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[GreenYes] Fw: Rachel's #740: Mainstream Extremists
Are zero waste, or even recycling advocates next on their list.....??

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rachel News" <rachel@RACHEL.ORG>
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2001 11:53 AM
Subject: Rachel's #740: Mainstream Extremists

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> .                                                               .
> .            RACHEL'S ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH NEWS #740            .
> .                    ---December 20, 2001---                    .
> .                          HEADLINES:                           .
> .                     MAINSTREAM EXTREMISTS                     .
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> Here we begin our annual review of the key events of 2001.
> September 11 took everyone by surprise, but what has struck us
> most forcefully is how quickly right-wing mainstream extremists
> in the U.S. moved to capitalize on the World Trade Center
> atrocities.
> The day after the attacks, U.S. Senator Don Young (R-Alaska)
> announced that there was a "strong possibility" that
> "eco-terrorists" based in Seattle had hijacked the airplanes
> that brought down the twin towers in New York. "If you watched
> what happened in Genoa, in Italy, and even in Seattle, there's
> some expertise in that field," Young told the ANCHORAGE DAILY
> NEWS. "I'm not sure they're that dedicated but eco-terrorists --
> which are really based in Seattle -- there's a strong
> possibility that could be one of the groups," Senator Young
> said.[1]
> The next day the Reverend Jerry Falwell, a Baptist minister and
> White House adviser, blamed the Republican right's favorite
> enemies. Speaking on Pat Robertson's TV show, "The 700 Club,"
> Mr. Falwell said, "I really believe that the pagans, and the
> abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who
> are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the
> A.C.L.U. [American Civil Liberties Union]  , People for the
> American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America,
> I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this
> happen.''' Mr. Robertson chimed in, "I totally concur."[2]  Mr.
> Robertson is a Republican party fundraiser and strategist, and
> the founder of the Christian Coalition.[3]
> Less than 3 weeks later, Congressman Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) and
> six of his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives
> insinuated a link between mainstream environmentalists and
> terrorism. "Some people have turned a blind eye [to
> ecoterrorism]  because this destruction, this terrorism, is
> being activated under the so-called cloak of protecting the
> environment," Mr. McInnis said on the floor of the House October
> 3. Mr. McInnis subsequently wrote letters to the Sierra Club,
> Greenpeace, the League of Conservation Voters, the World
> Wildlife Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, Earthjustice
> Defense, and Natural Resources Defense Council, giving them a
> deadline of Dec. 1 to publicly "disavow ecoterrorism."[4]
> For a decade, hundreds of abortion clinics and offices of
> Planned Parenthood have been receiving envelopes in the mail
> containing white powder and a note identifying it as anthrax.
> Recently the volume of these terrorist threats (none of them, so
> far, real anthrax) has increased substantially. More than 200
> medical clinics and Planned Parenthood offices have received
> such threats by mail since Sept. 11, according to the LOS
> ANGELES TIMES.[5]  A fundamentalist Christian group calling
> itself the Army of God claims responsibility. Congressman
> McInnis did not give Mr. Falwell or Mr. Robertson a deadline for
> disavowing anthrax terrorism.
> The Reverend Donald Spitz of Chesapeake, Virginia, claims
> membership in, and maintains a web site for, the Army of God,
> and he openly applauds sending anthrax threats by mail, calling
> them a "good thing" and a "brilliant move."[5,6]  The Army of
> God was recently featured in a TV documentary in which various
> members boasted how their group had murdered physicians,
> fire-bombed medical clinics, and purchased truckloads of raw
> materials for making explosives.[7]  The FBI has made no arrests
> in any of these hundreds of anthrax-terrorism cases going back a
> decade, and Congressman McInnis and his six Republican
> colleagues have not given the Reverend Mr. Spitz a deadline for
> disavowing terrorism.
> These hooded Christians provide a dangerous -- and terrifying --
> side-show, diverting attention away from the main event in
> Washington, where the White House and corporate lobbyists have
> used Sept. 11 to aggressively roll back environmental
> protections and dole out billions of federal dollars to major
> polluters, many of whom are major donors to the Republican
> party.
> As the NEW YORK TIMES reported November 18, "Before the attacks,
> environmentalists seemed to have political momentum in casting
> President Bush as unfriendly to the environment and his
> administration as beholden to the extractive industries. But in
> the last two months, environmentalists have been stymied for
> fear of appearing unpatriotic or even petty in the face of a
> national crisis."[8]  Sensing hesitancy and confusion among
> environmentalists, since 9/11 the President and his corporate
> lieutenants have taken the offensive to:
> ** Abandon negotiations for a treaty to control global
> warming;[8]
> ** Shelve a plan to reduce air pollution from coal-burning power
> plants because a nation engaged in a war-without-end against
> terrorism can't risk power shortages;[8]
> ** Reverse a Clinton administration policy that stopped
> road-building, oil and gas leasing, and most new logging in 60
> million acres of nearly-untouched national forests;[8,9]
> ** Reverse the phase-out of snowmobiles in national parks;[8]
> ** Grease the skids for mining corporations to dig for gold,
> copper, zinc and lead on public lands. Under rules set during
> the Clinton administration, the government could stop new mines
> "likely to cause substantial irreparable harm to water quality
> and other natural resources." No longer.[8,10]
> ** Ease energy-conservation standards for air conditioners;[8]
> ** Make it easier for home-builders and commercial developers to
> eliminate wetlands;[8]
> ** Prevent the re-introduction of grizzly bears in the
> Northwest;[8]
> ** Cut funding 50% for research and development into renewable
> sources of energy, and provide $34 billion in additional
> subsidies to the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear industries.[10]
> ** Drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in
> Alaska.[8]
> Mr. Bush's most far-reaching achievements, however, are these:
> ** The House of Representatives suspended its rules of debate on
> Nov. 27 to rush through a reauthorization of the Price-Anderson
> Act which severely limits the nuclear industry's liability for
> radioactive errors, oversights, slips, goofs, flubs, blunders,
> leaks, releases, discharges, mishaps, misadventures, accidents
> or catastrophes (including "energetic disassemblies," the
> nuclear industry's own term for explosions), placing most of the
> liability for such human foibles on the taxpayer. Excusing the
> nuclear corporations from liability for their own behavior would
> "dramatically improve security at our Nation's nuclear power
> plants in response to the widespread concerns over terrorist
> threats," said Congressman Joe Barton (R-Tex), a key Republican
> strategist in the House. And so it passed.[11]
> ** The President won a major "free trade" victory over labor and
> environmentalist opposition Dec. 6, using anti-terrorist
> arguments. By a vote of 215 to 214 the House of Representatives
> gave the President the right to negotiate "free trade"
> agreements around the globe without amendment or debate from
> Congress. It's called "fast track authority" and President
> Clinton twice failed to win it. President Bush won it "for
> several reasons," the NEW YORK TIMES reported: "The first is
> that his argument about trade as a weapon against terrorism,
> while a stretch, actually worked."[12]
> But even these major opportunistic accomplishments pale in
> comparison to the strategic vision that right-wing mainstream
> extremists are developing now. They see Sept. 11 as an
> opportunity to attack the entire civil sector of American
> society and paint citizen participation in democratic
> decision-making as wasteful, inefficient, misguided, deceitful,
> destructive, unpatriotic, and a danger to the civilized world.
> The Washington Legal Foundation -- a mainstream extremist think
> tank -- let this snarling little cat out of the bag Nov. 26 in
> an ad on the Op-Ed page of the NEW YORK TIMES, titled, "Wanted:
> Public Interest Reality."[13]  In it, they said that, prior to
> September 11, "ideological lawyers" have "wasted decades"
> "treating our military and America's business community with
> contempt as if they were the enemy." And, "We are now paying the
> price for those years of frivolous activism," as if citizen
> activism had somehow led to the atrocities of Sept. 11. The ad
> contains a simple agenda for the post-9/11 world:
> 1. Get rid of "right to know" laws because they provide "a road
> map for terrorists." Strategic message: Limit citizens' access
> to information to curb citizen activism.
> 2. The reason we don't have vaccines against smallpox is not
> because smallpox was eradicated[14]  world-wide in 1971 but
> because "inefficient FDA bureaucrats" have brought the
> production of life-saving vaccines to a standstill, the ad says.
> Strategic message: Get government off our backs, unleash
> corporations.
> 3. Why are we dependent upon Middle Eastern oil? Not because the
> vast majority of the world's oil resides there and we've
> neglected alternatives, but because "wave after wave of laws,
> regulations, and novel lawsuits" have enabled "radicals" to
> prevent oil drilling in "a remote area of frozen Alaskan
> wasteland," the ad says. Strategic message: Get government off
> our backs, end citizen lawsuits, end citizen activism.
> 4. The "Naderite food police" slowed the licensing of food
> irradiation, which is now "nearly unavailable" to kill anthrax
> being sent through the mail. Strategic message: End citizen
> activism, get government off our backs, unleash corporations.
> 5. The Endangered Species Act has allowed "uncompromising
> elites" to "obsess" over "plant and insect subspecies" and thus
> block housing construction and economic development, thereby
> endangering "jobs, prosperity, investments, and consumer
> welfare." Strategic message: End citizen lawsuits, get
> government off our backs.
> 6. "Self-indulgent activists spent the frivolous 90's [sic]
> squandering our resources and opportunities chasing phantom
> risks, ridiculous 'public interest' causes, and bogus consumer
> scares" like electromagnetic radiation and genetically
> engineered foods. Strategic message: End citizen activism.
> 7. "In the post-September 11 world, we can no longer afford to
> put the narrow agendas of a 'public interest' elite ahead of our
> own national interests." Strategic message: End citizen activism
> because it's now unpatriotic.
> So there you have it: Active citizens who want their government
> to protect the natural assets of their communities against
> corporate plunder are unpatriotic elitists squandering valuable
> resources for silly purposes, endangering our entire
> civilization by keeping us enslaved to Middle Eastern oil,
> slowing the introduction of civilization-saving technologies
> like food irradiation, placing the needs of endangered species
> like the San Diego fairy shrimp ahead of the needs of prosperous
> investors and important men of means.
> "As a united America labors to rebuild our wounded economy, the
> silly muddle of 'public interest' advocacy now seems
> irrelevant.... Can the professional activists understand that
> free enterprise is the very heart and soul of America?" the ad
> asks.
> No, actually, they probably can't. If there's any one thing that
> September 11 taught us, it is that the heart and soul of America
> is not mean-spirited, small-minded opportunists who twist the
> truth for private gain. The heart and soul of America is
> ordinary people sacrificing for the public interest, rolling up
> their sleeves and pitching in to help.
> Happy New Year!
>      -- Peter Montague
> =============
> [1] "Liz Ruskin, "Stevens, Murkowski and Young vow retribution,"
> ANCHORAGE (Alaska) DAILY NEWS Sept. 12, 2001; available at http://-
> [2] Laurie Goodstein, "Did God allow the terrorist attacks?,"
> NEW YORK TIMES Sept. 15, 2001, pg. unknown.
> [3] Pat Robertson, "Pat Robertson Resigns From Christian
> Coalition," Dec. 5, 2001, available at
> partner/Article_Display_Page/-
> 0,,PTID3826|CHID110580|CIID1235388,00.HTML
> [4] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD Oct. 3, 2001, pg. H6238. And see Paul
> Tolme, "Real Patriots Don't Go on Witch Hunts," PROGRESSIVE
> POPULIST Vol. 7, No. 22 (Dec. 15, 2001), E-mail edition, pg.
> unknown. And see "McInnis Challenges Environmental Groups to
> Disavow Ecoterrorism," Nov. 2, 2001, available at http://-
> [5] See, for example, David G. Savage, "Response to Terror; The
> Anthrax Threat; Anthrax Threats Common at Clinics," LOS ANGELES
> TIMES Oct. 20, 2001, pg. unknown.
> [6]
> [7]
> soldiers_filmmaker.shtml
> [8] Katherine Q. Seelye, "Bush Team Is Reversing Environmental
> Policies," NEW YORK TIMES November 18, 2001, pg. A18.
> [9] Katherine Q. Seelye, "U.S. Holds Gathering on Renewable
> Energy," NEW YORK TIMES November 29, 2001, pg. A20.
> [10] "More Environmental Rollbacks [editorial] ," NEW YORK TIMES
> October 29, 2001, pg. unknown.
> [11] CONGRESSIONAL RECORD Nov. 27, 2001, pg. H8360.
> [12] David E. Sanger, "Using Battle of Terrorism for Victory on
> Trade," NEW YORK TIMES Dec. 7, 2001, pg. unknown.
> [13] Washington Legal Foundation, "Wanted: Public Interest
> Reality [advertisement] ," NEW YORK TIMES November 26, 2001, pg.
> A19.
> [14] Lawrence K. Altman, November 4, 2001, "A Nation Challenged:
> The Precautions; U.S. Sets Up Plan to Fight Smallpox in Case of
> Attack," NEW YORK TIMES November 4, 2001, pg. unknown.
> ################################################################
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