As the first coast region of Florida got pummeled by heavy winds and rains over the weekend, lots of other places around the world seem poised to greet a very hectic week. In Venezuela, the protracted cold war of words with Colombia has reignited and it could turn hot in any moment. Nicolas Maduro, the new elected president accused the right-wing government of Bogota over the weekend of fueling the division in his country by providing logistical supports to the opposition headed by Capriles. After years of standing in the sideline, the reactionary elements of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie are rushing in to feel the vacuum left by Hugo Chavez after he succumbed to cancer earlier this year.
In Syria, the war has escalated. The Israeli right-wing government has launched missile strikes—twice over the past 24 hours, striking deep into the heart of the Syrian capital. The pretext? Preempting Ezbolla, the Lebanese Shiite Muslim organization and Tel Aviv enemy number one, before it can lay its hands on Iranian weaponry shipped from Teheran via Syria. Few buy in to this assertion. The real aim is to provoke Damascus into a military response, which the hawks in Israel are desperately waiting before they roll their tanks behind the ridge of the Golan Heights and eventually into the Syrian’s capital.
The growing influence of extremist groups within the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Assad regime’s latest military successes on the battlefield have left the Western powers, particularly Washington, with very limited options. They can’t get a UN cover to justify overt actions against Assad for the Chinese and the Russians will block any of their attempts. They can’t blatantly invade the sky of Syria without facing the consequences of war. So Washington’s proxy army of Israel will have to come in to play, regardless of the humiliating effect it might have on the petro-kingdoms of the Persian Gulf. The coming days will be as scary as a killer storm. The world waits as the belligerents in the Middle East flex their muscles.
In France, the United Left opposition or Front Gauche headed by Jean-Luc Melenchon has called its supporters into the streets of Paris this morning. According to France 2 and other media outlets, they were 200 thousands strong in La Place De La Nation, denouncing with all their might an already weakened François Hollande, the French president, whose popularity has been on a free fall since he has been on a political honeymoon with Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel. Today, only 25 % of French eligible voters approve of his policies, according to the latest polls—a sharp decline from the 61% he enjoyed when he took office about a year ago. La Gauche française or the French left has accused Hollande of betraying the voters who helped him clinch the presidency, turning his back on them in favor of the big business and imposing austerity measures at the expense of the vast majority. Noticeable in the show of force was Eva Joly, leader of the French ecologist party, who was united against Sarkozy after she lost her own bid for the presidency during the last election.
The so-called French socialists are nothing but social democrats and authentic representative of the bourgeoisie bent on upholding its/their interests at all costs. France is a truly divided country pitting liberal elements against conservative UMPs reinforced by xenophobic figures like Marine Le Pen who heads the National Front, a right-wing fringe organization that is being groomed to the mainstream, just in case. Can Melenchon be the alternative?
So much at play around the world and here at home, it makes us wonder. Class struggles have never been so protracted. Are we truly a civilized world?
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma heads the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies (CSMS). He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of North Florida (UNF). He is a novelist and also chief editor for CSMS Magazine. He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org