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

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Obama's Korean Game Strategy

Click here to access article by Murray Hunter from Asia Sentinel
This can be seen as a replay of the old strategy of building up a caricature of evil, someone the US loves to hate. With Muammar Gaddafi, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein all gone, someone is desperately needed with all the abilities required to "wage war on the United States". With the US moving their homeland policy towards domestic terrorism, a new international threat is needed. And Kim Jong-un fits the profile perfectly. Don't worry that the North doesn't have the capacity to make a first strike on US soil. Just as in Iraq, the details can be glossed over. The 'evil empire' brand was created by Reagan, carried on by Bush is now ready to be utilized by this administration.
The only problem I have with this geo-political analysis of the latest military crisis is the framing of US actions as "Obama's strategy". This is so common among political commentators that I suppose I should just ignore it, however such framing serves the Empire by hiding the true decision-makers. (It is quite possible that the editors of this publication selected the title, and not the author.) To be sure, it is difficult to determine who is really making the decisions, but those who are, are definitely not those nominally selected for official offices. We must be aware of that as a part of our understanding of the real nature of capitalist class rule so that we can grow out of childish notions of living in any kind of democracy.

Think about it. The last real policy change came in with the election of Reagan in 1980. He was sponsored and managed by those who have been described as neo-conservatives. Since then it hasn't made any significant difference who the characters were who occupied formal offices--whether Bush Sr, Bill Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry--foreign policies (and most domestic policies) have remained essentially the same: an aggressive pursuit of military and financial dominance over the rest of the world. The only change that I can see is that the real decision-makers are taking on a more international capitalist class nature.

Other than this criticism, I highly recommend this analysis. (Also, see Finian Cunningham's take on the Korean crisis.)