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Oil Wars Come Home to Roost

by GREG MOSES

Even the birds are pissed.  Whether it’s the Mockingbird who guards the footpath down by the bus stop.  Or the Blue Jay who cusses across my back deck.  Or even the frigging Grackle who buzzed me early morning at the grocery-store parking lot.  This week I‘m a Hitchcock player and these birds come straight for my neck.

AP says 333 birds have been found dead along the Gulf Coast with no oil on them.  Well, the birds I know are telling me what their fellows died from.  The lead weight of grief.  As if the oil companies hadn’t wrecked every other week this century.  As if this must be nothing but the century of dirty oil.  Suddenly the oil wars have come home to roost and there is nothing to do about it except what everybody else has done who gets smacked by this dark force of history.  You just stand there and cry.

It’s like shock and awe bounced back off the dark side of the moon.  All the wealth and brains and power of the mighty American empire sucked into a vacuum of arrogant corruption and relayed back to earth in the form of a blob that will not be stopped until the death of it all finally sinks in.  You call this stinking mess democracy?

“I would be betting the plan is to let us die,” says St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, who tells a wicked little story about what happens when your messenger comes back from the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The grassroots people were ready to defend their shores, Taffaro says to CNN’s Campbell Brown, but the Corps of Engineers was not.  The American people expected to see ships and uniforms lining the shores with resources and action, but the Coast Guard did not.  Everyone who loves the waters and sands and skies and breezes of the Gulf of Mexico expected a moral equivalent of war to be mobilized by the White House, but the President of the United States did not.

A boot heel on the neck of BP?  Is this how Democrats have come to brag about what real power feels like?   The US Navy has a fleet of nuclear submarines that can erase all human life from the planet in 90 seconds or less but only BP can be trusted to lead the world when the water gets that deep?  And even in this emergency the only thing that Constitutional authorities know how to do is look for some neck to stand on?  No wonder even the birds have had enough of this nonsense.  If it’s necks that count for power these days, I can tell you, even the birds are ready to go.

No doubt a lot of good folks feel they have to behave properly in front of the television cameras, but thank god for Craig Taffaro cussing right in the Governor’s face.  I know he spoke for me.  Even the vaunted James Carville is stupefied at the obscenities of neglect that are killing our dearly beloved Gulf of Mexico.  If the plan is not to kill the Gulf, why did the President spend the weekend at West Point– ideological home base of The Corps?  If the plan is not to let it die, why wasn’t West Point spending the weekend with Craig Taffaro?  I paid my taxes so that West Point could keep its frigging graduation schedule?  Somebody ought to go up there to Newburgh, New York and take pictures of all the new cars on the West Point campus this week.

If St. Bernard Parish secedes from the union this week, you can count me in.  The world is badly in need of a moral equivalent of a President.  And today, Craig Taffaro is working for me.

WORDS THAT STICK

 

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Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

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