As we grind on toward an election that is unlikely to halt the precipitous slide of the U.S. into all out war on the planet comes the news that the Pentagon is the 3rd biggest polluter of waterways. It's right up there with the for-profit corporations that use the commons upon which life depends as if they were their personal sewers.
|Source: Truth-out.org Environment America Analysis of EPA Toxic Inventory Release Program|
Emerson Urry reporting for EnviroNews had this to say about the Pentagon's role as polluter:
Amongst the many potentially deadly substances released by DOD are chemicals, rocket fuel and toxic sewage - but it's the carcinogenic and mutagenic radioactive isotopes let loose by its nuclear munition plants that make DOD's emissions exceptionally dangerous. The Department's myriad facilities, dedicated steadfastly to perpetuating ongoing participation in the nuclear bomb game, have been leaking and leeching lethal radiation from the dawn of the nuclear age, to the present day.
Heard much about that in the presidential primary debates so far? I didn't think so.
Urry goes on to point out the irony of the department called "defense" which is charged with guarding our collective security actually posing a real and immediate threat to our well-being. And that of our grandchildren, and their grandchildren -- if humans make it that far.
The Pentagon, as has been previously noted in this blog, also consumes the most fossil fuels and consequently has the largest carbon footprint of any single organization on Earth.
For even more irony note that the current Republican front runner, the demagogue with the bad hair, is the only candidate from the two corporate parties with the temerity to criticize the ongoing, still escalating war in Iraq. Media commentary described this as the candidate "going all Codepink" because of the women's peace and justice group by that name that was formed to call on the U.S. government not to launch shock and awe on Iraq in the first place. Codepink has also continued to criticize U.S. aggression on Iraq -- and Syria, and Afghanistan, and Yemen, etc. -- whether or not the person in the White House has an R or a D after his name. And to point out via the Bring Our War $$ campaign that the domestic costs of giving such an enormous slice of the pie to the Pentagon and its contractors each year are crumbling infrastructure, a populace slipping into poverty, and a planet slipping into climate chaos.
The problem is that for the past decade and a half the Pentagon budget has been gobbling up not only our treasure but our common sense. Ever since the U.S. was allegedly attacked from without on 9/11, the U.S. has created ever more insurgencies by bombing civilians and occupying country after country. There appears to be no end in sight, and even civil society is increasingly engulfed in rah-rah militarism that is enough to make this history major's skin crawl.
For example, Facebook thinks I want to see this ad (probably because I work in education?):
One can only imagine what age children are being subjected to their teachers' not very subtle hints that they are expected to become cannon fodder for the U.S. war machine.
I'll mention here that I support the Green Party presumptive candidate for president, Dr. Jill Stein, because her platform is one of life support rather than death-dealing. Online liberal commenters scourge me regularly for this, and their common theme is: she can't win.
Pretty sure that's what they said about abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, and the 40 hour work week, too.