I’m still trying to get my head around George Bush’s new love for sustainability, a Green word decidedly at odds with this envirophobic president. Yet there he is these days, calling for a sustainable this and that.
The problem is, the “this and that” Bush wants to sustain is the war in Lebanon and its extension to Syria and Iran.
Sure, he speaks about his desire for a sustainable cease fire in the Middle East, but what Bush really means is that he wants Israel to keep pounding Hezbollah (and innocent civilians) until fire from across the border ceases, because anyone who could pull a trigger is dead.
Being a firm believer in sustainability, I see this as dismally sad.
Bush ignores the clear evidence for human-caused global climate change, which threatens the ability of Earth to sustain our lives. Bush ignores massive trade and budget deficits that have mushroomed during his administration, which threaten the sustainability of the U.S. economy. Bush stifles cutting edge medical research on embryonic stem cells, which offers much promise of sustaining lives that now are cut short by death or debilitating diseases.
Yet when he wants to keep a war going that is devastating Lebanon, a country that was on the verge of embracing a genuine democracy, Bush finally finds his voice for “sustainable” — speaking about it for all the wrong reasons.
There are times when it makes sense to look far into the future. I’ve just mentioned three: when the Earth is warming dangerously; when deficits threaten the economy; when meaningless religious dogma is favored over advancing medical science.
But there also are times when action needs to be taken, now. If a street gang is killing passersby, you don’t conduct a sociological analysis of what made them turn to violence before you call 911 and get police on the scene. Likewise, when thirty-seven children are killed in a war that no longer has a discernible purpose, you don’t babble on about finding a “sustainable” way of ending the violence.
You end the violence. Now.
President Bush, I’m all for you getting on the sustainability bandwagon. However, you need to learn what is worth sustaining, and what isn’t. You believe that its fine and dandy to sustain the killing of innocents.