FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Does National Security Trump the Blue Whale?

On March 6, Navy representatives  will be coming to coastal town of Eureka, California  to hear what we locals think  regarding their Northwest Training and Testing  Plan expansion. They’ve  visited us twice before in that capacity.

They probably do not expect to  be popular:  in 2010 there was an overflow crowd of  rambunctious demonstrators in costumes  and with guitars  who  compelled them to abandon the  booth-with-visual-materials format, and instead have a proper hearing. We have a lot of  marine mammal and fish lovers in Humboldt, and the  Navy PR people were obliged to listen to  why its important  not to wipe out blue whales (largest animal  ever on this planet), how the salmon runs used to provide a living for  our communities, etc.

Nevertheless they were  courteous, though imperturbable, probably knowing, as  public affairs specialist  Liane Nakahara  observed regarding the upcoming meeting, ”The most important thing is to let the public know they are able to comment.  It really helps us to make a stronger document”.

In other words, let them vent.

Eloquent appeals  to the Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service from our Board of Supervisors and  Congressmen have  succeeded no better  in  slowing down the  Navy’s war on the ocean. Environmental groups  got  a federal judge to rule last September  that NMFS had to modify regulations to limit the effects of sonar and live ammunition on  marine mammals. However a similar ruling  was rejected back in 2008 by the Supreme Court when the Navy appealed it: the judges ruled that  environmental  concerns are “ outweighed by the public interest in effective and realistic training of its sailors”. National security trumps the  blue whale.

Public venting, formal comments , law suits  and court decisions  tend to  piously  defer to the Navy’s expansionary  plans.. They do not question the Navy’s  need for the development of ever-more-sophisticated weaponry, such as nuclear powered drones in the air on the land and in the sea, and far-ranging sonar. It is  a taboo subject when conversing with any government agency.  Questioning the demands of U.S. world domination  get a glassy stare from our Navy visitors. Yet it is to  tighten this  control on the ocean, which covers over 70% of earth’s surface, that these exercises off the coast are designed.

The Navy has fleets and bases all over the world. It’s developing “forward staging bases” which  can be set afloat anywhere and  make land bases almost unnecessary.

navy

 

Naval exercise in the Pacific. Photo: US Navy.

40 cruisers transited the straits of Hormuz  in the last 6 months, within sight of  Iranian farmers. U.S. bombers are now conducting overflights of  disputed islands off China to stir up trouble. “Presence matters a great deal, it’s a deterrent in its own right. It helps you build relationships”, observes Jonathan Greenert, chief of Naval operations in Bahrain, where his base is getting a $580 million expansion.

What kind of relationships? Try to  imagine our fury if  40  foreign  warships  cruised in and out of Humboldt Bay pretending to protect trade.  Staging worldwide  war games on the coasts of nations the Navy  chooses to intimidate  is not designed to create  peaceful relationships, but to incite fear, paranoia, suppression  of freedoms and civic discord, which can be tipped into revolution and chaos with a little well placed  cash.

On  February 24th  Defense Secretary Hagel detailed his reduced military budget of $496 billion. Although troops and bases were cut and ships mothballed, high-tech weaponry and Special Forces benefited. In announcing this expansion Hagel emphasized the objective  of  “protecting the nation’s security in an era of unprecedented uncertainty and change”.

Much of this uncertainty and change has been conjured up by these  Special Forces and high-tech  weaponry. What we have done in the Middle East defies description. A recent study showed that one in four Afghani families  had lost a member  in just  the last year.

The Navy is a mischief maker. The blue whale and all it represents will never survive  its endlessly expanding  exercises unless 300 million people  discard their  sanctimonious  allegiance to the national security state, tell it to go shove its infernal toys, then  open its eyes and see what it has been  doing to the world.

Ellen Taylor lives in northern California.

More articles by:

Ellen Taylor can be reached at ellenetaylor@yahoo.com.

January 23, 2019
Ted Rall
Jury Trial? You Have No Right!
Michael Doliner
The Pros and Cons of Near Term Human Extinction
Lee Ballinger
Musical Unity
Elliot Sperber
The Ark Builders
January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail