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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Did the Pentagon Help Strangle the Arab Spring?

Click here to access article by Nick Turse from TomDispatch. (Note: You may want to skip the elaborate introduction by scrolling down to the article.)

While public relations officers of the Empire (Obama, Sarkozy, Clinton, etc) have been making noises in support of the Arab Spring and the democratic forces behind it, the real story is gradually emerging.
As state security forces across the region cracked down on democratic dissent, the Pentagon also repeatedly dispatched American troops on training missions to allied militaries there.  During more than 40 such operations with names like Eager Lion and Friendship Two that sometimes lasted for weeks or months at a time, they taught Middle Eastern security forces the finer points of counterinsurgency, small unit tactics, intelligence gathering, and information operations -- skills crucial to defeating popular uprisings.
The Pentagon's strategy to insure the Empire's dominance is always to wed a target country's military with the Empire's military in order to co-opt them and to subvert any kind of legitimate government. Thus, they lavish training junkets, perks, military equipment, etc on the target country's military leaders.