Sunday, 9 October 2022 — Edward Curtin
A few years after WW I, the poet T.S. Eliot opened his famous poem “The Wasteland” with these words: “April is the cruelest month … “ I think he may be wrong, for this October may be the cruelest month of all, followed by November. Unprecedented. You can hear the clicking and grating of spades if your antennae are attuned.
We are on the brink of ominous events created by the U.S. war against Russia. Yet so many people prefer to turn away and swallow the lies that the U.S. wants peace and not war and is the aggrieved party in the crisis.
A friend of mine, who is constantly charging me with having turned right-wing because of my writing that accuses many traditional liberal/leftists of buying the national security state’s propaganda on the JFK assassination, “9/11,” Syria, Ukraine, Covid-19, censorship, the “New” Cold War, etc., and whose go-to news sources are The Guardian, CNN, The New York Times, NPR, ABC, seems oblivious to the fact that right and left have become useless terms and that these media are all mouthpieces for the CIA and their intelligence allies in the new Cold War; that the so-called right and left are joined at the hip with their obsession with Pax Americana.
There are no right and left anymore; there are only free and independent voices or those of the caged parrots repeating what they have been taught to say:
“Polly wants a war!” “Polly wants a war.”
I am afraid that I will never convince this dear friend otherwise and I find that depressing. Yet I know such views are shared by millions of others and that even if nuclear war breaks out their minds will not change. Propaganda runs very, very deep into their psyches, and they desperately want to believe. Hitler said it clearly in Mein Kampf:
The masses … are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.
Hitler learned so much about “manufacturing consent” from his American teachers Edward Bernays, Walter Lippmann, et al., who accomplished so much brainwashing of the American people. They were all masters of the lie and millions continue to believe their followers.
If nuclear weapons are again used (and everyone knows the only country to have used them), these believers will blame their use on Russia, even though Russia has made it very clear that it would only resort to such weapons if the country’s existence was threatened, while the U.S. continues affirming its right to preemptively use nuclear weapons when it so chooses.
And even if nuclear weapons are not used, the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines and the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, both clearly the work of U.S./NATO/Ukrainian forces, have raised the ante considerably. The door to hell has just been opened wider, and I suspect not by accident, as the U.S. elections approach.
In his recent television talk, Vladimir Putin made Russia’s nuclear position very clear, mentioning nuclear weapons only in the context of Western threats of using them, as Moon of Alabama reported. Putin said:
They [the U.S./NATO/Ukraine] have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail. I am referring not only to the Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which poses a threat of a nuclear disaster, but also to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia.
I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.
The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended – I repeat – by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.
When the long-planned U.S. war against Russia, so obvious to anyone who sees past the propagandist headlines and studies the matter, soon explodes into full-scale open war for all to see in horror, as it will, these true believers will dig in their heels even more. They will find new reasons to justify their faith, and it is akin to religious faith. The infamous Rand Corporation’s 2019 report cited above, “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia,” cites the following as part of the war process, as summarized in the Strategic Culture article, but it will have no impact on the faithful believers:
- Providing lethal military aid to Ukraine
- Mobilizing European NATO members
- Imposing deeper trade and economic sanctions
- Increasing U.S. energy production for export to Europe
- Expanding Europe’s import infrastructure to receive U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies
I keep thinking of the U.S. false flag Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in 1964 and how effective that was in convincing the gullible population and the complicit U.S. Congress – by a vote of 88 to 2 in the Senate and 414 to 0 in the House of Representatives (try to imagine such criminals) – that U.S. destroyers were innocently attacked by the North Vietnamese and that Lyndon Johnson should be given the authority to respond to repel “communist aggression,” which, of course, he did by bombing North Vietnam and sending 500,000 troops to savagely destroy Vietnam and Vietnamese nearly 9,000 miles from the United States. Johnson simply lied to wage war and Biden is doing the same today. But far too many people love their leaders’ lies because it allows them to secretly feel justified in the lies they themselves tell in personal matters. And what may be true of the distant past, can’t be true today.
In 1965, the folk singer Tom Paxton put Johnson’s lies to music with “Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation.” In those days, art was used as a weapon against U.S. propaganda.
Today we can ask: Where have all the artists gone?
We know that the U.S. has, for the time being, abandoned sending hundreds of thousands of troops into another country; now it is drones, air warfare, special forces, the CIA, mercenaries, terrorists, and intermediaries such as the Ukrainian conscripts, Azov Nazis, and NATO surrogates. Such was the lesson of Vietnam when the draft led to massive protests and resistance. Now war is waged less obviously and the propaganda is more extensive and constant as a result of digital media.
There are many such examples of U.S. treachery, most notably the attacks of September 11, 2001, but such history is only open to those who take it upon themselves to investigate.
Now there is the corrupt Ukrainian U.S. puppet government, which is nearly 6,000 miles from the United States, and must be defended from Russian “aggression,” just like the corrupt South Vietnamese U.S. puppet government was.
To those who buy the mass media propaganda, I ask: Why is the U.S.A. always fighting to kill people so far from its shores? Doesn’t it sound a bit odd that our wonderful leaders destroyed Libya, Vietnam, Serbia, the Philippines, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc., countries so far away, and now that Russia defends itself from U.S./NATO encroachment a few miles from its borders, it is accused of being the evil aggressors and Vladimir Putin called another Hitler like all the leaders of the countries we attacked? Have you completely lost your ability to think? Or do you, like little children, actually believe the disembodied newsreaders who deliver your prepackaged television propaganda?
If I ask such an obvious question, does that make me a “right-winger”?
If I state two facts: that Donald Trump – whom I consider despicable and part of the divide and conquer game as Biden’s flip side, and have said so – did not start a war against Russia and that Russia-gate was a Democratic propaganda stunt and is false, does that make me a right-winger? My friend would say so. Do telling facts define your political allegiances, whether they be facts about Republicans or Democrats?
No. I will tell you what it makes me: A disgusted human being sickened by all the lies and people’s gullibility after decades of evidence that should have awakened them to the truth about all these politicians and the war against Russia underway. I have lost patience with it. For decades I have been writing about such propaganda to no avail. Yes, those who tended to agree with me might have moved a little closer to my arguments, but the vast majority have not budged an iota.
I wish it were different. It is my desire. Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan sage of the Americas, who knew what was up and what was down when he wrote Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World in 1998, said this about Desire:
A man found Aladdin’s lamp lying around. Since he was a big reader, the man recognized it and rubbed it right away. The genie appeared, bowed deeply, and said, ‘At your service master. Your wish is my command. But there will be only one wish.
Since he was a good boy, the man said, ‘I wish for my dead mother to be brought back.’
The genie made a face. ‘I’m sorry, master, but that wish is impossible. Make another.’
Since he was a nice guy, the man said, ‘I wish the world would stop spending money to kill people.’
The genie swallowed. ‘Uhh … What did you say your mother’s name was?’
The desire for peace and security is a universal dream. Sometimes it is hidden in people’s hearts because they have swallowed the lies of the evil ones who wish to wage war against those who insist on security for their country, as Russians are demanding today.
It is very frustrating to try to wake people out of their manufactured consent and the insouciance that follows as we are being led into the abyss.
But I will not stop trying. Galeano did not. He left us these words of universal resistance:
We shall be compatriots and contemporaries of all who have a yearning for justice and beauty, no matter where they were born or when they lived, because the borders of geography and time shall cease to exist.
We must save the world before it is too late.