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, November 27, 2011

Dangerous Times

by Ron Horn.

As I scan various opinion and news articles this morning, I am left with a very uneasy feeling that the world is heading for major conflict, not in the distant future, but in the near future: within a year. I hope I am wrong. But, consider the following facts and analyses to see if you are able to arrive at a different point of view: 
  • There are widespread, angry people in the MENA countries. Currently we are seeing the US trained and equipped Egyptian military being confronted by widespread public opposition to their rule. NATO has been attempting to exploit the unrest throughout the region, under the covering propaganda of humanitarian missions, seeing this as an opportunity to strengthen its hold on more neutral governments in the region. NATO leaders are celebrating their recent triumph in Libya and planning to secure new military bases in that country. Now they are once again beating the war drums against Iran over their alleged threat of nuclear weapons.  (See this, this and this for more details on what appears to be an overall NATO strategy.) Now NATO may be in danger of losing one of its key stooges in Asia over their latest attack on Pakistani troops.
  • There is considerable evidence that the strife going on in Syria is being exploited by Western secret agencies by supplying opposition forces with weapons from nearby Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. Although Western media usually attributes them to Syrian government sources, there are reports of mysterious sniper attacks on civilians which is creating chaos in the country. 
  • There are nearly worldwide Occupy protests, and those in Western countries are creating problems for police agencies and are attempting to turn public opinion against the ruling one percent.
  • There are widespread banking problems, sovereign debt issues, and austerity measures causing major civilian crises across Western countries.
Wouldn't a major conflagration be seen as a way for Western ruling classes to divert attention and energy away from their dissidents and onto what they would see as more constructive pursuits--people supporting more wars which are always waged in defense of security and freedoms and for humanitarian purposes? And war is always good for the military-industrial complex and the one percent who live off their profits.

God, I hope I'm wrong!