Green Politicization of Iwo Jima Photo Condemned by Black Veteran

Washington, D.C. – Kevin L. Martin, a member of the Project 21 black leadership network and a U.S. Navy veteran, is joining fellow veterans in denouncing the Earth Day-related cover art on the April 21 issue of Time magazine. 

Time altered the famous flag-raising photo from Iwo Jima to show Marines raising a tree rather than the American flag to highlight an article promoting activism favoring increased regulation to fight perceived man-made global warming.

“For Time to compare the politically-driven hoax about the severity of man-made global warming to one of most pivotal moments in American history is a slap in the face to the brave men who fought their way up Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi to plant our flag and send a clear message that victory in the long war in the Pacific was achievable,” said Martin.  “To callously use a famous military image so important to our nation’s veterans with seemingly no concern for its impact on them shows just how far those promoters of this hoax will go.”

In describing the reasoning behind politicizing Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, Time managing editor Richard Stengel told MSNBC host Joe Scarborough: “We wanted to do something that was prescriptive…  And by using that famous Iwo Jima image and saying basically what we have to do is what we did before World War II by creating a great national effort, national endeavor, to combat this problem.  Using cap-and-trade policy and using new research into renewable energy and having an efficiency surge with energy all across the country.”

A proposal under debate in the Senate would create a “cap-and-trade” policy designed to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.  Reducing energy use by U.S. manufacturers will have a braking effect on jobs and income.

Commenting on the Time cover, Iwo Jima veteran Donald Mates told the Business and Media Institute: “The Second World War we knew was there.  Some say there is global warming, some say there isn’t.  And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious.”  John Keith Wells, the Marine lieutenant who led the platoon that scaled Mount Suribaci and raised the American flag, opined: “That global warming in the biggest joke I’ve ever known.”

“It is a shame that Time magazine is belittling the heroism of our World War II veterans to push for policies that may bring back unhappy homefront memories of that era such as food and energy rationing,” added Project 21’s Martin.  “There has yet to be a real scientific debate on the contributions of man to any sort of global warming.  The crusade by environmental activists and the willing complicity of media such as Time magazine is resulting in misguided policies.  Reducing of production and exploration in the short run is going to raise prices and limit access to resources, while risky long-term schemes such as biofuels will pit stomachs against gas tanks.  Is it also lost on Time that the war in the Pacific was based in part on access to energy resources?”

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy Research, has been promoting the views of African-Americans since 1992.  For more information about Project 21 or the views of its members, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at  For more information on Earth Day, visit the National Center for Public Policy Research’s “History of Earth Day” page at


Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.