For Paris, Make Love Not War, Remain Free and Be Green
Be strong and reflect. Islamo-Fascism will not be defeated by Christo-Fascism or a state of perma-war. In the 21st century it is time to reject endless military escalation of the Middle East crisis and understand and respond to the root causes of conflict. Even as we commit to bringing all perpetrators of mass murder to justice, we must be brave and not give up our liberties or commit further war crimes. The West must respond to the rage of societies we have senselessly bombed for decades, yet not committed to truly liberating from Islamo-Fascism. Ecological restoration, sustainable agriculture, birth control, greater equity, and justice – along with international policing, rejecting religious extremism of all types, and a Paris climate treaty – are the only means to heal the Middle East’s and West’s wounds.
“War is murder. Together we must resist all religious, military, and nationalist indoctrination that teaches killing others is just… Oil is a drug and it is utterly destroying both the sellers and users. The current state of oil inflamed perma-war must draw to an end.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders personal essay by Dr. Glen Barry of EcoInternet
My sorrow goes out to those murdered and traumatized in Paris (and the many subsequent terrorist attacks including most recently Orlando), and to the people and societies that feel such sorrow that they carry out these atrocities. First and foremost breathe and reflect: it is absolutely vital that we don’t panic and hastily and reflexively retaliate. Secondly, think of how we as a human family have gotten to the point where suicide bombers feel justified going on a murder spree through Central Paris, or the rich anonymously wage drone based terrorism on the poor causing such a worldview to fester. And lastly, seek to understand how abrupt climate change, ecological decline, and over-population have exacerbated ancient divides, escalating lethal militancy on all sides that threatens to tear down our one shared biosphere.
Liberal democracies must not let Western liberties be further sacrificed because of the madness of murderous thugs. While devastating, keep things in perspective, understanding far more children needlessly die from bad water a day – at least 3,000 – than were killed in the recent attack. ISIS desires further impulsive retaliation to give its twisted cause greater legitimacy – something which incautiously occurred after 9/11. Such goading must be resisted this time through better judgement, greater prudence, and a sound and proportional response.
The cycle of escalation in the Middle East must be broken by responding firmly and resolutely with love and compassion, as both the murderous Daesh apostasy and Western imperialist neo-colonialism are eliminated from the Earth. The direct perpetuators and supporters of all murderous acts must be resolutely brought to justice under international law, the West must commit to basic human rights and needs for all (while not committing further war crimes), and ISIS must be liquidated as peaceful political structures are fostered in the Middle East.
War is murder. Together we must resist all religious, military, and nationalist indoctrination that teaches killing others is just. War murders are in service only to evil.
Seek to understand how we got to this point. The Middle East has been wracked by religious conflict for millennia. This volatile situation has been greatly exacerbated by profound inequity and injustice enforced by a medieval theocracy, funded by the West’s addiction to oil, and maintained through decades of aerial bombardment. The end result is that globally the very ecosystems and climate that we all depend upon for sustenance are collapsing. For many there are no homes or habitable ecosystems to return to post conflict.
Has America gotten revenge for 9/11 yet? Fifteen years after 9/11 over a million people have been murdered, the majority of them innocents. At some point we must recognize terrorism as blowback for Western over-consumption and the presumption that we are entitled to a disproportionate share of the world’s resources, including oil, which we are free to pillage to the detriment of all others. Daesh is a creation of failed foreign policy that came to a head with the botched invasion of Iraq by President George W. Bush, and continues with President Barack Obama’s murderous and ineffective drone strikes and persistent bombings.
Oil is a drug and it is utterly destroying both the sellers and users. The current state of oil inflamed perma-war must draw to an end.
The once lush Middle East is collapsing ecologically as human numbers and prolonged war have devastated natural ecosystems. Ancient cultures based upon an outdated medieval worldview have grown corpulent and corrupt by selling drugs to the over-developed west, and spewing fossil fuel filth into the atmosphere; devastating their own land and water bases already under pressure from exponential population growth, as they foul the global atmosphere. The current war and refugee crises in Syria and Iraq are a direct result of climate change and ecosystem loss, and are a portend of coming biosphere collapse.
The West’s middle class will never again enjoy the artificial bounty of liquidating natural ecosystems and a fossil fuel binge as traditional societies are plundered with impunity. Nor will the one billion people that live on less than $1.50 a day have the potential to achieve the over-consumptive lifestyles seen in the media and TV. Most fossil fuels are going to have to remain in the ground, and natural ecosystems protected and aided to expand, if we are to maintain the life-giving environment.
In an ecologically collapsing world strewn with stray nukes and millions of conventional weapons of war, we meet somewhere in the middle, or we die at each other’s throats as we pull down the biosphere and being ends.
Perhaps if we act quickly there are enough ecosystems and resources for all to meet basic needs, with many having some but not all luxuries, as a livable and peaceful world is maintained. But it requires sharing and knowing the meaning of the word enough. No longer can a few hundred people control half the Earth’s wealth, while billions exist in debilitating and radicalizing abject poverty. This creation of a just and equitable economic order is in all our interests, except perhaps for a handful of billionaire tyrants that throttle the Earth and all her life for a bit more growth in opulent excess.
Instead of appealing to international law and extolling the rights of man (that is, the self-evident political and economic rights of all people), America’s knee-jerk response to Islamo-terrorism has been to incessantly wage bi-partisan war upon entire societies – profoundly terrorizing whole regions for the crimes of a few with a constant threat of remote control murder. Americans feel a deep sense of entitlement to consume more at the expense of others, and to kill those that resist. There is little exceptionalism to be found in the now twisted American dream of wealth based upon the wretched despair of others. Even our token non-military foreign aid is reviled and subject to elimination by the rich.
Be clear: Daesh is a murderous twisted ideology that must be wiped from the Earth. Yet so is neo-imperialistic perma-war waged by the Congressional-military-industrial complex and the oil oligarchies of the world to maintain a couple percentage points of economic growth at the expense of the poor and the Earth. Drones and continual aerial bombings are no way to defeat evil, as indiscriminate murder fosters and emboldens a rotten worldview that threatens a regional and global dark age. Even “boots on the ground” will prove inadequate in and of itself to defeat an ideology based upon an ancient religion metastasizing into a barbaric cult in a sea of despair and collapsing ecosystems.
The only path forward is for the West to re-embrace its pre-9/11 commitment to international law, justice, environmental sustainability, and human rights; and for moderate elements in the Middle East to commit to a program of political and social renewal. The initial conflict in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya came from such a yearning – enlightened Middle-Eastern people power shedding centuries of tyranny and demanding justice, peace, and equity – a very real hope that persists in the hearts of many, a hope which vile Islamo-fascist murders seek to kill as well.
This hope of a modern, liberal, free, just and equitable Middle East fades ever further from reality as each foreign power – Russia, Iran, Turkey, America, France and others – in turn joins the Syrian and Iraqi bombing campaign; without much focus upon human development and well-being, environmental sustainability, or protecting democratic political reform from murderous extremists.
A righteous response to murderous evil is a shared global commitment to personal freedom, economic advancement, and environmental sustainability. A worldview of green liberty trumps the apocalyptic tyranny of both Islamo and Christo fascists. Water systems, schools, sustainable agriculture, eliminating emissions, restoring ecosystems, population controls (primarily through primary education of girls and birth control), and community based enterprise must be the focus. Together we must stabilize and reconstruct just, equitable, and sustainable societies in the Middle East and at home.
Bombing the Middle East more is certainly not the answer, as indiscriminate murder has gotten us into our current situation.
If war it must be, then the focus must be upon policing to destroy the Islamo-fascists without further war crimes by the West. The Western response to Islamo-terrorism has been to wage a new brand of token remote control murder, terrorizing whole societies and radicalizing entire generations. Not only can this not succeed, it continually breeds justifiable resentment and the next waves of terrorism. Particularly when couched in Christo-fascist language of superiority and entitlement.
To be successful, any military campaign should be waged under the auspices of the United Nations and be under the purview of international law and jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. To be just, war must assiduously avoid civilian deaths, and understand the historical and ecological context of what is occurring, as a struggle seeks to bring peace, justice, and a full military demobilization by all sides.
Yet, be equally clear, a worldview as pernicious and vile as ISIS must be as thoroughly renounced and destroyed as Nazism or the KKK. A generous response based primarily upon love must seek to completely destroy a rotten ideology which threatens complete subjugation of all that is truthful and good. This will primarily be accomplished through mutual aid and a profound respect for human dignity. Yet entire societies may need to be occupied and reordered as this ideology is expunged. If you do invade, do so in force, and commit to fully eliminating evil ISIS and restoring a sense of normalcy through a complete program of reconstruction which may take decades.
Syria has been ravaged by abrupt climate change and terrestrial ecosystem collapse. Its overpopulated landscape is strewn with the detritus of war, and abject poverty which is the norm and from which there is no easy recovery. It is critical that we avoid allowing ecological collapse to escalate into such madness elsewhere.
We must understand that in an over-populated, abrupt climate change ravaged, ecosystem collapsing world, streams of refugees interlaced with a small set of murderous madmen will be the new norm. This will require international policing that intervenes as criminal thugs indiscriminately pillage and murder, and for refugees to be housed as close to home as possible, to return home swiftly post conflict, as war once again becomes illegal and standing militaries disband.
Let a Paris climate treaty be the symbol of international unity as impacts of a further spread of abrupt climate change and globally collapsing environments are minimized. The ultimate revenge against the oil oligarchy destroying the world through greed and ecocide – as the conditions for desperate terrorism are fostered – will be for the world to come together in Paris and immediately begin emissions reductions. Escalating global conflicts can only be resolved by averting abrupt climate change as humanity comes together to equitably and justly set a framework to achieve global ecological sustainability.
Paris must not become the symbol of yet another military escalation that does not understand and respond to Muslim rage wisely and rationally by getting at root causes of mind-numbing despair.
Have no doubt: war is murder and is illegal. In a resource constrained Earth full of weapons there can be no respite unless our response is one based on love, compassion, and a shared way of life based upon freedom and being green. All sides must be reflective, yet we cannot allow further Western militarism or Islamo-terrorism. We must defeat the former at the ballot, and the latter in the war of ideas. Failure to defeat both means the back and forth of terrorist attacks will continue as a state of perma-war is the precursor to global ecological collapse.
Europe’s borders are going to have to be closed. As I have written, there is no way the entire population of dispossessed persons can be accommodated in Europe and the United States. It will only worsen the situation of already industrially collapsing over-developed societies where fascist demagoguery is on the rise. The west must power down its engines of ecocide as the not-yet-overdeveloped world improves their living standards, until the world converges in a place of just and equitable sustainability.
The alternative to global convergence is the bad sort of anarchy prior to complete social, economic, and ecological collapse. While those that are smart and hard workers will still have more, all will have enough; and peace, fairness, and sustainable livelihoods will reign.
Further, again, it is absolutely essential to commit to permaculture and ecological restoration of denuded lands. It is vital to demonstrate that secular humanism can meet the needs of an over-populated region in place, not by allowing indiscriminate migration that overruns any sense of hope that we can all persist by living within the ecological constraints of our own bioregions. And leave Islamic and Christian holy lands alone, as we seek to nurture free thinking and a disbelief in mythical absent gods that want us to kill each other.
Be strong. Don’t lash out indiscriminately with violence. If policing is required, do it together as a human family under the banner of truth, compassion, and international law; addressing religious fanaticism, injustice, ecological collapse, endless desires and greed on a finite Earth, and inequity amongst scarcity, as the root causes of perma-war waged by both sides.
True peace requires rebuking religious fanaticism, ending ecocidal fossil fuels, and making love not war. I reckon Paris has a thing or two to teach us about making love. Let’s together make peace and sustainability the legacy of the Paris attacks, enshrined in a Paris climate treaty this coming month.