Line up some of the more notorious Nobel Peace Prize recipients, such as Kissinger, and if you had to identify the biggest killer of all it was probably Norman Borlaug, one of the architects of the Green Revolution, which unleashed displacement, malnutrition and death across the Third World. If the Kyoto Accords were ever implemented, and they never will be, the net impact on greenhouse gases–99.72 percent of them natural in origin–would be imperceptible, but the devastation to Third World economies and life expectancies would rival that caused by Borlaug’s seed strains.
Already the hysteria about anthropogenic global warming stoked by Al Gore and the Big Lie gang writing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s press releases has done enormous damage to vital environmental cleanup, sidetracking attention and money from work on sewers, toxic waste sites, filthy smokestacks–not to mention the vast disaster of agricultural pollution. Two other consequences of the hysteria will be deadly. Biofuels will steal the meals of the Third World poor and put them in First World gas tanks. Nuclear power is the hysteria’s prime beneficiary. As Peter Montague describes it in our current CounterPunch newsletter, “The long-awaited and much-advertised ‘nuclear renaissance’ actually got under way this fall.” NRG Energy, a New Jersey company, applied for a license to build two nuclear power plants in Bay City, Texas–the first formal application for such a license in thirty years.
NRG can confidently await the green light for two reasons. Using the fakery over the supposed effects of man-made greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, the nuclear industry successfully lobbied to pass the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which provides four different kinds of subsidies for atomic power plants. The other shoe promptly dropped with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s sweeping revision of its procedures, drastically attenuating the approval process for new plants. As nuclear plants start to sprout like toadstools across the landscape, it is certainly appropriate to lay a large measure of the blame on Al Gore, who has been a shill for the nuclear industry ever since he came of age as a political harlot for the Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratory in his home state of Tennessee.
For a Man of Peace, Gore has plenty of blood on his CV. Looking back through the 1980s, we find that on every relevant issue, whether it was supporting the contras or Reagan’s bombing of Libya in 1986, shilling for the Pentagon’s latest weapons systems, voting for nerve gas or backing the Reagan/Bush position on NATO deployments in Europe, Gore’s hawkishness was unflagging. In the course of his career he voted for the neutron bomb, the B-2 bomber, the Trident II missile, the MX missile and the Midgetman. He also backed the mini-Star Wars plan. The defense contractors always loved Al, the same way the nuclear plant manufacturers do today.
When it came to Bush Senior’s attack on Iraq, Gore’s antics astounded even his hardened colleagues in the Senate as they debated the war resolution. Of course he had long since decided to vote aye on war, having been a hardliner on Iraq since 1988. But on January 12, 1991, he spun out his supposed travails in coming to this decision in prime-time posturing, speaking of his “heavy burden of conscience” and the lonely weeks “questioning, probing, searching for the truth.” Saddam, he proclaimed, “has more troops than Hitler did in the early years of World War II.” In the New York Times he wrote, “We can no more look forward to a constructive long-term relationship with Saddam Hussein than we could hope to housebreak a cobra” and that the Iraqi dictator is not “an acceptable part of the landscape.”
In Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign Gore was told to earn his keep with constant pummeling of George Bush Senior for having been soft on Saddam. Gore duly crisscrossed the country yoking Saddam and Bush in fervid denunciation. “The cover-up of Bush’s arming of Saddam was,” Gore shouted, “bigger than Watergate ever was.”
In January 1993 Vice President-elect Gore announced that there could never be normal relations with Iraq so long as Saddam remained in power. He reiterated the call for a coup, if not by the Iraqi military then by the CIA. Vice President Gore was then given authority in the Clinton Administration for Iraq policy. In this capacity he presided over the sanctions that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many of them children. The mid-1990s saw Gore as a major voice urging NATO’s bombing of the Serbs. In his 2000 presidential campaign he publicly distanced himself from the Clinton Administration on Iraq policy, reiterating that Saddam had to fall and pledging support for Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress.
On May 27, 2000, Gore laid out his foreign policy and military strategy in a commencement speech at West Point. It was a neocon manifesto. He said he would pursue a more robust form of Clintonism, highlighted by quicker interventions, less diplomacy and more firepower against the “rogue states…that represent the emerging threat to our country.” He called this approach “forward engagement,” a phrase redolent of his fellow Peace Prize winner Kissinger’s “constructive engagement,” which meant backing brutes like Suharto, Somoza and Pinochet.
Gore also denounced George W. Bush’s recent call for deep cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, cuts that Bush said the United States should consider making on its own. “Nuclear unilateralism will hinder, rather than help, arms control,” Gore said. “Reductions alone don’t guarantee stability…. If you’re not careful, you could have a reduction of missiles and a more dangerous world.”
Spoken like a Peace Prize winner!