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Culture Change

Al Gore fires up hearts but oozes myth

by Jan Lundberg  

Al Gore has issued a handy indictment of President Bush, for on May 26, 2004.  It is an excellent rundown of misdeeds.  Interesting nuggets include “there are many (cultures) that are less cruel than ours.”  The main feeling one might get from Gore’s statement is that Bush is definitely going to lose – finally Gore is angry enough to try and assure this.

Alternative national/global assessment

Gore makes the case for the nation’s scraping the gutter of late.  But the disaster is actually nothing very new;
it is the chickens barely starting to come home to roost. 

Gore does not talk about oil as the major basis for the U.S. military presence in Iraq.  Nor does Gore mention the U.S. military’s strewing depleted uranium all over the landscape in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans; the violent poisoning lasts four billion years. 

Although Gore’s rundown was well done and moving, it would be dangerous for the people of the United States of America to proceed as if cleansing the nation of Bush’s policies and crimes would somehow restore the U.S. to being the world’s greatest moral beacon, if you buy that myth. 

The real problems for a blind nation 

Gore has much in common with Bush in not telling the public that fundamental change regarding oil is what is really at issue.  That means dealing with oil dependence and energy gluttony at all levels.  Until people reject petroleum as the basic source of wealth, convenience and survival, there will be more wars, and the destruction of the climate will stay at full throttle.  Unless we act soon, the petroleum-based food supply & distribution system will fail utterly and people will starve by the millions within a few years as oil and natural gas supplies peak and fall off.  One hundred and thirty billion gallons of gasoline will be consumed in 2004, most likely, and what we hear is “More oil!  Buy new cars!” 

For Gore and all of us to condemn the torture and murder at military installations is right, but when war is still condoned this is moral bankruptcy.  The war has been – along with the occupation – a large torture-and-murder exercise.  State-approved killing is as bad as unapproved killing.  What Gore should come out against is the military-industrial complex which includes the oil industry, but that can't happen.  That’s who calls the tune along with Bush.  For the November election, there is no alternative offered – Kucinich, Nader and a real second party (beyond the “Republicrat”) are excluded from meaningful participation.  The populace seldom objects strongly to the fact that the party-convention spectacle on television is a choreographed substitute for really representing the people.  It has always been so. 

What we were offered with a choice of Bush or Gore was, as always, bad cop or good cop: they answer to the same authority.  Gore pointed at U.S. domestic prisons as having “routine horrors,” like a good cop. This misses the point that too many people are wrongly in prison in the U.S.; they are legally enslaved.  On the outside the only option is wage slavery (if it can be found).  Instead of wondering if Kerry is just another “good cop,” how about if we take charge of our own destiny by taking action for self-reliance? 

People must question this government, obviously, but should they question national government in general?   Their city-, county- and state-governments are already sufficiently oppressive and expensive.  And those are the levels at which people need to oppose the military industrial complex when the Pentagon and related agencies are rarely about “defense.”   Citizens' buying into the federal power game and expecting reform is probably naive and a waste of time.

We are asked by Al Gore, John Kerry and many others to believe that a good leader would have committed MORE troops in Iraq – to kill faster and dominate completely.  This is what Al Gore meant when he says Bush “also owes an apology to the U.S. Army for cavalierly sending them into harm's way while ignoring the best advice of their commanders.”  More troops would supposedly eliminate problems of torture. It sounds so compassionate when Gore speaks up for the Geneva Conventions.  But the war was a crime in itself, so whether there are conventions respected is way off the main point: the U.S. has been for several decades a murderous dominator destroying the planet.  Many other countries are worse qualitatively, and I love my country-side, but the overall effect of massive U.S. aggression makes us the scourge of the Earth.  Who competes with the U.S. today on that score? 

Gore only goes half way in telling the truth to the nation, and what’s worse is that he perpetuates myths that the rest of the world and many in this country already see through.  For him to state that the nation was “founded by refugees seeking religious freedom” is not even a half truth.  All kinds of people eventually started coming here.  But the vicious seizing of land at the expense of native Americans was about business and profit, pure and simple – as well as an anti-nature ethic of domination for godliness.  Getting rich in the land of opportunity, lording over slaves too.  The Democrats are direct descendants of the English invaders, philosophically, as much as the Republicans are. 

The moral high ground of the U.S., which Gore paints as the real state of the nation, is no higher than most other nations, as they would tell you.  Gore’s flag-waving, mostly pious indictment of Bush may, however, serve as the turning point for the sinking of Bush’s ship.  The world basically wants peace, and Gore is going to be cheered for his simplistic address. It is his crowning achievement in a disappointing career that had offered promise for the “Earth out of balance,” to make a play on his book’s title.

 Freedom from dominance? 

The freedoms people supposedly treasure and nurture in the U.S. are ballyhooed and ignored, especially when push comes to shove between rich and poor.  If we take Gore’s eloquent address to heart, we are getting fooled again. 

The Clinton/Gore administration was all in favor of the pepper-spray torture of nonviolent demonstrators.  Gore calls upon Bush to repudiate Rush Limbaugh who approved of the Iraq torture by the U.S. occupiers, but Rush and Gore had in common that they had contempt for the pepper-spray plaintiffs now suing Humboldt County, California law enforcement agencies. Limbaugh made fun of one of the plaintiffs, my daughter, for her name: Spring.  It is a name she chose as a redwood forest name in her activism, but it happens to derive from her given name: Vernell, her grandmother’s middle name. 

Gore and his ilk are an insidious threat to life on planet Earth and to our freedom.  What Gore and the rest of our “leaders” don’t tell us is exactly what Bush and his cronies are trying to distract us from noticing: the industrial economy is killing the planet.  There must, of course, be wars on this overpopulated world over resources and property when those values are what society bases governance on: dominance. 

Gore spoke against domination to an extent unusual for a U.S. leader.  His points about the unworkability of domination sound refreshing.  But it’s not as if the U.S. has never before used dominance, violence and lies to take over other countries and their wealth.  Gore never spoke out against the recent U.S. coup in Haiti, that I know of (although I'd be glad to be inaccurate).  Now we witness John Kerry going along with Venezuela-bashing like his leader in so many ways, President Bush. 

Activism in a Gore world; his nasty background 

Many buy into the idea that we simply must replace Bush come November.  If only things were that simple. All the activist movements around today were just as active during the Clinton/Gore regime.  This indicates that a movement uniting all of us for a sustainable future is overdue.  Our very culture is deeply flawed, based on materialism and dominance over nature and other peoples such as our own landless/dispossessed. 

Al Gore is sufficiently morally bankrupt not to trust him.  At a climate conference in Washington, D.C., in 1988 when he was Senator, I asked him publicly how he could support nuclear power when the half-life of plutonium is 240,000 years.  He lifted his arms and shrugged, and could only say, “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.”  No thank you, Al!  He facilitated nuclear power plant construction in China as Vice President.  Oops, that’s our planet too. 

To understand George W. Bush is to understand his father and grandfathers for their deeds and alliances which included Nazis.  But Al Gore’s father rammed through the Senate the Interstate Highway legislation that has killed millions of people and destroyed much of the land, air, water and local culture of the United States.  Has Al ever repudiated that?  No, but he has always been for more roads such as NAFTA Superhighways.  His son was almost killed by a car at Baltimore Stadium over a decade ago.  And Clinton’s own father was killed by a car.  But good Americans don’t question such violence, when they want to lead the nation and kiss the asses of their corporate masters who are the power bloc setting policy and dominating the news media. 

Thank you Al Gore – now sit down and shut up if you won’t break out of your political straitjacket of U.S. ecocide, genocide and greed.  Thanks for the good words about freedom and decency, but you mislead more than lead.  Good job against Bush, though!


 May 27, 2004

Protest the U.S. occupation of Iraq and read background on war for oil, see the link to the new depleted uranium report. 
Global Warming Crisis Council and the Pledge for Climate Protection

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Jan Lundberg's columns are protected by copyright; however, non-commercial use of the material is permitted as long as full attribution is given with a link to this website, and he is informed of the re-publishing:


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