In the more than a quarter century since Shell left Ogoniland in southern Nigeria, oil has continued to ooze from dormant wellheads and active pipelines, leaving the 386-square mile kingdom’s wetlands shimmering with a greasy rainbow sheen, its once-lush mangroves coated in crude, well-water smelling of benzene and farmlands charred and barren.
It’s not war … yet.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan and China’s furious response have provoked what is without question the most serious security crisis in the Taiwan Strait since the 1990s. And it’s not over. But if this week’s military drills have been unprecedented in their scale and proximity to the island, China’s leaders appear to have refrained from steps that would signal the prelude to a real invasion — or any action that might provoke a Taiwanese response. (On Twitter, former CIA analyst John Culver suggested such measures might have included overflying the island with manned aircraft, mobilizing amphibious transport ships or sending ships into Taiwan’s territorial waters, though there’s some dispute as to whether that last one actually did take place.)