U.S. Secretary of War Leon Panetta is making a tour of the Asia-Pacific where he is pumping up the next military conflict. Yesterday I heard he was in Vietnam trying to close a deal to allow the U.S. Navy to once again have access to the base at Cam Ranh Bay.
Before leaving on this trip Panetta made the speaking rounds back home to consolidate U.S. media and build public support for Obama’s “pivot” into the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading →
It says a great deal about our society when hundreds of thousands of students – already largely indebted, a significant portion of whom live well below the poverty line, who already work what few jobs exist for a generation forgotten before we leave home – take to the streets in protest and are portrayed as “entitled”, “spoiled brats” as they attempt to “negotiate” their very chance of having a future in this society… with a government that supports and works with organized crime, which is beholden to an economic elite, and which supports only those who can already support themselves.
As the living conditions of ordinary people inevitably worsen under capitalism and as its wars cause increasing devastation, tides of protest rise up from the population. The ruling elite then seek to stem these tides before they reach flood state.
I gave a talk last week at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or “squarely in the red,” referring to those crushed by debt.