end of the tunnel. The US itself became polarized to the extent that the State was forced to expose itself as a "gang of armed men" willing to shoot its own citizens.
Out of the absolute necessity of the State to mitigate this pre-revolutionary situation, it evolved separate tactics for each of its two enemies, its internal class enemy at home and the external one in Vietnam.
The internal enemy: The strategy for dealing with the internal class enemy was two pronged: The first, and classical solution, which was named COINTELPRO, was police infiltration of the anti-war movement and the murder of its most charismatic leaders. The second and novel solution was to split the anti-war movement with the "cause" of "saving the environment" which the propaganda machinery, on command, elevated to a political issue called "Environmentalism." It is no accident that the first Earth Day was declared by a President of the US faced with the certainty of a military disaster.
The external enemy: Since the US elites, in their reassessment of the "order of battle" of their enemy in Vietnam, realized they could not win the war, the only option left to them was to make their defeat as costly as possible to the Vietnamese. This meant turning the war into a civil war with Vietnamese killing each other while the US rained unprecedented destruction on the country from the air, the only safe place for an American. The name for this policy was "Vietnamization," and its purpose was to destroy as much of the Vietnam biotope and its inhabitants as possible in the time left before the last South Vietnamese mercenary threw down his weapon. Success would be measured by the extent of the destruction wreaked, with complete success meaning a few tens of thousands of stragglers living in isolated stone age bands.
It is no accident that this policy of ecocide in Vietnam was accompanied by a policy of "save the environment" at home.
Overarching this problem of dealing with a failure of monumental proportions was the necessity of preventing its recurrence. Here two alternatives presented themselves: The renunciation of the US drive toward global hegemony or its continuation, made possible by a massive modernization of the US military and refinements in the methods of dealing with the class enemy at home.
The advocates of the first alternative quickly spent themselves in congressional hearings, legislation ostensibly limiting the President's war powers, and a few reforms in the CIA. As is by now obvious the major effort was devoted to the second alternative. Foregoing global hegemony was never an option.
The first tests of the chosen alternative were the First Gulf War (1991) and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia with the gleeful collaboration of NATO (1999). The outcome of these two, especially the former, resulted in a palpable euphoria among the US elites. The US, the media chortled, had successfully overcome the "Vietnam Syndrome." "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf was its hero.
In fact, as has now become obvious, these two pseudo-successes merely set the US up for its second Vietnam experience.
Its Robert McNamara, its Dean Rusk, and its General Westmoreland think-alikes are gone. The fact that its Lyndon Johnson think-alike is not gone and that the NY Times is not printing the Pentagon Papers is evidence of the refinement in the methods of dealing with the class enemy at home.
One of these refinements is the suspension of civil liberties called the PATRIOT Act, a major improvement over the COINTERLPRO program. Another is the invention of the "Global Warming" issue which is a reinvigoration of the faded "Environmentalism" left over from the Vietnam experience.
While our "intellectual class" haggles over hundredths of a degree of global warming, the US military machine burns 3.5 million gallons of oil and thousands of tons of munitions per day for the sole purpose of breaking the resistance of a people who are impeding the US' chosen path of global hegemony.
And where is our "Earth Day" President of 1970 today? He's alive and well and right here with us endorsing "Earth Day" 2007 and doing his level best to "protect our planet" by wearing a green shirt.
White House photo by Paul Morse
There's more about what the US is doing to "protect our planet" here: US Official Earth Day website
It's deja vu time, again.