July 17, 2012

Syria: Global Reaction A Crime Against Syrian People, Humankind, And Earth

How Syria Divided The World by Michael Ignatieff, The New York Review of Books, July 11, 2012

This NYRB essay highlights the points made in my previous post - "Nationalism: One Of Two Major Threats To The Survival Of Humankind And Earth" - regarding the dangers of strategic nationalism as currently practiced by the most powerful nations on Earth.  The actions of the respective leaderships of the U.S., Russia, and China regarding Syria starkly exemplify how these leading nations willfully choose to ignore the broader dangers posed by their robust nation-state competitive gamesmanship to Humankind and the planet.  The machinations of all three are impeding efforts to establish a binding global ethic and pluralistic world governing body that put the well-being of Humankind and the health and sustainability of the planet above the interests of nation-states.

While U.S. leadership sometimes supports a global morality and governing body, too often when push comes to shove it too will do, sometimes very forcibly, all that is necessary to serve its national interests first and foremost.  As for Russian and Chinese leadership, they are never ambivalent about their respective positions regarding nationalism versus globalism.  Both consistently opt for a winner take all strategy among competing nation-states in their pursuit of resources, markets, and global influence - political, historical, ideological.  The needs of Humankind and the planet - much less that of the Middle East, the most volatile place on earth - are seldom, if at all, the concern of Russian and Chinese leadership.

I'm reminded of the Parker Brothers-Hasbro board game "Risk" of the late 1950s, early 1960s where each player's goal is world domination.  Fun for the parlor or family room but a heinous strategy when exercised throughout the increasingly fragile biosphere and accompanied by an inconsistent, negligible, or non-existent regard for human suffering.

If the Occupy Movement is looking to firm up its cause and message I recommend condemning the demotion of the needs of Humankind and Earth to the selfish, destructive desires of the most powerful nation-states.  Put Russia and China at the top of the target list, followed closely by the U.S.

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