Dear Sir Mark Rylance, Listen To Syrians, Not Stop The War Coalition

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 [By Lara Keller Last Updated 6th June 2017]

Dear Sir Mark Rylance, Listen To Syrians, Not Stop The War Coalition

Dear Sir Mark Rylance,

My apologies to you as patron of Stop The War Coalition, I did not realize this when I wondered why you were doing a fundraiser for STWc at the Pasha Islington in London on 7th December. It is comforting to think of the many British citizens who have received knighthoods for services to tyrants around the world that the British elites have favoured. Your knighthood is clearly for acting and services to the film and theatre industries etc, but your “Stop The War’s Coalition” campaign against the Arab Democratic Uprising must have found their supporters in the dictator hugging British elitist London clubland. Well done Sir Mark for getting a knighthood from a Tory government. You continuing patronage of Stop The War Coalition will be an even more valuable tool to camouflage the hard-left agenda of this neo-SWP organization.

Happy New Year and God Bless You Lara Keller

P.S. The people of Syria have suffered from a brutal self-serving Assad Clique dictatorship since 1970, which has used systematic torture and cynical division as its tools of governance. Any ideas how they get rid of the Assad Clique without any threat of military force? Perhaps culture will do the trick, Shakespeare?, a performance of Macbeth in Damascus, most of his inner circle understand English, they need it to arrange transfers of Syria’s wealth to tax havens, perhaps Macbeth, how could they not dwell on the lines “Thou marvell’st at my words, but hold thee still; Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.” What better summary of the Assad regime? Think on this as you lie in your bed, protected by rights that every human being seeks, even Arabs.

On Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 12:58 PM, mr@markrylance.co.uk <mr@markrylance.co.uk> wrote:
THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW YOUR POINT OF VIEW LARA,

MARK

Meryl Robertson
Assistant to Mark Rylance
07852 342 493

On 16 Nov 2016, at 20:39, Lara Keller <larakeller1937@gmail.com> wrote:

Why is Mark Rylance doing an Xmas Fundraiser for Stop The War? Stop the War are run by an ideologically driven group of ex-SWP Trots who are not pacifists in the true sense, but political opportunists. They campaign to block effective action against the brutal Assad and Putin regimes (and other MENA dictators) by promoting misinformation and rhetoric. Is this what Mark wishes to have his good name attached to, as STW promotion opportunity? While their PR clients Putin and Assad mount an ever bigger blitzkrieg against Syrians opposing this brutal dictatorship?

The reality of Stop The War has been known for some years now. Please see below some extracts that might aid your discussion:

Why Stop the War don’t want to listen to Syrians, Syria Solidarity UK, 12 November, 2015

THE FIRST [Stop The War LIE]

Denying the first, Stop the War say Andrew Murray’s position is that ISIS can only be defeated by strong and credible governments in Syria and Iraq. If Andrew Murray does not mean Assad when he talks of a Syrian government, what does he mean? Elsewhere he makes clear that he is against the fall of Assad, saying that a no-fly zone should be opposed because “regime change is the real agenda.”

Andrew Murray also calls on foreign powers to abandon “all the preconditions laid down for negotiations,” language that echoes the Assad regime and its backers in Moscow. Why? Because there is just one precondition that is contested: the demand that Assad step down. This was not originally a Western demand, but first and foremost a Syrian demand.

So Andrew Murray’s “strong and credible government” is one where there is no change of regime, and no demand for Assad to step down: in other words, a continuation of the Assad regime.

There is no lie here.

(http://leftfootforward.org/2015/11/why-stop-the-war-dont-want-to-listen-to-syrians/)

The Stop the War Coalition should do us all a favour and disband [Sunday 31 August 2014]

“The Stop the War Coalition of today does not represent mainstream or even consistent opinion, if it ever did. Its leaders are hardly mainstream: its former chair, Andrew Murray, is still a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain; there are long-standing historic links to the Socialist Workers’ Party; and vice-president Kamal Majid is a founding member of the Stalin Society. Uncle Joe, you may remember, was not a great valuer of human life, although I am sure Mr Majid would disagree.”

(http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-stop-the-war-coalition-should-do-us-all-a-favour-and-disband-9702292.html)

Statement on the upcoming Stop the War event at the House of Commons (Thursday, 29 October 2015)

Unfortunately, the upcoming 2nd November meeting at the House of Commons advocates a policy that is utterly divorced from the horrific reality experienced by civilians currently under attack by Russian and Assad regime aerial bombardments.

We categorically reject any policy proposal, be it for intervention or non-intervention that is not formulated in consultation with Syrian civic, medical or humanitarian workers.

(http://www.syriauk.org/2015/10/statement-on-upcoming-stop-war-event-at.html)

Leila al-Shami on Stop the War, 12th September 2015

Over the past few days, demonstrations have been held in London and elsewhere to oppose the UK bombing Syria. The demonstrations were organized by the Stop the War Coalition (STW), an organization which has long adopted a counter-revolutionary position on Syria. Since the start of the uprising in 2011 STW has refused to acknowledge the agency of the oppressed Syrian people struggling against a fascist regime or to support their struggle in any form, preferring to see the current conflict only through a geopolitical lens. Their selective anti-imperialism means they’ve only ever opposed Western intervention in Syria (even when this was not a reality) and refuse to actively oppose Russian or Iranian intervention. They have never called for any action against Assad or opposed the war he has waged on the Syrian people, raining down barrel bombs and targeting civilian areas with Scud missiles for over four years. It is this war which has been the main cause of civilian deaths in Syria and which has created the vacuum and desperation giving rise to Daesh. These ‘progressives’ have consistently refused to give a platform to revolutionary Syrians. They have even, shamefully, called the police to remove Syrians present at a recent meeting. Conversely, they give non-Syrian apologists for the Assad regime a voice, people such as the odious George Galloway and massacre-denier Mother Agnes.

At the demonstrations organized by STW some present were holding Baathist flags and pictures of the mass-murderer Assad. Seriously, a blatant fascist presence was considered acceptable at a protest organized by people who describe themselves as leftists. It is no wonder that their demonstrations were small (compared to the heyday of the Iraq war demos), with no large scale Syrian or Muslim presence. I am sure many who oppose the bombing of Syria would feel alienated joining a protest organized by those who ally themselves with a regime that practices torture on an industrial scale, sodomizes its opponents with broken bottles, and gasses civilian neighbourhoods. One of the speakers at the event held last Saturday, Tariq Ali (once considered a ‘radical’, so I’m told) rhetorically called for Britain to ally itself with Assad and Russia if it wanted to defeat Daesh. This was based on his erroneous claim that Russia is actually attacking Daesh, whilst the evidence shows that the majority of Vlad the Invader’s attacks are aimed at anti-Assad forces (which have also been fighting Daesh since January 2014) and civilians in areas with no Daesh presence. As for Assad, not only has he not attacked Daesh until recently (to gain international legitimacy as a partner in the ever expanding War on Terror) but has actively facilitated its growth.

Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the British Labour Party who has been the Chair of STW for the past four years and has now appointed the Stalinist and Putin supporter Seumas Milne as the party’s director of communications, is giving his party’s members the choice of whether to back joining the US coalition or not. To help them make up their minds he has invited Patrick Cockburn to brief Labour MPs on Syria ahead of the vote. Patrick Cockburn openly supports the fascist mass murderer Assad, has called for Britain to ally with Assad’s imperialist sponsors Russia and Iran, has consistently slandered Syrian rebels as ‘Al Qaeda’, makes shit up in his writing like pretending to be an eyewitness to massacres which likely never happened, and recommends Donald Trump’s analysis on the Middle East. Does anyone really consider these people progressives? As an anarchist, it seems to me that the statist ideologies of both left or right have much more in common with each other than any values or principles I adhere to.

( https://pulsemedia.org/2015/12/09/leila-al-shami-on-stop-the-war/ )

An “Anti-War” Movement in the West in Relation to Syria Is An Oxymoron

Thank you for this thoughtful article (“Socialists and Wars in the 21st Century?—?The Case of Syria.”)

One of the problems we face in a discussion around how to be anti-war in practice, is that the discussion is crippled by the one-dimensional framework of pro-war versus anti-war.

For all the anti-war movements I have supported or participated in, the actual content is never really limited to “opposing war.” While the existence of war is a sad commentary on the backwardness of the human race, the solution to that backwardness is in removing the causes of war.

Only strict pacifists always advise both sides in a war to simply put down their guns and stop fighting. In practice, one side following this advice only allows victory for the other power.

Thus in Vietnam “anti-war” meant that the U.S. and its allies should stop their war-making, NOT that the Vietnamese should stop their war of liberation. Opposition to the Contra war in Nicaragua, again, was in reference to the U.S. which created and supplied those forces, not a call for the Sandanistas to stop the defense of their country (anymore than we would have opposed the revolutionary war they had conducted against the Somoza dictatorship).

When we had “anti-war” demonstrations against the impending Iraq war, we never meant that the Iraqis should abandon their military defenses. In all such examples, “anti-war” really meant opposing the war-making of one side, but in effect justifying the military efforts of the oppressed nation under attack. It was only because the main enemy in each case were our own imperialist ruling classes that the term “anti-war” was a convenient and popularly formulated slogan expressing that content, in which we were actually (and unashamedly!) taking sides.

That is why an “anti-war” movement in the West in relation to Syria is an oxymoron. Obviously the revolution and civil war in Syria was not a result of any war-making on the part of Western imperialism (despite various fictions to the contrary). We should take the side of the oppressed in Syria every bit as much as we did in the above examples. But?—?unless you live in Russia or Iran?—?using the term “anti-war” doesn’t really specify which side you are on. And using that term robotically can only increase confusion and promote the myth that their revolution is a Western imperialist plot.

In other words, the discussion that Richard Fidler encroached upon was already distorted by the starting point: how to build an “anti-war” movement in the West. Rather, we need to start with the concept of building a solidarity movement with the oppressed. Only from that starting point can we formulate popular slogans and demands and determine if and how terms such as “anti-war” can be applied to those efforts.

— Jeff Meisner via Marxmail.

( https://medium.com/@_alhamra/an-anti-war-movement-in-the-west-in-relation-to-syria-is-an-oxymoron-ecf1a90b03bb#.82rduf5bc )

God Bless You
Lara Keller

Pavel Felgenhauer on Putin’s Core Reasoning For The War On Syria

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Extracts from Aljazeera Inside Story by Russian analyst Pavel Felgenhauer exposing Putin’s core reasoning For his war on Syria. Explaining why if Putin wins in Syria more democracy in the Middle East will go from extremely difficult to impossible. See https://youtu.be/OaCFeBFI9qQ

Source: Aljazeera Inside Story – What are President Putin’s plans for Syria? Whole= http://aje.io/sy3c 17th December 2016

God save us. God save Syria.

 [By Lara Keller Last Updated 6th June 2017]

God save us. God save Syria.

Been watching UK’s BBC Newsnight coverage (13/12/16) of the fall of Aleppo. The comments of the speakers ex ambassador Sir Tony Breton and the Times columnist Matthew Parris nailed for me the elitist, myopic, inhumane and neo-racism of the Western establishment. They also managed to sound just like the elitist, inhumane, dogmatic hard-left in the West. I can see how (but can never sympathise with) those people who turn to violent Islamic extremism.

Breton was UK ambassador to Russia. He says Putin could see a choice between Assad and Islamism (assume he always means extremist Islamism) in Syria and choose Assad. He says the backbone of the Syrian Opposition is at its core Islamist, and if they had won would have set up an extremist Islamist government. According to Breton all Western intervention in the Middle East must make things worse, he cites Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Apparently the region must sort out its own problems. This is utterly impossible as “people power” means nothing when up against dictatorships with advanced weaponry. As Libya and Tunisia show even when the dictator goes, there is a strong counter revolution against Arab democracy lead by the fabulously well-resourced Sunni monarchies to stop the rebuilding of economies and disrupt security.

Then there is bloody smug Matthew Parris. According to him the West picked the wrong side in Syria, we did not know who the rebels were and what type of government they would form. We should have stood back. Assad was in a stronger position than the West understood. No one has told him that the West has stood back, and this allowed Iran and Russia to fill the gap. This is a so called British journalist.

According to Parris there is a limit to what the West can do, it is not our fight, and getting involved would involve attacking the Russian military. He says it is better that Assad wins in Aleppo, and I assume he would extend this argument to all Syria.

No one has told him about the 45+ years of brutal oppressive Assad government. That the Assad Clique controls a country in which most Syrians do not exist, and inequality rises year by year. He has not registered that millions of Syrians have been plunged into poverty, hunger, siege or exile; 100,000s killed and 10,000s tortured to death, almost all by the bloody Assad regime or its allies. He does not register the incredible courage of a people who stood against a regime that had ruled for 40 years by the use of systematic torture.

What conditions would Breton and Parris accept for providing adequate support to an uprising against a brutal dictatorship? Should also add all in the name of extending democracy to a region bordering Europe. According to Breton there must be a “clear ability” to form a democratic government, with he suggests little outside help. Otherwise “do not get involved”.

Look, the Syrian Opposition are the people of Syria, not the people holding the weapons. That is obvious. Islam is the religion of the region, and surprisingly many people want its principles to influence future governments, this does not make them Islamist extremists. For fuck sake when you are up against the advanced Assad war machine backed for decades by advanced weapons from the Russians, you need belief, you need belief in God. That is not a crime.

There are some Islamist extremists, just as there were or are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia …. Because they get funding, and they get funding because the Sunni monarchies and Shia clerics have oil resources to throw at them. The reason is these elites do not want democracy or representative government of any type in the Middle East. These extremists exist in the climate of dictatorships with advanced weapons, a world that could not careless and having to fight against incredible odds. In other words they are a product of deep despair, anger and frustration.

Supporting the Syrian Opposition with weapons to fight Assad and his foreign militias is possible. The armed Syrian Opposition has the advantage that they are almost all Syrians fighting for their homeland. Most of those fighting for Assad are Shiite militias from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan and even Yemen. Assad relies on the Russians for an air-force and military supplies.

It is possible to provide consequences for the Assad military machine when war crimes are committed by Assad gangs, his allies or the Russians. This can be done by missile attack from beyond Syria’s borders. There is no need to engage Russian forces directly.

It is possible to supply adequate weapons to armed Syrian Opposition to defeat Assad gangs on the ground. It is possible to provide air defence systems to the opposition, to at least prevent helicopter and low level aircraft attacks. These weapons depend on sophisticated and vulnerable electronics to be effective. They can and have been made time and or GPS location dependent.

Providing supplies to the Syrian Opposition to build security of all types (military, food, shelter, medical) gives a government legitimacy, and enables a central leadership to create a control structure. Crisis is not inevitable, it can be fought by empowering Syrians to sort out their own problems.

So most of the crap spouted by Breton and Parris falls away. The real reason why the elites in the West do not want to get involved in Syria, is that they cannot see the point, even if a representative government replaces Assad.

The elites in the West can live with the crushing of the Syrian people. Refugees can always been turned away by building bigger fences. The increased number of extreme Islamists caused by the betrayal of Syria, may kill some Westerners, but this can be dealt with by limiting people’s rights, more of a police state, exactly what elites want to keep down the discontent about rising inequality and crises of a debt not redistribution driven economy.

The truth is that Putin has an expansionist agenda. In the West the rising far-right are waiting to take power under the disguise of populism. The very elites who smugly watch as Syria is mown down are not immune and neither are we. We the millions of people who live with hard fought rights from the past in the West, but who are now indifferent to the spirit of democracy.

All it takes is a Trump presidency this year to be followed by a Le Pen presidency next year. God save us. God save Syria.

Urgent call to stop Russia blocking evacuation of Eastern Aleppo

PLEASE READ AND SHARE

In short: the UN are ready to evacuate the remaining 100 000 citizens in East Aleppo, they have a plan in place. The armed groups are on board, the only obstacle is Russian consent. This could be the difference between a massacre and some sort of ordered evacuation.

If you live in London please consider arranging some sort of vigil / rally outside Downing Street and wherever you live try calling the Russian Embassy or think of a way to apply whatever pressure you can onto those continuing the bombardment of an ever shrinking ever more densely populated urban space.


Press statement – 24 hours for 100 000 lives
Press conference of a French parliamentary delegation at 7PM Turkish time in Gaziantep

This morning in Gaziantep, Turkey, a solidarity delegation including French members of Parliament Cécile Duflot, Hervé Mariton and Patrick Mennucci as well as Jacques Boutault the Mayor of the 2nd district of Paris and lawyer Arie Alimi met the UN’s chief humanitarian leaders on Syria.

These meetings have confirmed to us that all the means necessary for a humanitarian intervention in eastern Aleppo are ready to be deployed.

The UN’s humanitarian leaders indicate that an evacuation of the 100,000 civilians remaining in eastern Aleppo is possible within hours and that this operation would only require 24 hours to complete. The medical and transportation logistics are ready. The UN is only awaiting the go-ahead for the start of the operation.

The evacuation could be undertaken by foot as there is only 4km of land to cross in order to cross the regime-held territory. Vehicles and ambulances are equally ready to evacuate the injured and the sick.

The UN also informed the delegation that the armed opposition groups are not blocking the evacuation of civilians, and that this is unanimously recognized.
It was also made clear during our discussion that the only impediment to the implementation of this emergency plan is coming from the Russian authorities. The UN is unable to intervene and undertake an emergency humanitarian plan as long as the bombardments are not suspended for 24 hours.

A crime against humanity is unfolding in eastern Aleppo as the US Secretary of State John Kerry has recently highlighted. It is also inconceivable that world leaders continue to deplore the deadlock, and wait tens of years to possibly bring those responsible for the massacre to the International Criminal Court.
The question is therefore whether the Russian authorities will be ready to let the UN intervene before the end of the week, and let the civilians evacuate the city in security. If this is not the case, France, Germany, the UK and the USA and other international powers must envisage an intervention in order to secure the humanitarian corridor of 4km for 24 hours.

The lives of a hundred thousand children, women and men who strive to survive despite a deluge of bombs over them for the past 130 days are at stake. Humanity is being buried alive in Aleppo. We must stand up and not concede to this.

Press contact
Michael Luzé

It is absurd for Syrians not to have representative government.

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 [By Lara Keller Last Updated 6th June 2017]

It is absurd for Syrians not to have representative government.

The statement “it is absurd for Syrians not to have representative government” is the starting point for any discussion on the Syrian Revolution.  Apologists for the Assad regime regularly claim that Syria has always had free elections and the dictator Bashar Assad is wildly popular. This claim contradicts all the evidence of human right abuses, the size and brutality of the security brigades, censorship of the media, extent of inequality and the amount of wealth held in offshore tax havens. All this going back to 1970 and the beginning of the current regime with Hafez Assad’s illegal military coup against the Baarthist regime that had ceased power in 1963.

The regime and it’s apologists also claim the Syrian Revolution is not valid because it is composed of terrorist extremists. This is not true, and anyway the central issue is what the majority of the Syrian people want, rather than the composition of the armed opposition to regime. According to academics like Charles Lister, who closely studies these armed groups, a minority of the armed opposition are extremists. Groups that compile statistics on human rights violations, state that the regime, its foreign militias and Russian military are responsible for around 90% of violations, including civilian deaths.

The next claim is that the Syrian Revolution should be allowed to fail, because the opposition faces both Iran and Russia (backed financially by China). The Assad regime therefore cannot be defeated. Any attempt to escalate this “proxy war” by the West, by  giving more support to the opposition would lead to an unlimited war.

This amounts to appeasing Assad, Iran, Russia and China over Syria. After five years of brutal struggle against incredible odds this betrayal of the Syrian Revolution is utterly repulsive, but so also is the continuation of the war.

The “proxy war” claim ignores an essential reality. The elites in the West have no interest in empowering ordinary people anywhere, especially in the Middle East. The opponents of the Syrian Revolution are the elites in Syria (Assad Clique), Iran (clerical dictatorship), Russia (Putin dictatorship),  China(dictatorship), the Western elites (in US,Europe….) and the Sunni Dictatorships (Saudi Arabia, Egyptian Military Elite….). Western governments have had to pretend to support the Arab Democratic Uprising of 2011 onward, because their voters expect support for the concept of democracy in public.

In this realistic context the claim of “proxy war” needs to be reexamined. This “global elite” is not only fighting to prop up repressive government in Syria. It is also attempting to extend authoritarian government into the West. This year Trump and the UK’s Brexit. Next year potential Marine Le-Pen presidency in France, and a Geert Wilders government in Holland. All these victories for the far-right supported by the Putin Russian regime. The Western economies also sit on an ever growing debt crisis. Political upheavals and economic crises could easily form a self perpetuating machine driving the West towards authoritarianism, while authoritarian regimes support each other in securing these disasters.

So a war between the “global elite” and ordinary people is already being fought, with the ongoing Arab Democratic Uprising and the Syrian Revolution a part of it.

If Assad and Putin are appeased in Syria, then this will only lead to greater gambles by elites and more desperate extremism among ordinary people, resulting in more and deeper conflicts. The Syrian Revolution must succeed, as quickly as possible. This will happen by providing proper military and humanitarian support to the Syrian Opposition and by direct consequences on the Assad regime for war crimes that it or its allies commit. This support will strengthen the Syrian Opposition, by insisting it only goes to those who demonstrate a clear commitment to an inclusive representative government in the new Syria.

It is time to judge anyone in the West who claims to be “progressive”, or any leader who claims to have “democratic values”, by whether they support the Syrian Revolution.

 

 

 

 

Stopping Rise Of Authoritarianism In The West

reasonstopanic-copyRespectable consensus on the rising tide of populism in the West is that there is no need to panic. Experts focusing on each country threatened usually by far-right populism explain that these radical parties are either tools of the existing parties or will have to govern in the normal way.

These ideas are widely expressed about the US president-elect: “Trump will turn out to be a normal right wing republican president.” “Trump will be dependent on the Republican establishment to be able to govern.” “Trump will have to adapt to reality when faced with the complications of the real world.” Obama is touring the world calming the nerves of world leaders, and subtly warning that any strong “overreaction” to the Trump presidency would more likely lead to their worst fears becoming true.

The same kind of calming statements are applied to the rising aggression of Russia’s and China’s foreign policies. Russia has a diminished economy about size of Spain, which cannot maintain Putin’s imperialistic posturing. China’s economy is dependent on ever increasing world trade, and needs this to deal with simmering social pressures and mountains of corporate debt.

Today the far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer is set to become the next Austrian president [5/12/16 update: only 46% voted for the far-right candidate, so no need to worry]. Next year’s April presidential election in France will be between Marine Le-Pen and Françoise Fillon. Given the disarray of the socialists, the French public will be given a choice between the chauvinistic promises of the far-right Front National, and the hair shirt austerity of Fillion’s centre right UMP. Currently Fillion is well ahead of Le Pen in polls about this probable run off. A political insurgency is possible for Le Pen, because a despondent nation has little appetite for Fillon’s message of “spend less and work harder”. With Russian money Le Pen will have the funds to get her false hopeful messages out to the French people.

In March next year Geert Wilders Freedom Party is set to be the largest single party in the Dutch House of Representatives. He will still need to form a coalition with at least two other parties to form a government. His party has managed to be an informal partner in an earlier coalition between the centre right VVD and CDA.

The UK is set to leave the European Union after the referendum vote last June. Italy’s populist Five Star Movement is working hard to defeat the referendum on constitutional reform being held today [update 5/1/216: 59% did vote against reforming Italian constitution, so starting the path to possible Italexit]. The current government has vowed to resign, which will lead to an election and a new coalition led by the Five Star Movement. This new government will introduce a referendum on leaving the European Union, which appears likely.

In Germany the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has come from nowhere to poll 15% of potential votes in the German Federal Elections next August. They may do better after the expected upheavals described above. It is unlikely AfD would be part of the governing coalition, but they will be able to limit the government’s room for manoeuvre by gaining support from criticism of any necessary actions to strengthen the European Union.

There are plenty of reasons to panic when the pieces are considered as a whole. The truth is that since the end of the Cold War authoritarianism has lost any pretense to be cloaked in ideologues of the extreme left and right. We have today a naked authoritarianism which seeks to undermine representational government everywhere. No grand conspiracy is needed, just the reality that corrupt authoritarian governments, can use each other’s support to enrich themselves and secure their power.

There is also a disturbing widely reported study by Monk and Foa in Journal of Democracy this year. The number of people born in the 1980s (ie in their thirties) who feel it is essential to live in a democracy has fallen to nearly 25% in US and Britain. This means that in principle only 25% of the population in their thirties would actively fight to defend democracy in their own countries, let alone abroad. The figure for Holland is 30%, Sweden is 60% with an average of 40% in Europe for this age group.

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Democracy is in decline, and this will continue to plummet sharply in the near future if nothing substantial is done.

An alarming symptom of this is the apathy ordinary people in the West have shown towards the Arab Democratic Uprising in Europe’s neighbouring region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Few Western progressives have taken a factual knife to the soft underbelly of rhetoric that has successfully smeared this uprising. The line that real effective Western support for this uprising is a continuation of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions is widely accepted. Intervention in Libya and Syria is criticised for lack of success, while few point out that there has been a chronic lack of support from the West. Lastly it is widely ignored that these uprisings are also fighting a strong counter revolution financed by regional dictatorships desperate to ensure the failure of representative government in MENA.

Instead these uprisings are described as chaotic, lacking vision and motivated by extremism. The old colonial line is unconsciously trotted out about it taking hundreds of years to create the culture and institutions needed for democracy, and that the West has some monopoly of these. The truth is that the sins ascribed to the Arab Democratic Uprising are really the sins of progressives in the West. We lack organisation, lack vision and hold unreflectively to an extreme ideology shared by the majority of society. A paradoxical obsession with individualism, which in the name of populism and freedom seeks to empower authoritarian governments run by elites, who rather than tackle the excessive power of elites offer to redirect resources from maligned minorities.

These authoritarian governments will in turn support and encourage each other. The global economy sits on a pinnacle of unsustainable debt (corporate, government and private). Solving the inevitable further major recessions requires international partnership, which is less likely in a world of authoritarian governments. The economic crisis then fuels more authoritarianism making the crisis deeper in a self-perpetuating feedback loop.

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A decisive shift in progressive politics is needed. There is clearly an extremely urgent need to advert the turn to authoritarianism. A new economics that like Keynesianism before it finds innovative ways to thrust society into business. Successful societies need to erode but not demolish the boundaries of private property and enterprise. A system where income is taxed by the state, but can also effectively be generated from hidden wealth is not sustainable. In the same sense businesses cannot be both moderate organisations and part of anarchic brutal markets.

Extreme ideas of excessive individualism, collectivism, anarchy or organisation need to be binned. It should be obvious that extreme politics leads to societies dominated by destructive barriers, it is just where they are built that changes. Even anarchistic societies gives rise to cliques who build barriers around themselves, and indulge in chauvinistic fantasies of their entitlement.

A movement built on representative government, empowerment and the erosion of barriers is needed. New inspiration flows from activists trying to shift MENA societies away from government by elites. The West needs their ideas and spirit to prevent the victory of authoritarianism in Europe and the United States.

We should be aware that it is now reasonable and allowable to panic, and that we are all Syrians now, with the only comfort of solidarity.

Inside Track On Race For Next US Secretary Of State.

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4 finalists for Trump administration Secretary Of State (aka foreign minster). These are probably Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Bob Corker and David Petraeus. Which of these republicans gets the job must surely depend on:

1. Who knows their place.

2. Who will betray their earlier statements, and pursue the US elites’ imperialist objectives in partnership with the Putin and Xi Jinping regimes. Strange as this sounds, the goal of superpower conflict has always been to use this struggle to gain control over tame dictators in suzerain states, rather than to defeat your rival (unless public opinion stirs from apathy to intervene). Now US has given up on even a patchy commitment to democracy promotion, and Russia and China have similarly given up on an equally patchy commitment to communism, so the efficient path is to carve up the world and use economic or military muscle to undermine independent leadership in weaker states.

3. Who gives the appearance of gravitas, to continue the fiction that the Trump administration will be normal, and so delay international reaction against it.

4. Who has sufficient acumen to advance this new US foreign policy agenda.

Who wins, makes no bloody difference.