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

Friday, June 4, 2010

Third World Diplomatic Cooperation and the Future of US Empire in the Middle East

by Stephen Maher from Truthout. An excellent analysis of the impacts that the recent Brazilian & Turkish diplomatic moves in relation to Iran and the high seas assault of the Israelis are having on the power of the US Empire.
American strategists have struggled mightily against independent nationalism for decades as they constructed and maintained a worldwide system of indirect empire. This has meant propping up corrupt and self-interested local rulers who reliably carry out US orders, maintain regional systems favorable to US power and enrich themselves while diverting much-needed resources from domestic needs to serve the interests of wealthy, Western investors. To put down resistance both domestically and among potential regional rivals, these client regimes are given military and diplomatic assistance from the US that allows them to use any means available to maintain a favorable balance of power.
That two third world countries came together in direct defiance of US orders and undercut such a longstanding, key diplomatic effort is without precedent in this strategically crucial region, both revealing and contributing to the decline of US power.