What We Sow, We Harvest

by lizard

The title of the post comes from statements made by Hillary Clinton, referencing the short-sighted foreign policy of the US arming the Mujahideen against Russia in Afghanistan. It’s a refreshingly candid statement.

But that was over two years ago, plenty of time to conveniently forget how an expedient ends-justify-the-means approach to fighting the Evil Empire (Russia) blew back in our collective faces (9/11).

Is it impossible for this country to learn from it’s blunders abroad?

Apparently so. And as proof, check this out: Obama’s administration is trying to achieve the same goal as Al Qaeda. Let me say that again. Obama and the TERRORISTS WHO ATTACKED AMERICA want the same thing: the destruction of the Syrian Regime.

This point became crystal clear when that new head terrorist guy who took the place of America’s frenemy, Bin Laden, recently called for jihad in Syria.

Gee, how awkward. Too bad Obama has already demanded Assad step down, and declared that America marches in lockstep with Israel. So no diplomatic poker playing here. Instead, US foreign policy seeks to again exploit the R2P for another imposed regime change.

Why? Could the answer be as simple and stupidly short-sighted as Iran?

Because if it wasn’t for aligning with Iran, it seems like Bashar al Assad is totally the kind of secular dictator that America, under different circumstances, could tolerate. To prove I’m not totally nuts in making that assertion, I offer this link showing how Vogue magazine once fawned over his wife, Asma al Assad, then later tried to scrub itself clean.

Getting back to that lockstep with Israel thing, it makes sense the Obama administration has the same goal as the evil terrorists who attacked us, because Israel is all too eager to work with terrorists as well:

Israel is working with an Iranian terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials have told NBC News. They say Israel is financing, training, and arming Iranian dissidents known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, a group designated as terrorists by the U.S. since the 1970s, when members allegedly killed U.S. service members. They later broke with the Iranian mullahs. Five nuclear scientists have been killed since 2007, often by a motorcycle rider attaching a magnetic bomb to the scientist’s car. U.S. officials say the Obama administration is aware of the assassinations.

Diana Johnstone’s featured piece at Counterpunch is very much worth reading. Here is a snip:

And who are these rebels? We simply do not know. Someone who may know better than we do is Osama bin Laden’s successor as head of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is seen on a video urging Muslims in Turkey and neighboring Arab states to back the Syrian rebels.

With uncontrolled armed groups fighting for control, the insistent Western demand that “Assad must step down” is not really even a call for “regime change”. It is a call for regime self-destruction.

As in Libya, the country would de facto be turned over to rival armed groups, with those groups that are being armed covertly by NATO via Turkey and Qatar having an advantage in hardware. However, the likely result would be a multi-sided civil war much more horrific than the chaos in Libya, thanks to the country’s multiple religious differences. But for the West, however chaotic, regime self-destruction would have the immediate advantage of depriving Iran of its potential ally on the eve of an Israeli attack. With both Iraq and Syria neutralized by internal religious conflict, the strangulation of Iran would be that much easier – or so the Western strategists obviously assume.

To approximate what’s happening globally: shit’s getting really fucked up, and there’s an inevitability being actively constructed toward war with Iran.

*

Domestically, the big banks got the handjob of justice with their foreclosure settlement. Good for them. Help piddle down a few billion in principal for a crash that wiped out trillions.

The domestic opposition, OWS, and its subsidiary occupations, are caught in a myriad of difficulties. The big flare up came from Chris Hedges, stirring it up with his piece titledBlack Block: The Cancer in Occupy.

A great response came from this piece, Self-Critical Reflections from the Santa Rita Jail.

Another great response came from this open letter to Chris Hedges.

And then there’s the latest from Hedges, where he says this:

How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state’s side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons.

All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.

This conversation happening about how to resist is absolutely critical right now, because we’re not Greece. Not yet.

But Greece is the future if the methods of squeeze are adopted. And it’s not austerity hawks circling above us, but vultures.

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  1. ladybug

    You’ve got to break it to fix it (and profit). Shock Doctrine is not yet familiar to us in consumer-land. Chile and other countries where neoliberals attacked first are emerging, like Greece, to rebuild a society free of vultures.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Looks like its the vultures are the ones throwing Molotov cocktails.

  2. Turner

    Are you opposed to the idea of R2P? What’s the practical difference between invoking it and exploiting it?

    Does stepping in to protect the people of Syria against a bloody tyrant have to mean that we (i.e., NATO or the UN) are pro-Al Qaeda?

    I hate to repeat a cliche, but he world is a very complicated place and sometimes nation-states have to make temporary alliances with some rather bad people.

    • lizard19

      I’m opposed to the idea that US foreign policy gives a shit about human suffering.

      and if destroying this “bloody tyrant” entails arming the opposition, which is probably already happening, then that means potentially arming Al Qaeda. and if we’re arming Al Qaeda, that sort of undermines the claim that they are the kind of threat to national security our leaders have been maintaining for the last decade.

      tell me Turner, do you really think the US cares about dead Syrians?

      • Turner

        I don’t think nation-states, including ours, “care about” individual human beings in the way that actual individuals do. When it suits their purposes, they can assume a posture superficially resembling solicitousness.

        Nation states use the vocabulary of ethics to perform essentially self-serving acts because no other acceptible vocabulary is available to them.

        They sometimes perform humanitarian acts if they don’t cost them much. So the US might “care about” dead Syrians if doing so advances our interests, which are political and economic.

        If I’m a Syrian on the verge of being killed by a ruling tyrant and his thugs, I’m not going to look too closely at the motives of those making an effort to save me.

        • lizard19

          what if this Syrian turmoil is meant to keep an ally of Iran too busy fighting a civil war to help intercede when an Israeli first strike goes down? what if arming the opposition spills the conflict into Lebanon? into Jordan?

          and I’ll say this again, the failure of the UN and the opposition from Russia and China is a direct consequence of violently imposing regime change in Libya.

          these are dangerous games the global elite are playing, and I don’t think team America is playing very smart right now at all.

  3. jackruby

    Well not too long ago we were still black bagging al queda suspects to Syria to be tortured for info. You probably didnt like that either right? What is the right play here…wash our hands of the entire place and ignore it? Let the russians or iranians or whoever other foreign parties are also interfering influence things on their own? We know how the syrian govt will react to internal dissension. They will respond with violence until they again have a monopoly on it. This isnt the first time its happened. Maybe that would be more moral or ethical. The US and others like Israel and Turkey seem to have concluded that “our” interests are better served by forcing out the Assad regime and possibly breaking Syria into pieces. Probably going to be some unforseen consequences as you say.

  4. JC

    Thanks for pointing up the discussion happening inside Occupy right now. While I don’t know if I would classify what is happening as “difficulties” as much as I would call them opportunities, Occupy definitely is struggling with how to position itself.

    Here in Occupy Missoula we are having intense debates about how to grow a movement that has pitched together anarchists of all stripes with a broad continuum of political minded folks on the liberal side of things. It’s interesting watching the MoveOn folks and the Black Bloc folks try to work together.

    We’ve been doing a weekly series of public forums talking about strategy and tactics, ideologies, and nonviolence. I believe tonight’s episode will be taking on much of what you linked to above, and including Starhawk’s great piece on strategic nonviolent direct action centering on this question:

    “What framework can we organize in that will build on our strengths, allow us to grow, embrace a wide diversity of participants, and make a powerful impact on the world?”

    • Ingemar Johansson

      What ever your doing, keep it up.

      Preferably until Nov.

      • Steve W

        Your whole world must revolve around November.

        Mitt will be your savior.

        It’s almost like your wedding day all over again.

        Is what JC’s doing what’s causing the political predictive markets to bet on Obama? Cause he’s hot.

        Is that why you want JC to continue what he’s doing? Cause you bet Obama?

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Ya really think its going to be Mittens?

  5. Steve W

    Who if not Mitt? Ron Paul?

    • Steve W

      Who, Inge?




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