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02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

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02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

02.19 Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril [2:01 video]

02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

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02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

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02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

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02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

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02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw

02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

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  NATO Goes Green -- for Ill-Gotten Gains
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COMMENTARY:

NATO Goes Green -- for Ill-Gotten Gains

by Chris Floyd
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 10 September 2009

As with Iraq, if you view this war through the prism of elite aggrandizement, it all becomes, in the immortal words of that strange, absurdist warmonger of yore, "perfectly clear."

NATO, the "North Atlantic" treaty organization now fighting a slaughterous war in, er, Central Asia, is going green, setting up a new panel of heavy-duty worthies to pursue the strategic ramifications of global climate change. But as David Cronin reports in the Guardian, when militarists mull the ailments of Mother Earth, they aren't looking to mop the old lady's brow; they're trying to shake her down for every little bauble she's got left. The whole piece is worth reading, but here are some excerpts:

Over the past week a group appointed by the new Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen held its first meeting on how the "strategic concept" guiding the organisation's activities should be updated to take account of climate change and other key challenges. The group's chief? One Madeleine Albright, previously US secretary of state under Bill Clinton. Albright, lest we forget, is the same woman who foisted mass pauperisation on Iraq in pursuit of the ignoble goal of putting that country's oil resources under western control. In 1996, she was asked on the TV show 60 Minutes if she could justify the deaths of half of a million Iraqi children caused, according to Unicef, by an economic embargo that deprived the country of basic medicines. "I think this is a very hard choice but the price – we think the price is worth it," she replied.

Albright's deputy in the new group will be Jeroen van der Veer, until recently the chief executive of Shell. Thanks to the makers of the film The Age of Stupid, we know that Shell's gas flaring in the Niger Delta releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than all the other sources of greenhouse gas emissions in sub-Saharan Africa combined.

...Rather than taking a broad definition of human security, which acknowledges that the future of humanity depends on changing how ecological resources are managed, it is merely interested in grabbing as much of those resources as it can. That much was acknowledged by Rasmussen's predecessor as secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer before he stepped down over the summer. He spent much of his final year in the job predicting how climate change will increase competition between countries over water, territory and farmland. Nato should have an aggressive and interventionist role in disputes over resources, he suggested, by, for example, protecting oil and gas pipelines identified as critical to the west.

Cronin also makes the crucial connection between NATO's particularly grabby take on greenness, and its current civilian-shredding misadventure in Afghanistan:

Nato's interest in climate change cannot be divorced from the nasty, imperialist war that George Bush declared against Afghanistan and Barack Obama has pledged to continue. A recent paper by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ridicules the myth that British and other Nato forces are solely driven by the need to defeat al-Qaida and the Taliban so that bombings on European trains and buses can be prevented. While Afghanistan may have limited significance as an energy supplier itself, its neighbours Iran and Turkmenistan are blessed (or cursed, depending on one's perspective) with the world's second and third largest reserves of natural gas. The US has been eager to tap into those reserves – especially those of Turkmenistan – and to route a pipeline through Afghanistan since at least the 1990s. Departing slightly from the official narrative about the necessity of the war on terror, Richard Boucher, then America's assistant secretary for state, spoke in 2007 about linking south and central Asia for energy purposes.

As we said yesterday, the war in Afghanistan has no other purpose than the maintenance and expansion of the power and privilege of the elite. That is why the war has such a strange, absurdist, contradictory nature. The outward polices -- surges, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, reconstruction, nation-building, etc. -- can and do shift wildly, act at cross-purposes, undermine each other, exacerbate problems, produce more insecurity, and very often make no sense whatsoever...if measured by their ostensible goals. But they are, in the end, a meaningless sideshow, a toxic combination of deliberate deceit and catastrophic self-delusion that masks the war's true purpose. As with Iraq, if you view this war through the prism of elite aggrandizement, it all becomes, in the immortal words of that strange, absurdist warmonger of yore, "perfectly clear."


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on September 10, 2009.

 



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