Just got this email from Phil Radford, executive director of Greenpeace USA (my emphasis throughout):
I cannot believe that I am writing you this letter ...
The international ban on commercial whaling, which Greenpeace fought tirelessly to pass in the 1980’s, is now in critical danger of being overturned.
A proposal has been put forth at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that would not only reinstate commercial whaling around the world, it would legitimize Japan's "scientific" slaughter in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Nearly 25 years of protection for the whales could be tossed out the window if this proposal passes at the next IWC meeting in June 2010.
Shockingly, the Obama administration’s representatives at the IWC actually support the deal to reinstate commercial whaling and are urging other nations to do the same. The delegates say that their directive comes directly from President Obama himself.
Got that? The directive comes directly from President Obama himself. I say again, the directive comes directly from President Obama himself. Let me just repeat that the directive comes directly from President Obama himself. We're clear on that, right? Because it will be important later. Ok, onward:
In light of this unexpected and deeply disturbing news, Greenpeace is gearing up for one of the biggest battles that the war against whaling has ever seen. This is an "all hands on deck" moment, to say the very least.
Never did I imagine that we would be defending the whales from President Obama - a man who inspired so much hope in our hearts for a green and peaceful future; a man who promised Greenpeace he would help strengthen the commercial whaling moratorium.
During the presidential race, then-Senator Obama gave this response to a Greenpeace questionnaire dated March 16, 2008: "As president, I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable."
If President Obama is serious about his commitment to protecting the whales, he must make sure that his delegation at the IWC opposes any deal that would reinstate commercial whaling. Instead, the U.S. should support a proposal recently made by Australia, which would leave the moratorium intact and finally put an end to Japan's bogus "scientific" slaughter in the Southern Ocean.
Greenpeace paid with our blood, sweat, and tears for the commercial whaling moratorium. We will not sit idly by and allow the Obama administration to overturn decades of hard work with one clumsy pen stroke. Please CLICK HERE to send a petition to the President and let him know you feel.
You recall that the directive comes directly from President Obama himself, right? Because it was apparently easy to forget, as Radford did halfway through his own letter when he asked "if President Obama is serious about his commitment to protecting the whales" and then chose the adjective "clumsy" for the pen stroke (as though Obama's imaginary hand just, you know, slipped or something).
Now, I get that it's often hard to believe in betrayal, even as you feel the knife slicing into your back; I really do. I'm sure we've all been through that kind of painful realization. Nonetheless, it takes a moment of serious cognitive dissonance to start out a letter noting that US delegates are acting on Barack Obama's direct orders, and then follow it up by asking if Obama is serious about his commitment to the exact opposite of what he's currently doing. It's at least good that Radford is learning an important lesson here; I'm just sorry that he and millions more like him have to learn it over and over and over again.
I do encourage you to follow Radford's request to CLICK THERE (though you'll probably want to replace the prepared text)—not because it has any chance of changing the outcome, but because I always feel there's intrinsic value in registering dissent.
[ More on Japan's totally scientific study of the delectability of whale populations here. ]
UPDATE: The cognitive dissonance on this topic actually started more than a year ago; see here for details.