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It’s important to recognize that Obama is now a greatly weakened president on the world stage, what with his World War III plans blowing up in his face and the NSA disclosures.  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s speech, which preceded that of President Obama at the United Nations this morning, highlighted Obama’s international fall from grace by expressing the resentment against Obama and the U.S. government felt among Brazilians and all Latin Americans as the result of intrusive NSA surveillance.   This resentment may have the effect of toppling the dominance of U.S. corporations over the internet (see E.F. Beall’s diary, “Dilma Rousseff Says United Nations Should Guarantee Internet Freedom”).

President Obama’s new weakness is matched by that of the “Supreme Leader” Khamenei and the mullahs in Iran under Rouhani’s presidency. Rouhani owes his election and political strength to the semi-alliance he has forged with the protesters against the regime.  See, for example, his comments on the disputed 2009 elections at

The respective weaknesses of the United States and Iranian leaders are the ONLY reasons the two countries are inching toward a rapprochement.  As shown by Obama’s hawkishness on Syria and the the Khamenei regime’s previous fanaticism and suppression of its people, it is not something they want to do.

It also appears to me that Francis’ delightful new papacy with its return to basic human values is the result of a weakness in existing power, in this case that of the Catholic hierarchy, as evidenced by Benedict XVI’s unprecedented and unexplained resignation.

There are noticeable cracks in the world’s power structure.  Occupy has truly been the precursor of something earth shaking in the course of human events.

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