The Business of America Is War

W.J. Astore

War is the business of the state. That can be read in more than one way. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, many wars were the work of mercenaries and mercenary-captains, often serving, more or less, nobility who thought they could supplant the king or queen, or expand their own turf and power, pursuing plunder all the while. People gave their support to strong leaders and nation-states partly because they were tired of constant warfare and being the victims of mercenaries. In the 18th century, war was said to be “enlightened” because it largely didn’t impact the people directly; warfare was “limited” to otherwise under-employed nobility and the so-called dregs of society. And nation-states profited from being able to control warfare.

The French Revolution and Napoleon unleashed a new phase of increasingly unlimited war inspired by ideology (Liberty! Fraternity! Equality!). Nationalism was heavily tapped. Soldiers were told it was an honor to die for the nation-state rather than for plunder or in the service of some minor nobleman. Sweet and fitting it seemed to die for one’s country, so soldiers were told — and are still told to this day.

Nowadays, war is the business of the state may be taken literally with war as business. The U.S. federal government spends more than half of its discretionary budget on the military, weaponry, and war, though it’s disguised as a “defense” budget. As long as war remains a business for the U.S., and as long as people are profiting from it, not just in monetary terms but in terms of power, war will remain supreme in U.S. foreign policy.

I remember reading a newspaper from the 1930s that stated clearly that the way to end war was to remove the profit motive. That same decade, the U.S. Senate held hearings to expose the “merchants of death,” the military contractors that had profited so greatly from wholesale death and destruction during World War I. Since the U.S. in those days didn’t have a large standing military and a vast array of private military contractors, those hearings could go ahead in a nation that sought to avoid another world war, especially yet another one in Europe.

Today, the U.S. routinely wages war couched as ever in terms of peace or, if not peace, then security for America. How America is made more secure by troops in Syria helping to facilitate the seizing of oil, or troops in Africa engaging in the latest scramble for that continent’s natural resources, is left undefined. Or perhaps there is a tacit definition: if war is business, America needs (and deserves) access to the best markets, to vital natural resources, to oil and lithium and similar strategic materials, and the way to secure those is militarily, using force.

One thing that amazes me, though it shouldn’t, is the almost complete lack of emphasis in the U.S. on conservation, on limiting resource extraction by cutting demand. Oil companies are bragging how they’re boosting fossil fuel production in the U.S. The message is clear: keep consuming! No need to cut back on your use of fossil fuels. Your overlords will secure — and sell at inflated prices — the fuel you need and want. Just don’t ask any uncomfortable questions.

I suppose it’s all quite simple (and depressing) in its obviousness:

War is the business of the state.

The business of America is business.

The business of America is war.

The nation-state was supposed to corral war, to control it, to “enlighten” it by keeping it limited, a sideshow. Yet war in America has become unlimited, the main show, and very much unenlightened as well. Corralling and controlling it is out of favor. Planning for the next big war is all the rage, perhaps most clearly with China, though Russia factors in as well. A new cold war wins nods of approval from America’s national security state because it most certainly means job security and more power for those who are part of that state.

What is to be done? America needs to remember that war is not the health of any democracy, and that no democracy can survive when it’s constantly engaged in war and preparations for the same. Yet we know America isn’t a democracy, so that argument is effectively moot. Perhaps homespun wisdom can help: those who live by the sword (or the gun) die by the same, though the American response would seem to be: I’ll just buy more swords (or guns), so take that. Or maybe an appeal to Christianity and how blessed the peacemakers are, and how Christ was the prince of peace, except Americans prefer a warrior-Christ who favors his chosen with lawyers, guns, and money.

Perhaps that’s enough musings for this Monday.

72 thoughts on “The Business of America Is War

  1. War is the health of the state which means that people who want a more expansive state also tend to favor more war. People like Rand Paul, who wants a less expansive state, is also one of the most fervent opponents of war on Capitol Hill. People like Nancy Pelosi, who wants a more expansive state, is also one of the more fervent proponents of war. War enables the state to grow, to encroach upon the rights of ordinary citizens, which is one reason why ordinary citizens should oppose war.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure I can buy that first statement. Yet nor can I refute it. I probably favor what you’d call, “a more expansive state”. At least, I’d gather that I believe that in a democracy (or democratic republic), governments exist to meet broad public needs that won’t otherwise be adequately met. You & I might find a slightly / somewhat different list of such functions. (For example, I believe in public education; in protection of the public commons (the environment, ecosystems, etc.); and in public health protections; in protection of individual civil rights; and in a justice / law enforcement system, etc. ) In at least some folks’ eyes, I’d therefore be “for big government”.

      Yet I have been for more than five decades a vocal opponent of war and of imperialism that is behind it. Nancy Pelosi and many others in Congress support war and imperialism and war, I suspect, mostly because their patrons do – because as the author wrote here, war is America’s business. Empire is also the projection of corporate agendas.

      Additionally,  I suspect that some may also support it because they, too have been brought up and indoctrinated with the propaganda of American exceptionalism and that we have "natural enemies" out there trying to steal our wealth and "destroy our democracy".  
      

      Concerns about ‘big (or expansive) government’ can certainly be valid. But too often, those who engage in the attacks on it merely have different priorities for what the government’s authorities should include. Concentrated capital thinks it’s too big if the government impedes its profits on ANY grounds, or its ability to achieve monopoly. Those on the farthest edge of gun rights advocacy might object to almost any regulation on weapons possession. The obvious conflicts over government’s role in pandemic prevention / control demonstrated the clear degree of disagreement about that.

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      1. Thank You, Roger, for raising what i believe to be one of ~ if not The ~ Most Important Questions [MIQs] that every American ~ and every Human Being on this Planet old enough to think ~ needs to start asking themselves and each other:

        “What exactly is the Proper Purpose and Function of Government? Why do Humans have Governments, and what are they supposed to do?”

        Is it, as You stated, to “meet public needs [and wants] that won’t otherwise be addressed”; ie, Nutrition and Sanitation, Housing, Health Care, Education, Employment, Security in Old Age or Infirmity, Transportation, Energy, and Communications Infrastructures, Leisure and Recreation, etc?

        Or is it to protect Human Rights: Life, Liberty, Property, Privacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness; along with the so-called “Civil Rights” like Due Process under a Rule of Law, and the various Freedoms of Speech and Press, of Association and Assembly, of [and from] Religion, etc?

        But before that MIQ can be answered, there first needs to be a clarification as to the difference between Human Needs and Wants, on the one hand, and Human Rights and Responsibilities, on the other.

        Which boils down to: Are Nutrition and Sanitation, Housing, Health Care, Education, etc Human Rights? Or are they Human Needs and Wants? And are Life, Liberty, Property, etc not “Human Rights” at all, but merely Human Needs and Wants, depending upon the time, circumstances, and Who is making that decision?

        And exactly Whose job is it to see that these Needs are met and Wants are satisfied, on the one hand, and to ensure that those Rights are protected and their attendant Responsibilities are fulfilled, on the other?

        The reason this distinction is so important is because a very strong case can be ~ and has been ~ made that the only way Governments can meet the Needs and satisfy the Wants of some of its Citizens is by violating the Rights and eliminating the Responsibilities of the rest of the Citizens who will be required pick up the tab for whatever the cost of their Government’s taking care of those Needs and Wants of the others.

        And in noting the different priorities that different folks have about what the Government should or should not be doing and not doing, You have also pinpointed exactly what the problem is with America’s system of government and governance:

        With our $ 1 = 1 Vote system of politics, ours is a system whereby different Special Interests can buy their way to access the Government’s legal, administrative, and bureaucratic authority ~ and particularly its spending capability ~ to advance those Special Interests’ own specific, particular agendas. And somebody else will foot the bill.

        Based on a study of history, it is my own conviction that when Governments get into the business of meeting Human Needs and satisfying Human Wants while claiming to protect Human Rights and facilitating the fulfillment of Human Responsibilities, they fail to do any of these things.

        Which historically results in those Governments claiming the need for more power and authority. Which they inevitably get, one way or another.

        Most often by getting into a War, precipitating an economic/financial “¢risi$” as in 2008 and what’s taking shape now, or by dealing with things like a Pandemic, so-called “Domestic Terrorists,” and other such-what that are packaged and sold as “Existential Threats” [like today’s looming World War III, for example].

        Either that flailing-on-the-edge-of-failing Government gets [ie, takes] more power and authority, or it is replaced by one that does.

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    2. You nailed it, Alex. Just like Randolph Bourne did back in 1918 when he wrote exactly what You did: “War is the health of the State.”

      America has a long tradition of politicians who wanted a more expansive state who were also War Mongers.
      Witness LBJ, his “Great Society,” and Vietnam. Witness FDR, his “New Deal,” and his World War II.

      More recently, witness the last 21 years and how many so-called, self-proclaimed “liberals,” “progressives,” and other Establishment “leftists” have voted for continued authorization of and funding for The Forever War.

      And You nailed it again with Your opening sentence, just like Randolph Bourne did back in 1918 ~ in protest against America’s entry into World War I ~ when he wrote exactly as You did: “War is the Health of the State.”

      See the following for details: BOURNE OF WAR by Wendy McElroy [published in October 2011]

      “War is the health of the State.”

      The famous seven words appeared in an unfinished manuscript written by the progressive essayist Randolph Silliman Bourne (1886-1918) during World War I. In a collection of Bourne’s essays entitled War and the Intellectuals (1964), editor Carl Resek explained the phrase’s meaning. Resek wrote, “IN ITS PROPER PLACE IT [THE SAYING] MEANT THAT MINDLESS POWER THRIVED ON WAR BECAUSE WAR CORRUPTED A NATION’S MORAL FABRIC AND ESPECIALLY CORRUPTED ITS INTELLECTUALS.” The seven words contain a complexity of meaning that is often overlooked by those who use it.

      America has been at war for over a decade now and hostilities are not abating. Quite the opposite. American troops and clout have spread across the Arab world and the Middle East, leaving casualties heaped and enemies gathering. IF ECONOMIC EMERGENCIES USHER IN CONFLICT, THEN MORE WAR IS COMING. THE COMPLEXITY OF BOURNE’S INSIGHTS NEEDS TO BE EXPLORED IN ORDER TO DEPRIVE THE STATE OF AS MUCH HEALTH AS POSSIBLE.

      Continued at https://mises.org/library/bourne-war [EMPHASES added.]

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  2. Bill, the Jews rejected Christ Jesus as Messiah because they were expecting a Warrior-Christ, a Military Genius, who would expel the Romans from Occupied Palestine so long ago. It took much longer, but he did it in a more Peaceful Patient way replacing the Roman Emperor with the Roman Pope operating as the Vicar of Christ.

    I do like your Title of this article as a variation of my article posted December 13 last year inspired by your article, ‘The Pentagon as Pentagod and incorporated in this,

    AMERICA’S BUSINESS IS WAR

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good point, Ray. The Jews wanted a military hero and helped to crucify Christ when he preached peace. America just changes Christ into the warrior-god we so fervently wish to worship.

      Christ as Ares/Mars. So much easier than following his teachings.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Your ”musings” are interesting WJA and we need analysis like yours! My two cents here: yes ”Liberty! Fraternity! Equality!” is an ideology, but can there be a better one? The US Constitution is also a shining light – an inspirational goal. It’s just the energy put into its achievement that’s got tripped up in the ”human nature” of it all… And about ”Defense”. Of course, the US spends WAY too much on military gear and yes it is, unfortunately, a business. I’m just wondering if Ukraine should have spent a little bit more on that business in the last 8 years after having been invaded once in Crimea…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have met the enemy and he is me.

      Seriously, we are far too prone to seeing enemies everywhere, even when we look within.

      Why can’t we recognize our sins, atone for them, and live a redeemed life? I’m using religious language because it fits here. We need to stop hating ourselves as well as others and find a way “to love one another right now” — or at least to stop killing one another.

      Just about the only time I hear about peace nowadays is when I attend Catholic mass (which I haven’t done for quite some time), where we’re reminded to offer each other a sign of peace. “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.”

      We ask for peace, but we always fall back on war. We say we adore God, but it seems we prefer a god of war. We are an Old Testament people who refuse to accept a better, healthier, and more peaceful way. It’s as if the New Testament never reached the shore of America. Or, if it did, it fell among weeds and thorns and never took root and grew.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Looking back over the history of the last 2000+ years, one is led to ask: “Did the New Testament ever reach the shores of Europe? Did it ever reach Rome? Or Jerusalem?”

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        1. Obviously the Roman Church ignored the essential teachings of Christ as this video clip of the original Francis of Assisi appearing before the Pope in 1210 shows from the movie Brother Sun Sister Moon made on 1972.
          Now Francis is Pope all these Centuries later.

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  4. Another nominee for inclusion in the proposed book THE BEST OF BRACING VIEWS.

    A real Thought-Provoker, as Alex’s and Roger’s comments indicate. Lots to ponder, chew, and reflect upon there. Thanks, Bill. Going to be an interesting nite.

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  5. Despite the US Senate Hearings about the “Merchants of Death” and World War I, by that time in the mid-30s, Everybody in Washington and Wall Street was beginning to realize that the only way the US was going to get out of The Great Depression was a War. [See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nye_Committee for details on the Nye Committee, officially known as the “Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry.”]

    That realization was the seed that ultimately led to the “Liberty Ships,” and what ended up as America’s Lend-Lease Program and its directly indirect initial participation in the European Theatre of World War II. And it turns out that those folks were exactly right: World War II indeed ended America’s Great Depression.

    And as far as “ending war by removing the profit motive,” consider this: “A No War-For-Profit Amendment to the Constitution of The United States”

    Any individual, organization, or institution doing business with the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex [MICC] or the Secrecy-Surveillance-Security Panopticon [SSSP] will and thus must be publicly-held NON-PROFIT enterprises.
    No individual, bank, and/ or any other financial or other institution [including foreign nations’ and their money-lenders] doing business with the MICC/SSSP may earn any interest or other profit from loans, bonds, or any other fiduciary instruments used by the Government of The United States to finance or otherwise “pay for” this nation’s Wars-by-Credit Card of the 21st century.
    No print, electronic, and/or internet-based news or otherwise info-entertainment media organization may be owned and/or operated by any institution, organization, or individual doing business with the MICC/SSSP.

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  6. Like i said: Lots to ponder, chew, and reflect upon in this article. For starters:

    For me, the bottom-line, bullet-hits-the-bone takeaway from this, Bill, is Your statement that: “As long as war remains a business for the U.S., and as long as people are profiting from it, not just in monetary terms but in terms of power, war will remain supreme in U.S. foreign policy.”

    That does not bode well at all for either America’s or the Planet’s future, does it? The obvious next question then is: “So How is America going to be forced out of its Business of War? And by Whom?”

    You asked and then answered: “What is to be done? America needs to remember that war is not the health of any democracy, and that no democracy can survive when it’s constantly engaged in war and preparations for the same.”

    It’s not “America” that needs to remember this, Bill. It is the American People who need to first learn, then acknowledge, accept, and then actually act upon that simple, irrefutable fact.

    The only reason America’s Forever War since 9/11~ in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Equatorial Africa, Syria, Yemen, and now Ukraine ~ has been able to happen is because the American People have LET it happen, and have done absolutely nothing to stop it.

    But why should they? Before Ukraine, the only GIs being killed or maimed weren’t Draftees, but All-Volunteer Forcers who were in the military because they wanted to be. And now its only Ukrainians and Russians who being killed or maimed. At least so far.

    And as pointed out several times before: This entire Forever War has not cost the American People a dime. It’s all been put on Uncle Sam’s credit card and piled on the Debt; to be paid by somebody else [or somebody else’s Kids] sometime down the line.

    So then the next obvious question is: “How are the American People to be made aware of all this, and what is at stake if they don’t do something about it?” Assuming, of course, that it isn’t already too late.

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  7. Also, i would argue the following: That the most important outcome of the nation-state being able to “control warfare” against those 17th and 18th century mercenaries and rebel nobilities was that it enabled those nation-states to build Empires in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries: Witness the British, French, Dutch, and American Empires, among others.

    You noted: “Today, the U.S. routinely wages war couched as ever in terms of peace or, if not peace, then security for America. How America is made more secure by troops in Syria helping to facilitate the seizing of oil, or troops in Africa engaging in the latest scramble for that continent’s natural resources, is left undefined.”

    Also, i will also argue that the reason America has troops in Syria, Africa, and every and anyplace else is “left undefined” is because the American People have not asked for ~ let alone Demanded ~ just such a definition.

    And relative to Your “tacit definition” about America needing and deserving access to “the best markets, to vital natural resources, to oil and lithium, and similar strategic materials,” see the following:

    ARE GREEN RESOURCE WARS LOOMING? by Priti Gulati Cox and Stan Cox

    Much of the excitement over the Inflation Reduction Act, which became law this summer, focused on the boost it should give to the sales of electric vehicles. Sadly, though, manufacturing and driving tens of millions of individual electric passenger cars won’t get us far enough down the road to ending greenhouse-gas emissions and stanching the overheating of this planet. Worse yet, THE COMING GLOBAL RACE TO ELECTRIFY THE PERSONAL VEHICLE IS LIKELY TO EXACERBATE ECOLOGICAL DEGRADATION, GEOPOLITICAL TENSIONS, AND MILITARY CONFLICT.

    The batteries that power electric vehicles are likely to be the source of much international competition and the heart of the problem lies in two of the metallic elements used to make their electrodes: cobalt and lithium. Most deposits of those metals lie outside the borders of the United States and will leave manufacturers here (and elsewhere) relying heavily on foreign supplies to electrify road travel on the scale now being envisioned.

    In the battery business, the Democratic Republic of Congo is referred to as “the Saudi Arabia of cobalt.” For two decades, its cobalt — 80% of the world’s known reserves — has been highly prized for its role in mobile-phone manufacturing. Such cobalt mining has already taken a terrible human and ecological toll.

    Now, the pressure to increase Congo’s cobalt output is intensifying on a staggering scale. Whereas a phone contains just thousandths of a gram of cobalt, an electric vehicle battery has pounds of the metal, and a quarter-billion such batteries will have to be manufactured to fully electrify the American passenger car fleet as it now exists.

    Not surprisingly, the investment world is now converging on Congo’s capital, Kinshasa. In a remarkable series of articles late last year, the New York Times reported on how the cobalt rush in that country has been caught up “in a familiar cycle of exploitation, greed, and gamesmanship that often puts narrow national aspirations above all else.” The most intense rivalry is between China, which has, in recent years, been buying up cobalt-mining operations in Congo at a rapid clip, and the United States, now playing catch-up. Those two nations, wrote the Times, “have entered a new ‘Great Game’ of sorts,” a reference to the nineteenth-century confrontation between the Russian and British Empires over Afghanistan.

    [Note: The article also speaks of Bolivia and Afghanistan as the potential “Saudi Arabias of lithium.”]

    Continued at https://scheerpost.com/2022/10/16/are-green-resource-wars-looming/ .

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  8. Speaking of Nations-States and Empire [specifically, the United States]… :

    “It is in war that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in number, in pride, in absolute dominion over the economy and the society.” – Murray Rothbard

    America is a nation that was conceived in liberty, but that now finds itself as an empire of tyranny.

    That is the focus of our newest animated video series, “AMERICA: FROM REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE.”

    This nine-part series documents the pivotal moments that gave birth to the regime we have today and illustrates the core concepts that make up the anatomy of the Warfare State.

    In our first video, we focus on what it means to be an “empire” and on the inspiration for the American Revolution: https://mises.org/america-republic-empire

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  9. ANATOMY OF THE STATE gives a succinct, 62-page account of Murray Rothbard’s view of the state. Following Franz Oppenheimer and Albert Jay Nock, ROTHBARD REGARDS THE STATE AS A PREDATORY ENTITY. IT DOES NOT PRODUCE ANYTHING BUT RATHER STEALS RESOURCES FROM THOSE ENGAGED IN PRODUCTION. In applying this view to American history, Rothbard makes use of the work of John C. Calhoun. [EMPHASIS added.]

    How can an organization of this type sustain itself? It must engage in propaganda to induce popular support for its policies. Court intellectuals play a key role here, and Rothbard cites as an example of ideological mystification the work of the influential legal theorist Charles Black, Jr., on the way the Supreme Court has become a revered institution.

    Chapters:

    What the State Is Not
    What the State Is
    How the State Preserves Itself
    How the State Transcends Its Limits
    What the State Fears
    How States Relate to One Another
    History as a Race Between State Power and Social Power

    Available in html format at https://mises.org/library/anatomy-state/html .
    Available in PDF format at https://cdn.mises.org/Anatomy%20of%20the%20State_3.pdf .

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  10. And this just in: Long before there was “American Exceptionalism”, there was [and still is] “European Exceptionalism. All America did was inherit it from their ancestors in the Old Countries… :

    IN NEOCOLONIAL RANT, EU SAYS EUROPE IS ‘GARDEN’ SUPERIOR TO REST OF WORLD’S BARBARIC JUNGLE by Ben Norton

    The European Union’s top foreign-policy official showed how the colonialist mentality is still very much alive on the continent.

    EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell said “Europe is a garden,” which is “beautiful” and superior to the vast majority of the countries on Earth. On the other hand, he claimed, “Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden.”

    Borrell argued that “the world needs Europe,” because it is a “beacon” that must civilize the rest of the world.

    The enlightened Western “gardeners have to go to the jungle,” he insisted, because if the supposed barbarians are not tamed, “the rest of the world will invade us.”

    Borrell delivered this overtly racist rant at the inauguration of the European Diplomatic Academy in Brussels on October 13.

    According to the official transcript, published at the EU website, Borrell said the following:

    “Europe is a garden. We have built a garden. Everything works. It is the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that the humankind has been able to build – the three things together. And here, Bruges is maybe a good representation of beautiful things, intellectual life, wellbeing.

    “The rest of the world – and you know this very well, Federica – is not exactly a garden. MOST OF THE REST OF THE WORLD IS A JUNGLE, AND THE JUNGLE COULD INVADE THE GARDEN. THE GARDENERS SHOULD TAKE CARE OF IT, BUT THEY WILL NOT PROTECT THE GARDEN BY BUILDING WALLS. A nice small garden surrounded by high walls in order to prevent the jungle from coming in is not going to be a solution. Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the garden.

    “THE GARDENERS HAVE TO GO TO THE JUNGLE. EUROPEANS HAVE TO BE MUCH MORE ENGAGED WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD. OTHERWISE, THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL INVADE US, BY DIFFERENT WAYS AND MEANS.

    “Yes, this is my most important message: we have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world.

    THE EU FOREIGN-POLICY CHIEF FAILED TO MENTION THAT, FOR MORE THAN 500 YEARS, EUROPEAN COLONIALIST POWERS HAVE RUN THE MOST VIOLENT EMPIRES IN HUMAN HISTORY, OVERSEEING MASS GENOCIDES, RACIALIZED CHATTEL SLAVERY, ETHNIC CLEANSING, AND CONSTANT WARS.

    Instead, Borrell continued later in his remarks portraying Europe as a superior “beacon” of civilization:

    “Believe me, Europe is a good example for many things. The world needs Europe. My experience of travelling around the world is that people look at us as a beacon.

    Why [do] so many people come to Europe? Are there flows of illegal or irregular migrants going to Russia? Not many. No, they are coming to Europe but for good reasons.

    Keep the garden, be good gardeners. But your duty will not be to take care of the garden itself but [of] the jungle outside.”

    Continued at https://scheerpost.com/2022/10/18/in-neocolonial-rant-eu-says-europe-is-garden-superior-to-rest-of-worlds-barbaric-jungle/ [EMPHASES added.]

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  11. OR… Just to put out a contrarian viewpoint. The number of people killed in wars has been declining over the long term. So is the presence of US forces in so many foreign countries a deterrent to greater conflicts or an aggravating factor in so many of the minor conflicts? Do we and other democracies have an obligation to defend democracies in peril or are we just defending capitalism in whatever governmental form it takes? Frankly, I don’t know anymore. As a proud former Marine, I know I don’t want my grandkids to go into the military, though I could be happy if they chose Coast Guard. And I would like to see a smaller military budget.

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    1. I don’t think there’s a way to prove that U.S. military deployments deter or prevent greater conflicts.

      It’s easy to prove that U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere has killed, injured, and uprooted millions upon millions of people.

      I’d suggest sticking with the bloody truth and avoiding speculation about how the U.S. is deterring greater conflicts.

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    2. Not sure what You mean by “long term,” Jerrys, but the reason War Deaths have declined since 1945 is because all the Wars since then have been fought at the Local level only, and not at the Global.

      In any event, it would be interesting to explore if Military AND Civilian Deaths went down over that period. It would also be interesting to see whether the numbers of War Refugees have gone up or down. And finally, it would be Very interesting to calculate just how much Money EVERY GOVERNMENT involved in all these Wars since the end of World War II has paid to wage them.

      And Who they paid all that Money to.

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  12. I didn’t realize the extent of this: More than 500 retired U.S. generals and admirals have served in some capacity for foreign governments since 2015. The usual “advisors” and “consultants” — quite lucrative.

    Lot of revolving doors out there …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such greed! These officers have been so well paid by their country and have golden pensions to boot. But they want more! Based solely on National security considerations, but also just common sense moral judgment, there should be a blanket interdiction of all ex-military personnel who are pulling down a pension to be on hire to foreign governments … even if through a US company!

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  13. Another hard hitting piece by Jonathan Cook on Western hypocrisy and duplicity,

    ‘Westerners live in denial, convinced they’re the good guys’
    No one took responsibility for the explosion over the weekend that ripped through a section of the Kerch Bridge that links Russia to Crimea and was built by Moscow after it annexed the peninsula back in 2014.

    But it was not just Kyiv’s gleeful celebrations that indicated the main suspect. Within hours, the Ukrainian authorities had released a set of commemorative stamps depicting the destruction.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin was under no illusions either. On Monday, he struck out with a torrent of missiles that hit major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv and Lviv. It was a pale, Slavic echo of Israel’s intermittent bombardments of Gaza, which are expressly intended to send the Palestinian enclave “back to the Stone Age”.

    If the scenes looked familiar – an attack by one party, followed by a massive retaliatory strike from the other – the mood and language that greeted the Ukrainian attack and the Russian counter-attack felt noticeably different from what passes for normal western commentary about Israel and Palestine.

    The blast on the Kerch Bridge was welcomed with barely concealed excitement from western journalists, politicians and analysts, while Moscow’s strikes on Kyiv were uniformly denounced as Russian brutality and state terrorism. That is not the way things work when Israel and Palestinian factions engage in their own rounds of fighting.

    Had the Palestinians openly celebrated blowing up a bridge in East Jerusalem, a territory illegally annexed by Israel in the 1960s, and killed Israeli civilians as collateral damage in the process, who can really imagine western media reports being similarly supportive?

    Nor would western academics have lined up, as they did for Ukraine, to explain in detail why destroying a bridge was a proportionate act and fully in accordance with the rights in international law of a people under belligerent occupation to resist.

    Instead, there would have been thunderous denunciations of Palestinian savagery and “terrorism”………….

    Maybe Jonathan took the cue from this comment I made in Professor Richard Falk’s Blog 9 days ago?
    What I find most disturbing about the main media approach in the West is its total failure to discuss Shireen Abu Aqleh killed by a ‘seemingly well-aimed’ Israeli bullet.
    The Al Jazeera journalist was not hit by firing from Palestinians, as was initially claimed by Israel.
    Shireen Abu Aqleh was clearly marked as PRESS when an IDF sniper shot her.

    Why does Israel get a free pass from Western Press for all it’s indignities to Palestinians with it’s shoot to kill policy?

    Like

    1. The Link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57292.htm

      ‘Exposed: Behind The Iranian Riots’
      The Iranian Woman Mahsa Amini had previously had brain surgery and her collapse and death were related to that, not to police action.
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57297.htm

      What I find most disturbing about the main media approach in the West about the Death of the Iranian Woman is its total failure to discuss Shireen Abu Aqleh killed by a ‘seemingly well-aimed’ Israeli bullet.
      The Al Jazeera journalist was not hit by firing from Palestinians, as was initially claimed by Israel.

      Shireen Abu Aqleh was clearly marked as PRESS when an IDF sniper shot her.

      Why does Israel get a free pass from Western Press for all it’s indignities to Palestinians with it’s shoot to kill policy?
      Reply

      Like

  14. THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON THE WEST GAVE UKRAINE by Caitlin Johnstone [Extracts]

    The Pentagon is seeking sweeping new powers in preparation for a war with China, THE SENATE NDAA BILL INCREASES PROPOSED MILITARY AID TO TAIWAN FROM 4.5 TO 10 BILLION DOLLARS, and Tony Blinken is claiming without evidence that Beijing has greatly accelerated its plans to annex Taiwan. This is all as aggressions continue to ramp up against Russia. They really are doing this thing.
    So it looks like this is what we’ll be doing for the foreseeable future: calling to escalate the war in Ukraine, facilitating the escalation of the war in Ukraine, and then screaming with shock and outrage when the war in Ukraine escalates. That seems to be what we’ve got planned.
    That’s because THE THREAT PERCEPTION DOESN’T COME FROM GEOGRAPHY BUT FROM PROPAGANDA. AMERICANS ARE THE SINGLE MOST PROPAGANDIZED POPULATION ON EARTH.
    THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON THE WEST HAS GIVEN UKRAINE is not the HIMARS, IT’S THE US PROPAGANDA MACHINE.
    This is fascinating: Just 22% of Germans see Russia as a major threat to their security vs 66% of Americans. The geography suggests these results should be reversed. On China, the divide is even bigger.
    IF NUCLEAR WAR ERUPTS IT WON’T MATTER WHOSE FAULT IT WAS. IT WON’T MATTER WHO STARTED IT. It won’t matter whether Moscow had legitimate claim to Zaporizhzhia. ALL THAT WILL MATTER IS THAT IT HAPPENED. THERE WILL BE NO ADJUDICATING RESPONSIBILITY AFTER THE FACT. WE WON’T BE HERE.
    People don’t seem to get that NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION IS THE ONE MISTAKE WE COULD MAKE THAT WE CAN’T EVER FIX. There’s this unquestioned assumption that if it happened there’d be some kind of course correction afterward, but there won’t be. No one will be here to do it. No takesies backsies.
    DURING THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS THE TOP NEWS STORY EVERY DAY WAS HOW THAT WHOLE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS SITUATION IS GOING. DURING THE NUCLEAR BRINKMANSHIP CRISIS OF 2022 THE TOP NEWS STORIES ARE ABOUT KANYE, TRUMP AND ALEX JONES. WE ARE SLEEPWALKING TOWARD A CLIFF’S EDGE.

    This is all completely unnecessary. There’s nothing inscribed upon the fabric of reality saying states need to be waving armageddon weapons at each other. There’s no valid reason not to lay aside these games of global conquest and collaborate together toward a healthy coexistence on this planet.

    WE COULD HAVE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL WORLD. ALL THE ENERGY WE POUR INTO COMPETITION AND CONQUEST COULD GO TOWARD INNOVATION THAT BENEFITS US ALL, MAKING SURE EVERYONE HAS ENOUGH, ELIMINATING HUMAN SUFFERING AND THE NEED FOR HUMAN TOIL. We’re trading heaven on earth for elite ego games.
    There’s no valid reason we can’t move from models of competition and domination to models of collaboration and care. Collaboration with each other; care for each other. Collaboration with our ecosystem; care for our ecosystem. We’re throwing it away in exchange for senseless misery and peril.

    Full rant at https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-most-powerful-weapon-the-west [EMPHASES added.]

    Like

    1. Does anybody know why WordPress deletes Numbers [1, 2, 3, etc] or *, and eliminates the space between numbered sentences, leaving a total piece of garbage as resulted with the comment just attempted to be made?

      And does anybody know why WordPress doesn’t allow editing after a comment has been posted, like Disqus and virtually every other Blog Chat Group?

      Also, can anybody refer me to someplace that shows how to have Bold, Italic, and Underlined Text, and Quotation Marks?

      Thank You and have a Great day.

      Like

        1. Weird, but either I typed something wrong or for some reason this site’s WordPress eats the “underlined” tag-pair “<” + “u” + “>” (opening tag) and “<” + “/u” + “>” (closing tag). I guess you’ll just have to experiment and find the sort of text (and image) effects you want to produce. My apologies if this has proved more confusing than helpful.

          Like

          1. I understand that some versions of WordPress have disabled the “underline” function for text because links to Internet addresses often feature underlining and some users might try to click on the underlined text and get no result, thereby causing confusion and frustration. At least I have read that explanation advanced in some programming quarters.

            Like

            1. Thanks, Michael, But i’m not that interested enough in learning how to bold, italicize, underline, etc words in comments to BV to spend any time learning how to do it except the way Disqus does it: with a simple click of a button.

              i have to wonder, tho: How popular is WordPress as compared to Disqus?

              Thank You, tho, for the input. ~ jeff

              Like

              1. The WordPress software is very annoying and frustrating to use.
                Compared to Disqus which is the ultimate in “User Friendly”

                Like

                1. My biggest bitch is that it does not have an Edit function. Nor does it show You exactly what will appear in the Comment once it’s posted. Hence, attempts to number paragraphs by points being made with “1.” “2,” etc are erased. And without the Edit capability, there’s nothing that can be done about it.

                  But, it’s better than exchanging e-mails with multiple cc’s as a means to generate a conversation, eh?

                  Like

                2. I’ve shared this with WordPress, but they seem to be in no hurry to change.

                  I’d have to move to another site. Maybe substack. I think I could post in both places. I’ll look into it.

                  Liked by 1 person

  15. Notes from Against Empire, by Michael Parenti (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995)

    “The public record shows that the United States is the foremost interventionist power in the world. There are varied and overlapping reasons for this:

    (1) Protect Direct Investments. In 1907, Woodrow Wilson recognized the support role played by the capitalist state on behalf of private capital:

    Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.”

    Later, as president of the United States, Wilson noted that the United States was involved in a struggle to “command the economic fortunes of the world.”

    (2) Create Opportunities for New Investments.

    (3) Preserving Politico-Economic Domination and the Capital Accumulation System.

    Specific investments are not the only imperialist concern. There is the overall commitment to safeguarding the global class system, keeping the world’s land, labor, natural resources, and markets accessible to transnational investors. More important than particular holdings is the whole process of investment and profit. To defend that process the imperialist state thwarts and crushes those popular movements that attempt any kind of redistributive politics, sending a message to them and others that if they try to better themselves by infringing upon the prerogatives of corporate capital, they will pay a severe price.”

    In two of the most notable U.S. military interventions, Soviet Russia from 1918 to 1920 and Vietnam from 1954 to 1973, most of the investments were European, not American. In these and other such instances, the intent was to prevent the emergence of competing social orders and obliterate all workable alternatives to the capitalist client-state. That remains the goal to this day [emphasis added].

    Like

  16. This is a really interesting report in Foreign Policy on what went on behind the scenes during the Cuban Missile Crisis I just learned about.

    How JFK Sacrificed Adlai Stevenson and the Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis’
    The standoff 60 years ago has newfound relevance as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens to deploy nukes in Ukraine.

    On Dec. 5, 1962, Adlai Stevenson, then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, received a letter from then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy about a story that was to circulate in the Saturday Evening Post. Titled “In Time of Crisis,” the article was an insider account of how Kennedy and his top aides had managed to peacefully resolve the most dangerous international conflict the world had ever faced—the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

    The piece depicted Kennedy as a courageous and decisive leader who “never lost his nerve.” By contrast, Stevenson was cast as a Chamberlain-esque appeaser. “Adlai wanted a Munich,” the article quoted one official as saying. The writers, Stewart Alsop and Charles Bartlett, were both Kennedy confidants. They accused Stevenson of being the only presidential advisor who dissented from the consensus among Kennedy aides and “wanted to trade U.S. bases for Cuban bases.” As the article noted derisively, “there seems to be no doubt that he preferred political negotiation to the alternative of military action.”

    The story was, to use a currently popular phrase, “fake news”—a mythical account of how the resolution of the missile crisis was achieved, albeit one that served the political purposes of Kennedy and his White House. It helped conceal what, at the time, was the politically inconvenient truth of the missile crisis saga: To avoid nuclear war, Kennedy had secretly adopted Stevenson’s sage advice to pull U.S. nuclear missiles from Turkey in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba. Not only did “In Time of Crisis” unfairly malign Stevenson, whose persistent arguments to prioritize negotiation over the use of force made a major contribution to saving the world, but far worse, the misrepresentations set the stage for a generation of U.S. foreign-policy making based on inaccurate lessons from the missile crisis, arguably contributing to a reliance on force and war over the use of dialogue and negotiation.

    […] The initial consensus of the “ExComm” advisors was to launch airstrikes to destroy the missile sites—a position the president strongly supported on that first day of crisis deliberations. “We’re going to take out those missiles,” Kennedy told the ExComm, in remarks captured by a taping system the president had secretly installed in White House meeting rooms only a few months earlier. “So it seems to me that we don’t have to wait very long. We ought to be making those preparations.”

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/10/16/cuban-missile-crisis-adlai-stevenson-russia-ukraine-nuclear-war-lessons/

    There are NO BACK CHANNEL discussions Today, only ESCALATION, and this really could be “the WAR to end all WARS” and humanity itself if saner heads don’t prevail in the places of power.

    Like

  17. Hello Ray,
    Alexander Mercouris can be relied upon to give us the up-to-date reality of the Ukraine/US/Nato attempts to get regime change in Russia. I’m sure you will agree.
    150,018 viewers have turned to him today – not believing the dross and propaganda being force fed to them by the US and UK mainstream media.
    Who knows, one day we see Alexander on BBC TV – when pigs fly eh!
    Maybe he can come on CNN TV in America and explain to the beleaguered American taxpayers how $65-billion of their taxes has been flushed down the toilet!

    Like

  18. Marco Rubio declared tonight that Russia has “already attacked NATO” by supposedly bombing the Nordstream pipeline. “Who else did it, Luxembourg? Belgium? Of course it was the Russians.” He suggests direct retaliatory strikes against Russia would already be warranted at this time.

    Incredible!!!

    Like

  19. PLANTING ANGEL EGGS ON A DYING WORLD by Caitlin Johnstone

    Planting angel eggs on a dying world,
    at the feet of billboards,
    in the clearcut wastelands,
    by the rivers of tears from Yemeni mothers,
    under highway overpasses where defective gear-turners sleep,
    shambling from crater to crater on tree stump legs
    wailing whale songs and praying to unprofitable gods,
    planting them in the ashes whispering
    “May there be kindness,
    may there be seeing,
    may there be artist lovers who are each other’s muse.”

    Dancing a doomed dance,
    a dance of holy futility,
    the dance of madmen,
    the dance of heretics,
    the dance of censored saints,
    of banished buddhas,
    singing a song of hopeless hope,
    irrational hope,
    unscientific hope,
    the hope of lovers and lunatics,
    a lunatic’s song sung to the moon.

    Dance with us, gentle stranger,
    through this world of Disney deforestation and unexplored abysses
    with unauthorized choreography and wondermented eyes.
    Let us hold the line against the empire of Earth eaters
    for no other reason than that we’re the only ones left
    who are crazy enough to try.

    There may be a hatching yet, gentle stranger.
    Humanity is not broken
    anymore than an egg
    is a broken bird.

    https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/planting-angel-eggs-on-a-dying-world

    Like

    1. Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s POETRY AS INSURGENT ART begins as follows…:

      I am signaling you thru the flames……

      The North Pole is not where it used to be.
      Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.

      Civilization self-destructs.
      Nemesis is knocking at the door.

      What are poets for, in such an age? What is the use of poetry?
      The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.

      If you would be a poet, create works
      capable of answering the challenge of
      apocalyptic times, even if this means
      sounding apocalyptic….

      …an American or a non-American, you can
      conquer the conquerors with words.

      If you would be a poet, write living
      newspapers. Be a reporter from outer space
      filing dispatches to some Supreme
      Managing Editor who believes in full
      disclosure and has a low tolerance for
      bullshit.
      ……………………………………………..

      Caitlin Johnstone is this Planet’s top-ranked Ferlinghettiesque Poet.

      Like

  20. AMERICAN GRAND STRATEGY: DISGUISING DECLINE The United States is in retreat, defeat, or stalemate everywhere, whether in the military arena or in the realm of trade and industrial production. by Michael Lind

    AMERICAN TRIUMPHALISM is back. The difficulties encountered by Vladimir Putin’s regime in its invasion of Ukraine are being used to revive Cold War rhetoric about American leadership, the struggle for global democracy, and Western unity. America as the leader of the Free World is once more in the saddle!

    Unfortunately, it is far from clear that Putin will actually lose the war. If, as a result of a negotiated compromise or prolonged stalemate, much of Ukraine remains indefinitely under Russian occupation, then in spite of the costs Putin will have succeeded in territorial revanchism in Ukraine—in addition to having annexed Crimea and successfully gone to war to keep Georgia out of NATO. The possible admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO would be a symbolic insult to Moscow, but Russia was not going to invade either country anyway.

    ON A GLOBAL LEVEL, THE U.S. CAMPAIGN TO GET OTHER NATIONS TO SANCTION RUSSIA TO PUNISH IT FOR INVADING UKRAINE HAS BEEN A FLOP. A map of the countries that have sanctioned Russia includes the United States and Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Most countries in the rest of the world, including India, Mexico, and Brazil, along with most nations in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa have refused to go along. IN COLD WAR II, THE NONALIGNED BLOC IS BACK.

    WHILE CONGRESS VOTES TO DELIVER ARMS TO BLEED RUSSIA IN A PROXY WAR IN UKRAINE, EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD THE UNITED STATES IS STAGGERING FROM A SERIES OF HUMILIATING STRATEGIC DEFEATS. After two decades of fighting in AFGHANISTAN, Washington abruptly abandoned it to the Taliban in a bug-out even more chaotic and embarrassing than the fall of South Vietnam. In post-Saddam IRAQ, the remaining U.S. presence is opposed by many Iraqis, and the Iraqi parliament recently passed a law punishing the normalization of ties with Israel with death or life imprisonment. In SYRIA, Bashar al-Assad has survived Washington’s war to depose him. The overthrow of Muammar el-Qaddafi in LIBYA by the United States and NATO has produced chaos and disintegration. Remember Tahrir Square? The military is back in charge in EGYPT.

    SO MUCH FOR GEORGE W. BUSH’S GLOBAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION AND BARACK OBAMA’S ARAB SPRING.

    America’s major great-power adversary is CHINA. News that the United States is running short of Javelin and Stinger missiles to resupply Ukraine may confirm those in Beijing WHO THINK AMERICA IS A PAPER TIGER.

    Continued at https://nationalinterest.org/feature/american-grand-strategy-disguising-decline-203305 [EMPHASES added.]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That little New Zealand, led by the US sock puppet Jacinda Adern, has been sucked into this latest US hegemonic US clusterfuck, is really pissing off to a lot of Kiwi’s. She will not be re-elected.

    Like

  22. Can my fellow Bracing Views geo-politics experts please help me?

    I have been sending this email to my US family and friends trying to counter their tedious “Putin is an asshole, Zelenskyy is a savior” meme – and been taking a lot of flak. Am I the one who is f*cked up?

    “So we just let Putin swallow up every neighboring country” is there universal stance:

    My email:
    In Putin’s 18-years in power Russia has invaded (4) Countries. If you can even call them invasions!

    Georgia
    In August 2008 Georgian troops attacked Tskhinval, the capital of South Ossetia, which triggered the intervention of Russian military forces in support of the South Ossetian militias and forced the Georgians to withdraw. The conflict lasted five days and caused 600 deaths. Two weeks later, Russia recognized the independence of the two territories.
    Chechnya
    In 1994, (Putin came into power in 1999) Russia intervened in the two secessionist wars that the Russian Caucasus republic suffered, leaving thousands dead. The intervention ended in 1996 with the withdrawal of the Russian Army
    Kyrgyzstan
    The Kyrgyz interim government asked Russia in 2012 to send peacekeepers to control the situation in the Kyrgyz city of Osh, where clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks had resulted in dozens of deaths. Russian troops have remained in Kyrgyzstan ever since, and Russia has been the republic’s main ally since. In 2017 the two countries agreed to extend the Russian presence for another 15 years.
    Kazakhstan
    In 2022 Kazakhstan was the scene of massive protests, which were repressed by Kazakh forces leaving 240 dead.The country’s president, Kasim-Yomart Tokayev, requested help from the Russian-led post-Soviet military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).The organization’s members, in what was their first intervention in twenty years, sent 2,000 troops, mostly Russian, who left the country days later, once order was restored.

    Pfffffft……

    Since World War II the United States military has killed or helped kill some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 85 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. Google it!

    Feel free to prove that any of this is not true.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jeff and Ray,
        Sometimes I think I am the crazy one.
        And it’s very depressing when your family disowns you for your differing geo-political views.
        For me it’s hard to get my arms around that that my two doctor daughters were taught critical thinking and how to analyze things at med school, and my wife was a Political Science Major at Berkley(!) – which all goes out the window with their intense Russophobia, and absolute devotion to the Democratic Party line.
        Reading your posts everyday keeps me sane.
        Appreciate it.
        Dennis

        Like

        1. First of all, Dennis, the critical thinking and skills to use it Your Daughters learned in medical school as Physicians-in-Training is considerably different from the critical thinking and skills needed to understand geo-politics.

          And second of all, Your daughters were born, raised, and educated in America, correct? What was going on between America and the World while they were growing up and still at home? And do You recall if they ever heard You [or Your Wife, the Berkeley PoliSci Major] criticize anything that the U.S. was doing overseas back then?

          And my guess is that they are probably as afraid of the Chinese as they are the Russians. Or if they aren’t at present, they probably will be soon.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. With the 2nd attempt to offer support Dennis, I got this notice in a format I never saw before on Bill’s site for all the years I’ve been a regular.

          “Sorry, this comment could not be posted”

          Both comments were deleted in the process.”

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Dennis, Caitlan addresses your concerns here,

          […] Because that is the message you will receive when you start asking the important questions and getting the important answers about ruling power structures in our world: people will act like you’re a raving lunatic for talking about US empire malfeasance and western propaganda. Only by mass-scale propaganda brainwashing would it ever appear insane to criticize the most dangerous impulses of the most powerful and destructive government on earth. It’s the most normal, sane and rational thing in the world, but it’s made to look freakish by narrative spin.

          https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/pretending-to-seek-peace-in-an-unwinnable?publication_id=82124

          Like

    1. Dennis: I’d make the point differently. I’d remind them that all governments lie and that all have their instruments of repression.

      I’d remind them of the Pentagon papers, the Afghan War papers, the WMD (never found) in Iraq, etc.

      The message: Always question authority, whether it’s Russian or Chinese or American. Be skeptical. Don’t play the sap.

      As Humphrey Bogart said here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPT49WXC0Zo

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Believe me Bill, I have tried all ways to make my point differently.
        But it’s boiled down to the same response.

        “Dad you are so brainwashed! You have got stop reading all that crap on the internet!”
        “You need to get a hobby! Don’t talk to us about this stuff anymore!”

        I was going to link them to your latest post today. Which is up to your usual high standard.
        But I am tired of being treated like the old demented Uncle at the party.

        It is what it is!

        Like

        1. If they’re not willing to listen, who are the brainwashed ones?

          My sense is that your daughters don’t want to be bothered. Or they see the problems you mention as being beyond their mettle, beyond their span of control.

          Lots of people don’t want to grapple with issues like this. It’s disturbing, it’s frustrating, and it can be downright depressing.

          I would say this to them: It’s not a “hobby” to question authority. It’s our duty as concerned citizens and denizens of planet Earth.

          I’d also say a hobby might be a good idea. How about vintage Italian motorcycles? Maybe you can do something with them.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bill, my overeducated daughters, and many of my old retired American friends, all professionals, are convinced that the Ukrainian ‘War” started on February 20, 2022, when the Hitler-like asshole Putin attacked and invaded the Ukraine to conquer it and pull it back into the communist Soviet Union!

            They do have the time, patience, or willingness to sit down with me and have me explain to them that this “conflict” started in 2014 with Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland, with the help of the US CIA, pouring gasoline on the fire that was a coup that saw the Ukraine become controlled by Neo-Nazi inspired politicians with a hatred of Russia. And that since then there has been a bloody civil war going – on with Ukrainians killing Ukrainians. And Nato taking advantage of this to move in on Russia’s border in the Ukraine. They will not go there.

            Hell, they could go online – they are smart educated people – and study this for themselves. But like an alcoholic, they need to be convinced they have a problem. Like in the Vietnam war, they think the whole problem is because of those land grabbing hegemonistic commies! And after the Ukraine Putin is going to attack other European countries like Hitler did. And its America job to save the World from this

            The thing that’s sad, and hard for me to come to grips with – is that these are people whom I respect and in all other areas of their lives have made great decisions leading to their success and happiness! But won’t talk to me about this. (And I am a person with good people management skills, trained in how to talk to people, that saw me promoted to running staffs of 200!)

            Like

            1. Do NOT have!
              Bill, respectfully my man, this WordPress software degrades your excellent site.
              I know you have explained why you don’t change to Disqus – but holy cow this gets old!

              Like

  23. For all the latest US/NATO spin Putin declared Martial Law in the annexed territories, the reality is somewhat different.

    The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, already had martial law in place when they became parts of Russia.
    The decision provides the legal basis for it to remain in place under Russian sovereignty, Putin said during a meeting of the National Security Council.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Something to digest.

    The CEO of Lockheed Martin has a salary of $2,500,000 a MONTH. BIG money in the killing business!

    That’s way beyond ANY Human need, as Jeff Bezos tells Americans to batten down the hatches to deal with the Economic Turmoil on the way

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray, here are the numbers I found on the internet

      In 2017, Marilyn Hewson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation made:

      a base salary of $1.7 million
      stock awards of $9.5 million
      non-equity incentive plan award (essentially, a cash bonus) of $8.3 million
      other perquisites of $.7 million.

      Her total compensation of all of the above was $20.2 million in 2017.

      Pushing my old trusty HP45 calculator(made in the USA) that’s $1,683,333 per month.
      But who’s quibbling eh?
      How the hell does one human being spend over $1,5-million month after month after month?
      It’s obscene let alone immoral. I don’t know how this person looks at him/herself in the mirror.

      But it’s not confined to the MIC
      USA Today Dec 2020: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made $42.9 million in the 2019 fiscal year, more than all but two other CEOs of the 100 largest companies in the United States and 66% more than he made the year before. The increase was largely attributable to the value of stock options he was awarded.

      But their are much easier of making much bigger bucks!
      MacKenzie Scott is an American novelist and philanthropist. As of September 2022, she has a net worth of US$33.4 billion, owing to a 4% stake in Amazon, the company founded by her ex-husband Jeff Bezos. As such, Scott is the third-wealthiest woman in the United States and the 21st-wealthiest individual in the world.

      Like

  25. If “America’s Business is War,” looks like business might be picking up in the not-too-distant future. At least if the CNO has anything to say about it…. :

    NAVY LEADER ‘CAN’T RULE OUT’ CHINESE INVASION OF TAIWAN EVEN EARLIER THAN 2027
    by Valerie Insinna

    WASHINGTON — The US Navy needs to be prepared to react to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan at any time, even as soon as this year or next, the service’s top officer said today.

    The Chinese Communist Party wrapped up its 20th national congress on Sunday, and while the US military is still analyzing the implications of Chinese leaders’ public statements regarding the island democracy, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday cautioned that China could meet its military goals sooner than many in Washington expected.

    “It’s not just what [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] says, it’s how the Chinese behave and what they do. And what we’ve seen over the past 20 years is that they have delivered on every promise they’ve made earlier than they said they were going to deliver on it,” he said during an event held by the Atlantic Council.

    “SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE 2027 WINDOW” FOR AN INVASION OF TAIWAN — A TIMETABLE FAMOUSLY FLOATED IN 2021 BY ADM. PHIL DAVIDSON, THEN THE HEAD OF US INDO-PACIFIC COMMAND — “IN MY MIND, THAT HAS TO BE A 2022 WINDOW OR POTENTIALLY A 2023 WINDOW,” Gilday said. “I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean at all to be alarmist by saying that. It’s just that we can’t wish that away.”

    Continued at https://breakingdefense.com/2022/10/navy-leader-cant-rule-out-chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-even-earlier-than-2027/ [EMPHASIS added.]

    Like

  26. ‘U.S. Regime Now Applies Maximum Brutality to the Ukrainian People’

    The lowest of the low in warfare is to send to the battlefront poorly trained troops and to have trailing behind them troops whose function is to shoot to kill any of those frontline poorly trained troops who try to retreat. That is what the United States command (the “NATO command” as Russia calls it — though Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO, and all of the top-command decisions for Ukraine’s forces in this war are now being made by the U.S. Government and by no one else) of Ukraine’s war with Russia on the battlefields of Ukraine has ordered, and what Ukraine’s forces now are doing especially in the region of Kherson in Ukraine’s south.

    There will be hell to pay for this by Ukraine’s President Volodmyr Zelensky when this war is over. He has become so desperate to stay in charge so that he allows this to happen to his people instead of his surrendering in order to save them from the double destitution of having warfare being imposed upon them now not only by the enemy’s forces — which is what happens in ANY war — but ALSO by ‘their own’ forces (who are actually being led by a foreign power — the U.S. Government). Before the U.S. coup in Ukraine in February 2014, the vast majority of Ukrainians considered NATO to be Ukraine’s enemy, but that switched to “friend” immediately afterward.
    What will be their opinion of NATO after this war is over and Ukraine’s total crackdown on its press is no longer in force?

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-regime-now-applies-maximum-brutality-ukrainian-people/5796799

    Like

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