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The Coming Wars to End All Wars


By Edward Curtin, first published at the Greanville Post

The compulsive hatred of Putin by many who have almost zero idea about Putin or Russian history is disproportionate to any rational analysis, but not surprising. Trump and Putin are like weird doppelgangers in the liberal imaginationJohn Steppling, “Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk into a Bar”

The Trump and Netanyahu governments have a problem: How to start a greatly expanded Middle-Eastern war without having a justifiable reason for one. No doubt they are working hard to solve this urgent problem. If they can’t find a “justification” (which they can’t), they will have to create one (which they will). Or perhaps they will find what they have already created. Whatever the solution, we should feel confident that they are not sitting on their hands. History teaches those who care to learn that when aggressors place a gun on the wall in the first act of their play, it must go off in the final act.

These sinister players have signaled us quite clearly what they have in store. All signs point toward an upcoming large-scale Israeli/U.S. attack on Lebanon and Syria, and all the sycophantic mainstream media are in the kitchen prepping for the feast. Russia and Iran are the main course, with Lebanon and Syria, who will be devoured first, as the hors d’oeuvres. As always, the media play along as if they don’t yet know what’s coming. Everyone in the know knows what is, just not exactly when. And the media wait with baited breath as they count down to the dramatic moment when they can report the incident that will compel the “innocent” to attack the “guilty.”

Anyone with half a brain can see the greatly increased anti-Russian propaganda of the past few weeks. This has happened as the Russia-gate claims have fallen to pieces, as former CIA analyst Raymond McGovern, the late Robert Parry, Paul Craig Roberts, and others have documented so assiduously. All across the media spectrum, from the big name corporate stenographers like The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, The Washington Post to The Atlantic and Nation magazines and other “leftist” publications such as Mother Jones and Who What Why, the Russia and Putin bashing has become hysterical in tone, joined as it is with an anti-Trump obsession, as if Trump were a dear friend of Putin and Russia and wasn’t closely allied with the Netanyahu government in its plans for the Middle-East. As if Trump were in charge.

Russia Sees Midterm Elections as a Chance to Sow Fresh Discord (NY Times, 2/13), “Russia Strongman” (Putin) has “pulled off one of the greatest acts of political sabotage in modern history” (The Atlantic, Jan. /Feb. 2018), “Mueller’s Latest Indictment Shows Trump Has Helped Putin Cover Up a Crime” (Mother Jones, 2/16/18), “A Russian Sightseeing Tour For Realists” (whowhatwhy.com, 2/7/18), etc.

I am reminded of the turn to the right that so many “muckrakers” made during and after WW I. Afraid of a revolt from below, bewitched by their own vision to articulate the world’s future, heady over their own war propaganda, and wanting to be on the safe side of the government crackdown on dissent (The Espionage Act, the Palmer Raids, etc.), many progressives of the era embraced a jingoism similar to the anti-Russia mania of today.

Only someone totally lacking a sense of humor and blind to propaganda would not laugh uproariously at today’s media nonsense about Russia, but such laughter would be infused with a foreboding awareness that as the Middle East explodes and U.S./NATO backed Kiev forces prepare to attack the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, the world is entering a very dangerous period. And of course Trump has said, “The U.S. has great strength and patience but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Totally destroy 26 million human beings. While his bully buddy in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently said at the Munich Security Conference that Iran is “the greatest threat to the world,” compared it to Nazi Germany, and claimed it was developing ballistic missiles to strike deep into the United States. “Iran seeks to dominate our region, the Middle East, and seeks to dominate the world through aggression and terror,” he said. And he vowed to act against Iran and anyone who supported it – i.e. Lebanon and Syria (Russia).

Putin also, like all the mythic bogeymen, is portrayed as the new Hitler intent on conquering the world. If the American public wasn’t so “sophisticated” and adept at seeing through lies – pause and laugh – we could expect some World War I posters with Russian soldiers (like The Huns), sharp teeth glistening, gorilla strong and beastly, holding American women in preparation for the kill or rape.

Last year, when Oliver Stone did the world the great service of releasing his four-part interview with Putin, he was bashed, of course. Just as he was with his film JFK, the only movie in history to be reviewed and panned one year before its release by a Washington Post reviewer who didn’t see the movie but had a purloined preliminary script as his source. The Washington Post: the object of the latest film drivel, The Post, portraying it falsely as the savior of the nation through the publication of the Pentagon Papers (which is another story). The Washington Post – the CIA’s dear friend.

In his Putin interviews, Oliver Stone, a man of truth and honor, lets viewers catch a glimpse of the real Vladimir Putin. Of course Putin is a politician and the leader of a great and powerful nation, and one should receive his words skeptically. But watching Stone interview Putin for four hours, one comes away – but I doubt few have watched the four hours – with a reasonably good sense of the man.

And putting aside one’s impressions of him, he makes factual points that should ring loud and clear to anyone conversant with facts.

One: that the U.S. needs an external enemy (“I know that, I feel that.”).

Two: the U.S.A. engineered the coup d’état in the Ukraine on Russia’s border.

Three: the U.S. has surrounded Russia with US/NATO troops and bases armed with anti-ballistic missiles that can, as Putin rightly says to Stone, be converted in hours to regular offensive nuclear missile aimed at Russia. This is a factual and true statement that should make any fair-minded person stand up in horror. If Russia had such missiles encircling the United States from Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, what American would find it tolerable? What would CNN and The New York Times have to say? Yet these same people readily find it impossible to see the legitimacy in Russia’s position, resorting to name calling and illogical rhetoric.

Russia is surrounded with U.S/NATO troops and missiles and yet Russia is the aggressor. So too Iran that is also surrounded. These media are propagandists, that’s why. They promote war, as they always have. They are pushing for war with Russia via Syria/Lebanon/Iran and Ukraine, and they are nihilistically demonizing North Korea (as part of Obama’s pivot toward Asia and the encircling of China, as John Pilger has brilliantly documented in his film The Coming War on China) in what can only be called a conspiracy to commit genocide, as Dr. Graeme MacQueen and Christopher Black make clear in their Open Letter to the International Criminal Court:

We are moving toward a global war that will become nuclear if an international ant-war movement doesn’t quickly arise to stop it. Most people bemoan the thought of such a war to end all wars, but refuse to analyze the factors leading to it. It happens step-by-step, and many steps have already been taken with more coming soon. It’s so obvious that most can’t see it, or don’t want to. The corporate main stream media are enemies of the truth; are clearly part of the continuation of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, and those who still rely on them for the truth are beyond reach.

Douglas Valentine, in The CIA as Organized Crime, says the CIA has long aimed to use and co-opt the “Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.” And he adds that the propaganda is not just produced by the CIA but by the military, State Department, and red, white, and blue advertisements that are everywhere. Nothing has changed since the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s. Valentine adds:

All of that is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world, and many people don’t even realize they are part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line. “Assad’s a butcher,” they say, or “Putin kills journalists,” or “China is repressive. They have no idea what they’re talking about but spout all this propaganda.

William Blake said it truly:

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

How to break the chains – that is our task.

Educated in the classics, philosophy, literature, theology, and sociology, Ed Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He states: “I write as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. I believe a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore see all my work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding.” His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

39 Comments

  1. Forwarded to Twitter by Oliver Stone. I’m so glad he did. The world needs to know what is happening in America, and has been happening for quite sometime now. The CIA, co-opted media seems to be outside their minds! Sadly, the “world’s” law enforcement agencies, and “intelligence?” agencies, too are in lock step with this draconian assault on Russia, and it needs to stop, like now!!!! There are only a hand full of fighting Americans left who oppose these Naziesque minions, and we need to hear from the world collective, like never before! We truly are on the brink of a new holocaust, and the evil, power brokers have duped an unsuspecting American people, in order to gain advantage over the “military industrial complex”! Only an alert, peace loving citizenry of the world, can make a difference now! Please don’t stand back, and watch, like the world did then, while Hitler advanced his evil cause! The “real” America needs your help! This great experiment in democracy has been the hope across the globe, for decades, so let’s not let an evil cabal of “gold owners” take that from us! Not now, not ever!!

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    • Vera says

      Oh so Oliver Stone is promoting OffGuardian now. Well well. That is probably completely unconnected with the fact he knows Vladimir Vladimirovich. This is not trolling, this is reasonable deduction.

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    • Ted Cormier says

      Remember, Anderson Cooper was an intern at the CIA, maybe he works for them as well as CNN?

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  2. RJ Vela says

    At the end of of the FBI investigation, 13 Russians and so called agencies were indicted for “influencing” American politics? Not Hacking and the MSM won’t even admit to these simple observations. Does this indictment warrant seizing Russian property in the US? The Russian Embassy, its a complete shame and disgust at the American government. Yes the whole polticized govenment because they are all mentored by warhawks in the name of national security. This terrible fate is what shadowing our country in a veil of mass misinformation whose mouthpeice sells off truth for tweets and Likes and page views.

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  3. No More Neos says

    One thing we CAN do is learn MMT (modern monetary theory) which explains the operational reality of a fiat currency system because now, we are stuck in 18th century neoclassical economics – neoliberalism – that is intent on keeping us locked in a neofeudal system.

    “Close your eyes and imagine an affluent society with subsonic trains crisscrossing the continent. One that produces unlimited clean energy. Provides basic healthcare for everyone. Values education for its own sake. Cultivates the arts and research to discover beauty and the unknown. An affluent society that responds with compassion to natural disaster. Conserves natural resources and protects the environment. And enjoys more leisure time. Cares about eliminating poverty and illiteracy. That ends racism and prejudice.

    Does the affluent society seem like a dream? Is it an impossible goal? The neoliberals think it is. They imagine a world of austerity and a new Gilded Age.

    The neoliberals are prisoners of the Eighteenth Century. They have not advanced since the neo-feudal teachings of Adam Smith (1723-1790). Smith is the godfather of economics and wrote the “bible” of capitalism, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Smith was among the first to give much thought about economics.

    In Eighteenth Century Great Britain, half the population lived in poverty. They survived, if they did, with disease, famine, illiteracy, lack of sanitation and in slums. It was normal then. Things had always been that way. They thought the poor, starving and ignorant mass of people would always be among them. They thought their society was according to the law of nature.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/05/05/the-inhuman-failure-of-austerity/

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  4. Forthestate says

    Ah well, you can only die once. If this war is coming, there is nothing I can do about it.

    “And some people thinking that the end is close by,/ ‘Stead of learning to live they are learning to die”. Bob.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      It resolves the Fermi Paradox-eventually any ‘sapient’ species produces a cadre of ‘Exceptionalists’ who destroy their species when they realise that they cannot TOTALLY control the thoughts and actions of all their fellows.

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  5. MichaelK says

    I suppose what I’m arguing, in plain language, is that all this stuff, underneath the jargon and rhetoric, reminds one of the classic elements present in the hysteria surrounding a witch-hunt in the middle ages; which is a chilling thought and shows us regressing at an alarming rate from fanticism to barbarism.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The global hegemon, the USA, has never been other than barbaric. Not for a nanosecond.

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    • Stephen Josephson says

      Humankind’s immaturity as a species is currently in full, and disappointing, display.

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  6. MichaelK says

    I’ve just listened to an hour-long programme on the BBC World Service… the world’s radio station… as they like to call it; called ‘The Real News.’ It was about Russian information warfare aimed at the West. Designed to create ‘splits’ and ‘divisions’ and put ‘wedges’ into ‘fissures’ and ‘cracks’ in our democracies and widen them, undermining the public’s faith in our institutions and political processes.

    There was an American woman on from a think-tank that advises on hybrid, cyber warfare. A British guy from Chatham House who specializes in information warfare, and even a hapless Russian who used to work for a Russian newsagency… not forgetting the host who steered the ‘free and open’ conversation with a fist of iron hidden in a smooth, velvet, glove.

    A single Russian, his role was that of a whipping boy, facing three neocons and special guests… like a former Russian spy in the United States… a sleeper agent.

    Anyway, what struck me, not surprisingly, was the complete lack of any specific examples of Russian meddling in the last presidential election or American politics. A Russian that writes on Twitter or Facebook with a negative opinion or view of American politics doesn’t automatically mean that the Russian government is involved or controlling him. Aren’t Russians allowed to have any views that clash or contradict those of the US Government or the US Establishment?

    The lack of any proper hard, specific, evidence that ‘Russia’, which seems to mean the Russian state apparatus and their security services, their army, was really attacking the United States in a form of ‘information warfare’ was striking. That’s why they didn’t produce any concrete examples at all. It was all very vague and non-specific so no one could examine the examples for themselves or check the sources or evidence. It was all vague all-embracing allegations based on what we ‘believe’ ‘know’ and ‘feel’ about what people like ‘Russians’ think and do.

    But the language of warfare was used repeatedly, which is disturbing. ‘The Russians say that they are at war with the United States’ one of them said, and it went on and on. ‘Modern warfare is a hybrid, including weaponising information.’

    There was an awful lot of pseudo-academic, think-tank, jargon, employed which sounded impressive but really wasn’t. There was some rather droll humour though, to temper the rampant paranoia on display, when one of them agreed that the United States had ‘intervened’ abroad, but that was different because, that was for the ‘good’ of the countries involved and was to support ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom.’

    PS. Afterwards, the next programme was from Boston, more Americans on the BBC World Service. Here they mentioned a ‘spike’ in critical comments and views about US society and the absence of effective gun-control after the latest school massacre. This was deemed ‘Russian interference’, that is, Russians having a view and expressing themselves! That alone, is suspect and shows them wanting to ‘sow divisions.’

    It’s taken as a given, an accepted premise and right. That the Americans, Westerners, have the right and really the duty to have a view on absolutely everything that happens anywhere in the world, and that’s good and proper and necessary, because we represent progress and liberal democratic values and the future and civilization, whereas Russians and anyone else don’t even have the right to their own views and inteterests, and certainly shouldn’t express them in public, or, more importantly, have the audacity to contradict or disagree with us.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The narrative, that all, or most, social divisions and tensions inside Western economies (there being no such thing as ‘society’ as Thatcher declared)the results of centuries of social tensions, massively worsened under neo-liberalism these last forty years, are the result of ‘Russian interference’, or have even been greatly exacerbated by ‘Russian interference’, is so ludicrous, bizarre and fraudulent that it requires a cadre of active, lying, imbeciles, seemingly intent on thermo-nuclear war, to peddle it. And aren’t the Western fakestream media presstitute vermin down to that task. One has slowly become inured to the stupidity, pig ignorance, mendacity and total inability or failure to learn from recent experience, and longer term history, but the pompous pretense of intellectual rigour and honest dealing with the facts that these arrogant swine display will ever be instantly sickening. One cannot become habituated to that sort of duplicity and hypocrisy.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Marcus says

    Bit OT but I posted this on a much earlier thread and didn’t get much response, so I thought I’d try here.

    IS PUTIN A NEO-LIBERAL? Surprisingly the Saker thinks he is.

    I was just reading Saker’s analysis of the Russian election. I generally admire the guy but i don’t agree with him much here.

    My principle issue with his is his diagnosis of Putin as a neoliberal, which seems extraordinarily botchy analysis for someone as astute as the Saker. I’ll re-post rhe comment I made over there

    http://thesaker.is/russian-presidential-elections-boring-useless-and-necessary/

    Putin a neo-liberal?

    Putin has increased the role of the state in the economy, increased welfare and state-spending and decreased debt – this is almost the exact opposite trajectory a neoliberal (in te current sense of the word) would have taken.
    Its hard to know what Putin’s personal views are because he has to balance so many opposing factions (something he is good at doing as Saker has pointed out in the past), but his government’s policies are best described as the “social welfare capitalism” that was the norm for a while in the UK and western Europe between 1950s and 1980.

    In terms of current western government ideology it would be considered positively Leftist, and is actually slightly more “left” than the program being put forward by Corbyn’s Labour Party.

    This is not to suggest Putin is a socialist (though he may be a closet one for all I know; he may be anything for all I know) but rather to emphasise how radically and rabidly rightist western governments have become in the last thirty years. Putin’s moderate socially responsible and truly capitalist system is now equated with Marxist ideas in some unhinged western minds.

    But anyhow – no, Putin’s govt would be considered a long way from neoliberal by most of the current proponents of neoliberalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Marcus: “his government’s policies are best described as the “social welfare capitalism” that was the norm for a while in the UK and western Europe between 1950s and 1980.”
      Agree. The Golden Age of Social Welfare Capitalism” was also the Golden Age of European Unity. Hit&Muss had taught us the folly of old fashioned British & French style Imperial Nationalism, and The Spectre of Communism (Russian and Chinese style) frightened the Capitalists into doing something for the proles. But the Empire struck back with Thatcher & Reagan; and that’s where we are today — contemplating yet another war against Russia by Western power maniacs.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Something else that also does not auger well for peace and prosperity is all the Oscars hype for the dreary Gary Oldman Churchill film for which the dreary actor portraying the dreary but brutal fascist Winston Churchill has already won two big awards.

    Americans have always liked their war films and kill-the-Indians westerns, and this year is no exception with Dunkirk also getting hype over more layered, textured, brilliantly written, astonishingly acted, imaginatively directed, genre-defying films like “Get Out” and “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird” among others.

    Daniel Kaluuya, Timothee Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan are astonishing young actors who, on the basis of MERIT — which ‘muhrica always sez it values above all else — would seem to deserve some recognition over the banal and boring Gary Oldman and his portrayal of the dyshuman cigar chomper.

    Hollywood has always been an essential organ of the war profit death and destruction banking industrial complex propaganda machine and this year is especially egregious. Lots of shoot-em up and war films and even another Star Wars — why do all Star Wars films seem to be the same?

    All bodes ill, as I said at the outset, for peace and prosperity in the face of the hysteria for war becuz “da Russians Did It” as well as the looming apocalypse of human-induced, fossil-fueled, global HEATING causing climate DISRUPTION.

    Ah for the good ole days of Gilgamesh and Enkido.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t call Gary Oldman banal and boring. As an actor he has always been outstanding. Lee Harvey Oswald, George Smiley, Joe Orton – just three of many awesome performances. Just a shame he is getting more attention for this seemingly jingoistic whitewash than for some of his fantastic work in the past.

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      • Harry Stotle says

        True, Oldman is a gifted actor but the broader point about the extreme degree of historical revisionism facilitated by the entertainment industry still stands.

        Look at any depiction of recent conflicts in the Middle East or Africa, for example.
        On the hand we have western ‘freedom fighters’ played by gorgeous physical specimens with unshakeable moral convictions – not only that they all seem to be ideal parents as well because no film in this genre is complete until a scene plays out were the designer-stubbled dad tells his children via a cell ‘phone that he loves them (and mommy), a sure sign that in the next breath he will be taking out mindless terrorists at a phenomenal kill rate.

        The Churchill myth adds to this pantheon because even by 1940 Britain was in transition to its role as US vassal state that ever since WWII has aided and abetted US war crimes such as the horrific mass murder of Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagaski (over 200,000 needless killings all told).

        “In Clive Ponting’s view, Britain’s ‘finest hour’ was mainly a triumph of rhetoric over reality. The lesson of 1940 was that Britain was no longer a great power. So vulnerable was Britain in the summer of 1940 that secret plans were laid to sell out Ulster to Eire and the Falklands (a nice touch, this) to Argentina. As the money ran out, the British forfeited their independence and became a client state of the USA, but most of the facts were concealed at the time and swallowed up in the end by the patriotic myth of 1940. Hence the crippling post-war illusion that Britain remained a great power.”
        https://www.lrb.co.uk/v12/n12/paul-addison/garbo-and-co

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I recently heard an Indian speaking of Churchill and the famine he helped cause, and worsen, in Bengal during WW2. Churchill was well aware of the devastating death toll that reached ten million, but, when reading a report prepared for him on the disaster, found time to write a comment on one page, that said-‘Why has Gandhi not yet been killed?’.

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      • milosevic says

        devastating death toll that reached ten million

        plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

        A dozen years ago anyone who had foretold the political line-up of today would have been looked on as a lunatic. And yet the truth is that the present situation — not in detail, of course, but in its main outlines — ought to have been predictable even in the golden age before Hitler. Something like it was bound to happen as soon as British security was seriously threatened.

        In a prosperous country, above all in an imperialist country, left­wing politics are always partly humbug. There can be no real reconstruction that would not lead to at least a temporary drop in the English standard of life, which is another way of saying that the majority of left-wing politicians and publicists are people who earn their living by demanding something that they don’t genuinely want. They are red-hot revolutionaries as long as all goes well, but every real emergency reveals instantly that they are shamming. One threat to the Suez Canal, and ‘anti-Fascism’ and ‘defence of British interests’ are discovered to be identical.

        It would be very shallow as well as unfair to suggest that there is nothing in what is now called ‘anti-Fascism’ except a concern for British dividends. But it is a fact that the political obscenities of the past two years, the sort of monstrous harlequinade in which everyone is constantly bounding across the stage in a false nose — Quakers shouting for a bigger army, Communists waving Union Jacks, Winston Churchill posing as a democrat — would not have been possible without this guilty consciousness that we are all in the same boat. Much against their will the British governing class have been forced into the anti-Hitler position. It is still possible that they will find a way out of it, but they are arming in the obvious expectation of war and they will almost certainly fight when the point is reached at which the alternative would be to give away some of their own property instead of, as hitherto, other people’s. And meanwhile the so-called opposition, instead of trying to stop the drift to war, are rushing ahead, preparing the ground and forestalling any possible criticism. So far as one can discover the English people are still extremely hostile to the idea of war, but in so far as they are becoming reconciled to it, it is not the militarists but the ‘anti-militarists’ of five years ago who are responsible. The Labour Party keeps up a pettifogging grizzle against conscription at the same time as its own propaganda makes any real struggle against conscription impossible. The Bren machine-guns pour from the factories, books with titles like Tanks in the Next War, Gas in the Next War, etc pour from the press, and the warriors of the New Statesman gloze over the nature of the process by means of such phrases as ‘Peace Bloc’, ‘Peace Front’, ‘Democratic Front’, and, in general, by pretending that the world is an assemblage of sheep and goats, neatly partitioned off by national frontiers.

        What we always forget is that the over­whelming bulk of the British proletariat does not live in Britain, but in Asia and Africa. It is not in Hitler’s power, for instance, to make a penny an hour a normal industrial wage; it is perfectly normal in India, and we are at great pains to keep it so. One gets some idea of the real relationship of England and India when one reflects that the per capita annual income in England is something over £80, and in India about £7. It is quite common for an Indian coolie’s leg to be thinner than the average Englishman’s arm. And there is nothing racial in this, for well-fed members of the same races are of normal physique; it is due to simple starvation. This is the system which we all live on and which we denounce when there seems to be no danger of its being altered. Of late, however, it has become the first duty of a ‘good anti-Fascist’ to lie about it and help to keep it in being.

        What real settlement, of the slightest value, can there be along these lines? What meaning would there be, even if it were successful, in bringing down Hitler’s system in order to stabilize something that is far bigger and in its different way just as bad?

        — George Orwell, Not Counting Niggers, July 1939

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  9. Harry Stotle says

    “Douglas Valentine, in The CIA as Organized Crime, says the CIA has long aimed to use and co-opt the “Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.” – its not just America, cultural opinion leaders from the liberal-left in Britain have been equally neutered.

    I guess this is why we obsess about the Guardian – because at some level there is, or used to be, a vague hope that this platform might provide some degree of balast in Britains sea of right wing media poison.
    But sadly it is all too apparent the Guardian has been co-opted by the same corporate interests, even if it tries to pretend otherwise by churning out a diversionary stream of purile identity politics, or articles brimming with faux social concern despite being in lockstep with the neoliberal project.
    In other words just like American counterparts one of the key functions of the liberal press is to mollify alarmed readers who object to illegal wars or human rights abuse by stoking existential fear, or plain old prejudice toward bogeymen like Putin, Kim Jong-un, or Bashar al-Assad.

    In fact this has been going on so for long now that some of the contributors at the Guardian have failed to see how stories that once might have been vaguely plausible are now no better than the crudest and most transparent forms of propaganda.

    Off-G and few others like it are on their own now, and given the general direction of travel since the emergence of the baby faced assassin in ’97 (Tony Blair) the course toward complicity with American terror is probably too far down the road to avert transition from serial proxy wars in the Middle East and elswhere to full blown conflict with (in neocon speak) the ‘axis of evil’.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mikalina says

      Probably earlier than the baby faced assassin. Most people’s memory is of Thatcher and Reagan together but in reality Bush (CIA) was vice president at this time and his presidency overlapped the milk snatcher’s. Thatcher of the threat without (Falklands) and the threat within (the miners) and Bush with his Gulf War rescuing little babies thrown out of incubators and bringing peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. rtj1211 says

    How to break the chains really depends on two principles:

    1) Having a range of strategies to convince one individual at a time to resist all warmongering;
    2) Getting the newly convinced to agree to do likewise with three new individuals, including one or two from overseas.

    If you started with 1 million activists, five rounds of convincing would increase the caucus to over 1 billion and six would result in a majority on earth resisting war. Assuming everyone convinced continued recruiting through all subsequent cycles.

    So if it took two months in each cycle to convince three, the whole process would take one year.

    Sounds ridiculous? Well in the age of social media, at the start you might go very much faster. With a bit of drop out, seven or eight rounds might be needed. But the general principle is clear. The power of compounding to go ueber-hyper-viral…..

    The pitch has to be something like: ‘ordinary people the world over have no gripe with other ordinary people’. Mostly they do not, it is the minority of powermongers who cause the problems and brainwash the credulous, the young, the lazy and the prejudiced.

    Better to build an implacable majority before confronting the iconoclasts with the trigger happy demeanours……

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arthur Cadbury says

      This is a suggestion that I endorse completely – this global peoples’ movement must be amassed before it is too late – we are dealing with emotionally retarded psychopaths who know not the meaning of the word ‘humanity’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        The destruction of humanity, and most Life on Earth, by the worst human types, the psychopaths and their ilk, was always inevitable, and just a matter of time and technological advance. The depravity of the ENTIRE Western fakestream media, without any dissent from a narrative of truly vicious insanity, mendacity and hypocrisy, really proves my point, I would say.

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  11. harry_r-_hopps destroy_this_mad_brute enlist-u-s-_army

    Interesting cartoon: the WW1 predecessor of King Kong here dressed up as German Militarism but with Fay Ray in his arms and her bosom tastefully exposed just like in the film. I listened to an hour long lecture on YouTube by a distinguished Oxford historian on The Causes of WW1, and came away from her lecture with the impression that the main cause of WW1 was German Militarism (I must have missed the bits about German industrial competition and Mesopotamian oil). You can trace the effectiveness of Anglo-French propaganda in the runup to WW1 by the stock German character in English lit; for instance, in GK Chesterton’s 1908 novel “The Man who was Thursday” the stock German is mild, humane and philosophic; after 1914 CKC describes him as Militaristic.

    WW1 killed 20Million, many of them soldiers. It led to WW2 which killed 50M, more of them civilians and fewer soldiers. Subsequent minor wars like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, the rest of ME and Africa, have killed progressively more civilians (about 20-30M) than soldiers (I guess 1M). If WW3 — the propaganda war against Russian Expansionism — ever becomes hot, I predict the safest place will be in the Army. But I hope we can smother this insane crescendo of anti-Muslim, anti-Russian, anti-Chinese propaganda, because I expect civilian deaths for WW3 in the EUSA alone will run into the hundreds of Millions — Dr.StrangeLove’s latest throw away toys, “tactical nukes” and “biological WMDs” being one reason, but the main reason being sheer complexity and liability to disruption in the West’s “just in time” food supply and other logistics. “When the airmiles halt and supermarket shelves stand empty”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bevin says

      ” I listened to an hour long lecture on YouTube by a distinguished Oxford historian on The Causes of WW1, and came away from her lecture with the impression that the main cause of WW1 was German Militarism…”
      I may be mistaken but I suspect that the professor in question is Lloyd George’s great-granddaughter.

      Like

      • Perhaps you need to go do some research on Lloyd George. He was opposed to the War, argued against it, and did everything he could to finish it. It is sometimes forgotten that given that the UK wasn’t a dictatorship the powers of the Prime Minister are limited. It is the case in all countries barring the very few absolutely dictatorships. There were many influencing factors being put to work on the Parliament, and votes did not go Lloyd George’s way. He was the first of the best and greatest socialist reformers, and thus much hated by the rich and powerful who referred to him as “the Welsh Wizard”. By all means attack the professor who sounds as if she deserves it. But leave LG out of it, please.

        Like

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Casualties in WW3 will be the totality of humanity and most other Life on Earth. Speaking of survival in any generalised war between the USA and its stooges and either Russia or China, is bizarre self-delusion, if you’ll forgive my candour.

      Like

    • re Biological WMD here is The Telegraph on US germ warfare in Korea. Release of long suppressed 1952 report by distinguished British biologist Joseph Needham (elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1941, and a fellow of the British Academy in 1971. In 1992 the Queen conferred on him the Companionship of Honour, and the Royal Society noted he was the only living person to hold these three titles).
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/7811949/Did-the-US-wage-germ-warfare-in-Korea.html

      [Everybody duck! Pindo’s got germs.]

      Like

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Netflix has recently aired a long-winded docu-drama called Wormwood, that argues convincingly that Frank Olson, who fell from a New York Hotel window in 1953, was not the victim of LSD given him surreptitiously under MKULTRA, as the CIA asserted in 1975, but was, in fact, murdered by the CIA. Throwing victims from a great height was a preferred method in the CIA’s infamous assassination manuals, and Olson, who worked at Fort Detrick in Maryland, the centre of the USA’s massive, ongoing, bacteriological warfare effort, was a ‘loose cannon’ threatening to expose the USA’s germ warfare in Korea.
        The USA used the same techniques and vectors for distribution of disease (eg insects and other arthropods, feathers etc)as had the Japanese in China, where the infamous Unit 731, led by Shiro Ishii, caused widespread outbreaks of plague using just those methods, and experimented on human subjects, including US and Soviet POWs, also practising vivisection,ie living dissection of victims, including children. After WW2 when the Soviets wished to try Ishii, the US gave him sanctuary in Japan in return for his ‘research findings’. And, as Wilfred Burchett the great Australian journalist noted, he knew something nasty was afoot when he read of Ishii ‘visiting’ south Korea just before hostilities broke out.
        All this is most interesting given the massive US germ warfare effort at present. The Pentagon has an archipelago of research labs around the world, and has been engaged in a great effort to collect tissue, blood and DNA from every human group they can identify, undoubtedly for humanitarian purposes that reflect ‘Western Moral Values’ alone. In one example of those values at work, the Lugar Centre in Georgia in the Caucasus, has been field-testing various diseases and insect vectors to spread them, in situ, in the Georgian countryside. The fruits of joining the ‘Free World’.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. MichaelK says

    Not all liberals and people on the ‘soft left’ are… numbskulls, far from it, but despite their educations, they are just as easy to manipulate as conservatives or people on the right; one only needs to employ the right methods, images and language tailored to their values and world-view.

    One of their biggest and weakest points is, paradoxically, their self-confessed concern, empathy and in-built desire to… ‘help’ those less fortunate than themselves, as long as it doesn’t cost them… too much personally.

    The Guardian, for example, grooms them and plays their ‘virtues’ like a violin, not least their least their seemingly endless capacity to see the ‘good’ in people and their belief in the power of redemption, forgiveness and trusting others. This is why ‘capturing the Guardian for imperialism and militarism has been such a priority for the state. Get the Guardian on board and one of the prime areas of potential opposition to the state’s bloody policies is no longer a potential threat.

    Blair, followed by Obama, were masters at playing liberals and the left… shamelessly. These two figures seemed to manifest all the best liberal values on the surface, but it was all a thin and fragile gloss spread over a set of deeply reactionary and brazenly imperialist policies. But, they looked the part, sent out the correct cultural signals and spoke their lines beautifully, both of them young, attractive and full of smiles. How could these men, with these virtues and looks, be so bad and bloody at the same time?

    We’ve moved into the age of the icon. Words loose their power and significance, replaced by something far, far, simpler and obvious… the powerful image which by-passes our critical functions and goes straight for the heart. Move the heart and the brain will follow, which could be the definition of propaganda.

    Most of the Guardian’s writers are… liberal puritans, which is why they love Sweden so much. The Guardian’s writers cloak themselves and virtually everything they write, in virtues; signaling that they are ‘good’, think ‘good’, want to do ‘good’ and have all the right ‘views.’ It’s clear from their language. They adore having a ‘view’ on almost everything… the Guardian’s view or the Observer’s view. They love the collective ‘We’ and ‘Us’, which shows that ‘we’ aren’t… ‘them’, the dumb deplorables who have ‘wrong words’ and ‘wrong thoughts’, ‘wrong views.’

    Yet, despite all of this, the Guardian priesthood of the virtues, no longer trusts the readership to follow their lead which is why, increasingly, they are clamping down on debate, firstly by not allowing critical voices, especially on UK/US foreign policy and military interventiions in the Middle East any space at all, and secondly by regulating the Comment is Free area, liberals that strangle free speech on the grounds of national security, that’s a hard-sell even for the masters at the Guardian.

    It’s actually a positive note to end on. How fearful the Guardian is about the hold they have on their own readers and liberal opinion, how fragile it really is, as the harsh realities of actually living under imperialist capitalism increasingly come into open conflict with the fantasies of liberal democracy.

    Liked by 5 people

    • kayaboosha says

      All so very true.
      I picked up on a couple of small examples of the machine at work yesterday. One was an appeal from UNICEF NZ for money to help children in East Ghouta. I said no and told them why, not because I don’t care about children, bur because of the opening paragraph of their appeal for help.

      :Wave after wave of deadly attacks are raining down on children’s homes, hospitals and schools in eastern Ghouta.”

      I thought I was reading a headline from Fox News. No, this was from the organisation whose chief executive has resigned due to his sexual harassment of women while head of the Save the Children organisation. UNICEF thanked him for his work over his two years there. Really.

      Then I saw a Guardian piece and read how ” Médecins Sans Frontières said 13 hospitals it supported had been destroyed or damaged”. I followed the link to the MSF article to see how the Guardian used a quite subtle change to the text to manipulate the image. 13 hospitals destroyed became “13 hospitals and clinics that are regularly or ad-hoc supported by MSF hit and damaged or destroyed”. As I say, subtle but deliberate switch of words so that
      “destroyed” is the first image.

      Then they had a map of the city showing who holds which areas. It showed East Ghouta areas on the map that had been “seized” by the regime. Not recaptured or liberated by the Syrian Army, but “seized”.

      Quite incredible once your eyes are opened and you know what to look for.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        The ‘hospitals’ propaganda lie by the Western jihadist sympathisers is truly ludicrous. More ‘hospitals’ than a major city, all ‘hidden’ but mysteriously found then targeted, all full of bearded thugs squawking Allahu Akbar, over and over, like demented parrots, and, as the liberation of the tiny jihadist infestation in East Aleppo showed, all total bulldust. This is perhaps the strongest sign, yet, that the entire Western political, fakestream media and NGO elite has reached the very depths of demented dishonesty, stupidity and rank Evil. It is one of the reasons I see war as inevitable-creatures this Evil are servants of Thanatos, and are seeking all our, and their own, deaths, as their final rejection of everything decent and Life-affirming.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Another excellent post by Edward Curtin. It would that appear our psychopathic oligarchic elites have come up with a sure-fire plan to combat global climate change – it’s a little military/industrial complex bit of geo-engineering they call – “nuclear winter.” Irrational militarist crazy is apparently the West’s – “new normal.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • It would that appear our psychopathic oligarchic elites have come up with a sure-fire plan to combat global climate change – it’s a little military/industrial complex bit of geo-engineering they call – “nuclear winter.”

      That’s a killer bit of black humour right there, pal! Mind if I use it?

      Liked by 2 people

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