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

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Trump’s short-term popularity boost over Syria could turn into a long-term nightmare

Click here to access article by Danielle Ryan from The BRICS Post

Although the fallout from Trump's attack on a Syrian military base by various independent sources has been considerable and speculative as to its significance (for some of the best examples, see this, this, this, and this), I thought this piece from an Irish journalist and analyst based in Moscow might be of special interest to my readers.
There have been mutterings among others that the Kremlin is in fact sorely disappointed in Trump ... but in reality, the Kremlin was always wary of Trump’s unpredictability, opting to reserve judgement until his actions reflected his words — and while they may not have expected his actions to divert from his words quite this quickly, they’re probably not crying into their cornflakes over it.

Militarily, Russia will seek to de-escalate the situation rather than rush in guns blazing. Moscow possessed the capacity to shoot down the American missiles but did not. In the aftermath, however, Russia pledged to strengthen Assad’s air defenses and suspended its flight safety memorandum with the US. The message the Kremlin is sending is simple: We didn’t target your missiles this time, but we can if we want to.

But just because the goal is to de-escalate, doesn’t mean the danger subsides. Trump’s strike significantly increases the risk of serious future conflict with Russia. What happens between Moscow and Washington now will depend on Trump’s future moves, which at this point, are anyone’s guess.

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