One group blames it on the “legacy of miscalculations and mistakes” in Iraq; another group blames it on a teenager’s Afro. Whatever the rational, two sets of folks seem to be determined not to be: “…had, took, hoodwinked, tricked, bamboozled and led astray” by the absence of facts. The British Prime Minister went into parliament fully empowered by the “word” and power of the leader of the former colony, and now close ally, America. But the fiercely independent and outspoken (You must at least once, watch the British Parliament in session on CSPAN; what a dynamic political show!), Parliament said: “don’t even try it!” The truth is, that places like Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, don’t lend themselves to simplistic questions; that then could be resolved and answered with simplistic answers. Cultural Literacy Education (of course!) is required here. The intellectually lazy analysis (and news reporting) that speaks of “moderates”; “pro or anti-western forces”; “Liberals-Conservatives”; “democrats vs. anti-democrats“, are incapable of helping the U.S. and its allies in properly organizing sound operational principles in a very dynamic and volatile region. The complex historiography of this region; including the ethnic, religious mess created by colonialism’s artificial creation of nation-states **; requires a fuller appreciation for who is fighting (and backing) who, and why. And, as sad and difficult as this may sound, the people of that region may need to engage in their own social/historical development, without the disruptive intervention of the west. For example, the repressive leadership in Iran “plays” the US as the existential threat to the nation; this as a way to not be forced to respond to the growing internal request for social-economic and religious change desired by their people. And of course, we cooperate by playing the “arch-enemy” of the nation of Iran. Mr. Obama must be wisely suspect of the right-wing “coat-holders”, like Lindsey Graham and John McCain who are pushing the POTUS into an ill-advised “face-saving” action that has every possibility of making a bad situation, much worse. A big question (clearly observed by the majority of the British Parliament): Why didn’t the Arab League call for military intervention? Surely the Arab led nations would have seen those same terrible pictures of Syrian victims, along with the rest of the world. And I suspect that Arab nations (on both sides of the conflict), with their “connections” on the ground, are fully aware as to who is truly responsible for this horrible human rights violation. How many times have we gone off on a mission to simply “do something”, and then think about the after-effects, after. The US by virtue of its powerful status in the world; and its seat on the UN security council, must “do something”; the point is, to do something meaningful, productive, ethical and smart.
Meanwhile in NYC, it would appear that garnering the endorsements of three major NYC papers was not able to propel the mayoral campaign of Ms. Christine Quinn into the lead. It seems that the citizens are refusing to be “herded” into a Bloomberg 2.0 mayoralty. Perhaps people now realize that imperial, arrogant and dismissive rule are not good leadership qualities. When democracy can be purchased, perhaps it becomes devalued. Whatever one thinks of Mr. de Blasio he seems to be a man who at the very least is in love with spoken suggestions, not just the sound of his own opinionated voice; and he expresses a vision, beyond and unlike Mr. Bloomberg’s fascination with his own reflection in the mirror. He is, at least open to the idea that just taking the “easiest”, most anti-democratic and demeaning path to crime solving is not the only way; maybe (if we give it some thought) we can reduce crime, while at the same time, not make large residents of NYC live in fear of arbitrary and disrespectful treatment by those who have sworn to protect, and respect them. I am hoping that if Mr. de Blasio gets elected he can also overturn the tremendous damaged done to NYC’s public education system; where the majority of children under Bloomberg’s leadership, are in grave danger of being stopped and frisked, and yet don’t have the opportunity to experience a stop in commercialized mis-education, and be free, and empowered to learn.
**Study Notes: An excellent book on the deleterious, and long term devastating effects of colonialism on “developing” countries; written by a brilliant scholar; Dr. Walter Rodney: How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.