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‘Always Look on the Bright Side of War’ Part 1 of 2

I have spent the last week chewing on my fist, reading dozens of impassioned articles on alternative cyber media at the same time listening to contradictory and relentless government propaganda-laced (-saturated) mainstream media about the Ukraine situation.

I am trying to cope with my personal shock and awe.

I am witnessing -- helplessly -- one more DRAMATIC repetition of the craven US foreign policy playbook. It has sucker-punched my spirit. Once again the US political elite is dramatically, shamelessly and pretty much un-opposedly expanding the already vast parameters of its faux-humanitarian-produced human misery and destruction in exploiting the Ukraine scenario. This time recklessly (such an inadequate word in this context) playing a proverbial game of “chicken” against Russia with nuclear war.

According to Alice Slater in “Time for a 21st Century US Foreign Policy” there are 17,000 nuclear bombs in total globally. 16,000 of them belong to the US and Russia. She writes: “We should stop being the world’s bully...”

All options so say Kerry and Obama are on the table. Except for peace and REAL (a/k/a SINCERE) diplomacy.

In “Three Who Made A War” Paul Craig Roberts writes:

The story of American intervention is the same everywhere. American intervention has never benefited any peoples except those allied with Washington and American corporations.

In “Marching as to War” Pat Buchanan writes of Joe Biden’s visit to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania last week commiting the US to launching a war in defense of these Baltic nations:

No president would have dreamed of waging war with Russia over them. Now, under the new NATO, we must. Joe Biden was affirming war guarantees General Eisenhower would have regarded as insane.

Joseph Kishore has some powerful things to say about US militarism in “War threats against Russia and the social crisis in the United States”:

The present crisis is the latest iteration of what has become a permanent feature of life in the United States. Just last summer the American people were subjected to a manufactured war fever that nearly led to a bombing campaign against Syria. Before that it was Libya, with the people being told that immediate military action was required to prevent a “human rights” catastrophe. Threats against Iran and China are permanent, with the possibility of military action always “on the table.”

Over the past 25 years, the United States has been engaged in a campaign of global militarist violence that has taken on an increasingly reckless and unrestrained character. ...

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.... A hyperventilating media demonizes the latest incarnation of Hitler; there are manufactured pretexts and hypocritical denunciations from the president; a string of congressmen demand more aggressive measures. Any sliver of information that calls into question the official narrative—such as the fact that the US is working with fascistic and anti-Semitic forces in Ukraine—is ignored....

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The fact that the country is always at war or on the verge of going to war is a political and sociological phenomenon that requires explanation.

There are, first of all, the geopolitical and financial imperatives of American capitalism.

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However, a central factor in the perpetual drive for war is the social situation within the United States itself. The atmosphere of war crisis serves a definite function—to direct the social pressure within the country outward against the latest proclaimed enemy.

Peter Schwarz in “German foreign minister Steinmeier woos Ukrainian oligarchs”:

The goal of the putsch in Kiev supported by Germany, the US and other European countries was never “democracy and freedom”, but rather the exploitation of the raw materials and cheap labour of Ukraine by Western corporations and the imperialist penetration into the territory of the former Soviet Union, at the expense of Russia. This goal also corresponded to the means employed: open collaboration with the fascists of Svoboda and the Right Sector, who intimidated and terrorised any opposition to the new government.

In “The American Crisis” Rob Urie writes of the aging but ongoing and media-indulged US “Cold Warriors” -- “cynical opportunists using contrived ideology in the service of imperialist-capitalist land grabs” (which consequently and incidentally bring about mass “atrocites”) over an incredible three or more decades. They are now helping change the focus in the US from domestic calamity to foreign policy high drama with Russia:

But it is to point to the remarkable control that this catastrophe-generating class retains over Western political economy. Liberals in the U.S. have oft made the related point that the same pundits— appointed spokespersons for conventional ‘wisdom,’ somehow retain credibility despite being wrong about absolutely everything for as long as they have been alive. Implied is that ‘clear’ analysis of ‘the issues’ is not what pundits exist to do. With ‘freedom’ for the vast many in the West reduced to the opportunity beg for money in the streets until we crawl into a ditch to die, the ability of this catastrophe-generating class to achieve the rally-‘round-the-flag response that its geo-political predations typically generates would by logic and reason at some point fail to assemble the necessary forces. With pundits whipped into a bluster-blather there remains little doubt that some as yet unspecified catastrophe will be generated— just likely not the catastrophe this Western ruling class is hoping to generate.

Given the political-economic backdrop in the U.S.: a largely discredited political class approaching mid-term elections with ongoing economic depression; a publicly botched effort to save the extractive, dysfunctional healthcare system in full view; continued political subservience to a predatory, extractive banking cartel and the forceful insistence by ‘both’ capitalist Parties that more catastrophe through unnecessary entanglements will solve ‘our’ problems, there is little reason why ‘changing the subject’ wouldn’t be the plan of the powers that be.

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Western bankers sitting in modern office towers wearing three thousand dollar suits will be repaid from your labor and your wealth. The storyline in the West has it that the Russian ‘system’ runs on ‘graft.’ Left out is that the West has simply legalized graft to avoid unpleasant associations ...

Urie also addresses the morphing of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense to Obama’s automated drone warfare:

Whereas the CIA once-upon-a-time had to train its proxy armies to slice villages full of innocents from loin to throat (see Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras), the task of automated slaughter can today be carried out with the press of a button by marginally literate soldiers sitting in air conditioned trailers in Nevada, USA. Selling the illusion that this leadership is on ‘our’ side in the realms of the political or the economic becomes exponentially more difficult by the day. All that it has left to sell is the illusion that it is defending us from contrived threat.

In “Putin’s Triumph” Israel Shamir writes:

... an interview with Alexander Yakimenko, the head of Ukrainian Secret Services (SBU) who had escaped to Russia like his president. Yakimenko accused Andriy Parubiy, the present security czar, of making a deal with the Americans. On American instructions, he delivered weapons and brought snipers who killed some 70 persons within few hours. They killed the riot police and the protesters as well.

The US Neocon-led conspiracy in Kiev was aimed against the European attempt to reach a compromise with President Yanukovych, said the SBU chief. They almost agreed on all points, but Ms Nuland wanted to derail the agreement, and so she did – with the help of a few snipers.

These snipers were used again in Crimea: a sniper shot and killed a Ukrainian soldier. When the Crimean self-defence forces began their pursuit, the sniper shot at them, killed one and wounded one. It is the same pattern: snipers are used to provoke response and hopefully to jump-start a shootout.

Joe Queally in “'US Foreign Policy Blowback': How US Disregard for Intl Law Set Stage for Crimean Crisis” examines the relationship of the US and international law more broadly in light of the demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing the following quotes from Howard Friel:

Did Putin invade Iraq and destroy that society?

Did Putin kill one million Iraqis?

Did Putin spend $1 trillion of the American pulbic’s money ont he Iraq invasion?

Did Putin invade Afghanistan?

Did he spend $700 billion on the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan?

Does Putin have a “kill list” to murder suspected terrorists without due process and outsaide any field of battle?

Robert Naiman in “Help Push the U.S. To Comply With International Law” also explores the US's along with Israel’s lack of deference to international law:

So far, Europe has proven unable or unwilling to hold the U.S. and Israel to these standards. No European sanctions were imposed on U.S. officials when the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq. No European sanctions have been imposed on Israeli officials for Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank.

In its drone strike policy, the U.S. violates international law. In its Iran sanctions policy, the U.S. violates international law. In its indefinite detention policy, the U.S. violates international law. In its failure to account for the U.S. use of torture during the Bush Administration, the U.S. violates international law. In its arming of Syrian rebels, the U.S. violates international law. There have been no European sanctions against U.S. officials involved in these ongoing violations.

When I watched respected NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner this past week shake hands with Ukraine's illegitimate coup's interim prime minister, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, and wish him “Good luck” vomit rose up in my throat.

I almost entitled this blog “My arms too short to box with mainstream media.” The matrix of propaganda is so vast and overwhelming. 24/7 overwhelming.

As a citizen blogger I feel like Lucy in the chocolate factory with a speeding ramp before me covered with chocolatey-propaganda-covered fresh hells, some shooting by me, some bouncing off in all directions onto the floor, some I manage to grab at and address, others I try to stuff down the front of my uniform hoping to access and address soon. But there are so many. So many lies. So much treachery. So much violence. So much stupidity. So much arrogance. So much greed. So much mass ends-justify-the-means horrors for power and profit.

SO MUCH EVIL.

More and more I relate to those non-good Germans during the time of Hitler watching their fellow citizens surrender more and more of their consciences and wills as the fascism hardened about them. As what Norman Pollack calls the “psychopathology of conquest” of an undeservedly worshiped and/or accepted leader and his fascistic network of politicos, militarists and oligarchs doom more and more human beings.

The slanted coverage of the kabuki US pols’ and NATO leaders’ and allies' indignation over this Ukraine situation -- Russia’s supposed aggressive expansion when it is REALLY the US and NATO’s ferocious imperialism and militarism that are so inappropriately and dangerously in play -- I find it all comparable to the Gulf of Tonkin lie. The WMDs’ lie. The Iranian nukes’ lie.

Our country and NATO countries have the audacity to protest Russia annexing the Crimea whose citizens were almost 90% in favor of annexation as a result of a bloodless self-determining and honest referendum. When you compare this scenario to a violent coup (fostered by long-term deliberate destabilization efforts from the US and its allies) establishing an illegitimate, NOT democratically elected government with dangerously empowered neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine -- a coup ultimately catalyzed by a false flag sniper operation -- there should be no contest in which scenario serious international laws were defied.

We have a mainstream media that refuses to connect the dots of consistently and profoundly amoral double standardism and hypocrisy of the US government a/k/a "EMPIRE" and a citizen majority choosing cognitive dissonance rather than empathy, moral outrage, and a sensibility of justice.

Frank Scott in “Alleged Problems: Real Solutions”:

... a nation and culture in which many still believe that we are superior to others, and if not a master race of people, at least an exceptionally wonderful place to have a family, raise a dog, tap a phone or aim a drone. ....

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You’d think as much if you read, watch, listen to and especially believe what you’re told by our nation’s corporate ministry of disinformation, which has been beating the drums of war for years now but most recently over this alleged renewed threat from Russia. And where is the evil Cossack saber poised to strike at the burgers, fries, Fox TV and PBS series we so love, cherish and would die for?

Right on our very borders at the Ukraine!

Well, though it actually borders on Russia and parts of it like the Crimea have actually been in Russia and millions of its population identify with and speak Russian, you might think it was in downtown Dallas or uptown New York for the way it has been treated by our sometimes telegenically attractive brain dead media mind managers and their pinheaded mentors in our Hollywood-for-ugly-people Government.

This would be laughable if not hysterically so, but for the fact that what passes for leadership, like the president, secretary of state, a wannabe president, and half wit critics of those dim bulbs because they aren’t warlike enough, dominate what passes for discussion on an issue that could lead to even greater stress on a failing system, if not a blunder into a war that might just bring on collapse that much sooner.

There has never have been a better time to totally disregard corporate media ...

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Learn to respect your neighbors and turn anger at those who allegedly represent you but are owned and operated exclusively for the benefit of that top minuscule minority and their servants. Demand and create social transformation before these people and their system destroys us all. Hurry.

John Andrews has this to say about the corporate media “Monsters” dissident voice:

... even Adam Smith, hardly the wild-eyed radical, observed over two hundred years ago that,

‘All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.’

It’s bad enough that the 1% are permitted to treat other human beings with the arrogant contempt that enables them to visit global slaughter and misery upon those who, apart from their inability to protect themselves from the attentions of the 1% are otherwise completely indistinguishable from the 1%; but what’s at least as contemptible (possibly more so) is their attitude to other living creatures. To the 1% the only relevance of other living creatures is their value as tradable commodities. If they have no value as tradable commodities they have no reason to exist.

The 1% are kept safe and sound in their positions of supreme arrogance by a combination of powerful allies such as the military, police, judiciary and politicians – the leaders of whom are either one percenters themselves or who profit very handsomely from their relationship with the 1%. But arguably the most sinister of the 1%’s powerful allies is the mainstream media, because it’s the mainstream media who control the information received, and the opinions formed by the 99%.

Finally, Jacob G. Hornberger in “Treating People Like Garbage” declares:

Through it all [multi-countried atrocities], Empire officials have played the innocent. They blame the anger, hatred, and animosity that people all over the world have for the United States on America's freedom and values and financial success. The conceit and arrogance that afflicts Empire officials blinds them to the truth -- that the reason people hate America is because they don't like being treated like garbage by arrogant, pompous, hypocritical, self-righteous, duplicitous, imperialist political and bureaucratic hacks.

It's time to do the right thing. It's time for the American people to lead the world in the right direction, in a moral direction. It's time to stop treating people like garbage. It's time to dismantle the U.S. Empire.

[END OF PART 1 OF 2]

['Always Look on the Bright Side of War' Part 2 of 2]

[cross-posted on open salon]

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tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

One way to stop worrying so much about events in Ukraine is to start worrying more about events in Syria. Turkish PM Erdogan is on the ropes politically with corruption scandals galore and elections this weekend likely to go against his party. So he's ratcheting up tensions with Syria again and threatening to cross its border to defend a Turkish religious enclave. As part of this, he just shut down Turkish YouTube.

Turkey-Syria tension

Turkey's a NATO member, Syria's allied with Russia. Ukraine's current leaders lean toward the EU while its eastern half and Crimea have Russian support. All of this so close to the Balkans, and only three months till the centennial of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

Not to worry, though. I'm sure our current leaders have learned from the past....

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I get discouraged when I go on to Ian Welsh's site and he links a Robert Parry piece as the "best article yet on what actually happened in the Ukraine" (By the way, it is, yes, the Ukraine situation, but should be "what happened in Ukraine" not THE Ukraine. It's not THE France.) The Parry article is basically an apology for Obama's reluctant embrace of the neo cons and how he has been forced to push away from Putin. Blech.

The articles you link are much better. So is this one from The Polemicist:

You don’t have to be a socialist to recognize the problem. (Only to solve it.) I have to agree with our Ukrainian syndicalist, Denis, that the predominance of what he calls “bourgeois cultural hegemony,” and the displacement of class with nationalist politics, which makes it so difficult for Ukrainians to see what’s happening in these terms, is “the main problem we should fight in this country over next years (or even decades).” Otherwise, they’ll be rearranging the deck chaise longues of the oligarchs over and over again. Kamikaze revolutions for kamikaze governments. - See more at: http://www.thepolemicist.net/2014/03/charge-of-right-brigade-ukraine-and...

And I've practically pitched a tent over at Moon of Alabama for lots of good info on Ukraine and on Syria. Yes, Syria watch as Tom Allen recommends.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Love Dimitry Orlov. Great take on why we need Russia to get up to our space station and to get out of Afghanistan.

Submitted by lambert on

I liked his thinking that the USSR was better equipped to cope with collapse than the US is. He gave the example of a Soviet refrigerator, which had all the attractiveness of a tank, and was built like one, unlike ours that can't be fixed and fall apart in three years.

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

Yep. Russia in it for the long term and Amerika not so much.