We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
'Something Very Serious Transpired' Between Russia and US Over Syria
This veteran political observer is clearly alarmed by recent events in Syria and in the vitriolic remarks and hostile actions of US officials and US forces in Syria. He attempts to explain this unprecedented level of hostility in several ways including what is suggested in the headline, but he also suggests that it might have something to do with the fear of the "war party" with the prospect of Trump winning the forthcoming election. He posits a "war party" but doesn't elaborate what he means by this phrase, and suggests that Obama has acted to restrain them. This is in accord with those who theorize that the Pentagon has acted independent of the president and the State Department to undermine the negotiated ceasefire agreements.
I thoroughly agree with his feelings of alarm and most other observations, but I am very skeptical of the reasons he suggests as to the cause of the very strained relations between Russia and the US Empire. I don't think these events have anything to do with the forthcoming election nor any one event that transpired regarding Syria. And I think we should ignore the superficial differences between the official agencies of government as reported by corporate media.
I think that the aggressive neoconservative faction which is likely the dominant faction in the US capitalist ruling class is seriously frustrated in their attempts to advance their imperial agendas in Ukraine, Syria, and other places by Russia and secondarily by China. Because of this we are at a very frightening stage which threatens a catastrophic war, and Doctorow expresses this anxiety very well.