The Pandemic is Mightier than the Sword
Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War
BERKELEY, Calif. (April 30, 2020) — For decades, anti-war organizations from every corner of the Earth have tried in vain to rein-in the Military Industrial Complex. Despite millions of letters written, thousands of petitions filed, and hundreds of massive marches and protests staged around the world, the Pentagon and the world’s War Barons (including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, General Electric and BAE) have continued to instigate “endless wars-of-of-choice” in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Africa.
It began to look like no force on Earth could prevent the Pentagon and its NATO accomplices from threatening, attacking, invading, bombing, occupying and decimating any country on Earth.
But that all changed with the arrival of an invisible viral “enemy” now known as COVID-19. Faced with a spreading global contagion that can’t be stopped with bombs or economic sanctions, America’s admirals and generals may be compelled to drop their weapons — exchanging M-1 rifles for N95 masks — and hunker down in antiseptic bunkers.
It’s time to confront a stark new reality: The Pentagon has proven to be incapable of repulsing the pandemic onslaught staged by the novel coronavirus.
Let’s survey the new post-coronavirus battlefield.
The Pentagon Is in Retreat
The USS Roosevelt, a mighty nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, has been disabled by the disease. And the Roosevelt is not alone. Sailors aboard the USS Reagan have also been infected by the COVID-19 virus. Eleven nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are at risk. Potentially, all 355 active vessels in the Navy’s armada are vulnerable. (And it’s anybody’s guess what’s happening inside the Navy’s 60-plus nuclear-powered submarines quietly plying the depths of the world’s oceans.)
Meanwhile, the future of the world’s largest, multinational naval military exercise, RIMPAC (for Rim of the Pacific) — a massive imperial display of force involving hundreds of ships from 25 US-allied nations — has been put in doubt. (The USS Roosevelt definitely looks like a no-show.)
In Canada, our neighbor to the north, one of the world’s biggest weapons expos — CANSEC 2020, expected to open on June 2 and draw a crowd of 12,000 arms dealers and shoppers — was recently cancelled by theCanadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, owing to COVID-19 exposure fears.
Even Saudi Arabia’s long-running war in Yemen — credited with creating planet’s “the greatest humanitarian disaster” — has been suddenly curtailed by the intervention of COVID-19’s invisible viral shock-troops.
As Consortium News reported on April 8: “At least 150 members of the Saudi royal family have been infected and, as a result, Riyadh is seeking to end its five-year disastrous assault on Yemen.” With some members of the royal family now in intensive care units, 84-year old King Salman and Saudi strongman Muhammad bin Salman have fled the capitol and are sheltering-in-place on an island in the Red Sea.
For the past month, the sheer power of this invisible protagonist has been a subject of attention on the Berkeley-based anti-war website, Environmentalists Against War.
Here is a sampling of 44 articles that describe how nature’s invisible foes have managed to distract, disrupt, and defeat “the mightiest army in the history of the world.”
April 8th, 2020 – by Gareth Porter / The Grayzone & AntiWar.com
April 6th, 2020 – by Roots Action
April 6th, 2020 – by Mike Ferner / The Indypendent
April 6th, 2020 – by David Swanson / World BEYOND War
April 6th, 2020 – by Taylor Barnes / In These Times
April 5th, 2020 – by Jonathan Granoff and Barry Kellman / Newsweek
April 5th, 2020 – by Sen. Bernie Sanders / Reader Supported News
April 5th, 2020 – by Vicki Elson and Timmon Wallis / Nuclear Ban US
April 5th, 2020 – by David Pugliese / Ottawa Citizen & Defense and Security
April 4th, 2020 – by Ray Acheson / Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom International
April 4th, 2020 – by Tony Kevin / Consortium News
April 4th, 2020 – by George Lakey / Waging Nonviolence
April 4th, 2020 – by AntiWar.com & The New Arab & The United Nations
April 3rd, 2020 – by CODEPINK
April 3rd, 2020 – by Ann Garrison / Black Agenda Report
April 2nd, 2020 – by AVAAZ Petition & The United Nations & Luftpost
April 2nd, 2020 – by Dave Lindorff / CounterPunch
April 2nd, 2020 – by Daniel Lazare / AntiWar.com
April 2nd, 2020 – by Evaggelos Vallianatos / CounterPunch
April 1st, 2020 – by Consortium News
March 31st, 2020 – by Jared Keller / Task and Purpose
March 31st, 2020 – by David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org
March 31st, 2020 – by George Monbiot / Guardian UK
March 31st, 2020 – by Damian Carrington / The Guardian
March 30th, 2020 – by George Monbiot / Guardian UK
March 30th, 2020 – by International Peace Bureau Newsletter and Change.org
March 30th, 2020 – by Ann Garrison / San Francisco Bay View
March 30th, 2020 – by Stars and Stripes & Reuters
March 29th, 2020 – by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani / Tasnim News Agency
March 29th, 2020 – by The United National Antiwar Coalition
March 29th, 2020 – by Andrea Estes and Vernal Coleman / Boston Globe
March 28th, 2020 – by Matthew Impelli / Newsweek
March 28th, 2020 – by Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch and Andrew Bacevich / TomDispatch
March 28th, 2020 – by David Swanson / David Swanson.org
March 28th, 2020 – by Jake Rudnitsky / Bloomberg
March 27th, 2020 – by Eoin Higgins / Common Dreams & Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali / Reuters
March 27th, 2020 – by Rev. William Barber and Phyllis Bennis / Opinion: Newsweek
March 26th, 2020 – by Business Insider & The Guardian & MoveOn.org & The New Yorker & Public Citizen
March 26th, 2020 – by Nick Bryant / BBC
March 26th, 2020 – by Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy
March 26th, 2020 – by World BEYOND War and Action Network
March 25th, 2020 – by Daniel Lazare / AntiWar.com
March 25th, 2020 – by Win Without War
March 25th, 2020 – by Alexander Main / Al Jazeera English & American Friends Service Committee
March 25th, 2020 – by Paul Brian / The American Conservative
Gar Smith is a Project Censored award-winning journalist and the author of Nuclear Roulette and The War and Environment Reader. He is a boardmember of World Beyond War and is a co-founder of Environmentalists Against War.