National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance Call to Action

From the May 2015 PNL #842

by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

For those of us who marched in New York City on September 21, 2014, we saw hundreds of thousands of citizens taking to the streets to save Mother Earth. There was a serious anti-war presence in the march, making the connection between militarization and the destruction of the earth.

Image: Seth Tobocman & Sandy Sanders

A lame-duck President Obama has, on occasion, done the right thing—supported the dreamers, recognized the insanity of official US policy on Cuba—continues to release prisoners from the concentration camp in Guantanamo. It seems now is the time to challenge this administration to do more by ending the killer-drone program, and to convince environmentalists to be vocal critics of the Pentagon’s role in the destruction of Mother Earth.

The ineffectiveness of drone warfare is clear. Thanks to Wikileaks we have access to a July 7, 2009 secret report produced by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Transnational Issues discussing the failure of drone warfare in making the world safe. “The potential negative effects of HLT [High Level Targets] operations,” the report states, “include increasing the level of insurgent support […], strengthening an armed group’s bonds with the population, radicalizing an insurgent group’s remaining leaders, creating a vacuum into which more radical groups can enter, and escalating or de-escalating a conflict in ways that favor the insurgents.”

The effect of militarization on the environment is clear.  By starting the march at the Environmental Protection Agency, we [tried] to encourage environmentalists to join the action. A letter was sent to Gina McCarthy of the Environmental Protection Agency to seek a meeting to discuss the Pentagon’s role in ecocide. A letter would also be sent to Chuck Hagel requesting a meeting to discuss the Climate Crisis, exacerbated by US warmongering.

This Call to Action highlights the need for the environmental agency to recognize the destructive role the military machine plays in climate chaos and to take action to remediate the situation.

According to Joseph Nevins in Greenwashing the Pentagon, “The US military is the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most responsible for destabilizing the Earth’s climate.”

The Pentagon is aware that national security could be affected by climate chaos. However, as Nevin tells us, “Such ‘greenwashing’ helps to mask the fact that 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. If the US military were a nation-state, it would be ranked number 37 in terms of oil consumption—ahead of the likes of the Philippines, Portugal, and Nigeria—according to the CIA Factbook.”

To see another example of the military’s destructive nature, see Okinawa: A Small Island Resists US Military’s “Pivot to Asia” by Christine Ahn, which appeared in December 2014 in Foreign Policy in Focus. We are including some of the points made in the article:
“Takeshi Miyagi, a 44-year old farmer, said he abandoned his fields in July to join the resistance by monitoring the sea by canoe. Miyagi says he and other activists are ensuring the protection of the biologically rich ecosystem of the Henoko and Oura Bays and the survival of the dugong. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment lists the dugong—a marine mammal related to the manatee—as “critically endangered.” It is also on the list of US endangered species.
“Okinawans are also pointing to the historic chemical contamination by US military bases. Last month, the Japan Ministry of Defense began excavating at the Okinawa City soccer field where barrels containing toxic herbicides were discovered last year. In July, the Japanese government unearthed 88 barrels containing ingredients used to produce Agent Orange in reclaimed land next to the Kadena Air Force Base.”

Finally, read Climate Change Challenges by Kathy Kelly:
“ seems the greatest danger—the greatest violence—that any of us face is contained in our attacks on our environment. Today’s children and generations to follow them face nightmares of scarcity, disease, mass displacement, social chaos, and war, due to our patterns of consumption and pollution.”
She adds this: “What’s more, the US military, with its more than 7,000 bases, installations, and other facilities, worldwide, is one of the most egregious polluters on the planet and is the world’s largest single consumer of fossil fuels. Its terrible legacy of forcing its own soldiers and their families, over decades, to drink lethally carcinogenic water on bases that should have been evacuated as contaminated sites is covered in a recent Newsweek story.”
If you are concerned by the challenges facing Mother Earth and want to end the killer drone program, get involved with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance on April 22, Earth Day.