Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, response to host Bob Schieffer’s question on “Face The Nation” regarding what Obama could do after the fall of Romadi and Palmyra to ISIS has been widely covered in the media. He believes that, at the moment, either there is no strategy to deal with ISIS or the current one is misguided and badly manipulated:
“We need to have a strategy. There is no strategy. And anybody that says that there is, I would like to hear what it is, because it certainly isn`t apparent now, and right now we are seeing these horrible — reports are now in Palmyra they`re executing people and leaving their bodies in the streets.
Meanwhile, the president of the United States is saying that the biggest enemy we have is climate change.” Said McCain in the interview.
Sen. McCain refers to President Obama’s environmental concerns which he addressed in his speech on 20th May at the United States Coast Guard Academy Commencement:
“Here at the Academy, climate change — understanding the science and the consequences — is part of the curriculum, and rightly so, because it will affect everything that you do in your careers. Some of you have already served in Alaska and aboard icebreakers, and you know the effects. As America’s Maritime Guardian, you’ve pledged to remain always ready — Semper Paratus — ready for all threats. And climate change is one of those most severe threats.” He added “And this is not just a problem for countries on the coasts, or for certain regions of the world. Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune. So I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. And make no mistake; it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act — and we need to act now.”
Sen. McCain’s vendetta against President Obama is nothing new and he has commented on the issue of ISIS several times since last year. His comment in August, 2014 is an example of which:
“The president has to understand that America must lead and, when American hasn’t, a lot of bad things happen.”
Another thing which is not new is the demagogic repositioning of GOP against the Democrat President as we go closer to the new Presidential election and McCain has proven to be no exception. Not only has his remark on the issue of environment come as a shock to environmentalists and people who are concerned around the world, but it also indicates how GOP war lords take advantage of the misinformation of the public no matter the price.
It is worth noting that on the same day as Sen. McCain’s response to Bob Schieffer, when ISIS, one of the consequences of President Bush’s war against terror, slathered tens of innocent residents of Palmira, we heard from some southern provinces of India that the number of the casualties of the unprecedented heat wave has crossed the boundary of 430; In the US, flood displaced many of the residents of the southern states and damaged the infrastructures at the cost of billions of dollars. If we have a look at the press, we will see hundreds of similar disasters such as drought, haze and air-pollution taking place on our wounded planet every day.
It is not my intention, however, to pin point the destructing effects of the climate change phenomenon as it is, I believe, crystal clear who or what can be considered as our and our planet’s most threatening enemy. We only need to recall hurricane Sandy which cost the economy of the States 10 billion dollars daily or that Japan cannot yet recover from what Fukushima nuclear reactors did to its economy. It was an unmeasurably horrific incident which is still threatening the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the country.
Inside Iran, McCain’s response will become more tangibly painful when we come across the authorities using the McCain “weapon”, criticizing and humiliating the concerns and accomplishments of environmental activists and environment lovers. It was not long ago when one of the MPs, with a humiliating tone, accused Ebtekar of being more concerned with “cats” rather than the residents of Khoozestan.
There, in another event, were officials who responded to the concern of some responsible and humane residents of Fars regarding the unbelievably cruel ways the dogs are treated in Shiraz with disrespectful and grotesque words.
In many similar cases, we have observed the authorities, MPs and the political and economic elite’s unconcerned or sometimes aggressive and violent reactions to some precious resistance of a minority who have understood the dire consequences of being indifferent towards the destruction of the eco-system. Take Ashoradeh as an example, a group of influential investors are planning to build resorts on the island while certain apathetic MPs are stating that there is nothing on this island except for some pomegranate trees and jackals and therefore, it is not worth the ink to write with.
We should not forget while the deniers of climate change are drumming support for development, economy and war on terror, “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty and conflict” as Defense Secretary of the US Chuck Hagel put in a statement. Thus, we can easily conclude climate change in a not very long run will lead to wars and more. Pete Newelle, a former US army colonel and a consultant says “I saw it a few years ago, watching tribes along the Iraq-Iran border going to war over water rights. And it’s becoming worse as populations migrate to urban coastal centers and those areas’ ability to provide services are overwhelmed. As a precursor to conflict, lack of access to basic human needs is a major driver and it’s only getting worse.”
I would like to draw Sen. McCain and his acquiescent politicians and executives to James Hansen’s, a professor at Columbia University, recent remark about the environment:
“……the current imbalance of 0.6 watts/square meter (which does not include the energy already used to cause the current warming of 0.8°C) was equivalent to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs every day, 365 days per year.
This goes to say that the danger the climate change poses is 400,000 times deadlier and more destructive than the bomb the Americans dropped on Hiroshima.”
Therefore, if Mr. McCain and his comrades are truly compassionate toward the poor and disadvantaged people of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, etc. stating that they are victims of a lack of strategy, they should do their utmost to crack down on the cruel, doom and evil phenomena of climate change, deforestation, desertification and water and land subsidence in Mesopotamia, Africa and the west of the subcontinent of India. They should drum on bio-democracy in which all residents of the planet are given an equal chance of living, shouldn’t they?