From Copenhagen to Kabul, this is an unjust war on us all

14 Dec

President Obama recently defined just war as, “the concept of a just war…a war is justified only when certain conditions were met, if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defence, if the force used is proportional, and if whenever possible, civilians were spared by violence”(Oslo, Norway. 12/10/09). By the president’s own scholarly admission, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and on the environment have never been, or will be just wars.
Last weekend (Dec. 12-13th), hundreds of protestors protested outside of the white house in the wake of a war president receiving the Nobel peace prize. Likewise, In Copenhagen, a hundred thousand protestors (Democracy Now, 12/14/09) marched onto the Bella Centre to protest the war waged against changing the system that has exacerbated man-made climate change. These two movements are simultaneously surging as the U.S. sends 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, behind 6584 civilian casualties, according to the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) and a UK Guardian summary, and over $233 billion spent on the Afghan war (nationalpriorities.org, 12/14/09).
The $233 billion plus that is being spent could be spent on directly creating Green Jobs that would allow us to save our planet from home, and it would allow us to pay our climate debt abroad that consists of “historical damages, the plundering of our resources, the contamination of [their] lands” (Ivonne Yanez, Democracy Now, 11/12/09).

The un-just war, which is to say that the actions of the U.S. have been contextually disproportionate, not wholly in self-defence, and civilians have and will not be spared in Af-pak (U.S. DoD term for Afghanistan and Pakistan), Iraq, or from the environmental catastrophe that is expected to displace millions. Here at home with the neglect that has spawned infamous rates of disease and environmental racism, according to 2001-05 EPA figures, 13% of Black Children acquired asthma directly correlating with air-pollution (Children’s Environmental Health Disparities report).

This just war to create peace is only a class war; in Afghanistan, the class war ignores the human and financial for U.S. hegemony, as Exxonmobil recently won the rights to develop Iraq’s “best undeveloped oil fields” (New York Times, 12/12/09); moreover, the poorest inhabitants of the Globe will suffer the consequences of climate change as emissions, consumption, and fossil fuels are the main considerations in a Copenhagen framework.

For more information on what the U.S. can possibly do to address climate change, check out this NPR article: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121166917

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One Response to “From Copenhagen to Kabul, this is an unjust war on us all”

  1. brenda c December 14, 2009 at 11:41 PM #

    excellent commentary…agree with u wholeheartedly…altho i didnt expect obama to change the world, or to even be able to right our economy in one year, i didnt expect him to do the exact opposite of what he promised during the campaign…his best friends are the bankers- his rhetoric will not stop them from reaping the benefits of the distruction they’ve caused throughout the nation (foreclosed homes, ruined retirement funds,etc) and the world. And it certainly wont shield our soldiers or stop them from dying in wars against two nations foolishly begun by the Bush administration. Instead of “change”, i”m afraid last year’s election brought us “Bush lite”… i wanted a president with big, clanging brass balls who would do what was necessary to right this country and help salvage what’s left of our ability to affect this world for the better. instead, we appear to have elected someone who’s been castrated by the right…

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