I suppose that based upon his or her own particular fascinations each individual builds a personal opposition to the projected war upon Iraq and the current Bush administration. While the Bush administration has certainly given many of us an extraordinary spectrum of reasons to oppose it, it was Bush’s own record on the environment, dating back to his time as the Governor of Texas, that first brought home to me the very depth of his untrustworthiness. And now that environmental record serves me as reminder of how unaccountable our president is, not only to his own citizens, but to the world about him.
A man who so utterly disregards the well-being of his country, from the human to the animal, and mineral of it, is not a man who can be entrusted with conducting a war. Because for such a man, war must be the “natural” way to be—the disruption of systems, the thoughtless destruction of both human and land. And after war, for such a man, there must be no point to rebuild: the exterior world, the “other,” is evidently meaningless.
Before the mock 2000 elections, an in-depth article on Bush appeared in Vanity Fair. The article detailed how in Texas under Bush toxic air-borne byproducts had expanded to such a remarkable degree that in some towns mid-air benzene explosions—in one case, occuring regularly over a school filled with children—had become alarmingly regular. Despite letter-writing campaigns by the desperate parents of children with cancer, with asthma, with other respiratory afflictions caused by this literally explosive pollution, Bush remained remarkably deaf to them all. I use the word “remarkably” because usually politicans will at least give lip service to their constituents, but this at-the-time elected leader of a state gave absolutely no notice of the physical and emotional pain of his own fellow Texans.
However, this was just the beginning of it. Through reading various environmental magazines and news sources, it became apparent to me that Bush wasn’t just oblivious to environmental problems and that he wasn’t just supporting business “over” ecology. Instead, he was quite deliberately acting against anything resembling environmentalism—to a degree that indicated he must be responding to ecological issues on a philosophical basis. Many regulations that had been in place for years—successful regulations, supported by both local environmentalists and businesses, such as fishing limits and marine protective measures—were being dismantled or unenforced, to the confusion of all.
The only reason to undermine such regulations across the board, whether they were economically successful or not, whether they were supported by the community or not, whether they had to do with air pollution limits, water rights, logging or habitat protection, had to be philosophical. While I certainly can’t begin to guess what sort of philosophical system decrees that the health of the exterior world is to be not only completely disregarded, but actively exploited, polluted and, to put it plainly, killed stone-dead, the fact that the president participates in such a system says to me that he must be a man deaf to the universe.
So it is doubly, triply, quadrupedly, alarming that this man, so unaware of life, nature, health, well-being, is drawing lines between “good” and “evil.” Yet it is logically consistent with his philosophical beliefs as expressed in his environmental record that he would be the man to propose war as a first, rather than a last, resort—that, ignoring the needs and wants of his own populace, he is the one to most passionately wish to embark on the destruction of peoples and land, without even bothering to offer a valid, solid “reason.”
There are plenty of people who choose the satiation of their appetites over the well-being of others, both human and non-human. However, there are not so many people who do so on a philosophical basis. Through his environmental record, the only “others” Bush appears to care about are the most short-term of short-term businesses, the sort of parasitical economic activity that rapidly kills the host.Posted by Brian Stefans at February 24, 2003 12:42 PM