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The Lead

Is Optimism a Real Thing?

by David Shavin (EIRNS) — Jun. 06, 2024

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fighter jets hit a UNRWA school in central Gaza yesterday, killing at least three dozen people, including children. Neither the IDF nor the Gaza officials dispute that an airstrike hit a school and dozens died. The IDF stated that “many steps were taken before the strike to minimize the risk of harm to uninvolved people,” including “analyzing aerial photos” and using “precise intelligence.” However, terrorists had used the school for protection and the IDF was able to eliminate “several … terrorists who had planned to carry out terror attacks and advance imminent terror schemes against our forces.” It makes little difference whether the “several” targets were three or five or eight, or whether the word “terror” appears several times in the IDF statement. The point is, it has been heard over and over again, and the horror marches on.

Israel’s war cabinet is presently deliberating on expanding their “right to self-defense” for an all-out assault on Hezbollah and Lebanon. The U.S. administration is concerned over the timing, that things will get out of hand if Israel launches their second offensive while the Gaza killings are ongoing. Washington doesn’t dare stop the weapons to carry all this out—and, again, the point is that you’ve heard it before, and the horror marches on. It has the effect of driving populations and individuals into hard-hearted cynicism.

South Korea just signed a raft of deals with several African countries on industrial development. Various African countries are signing deals and making arrangements with Russia on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Conference. Chad’s Ali Adji Mahamat Seid, the president of the Panafrican Chamber of Commerce and Industry, explained: “Africa is bursting with enormous potential in agriculture, in livestock, in mining, in oil, and so Africa really is the continent of the future, it’s Africa that will make the world go round.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was asked yesterday at his three-hour press conference in St. Petersburg by Reuters reporter Samia Nakhoul whether anything will change regarding Ukraine or support for Ukraine, should Trump be elected on Nov. 5. While Putin has lived in a horror show for the 25 years of his leadership in Russia, watching, as both Prime Minister and as President, a Western world moving missiles a thousand miles to the East, up to Russia’s border, and rejecting various of his proposals for Russia to integrate with the West, he still could identify the only positive reality that would make a difference for Ukraine’s survival. He answered that “if the next administration prioritizes national interests, and if they believe that ensuring domestic stability is in their national interests; if instead of focusing on immigration, they seek to consolidate their society within the United States in order to overcome the mistakes that brought about a spike in inflation while the U.S. debt ballooned—in this case, of course, things might change…. I think that the overall public sentiment can play a decisive role here, and the public opinion seems to be tilting this way, and if the next administration catches this wind in its sails, it is at that point that change becomes possible.”

While merely a quick sketch of a direction for the U.S., it certainly indicates a pathway, not heard in the U.S.’s current political discourse, for making America great again. The point is, where does relentless optimism come from, and how is it different from a dangerous wishful thinking?

Russia’s authoritative TASS spoke with an expert, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, on Putin’s identification of the possibility that the U.S. might find its national interests once again. She picked up on such guarded optimism, adding: “It would be great if an item was added to the agenda of the October BRICS summit in Russia to present to the world—including the United States—in the form of a concrete proposal, a big picture of global transformation through a new international security and development architecture that would take into account the interests of each country’s on the planet, including the United States.” TASS notes that Zepp-LaRouche is convinced that “the peoples of the world need a beautiful idea” that would allow them to “dream about a better future.”

A similar beautiful idea is the LaRouche “Oasis Plan,” for giving real optimism to both Palestinians and Israelis—when all the schemes for exacting punishment for innumerable sins of each side never get around the “forever strife” dynamic that’s afoot.

In the anthem of the American civil rights movement, “We Shall Overcome,” what is there that works, that provides real courage, not just a groundless wish? The whole text is: “We shall overcome. Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday.” It is easy to overlook, but the reality is that it is humans, not slaves, who have a real depth to their heart. And in the singing, it is precisely at that point—"Deep…"—that the musical work climaxes in its crowning glory. The belief that justice will triumph is grounded in the reality that humans are made for that which is better, and being inspired by that which makes humanity beautiful is a real thing. That’s real optimism. And it worked.

And at some junctures in history, that’s the only thing worth, as it is said, “taking to the bank.”


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