The ruling-class has profoundly lost the argument over Syria. There is no public support for intervention on any scale. No support for the jihadi "rebels", and increasing sympathy for the Syrian government.
This could have represented a resounding victory for the Left and the anti-war movement. If it wasnt for the inconvenient matter of the Left and the anti-war movement by and large holding the same position as the ruling-class and backing the same forces.
Instead, the argument against intervention and support for the "rebels" was made, and won, by the isolationist and anti-Islamic far-right.
It say a lot about the state of the Left and it's influence on society when it can no longer even influence people into supporting a case that has already been laid out for them by the BBC 6 0'Clock News.
In the spirit of "we are all in it together", Tory Chancellor George Osborne today announced that in light of the huge cuts in jobs and benefits he is inflicting upon the country, he has volunteered to make drastic and deeply felt cuts in his own standard of living.
So from now on, he promises that he will only be using coke and hookers just the twice a week until the end of the financial year when the situation will be reviewed...
"Hooker: Osborne ‘a regular coke user’
Tart tells of 'drug party' with Chancellor
By CHRIS POLLARD - THE SUN
29th February 2012
AN ex-hooker has repeated claims that Chancellor George Osborne used to snort cocaine.
Former escort agency boss Natalie Rowe told a TV show he “regularly” took the drug with her in the 1990s while a Tory aide.
She said: “He took it on a regular basis with me, with his friends. There were more witnesses, not just me, that witnessed George Osborne taking cocaine. There are other people out there that know the truth.”
Speaking about a party in 1994 at which she was pictured with Mr Osborne, she said: “On that particular night he had taken a line.
“I said to George jokingly that when you’re Prime Minister one day I’ll have all the dirty goods on you.
“And he laughed and took a big fat line of cocaine.
“I’ve always said that the truth will always catch up on you. And it’s going to catch up on him.”
Rowe, who was talking to Australian TV show Lateline, first made the claims in a UK newspaper in October 2005. At the time Mr Osborne said he was the victim of a smear campaign and added: “The allegations are completely untrue.”
He said he did know Rowe because a friend had once dated her and they had met up occasionally.
Last night his spokesman said of the renewed claims: “These are old allegations that were widely reported and denied years ago. There is nothing new.”
Rowe ran an escort agency called Black Beauties, hiring out girls at £300 an hour."
Before you get too excited about the protests in Brazil, lets put this into the wider context. Brazil is one of the progressive bloc of governments in Latin America. It is the B in BRICS. Whatever its flaws, the Workers Party (PT) government is broadly progressive with its reforms at home and usually on the right side when it comes to international politcs. It is considered a problem by the US.
Some of the protesters, as is often the case in these things, have genuine, honest grievances that deserve to be heard. Others dont. However, the common demand of the protests is to remove the Workers Party and Dilma from government. But to be replaced by whom?
Members of Communist, trotskyist and socialist groups have been attacked on the protests, their flags and banners taken by force and burnt. Neo-Nazis are also reportedly active on the protests, alongside the anarchists, students, football hooligans, the politically naive and the a-political. Plain-clothes police are reportedly stirring things up on the protests.
Just because their are large numbers of people on the streets does not mean they are calling the shots or that their interests are the ones that are being furthered. And without a conscious, revolutionary leadership, the protests are open to manipulation and misdirection.
I am not condemning the protests outright, but I am expressing caution. After what we have seen in Libya, Syria, the "colour" counter-revolutions in the former Soviet bloc and the western backed protests against Putin, it seems oddly predictable that the next subject of mass protests would be on the continent that has moved most out of US control and for progress and independence, and here it is, happening in what is arguably the most important nation of the Latin American progressive bloc.
President Dilma Rousseff has responded admirably, and it is to be hoped these protests can be used to back further radical reform by the Workers Party. A big danger is that hostility on the streets to the PT will push the PT to the right in defence of the state. Rousseff seems to be indicating this will not be the case. However, the right of her government, of the PT and those whispering in their ears from the state will have other ideas.
Any opposition calls for elections should be resisted, unless it looks as though the PT could strengthen its position. The PT is the only progressive party in a position to make a government. The alternative is the parties of the neo-liberals and the Generals.
Be vigilant and seek truth from facts. And always ask, whose class interests are being furthered? Which international class forces have most to gain?
>>> Obama vows to cut nuclear arms in broad-brush Berlin speech"We are on track to cut nuke warheads to lowest levels since 1950s … but we have more work to do, so I am announcing [that] we can ensure security of US and allies by reducing our stored weapons by up to one third," said Obama. "I intend to start talks with Russia to move beyond cold war postures."
So, why is the US suddenly so keen on nuclear disarmament? Quite simple really. City-levelling megaton nukes are a hindrance to US military aims. They are expensive to develop and maintain. And they are unusable. And more to the point, if the other side has them, you cant go to war with them. The US needs to go to war. War is business. And business is stalling.
If every time the US wants to take over some country's oil or mineral resources, and those interfering Russians or Chinese start getting uppity, the US has no choice but to back the fuck off. Because those guys, the Russians in particular, have some big old nukes of their own. Pointed right at the US of A.
The US knows that at some point it will have to directly militarily confront Russia and China. And it is scared shitless of the prospect. The US just does not know how to take mass casualties. Especially on home turf (unless self-inflicted by National Rifle Association members). It still hasnt got over losing a couple of thousand stock brokers over ten years ago, so how could they take losing a city or ten in a real war?
Russia and China on the other hand, they know what war, real war, looks and feels like. Between them they lost around 60 million people in the second world war, the majority civilians. The US something over a hundred thousand. Only 1700 civilians amongst them.
The US loves war. As long as they dont get hurt. Four million dead in Korea? Cool. Three million dead in Vietnam? Tough shit. A million dead in Cambodia and Laos? Where? A million dead in Iraq? Who cares?
But a few thousand dead yanks? A few hundred? Two or three? Oh, the humanity!
So we gotta get rid of the nukes. Not all of them. Just the big ones. Like what the Russians and Chinese have. Those intercontinental ones. Not the cool, "bunker busting" ones. Not the nice tactical battlefield ones. They are fine. Because you can use them. Especially when the other side doesnt have any of its own to fire back.
So, there it is. Why Obama is suddenly more CND than Bruce Kent.