Military William Astore

The New Cold War Is Here to Stay, Until It Isn’t

While you may be horrified by events in Ukraine, the question is, why aren’t you more horrified by the way your tax dollars continue to create an ever-more militarized American world?
“For Kubrick.” [Illustration by Mr. Fish]

By William Astore | TomDispatch

In certain quarters in this country, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has generated enthusiasm for a new cold war. At the New York Times, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have been described as “children of the [old] Cold War” now involved in a “face off,” an “eyeball to eyeball” confrontation harkening back to John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev contesting Berlin and Cuba in “dramatic fashion” 60 years ago. (Never mind that the “drama” over Cuba nearly led to nuclear war and the possible end of most life on Earth.) Such breathless accounts make me think of the role Slim Pickens played as Major Kong in Stanley Kubrick’s famed film Dr. Strangelove, giddy with resolve, even relief of a kind, now that he and his B-52 crew are finally headed for nuclear combat with the Russkies.

Whatever else one might say of the crisis in Ukraine, the new cold war dreamscape that Washington think tanks and the Pentagon helped promulgate over the last decade against Russia or China or both is here to stay. Consider that a calamity in its own right. The end of America’s failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the disastrous results of America’s Global War on Terror launched amid a barrage of lies and self-praise, might indeed have left an opening, however slight, for a shift away from colossal military budgets and creeping militarization.

Russia’s ill-planned and immoral invasion of Ukraine marks the definitive end of that possibility, however small it might have been. Putin’s actions, whatever their motivation and justification, are being seized upon by the military-industrial-congressional complex as proof positive that Pentagon budgets, already in the stratosphere, must soar higher yet. For so many of the Putin-haters (and I’m no fan), his destructive actions supposedly demonstrate why the U.S. must be prepared to double down in kind. 

That, of course, means yet more weapons production and sales globally for the country that’s already the planet’s leading purveyor of such products. It also means more bellicose rhetoric, and ultimately more militarism, because that’s all Putin and his authoritarian ilk will allegedly ever understand (as is sadly true of so many in Washington as well). Consider all this a peculiar form of American madness, akin to the idea that a guy with a gun, or better yet, lots of guys with lots of guns, the more powerful the better, are the sanest way to prevent gun violence.

Thought about a certain way, in taking such an approach, our government and, by extension, the American people are ceding our autonomy of thought and action to “bad actors” like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. For every war Putin launches, America, so we’re told, must respond with yet more weapons sales, troop deployments, debilitating sanctions, and above all, astronomically higher military spending. For every aircraft carrier the Chinese build, or any new expansion onto yet another tiny island in the South China Sea, the U.S. military must “pivot” harder toward Asia, while building yet more staggeringly expensive ships of its own. As possibilities, disengagement and détente go unmentioned. “Peace” isn’t a word American presidents favor anymore. As a result, even modest military moves by Putin and Xi are essentially guaranteed to drive the U.S. economy yet deeper into militarized debt. (As if $6 trillion already squandered on the disastrous war on terror wasn’t pricey enough.) After all, full-spectrum dominance over the global battlespace, a fantasy in the “best” of times, and a new cold war won’t come cheap, a fact that U.S. weapons manufacturers are surely banking on.

Even before the recent Russian invasion, estimates for the fiscal year 2023 Pentagon budget had risen to $770 billion or even $800 billion. With Russian tanks now rolling through (or stalled in) Ukraine, you can bet your bottom dollar that $800 billion will be the floor, not the ceiling for that future budget and the Pentagon’s 2023 demands from Congress. This country, we’re once again hearing, is to be the arsenal of democracy (to steal a phrase from the World War II era). But count on this: if you’re not careful an arsenal of democracy can easily enough devolve into little more than an arsenal. And that time, I suspect, is now.

The World Is Not Enough

Don’t misunderstand me: I condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s a horror and an obvious disaster in the making. That said, Russia may have a super nuclear arsenal, but it’s not a superpower, despite all those Cold War memories of ours, nor does its attack on Ukraine, in and of itself, pose a major threat to our own national security. Indeed, experts around the world have been predicting for decades that NATO expansion, exacerbated by U.S. meddling in Ukraine, could provoke Vladimir Putin to launch just such a war. In short, Russia’s invasion was indeed predictable, even if not faintly excusable.

Nor are the Russian president’s designs on Ukraine and his quest for greater power in eastern Europe historically surprising. In fact, serious self-reflection should lead us to the obvious conclusion that the scale of Russia’s ambitions, objectionable as they might be, are also limited compared to ours.

Again, Russia remains a distinctly regional power, while the United States still fancies itself to be the last remaining superpower on planet Earth. No other country comes close to the scale of our global ambitions (and they’re higher still, if you count this country’s Trump-era Space Force with its vision that the heavens are but the next “warfighting domain” for us to dominate). In other words, in this century, when it came to our military, the world was not enough. All realms were to be under its command: land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace. Note, in fact, that we have a military force or special military command for all of them and our leaders simply take for granted that such dominance is to be ours and no one else’s.

Think about it. Of all the countries on Earth, only the U.S. divides the entire globe into military commands run by four-star generals and admirals; only America has 750 or so military bases scattered across every continent except Antarctica; only America sees a country — I’m thinking here of Ukraine (although not so long ago it could have been Afghanistan or Iraq), roughly 5,000 miles away across a vast ocean, as its legitimate eastern flank. At the same time, only this country sees a body of water like the South China Sea as a lake for its Navy to navigate and dominate, as if it were part of our coastal waters. 

Imagine, for a moment, that Russia or China had an America Command, an AMERCOM. Imagine that Russian advisors were training and equipping Canadian troops, while Chinese aircraft carrier task forces regularly sailed the Gulf of Mexico. As Americans, we, of course, can’t imagine such things and yet that’s the world we inhabit, even if in reverse.

Most of us seem to consider the imperial ambitions of this country, including the eventual expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Georgia and the continued deployment of powerful aircraft carrier battlegroups near the coast of China, as benign, uncontroversial evidence of our military resolve. Under the circumstances, it shouldn’t be that hard to recognize that others on this planet might not feel quite the same way.

That America’s pursuit of global reach and global power would be seen as a challenge, indeed a provocation, by a regional power like Russia or one with full-scale imperial ambitions, even if of a largely economic sort, like China with its trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, should surprise no one. Under the circumstances, it was inevitable that, sooner or later, this country’s continued pursuit of full-spectrum dominance would produce a new cold war, as certain American experts predicted, and some seemed to desire.  Think of the chaotic and disturbed world we’re now living in as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, as well as a rare “triumph” of long-term strategic planning by certain elements within the national security state. What they wished for, they got.  Today, it should be all too obvious that the results are anything but pleasing.

Your Role as a Loyal American in the New Cold War

My fellow Americans, in this new cold war of ours, the national security state expects both all too much and all too little of you. Let’s start with the little. It doesn’t expect you to enlist in the military if you’re rich or have “other priorities” (as former Vice President Dick Cheney said about the Vietnam War). It doesn’t expect you to pay close attention to our wars, let alone foreign policy. You don’t even have to vote. It does, however, expect you to cheer at the right times, be “patriotic,” wave the flag, gush about America, and celebrate its fabulous, militarized exceptionalism.

To enlist in this country’s cheerleading squad, which is of course God’s squad, you might choose to wear a flag lapel pin and affix a “Support Our Troops” sticker to your SUV. You should remind everyone that “freedom isn’t free” and that “God, guns, and guts” made America great. If the godly empire says Ukraine is a worthy friend, you might add a blue-and-yellow “frame” to your Facebook profile photo. If that same empire tells you to ignore ongoing U.S. drone strikes in Somalia and U.S. support for an atrocious Saudi war in Yemen, you are expected to comply. Naturally, you’ll also be expected to pay your taxes without complaint, for how else are we to buy all the weapons and wage all the wars that America needs to keep the peace?

Naturally, certain people need to be collectively despised in our very own version of George Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate.” So, when Putin’s visage comes on the screen, or Xi’s, or Kim Jong-un’s, or whoever the enemy du jour is, be prepared to express your outrage. Be prepared to treat them as aliens, almost incomprehensible in their barbarity, as if, in fact, they were Klingons in the original Star Trek series. As a peaceful member of the “Federation,” dominated by the United States, you must, of course, reject those Klingon nations and their warrior vision of life, their embrace of might-makes-right, choosing instead the logic, balance, and diplomacy of America’s enlightened State Department (backed up, of course, by the world’s greatest military).

Again, little is expected of you (so far) except your obedience, which should be enthusiastic rather than reluctant. Yet whether you know it or not, much is expected of you as well. You must surrender any hopes and dreams you’ve harbored of a fairer, kinder, more equitable and just society. For example, military needs in the new cold war simply won’t allow us to “build back better.” Forget about money for childcare, a $15 federal minimum wage, affordable healthcare for all, better schools, or similar “luxuries.” Maybe in some distant future (or some parallel universe), we’ll be able to afford such things, but not when we’re faced with the equivalent of the Klingon Empire that must be stopped at any cost.

But wait! I hear some of you saying that it doesn’t have to be this way! And I agree. A better future could be imagined. A saying of John F. Kennedy’s comes to mind: “We shall be judged more by what we do at home than what we preach abroad.” What we’re currently doing at home is building more weapons, sinking more tax dollars into the Pentagon, and enriching more warrior-corporations at the expense of the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable. Where’s the democratic future in that?

Sheer military might, our leaders seem to believe, will keep them forever riding high in the saddle. Yet you can ride too high in any saddle, making the fall that’s coming that much more precipitous and dangerous.

Americans, acting in concert, could stop that fall, but not by giving our current crop of leaders a firmer grasp of the reins. Do that and they’ll just spur this nation to greater heights of military folly. No, we must have the courage to unseat them from their saddles, strip them of their guns, and corral their war horses, before they lead us into yet another disastrously unending cold war that could threaten the very existence of humanity. We need to find another way that doesn’t prioritize weapons and war, but values compromise, compassion, and comity.

At this late date, I’m not sure we can do it. I only know that we must.

William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history, is a TomDispatch regular and a senior fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN), an organization of critical veteran military and national security professionals. His personal blog is Bracing Views.


  1. Let us not forget that the REAL beneficiaries of war are the Global Corporate Arms dealers, and the governments they prop up. The US benefits as well, hence their desire to keep the war going as long as possible as have in many other instances.

    I fell that we must have a law which requires any politician who votes or supports war to lead the troops into battle and take up arms themselves before they volunteer our men ,women, and children for the killing fields. This might result in fewer wars.

  2. Yikes, William’s virtue USA forever signaling in his first line. Sad, the ex USAF facilitators of bombing runs on villages, orphanages, wedding parties.

    Another take, now, hold onto your kitty litter, below, quoting M. WHitney. But first, those Nazi’s, a short primer —

    Remember the Nazi-CIA Connection — Standard operating procedure in the Home of the Brave

    by Mickey Z. / March 14th, 2022

    Whitney, quoting him:

    A war of annihilation is a war in which the goal is the complete obliteration of the state and the extermination of its people. It is defined as a radicalized form of warfare in which “all psycho-physical limits” are abolished and the strategic goals are pursued by any means necessary. It is war without rules, restrictions or moral constraints. The United States is in the early phases of a war of annihilation against Russia the aim of which is the total destruction of the economy, the culture, the population and the nation.

    “We have seen 5 waves of NATO expansion. Now NATO is in Romania and Poland and they are deploying their missile-attack systems there. That’s what we are talking about. You need to understand, we are not threatening anyone. Russia did not come to the US borders or the UK borders. No. You came to our borders and now you are saying, ‘Ukraine will join NATO and will deploy their systems there. They will deploy their military bases and their attack-systems.’ We are concerned about our security. Do you understand what that means?” Vladimir Putin, press conference, You Tube

    Question– Is there a justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

    Answer– Yes, there is. Russia was being threatened by developments in Ukraine, so it told Ukraine to either stop what it was doing or suffer the consequences. Ukraine chose to ignore those warnings, so Russia invaded. That is basically what happened.

    Question– But how does that justify the invasion, after all, Ukraine is a sovereign country and sovereign countries should be able to do whatever they want to on their own territory, right?

    Answer– No, that’s wrong. Ukraine does not have the right to do whatever it wants on its own territory. Ukraine and more than 50 other countries signed treaties (“at the OSCE summits in Istanbul in 1999 and in Astana in 2010”) agreeing that they would not strengthen their own security at the expense of other’s security. This is called the “indivisibility of security”, but in practical terms it just means that you can’t put artillery pieces and tanks on your driveway and point them at my house. Because that would undermine my security. Do you understand? The same rule applies to nations.

    If we accept your reasoning on the matter, then we’d have to conclude that John Kennedy had no right to challenge Fidel Castro for putting nuclear weapons in Cuba. But he did have the right because Castro’s action put the US at risk of a nuclear attack. In other words, Castro had no right to improve his own security at the expense of the United States. This is no different. Putin has every right to defend the safety and security of the Russian people, in fact, that is what people expect of their leaders.

    Question– You’re not making any sense. Putin invaded Ukraine, therefore, Putin is an aggressor.

    Answer– I disagree, but instead of arguing about it, let’s use an analogy:

    Let’s say, I hold a gun to your head and threaten to blow your brains out. But you quickly grab the gun and shoot me in the leg. Who is to blame for that incident?

    If you think that I am responsible, you’re right. The victim, in this case, simply reacted in a way that would best ensure his own safety. That’s called self-defense which is perfectly legal.

    This same standard can be applied to Russia, whose “Special Military Operation” is a preemptive step to defend its own national security. Russia has no designs on Ukrainian territory nor does it seek to mettle in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Russia’s sole objective is to end the existential crisis that was created by Washington. It was Washington that encouraged NATO to pump Ukraine full of lethal weapons. It was Washington that provided arms for the far-right extremists that were threatening ethnic Russians in east Ukraine. It was Washington that coaxed Ukrainian President Zelensky to jettison Minsk and to publicly support the development of nuclear weapons. It was Washington that launched the coup in 2014 that deposed the democratically-elected president and replaced him with a US-puppet. And, it was Washington that has done everything in its power to isolate and demonize Russia following provocations that were entirely of its own making. In short, it was Washington that held a gun to Russia’s head and threatened to blow its brains out.

    Can’t you see that or are you so brainwashed you think this fiasco started when Putin’s tanks rolled across the border? Even the most avid CNN propagandist doesn’t believe that nonsense. The crisis began with the relentless buildup of weaponry followed by one calculated incitement after the other. Russia was deliberately and repeatedly provoked. No one who’s followed events closely would dispute that.

    By the way, Putin has never talked about toppling the government in Kiev and replacing it with a Moscow-backed stooge. No. His plan is aimed at “demilitarization” and “denazification.” Why?

    Because those are his only objectives. He wants to destroy the weapons that NATO and the US have been shipping to Ukraine (to fuel the conflict) and he wants to eradicate the Nazi militants that are the sworn enemy of the Russian Federation.

    Is that unreasonable? Do you think the US would act any differently if Mexico allowed Al Qaida and ISIS cells to operate openly in Guadalajara or Acapulco? Don’t be ridiculous. They’d bomb the entire region to smithereens without batting an eye.

    Would you call that “an invasion,” too?

    No, Washington would probably call it a “Special Military Operation” just like Russia is calling its intervention a “Special Military Operation.”

    The problem here is not what Russia is doing, the problem is that a different standard is always applied to the United States. All I’m asking is that people engage their own critical thinking skills—ignore the hysterical braying of the media—and make their own judgement on the matter.

    Russia did what anyone would do; it reacted in a way that would best ensure its own safety. By definition, that is self-defense. It removed itself from the threat of great harm or death, and is now in the process of reestablishing its own security. Ukraine chose to ignore Russia’s legitimate security concerns, and now Ukraine is paying the price. Here’s is an excellent summary of the events preceeding the Russian operation from an article at the World Socialist Web Site:

    “The narrative in the media, which presents the invasion as an unprovoked action, is a fabrication that conceals the aggressive actions by the NATO powers, in particular the United States, and its puppets in the Ukrainian government.…

    In Europe and Asia, the US pursued a strategy aimed at encircling and subjugating Russia. Directly violating its earlier promises that the Soviet bureaucracy and Russian oligarchy were delusional enough to believe, NATO has expanded to include almost all major countries in Eastern Europe, apart from Ukraine and Belarus.

    In 2014, the US orchestrated a far-right coup in Kiev that overthrew a pro-Russian government that had opposed Ukrainian membership in NATO. In 2018, the US officially adopted a strategy of preparing for “great power conflict” with Russia and China. In 2019, it unilaterally withdrew from the INF Treaty, which banned the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Preparations for war with Russia and the arming of Ukraine were at the center of the Democrats’ first attempt to impeach Donald Trump in 2019.

    Over the past year…the Biden administration recklessly escalated provocations against Russia….The key to understanding this is the US-Ukrainian Charter on Strategic Partnership, signed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on November 10, 2021….”

    The Charter endorsed Kiev’s military strategy from March 2021, which explicitly proclaimed the military goal of “retaking” Crimea and the separatist-controlled Donbass, and thereby dismissed the Minsk Agreements of 2015, which were the official framework for settling the conflict in East Ukraine….

    Washington also explicitly endorsed “Ukraine’s efforts to maximize its status as a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner to promote interoperability,” that is, its integration into NATO’s military command structures.

    Ukraine’s non-membership in NATO is and was, for all intents and purposes, a fiction. At the same time, the NATO powers exploited the fact that Ukraine is not officially a member as an opportunity to stoke a conflict with Russia that would not immediately develop into a world war.

    The US was fully aware that fascist forces in Ukraine would play the principal role of shock troops against both the Russian military and opposition within the population….Their descendants, from the fascist Svoboda Party to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, are now deeply integrated into the Ukrainian state and military and are being heavily armed with NATO weapons.

    It will fall to historians to uncover what promises the Ukrainian oligarchy received from Washington in exchange for its pledge to turn the country into a killing field and launching pad for war with Russia. But one thing is clear: The Kremlin and Russian general staff could not but read this document as the announcement of an impending war.

    Throughout 2021 and in the weeks immediately preceding the invasion, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin repeatedly warned that Ukraine’s integration into NATO and its arming by the Western powers constituted a “red line” for Russia, and demanded “security guarantees” from the US and NATO.

    However, the US contemptuously dismissed all these statements, and NATO staged one major military exercise on Russia’s borders after another…, in the weeks leading up to the war, while constantly warning of an impending Russian invasion, the Biden administration made no diplomatic effort to avoid it and instead did everything it could to provoke it.” (“The US-Ukrainian Strategic Partnership of November 2021 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine”, World Socialist Web Site)

    1. How would the US respond to tens of thousands of Russian/Chinese troops amassing in Canada or Mexico, inching up to the US border? Russia is responding to Biden moving tens of thousands of US/NATO troops into Eastern Europe over the past year (in violation of the 1990 NATO agreement) — to invade Ukraine and attempt to invade Russia. Last week, on cue, party loyalists shouted, “Russia’s invading Ukraine!” Not a word about those US/NATO troops.

  3. A new Cold War may be the least of our problems. Our leaders have brought us to the brink of a nuclear conflagration, apparently.

    Consider the massive Western propaganda exercise in progress, complete with censorship on an unprecedented scale. And it is working. Russia is hated as never before in the West, and Putin is the new Hitler (never mind that he lost an older brother he never knew in the siege of Leningrad, where his mother almost died.) Zelenskyy, lauded as I write by NPR’s On Point as the West’s newest heroic Jewish leadership figure, heads a puppet government installed by the NED and the US government.

    A close examination of the news reveals that Israeli PM Bennett has been to Moscow and met with Putin in an attempt to mediate the crisis precipitated by Washington’s persistent provocations and Zelenskyy’s neo-Nazis’s attacks on Russian-speaking Ukrainians. A subsequent Jerusalem Post report indicated that Bennet advised Zelenskyy to accept Putin’s terms for an end to the fighting. Both Israeli and Ukrainian governments promptly denied that report.

    Now we learn from Haaretz that “A representative of Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party raised an initiative last week to purchase islands in Greece using money from the Jewish National Fund ‘for the good of the Jewish people.’

    “Avri Steiner – Kahol Lavan’s representative on the board of directors of Himnuta, a company owned by the Jewish national fund – brought the unusual proposal to the board last Thursday. According to several sources who were present at the meeting, Steiner, who was appointed to the board by Gantz, argued that the islands should be purchased ‘to create a haven for the Jewish People in case of emergency, as a place for Jewish refugees in times of war.'”

    One wonders, given the trauma attendant upon tragic loss of some six million Jews who perished in the Nazi holocaust, still within living memory if only just, and the far reaching effects of that terrible loss and trauma, should the world have paid a bit more attention to the trauma associated with the loss of more than 26 million Russians who perished in the successful effort to beat back the Nazi Wehrmacht? Perhaps Gantz has looked into the Russian soul and perceived there unflinching resolve.

  4. What we’re doing at home is imposing sanctions, in the form of neoliberal austerity, on our own people, and have been doing this since 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected.

  5. Another well balanced article putting reasoned context into the insanity happening in the world and the USA’s part in all of it, unlike so many mass hysteria articles whereby Putin is the most evil dude in the entire universe. Scheerpost is one of the few remaining places you can find some sanity these days.
    Having said that, Mr. Fish’s cartoon of Putin riding an atomic bomb is nothing but a bit of that same mass hysteria which I find so distressing. And no, I am not supporting Putin and his illegal invasion by saying that.
    After all the USA that is the only country that has actually dropped not one, but two atomic bombs on civilian populations. Where was the outrage and sanctions when that took place. Where was the outrage and sanctions when the USA destroyed Iraq on nothing but lies. Libya? Etc. Such hypocrisy is disingenuous and dangerous as it only fuels the narrative that when the USA does such things it must be good. Mr. Fish’s cartoon was a really bad and shameful choice as far as I am concerned.

    1. Agreed! Thank you for your post! My mind is so boggled by the rampant hypocrisy of US MsM and Biden et al I cannot begin to express myself. Thank you for doing it for me.

    2. @Schrodinger’sCat
      I also agree with your comment about the cartoon. But your first sentence says that you think that this column was “well balanced.” I don’t agree with that. See my comment below. There are good points made in this column, but it still has the Ugly American attitude regarding Russia, China, and their leaders. We probably agree that there are no good guys here, but for an American to complain about any other country or its leaders is hypocritical and immoral BS.

  6. Mr. Fish should have placed Zelensky, Biden, Victoria Nuland, Blinken, Pompeo, Kamala, Stoltenberg, Truss, or Pelosi joyriding on the nukular bomb, not Putin. Putin is not out for ajoyride, but Western/US/Eu/Nato leaders and agitpropagandists clearly are.

  7. “Americans, acting in concert, could stop that fall, but not by giving our current crop of leaders a firmer grasp of the reins. Do that and they’ll just spur this nation to greater heights of military folly. No, we must have the courage to unseat them from their saddles, strip them of their guns, and corral their war horses, before they lead us into yet another disastrously unending cold war that could threaten the very existence of humanity. We need to find another way that doesn’t prioritize weapons and war, but values compromise, compassion, and comity.
    At this late date, I’m not sure we can do it. I only know that we must.”

    The only way to “unseat them from their saddles” without open rebellion is at the polls … and that “current crop of leaders” that needs to be “unseated” is the same crop we have been putting in power for many decades – There is another retired military officer who is running for Senate in NC who feels the same way – that is why he is running – as a Green

    At this late date, I’m not sure we can do it either, I only know that we must.

  8. Earth 🌍 looks so beautiful from space. Too bad it’s nature is but a retched affair!

  9. I don’t think this ends well. In fact it is hard to imagine it ending in any way short of catastrophic. So many existential threats, so many madmen and psychopaths in positions of power, such a hollowed out system, such an ignorant and brainwashed populace….tell me how does this end in any way short of our collective doom?

    If your a realist then in your heart you know it too. Enjoy every moment now while you can because there won’t be much to enjoy where we are headed.

    1. @JustAMaverick
      Don’t ever give up hope! Just because things look bleak doesn’t mean that they can’t turn around. I’ve learned from both playing and watching sports that if you keep trying, you never know what might happen. This is not to say that the odds of a good outcome are high, quite the contrary. But we have to keep fighting these psychopaths, losing hope and giving up is not an option.

  10. It’s impossible not to notice the abrupt reframing of events in a way more suitable to promoting the Democrat Party. We watched over the past year as Biden amassed thousands of US/NATO troops in Eastern Europe (in direct violation of the 1990 NATO agreement, but let’s not bother with that point), closing in on Ukraine’s border, then shrieking, “Russia’s invading Ukraine!” Predictable, since we’ve seen this show before.

  11. W. ASTORE wrote comments that the rest of the,
    Non white world ( British India / Japan do not regard them selves as non white) already realizes.

    USA has the perfect marriage of War economy, war culture and war media to have perpetual military conflicts overseas.

    The American Empire must not allow any other nations to be strong and rich as it challenges the Yankee might.
    China with the huge economy is the greatest enemy and Russia with huge amounts of nukes and influence is also an evil enemy.

    India will rise to be a huge economic power but then somehow, some way, it too will be diminished so that American Empire can consume that world resources cheaply and human resources without restraint.

    Please don’t blame the American public for unanimous support of all wars, for lack of knowledge or apathy . They are not dumb. They fully realize and approve of their imperialism and are complicit in their lies, Falsehoods, and slanders and fabricated crimes to ensure war occurs.

    If Russia fails in their war, a puppet regime will be put in Moscow and China will devolve into centuries of more humiliation again.
    This scenario is the perfect dream of Nato. And seems likely these days.

  12. Americans are too stupefied with alcohol/drugs, television, and their devices to dissent. They are completely mind-controlled and consumed with hatred, fueled by decades of mass propaganda. I fear for my son’s future.

  13. Today is national ‘ Pi’ day.
    War in Ukraine is no holiday.
    Arms dealers have record breaking sales.
    Mean while, negotiations at pace of snails.
    At stake is much more than Ukrainian fate.
    A lost would be Putin, and Xi’ s checkmate.
    Nato and the west has the upper hand, no doubt.
    Desperately, Russia and China now searching for an out.
    Stalin and Mao had better smarts, it seems
    As Joe and USA counter every schemes.
    Quite possibly, This water Tiger year
    Is the end for the Dragon and Bear.
    Unless another million man army,
    From Russia far east makes the journey.

  14. (Originally posted under Hedges’ “Waltzing Toward Armageddon with the Merchants of Death.”)

    “The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.” (George Orwell, 1984)

    As hysteria around the pseudo-pandemic began to wane in the face of mounting resistance and revelation of the true plagues of totalitarian rule, including off-the-chart, across-the-board excess mortality following bioweaponized non-vaccines, now we are awash in a new wave of panic porn around war in Ukraine. Given fake film footage of combat and destruction flooding propaganda sources, blue-and-yellow, color-revolution theatrics among Euro-American populations to manufacture solidarity with Ukraine to the benefit of longstanding US-NATO aggression, revisionist rehabilitation of a war criminal like Zelensky into a war hero such that yesterday’s shelling of the Donbass has become today’s defense of the people, continuing management of noble lies like the free world’s support for neonazis since overthrow of an elected government in 2014, reports of minimal casualties from the invasion, and more, we in the West (or Oceania) may wonder whether we are now being subjected to a pseudo-war.

    What above all, or beneath all, remains hidden in plain sight, however, is how this opportune conflict presented repeatedly, relentlessly, as the threat of WW3, if not nuclear annihilation, notwithstanding prior conflicts on the grand chessboard of global imperialism having posed similar risk, keeps providing means for further rollout of the New World Order, and world war upon humanity, initiated two years ago with the covid coup and its Big Brother biosecurity state. Consider, for example, how coveniently crackdown on mis-, dis-, and mal-information receives new life for killing free speech, and with it any other semblance of freedom, beyond the already formidable assaults launched with the virus crisis and blitzkrieg imposition of infrastructure for an absolutized AI-Panopticon and universal surveillance system over social relations. This same fasicst logic of lockdown on a prison planet still prevails as we remain instructed, as always in times of war’s health for the state, as to what and what is not thought crime by thought police from the Department of Homeland Security priming us for the war on domestic terrorism to professional class punditry spewing forth a resurrected round of cold-war anti-communism in anti-Russian rhetorical hype.

    While such scenes of repression remain normative in the new abnormal of the West, Russian overlords likewise impose even stiffer penalties upon its domestic population, its people as it were, for daring to even utter the word war, let alone world war. Instead, there’s a not-war (cf. Edward Slavsquat), or an operation to defend its own homeland. Given precedent of restraint in such geopolitical confrontation as Syria, as well as non-intervention in the numerous US-NATO encroachments upon Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics, such characterization may be less far from the truth, even as prohibition of people speaking any other truths than those prescribed by the Ministry of Truth prevails.

    But this is only one of the many major fronts of the world war on humanity already underway before this war came along for both further distraction and destruction. Consider again how, for example, the World Bank/IMF front of financial rule over non-sovereign nations in debt bondage lays down terms for loan assistance to Ukraine which look to include UBI tied to injections from the Pharmafia (Ukraine has had low numbers of injected), and how Clearview AI, another company of corporate state billionaire and private partner (e.g., Palantir) with the military intelligence complex Peter Thiel, offers free aid for slavery to facial recognition and biometrics throughout a country supposedly under more serious siege from other enemies of its people.

    Meanwhile, excess mortality from the non-vaccine on both sides of the divide between Oceania and Eurasia remain overshadowed by the fog of this war and its frenzy for forgetfulness of that other war on, or rather of, bioterror. Even as other centers of the transnational ruling class like the WHO work behind the scenes now commanding programmed perception on another international treaty outside any popular consent, much less control, for the final solution to be irreversibly binding according to what passes as the rule of law under the organized crime of class rule.

    As economic supply lines for the (re)production of human life break down from war’s interruptions of trade beyond the lock downs of medical martial law, with smoke-and-mirrors sanctions providing additionally righteous cover for the already ascending inflation from the latter’s state-of-emergency state of siege, we the people across respective spheres of influence of these regional blocs are driven into deeper austerity and immiseration. And untermenschen in the old abnormal’s neocolonial domains, where third world war was waged under cover of cold war, await increasing famine and descent into greater genocide beyond that already suffered in the name of public health.

    With Russia’s likely economic if not military alliance with China (itself reeling economically), the old abnormal’s unipolar system of global capital under US hegemony will move closer to its expiration date, served notice by stakeholder capitalism’s Great Reset which takes China’s digital dictatorship as its model. Present war in Ukraine simply extends shock-doctrine destabilization and regime change of disaster capitalism initiated with the covid coup, especially targeting remnants of any (illusion of) liberal democracy for replacement by totalitarian technocracy extending across a multipolar world remarkably resembling the tripolar divide-and-rule, post-national order of 1984. While numbers of casualties inside the more or less impenetrable boundaries of Ukraine remain dubious, if not subject to inflation from psychological warfare where truth is always the first casualty, sudden influx of arguably greater numbers of refugees into nations of the West in particular add more to the strategy of tension, perhaps contributing more force to divide-and-rule immigration crises by reason of refugees who are unvaxxed setting up a pandemic of the unvaccinated for more mandates, passport restrictions, and (not-so) inalienable rights made conditional (and who knows where the Ukrainian biolab narrative will try to take us?).

    If war in Ukraine does not develop into wider conflagration, or nuclear end-of-the-world horrors, we still should realize we have arrived at Armageddon. The “masters of mankind” (Adam Smith) are going all out to get it all, converting us slaves of labor in the process to biodigital slaves, depopulating us useless eaters by any means necessary, whether as genetically modified property for lethal injection or radioactive ash. Wake up from the dreams of these monsters, and rise up against our real enemies, and fight the real war against those who would turn our common earth into a transhuman, post-apocalyptic nightmare. It’s now or never.

  15. this inept flailing is unsurprising—this has been observed in all decayed empires near collapse; the US empire will disintegrate in less than 10 years. much of the former ukraine has been permanently liberated from US supported and created nazis. impotent sanctions only reify how US empire has failed. after 60 years US sanctions have failed to regime change Cuba. the Taliban victory exposes the irrelevance of the angloshere, its imperialism, materialism, fascism and racism. that only a few nations can be coerced to impose sanctions today demonstrates that this desperation has failed

    1. @george simmel
      If Saudi Arabia agrees to accept payment for oil by China in yuan instead of U.S. dollars as seems at least somewhat possible, the collapse of the U.S. empire may indeed be at hand. “At hand” could mean decades, but it would almost certainly be the beginning of the end for the current evil empire. I think that Saudi Arabia would be crazy to do this considering that it depends on the U.S. for all of its military equipment and weapons, but hey, crazier things have happened.

  16. I’m waiting for the Coronavirus variant that is ultra-deadly, super-communicable & specifically targets those with sufficiently too-large levels of wealth, power & Cold-War-brain.

    Readers of sci-fi, humanists & others who know that a better world is possible, who hold sufficient knowledge that the world we live in today is getting worse, we are all having our vital human energies wasted simply & only being allowed to EXIST in this world. If the world was good, or we could have a role in making it better, we’d be so useful!

    But instead the most we can do is pass on knowledge to the few youth who are receptive and not yet consumed by TikTok, streaming & superficial mass cultural pursuits. It’s not enough. It won’t get us there.

    I’m personally doing well in my life, but for the planet and our species it sometimes feels like Leftists are just beginning to understand that we are in the “disappointed eulogy writing” phase of humanity. I just turned 30 and sheesh, it’s looking REAL bleak…

    What is to be done? How can we possibly orchestrate the controlled burning of all the accumulated dead matter, so that something new & beautiful can perhaps grow in the future?

    1. @David Pearce
      People need not be science fiction readers or humanists to envision an exponentially better world. Hunter-gatherers have made one, and especially those who focus on expanding their consciousness and have mythologies well beyond the understanding of any modern human.

      What’s to be done? Well, humans have been wrecking things for thousands of years, so we’re not getting out of this mess overnight even if we were all to begin immediately. We need to change our focus from ego, intellect, materialism, and unnaturally and very harmfully manipulating the natural/physical world, to wisdom, empathy, and expanding our consciousness. Those are the big and deep-rooted changes that are needed. As to now, stop consuming and breeding so much. Buy only what you need and get pleasure out of something beside materialism. Limit your family to one child. Organize your life so that you don’t have to drive REGULARLY (almost everyone in this society will have to drive occasionally until we can build a much more natural society), then give up your car. Spend more time outside and talk to the plants & animals there, even though they don’t speak human and you don’t speak their language (this will help develop some empathy and a feeling of oneness with them).

      You’re quite correct that this totally rotten Earth-destroying, mentally & spiritually unevolved society must be burnt to the ground, at least figuratively. But we do that by changing ourselves and the society as a whole, not by just destroying things, because the latter will just result in new evils arising.

  17. This column makes some good points, but it always reverts to its basic Ugly American attitude. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are “bad actors”? How about Biden and every other U.S. president, who are all far worse? This immoral and hypocritical attitude is exactly why the entire West has so hysterically and grossly overreaction to Russia’s invasion. Sure, it was wrong and should be condemned, but that should have been it. U.S. invasions and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria weren’t even condemned, let alone were any sanctions place on the U.S. The U.S./NATO attack on Libya turned that region’s country with the highest standard of living into an open slave market. The U.S. is still occupying 1/3 of Syria and stealing its oil (should be left in the ground, but that’s a totally different issue). And now the U.S. is bombing Somalia. But oh, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are the bad actors. Sheesh.

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