Spent the morning with a now disabled 16-year veteran of the US Army who served in several war & conflict zones with special forces. He resigned after being abandoned in an Iraqi desert with a mate who died from a snake bite. Both his sons were in the military, including one deployed to Afghanistan. He quoted his 20-something son as saying that if you can’t identify a Taliban from a village resident, just kill them all. The mantra of rightwing confusionist forces who call for a US “humanitarian invasion” of Syria to support the Syrian revolution is “If the Syrians want a US military intervention, who are we to oppose them?” Who are we to oppose them? We’re the ones who watch our beloved sons, daughters, neighbors turned into psychotic killers who see every stranger as an enemy combatant. We’re the ones who watch our beloved become inculcated with racism, xenophobia, colonial & white supremacy. We’re the ones who witness the systematic corruption of American society under the pernicious influence of glorifying militarism. As for those Syrians who allegedly remain confused about the character of US militarism or the role of the US military in the Syrian counterrevolution, our response is that the problem is not the failure of the US Pentagon but the betrayal of the international antiwar movement to stand with the Syrian revolution. Principled antiwar activists is who we are & we make no concessions whatsoever to guilt-baiting which in this instance panders to orientalism.

Russian pres. Oct 9 2018

This time-exposure photo collage of Putin sarcastically titled “Nine stages of the leader’s decomposition” was done by a Russian artist who photographed Putin’s image placed on a seed bed decay progressively . A Russian court ordered the seditious collage destroyed. So much for democracy in Russia. And still so many who call themselves progressives and revolutionaries champion Russia & Putin as champions of modern democracy. Just like they did Stalin. Stalinism isn’t a historic betrayal & failure; it is an enduring political method by those who believe social change is forcibly & autocratically imposed on people whether they like it or not. As in Russia, so in Syria & elsewhere. Stalinism is finding its final resting place within fascism & some of the advance guard call themselves Trotskyists. How sarcastic can history get?

We can be despondent or panic at the assumption of sniffles Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court or we can finally face the reality that substantial & enduring social progress has always come from independent political action & never from governmental actions & policies.