Politics, not to mention life, is full of contradictions that we have to grasp, first of all, and then smartly negotiate our way through. It’s when we reduce politics to simple schemes that we get into trouble and miss opportunities to positively intervene in political life and outcomes.
Here’s my (abstract) thought for the day: At the collective and individual level, I’ve come to believe that the past is both a burden that can disable, disorient, and divide or a source of inspiration, insight, renewal, and new directions. Which becomes the road taken largely depends on our own readiness to soberly and honestly confront it.
My adaptation of an old rallying cry for this year: Don’t Mourn, Get Out the Vote
Don’t be fooled by the much proclaimed “energy independence” of the U.S. While the country’s oil dependence on the Middle East may have lessened in recent years, the interests of U.S. multi-national oil corporations are still considerable there and the smooth functioning of the global economy are dependent on the uninterrupted supply of oil from this region of the world.
What is more, control of this region gives U.S. imperialism a major leg up — politically and militarily as well as economically — in its strategic competition with China, Russia, and the European Union for global dominance.
Trump’s decision to assassinate the top military leader in Iran is tantamount to a declaration of war in the eyes of the Iranian government. It is incredibly reckless and could easily escalate into another major war in the Middle East as well as endanger the lives of people everywhere. Can you imagine the consequences if this practice becomes normalized?
That it happened comes as no surprise. It’s a continuation of a policy of threats, aggression, economic boycott, and belligerence of Trump and his advisers — not to mention the most aggressive groupings of U.S. imperial capital — against the Iranian people and government with the aim of regaining singular dominance in this region of the world. His decision to withdraw from the joint nuclear accord of the two countries was but the opening of larger goal of regime change.
What also isn’t surprising is its timing. It is hard not to think that Trump who finds himself in the middle of an impeachment process and facing a very challenging reelection at year’s end, hopes to rally the country around and wrap himself up in the flag in the face of these challenges to his presidency.