The Talking Dog

November 25, 2015, Flashpoints

We'll start with the shoot-down of Russian fighter planes supposedly barely over Turkish airspace by NATO member Turkey; the Grey Lady provides a little background, and Zero Hedge has a little more (and a bit more here). Bottom line: Turkey is allied with certain insurgents who are (surprise, surprise) notionally aligned with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL against the Assad regime (as is... the United States), and Russia is allied with the Assad regime against all of its opponents. And so, there is a "war of all against all" over there, in which, "our side" can pretend to feign outrage at the excesses of the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL as it notionally targets White People (recently in Paris), but "our side" isn't trying very hard, because our interests are really about taking out Assad to make the world safe for a lengthy Qatari gas pipeline across Syria that the Assad regime opposes insofar as it would undermine Russia's interests. Hey, boys and girls, this one isn't about oil; it's about gas. But "the grown-ups" seem to have no problem setting a chain of events in motion that could, quite easily, plunge us into a broader regional war, if not a World War, involving parties with nuclear weapons at their disposal.

Meanwhile, in unraveling closer to home, in shades of 1968 (or pick your period of "civil unrest"), protests have broken out in Chicago over the simultaneous indictment (for murder) of a police officer for the killing of a Black teenager and release of the video of the killing. [Similar stuff is going on in Minneapolis, where five were shot at a protest of police, and a Black Lives Matter protester was merrily beaten up at a Nuremberg Donald Trump rally, in Birmingham, Alabama no less.]

Lookit: this started building around four years ago, with the relatively upscale "Occupy!" movement, featuring a large number of middle class kids kvetching about student loan payments, overall income and wealth equality and so forth; the original Occupy! encampment was across the street from my office, in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Anyway, rather than even pretend to meet the (vague, and in any event, not particularly onerous) demands even a little, decisions were made at various levels, coordinated at the federal level, to suppress that movement at all costs. And so, in the last year or two, new and different kinds of protests have become more poignant, more mobile and more aggressive, and have concerned a more basic structural issue of this society, to wit, that there just isn't going to be any kind of "justice," be it in income/wealth distribution or anything else (especially "racial" justice), other than the most vicious and brutal "criminal justice," with continued mass incarceration and brutal on the street violence with an ever-more-militarily-armed domestic police presence... and so, we have a more basic form of civil unrest playing out on the ground (not so amusingly, with a background of potential world war, and the leading candidate for one of the two major political parties hearkening to the rhetoric of the Third Reich, almost seamlessly,)

Thing is, the powerful made a bet that a notionally Black President would be a sufficient salve to the overall raw wounds that quite literally are the organizational principles of this society and culture. While he himself remains popular among the downtrodden, it's quite clear that the grand plan of using an African American man as a bandage on social and economic hemorrhaging probably isn't going to work. Indeed, Clinton or Sanders are probably not going to be much of a solution to the overall problem, as the only candidate with "answers" would seem to be Trump, and those answers would be to take us all the way into an unmitigated open and brutal racist dictatorship, and the clearer he is about this, the more popular he seems to be among his party's constituency.

Pick your temporal metaphor-- 1914, 1968, 1933, whatever... humanity witnesses similar stuff in the past, and it can get really ugly, really fast... at the moment, I have no particular "solution"... but pay attention...