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War & Conflict

War is Hell on the Environment (and Future Generations)

Korean War photo

War is harmful for the environment and all those who rely on it (generation after generation in many cases).

This is an issue that crossed my mind when I was writing about the Afghanistan War becoming the longest war in US history. I decided at the time not to delve into that huge matter, but I recently stumbled across an UTNE Reader article on just this topic that I thought I’d share.

Rather than rewrite what was already beautifully written, here is the beginning of UTNE Reader’s article:

If history is any guide, when U.S. troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan, they won’t take stock of their environmental boot print. They won’t clean up the damage done by chemical weapons and depleted uranium, worry over the water rendered undrinkable by war-damaged infrastructure, or do anything to improve air quality, which has been compromised by fires, high-powered vehicles, and weapons. In the United States, the public will also turn a blind eye to reports of cancer and birth defects.

According to a piece by Clay Risen in the Washington Monthly (Jan.-Feb. 2010), environmental negligence is a commonplace by-product of conflict. And while international law is astonishingly weak on the subject, letting governments off the hook “for militarily necessary activity”—which is not strictly defined—Risen argues that countries’ refusal to address environmental and public health problems is largely due to bureaucratic stinginess. “Remediation and health care for victims are incredibly expensive,” he writes, “and no country wants to set a precedent that would force [it] to spend billions cleaning up [its] own mess.”

It is a sad story. After dumping tons and tons of toxins on a foreign country’s land and people, we often pay no notice to our responsibility to clean it up. And who cares if it is cleaned up? Out of sight, out of mind….

War is a horrible thing, and it doesn’t stop at the fact that it is all about taking the lives of others (who, if you knew in other circumstances, you might be best friends with).

Until there is no war in the world, how can humanity truly be proud of its achievements?

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Photo Credit: US Army Korea – IMCOM via flickr




4 comments
  1. Azraq Shamoun mubarizin

    That youngster in the Korean war by the “yank tank” was doing what most people do-“What they are told!” The sinister plot to enslave Korea is still a reality,perhaps we should respect the facts of this article in that the “mess” wont ever be cleared up! The Imperialist camp is still on the road and its campfollowers are just as numerous-few people in the world know that “South Korea” has no choice in allowing America to point Nuclear weapons at the D.P.R.K and the facts are always the same in “mans,greedy-petty” naturecriminal pimplike possesivness! The mention of Cancer doesnt come close to how corrupt scum poison their own citizens with cancer and use ethnic rivalry to further their lust for power and cling to their victims to secure their pimp frame of mind! Audacious crimes!kids in their teens were forced to become prostitutes in the Korean War-Seoul,half falttened-half whore house half execution ground held little favour with the one people who had no real voice and less control over the environment-“The Peace Loving People of Korea Themselves” Like the S.Korean police who used to turn people into refugees to make it easy to rob all they owned! A horror story repeated in the nightmare of Vietnam and the”Like”.At least the author raised his concerns and didnt leave another”Hole in time” Which is why The Anti C.I.A Bureau is writing on this page for our own readers to remember that freedom is real-thats why thieves steal time!

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