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 Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Robert Fisk: 'They snipe at us then run and hide in sewers'

Click here to access article from The Independent. 

Robert Fisk is an extraordinary journalist, mostly retired these days, who is extremely knowledgeable about matters in the Middle East which he has covered so extensively over his career as a journalist. In this piece he reports on conversations he had with Syrian government officers and ordinary citizens of the besieged city of Aleppo, and other pertinent observations such as this:
At least a dozen civilians emerged from their homes, retirees in their 70s, shopkeepers and local businessmen with their families and, unaware that a foreign journalist was watching, put their arms round Syrian troops. One told me he had stayed in his home as "foreign" fighters used his courtyard to fire on government soldiers. "I speak Turkish and most were speaking Turkish but some of the men had long beards and short trousers like the Saudis wear, and had strange Arab accents."