“The U.S. military is the largest institutional polluter in the world. There is no corporation or industry that compares to the damage and devastation done by the U.S. war machine,” Abby Martin told Watchdog host Lowkey today.
Abby Martin is a California-based artist, journalist and filmmaker who is host of The Empire Files, a series that analyzes the world through the framing of the United States as a global empire. Her upcoming movie, “Earth’s Greatest Enemy,” exposes how the U.S. military and America’s endless wars are a key driver in catastrophic climate change.
The film, cataloging the military’s brazen destruction of the environment, has taken Abby across the world, from the frozen wastes of Alaska to the COP 26 conference in Scotland to Hawaii, where a devastating fuel leak at the Navy’s Red Hill storage facility has poisoned the island’s drinking water and caused countless hospitalizations.
While corporate media have largely looked the other way, The Watchdog Podcast covered this story in January, interviewing two Hawaiian activists organizing against the military presence on the mid-Pacific archipelago.
Hawaii’s attorney general, David Day, remarked that the state had a “ticking time bomb” on its hands, and that further contamination of its precious water supply was all but inevitable. The tanks sit just feet above the island’s largest aquifer. The Environmental Protection Agency issued an executive order demanding the military remove the fuel from these leaking tanks. Yet the military has essentially refused to do so.
“They gave the Navy 30 days to come up with a plan to defuel these tanks,” Martin told Lowkey today. “And what did the Navy do after those 30 days? They responded with a legal case saying ‘No, we are actually going to fight this in court.’ And I think that really shows the imperial arrogance of this institution, that it knows simply that it is above the law!”
The two also discussed the COP 26 conference and the U.S. government’s refusal to even estimate its armed forces’ emissions, let alone put a cap on them. Martin also updated Lowkey on recent events in her court case against the state of Georgia, one of the many states that require anyone doing business with them to sign a pledge promising never to engage in the boycotting of Israel.
Finally, they also talked about the latest flashpoint of U.S. imperialism in Ukraine. Martin argued that if the roles were reversed, everyone would understand how aggressive Washington’s actions have been, stating:
Let’s say Russia moved 3,000 troops and sent lethal arms to the [U.S.] border with Canada or Mexico. Of course, that wouldn’t happen; but if it did, what do you think the U.S. political and media establishment would do? It would be a complete meltdown saying that we need to bomb Russia, like drop a nuke on them or something. The double standard and hypocrisy is stunning – it never ceases to amaze me.”
Join Lowkey and Abby for a wide-ranging discussion on war, climate and current events.
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Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic, political campaigner, and a MintPress video and podcast host. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique, and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network, and The Peace and Justice Project founded by Jeremy Corbyn.