Leadership in the west is in crisis. Post-Brexit the European Union will be faced with the necessity of further political integration and the internal resistance this will inevitably provoke. It may be decades before the EU is in a position again to move from consolidation to expansion. Brexit has put a significant dent in British soft power. The increasing isolation of London will push it closer to the point of becoming a US satellite, making it ever more likely to follow US hard power policies.
Once upon a time “poppy day” was an annual event most of us slept through, marked by an irrelevant old woman putting down a wreath at a pointless monument to violence in London. A box of cheap red paper poppies would appear in our classrooms at the start of the month and the teacher would tell us some patriotic lies about brave soldiers and we could “remember them” at the cost of just 5p a poppy. It’s all different now.
We are after all talking about a state that shot and butchered its way around the world for the better part of three centuries, subjugating defeated nations by racialised and dehumanising categories into imperial slavery.
With startling parallels with the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the event that ultimately triggered the First World War, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, has been gunned down in Ankara.
The truth, whatever that is in this post-truth environment, is for the moment impossible to discern. Neither side in the conflict wants us to know what is actually going on. What is clear is that this is a proxy war being fought out in Syria between the US and Russia, a conflict that is bringing us ever closer to a more serious and global showdown
This little blushing flower has nothing to do with memory, and even less to do with sacrifice. Who were these boys shooting, and what reason did they have to kill? Mindless slaughter – this is what we are celebrating in this November death cult festival of insanity.
Most scholars, most priests, most Jews, most Arabs, while they would prefer some less horrendous sight than the burning flesh of children, are not seriously shaken in their style of mind, their taxpaying, their consumerism, their spiritual, economic, or political complicity, by such “incidents.”
Corporate-owned government and media conspire to manufacture the consent or silence of the majority in order to mobilise the apparatus of the state to the benefit of veiled corporate interest.