Robert Meeropol

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"Robby & Elli" 1968

Robby speaking at the re-launch of the Mary Pitawanakwat Fund in Toronto

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It’s Only Logical

May 21, 2015

Tags: business as usual, military-industrial complex, big party duopoly

Tom Mayer, a retired professor friend of mine, recently posted a blog about his experience talking to a group of seniors about the “American Empire.” He said that while some agreed with him, the majority didn’t think there was such a thing. I was particularly interested in his summary of our global military presence because of the relationship between it, “business as usual,” and global warming.

He wrote that the U.S. “has over 1,000 foreign military bases located in over 100 countries. U.S. annual military expenditures are over one-third of the world total and exceed the military expenditures of the next eight countries combined. We are the unrivaled world leader in developing and deploying military technology. The U.S. has made over 80 extensive military interventions since World War Two.”

Few things are more obvious than our country’s imperial nature and the domestic military-industrial complex is one of the principal engines driving our economy. This is an environmental disaster because the United States military, which is exempt from green regulation, is the largest single source of pollution on the planet. The demands of maintaining our empire pose a grave environmental threat to complex life on our planet. Given this, it is only logical that we can’t make the changes to our economy necessary to curb runaway global warming, consequent climate change and resource depletion without dismantling our global empire and converting the military-industrial complex.

That’s a monumentally daunting task. It will take massive domestic and international movements to mount a serious challenge to these forces. But there are already large numbers, perhaps even millions, of people worldwide who are doing just that. Some don’t put it that way, but nevertheless it is what they are doing. Through its divestment campaign and calls for an end to “business as usual,” (far from the most radical green organization) states that 3/4 of the world’s known fossil fuel supply must remain in the ground. How can that happen without turning off the military’s gas pumps? Just try to power a fighter jet with solar panels or an aircraft carrier with wind turbines.

It is, therefore, only logical that we cannot ally ourselves with, or back those who support, the military-industrial complex if we wish to stave off world-wide climate-generated catastrophe.

Both Republican and Democratic National Parties are solidly behind the military-industrial complex. While there are local, possibly even statewide, exceptions, exceptions are all they are. For the past 40 years, the vast majority of the two big party’s federal legislative candidates, as well as all of their presidential nominees, have been whole-hearted, military-industrial complex boosters. Nothing will change in 2016, except one presidential nominee may be a woman.

If we must end business as usual to save ourselves, and if this requires us to take on the military-industrial complex, we cannot accomplish this within the framework of the Republicrat duopoly. Whatever you think about voting for one particularly good Democrat (or Republican - good luck finding one), logic dictates that we must focus on working outside of this system. As I’ve written before, we can’t engage in politics as usual to defeat business as usual.

It’s only logical.

Selected Works

"Bravery is rare. Tyranny is commonplace. Both define the life of Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In his heart-wrenching, honest memoir, Meeropol recounts the emotional terrors of his childhood, the kindness of Abel and Anne Meeropol-who adopted him and his older brother after their parents' execution-his struggle to vindicate his parents, and his own political activism, culminating in the creation of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which he now directs."
Publisher's Weekly
"one of those rare books everyone should read"
–Joyce Carol Oates

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