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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

U.S. Ignores Own UNSC Resolution - Tells Russia "Stop Bombing Al-Qaeda!"

Click here to access article by Bernhard from his blog Moon of Alabama.
UN Security Council Resolution 2254 calls for a "ceasefire" in Syria. A "ceasefire", unconditioned according to the resolution, would be for the whole country but would exclude certain groups:   
[r]eiterates its call in resolution 2249 (2015) for Member States to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, [...] and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Syria, and notes that the aforementioned ceasefire will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, as set forth in the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement;
I quote from the latter statement which essentially reiterates the above:
All members of the ISSG also pledged as individual countries and supporters of various belligerents to take all possible steps to require adherence to the ceasefire by these groups or individuals they support, supply or influence. The ceasefire would not apply to offensive or defensive actions against Da’esh or Nusra or any other group the ISSG agrees to deem terrorist.
I read the UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and I must agree with Bernhard that key provisions are being ignored by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. As long as the US public continues to have faith in corporate media, the latter can construct any "reality" they want in pursuit of Empire interests and it will be believed. That is precisely what is happening today with regard to Syria. 

On this subject you might be interested in reading an article entitled "Aleppo: The Corporate Media Credibility Gap" from OffGuardian.

ASEAN Summit: The Geopolitics of US Power in Asia

Click here to access 18:06m audio recording of an interview with Eric Draitser posted on his Stop Imperialism website.

Following the recently concluded meeting of ASEAN members in Los Angeles, Draitser provides an excellent decoded assessment of statements which reveal some of the details of  the updated US policies and how this influences the policies of other countries in SE Asia. ASEAN is a US dominated organization of Asian states and used by the US to further Empire interests in this area. This discussion with interviewer Brian Becker is in the context of the ruling class's "pivot to China" strategy which Draitser reviews. 
Draitser explains some of the ways in which ASEAN acts as a political arm of US power projection against China in Southeast Asia. He explains the connection between US policy and the South China Sea disputes among other issues. He also notes how independent countries in the region are forced into complex power relations with the US and China, and how Washington manipulates these to its advantage. These and other issues discussed in this conversation.

How Israel is ‘turning Palestinians into Zionists’

Click here to access article by Johnathan Cook from Al Jazeera
Israel is forcing Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem to switch over to an Israeli-controlled curriculum.
This independent journalist based in Nazareth reports on the recent decision by the Israeli government to use indoctrination as a method to achieve Palestinian loyalty to the Israeli state. This move is similar to many colonizing countries who have done this. Two examples that come to mind are from the US and Canada who used even more extreme methods to indoctrinate young North American aboriginals in the values and beliefs of their new Anglo-Saxon masters (read this and this).

Corporate media and presidential perogative illustrated

by Tom Tomorrow (Tom Tomorrow is the pen name of editorial cartoonist Dan Perkins.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Man shot alongside RFK: ‘Sirhan, I forgive you'

Click here to access article from KGTV station in San Diego, California. (Commentary updated on 2/20/2016 at 9AM.)

A close friend of Bobbie Kennedy, Paul Schrade, who was also shot in the room where Kennedy was killed provided testimony at the recent parole hearing in favor of releasing Sirhan. Much like the assassination of President John Kennedy there have been considerable discrepancies in the evidence and government arguments related to the killing of Bobbie Kennedy and faithfully and unquestionably reported by corporate media. However more evidence keeps coming to a light and more people are questioning the government's absurd stand against any challenges to their position.

Among such people is author and filmmaker Shane O’Sullivan. Who.What.Why. offers his take in a 28 minute podcast contained in an article entitled "Sirhan: A “Manchurian Candidate” in the RFK Assassination?" that was posted today.
Author and filmmaker Shane O’Sullivan has spent 12 years examining how Sirhan might have been “programmed”, and by whom; scrutinizing the failures of the Los Angeles Police Department; bringing forth the sound and ballistic evidence showing 14 separate shots were fired; and publicizing the efforts by RFK friend Schrade to reopen the investigation. In this podcast, he talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schectman about where the fact trail points.
The involvement of secret agencies of the government in many cases related to the assassinations of the Kennedys, Malcolm X, etc, the 9/11 event, and many of the "terrorist" events that followed is always very timidly questioned in spite of the plethora of factual evidence which contradicts the government's position and makes their agencies very suspect. I think that this phenomenon is reflected in this interview. 

This is likely because informed people know that to question the government, or the secret ruling class agencies that do the government's dirty work, too strongly or aggressively can result in very serious consequences: being reported to have committed "suicide" or having met with some fatal accident. The fact that such reports have little influence on the general public suggests to me that the power of the "big lie" and "willful ignorance" is as strong as ever in contemporary America.

Late update: Also read this article dated May 7, 2012 entitled "B.C.-based actress Nina Rhodes-Hughes speaks of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination (with video)". 

The media are misleading the public on Syria

Click here to access article by Stephen Kinzer from the Boston Globe
Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win.

This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.
I was rather shocked to read this report and numerous articles and about the books written by this author and journalist which present a very critical view of our US foreign policies. Yet he has been employed by the NY Times and his articles have been published in several liberal publications like the Guardian and the New York Review of Books, and featured in addition in lessor known left-liberal websites like Guernica and Democracy Now!. I really don't know enough about him and his writings to comment on the significance of this. Note, however, this is carried in the "Opinion" section of the Boston Globe.

Hillary’s Top Donor Just Bought The Onion — Started Publishing Propaganda Immediately

Click here to access article by Claire Bernish from The Free Though Project.
When it was revealed in January that satirical news outlet, The Onion, had been purchased by Univision Communications (which is co-owned by one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest fans, top campaign donor, and pro-Israel fanatic, Haim Saban), it was if the world suddenly held its breath to see if the move would be the outlet’s downfall.

Now, it appears we have our answer. On Tuesday, an apparent attempt at satirical understatement in actuality proved to be nothing less than a blatant propagandistic fluff piece touting Clinton’s ostensibly stellar career.

It didn’t work.
Where's the evidence that "it didn't work"? Even though astute people like the author didn't fall for the pro-Hillary propaganda, many others probably have. People like Saban don't tend to invest a lot of their money in futile endeavors. That is precisely why the media seem always to parrot the NY Times and the Washington Post which reflect ruling class positions on issues. Just wait to see who wins the election.

Most Russians Would Return to the Soviet Economic System - Poll

Click here to access article by Simon North from Russia Insider, but "originally appeared at Levada Center - public opinion company".

So, why was this posed as only a choice between two systems? Aren't there other possibilities besides a private ownership-market economy and a corresponding ruling capitalist class and an economy and state that is bureaucratically planned and governed?

The zombie ISDS

Click here to access article from Corporate Europe Observatory.

The European based agency, which is exposing the latest neoliberal strategy to do an end-run around the sovereignty of nations, reports that neoliberals have now changed the name of the key agency that the new multi-nation trade agreements would establish to promote the interests of transnational corporations.
“The zombie ISDS – rebranded as ICS, rights for corporations to sue states refuse to die” shows how the push for foreign investor privileges in EU trade talks such as the proposed EU-US TTIP deal continues as the Commission attempts to rebrand the politically untenable investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) as an “Investment Court System” (ICS). An unprecedented Europe-wide controversy over the democratic threat posed by ISDS led to last autumn’s rebranding of ISDS as ICS in an attempt to get around the enormous public opposition to legal privileges for multinational corporations.
This reminds me of other renaming attempts to hide the history of sinister organizations such as School of the Americas and Blackwater.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Propaganda as “News”: Ecuador Sells out Indigenous & the Environment to China

Click here to access article by Stansfield Smith from Wrong Kind of Green.

In a world of lies most of which have sources connected with the Empire and serving the Empire's many world interests, this author reports on the participation and collusion of a "human rights" organization and various Empire media corporations to spread disinformation about Ecuador and China, two among the many targets of Empire directors.

Complicating the economic and political situation in Ecuador is that there is a fundamental split between development interests within the country and those who are against further exploitation of the environment via mining and oil developments. Added to this are declining revenues from Ecuador's oil industry which has put a crimp in the government's budget for social services. Although it is likely that this split is being aggravated by Empire sources who want to punish Correa and major corporations who lust after Ecuador's resources, there is a legitimate opposition. This author does not seem to recognize the latter.
Why do we repeatedly see dishonest news articles about President Correa sacrificing the environment and the indigenous to China’s thirst for oil? This has even developed into an anti-Correa campaign by some US NGOs such as Amazon Watch, which is sullying its well-deserved reputation as a leader in the struggle to make Chevron pay for its environmental crimes in Ecuador.

Syria conflict: Damascus remains a war zone - but some families are returning

Click here to access article by Robert Fisk from The Independent (Britain).

This highly respected veteran British journalist, who has lived for many years across the border from Syria in Lebanon, provides us the latest report on life in one part of Syria--al-Qadam, a district in the southern part of Damascus.
...what is happening in al-Qadam tells you a lot about the Syrian war. Once in the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra, it lay rotting through three years, under government control but almost empty, until the army struck north of Aleppo and began to conquer its enemies along the Turkish border – and the people started to come back to al-Qadam.

Twenty-six families in the past 15 days alone, even a drift back of former “Free Syrian Army” men – part of David Cameron’s
[and Obama's] mythical army of 70,000 “moderates”, one supposes – and five prisoners released from government jails. Victory brings confidence, however temporary, and you can sniff it on the government front lines far from Aleppo.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Belief in capitalism as a material force [an absolutely must-read article]

Click here to access article by Pete Dolack from his blog Systemic Disorder.
...we must distinguish between governing and ruling. Presidents, prime ministers and governors may govern for set periods of time, giving way to new officials, but these men and women do only that: govern. They manage the government on behalf of the dominant social forces within their borders, and those dominant social forces are in turn, depending where on the international capitalist pecking order the governed space lies, connected to and/or subordinate to more powerful social forces based elsewhere.

It is capitalists — industrialists and financiers — who actually rule.
I can't remember an article that has moved me so much after reading it than this one. I strongly advise all activists to read it, and if you don't "get it" the first time, read it again and again until you do. We have all been brainwashed in the capitalist swamp, so it might take some extra effort to cleanse yourself of capitalist mud, especially from your eyes, to see reality. But be warned that knowing the truth will not always be beneficial to you--often ignorance is bliss. Truth, I believe, offers one only a life of authenticity.

Anyway, so as not to distract you further from reading this very insightful article, I will only make one more comment. The article proves what I have long believed: activists must engage fully in the battlefield of ideology if capitalism is going to be overthrown. This first step must be accomplished if we humans can then go on to the next steps of revolution and ultimately to survival. Dolack, as usual, says it best:
The modern working person has faced a lifetime of the most sophisticated propaganda, and the task of undoing it in ourselves and for others should not be under-estimated. Millions of people, nonetheless, have done it and more are doing it. The continuing stagnation, erosion of social protections, promise of more austerity and the looming environmental catastrophe of global warming are bound to open more eyes. Many more eyes will need to be opened, with a concomitant willingness to struggle and organize, if a better world is to be created. A “counter-hegemony” is necessary: We provide our own leaders or they won’t be provided at all.

Or, to put it another way, we have to believe that a better world is not only possible but can be created. Once a sufficient portion of society comes to believes in this, then belief in, or resignation to, capitalist exploitation goes the way of trembling at the feet of monarchs. A belief in ourselves, that cooperation rather than dog-eat-dog competition is the route to a stable economy with enough for all, becomes a new material force.

Occupy the Party: the Sanders campaign as a site of struggle

Click here to access article by Not An Alternative for ROAR. ("Not An Alternative", according to ROAR, "is a Brooklyn-based arts, politics and theory collective with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, institutions and history.")

I am increasingly skeptical about the new version of ROAR which seems to be transitioning from what was a low budget operation that featured original, incisive left thinking into one which has a slick magazine format, and features article from left sources that seem to be increasingly sophomoric and insipid in their content. Perhaps this trend has something to do with having been taken over by a Dutch based "equity fund", a capitalist form. 

Notice, too, that they seemed to have dropped any reference to the original title which was Reflections on a Revolution. They no longer permit comments from their readers following the articles they run online. And, finally, they are introducing articles like this which play into the Democratic Party's strategy to use Bernie Sanders to lure back into the Democratic Party the next "hopey-changey" generation of youngsters in the expectation that at least some of them will vote for the ruling class's selected candidate--and it will not be Sanders. 

Although Sanders could serve the Empire in their foreign policies as well as anyone, he would be vigorously opposed by nation-based capitalists and thus could not be the party's candidate. Because Sanders has such a long record of advocating liberal type policies (supports unions and good on social equity issues), it would be even more of a challenge than Obama was for the ruling class directors to transform this candidate into one that serves narrow capitalist interests. 

I'm reluctantly seeing in this online magazine a trend which illustrates what I have so often seen before: a truly revolutionary media source that is being intentionally corrupted by the lure of money and jobs to leftists with the goal to contain and tame them. This ploy is one which slowly transitions an organization or publication from a medium offering truly revolutionary thinkers into one that increasingly posts articles from liberals. It is a strategy of co-optation.

I am not impressed with the thesis of this essay which essentially advocates the infiltration of the Democratic Party (dressed up in the latest left rhetoric--"occupy") in order to take it over and serve the interests of working people. This has always been a wet-dream of social democrats, and has always proved illusive and ultimately subversive of any progressive change.

I did a little searching for information about Not An Alternative, and found that it appears to be a spin-off of Eyebeam which is a non-profit arts organization in New York that is well integrated into New York's liberal arts establishment. As such Eyebeam lists accolades from similar sources: Huffington Post, Observer, and the NY Times.

So is ROAR a new and improved version of Reflections on a Revolution or merely a tame, subverted form? Well, I think currently it is both what it was before and what it will be in the future. So in the near future I may very well be re-posting articles from it; but if I am right, you will see it gradually deteriorate into liberal pablum and I will be increasingly ignoring it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Syria: Turning Over the Death Card

Click here to access article by Jack Perry from LewRockwell

The US Empire has such a horrible post-WWII record of imperialism that has been sold to ordinary Americans as humanitarian interventions by an "exceptional" nation. Corporate media has so distorted the perceptions and sense of reality for ordinary Americans that more astute writers are resorting to ridicule and sarcasm in addressing the policies and actions of Empire. We see this sort of treatment illustrated in this piece and we have seen it many times in articles by the Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar. Thus Perry writes:
I fear that the threat of another world war might be too good an offer for the United States government to pass up. “What?! We could have another world war?! Why, that would be swell! We haven’t gone out and had a world war in a long time! It’s always been having to settle for wars that end up in cease-fires and we’re hungry for another war an hour later! Gosh, we haven’t had a world war since 1945! Honey, do you know where my good tie is? I want to look nice! I’ll call the UN and make reservations.”
The problem is that our ruling directors and propagandists seem to believe their own propaganda as expressed recently in an essay published at Brookings, a major ruling class think tank, entitled "Enough is enough—U.S. abdication on Syria must end". As the title suggests the writers are calling for an aggressive military intervention in Syria.

Evidence of another major Empire intervention appears to be brewing in Libya.  Canadian Professor Maximilian Forte views such interventions and covering propaganda as so bizarre that he compares it to themes used in science fiction in a very clever piece entitled "The Shape of Things to Come in Libya (Part 1 of 2)".
Here we are dealing with a particular type of science fiction: social science fiction. I think it is an important subject of study, especially because in the US it seems that the only time that imperialism is conceptually grasped, is when it is deflected into films about alien invasions. In other words, the aliens shown in the standard alien invasion/abduction film, are a symbolic representation of US imperialists—it will be denied that Good Americans are anything like that, and the overt denial mixed with tacit agreement becomes science fiction. As a non-US cinema spectator, when I see films about aliens, I see them as coming from the US, I see reenactments of everything US troops have done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and so on....

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Click here to access a 53.5 minute audio recording of an interview with Alyssa Katz, author of The Influence Machine: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life featured on Against the Grain program of KPFA, a listener sponsored radio station in Berkeley, California.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a primary advocacy non-profit organization promoting the interests of corporations that operate mostly within the United States. This organization also serves corporations by mediating disputes among corporations in order to influence government legislation that favors business interests within the US. Katz explains how this organization differs from other such groups like the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers, details about its role in promoting corporations, and its history from its origin in 1912.

In the past I have posted many articles about leading capitalist non-profit think tanks, such as Brookings and the Council on Foreign Relations, that function to influence foreign policies (known generally as "neoliberalism") on behalf of transnational financial and industrial corporations. I have also presented a rather tentative theory about a growing contest between nation-based capitalists and transnational capitalists (see especially this, this, and this) in which the latter are winning whenever there are conflicts of interests. 

This contest is played out in various arenas, one of which is revealed in the current election campaigns. Noticeable in corporate media is their bias in favor of Hillary Clinton who represents neoliberal capitalists and against other candidates, especially against Donald Trump who is an uncontrollable maverick capitalist that has much more of a nation-based view of US foreign policies. The fact that corporate media favor Clinton is another bit of evidence that neoliberals are the dominant faction within the US ruling class.

Collapse of Iraqi Kurdistan

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from RT

I believe this piece illustrates an excellent example of reporting. Vltchek lets the broad range of people he encounters in this region speak for themselves. He adds his own personal information but does not let his perspective overwhelm their views about their concrete experience. Although the situation is complex, one thing is clear: Western capitalist involvement in Iraqi Kurdish affairs has produced, like so many other places, devastation, social chaos, and widespread poverty for most of the locals while enriching those with relations to Western capitalists.

Monday, February 15, 2016

They’re coming!

Click here to access article by David Ruccio from his blog Occasional Links & Commentary.

This perceptive economist knows what he is writing about in this piece which especially alerts middle class workers that automation and artificial intelligence will, under the rules of capitalist ownership, eliminate many of their jobs, their income, their perks, and their celebrated social status. Unskilled and semi-skilled workers have experienced this for decades, but now this trend is now beginning to affect the college educated middle class. Ruccio makes some allusions about the remedy in the final paragraphs.
There’s nothing inevitable about these effects. It’s not robots and artificial intelligence per se that are going to negatively affect workers. What matters is how the robots and new kinds of software are created and utilized within the current set of economic institutions—as a way of increasing profits and exacerbating inequality.

We can, of course, imagine an entirely different set of effects—ways that robots and artificial intelligence might serve to eliminate onerous tasks and lessen the amount of work we all have to do.

But that’s going to require fundamentally changing the existing set of economic institutions. That, and not robots and artificial intelligence, is the real challenge facing us.

Retired Army Colonel: US Will Have a Presence in Afghanistan for Another 50 Years

Click here to access article by Steven MacMillan from New Eastern Outlook.

MacMillan follows up Abbey Martin's very revealing interview in December with retired Colonel Wilkerson who served as an National Security Advisor to the Reagan administration, important posts in both Bush administrations and was used in key assignments by them to justify imperialist policies especially in the buildup to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It appears that he completely retired from government service in 2005 (I could not find a single source that included all of his bio). In contrast to his faithful service to the Empire that began in the Vietnam War, he has since become a major critic of past and present foreign policies of the US. Guilty conscience? Or maybe this illustrates what happens to people who are trained to follow orders from their "superiors" (ruling class masters).

In addition to Wilkerson's disclosures and criticisms from Martin's interview, McMillan contributes many linked references to other evidence which reveals the true geopolitical motivations that lie behind the continuing occupation of Afghanistan which Wilkerson believes will last another 50 years.

Corporate vision of the future of food promoted at the UN

Click here to access article from La Via Campesina.
Just when the biotech companies that make transgenic seeds are merging, the corporate vision of biotechnology is showing up at FAO. At today’s opening of the three-day International symposium on agricultural biotechnologies convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, more than 100 civil society and social movement and organizations (CSOs) from four continents have issued a statement denouncing both the substance and structure of the meeting, which appears to be another attempt by multinational agribusiness to redirect the policies of the UN agency toward support for Genetically-engineered crops and livestock. 

“It’s Not the Zika Virus” — Doctors Expose Monsanto Linked Pesticide as Cause of Birth Defects

Click here to access article by Jay Syrmopoulos from The Free Thought Project.
In a recent report by the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST), the group revealed that the area in which most of the afflicted persons live had been sprayed with a larvicide known to cause birth defects.

The chemical, pyriproxyfen, was added to the state of Pernambuco’s drinking-water reservoirs in 2014, by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in an effort to stop the proliferation of the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The report by PCST revealed that the pesticide, sold under the commercial name SumiLarv, is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto.
Also it appears that some grass-root organizations in Argentina are fighting and winning some battles against Monsanto according to an article entitled "Argentine Social Movements Strike Back Against Monsanto" from TeleSur.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Syrian Endgame, “A Lost War is Dangerous”. US-NATO, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, “Losers on The Rampage”

Click here to access article by Prof. Tim Anderson from Global Research

I think that this Australian professor provides an excellent report on the aftermath of the suspended Geneva negotiations regarding the Syrian crisis.
It should be clear by now that every single anti-government armed group in Syria has been created by Washington and its allies. Several senior US officials have admitted the fact. Regime change has always been the goal. Nevertheless, the charade of a ‘War on ISIS’ goes on, with a compliant western media unwilling to point out that ‘the emperor has no clothes’.

Geneva 3 has actually brought some results.

Turkey is the Source, Not Solution to ISIS and the Syrian Crisis

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from New Eastern Outlook

Cartalucci by referring to ruling class sources reveals the sharp contrast, or rather, the wide gulf (canyon?) between reality as promoted by the propaganda version of reality that is fed to the American public (and other publics) like garbage at the trough of a pig farm with the reality reflected in statements that investigative journalists are able to dig up from more obscure Empire sources. I have lived through an Orwellian period of Big Brother lies, but the lies our masters are now spreading are beyond anything that I've experienced before in my long life of 80 years.
Far from informing audiences, the flood of propaganda goes from absurd to surreal, aimed at provoking emotions, at persuasion, and at establishing a pretext for already long-ago, predetermined interventionism, the results of which are already on tragically stark display in Afghanistan, Iraq, and more recently Libya.

Despite the obvious truth behind interventions elsewhere – that they were intentionally designed to divide and destroy, not lift up or aid the people interventionism was used upon – the West remains committed to once again foisting this ploy upon the world, convinced it is still a viable strategy.
Cartalucci ends this essay by hinting at a hopeful outcome.
For the West, perhaps the only way to treat the mortal, self-inflicted wound to its credibility and stance upon the global stage, is to withdraw from the Syrian conflict and secure the Turkish border from within Turkish territory. Continuing on as the world increasingly realizes who and what is truly driving this conflict and toward what will leave the West – no matter what it may eventually achieve in Syria – weaker still when it makes its next move. 
This is a rational response that any sane person, or ruling class, would use to formulate their policies. But are our masters sane? Can those thoroughly addicted to wealth and power for more than sixty years act rationally and sanely? And who cares about a minority of mostly middle class people who see through the lies of the Empire's propaganda machinery? The vast majority of especially Americans are engaged in a Sisyphean struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by debt while trying to raise families and supporting children's education. Their shiny new hand-held electronic gadgets which are designed to keep them in instant touch with their friends also serve to lead them into shopping websites. They simply don't have the time or energy to seek out alternative sources of information from obscure websites.

God, I hope I'm wrong! 

Destroying nature for profits

by cartoonist Ángel Boligán.

This cartoonist, who was born and raised in Cuba, now lives in Mexico. For more background on him, read this.