Once More Into the Breach?

EDGARTOWN, Mass — A senior White House official said on Wednesday that the United States would consider using American ground troops to assist Iraqis in rescuing Yazidi refugees if recommended by military advisers assessing the situation.

That is the opening paragraph of the top story on the New York Times’ website right now. President Obama’s recent authorization of air strikes in Iraq on rebel positions was greeted with a shrug, but it was also accompanied by a promise that there would be no return to ground combat. This makes sense. We’ve been bombing Iraq off and on for over twenty years. Outkast’s B.O.B (Bombs Over Baghdad) was recorded one year before the 9/11 attacks. Four, FOUR!, consecutive U.S. presidents have ordered air strikes in Iraq. Three of those four have presided over ground actions. If it weren’t for Afghanistan and a couple of other hotspots, bombing Iraq would be about all that’s keeping the heavy munitions industry afloat. Bombing Iraq has become normal, just something we do. Continue reading “Once More Into the Breach?”

Yep, We’re Still Screwed

Mysterious craters forming in northern Russia appear to be methane escaping from the permafrost. Plumes of methane are shooting up from the sea floor near Antarctica. California is suffering through a drought of unprecedented proportions in the recorded history of the area. This summer in New York City feels mild, but in fact, it’s a normal summer, distorted in our memories by the blazing summer heat of the past five years. The media is peppered with map projections of what the world could look like with varying levels of sea rise. Drinking water in Toledo, Ohio was contaminated by toxins released from a gigantic algae bloom, which some have speculated is partly the result of global warming. The only good news about global warming is that I will be dead before humankind feels the worst of its effects. Continue reading “Yep, We’re Still Screwed”