Naomi Klein has always been on the leading edge of progressive change. Her landmark book The Shock Doctrine made clear what tactics are used by those wielding the power to further their agenda. Her most recent book No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need outlines a guide to resisting shock politics with examples of past situations that the people have won. In furtherance of the goal of fighting and winning "the world we need," Ms Klein has formed an organization called The Leap.
"Hillary Clinton is an unreconstructed hawk," so says Retired General Andrew Basevich. Aside from being retired General, a VietNam veteran, and a Professor emeritus, he has a new book on the Middle East. The book is titled; America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. Check the video out:
The Prime Minister of Israel spoke to a joint session of the US Congress. Referencing the Cuban missile crisis, Netanyahu explained that we averted disaster by deterrence. He went on to say "Now we see the rise of a similar threat. Similar and in many ways more dangerous. Against which deterrence by itself may not be sufficient. Deterrence must now be reinforced by prevention. Immediate and effective prevention." I guess he was advocating a military response to the nuclear threat. Just like he did before the Iraq invasion of 2003. However, he spoke these words in a speech to the joint session of Congress in 1996. 1996.
Thoughts On Torture
The recent revelations came as no surprise. Now we know with certainty that the United States tortured people. What are the repercussions? The Senate Team spent five years researching and putting the CIA torture report together. Apparently, it is quite thorough. What now?
Knowing this puts us in quite a bind. We can’t simply say (or at least we shouldn’t say), as Obama did a few years ago, that we need to look forward, not back. The flaws in this thinking are apparent, as all crimes necessarily happen in the past. With this logic, the defense of a bank robber or rapist would be very simple: “hey, that was last week. Why are you bringing it up now?”
The whole idea of cutting SNAP (Food Stamps) may well be the most heartless and mean-spirited proposal our Congress has ever made. It is literally taking food from the mouths of our most vulnerable citizens. This includes millions of children. All at a time of high unemployment and a growing wealth disparity. I don't know if we can stop these cuts but I certainly would like the Congress to know what we think about it. Perhaps, if there is enough push back members of Congress will need to factor in their next reelection bid. Please sign this petition from Daily Kos:
Can We Save Our Democracy?
Is a country with true universal single payer health care, free higher education, a concerted effort to reverse the climate crisis, and reasonable choices at the ballot box a possibility? Drs. Jill Stein and Margaret Flowers are convinced that this world can be transformed into a world of social, economic, and ecological justice. They are sure enough to have given up their respective medical practices to work full time on the changes that would lead us to this better world.
I am usually a skeptic, fluxuating between despair, anger, and a sense of hopelessnes. That being said, I have found what I believe to be a possible path out of the current mess in what these two women are saying. I plan to follow up on their suggestions, you should too.
What Advice Could Kissinger Offer
It is difficult to trust the judgement or the veracity of what the Secretary of State John Kerry says. If it weren't bad enough that his talking points don't explain the real reasons he wants to drop missiles in Syria, the point is further made by the fact that he found it useful or proper to consult with the accused war criminal, Henry Kissinger.
Based on his history, we can get a sense of what Kissinger's position is on Syria. At least we can discern what doesn't motivate him, which may be enough. He is not moved by a sense of compassion or a humanitarian interest in protecting the innocent people of Syria.
Syria: The Most Logical Answer is Usually Right
I have said and continue to say that the party that has the least to gain as well as the most to lose by using poison gas is Assad's Syria. Not that he would likely have any moral reservations about doing so, but very practical reasons not to. With Syria's well equipped military, Assad has the momentum. The only thing that could shift that momentum is intervention by outside forces. The clearly stated position of the US (the dreaded redline) makes using chemical weapons a huge risk. Doing so when the UN weapon inspectors are in Syria and only 10 miles away to boot, makes it at best moronic, at worst, suicidal.
We should ask ourselves what could he possibly hope to gain. There is no reasonable answer to this question. Assad would be exposing himself to retaliation and worldwide scorn, and no doubt he understands this. Here is a video of Acronym TV (part of The Young Turks network) detailing some of the facts. Furthermore, President Obama clearly says himself that the problems in Syria won't be solved militarily but only with a negotiated diplomatic solution. In addition, there is a well documented post by Dennis Trainor Jr. at FireDogLake.
Fool Me Once…
Let's not make the same mistake that we made in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. I grant that Assad is an awful person. Maybe he could use nerve agents to kill his own people. But this isn't about "could," either he did or he didn't. There are some nagging questions about Syria and the chemical attacks.
Why would Assad pick the exact time that UN inspectors are already in Syria to launch a large scale chemical attack? Seriously, Assad is a bad guy to be sure but how could he run Syria for decades if he, his generals, and top advisors are all morons? This is what we are asked to believe. The regime is determined to retain power, they have the opposition forces out manned and totally outgunned. Why would he do the one thing that could instantly shift this balance of power?