Saturday 31 July 2010


By James Petras

The Peoples'

July 31, 2010


Western societies and states are moving inexorably toward conditions resembling barbarism; structural changes are reversing decades of social welfare and subjecting labor, natural resources and the wealth of nations to raw exploitation, pillage and plunder, driving living standards downward and provoking unprecedented levels of discontent.

We will proceed by outlining the economic political and military processes driving this process of decay and decomposition and follow with an account of the mass popular responses to their own deteriorating conditions. The deep structural changes accompanying the rise of barbarism become the basis for considering the prospects for socialism in the 21st century.

The Rising Tide of Barbarism

In ancient society ‘barbarism’ and its carriers ‘the barbarians’ were envisioned as threats by outside invaders from outlying regions descending on Rome or Athens. In contemporary Western societies, the barbarians came from within, among the elite of society, intent on imposing a new order which destroys the social fabric and productive base of society, converting stable livelihoods into insecure deteriorating conditions of daily life.

The key to contemporary barbarism is found in the deep structures of the imperial state and economy. These include:
The ascendancy of a financial-speculative elite which has pillaged trillions of dollars from savers, investors, mortgage carriers, consumers and the state, siphoning enormous resources from the productive economy into the hands of a parasitic elite embedded in the state and paper economy.

The militaristic political elite overseeing a state of permanent warfare since the middle of the last century. Endless wars, cross border assassinations, state terror and the suspension of traditional constitutional guarantees have led to the concentration of dictatorial powers, arbitrary jailing, torture and the denial of habeas corpus.

In the midst of a deep economic recession and stagnation, high levels of state spending on economic and military empire building at the expense of the domestic economy and living standards, reflects the subordination of the local economy to the activities of the imperial state.
Corruption at the top in all aspects of state and business activity ~ from state procurement to privatization to subsidies for the super-rich ~ encourages the growth of international crime from top to bottom, the lumpenization of the capitalist class and a state where law and order have fallen into disrepute.

As a result of the high costs of empire building and the pillage by the financial oligarchy, the socio-economic burden has been placed directly on the shoulders of wage and salaried workers, pensioners and the self-employed resulting in long-term, large-scale downward mobility. With job losses and the disappearance of well paying jobs, home foreclosures skyrocket and the stable middle and working classes shrink and are forced to extend their hours of labor and years of work.

As imperial wars spread across the world targeting entire populations, via sustained bombings and clandestine terror operations, they generate opposing terrorist networks, which also target civilians in markets, transport and public spaces. The world resembles a Hobbesian world of ‘all against all’.

Rising ethno-religious extremism linked to militarism is found among Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, replacing international class solidarity with doctrines of racial supremacy and penetrating the deep structures of states and societies.

The demise of European and Asian welfare collectivism ~ in the ex USSR and China ~ has lifted the competitive pressures on Western capitalism and encouraged them to revoke all the welfare concessions conceded to labor in the post World War II period.

The demise of “Communism” and the integration of social democracy into the capitalist system have led to a severe weakening of the Left, which the sporadic protests of the social movements have failed to replace.

Gibson a semi-retired San Jose homeowner got bored and wanted to go back to work. Five years, two houses and four layoffs later, the widower and grandfather says he is "trying to survive and look for work. The only work I've found is holding an advertising sign on a street corner."

In the face of the current large scale assault on workers’ and middle class’ living standards, there are only sporadic protests at best and political impotence at worst.

Massive exploitation of labor in post-revolutionary capitalist societies, like China and Vietnam, includes the exclusion of hundreds of millions of migrant workers from elementary public educational and health services.

The unprecedented pillage and seizure by domestic oligarchs and foreign multinationals of thousands of lucrative strategic public enterprises in Russia, the ex-Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Baltic countries was the greatest transfer of public to private wealth in the shortest time in all of history.
In summary, ‘barbarism’ has emerged as a defining reality, product of the ascendancy of a militarist and parasitic financial ruling class.

The barbarians are here and now,
present within the frontiers
of Western societies and states.
They are dominant and aggressively pursuing an agenda which is continually reducing living standards, transferring public wealth to their private coffers, pillaging public resources, savaging constitutional rights in their pursuit of imperial wars, segregating and persecuting millions of immigrant workers and promoting the disintegration and diminution of the stable working and middle class.
More than at any time in recent history, the top 1% of the population controls an increasing share of national wealth and income.

Myths and Realities of Historical Capitalism

The first false assumption is the sustained, large scale roll back of social rights and welfare provisions, wages, job security, pensions and salaries demonstrates the falsity of the idea of the linear progress of capitalism.

The reversal, product of the heightened power of the capitalist class, demonstrates the validity of the Marxist proposition that class struggle is the motor force of history ~ at least, in so far, as the human condition is considered the centerpiece of history.

The second false assumption
is that states based on ‘market economies’ require peace and the corollary that ‘markets’ trump militarism, is disproven by the fact that the premier market economy, the United States has been in a constant state of war since the early 1940’s, actively engaged in wars on four continents, to the present day, with new bigger and bloodier wars on the horizon.

The cause and consequence of permanent warfare, is the growth of a monstrous ‘national security state’ which recognizes no national borders and absorbs the greater part of the national budget.

The third myth
of ‘advanced’ mature capitalism is that it constantly revolutionizes production through innovation and technology. With the rise of the militarist ~ financial speculative elite, productive forces have been pillaged and ‘innovation’ is largely in the elaboration of financial instruments which exploit investors, strip assets and wipe out productive employment.

As the empire grows, the domestic economy diminishes, power is centralized in the executive, legislative powers are diminished and the citizenry is denied effective representation or even a veto via electoral processes.

Mass Responses to Rise of Barbarism

The rise of barbarism in our midst has provoked public revulsion against its principal practitioners.

Surveys have repeatedly found:

Profound disgust and revulsion against all political parties.

Huge majorities harbor profound distrust of the corporate and political elite.

Majorities reject the concentration of corporate power and the abuse of that power, especially among bankers and financiers.

There is widespread questioning of the democratic credentials of political leaders who act at the behest of the corporate elite and promote the repressive policies of the national security state.

A large majority rejects the pillage of the state treasury to bail out banks and financial elite, while imposing regressive austerity programs on the working and middle class.

Prospects for Socialism

The capitalist offensive has certainly had a major impact on the objective and subjective conditions of the working and middle classes, increasing impoverishment and provoking a rising tide of personal discontent but not yet massive anti-capitalist movements or even dynamic organized resistance.

Major structural changes require a coming-to-terms with the current adverse circumstances and the identification of new agencies and modes of class struggle and transformation.

One key problem is the need to recreate a productive economy and to reconstruct a new industrial working class in the face of years of financial plunder and de-industrialization, not necessarily the ‘dirty’ industries of the past, but certainly new industries using and inventing clean energy sources.

Secondly, the highly indebted capitalist societies require a fundamental shift from high-cost militarism and empire building toward a kind of class-based austerity that impose sacrifice and structural reforms on the banking, financial and big retail commercial sectors, substituting local production for cheap consumer imports.

Thirdly, downsizing the financial and retail sector requires the upgrading of skills of the displaced workers and employees as well as shifts in the IT sector to accommodate the shifts in the economy.

Paradigmatic shifts from the money wage to the social wage, in which free public education to the highest levels and universal health care and comprehensive pensions replace debt-financed consumerism.

This can become the basis for strengthening class consciousness against individual consumerism.

The question is
how do we move from weakened,
fragmented labor and social movements in retreat
or on the defensive,
to a position capable
of launching an anti-capitalist offensive?

Several subjective and objective factors are possibly working in this direction.
First, there is the growing negativity of vast majorities to political incumbents and, in particular, to the financial and economic elites who are clearly identified as responsible for the decline in living standards.

Secondly, there is the popular view, shared by millions, that the current austerity programs are clearly unjust ~ having the workers pay for the crises that the capitalist class brought forth. As yet these majorities are more “anti” status quo than “pro” transformation. The transition from private discontent to collective action is an open question as to who and how, but the opportunity exists.
Several objective factors could trigger a qualitative shift from passive angry discontent to a massive anti-capitalist movement. A “double dip” recession, the end of the present anemic recovery and the onset of a more profound and prolonged recession/depression, could further discredit current rulers and their economic backers.

Secondly, a period of unending and deepening austerity could discredit the current ruling class notion of “necessary pain for future gain” and open minds and move bodies to seek political solutions to achieve current gains by inflicting pain on the economic elites.

Unending and unwinnable imperial wars
that bleed the economy and working class
could ultimately create a consciousness
that the ruling class
has “sacrificed the nation”
for ‘no useful purpose’.
Likely, the combination of a new phase of the recession,
perpetual austerity and mindless imperial wars
can turn the current mass malaise and diffuse hostility
against the economic and political elite
toward socialist movements, parties and trade union


James Petras
is the author of over 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried out in the Internet.

James Petras is a former professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, has a 50-year membership in the class struggle, the author is an advisor to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina and is co - of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books) and Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power (Clarity Press, 2008). Look for James Petras latest book Global Depression and Regional Wars: The United States, Latin America and the Middle East (Clarity Press, September 2009) He can be reached at:

Read other articles by James Petras, or visit his website:

Thursday 29 July 2010


This man has a lot of interesting information to pull together but before you begin I wish to point out a few things. He obviously works from the accidental, catastrophic or coincidental view of history. This way we are led to believe that historical events, such as wars and revolutions were the direct result of some sudden or surprising event. While the catastrophic view is accurate for weather, volcanoes and earthquakes, it does not provide a realistic view of humanity and events influenced by man.
In the Western world, we are sadly taught the accidental view of history in the government school systems. This view is reinforced throughout their lives by the controlled mass media. As a result, when most discover the conspiratorial view of history, the immediate reaction is shock, disbelief and a refusal to accept something other than they've been taught to believe.
We are taught that wars start when one nation moves into the territory of another; depressions occur when markets take unexpected downturns; inflations occur when prices are driven up by shortages; revolutions start when the people, always spontaneously, rise up to overthrow the existing government. Events happen by accident; there do not seem to be any causes.
But this explanation of history leaves gnawing questions in the minds of serious students. Is it possible that government leaders and others planned these events and then orchestrated them to their desired conclusions? Is it possible that even the great catastrophes of history were part of this plan?
There is an explanation of historical events that answers these questions in the affirmative. It is called the conspiratorial view of history and it is the alternative to the accidental view, the view that is commonly held today
Conspiratorial history studies that part of history that is a product of man's planning. In conspiratorial history we are led to believe that events, such as wars and revolutions, are the result of planned events. While the conspiratorial view is not accurate for weather, volcanoes and earthquakes, it is a realistic and accurate view of the interrelationship of man and nations.
Since the planning for most of these events was done in secret, we use the term conspiratorial history. That is; this history is the result of plans constructed in secret, which by definition is a conspiracy. Interestingly enough, the conspiratorial view of history is also the Biblical view of history. starters.*
We believe that current world events are not simply circumstantial, but the result of an organized campaign by an elite group of unseen and widely unknown world leaders. Their goal is to exercise absolute dictatorial control over the world, to establish a New World Order.
One thing to add is that for many of the "natural" horrors once attributed to the anger of the gods, those who are behind the drive to the NWO now possess the means create "natural calamities" to further their despicable plan against the human race.

One result in the following is the author being able to blame most of today's apocalyptic potentials on the Islam religion. I have written on this in the past: the winner writes history as they have agreed it shall be remembered in the future. An excellent case in point would be almost anything to arise from the sanctioned Israeli media. Yet consider the hundreds of big and small lies given to the world telling the truth to be otherwise. And so it has been since man began to keep records.

So, while there is much to read and take in in the following articles however, as is too frequently the case, every group of humanity is mentioned here as a potential threat, except for the Jews. Not one of the following is even remotely breathes the name of these people. In fact, they are pointed out more or less as victims in the ancient days just operating on the periphery of humanity. Islam is notated as the most dangerous of all religions.
I have made a few notes on the direct application of "accidental" or "coincidental" events in here, marked in the green. However, I have left you many many more to discover as you read.


By Walter Russell Mead
When questioned, Jesus of Nazareth had this to say on the subject of the end of the world:
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)
We don’t seem to have improved on that forecast since and not all the research associates and interns toiling at Mead GHQ crunching all the computers that money can buy have been able to come up with anything more precise.
But whether or not we get the Big Bang or the Big Whimper, this decade is going to be haunted by the specter of an approaching apocalypse; a lot of people will think the world is ending, or could end, and the mixture of hope, fear and apocalyptic energy unleashed by that perception will be affecting both national and international politics on an increasing scale as time goes by.
No mention is made of the control of the minds of the people through drugs, injections and media blackwashing, let alone the application of trauma based mind control and the war on terrorism used to keep the people on edge and in state of fear, constantly expecting the worst.
Some of this end-of-the-world feeling will be the good old fashioned religious kind, the type of movement that led the Millerites to expect the return of Jesus on a series of several dates ending with the Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844.
But one of the characteristics of our modern age is that you don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist anymore to believe in the end of the world.
It doesn’t take a miracle anymore to bring the world to its end: a simple nuclear holocaust will do the trick. So would a “runaway greenhouse” effect if a positive feedback loop developed to drive global warming into an acceleration that ultimately made life as we know it impossible on earth.
There are many more ‘secular apocalypse’ scenarios out there: runaway nanotechnology experiments could cover the world in ‘grey goo’; either accidentally or on purpose genetically modified ‘superbugs’ could be released into the environment, seeding with world with a new and unsurvivable plague.
Bird flu? Swine flu? Dengue fever? AIDS? These man created or assisted superkillers are released into the world with increasingly stronger effects. Fortunately sharing of information is promoted by writers and bloggers and the mainstream has become increasingly of less import. Not only is this applied genocide but also a great moneymaker for the globalists since only they would just happen to have a cure for the problem. Meanwhile people die to fill their coffers.
A reference to chemtrails? I do not think this writer might give too much credence to this horrifice state of affairs.
Hollywood stands ready to bring these and other fears to life on the big screen; more alarmingly, the accelerating progress of technologically driven change that we identified as the core trend driving human history this decade, inexorably brings with it new possibilities for human self-destruction on a world or at least a civilization-ending scale.

The same driving trend of accelerating change that makes new horror movie scenarios possible also makes them feel likely. People turn to apocalyptic scenarios when it feels as if history is coming off the rails ~ when new and inexplicable phenomena threaten the security and stability of old ideas, institutions, habits and beliefs.
Before the modern era, natural and social catastrophes led to bouts of apocalyptic thinking.
The Jewish social crisis of the first century, for example, inspired many of Jesus’ disciples and other Jews to expect the end of the world; the end of the old Jewish world did in fact come as the Romans leveled Jerusalem in 70 AD; in this and two subsequent Jewish revolts, hundreds of thousands were slaughtered or enslaved, and most of Palestine’s Jews were driven out into an exile of 2000 years.
It was against the background of these events and the Roman persecutions of Christians that the early church produced the Book of Revelations, still the chief source book for apocalyptic imagery in the Christian world today.
Over the next 1600 years, barbarian invasions, plagues and variations in the climate led many to conclude at various times that the end of the world was at hand. When Rome fell to the Goths, when Islamic armies swept through Egypt, the Holy Land, Spain, Sicily and ultimately captured Constantinople and besieged Vienna, Christians leafed feverishly through the books of prophecy to find insights for their times.
When the Black Death depopulated Europe, when the Reformation set Protestants and Catholics at each others throats and convulsed half a continent in ruinous and universal war, it seemed that only the vocabulary and the imagery of the apocalyptic books could adequately express the fear and the devastation.
In the Islamic world, events like the devastating Mongol invasions similarly led many people to believe that God was preparing to wind up the scrolls and bring human history to an end.
The apocalypse scares of past centuries
were very real in their day,
but we are heading into something
much bigger and more consuming.
The technological explosion through which we are living makes the end of the world increasingly probable from an intellectual point of view (nuclear proliferation, for example, makes nuclear war more likely); the era of rapid and often destabilizing change creates an emotional climate that is conducive to end-of-the-world thinking.
Thus the rapid cultural, economic and demographic changes that are transforming the Islamic Middle East helped nurture the apocalyptic terror cults which see all world history coming down to a religio-military confrontation between the threatened true believers and a hostile world of infidels and apostates.
Again we are being fed the propagandized view of the origins of our problems. It is as if this development of fundamental Islam just happened, popped up out of nowhere.
There is no mention of the Wahabbi sect that is the core of Saudi Arabia.
No mention of its British origins.
No mention of its austere hating form of Islam being created to wear Muslims out with small details and to become enslaved by unscrupulous leaders, not at all different from the radical rabbi of Judaism.
There is no mention that this form of Islam is relatively new and created to be a divisive force in the Muslim world by the British as part of their imperialist drive to conquer the world for their own greed. In conspiracy history you learn the facts above in greater depth to realize, Islam of this calibre did not "just happen" because islam is an angry hateful religion, it was created and brought to fruition to feed European GREED.
The genocidaires of Rwanda believed they were soldiers in a struggle for the survival of everything they cared about against a shadowy conspiracy of absolute evil. The rational basis for concern about catastrophes like nuclear war is increasing; at the same time many people experience the cultures and beliefs that give their lives meaning are rapidly being destroyed by the unrelenting assault of a hostile world.
The end of the world scenarios that will increasingly influence culture and politics in the next decade come in four types.
Malthusian catastrophes envision the collapse of human civilization or the environment as the result of the pressure of human population and consumption on the planet. From climate change to resource wars and mass famines in the overpopulated future, Malthusian catastrophe scenarios take many forms; at times prominent scientists have endorsed them
The Malthusian version of collapsed society. Mad Max, hunger, lawlessness. A world of fear and hatred, a desperate drive to merely survive amidst bleakness.
Faustian technology scenarios involve the destruction of human civilization by the fruits of our heedless technological advance. Global destruction by nuclear weapons is the most prominent (and probable) Faustian scenario, but there are many others.
Cultural catastrophes involve the destruction of everything that makes life meaningful and worth living by a soulless and/or godless cosmopolitan culture. Both fascism and communism in the twentieth century were nurtured on fears that the cold world of industrialized mass production would crush ordinary people. In the twenty first century radical Islam is the most violent such ideology, but it is likely that others will rise.
Finally, the old fashioned religious apocalypse is still with us, energized both by the development of ‘hot religion’ (see Trend # 6) and a global situation which is broadly supportive of apocalyptic ideas.
At the beginning of this series on the top trends of the new decade, (top ten trends is included at the end of this article) I pointed to the acceleration of technological change as the master trend driving many of the events of our time. From Henry Adams onward, observers have visualized the rate of technological progress as an exponential curve; as the curve turns sharply upward the rate of change approaches infinity.
I think that throughout the world many people share this sense that the rate of change is making its move ~ that rollercoaster of world history is heading up a precipitious slope. One way to define the apocalypse is to say it is an era of infinite change; the apocalyptic intuitions and fears of our times are not the product of superstition or ignorance; they are a response to what seems to be happening around us.
There is a distinct danger that self-reinforcing ‘apocalyptic cycles’ will develop and spread in the next decade. Christians, Jews and Muslims, for example, may come to believe that events in and around Jerusalem presage an apocalyptic culmination of world history: the appearance of the Messiah, the return of Christ, or for some Muslims, the final struggle with infidelity.
Radical religious groups influenced by these scenarios and prophecies may well take actions to advance their preferred scenario: the destruction of Islamic religious shrines, for example, to prepare the way for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. (Religious enthusiasts are already at work preparing for the reconstruction and dedication of the Third Temple.)
Such actions (even if they fail) would raise the level of tension around Jerusalem and make it more of a focus for apocalyptic hopes and fears; more people will be drawn to religious sects that focus on Jerusalem in the end times. This in turn will increase the likelihood of further turmoil in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, giving additional credibility to apocalyptic sects and drawing yet more people into their networks.
That is an apocalyptic cycle in which the perceived likelihood of an apocalyptic turn in world history causes people to behave in ways that make such a turn more likely still; this brings more people into the movement and so on.
We are also likely to see more of the “Chicken Little” phenomenon as generalized fears about where humanity is headed cause otherwise sensible people to lose their perspective on potential threats.
Briefly during the bird flu epidemic it was front page news in the United States when chickens got sick in Indonesia. Assessing threats accurately and coping with them rationally in a world of limited resources becomes more difficult at times like these.
When people believe that the sky is preparing to fall, any little acorn can set off a panic.
Civil society roiled by Faustian, Malthusian,cultural and religious disaster scenarios;
religious extremists in apocalyptically-motivated conflicts;
Chicken Littles left and right screaming that the sky is falling every time a duck sneezes somewhere;
policy makers trying to keep the global ship on a steady course in increasingly turbulent waters:
that is not a particularly pleasant or reassuring picture, but this seems to be where the world will be heading in the 2010s.
Ironically, while technology and religion will often be seen as the cause of the world’s problems in the 2010s, they will both rank among humanity’s most valuable assets. By creating new economic resources and offering new tools to analyze and address unwanted byproducts of human technological development, the rapid increase in technology and computing power of the next decade may offer humanity its greatest hope for managing the consequences of our technological advance.

In any case, developing the institutions, the ideas and the policies that can cope with our accelerating rate of change and its effects on the human heart will be the principle task of those in the next decade who seek to keep the world as stable and peaceful as possible in this revolutionary age.
No mention of the attempts to kill off the Christian religion by the TPTB. No including the current sexual smears against almost all religions except for those Jews who follow the Talmud and its deviant libertine practices.
There is no mention of the paid partly by the Chabad Lubovitch movement to glorify atheism which also fits in so well with our increasingly sterile scientific culture where "labratory results" are all that is needed to make something so. If it cannot be seen, it does not exist.This same mindset is fast becoming mainstream as morals and devotion begin to got the way of the dinosaur.
By providing the intellectual and spiritual tools to help people organize and work through their fears, and by promoting and fostering the kind of religious faith that can give meaning to change and guide both individuals and groups to constructive and ethical behavior under difficult circumstances, religion similarly will play a critical role in the efforts to manage and reduce the danger that irrational behavior can trigger one or more of the apocalyptic scenarios over which we are likely to lose increasing amounts of sleep as time marches on.
One world religion perhaps?


Here is the original article from which the above was drawn. I do believe there are a few pertinent factors omitted. In the true Zionist manner, the Jewish people are painted as victims in the ancient past and the Arabs are blamed for today's religious wars by having the cruelest religion ever created. Might I assume Mr. Mead has not read the Babylonian Talmud?

Last week, I wrote about the following global trends that will be shaping our world in the coming decade; each are listed below, with links to the longer, more detailed predictions.
Interesting Times: All of these global trends will be fueled by, and responding to, the unprecedented rate of technological change. The acceleration of advancement that we are seeing now, and which will be ever more present in our daily and global affairs, is the near-fruition of the trend Henry Adams picked up on 150 years ago. Exponentially more advanced technology, made more available to the wider world, will contribute to the following cultural, economic, political, and social trends…
1. Economic Headache and Heartache: The current economic crisis is at once old-fashioned and a sign of things to come: before the Great Depression, the world economy swung from extraordinary boom to catastrophic bust with mind-numbing and hear-aching speed. The accelerating rate of change will lead to more of this economic upheaval.

And while this technology will make it a bumpy ride, so too will it advance the upward movement of billions of people worldwide, who will be better fed, educated, and housed than ever before. All of this will keep economists and mathematicians busy as they seek to comprehend, and perhaps channel, the roiling world economy.
2. Sold Downstream: Incredible technological advancements have already made ~ as in the case of the American military ~ war-fighting more precise and, you could even say, more humane. But the 2010s will also see these new war technologies make their way downstream, to places we don’t necessarily want them to go.

Proliferation high and how will mean that the weapons and technology of the most advanced, professional armies will, like all technologies, move down-market, making what are or would be already brutal wars (in Congo or Sudan) more lethal.

3. Lagos on Steroids: 2010 will be the first year in the history of humanity when the majority of people live in cities; in another 50 years, three-fourths of the world’s population will be urban. As people around the world continue to leave their rural roots, and as urban centers sprout and swell, we will see the Rise of the Panopolis.

These turgid cities ~ 80 of the 100 largest of which will be in developing countries ~ will encapsulate the full spectrum of the human condition, with the richest and poorest within the same city limits, and be connected to itself and the wider world as never before via technology. As a result, the poorest of the world’s poor will see and know a lot about how the richest live, and about world that exists beyond the panopolis walls.

4. Seven Billion Mutinies Now: Not only will the world’s population be more urban, but also better informed and faced with incredible personal and economic insecurity; they will be less patient and more restless, leading to more small ‘d’ democratization.
And while the spread of democracy has become axiomatic in some eyes, it may not be the rosy future they envision: in many cases, it will look less like a John Trumbull painting and more like Tammany Hall with a deep religious tint: the demand for democratic power will not always be accompanied by ~ and in many cases will reject ~ the liberalism and pluralism we westerners too-often imagine inhered in democratic movement.
5. A New Map: The outlines of the old, familiar world will continue to fade and blur during the 2010s: the ‘west,’ first world,’ and ‘third world’ will make less and less sense amidst of the disaggregation and the death of the West.

Old blocs will disappear, while new ones form, and in the middle of it all will be a breakup of, and American move away from, European cultural and political influences.

6. “All Peoples on Earth Will Be Blessed Through You”: What began in Genesis, when God bade Abraham to get moving ~ “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you” ~ continues to this day.

The 2010s will continue to witness the rise of hot religion and the March of Abraham: far from dead, God is back. Whether fueled by global insecurity, greater education and urbanization, or the failure of secular ideologies, the world’s people are opting for the ‘hot’ versions of religion, and the march of this fervor ~ whether in Nigeria, Peshawar, or India ~ will affect all peoples on earth, even if they don’t agree who is blessed.
7. The End is Nearish: It’s not the first time humanity has been in the throes of uncertainty, and like years past, the narrative that we are dealing with forces ~ spiritual or secular ~ that might end life as we know it becomes more appealing to more people .

As another age of the apocalypse, the 2010s will find its religious, cultural, and political movements infused with this narrative and fear, affecting everything from our debates about science to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

8. Bloody Meridians?: While the vast expansion of the world economy is, on the whole, something to be energetically welcomed, there will be losers, leading to uneven development and the African time bomb.

The movement of borders and reorganization of nation-states in Europe was a long and bloody process spanning two world wars, and is still unfinished; as Congo continues to bleed, and tremors begin in Sudan, I fear that we are to witness a similarly bloody breakup of certain African multinational states, and the 2010s will see a redrawing of the borders that dissect the continent ~ most of which were originally lines drawn upon a globe in an 1880s Berlin parlor room.
9. Let Them Eat Cake: The scene at the Copenhagen Conference when the final ‘politically binding’ declaration was hammered out is telling: none of the five countries in the room (the U.S., China, India, Brazil and South Africa) were European.

Just as old blocs and categories dissolve and are made irrelevant, the 2010s will see the European world order break up. Increasing, the locus of power will move from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and America’s role will be as the arbiter between the very contradictory inclinations of Europe and Asia.

10. Well, That Was Depressing:

You’d be forgiven if you only didn’t even make it this far,
after so many dour predictions.
But, despair not! Amidst it all, hope and change are not just campaign slogans: the same change that feeds our fears should give us hope,as we are riding a rising tide, not a falling one.So look up and hold on!

Wednesday 28 July 2010


“She came in through the front door and it wasn’t clear she was injured. Suddenly a lot of blood came from her nose and she vomited, all of the family saw this ~ her little brothers were very scared. She had just been playing in the front of the house.”
That is how Nihed al-Massry describes what happened to her daughter, nine-year-old Samah Eid al-Massry, after the Israeli army reportedly shelled and fired four bombs into and around a residential area in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on 21 July.

Samah is now being hospitalized in serious condition, suffering from extensive blood loss and very low haemoglobin. She was hit by shrapnel and flechettes from a nail bomb that landed 100 meters away, causing internal bleeding to the chest and severe head trauma. Nails are now embedded throughout her body.

Shells containing flechettes are illegal under international law if fired into densely-populated civilian areas. Three other children were wounded in the attack.

Two young men were killed; Muhammad al-Kafarneh, 23, suffered severe shrapnel injuries to the back and chest and Kasim al-Shinbary, 19, was wounded by nails embedded in his skull and shrapnel his back. It was unclear earlier whether they were resistance fighters or if they were civilians.

Haitham Thaer Qasem, a four-year-old boy and an only child, was asleep on a hospital bed, occasionally gasping for breath through the apparatus around his nose. He had suffered deep nasal trauma, and flechette darts from the bomb were still embedded in his tiny body, through his back, right elbow and right leg. He was 200 meters from the impact of the bomb.

Haitham’s mother was standing off to the side, quietly crying while one of his aunts at his bedside explained what happened.

Samah Eid al-Massry, after the IDF's brave soldiers "reportedly" (!!!) shelled and fired four bombs wounding and killing four children and two young men.

“We had asked Haitham to get shopping for [his mother] from the market, then we heard the bombings and somebody came to our home and told our family that he was in the hospital and was injured in the bombing. We came quickly to the hospital.”

Meanwhile, Samah’s doctor explained that the girl’s blood loss was a major concern. Her injuries are exacerbated by the fact that she, like three of her brothers, already suffers from the blood condition thalassemia and the drug to treat the condition, Exjade, is scarce because of the Israeli blockade. She was clearly in pain and confused, trying to remove the nasal tubes. Her mother showed us the bandages on her chest.

Her doctor, Muhammad Abu Hassan, described her situation as “semi-critical.”

“She was in very bad condition when she arrived ~ it’s difficult for children and very traumatic to insert a chest tube for small children ~ very painful. Blood was mainly coming from the chest. We will have to perform surgery and we will further explore her abdominal pain,” he explained.

The al-Massry family has been affected by Israeli attacks before. Samah’s four-year-old brother Ryad was injured during Israel’s three weeks of attacks on the Gaza Strip during winter 2008-09 when more than 400 Palestinian children were killed.

Flechette bombs usually have more than a mere 5000 per bomb.

“Our house was hit during the war, a neighbor was killed inside and our son suffered severe head injuries. He wasn’t cared for and because of this his sight is now permanently damaged.”

As we left Samah, she had begun to cry, moaning in serious discomfort and confusion. There were two more injured children in the hospital from the attack, also from the al-Massry family in Beit Hanoun: Azzam Muhammad al-Massry, 11, who suffered a severely fractured left elbow and Ibrahim Wasseem al-Massry, 4, with light injuries to his abdomen.

The previous week in Gaza, Nema Abu Said, a 33-year-old mother of five, was killed by Israeli shelling as she went outside frantically looking for her youngest son after a previous round of shelling. Three more family members were injured by the flechette shells, many of the darts remaining permanently embedded in their bodies.
It is almost painful to watch this child even though she is all cleaned up now. May the devil's brew of international criminals suffer for the things they do to the innocent. What excuse can there be for taking such aim at small children?

Adie Mormech is a human rights advocate based in the Gaza Strip who was previously abducted by the Israeli navy from the eighth Free Gaza Movement boat, the Spirit of Humanity. He volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement.
Just children of Gaza,
Not much to look at here.
Move along.
As always, the international press ignores such attacks on these children.
She is not your daughter?
These are all our children and we should fight
for every child as he or she is truly "flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone".


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