Keystone XL Is Part of U.S. National Interest

Chase Iron Eyes

The Department of State is reviewing the details of a Presidential permit which will be required to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, through the U.S., to the Gulf of Mexico. The President is currently burdened with the task of of approving or disapproving the Keystone XL project by deciding if the pipeline is “in the national interest.” Environmentalists are calling for its disapproval, of course. The President, in my humble opinion, will ultimately decide in favor of going forward with the 13 billion-dollar pipeline. Let us be clear that under the law this decision is not in the hands of Congress but rests solely on the shoulders of the President.

Why do I think President Obama, who is awesome, will approve of a project that goes against any pledges toward a greener economy? For this article, I’ll cite two reasons: 1. It’s the system; 2. It’s in the national interest.

The “system” I speak of is the carbon economy. The carbon economy is a product and a continuing necessity of the modern Western/American Empire. Capitalism, the corporate-western carbon-dominated model based on the fiat money system, is an extremely brilliant trick that compels us to participate “in the system.” To gain any measure of material existence we are prodded to keep going to work to provide food, clothing, shelter, water, and energy for our families. Capitalism, the kind which is succeeding because of the fallible and greedy nature of the two-legged, abstracts its subjects from daily meaningful interaction with the universe; this is accomplished without most even knowing it. We are separated from our labor, which was meaningful and even spiritual in the buffalo economy, for instance.

Athabasca Oil Sands Photo Essay

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. Capitalism separates our spirit from our environment and human beings require interaction with the land, with our surroundings, our relatives. We are no longer doing our part in the universe by growing our own food, hunting, clothing and sheltering ourselves, observing our animal and celestial relatives (the stars) to seek guidance for earthly conduct. We no longer directly nurture our soul and needs by our own deeds. With this separation, we are easily taught that happiness equals the pursuit of material consumer culture: better cars, better gold, better diamonds, better houses, better, more expensive everything. We dig ditches or strike keyboards, from climate controlled structures run by carbon based energy, to earn imaginary money to trade for things at Wal-mart.

What does all that mean to Obama? It means the controllers of big oil and every related industry, the owl-worshipping, goat sacrificing lluminati, and Joe Sixpack all want the same thing: to keep coasting on this destructive, unnatural path so long as our Western standard of living is maintained. And that, my friends, absolutely requires more oil, more products, more shipping, more sweatshops, more autos that still aren’t running on renewables, more houses, more buildings, more jobs, more schools, more prisons, more carbon energy, more everything.

Is this in the national interest? What is the national interest? The national interest is, quite simply, to protect our empire; that’s what is done. It does not matter that we call it protecting freedom, spreading democracy or any other euphemistic word or phrase. So, how, I ask, can any President of the U.S. choose anything other than more oil when the illuminati and the average American want an “improved economy?” So, I don’t blame Obama as I wouldn’t blame any other president for doing what a majority of America wants.

What can we do? We can use less, recycle more, buy local, grow our own food, live simpler, throw the TV away and do many other smart things. This is all easier said than done; I am not the role model here. I am complicit in this process; I am not guilt free. Our seemingly involuntary participation in the system is our own destruction. The world carbon economy is a machine. The machine is our enemy; we are the machine. The machine does not eat unless we feed it, and we feed it every day. It lives because of us; we need to stop feeding it. If we don’t stop feeding the machine, Mother Earth will remind us not to feed it. Maybe Obama will send a message that he, on behalf of America, does not want to continue to feed the machine.

Hecegla (that is enough)

Chase Iron Eyes is an attorney admitted to practice law in South Dakota, various Tribal Courts, and the Federal Courts of North and South Dakota, and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

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swrussel's picture
I agree with the title change because Indian Country Today serves tribes across national borders. So it becomes pertinent to ask when US tribal interests differ from US interests, when Canadian tribal interests differ from Canadian interests, etc. This is a clear case, in my opinion, where US and Canadian national interests diverge, even though the US and Canada have always been pretty good friends (think back to Canada violating international law to help US workers sneak out of Iran during the hostage crisis). But Canada will do great harm to it's environment in the tar sands. The US suffers many harms from having to play nice with Saudi Arabia. So the US is better off buying oil from Canada....particularly since the rest of the oil will go to China and Sinopec is absolutely willing to take all of it. Humanity has divided interests, whether the divide is tribes or nation-states. Or corporations. To the answer that humanity's interest is the preservation of Turtle Island and that means leave the tar sands in the ground: that's an option only available to the sub-set of humanity that happens to live in Canada.
koolkila's picture
Great article. So much truth to what you've said, so much work for us to do. Thank you for your thoughts.
ribluebird's picture
If Obama signs this he will loose the elections and make the Republicans right. He will be a one term President. Get everyone in each state on band wagon. Trying to help here in little RI.
dbender's picture
Capitalism must die. In order for that to happen we must embrace our communities like never before. We must consider our personal health to be as important as our neighbors health. We must feast communally on a regular basis so we can share our thoughts and dreams with each other. Share our secrets to survival and sustainability. Share our values and principles. Share and train one another. The strategy of a capitalist is to divide and conquer; so lets stay united. Let's unite across borders with out cousins, brothers, and sisters to the north and south, east and west. Let us not let skin color undermine our ability to feel patient and let us accept the many white people who share our belief and feel in their hearts that there must be a better way. There is a better way. It starts by walking away from capitalism. It starts by changing your diet BACK to that of our ancestors...at least as close as close can be. Walk away from the addiction...all of it. Until we make it happen, this is only rhetoric. We need to turn rhetoric into reality. We need to change that story into one that preserves life; rather than explaining it away as "winners vs losers", "givers vs takers", "haves vs have not's". Just like Tupac said: "Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live and let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive. "
dbender's picture
"To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability."
derrico's picture
Great column... but bad headline: which national interest? ...not the Indigenous nations.... or the 'nations' of all our relations.... The column does a good job exposing the truth of the US national interest. The headline obscures the analysis.
editors's picture
Thanks for the astute observation. We have changed the title from "Keystone XL Is Part of Our National Interest" to "Keystone XL Is Part of U.S. National Interest".
swrussel's picture
Good points. I would add one thing. Sinopec already owns an interest in the tar sands and there is ANOTHER pipeline going to the Pacific coast. Sinopec will buy ever drop they can get, which means the US cannot stop exploitation of the tar sands. Only Canada can do that. For the US, the choice is pay Canada or pay Saudi Arabia--and that's not a serious choice. Of course, I wish getting off the oil teat were a serious choice...
greenspider's picture
Back to the tribal/village unit where we know each other and care about each other, as was the natural procession for millenia. Man was never meant to be greater than his brother, but to hunt together, fish together, farm together, as a team. The Western society strives for it's heroes. That ONE person who is going to come along and elevate them ALL with his prowess. After so any of their heroes have been exposed to be just regular human beings with no special abilities except the trade/skill he is good at, they are beginning to think that they are alone in the world then, "There are no heroes so the weight is on me alone". That is a lot of pressure for people to carry around everyday, knowing that they are responsible to supply food, housing, child care, etc. all by themselves. By the end of the day they have spent so much of their time trying to provide "a good life", which is code for "getting the next new thing", that they have no time to actually enjoy their lives. The "machine" must die, and it will by it's own greed, and people will return to the spiritual roots to try to save what is left. Let's hope it's not too late....