War in the Gulf (No, Not That Gulf!): The US Navy’s Anti-Environmental Broadside in the Gulf of Alaska

Published on Truthout, 10 April 2017.

As Northern Edge 2017 approaches, one thing is clear enough. Despite growing opposition in Alaska, the Navy continues to do just what it wants in the state’s once-pristine, biologically rich Gulf waters. Who knows how long it will be before parts of its vast marine web begin to test positive for the Navy’s toxins?

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Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Alaska in the Crosshairs

Published on TomDispatch, 9 April 2016.

In 2003, not long after the American invasion, Dahr Jamail, a youthful freelance journalist from Alaska, headed to Iraq. He wasn’t then a reporter for anyone or, put another way, he was at that moment perhaps the most “unembedded” reporter on the face of the Earth. In the years to come, he would visit that occupied country numerous times, traveling alone (except for a translator) and remarkably fearlessly, as he reported vividly for a variety of publications, including (begining in 2005) this website, on the kinds of devastation the U.S. military brought to Iraq. He would write a book, Beyond the Green Zone, on his experiences.

Meanwhile, his own land still seemed far away indeed from war. Small groups of protesters aside, most Americans, even as their country militarized and the national security state became the fourth branch of government, continued with their lives as if the distant wars being fought in their name had nothing to do with them. Existing under the implacable buzz of Hellfire-missile-armed drones, experiencing special-ops raids, finding jihadists spreading in your town or city, watching your country shatter before your eyes, being uprooted from your home and put to flight, all of that and more was the unimaginable experience of foreign peoples in distant lands. All of it had nothing to do with Americans (or our policies or our military), even as so many of them became refugees or terrorists (neither of whom we wanted in this country).

So imagine Jamail’s surprise on discovering in Alaska that the U.S. military and its depredations were anything but far from our shores. He first covered the Navy’s war games in the Gulf of Alaska and the ways in which they represented a kind of war against the American environment in May 2015. It was a joint report for this site and the invaluable Truthout (where he continues, among other things, to write stunning monthly summaries of the latest news and scientific information on the effects of climate change on our world). Now, he returns with a jolting update. Tom

War in the Gulf (No, Not That Gulf!)
The U.S. Navy’s Anti-Environmental Broadside in the Gulf of Alaska

By Dahr Jamail

[This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.]

It’s war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it’s actually mock war — if, that is, you don’t happen to be a fin whale or a wild salmon.

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As Trump’s Denialists Get to Work, the Climate Is Changing 170 Times Faster

Published on Truthout, 27 March 2017.

Antarctic Sea Ice is at a record low, oceans are losing their oxygen, the Arctic is in meltdown and Vancouver’s weather will become like San Diego’s “within decades” as climate disruption moves into overdrive. We can deny climate change all we want but the consequences of sudden and dramatic changes in the planet’s climate have historically been catastrophic for humans.

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