Chris Hedges Forever Wars Politics

Hedges: The Pimps of War

The coterie of neocons and liberal interventionists who orchestrated two decades of military fiascos in the Middle East and who have never been held to account are now stoking a suicidal war with Russia.
“Whores of War.” “[Original illustration by Mr. Fish]

By Chris Hedges | Original to ScheerPost

The same cabal of warmongering pundits, foreign policy specialists and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodge responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate. They are protean, shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. Pseudo intellectuals, they exude a cloying Ivy League snobbery as they sell perpetual fear, perpetual war, and a racist worldview, where the lesser breeds of the earth only understand violence. 

They are pimps of war, puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the defense contractors who lavishly fund their think tanks — Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for the Study of War, Atlantic Council and Brookings Institution. Like some mutant strain of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they cannot be vanquished. It does not matter how wrong they are, how absurd their theories, how many times they lie or denigrate other cultures and societies as uncivilized or how many murderous military interventions go bad. They are immovable props, the parasitic mandarins of power that are vomited up in the dying days of any empire, including ours, leaping from one self-defeating catastrophe to the next.

I spent  20 years as a foreign correspondent reporting on the suffering, misery, and murderous rampages these shills for war engineered and funded. My first encounter with them was in Central America. Elliot Abrams — convicted of providing misleading testimony to Congress on the Iran-Contra Affair and later  pardoned by President George H.W. Bush so he could return to government to sell us the Iraq War — and Robert Kagan, director of the State Department’s public diplomacy office for Latin America — were propagandists for the brutal military regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as the rapists and homicidal thugs that made up the rogue Contra forces fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, which they illegally funded. Their job was to discredit our reporting.

They, and their coterie of fellow war lovers, went on to push for the expansion of NATO in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, violating an agreement not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany and recklessly antagonizing Russia. They were and are cheerleaders for the apartheid state of Israel, justifying its war crimes against Palestinians and myopically conflating Israel’s interests with our own. They advocated for air strikes in Serbia, calling for the US to “take out” Slobodan Milosevic. They were the authors of the policy to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Robert Kagan and William Kristol, with their typical cluelessness, wrote in April 2002 that “the road that leads to real security and peace” is “the road that runs through Baghdad.”

We saw how that worked out. That road led to the dissolution of Iraq, the destruction of its civilian infrastructure, including the obliteration of 18 of 20 electricity-generating plants and nearly all the water-pumping and sanitation systems during a 43-day period when 90,000 tons of bombs were rained down on the country, the rise of radical jihadist groups throughout the region, and failed states. The war in Iraq, along with the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, shredded the illusion of US military and global hegemony. It also inflicted on Iraqis, who had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11, the widespread killing of civilians, the torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, and the ascendancy of Iran as the preeminent power in the region. They continue to call for a war with Iran, with Fred Kagan stating that “there is nothing we can do short of attacking to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons.” They pushed for the overthrow of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying to do the same to Hugo Chavez, in Venezuela. They have targeted Daniel Ortega, their old nemesis in Nicaragua.

They embrace a purblind nationalism that prohibits them from seeing the world from any perspective other than their own. They know nothing about the machinery of war, its consequences, or its inevitable blowback. They know nothing about the peoples and cultures they target for violent regeneration. They believe in their divine right to impose their “values” on others by force. Fiasco after fiasco. Now they are stoking a war with Russia.

“The nationalist is by definition an ignoramus,” Yugoslav writer Danilo Kiš observed. “Nationalism is the line of least resistance, the easy way. The nationalist is untroubled, he knows or thinks he knows what his values are, his, that’s to say national, that’s to say the values of the nation he belongs to, ethical and political; he is not interested in others, they are no concern of his, hell — it’s other people (other nations, another tribe). They don’t even need investigating. The nationalist sees other people in his own images — as nationalists.”

The Biden administration is filled with these ignoramuses, including Joe Biden. Victoria Nuland, the wife of Robert Kagan, serves as Biden’s undersecretary of state for political affairs. Antony Blinken is secretary of state. Jake Sullivan is national security advisor. They come from this cabal of moral and intellectual trolls that includes Kimberly Kagan, the wife of Fred Kagan, who founded The Institute for the Study of War, William Kristol, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Gary Schmitt, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Frum, and others. Many were once staunch Republicans or, like Nuland, served in Republican and Democratic administrations. Nuland was the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. 

They are united by the demand for larger and larger defense budgets and an ever expanding military. Julian Benda called these courtiers to power “the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia.”

They once railed against liberal weakness and appeasement. But they swiftly migrated to the Democratic Party rather than support Donald Trump, who showed no desire to start a conflict with Russia and who called the invasion of Iraq a “big, fat mistake.” Besides, as they correctly pointed out, Hillary Clinton was a fellow neocon. And liberals wonder why nearly half the electorate, who revile these arrogant unelected power brokers, as they should, voted for Trump.

These ideologues did not see the corpses of their victims. I did. Including children. Every dead body I stood over in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Gaza, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen or Kosovo, month after month, year after year, exposed their moral bankruptcy, their intellectual dishonesty, and their sick bloodlust.  They did not serve in the military. Their children do not serve in the military. But they eagerly ship young American men and women off to fight and die for their self-delusional dreams of empire and American hegemony. Or, as in Ukraine, they provide hundreds of millions of dollars in weaponry and logistical support to sustain long and bloody proxy wars.

Historical time stopped for them with the end of World War II. The overthrow of democratically elected governments by the US during the Cold War in Indonesia, Guatemala, the Congo, Iran and Chile (where the CIA oversaw the assassination of the commander-in-chief of the army, General René Schneider, and President Salvador Allende), the Bay of Pigs, the atrocities and war crimes that defined the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, even the disasters they manufactured in the Middle East, have disappeared into the black hole of their collective historical amnesia. American global domination, they claim, is benign, a force for good, “benevolent hegemony.” The world, Charles Krauthammer insisted, welcomes “our power.” All enemies, from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, are the new Hitler. All US interventions are a fight for freedom that make the world a safer place. All refusals to bomb and occupy another country are a 1938 Munich moment, a pathetic retreat from confronting evil by the new Neville Chamberlain. We do have enemies abroad. But our most dangerous enemy is within.

The warmongers build a campaign against a country such as Iraq or Russia and then wait for a crisis — they call it the next Pearl Harbor — to justify the unjustifiable. In 1998, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, along with a dozen other prominent neoconservatives, wrote an open letter to President Bill Clinton denouncing his policy of containment of Iraq as a failure and demanding that he go to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. To continue the “course of weakness and drift,” they warned, was to “put our interests and our future at risk.” Huge majorities in Congress, Republican and Democrat, rushed to pass the Iraq Liberation Act. Few Democrats or Republicans dared be seen as soft on national security. The act stated that the United States government would work to “remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein” and authorized $99 million towards that goal, some of it being used to fund Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress that would become instrumental in disseminating the fabrications and lies used to justify the Iraq war during the administration of George W. Bush.

The attacks of 9/11 gave the war party its opening, first with Afghanistan, then Iraq. Krauthammer, who knows nothing about the Muslim world, wrote that “the way to tame the Arab street is not with appeasement and sweet sensitivity but with raw power and victory…The elementary truth that seems to elude the experts again and again…is that power is its own reward. Victory changes everything, psychologically above all. The psychology in the [Middle East] is now one of fear and deep respect for American power. Now is the time to use it.” Removing Saddam Hussein from power, Kristol crowed, would “transform the political landscape of the Middle East.”  

It did, of course, but not in ways that benefited the US.

They lust for apocalyptic global war. Fred Kagan, the brother of Robert, a military historian, wrote in 1999 that “America must be able to fight Iraq and North Korea, and also be able to fight genocide in the Balkans and elsewhere without compromising its ability to fight two major regional conflicts. And it must be able to contemplate war with China or Russia some considerable (but not infinite) time from now [author’s emphasis].”

They believe violence magically solves all disputes, even the Israeli-Palestinian morass. In a bizarre interview immediately after 9/11, Donald Kagan, the Yale classicist and rightwing ideologue who was the father of Robert and Fred, called, along with his son Fred, for the deployment of US troops in Gaza so we could “take the war to these people.” They have long demanded the stationing of NATO troops in Ukraine, with Robert Kagan saying that “we need to not worry that the problem is our encirclement rather than Russian ambitions.”  His wife, Victoria Nuland, was outed in a leaked phone conversation in 2014 with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, disparaging the EU and plotting to remove the lawfully elected President Viktor Yanukovych and install compliant Ukrainian politicians in power, most of whom did eventually take power. They lobbied for US troops to be sent to Syria to assist “moderate” rebels seeking to overthrow Bashar al Assad. Instead, the intervention spawned the Caliphate. The US ended up bombing the very forces they had armed, becoming Assad’s de facto air force.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, like the attacks of 9/11, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Putin, like everyone else they target, only understands force. We can, they assure us, militarily bend Russia to our will.

“It is true that acting firmly in 2008 or 2014 would have meant risking conflict,” Robert Kagan wrote in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, lamenting our refusal to militarily confront Russia earlier. “But Washington is risking conflict now; Russia’s ambitions have created an inherently dangerous situation. It is better for the United States to risk confrontation with belligerent powers when they are in the early stages of ambition and expansion, not after they have already consolidated substantial gains. Russia may possess a fearful nuclear arsenal, but the risk of Moscow using it is not higher now than it would have been in 2008 or 2014, if the West had intervened then. And it has always been extraordinarily small: Putin was never going to obtain his objectives by destroying himself and his country, along with much of the rest of the world.”

In short, don’t worry about going to war with Russia, Putin won’t use the bomb.

I do not know if these people are stupid or cynical or both. They are lavishly funded by the war industry. They are never dropped from the networks for their repeated idiocy. They rotate in and out of power, parked in places like The Council on Foreign Relations or The Brookings Institution, before being called back into government. They are as welcome in the Obama or Biden White House as the Bush White House. The Cold War, for them, never ended. The world remains binary, us and them, good and evil. They are never held accountable. When one military intervention goes up in flames, they are ready to promote the next. These Dr. Strangeloves, if we don’t stop them, will terminate life as we know it on the planet.


NOTE TO SCHEERPOST READERS : There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waiver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at chrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.

Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

Copyright 2022 Chris Hedges

77 comments

  1. Washington is sleepwalking America and the world to it’s doom. Nobody in power seems to understand this. Nobody. Think about that for a minute. Our “leaders” are lost in greed, hubris and the desire to rule the world. The people are lost in illusion, delusion and ignorance. Nobody will stop these warmongers because nobody can.

    It is so absolutely clear to me, yet as usual I seem to be alone in understanding the danger, Chris Hedges excepted. Hell is coming my friends.

    1. JustAMaverick, you need to wake up from your throw your hands up in the air defeatism and self-aggrandizing clarity.
      You say, the people are lost in illusion, delusion, and ignorance. Speak for yourself. I’m not, and millions of the working class aren’t. By saying, nobody will stop these warmongers because nobody can, is playing right into the hands of the corporatist who control OUR government. I ask you to find the nearest mirror and stand in front of it and say, “ I CAN STOP THE WARMONGERS!” You and the rest of us in the working class around the world can stop the warmongers. We are the only hope!
      The only way forward is through the global working class rising up and eradicating capitalism and the outdated nation states with its silly flags and destructive, self- interested world view. We must create a socialist society where the workers control the forward progress into the future. We cannot rely on the ruling class and their national interests, and who consider the working class nothing more than surplus labor and cannon fodder, to create solutions that work for all of humankind. This must be done of, for, and by the working class on a global scale.
      You have bought into Hedges delusion because Hedges never has a solution other than to steer people into dead ends with his endless doom and gloom. He offers no socialist solution because he can’t see past his religiosity to humanity saving itself without the need for the fantasy of divinity. With all the horrors that Hedges has seen in war, he seems to have unfortunately turned away from humanity and believes that good only resides in the objective of theology. I will continue to believe it resides in the subjective of humanity. I will not throw my hands up in futility.
      The only thing that seems absolutely clear to you is your hopelessness. Hedges unfortunately feeds you more of it.

      1. Well said comrade, and I’m fully on board! Over the past few years I’ve watched as more and more people my age and younger(mid 30s) are looking into the cause of this joke of a world we live in with it’s blatant contradictions and lies . Capitalisms rickety rusty scaffolding is collapsing and all the lies, warmongering, distractions the sociopaths that run this scheme try to conjure up isn’t going to save them. All the old tricks aren’t as effective so railroading the world into a global conflict seems like their current solution. The working class is the most powerful force on the planet they plan to sacrifice young working people at a rate unbeknownst to the world and we are going to make sure they are going to have a fucking fight to do it. Fascists and boot lickers alike need to educate themselves because it may seem like the working class is in a vapid, distracted, uninterested, and overwhelmed state but I assure you we won’t let this planet slide into some fascist cesspool . A socialist society the only way humans survive and thrive on this planet together it’s an inevitable outcome no matter how sickening things are currently.

  2. Of course, you’re right on, Chris. But don’t you get tired of saying the same thing without results? You need of a new approach because bemoaning the corruption of the MIC is not working.

    1. Tom, really, nothing can beat, defeat, or overcome M I complex. It is getting more powerful and with modern day social media, war and military is ingrained than ever.
      Without war, our economy slows down, and MI C has less $$$ to buy off our politicians.

      Chris H, like the rest of us, can only moan, complain, grumble, or whine. We have no $$, no power, no sex appeal…. You expect too much, sorry.

      On the other hand, I very great regret not supporting Trump. Trump is not as much as a war monger as old Joe.
      Don knows how to talk Vlad out of starting the war, and would not risk Ukraine in Nato if it means war which could risk a nuclear exchange.
      It is Ludicrous to risk N Y for Kiev in a war where Americans unabashedly put missiles in Eastern Europe while absolutely rejection of Russian missiles in Cuba.

      I rather not be nuked over a place on the other side of the world that has no strategic values for ordinary Americans.
      Our generals and MIC can play their war games but not push the Button.
      War mongering old Joe, must go!!

    2. You are all missing the point. What Chris is attempting to do is open
      your eyes to reality.
      What YOU do with the information he provides is entirely up to you.
      I am in my 80’s. i have seen World War II and been behind the Iron curtain in 1961.
      If you haven’t experienced life, don’t offer ignorant opinions.
      It’s up to you to evolve, to learn and observe. The world starts with you!

  3. Very good column, but I fear it is a reprint. Charles Krauthammer died some time ago.

    1. If you read it again you may see that the CK reference was in an historical context. Hedges’ point is that the current war pimp “coterie”, always downstream from greed, have been around (at least) since the end of WW2.

  4. As no surprise to me, he did it again! …
    Although he mentioned the roles of the Council on Foreign Relation (CFR) and the Brookings Institute in shaping U.S. foreign policy, he conspicuously failed to implicate the World Economic Forum … this is unacceptable and no accident, and apparently I am THE only person in this hemisphere who notices such things … I’ve now had the the pleasure and mispleasure of knowing the work of two people: 1) Hedges before the 2020 lockdowns, and 2) Hedges after March 16, 2020 when tyranny became an undeniable factor in our lives … these past two years our friend Chris has really become a world-class cherry-picker … but give him credit for skillfully knowing how to preserve his place in the independent media food chain …
    Let us first review a few of his more revealing quotes:
    “Let us stand up and resist so future generations will at least say ‘they tried.’ We cannot do this alone … together we have a chance” …
    BTW, he has not only refused to comment on The World Economic Forum, but also THE GREAT RESET, the book THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION and its author Klaus Schwab …
    **************
    “I don’t think we’re going to stop the pandemic and the mutations until everybody gets vaccinated” … (we can’t vax ourselves out of this pandemic – AND HE KNOWS IT!)
    BTW, he has refused to comment on or stand with the working class against the illegal and unconstitutional vax mandates and passports
    **************
    In a 2020 interview, he said he told indigenous pipeline protesters to “park your cars in their path, remove the engines and walk away” …
    BTW, he did not even mention the the U.S. and Canadian trucker convoys until a March 2022 interview with Jimmy Dore
    **************
    After 2014 speech, he was asked to comment on 9/11 and insulted our collective intelligence by saying “Bush was probably just asleep at the wheel” …
    **************
    But he will now jump at the opportunity to:
    1) rip on AOC
    2) talk about Assange
    3) talk about Snowden
    4) talk about Ukraine
    His work with prison inmates is laudable, but not nearly significant enough to offset the effects of his selective silence on these issues … and his avid followers comport themselves as cult members … Chris can do no wrong and they can find no fault … for the same reason they love Chris, they all listen to NPR for no other reason than it makes them feel cultured …
    The pandemic really exposed and then separated the truly fearless from the fear-driven …
    My list In no particular order …
    – Matt Taibbi
    – Glenn Greenwald
    – Max Blumenthal
    – Dan Cohen
    – Kim Iversen
    – Aaron Mate
    – Abby Martin
    – Caitlyn Johnstone
    – Jimmy Dore
    – Karen Kingston
    – Stew Peters
    – Chris Smalls
    – Jordan Chariton
    – Dr Robert Malone
    – Dr Peter McCullough
    – Dr Michael Yeadon
    – Dr VZ Zelenko
    – Catherine Austin-Fitts
    – Lt. Col. Stuart Sheller
    – Former Amazon VP Tim Bray
    – Former FDA Officials Philip Krause, Marion Gruber
    – Australian Journalist Maria Zeee
    The list goes on but Chris is no longer on it …
    Last year Lt. Col. Stuart Sheller took an incredibly courageous stand by demanding our military Generals be accountable for their actions in Afghanistan … he posted a 5m video here on YT knowing it could result in jail time and the loss of his military benefits … and only afterward did he tell his wife!

    1. ” . . . they love Chris, they all listen to NPR . . .” Really. That’s quite an assumption on your part.

      Personally, I haven’t listened to NPR since 1990, and have followed Chris Hedges for at least 20-years plus. I am NOT in love with him nor am I a cult member.

      Regarding your personal list of favorites – I wonder how many of those individuals would be OK with and be in agreement with your trashing CH. I get it that you are not fond of CH, that’s fine. Why not just speak to the issues you’ve raised and leave out the ad homonym attacks ? It makes you and your arguments look rather weak.

      As I’ve never heard of you or your unreported credentials / claim to fame, I suggest “staying in your lane” sir and act like an adult.

      1. Ha! … you sound like a real free-speech type! …
        Why don’t you just admit that you absolutely hate the first amendment to the constitution? …
        So you’ve followed him twice as long as I – so what? … and you ARE a member of his cult because your adoration of him is so blind and paralyzing that it prevented you from refuting the primary point of my criticism … he has preached courage but lost the ability to actually practice courage once the lockdowns were declared two years ago … and I am pissed because I once admired him … he’s said many awesome, memorable things that helped me understand and accept our current predicament … but I’ve also remember several snide, off-color remarks he’s made that really shed light on his true feelings … he has now entered the same phase that eventually took down Christopher Hitchens … he has become so overwhelmed with cynicism that he had to make a choice: 1) either sell-out, or 2) allow himself to be coerced into a state of silence on THE most important issues of our time … he chose the latter … that’s why he continues to manipulate his flock … he DOES NOT RESPECT YOU!

  5. Urgently needed: a full-scale online campaign/comment barrage/ picketing against the bastion of neoliberal/neocon ” liberals” — MSNBC.

    MSNBC has served as a valued launch platform for the types Hedges names so accurately.

    Anti-Trump emotions are are used to validate retired generals, Clinton/Obama Administration hacks, Cold War retreads like Evelyn Farkas and professional distortionists like Michael McFaul.

    The barbarism of Russian soldiers, engaged in multiple My Lai type massacres, ( war against the people always looks the same) is being used for profoundly unprofessional, purposefully distorted and dangerous rabble-rousing.

    Possibly the Pentagon should give journalists the same briefing about the consequences of nuclear war that incoming presidents get.

    To Wit:

    Nicolle Wallace, who worked in the administration of war criminal George W. Bush, alternately blubbers over the spectacle of “people just like us” i.e. white people — being massacred — and badgering officials and even the Times Pentagon reporter on why the US isn’t sending even more weapons into the conflict, musing about no-fly zones and more dangerously aggressive acts. She mumbled past the Times’ journalist, who tried to inform her about the risk of a nuclear conflict.

    She seems oblivious that the US has steadfastly refused to recognize the ICC. In any case, that’s never mentioned in any MSNBC reports, just the fantasy that Putin stand trial.

    Ali Velshi: once presented as a competent journalist, has screeched demands that Putin be removed and seconded Biden’s gaffe on the subject — and has repeatedly denied that NATO has anything to do with the conflict. He’s also called for no-fly zones. he made a passing reference to his support for the Palestinians, who would be killed with the rest of us in the event of a nuclear exchange.

    Fiona Hill, who actually knows something about these issues, wrote in her book:

    “In the Oval Office, Hill recalls, describing a scene that has not been previously reported, she told Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that offering a membership path to Ukraine and Georgia could be problematic. While Bush’s appetite for promoting the spread of democracy had not been dampened by the Iraq war, President Vladimir Putin of Russia viewed NATO with suspicion and was vehemently opposed to neighboring countries joining its ranks. He would regard it as a provocation, which was one reason the United States’ key NATO allies opposed the idea. Cheney took umbrage at Hill’s assessment. “So, you’re telling me you’re opposed to freedom and democracy,” she says he snapped. According to Hill, he abruptly gathered his materials and walked out of the Oval Office.

    “He’s just yanking your chain,” she remembers Bush telling her. “Go on with what you were saying.” But the president seemed confident that he could win over the other NATO leaders, saying, “I like it when diplomacy is tough.” Ignoring the advice of Hill and the U.S. intelligence community, Bush announced in Bucharest that “NATO should welcome Georgia and Ukraine into the Membership Action Plan.” Hill’s prediction came true: Several other leaders at the summit objected to Bush’s recommendation. NATO ultimately issued a compromise declaration that would prove unsatisfying to nearly everyone, stating that the two countries “will become members” without specifying how and when they would do so — and still in defiance of Putin’s wishes. (They still have not become members.)”

    Americans are offered the same level of insight as the Russian public gets. “Our” infotainment media is as compliant as Putin’s outlets are: no need to arrest people here: they can be simply “erased” like Hedges, Chomsky and others. Putin has his police, the US has the dominance of corporate money.

    Ari Melber, who provides detailed and significant insight into legal matters affecting the nation, merely re-spouts State Department drivel on his broadcast. Does he just not know, or is he complicit in the distortions?

    As it does with politics, “issues” are presented as aspects of personality. Zelensky the hero vs. Putin the demon. Did anyone associate Zelensky’s videos of people making Molotov cocktails and encouraging citizens to fambush invaders with Russian soldiers’ paranoid and violent acts? You’d have to explain the difference between an excuse and an explanation: that may lead Americans into risky thought-patterns 🙂

    On, can’t have THAT!

    Unless progressives act and try to break the spell, this kind of dangerous mesmerism will continue unchallenged.

  6. Chris Hedges is the real thing. He is what a real brave hero looks like.
    We live in a military empire and that empire will come home to roost. As that happens, Americans will find what it is like to live under fascism with basic human rights terminated.
    I don’t know if there is still time for the American people to wake up and stand up to regain what they have given away to the oligarchs, but one thing is for sure, time is running out.

    1. Michael,
      Respectfully disagree …
      He’s changed dramatically these past two years since the lockdowns …
      You might read my post above … he no longer has the fire in his belly …

  7. Dear Mr. Hedges, the only Americans who are not the corpocracy’s pimps are people not in the corpocracy or serving it; salt of the earth people, like front-line retail people and trades people. those who do not exploit others but are exploited, Genuine, truth-digging investigative journalist and people like me are not pimps. I estimate about 10 thousand members of the power elite, and several million pimps.

    As for a donation to keep the Scheer Post posting, I promise to donate if either you and or Mr. Scheer read my new book waiting tp be published while more endorsements are received. The book’s title, “Wolves in Suits Leading Humanity to Doomsday.”

    A back-cove excerpt: America has never been a democracy, but an oligarchy ruled tyrannically by the powerful rich from war weary England. America soon became a corpocracy, or a collusion between the more powerful corporate elite and the less powerful and compliant elite of government. The corpocracy continues its warring habit along with tyrannical rule of the powerless. The author not only explains in detail why they do what they do, but also how they can do so without any opposition from over 330 million Americans. He tells us that the power elite order all the wrongdoing and evildoing acts to be done by countless millions of “functionaries,” or lackeys in every walk of life except for Americans who are the “salt of the earth.”

    Crucial to saving humanity is the book’s detailed proposal for ending the elite’s power legally and peacefully and then building a true democracy that serves the common good and is at peace with the world. Readers are told how they can help if they are at all concerned about their lineages and legacies and want to be good caretakers of the future.

    “Everybody who cares about our democracy, about our quality of life, and about the future of our children should read this book. Dr. Gary Brumback pulls no punches. And he comes up with solutions.”-John Kiriakou, CIA Torture Whistleblower

    Gary Brumback’s Wolves in Suits Leading Humanity to Doomsday is a wake-up call to any who still think we’re living in a “normal” world where humans have the luxury of pursuing “business as usual.”-Mike Rivage-Seul, liberation theologian. emeritus professor of Peace and Social Justice Studies at Berea College in Kentucky, senior editor at OpEdNews, and author of eight books.

    “—a must-read for any and all of us at wit’s end on what we can do to counteract this scourge, and how.”- Marta Steele, Senior Editor, opednews.com

    “Read this book for a powerful expose of pernicious plutocrats that doesn’t omit foreign policy from the critique, which greatly enriches the understanding.”-David Swanson, Director, World Beyond War

    With this book, Dr. Brumback breaks down both the system that maintains the super-wealthy in control of our government and lives and offers a plan for removing this system and replacing it with a true democracy. We need works like this to move us forward because we do not have generations to make these changes. The Earth is literally failing at this point and the path we are currently on is eroding our survivability at an alarming rate. Dr. Brumback offers serious thought and direction on addressing the power divide that is driving much of our crises.–Rowan Wolf, PhD, Sociologist, Publisher, Uncommon Thought Journal.

    Best regards and thank you
    Gary
    Gary Brumback,PhD

    1. ‘He tells us that the power elite order all the wrongdoing and evildoing acts to be done by countless millions of “functionaries,” or lackeys in every walk of life…’ these are those I have come to understand to to be best described as, | the “Priori of Scion/Zion | or the “administrative state” that carries out Zionist eschatological ideation – the West’s most favored saber rattle. This is at the core of Nine11, and the framing of Muslims and the Arab world! Until this is fully understood, nothing will change.

      By the way – for those unaware of what Zionism is: It is synonymous with ethnic supremacist ideation, e.g., the Palestinian apartheid and colonial gentrification in Palestine, pushing native Palestinians out of the West Bank/Jerusalem. Zionism is NOT Judaism. It is about Jewish Supremacy over Non-Jews; or at least, that’s the narrative. In actuality, it’s nearly identical to what White America did to Native Americans, and others ethnicities.
      Unfortunately, to make matters worse, evangelical Christianity supports Zionism because of a long history of relations with Jewish lobbying groups (oddly enough, the same groups that have significant influence with the Council on Foreign Relations,
      [PNAC] The Project for the New American Century, etc.) – these very lobbyists/organizations also have MASSIVE Influence in the Mainstream Media, and decry antisemitism as soon as Zionism is called out – particularly, when Zionism is called out as supremacist; and , it is.
      I would like to further note that Zionism has REMARKABLE ties to Nazism, despite the fact that many Jews were killed as a result of Nazism.
      Suffice it to say, ‘There is a LOT more to this’ – e.g., (Gog and Magog) – but, that is a much more advanced conversation.

      rph

      1. Here is a brief introduction into the significance of, | Gog and Magog | , and how it has lead to Zionism – I would like to recommend the following – a truly remarkable YouTube video entitled:
        ” The most mysterious nation described in the Quran & Bible (The Scythians)”
        –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x6zzQcMT3w.

    2. Dr. Brumback

      Largely agree with your thesis. However, we are not entirely sure that your ‘salt of the earth people” could be excluded from what America has always been or as becoming more apparent recently.

      For at some point all the people, the salt of earth people, who have always been part and suborned the fascist regime in Washington must be held accountable as well. Many evils were and are being done in their name.

      How would you, for instance, account for historical injustices over 400 years which salt of the earth people have ignored as they continued to support the modern incarnations of same prepetrators. Certainly, we can’t escape this internal contradictions, can we?

      1. @Pachamama
        I agree that all mentally competent adults are responsible for what they do, including what jobs they do and what their taxes pay for. However, some people are far more responsible than others, namely the rich & powerful.

    3. Personal career fulfillment always takes precedence over the progressive advancement of societal culture in general, whether or not individuals’ practices, during their own individual advancement, be detrimental to the general betterment and welfare of communities as a holistic aspect of humanity???
      What does this say about the one-way street of the plutocratic American way?
      Only those who strictly observe the posted signs get ahead!
      L’ego game of self-promotion is always played, and this is now the insanity unfolding before our eyes; which we are all facing in this moment, although the ‘haves’ fervently, though blindly believe, they will not have to pay the ultimate price!
      They have the means, in the folly of their lack of judgement, simply to buy their way out of anything, including the materially ‘unaccountable’.

  8. I like Chris Hedges’s commentaries and I agree with this one as far as it goes. However, the “pimps of war, puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the defense contractors who lavishly fund their think tanks” are not causes of war. They are instead symptoms. This is explained perfectly as follows:

    “[W]hen a culture destroys its own landbase (through agriculture, through associated urbanization [the result of the overpopulation caused by the unnatural abundance of food provided by agriculture], or through any other means for any reason), it then has two choices: collapse, or take someone else’s landbase. Since cultures rarely choose to collapse, this means once a culture has committed itself to an agricultural way of life — which, by definition, destroys landbases — it is committed to expansion, which means, since someone else already lives there, to conquest.”
    The Myth of Human Supremacy, Derrick Jensen, pp. 187, 188.

    The point is that civilization itself is the cause of war, and civilization is a result of overpopulation caused by agriculture. (“Civilization” means living in urban areas, which by definition are overpopulated ecologically.) This is proven not only by these facts and this logic, but by the fact that war has existed since the beginning of civilization. The “pimps of war, puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the defense contractors who lavishly fund their think tanks” are not the cause of war, they are the result of civilization, and especially of millennia of it.

    1. Jeff:

      I have appreciated many of your comments, but in this case I disagree. Agriculture allows a more complex society, but depending how we manage things, can lead to abundance, not famine and war. Knowledge is not the problem, but how we use it, our lack of wisdom, is. My understanding is that warfare as we recognize it came to exist with the rise of kingdoms and city-states (taken from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_warfare), but ironically in order to develop to this stage of complexity required peaceful societies for long time periods: capability for war requires periods of peace. The US is a good example, had it not experienced peace on its own soil during WWII, it may not have become the dominant military power it is today.

      1. @Cynical Rex
        Actually, the opposite is true: by destroying native ecosystems for human crops, agriculture DESTROYS natural ecological complexity. Only by looking at this totally anthropocentrically could you possibly come to your conclusion.

        Furthermore, denigrating hunter-gatherer societies as being inferior to agricultural ones because they’re not as “complex” is just ethnocentrism. Hunter-gatherers who have focused on expanding their consciousness, along with wisdom and empathy for all life, are the most advanced people on Earth. Even our most brilliant scientists couldn’t begin to understand their mythologies. Humans are not more advanced because they have more destructive technologies (what most people think of as more advanced technologies), they’re more advanced because they’re mentally and spiritually more evolved. Using complexity as a standard merely supports your own group and your own position. First, what do you mean by “more complex”? Second, why should complexity be the standard for who is more advanced?

        Finally, you don’t directly respond to what I wrote except for saying that you disagree. Go through the facts I presented and show me which one or ones are wrong. These facts are indisputable as far as I know. You may reach a different conclusion based on these facts depending on your attitude toward life, which seems to be what you did, though you just said you disagree and I don’t know with what excactly you disagree.

      2. Hi Jeff,

        There was no reply link for your comment (not sure why), so I’m posting here:

        “Civilization != bad (necessarily)”
        I don’t disagree that famine can lead to war, or that civilization can cause a lot of harm. Also, the knowledge and wisdom of native peoples is priceless, and yes, shows a lot of depth. Civilization requires a lot of moving parts (knowledge), but the knowledge it is founded on does not have to lead to bad outcomes. Like native peoples, our civilization could be better if it showed more wisdom.

        “Facts” can always be disputed, and often are when information wars go on, like with Ukraine, or when people argue in bad faith. You care a lot about these issues, and I meant no harm. I tend to think of things in terms of consequences, as people can commit harm with the best of intentions, or indirectly do good (law of unintended consequences, for example).

      3. @Cynical Rex
        No worries, I never thought that you meant any harm. I was just pointing out the great harms that agriculture does, that humans aren’t the only ones living here even though we think and act like we are, and that defining the best societies as the most complex and then claiming that agricultural societies are the most complex is just a self-fulfilling exercise in self-worship.

        As a radical environmentalist and deep ecologist, my primary concern is the Earth and all life on it, of which humans are just one of tens of millions of species. I don’t think that humans in the tropics of Africa ever had any trouble with food, because they weren’t overpopulated and because food grows all year in the tropics. Furthermore, my concerns about agriculture have nothing to do with human famines.

        Finally, I don’t at all agree with the know-nothing attitude that facts can always be disputed, at least not legitimately. You can’t dispute that the Earth is round, that 2+2=4, or that greenhouse gas emissions from industrial society trap heat in our atmosphere. Facts are either true, false, unknown, or unknowable. If they’re true or false, they’re not debatable. If people can’t agree on that, there’s no point in having conversations.

  9. To Author
    ” …. shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again,”
    Hmmm, sounds just like the American electorate …. We are like ducks, swimming in an (increasingly) polluted pond with a set of hunters at either end, each promising to protect us from the other – so we swim to one end, and get shot, then swim to the other, and get shot, and we do this over and over and over …. And at the end of the day the hunters put down their guns, shake hands and go out for a beer – and a duck dinner. Meanwhile, upstream, there is a clean pond with some folks who won’t shoot us, but it will take some work to swim upstream and join them …
    Hedges had a chance, and still does, to join those folks upstream – instead he seems to choose to simply condemn the bad guys, over and over, telling us the same stuff he has been saying for decades, only the names and faces changing, stuff which we all pretty much know – the question is what to do. His solution, to the extent he has one, seems to be paddling around in large numbers in that 2 party polluted pond, for a long time … instead of choosing a cleaner pond upstream, without those 2 sets of hunters …. I wish he would explain why he has chosen such a (non)path. I would really like to know … Perhaps Mr Scheer could ask him for me – as, though he speaks to us here, he doesn’t seem to listen to us here …

  10. I live in Canada and we have parties like the Republicans (Conservatives) and Democrats (Liberal party), but also a more social-democratic party called the NDP. Recently its leader Jagmeet Singh has negotiated for universal pharmacare and dental care programs with the minortiy Liberal govt: this is not possible given the US political climate.

    Is the American consciousness receptive to socialism? How could you organize more progressive movements that are not co-opted or deflected like those of Bernie Sanders or BLM (with the understanding that US cities have kept quiet about and increased their police budgets)?

    Change means facing our consumer cultures, how much of our status and identities come from our jobs and possessions. I think change is so difficult because to some degree the activism of previous generations has been rewarded with more widespread affluence. More people over the last few generations have achieved material prosperity and the American dream, and this makes it harder to find common ground as labor rights, civil rights are regressed at the govt and corporate level.

    I would not be surprised if the US goes the way of Nazi Germany, and that the Christian Right/Libertarian militias become like Hitler’s Brownshirts, helping to crush any dissent against a more authoritarian govt.

    1. Yo cynical!,
      And in Canada you have M4A! But I understand ? that Trudeau has done little to nothing about curbing tar sands development ….

      In any case – the problem in the US is that we have been cowed into thinking that our only choices at the polls are D/Rs because “3rd parties can’t win” – the PTB know this is a lie but to make sure they can’t even if we finally recognize that anybody on a ballot can win if enough people vote for ’em – the D/R duopoly that has been in charge for a century is making it very difficult for them to get ON a ballot, keeping them out of debates if they do, and making it much harder for them to access any Fed’l election funding.

      So the problem, I hate to say it, is a “chicken” electorate – when Sanders got screwed by the DP in ’16 there was another candidate, on the ballot, the GP candidate, whose platform was a more robust version of his – who should have been the obvious choice for Sanders’ supporters in the election – but instead the majority of them voted for the D candidate, who basically stood for the opposite of what Sanders stood for. So until we get enough progs who put their money and their vote where their mouth is, we will have no US equivalent of the NDP

      1. @SH:
        Canada depends a lot on resource development, and the Tar Sands is a black mark on us, like you say: US multinationals also have a large investment up here. Canada is sometimes called the “51st state” for a reason: we even put a Huawei executive (daughter of founder) under house arrest in Canada at the behest of US govt.

      2. To CR,
        I know – “down here”, the US multi-nationals are not only pushing to drill and frack here, both onshore and offshore, but they are pushing for the pipelines that cross the border to deliver the tar sand oil here – to our refineries – over land and rivers – the damn things will leak, that’s for sure, they always do and have innumerable times – so the threat that oil poses is not just to increasing atmospheric CO2, but to the direct contamination of water sources that supply thousands/millions of people
        I have seen pictures of the tar sands operations – they look like moonscapes – the “promise” of “reclamation” is laughable – or absurd, depending on your sense of humor.
        And i am somewhat familiar with the detention of the Chinese businesswoman, but lost track – has she been released – and what “deals” were made?

    2. Rex, you got the backroom deal between Trudeau and the NDP all wrong. For a cynical guy, your glasses sure are rosy.
      Pray tell….was the dental care or pharmacare you say the NDP fanagled anywhere in last week’s federal budget?
      Nope!
      Many provinces already have some degree of those things, so we’ll watch everything get more complicated, duplicated, and get very expensive. Sorta like housing all over this country.
      However, our dear progressive Trudeau did manage to approve a massive multinational oil drilling project a few days ago.
      And Canada apparently is eager to send weaponry to Ukraine but wouldn’t ya know, the cupboards are bare. Sorry.

  11. “To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble; but how much nobler if men died for ideas that were true”. H. L. Menken

    Hypocrisy has stained the soul of America for so long it has sorely eroded our chances for survival. How could we really have democracy when our history and many of our national symbols wreak with hypocrisy.

    EG: There is a bust of Justinian I over the halls of congress. I suppose because he condensed Roman law into a handier version for his courts. But Justinian was a ruler that liked to preside over public executions (by drowning) and had the state of Samaria decimated by his army because that population refused to become Christians in opposition to his edict. Some 60,000 people fell to the Roman sword just because they liked their own religion better. Thousands of other people in Samaria were sold into slavery to help pay for the military operation. So why is the likeness of Justinian adorning the halls of our “esteemed congress” if not to honor hypocrisy?

    And of course American history sucks. Out of all the treaties the federal government entered into with Indigenous Americans not one was originally honored. Should we really be surprised that NATO continued to expand due to the hypocrisy of its largely Americanized/ western thinking authors.

    As far as elections go I agree with H.L. Menken: “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods”. If I have the opportunity to vote third party I will , otherwise screw it. I won’t take part in the lie anymore.

    1. To Beeline,
      If you find a 3rd party candidate you like, maybe you could help him/her to get on the ballot – so you could vote for ’em 😀

  12. “They believe in their divine right to impose their “values” on others by force.” C. Hedges, article: ‘The Pimps of War’ | ScheerPost | Again, a perfect defining characteristic of Zionism. [Again, Zionism is NOT equivalent to Judaism].

    rph

  13. Hedges’s erudite adumbration of the war crimes and criminals at the centre of empire, over decades, is well balanced.

    No other country the world has known could compare to the trail of blood shedded of poor and peoples of colour in the South, largely.

    For where we have previously departed from Hedges is when he previously sought to equalize the minimal crimes of Russia with those of his own country.

  14. If there’s going to be a better world for our grandchildren and the generations after, our culture will have to become a moral force, and face up to the hypocrisy Hedges and others discuss. There’s no reward at the end of a successful nuclear war or runaway climate change, once tipping points are reached. This offers a strange justice for me, that the current behavior will -not- be rewarded with a bright future, but only by facing our demons, and becoming a better people, can we do this.

  15. If I may be allowed, I wanted to sharpen my previous thoughts:

    The work that Chris Hedges and Scheerpost do is to bear witness to the events around us, and that along with the conversation here is important, but if it’s left at this, it’s not much more than a “glorified group chat”, as Caitlin Johnstone has written (https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/09/26/people-dont-understand-how-unfree-we-already-are/). As readers we don’t form any sort of community, or society that provides for our mutual wellbeing and survival. What I mean by this is that if our own way of life is our downfall, how do we change it if we depend on our jobs, corporations, culture, etc for survival?

    Certainly, the pressure cooker of history will force our culture to change, and force us as well if we live that long , but we can only try to make a difference with the skills and resources we have. It comes down to how we want to face the changes ahead, and choose how we act. I understand it’s not enough to just talk about these issues, there has to be way to convert the conversation into involvement by or pressure on decision makers, which I’d guess is the hope of any publication like Scheerpost, or finding ways to organize new ways of living ourselves, however difficult that change is.

  16. Fact Check:

    Hedges:
    “an agreement not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany”

    Fact:
    In a discussion about the re-unification of Germany, when Gorbachev expressed concerns about NATO in East Germany, James Baker said “if we maintain a presence in a Germany that is a part of NATO, there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO 1 inch to the east.”

    There was never a debate about NATO expansion eastward, let alone an “agreement” on the subject. Beyond that single comment, it was never even discussed.

    The claim, than, that US and NATO are violating an agreement is false. Period!

    On the topic of violation of agreements, unlike the verbal promise concerning German unification (and not, let me emphasis, former victims of USSR imperialism), the US, Russia, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in an effort to convince Ukraine to give up its substantial nuclear arsenal after the breakup of the USSR, signed the Budapest Memorandum on December 5, 1994, in which these countries promised to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine”, “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”, “refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind”, “reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used”, “reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State”, and that they “will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments”; in other words, while the US positive attitude towards Ukraine wish to join NATO is in accordance and adherence with its commitment to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum, the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, its prompting and support of pro Russian separatists in Donbas and Luhansk afterwards, and its imperialist invasion and devastation of Ukraine in 2022, and certainly its threat to use nuclear weapons, are in clear violation of it.

    With respect to Ukraine, than, Russia’s repeated violation of the Budapest Memorandum nullifies any claim it might have had regarding single verbal comment made about East Germany, even if the Russian propaganda that Hedges parrots here was not outright false.

    And if the central excuse of Putin, and his left-ish Neo Progressive parrots, for the invasion and devastation of Ukraine is a demagogic fallacy, Hedges’ attempt here to shift the blame for the real danger of Putin’s imperialism in Ukraine onto the US is little more than pitiful cynicism, profane rather than profound.

    1. @Democracy Gone Astray
      You are a perfect example of why Natives say that white people have to put everything in writing because they can’t be trusted. Of course there was an agreement, you just admitted it. You’re pulling the typical white man crap of, oh, it’s not in writing so I don’t have to abide by it. Not that the U.S. ever abides by any of its agreements, because it doesn’t; again, just ask the Natives here.

      1. @Jeff

        Even if there was (there wasn’t. the statement was a reference to Germany, not to USSR imperial conquests, which at the time were part of Russia), it is more than balanced out (at least) by Russia trashing the Budapest Memorandum.

        Your Demagoguery is a typical sample of left-ish Neo Progressive propensity to view the anecdotal as central and defining, and ignore the substantial and central simply because the former support its narrow, zero-sum worldview while completely ignoring the latter since it exposes their partisan delusions to the full light of reality. Thanks for the demonstration of the sad state of the left-ish, Neo Progressive narrative…

      2. @Democracy Gone Astray
        I try to resist responding to trolls, but I’m going to respond one more time to your lies. The fact is that the U.S. agreed to not expand NATO “one inch” east of a unified Germany in exchange for the Soviet Union having its 600,000 troops stand down and allow the demolition of the Berlin Wall. This broken promise was made by James Baker and reiterated by other U.S. officials. The Soviet Union kept its part of the agreement, the U.S. did not, end of story. All else is lies and propaganda.

      3. Any promises in writing or merely verbally given to Russia after Glasnost and Perestroika were signs of good faith by the West made specifically to strong individuals that had proven their democratic ambition and their courage to work for change from inside the system at considerable risk for themselves and their families.
        Not to Putin in other words.
        He is a revisionist, as he himself declares and has declared during the last 20 years. The window of opportunity for some former Sovjet satellite states like the Baltics that enabled them to get out while it still was open is closed by now , so they consider themselves lucky. A guy like Stoltenberg is just more trustworthy than Lavrov and Putin and I guess that even they themselves would admit that they are not in the peacespreading business .

      4. @Norbert
        More white man BS. It doesn’t matter to which Russian leader the promises were made, they were made nonetheless and weren’t conditioned on who the Russian leader would be.

        As to Putin not being a peacekeeper, the U.S. is the biggest war machine on the planet bub. Look in the mirror and stop being a hypocrite. Furthermore, this war would not have happened if the U.S. had lived up to its promise to not expand NATO east of Germany. The only thing that Russia did wrong here was to invade. All else leading up to this war was the fault of the U.S.

      5. Hi again, Jeff. Sorry I forgot to mention that I’m “white “. When you live in Europe it’s quite easy to take that fact for granted, especially when all parties involved in this newest “conflict “in Europe, some may even call it a “war”, are white as well. Even Russians are white but they may not call it a “war” and face 15 yrs in a Russian! jail just for using the word “war “. Are Chechens “white “? Ask Putin. NATO has a Norwegian boss, some European countries leaderships, being NATO and EU- members at the same time were stupidly helping USA with illegal warfare in Iraq, Lybia and so on but they did so NOT under NATO- command. And got an All – European refugee- problem on their neck as a result not to mention a rise in popularity of right wing political parties in many countries historically immune to that kind of BS. Maybe that’s the masterplan then and again today: Maybe Russia and US are following the same agenda: Destabilise democratic Europe countries by flooding them with migrants .
        Putin was and is NOT a left wing politician, he has openly supported all major xtreme right wing parties in France, Italy, Germany and their party leaders like to posture with Putin on TV, YouTube, and so on. How can these parties gain even greater popularity?
        Simple :Create more refugees ! After just 3 weeks we’re counting 4 million “new” refugees already. Wake up, man! It’s black and white but NOT about skin.

      6. @Norbert
        I was referring to Americans and how the Natives here view them. The issue here is that the U.S. promised Russia that it wouldn’t expand NATO east of unified Germany in exchange for Russia’s 600,000 troops standing down and allowing the Berlin Wall to be demolished. The issues you raised, such as whether Putin is a leftist — which BTW, I never claimed, nor have I ever said that I support Putin — are irrelevant to this discussion. You didn’t respond to any of the relevant issues that I raised here.

      7. No, Jeff, you didn’t say that. But you are unaware of the fact that NATO in Europe is NOT USA. So events in Europe were simply accelerating so fast and former oppressed states enjoyed their newly won independence to such a degree that they didn’t give a f**k about possible deals that were made between the 2 occupying powers since end of WW II in that part of the world. What about getting rid off both altogether? Or at least have a choice whom to go to bed with?
        We morally and at times financially support 3rd world countries’ struggle for independence. Well , here we are dealing with exactly the same issue. The Baltic states for example were independent after 1st world war. As well as in periods during 17th, 18th and 19th century. Does USA spend too much money for it ‘s military?
        Certainly! Does Russia? Certainly. Was Trump right about forcing European NATO members to spend more money for their own defence? Certainly! Putin lied two leaders of the most powerful countries in Europe, France and Germany, right into their faces 4 weeks ago stating that his troops were NOT going to invade Ukraine. Like I said, it ‘s all about the guy, not the country.

      8. @Norbert
        Um, hate to break it to you, but this is a U.S. website and I assume that everyone here is American unless it’s obvious they’re not or they say so. I didn’t need to clarify what I said for Americans, and I had no way to know that you were European until you said so.

        The U.S. funds NATO more than any other country and the U.S. runs it. The U.S. is the dominant empire on the planet, whether you want to admit that or not. The U.S. was in control of who joined NATO. A country can’t just join because it wants to, it has to be admitted. Furthermore, NATO should have been disbanded as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed, and its continued existence is the root cause of the war in Ukraine. NATO had no legitimate purpose after there was no more supposed Soviet threat, and it’s the real problem here, again with the U.S. being at the root of that problem.

        Comparing what the U.S. spends on its military and what Russia spends on its military takes false equivalence to new heights. The U.S. spends something like more than the next ten countries COMBINED, and has military bases in 8-900 countries. Neither Russia nor any other country has anything even approaching that. I hate all militaries, so anything more than $0 spent on them is too much as far as I’m concerned, but the big problem here is the U.S., not Russia or anyone else.

    2. HOW SOON YOU FORGET HOW CORRUPT THE UKRANIAN REGIME WAS JUST 4 MONTHS AGO. AS WAS PROVED DURING IMPEACHMENT ONE.EVERY NEWS PAPER TV CHANNEL KNEW THIS BUT ARE NOW LYING AND TELLING US HOW BRAVE THEY ARE .YOUR PERSONAL VIEW IS TYPICAL OF UNEDUCATED TV PROPAGANDISTS. WRONG AS HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Hedges posits that historical record proves that neocons and pseudo intellectual warmongers of non existent humanitarian wars are like immovable props of American politics. But whose props are they? In the past and today they were and are, as Eisenhower correctly warned, props, of corporate MIC and Wall street ( not necessarily military itself).

    What this means is that in recent years among continuing fiascos of neocon foreign policies it seems that what we see is a quiet separation if not divorce between CIA, MIC controlled neocons and military elites despite of massive military funding to keep generals happy and rich.

    In last decades more and more critical divergence occurred between CIA and military intelligence which discovered 9/11 plotting in late 2000 and informed national security council loaded with neocons only to be ignored or shunned. Since then we have long time development of half a $billion F-35 jet fighter fiasco described by its designer at the time of commission to US Air Force as outdated easily defeated by Mig-29 and 31.

    More and more military leaders especially retired voiced opinion that US funded military equipment serves no immediate needs of military but it is blatant Wall Street bailout for MIC that produces expensive crap good for killing shoeless peasants while useless on real battlefield involving world military powers.

    It was US military intelligence that warned of Russian and Chinese military hardware developments exceeding US capability what showed up as inability of US imposing no fly zone in Syria in 2015 among Russian S-400 deployment or new generation of Russian nuclear cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles and non ballistic multi warhead ICBMs that invalidated any notion of any effective anti ICBM defense system MIC was contemporarily working on. All that while ten trillion dollars were spent for favorite CIA and neocon pass time of overthrowing helpless foreign governments making MIC and Silicon Valley filthy rich.

    That prompted panic and a Trillion dollar Obama funding of US nuclear weapon development in 2015 which so far came out with almost nothing. All that while CIA and neocons owned by MIC peddled lies of Russian and Chinese weakness and as Hedges mentioned pushing toward immediate confrontation and provocations in Europe and Asia.

    That schism of interests and policies was demonstrated in Syria when in 2015 fight erupted between Free Syrian army units funded by pentagon and ISIS funded by gulf states and controlled by CIA. Frantic phone calls to Langley were made from battlefield by CIA operatives among ISIS terrorists when USAF started bombing their positions. Pentagon vehemently opposed CIA support for Islamic terrorists refusing to cooperate in rescuing or relocating these fighters like in case of Libya. Scott Ritter outlook on Syria and Ukraine is an outcrop of that over two decades long schism.

    This apparent schism persists until today when almost all the Russian military moves and battlefield assessments in Ukraine including alleged Russian atrocities claims pushed forward by CIA controlled Ukrainian intelligence are debunked, rejected by Pentagon or refused due to lack of evidence.

    In my opinion that may be a sign that Pentagon is not militarily ready for confrontation with Russia or China and wants to keep status quo while ignorant neocons and CIA scream for nuclear WWIII.

    Interestingly, pentagon refused to sent their active duty equipment to Ukraine and order NATO allies not to do so as it degrades alliance military defense capabilities and readiness and hence only MIC owned stockpiles of outdated decommissioned equipment are being sent to Ukraine for $billions Ukrainians will never pay. But we amd the west will.

    I am not saying that it will happen but it seems to me that there is unstoppable force that can move this seemingly unmovable neocon props out of US political realm, namely military. So there is a faint hope in other than people raising against tyranny everywhere.

  18. And what is the solution? I say building democratic socialism in every country.

    1. Yes, that’s the solution …
      But how do we build without interference or obstruction?

      1. We have to expect interence and obstruction since workers will be threatening the interests of the capitalist ruling class (i.e., the latter’s interest in claiming the prices they set on products, which are produced by workers, those prices normally being far above the wages paid to the workers).

        The best way to start to build democratic socialism is to build labor movements such as unions. Organized, workers have much more power to demand higher wages and better working conditions than non-union workers.

        If interested, check out the Democratic Socialists of America, which is the largest organization of democratic socialists in the U.S. today.

  19. I don’t understand the hostility to vaccines in the comments above. I just had my second booster. I’m 73 and I’ve had no ill effects – ever. I think that medical science may not be absolutely perfect (few things are) but it’s got a lot more going for it than conjured conspiracy theories.

    1. @Bob
      A search revealed that you are the only one on this thread who used the word “vaccine.” I don’t know who you’re talking about, but I haven’t seen any hostility toward vaccines. Hostility toward forcing or coercing people to take them, yes.

      1. To Jeff,
        I suppose the same thing could be said about seat belts or Stop signs or….
        Bottom line is when the job of the gov’t is to “protect the General Welfare” (Preamble to the Constitution) there are times when things should be required – and nobody is holding anyone down to give them a shot – but when something has been shown to reduce serious illness or death from a particular cause which has been producing a lot of both, it is the right, nay the duty, IMO, to apply penalties for failure to engage. Many devastating diseases have been all but wiped out by the use of vaccines – the concept of vaccination is centuries old – and there are many all over the world who want vaccines but can’t get them because of our greedy pharmaceutical companies – but again, just to be clear – people have right to refuse, but the gov’t and companies have a right to impose penalties or reduce “privileges” for failure to do so ,,,

      2. Please tell me why …
        Why would you dismiss the recent direct quote by the Phizer CEO Bourla that the VAX is “not very good against infections and does not last very long” …. and on NOV 17 a FOIA request forced Phizer to release its initial trial data that revealed that over 1200 participants died within the first 10 weeks after getting jabbed! … Phizer had no intention of releasing this data until a judge forced them to do it! … why do you feel this information is not important?

      3. To Doug,
        The vaccines do not prevent infection – though they may reduce it – what they do is decrease the rate of severe illness and death – and considering how much of that there has been, that is nothing to sneeze at, so to speak.
        We need better vaccines, including the addition of an effective nasal one, which is more likely to whack the virus at the point of contact – we get the virus by breathing in and transmit it by breathing out – it is an air pollutant and we are the source of the pollution – hence the need for good, properly worn masks – that’s how you deal with air pollution.
        As for all the deaths within a certain time after getting vaxxed – would they all have been alive in that time if they hadn’t gotten it? Same with many of the “side effects” – as i hope you know, correlation is not causation

      4. @SH
        We don’t “need” anything at this point. The current strains of COVID-19 are basically colds, except for old and/or obese people, and people with co-morbidities. This is nothing but hysteria promoted by the pharmaceutical industry and people who constantly live in fear of everything.

      5. To Jeff,
        Yeah, we gotta stop caring about old, obese folks and people with “co-morbidities” who are a heck of a lot of people, btw – not to mention those who are immune compromised – survival of the fittest, eh? And you didn’t answer my question – have you been vaccinated …

        You sound like Trump – shucks even he got vaccinated ….

      6. @SH
        Since you seem to care so much, yes I was vaccinated, but I’m not getting any boosters.

        As Jimmy Dore says, all you people who want everyone vaccinated talk in circles. It makes no difference to others whether you get vaccinated; it only keeps you from being hospitalized or killed by the virus. So if old and other at-risk people want this protection, they should get vaccinated. I never said that we should stop caring for those people, that’s your hysterical and irrational reaction to my comments. Other people getting vaccinated won’t help at-risk people, that’s what I said. And again, someone’s bodily autonomy takes precedence over all this.

        You’re also wrong about people being coerced to get vaccinated. Tens of thousands of people in New York state alone have lost their jobs because they refused to get vaccinated, and I’m sure there are a lot more than that in the U.S. as a whole. “Coercion” doesn’t mean necessarily being held down physically, it means being forced by threats OR physical force. I’d say that having one’s job threatened is a very strong threat.

      7. To Jeff,
        “Other people getting vaccinated won’t help at-risk people, that’s what I said.” – No Jeff, that’s not what you said … My reaction is quite a logical reaction to what you said …
        So you got vaccinated – you didn’t feel that your “bodily integrity” was being violated?

      8. Sir …
        CDC data proves that vaccines actually increase likelihood of injury and deaths …
        This should not surprise anyone aware that the average trial testing period for any vaccine is 10 years … but the COVID vaccines were rushed to market after only one year …
        Between June and DEC, 2020, over 31,000 injuries were reported and over 6,000 deaths after the jab.
        Here’s the story:
        **********************
        VAERS data released today by the CDC showed a total of 387,087 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 6,113 deaths and 31,240 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and June 18, 2021
        https://lifeanddeathandallbetween.wordpress.com/2021/07/02/latest-cdc-vaers-data-show-reported-injuries-surpass-11000-in-ages-12-to-17-following-covid-vaccines/

      9. To Doug,
        “reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines,”
        Shucks, i imagine some folks may have had car accidents following vaccines too – the fact that an “adverse event” happened after a person got a vaccine does not mean the vaccine caused it – correlation does not = causation – are you not familiar with this concept?
        The vaccines have been shown to decrease significantly serious illness and death as compared to those who got the disease but weren’t vaccinated – and considering that a whole lot of folks (~ a million now in this country) have died from it and many have gotten seriously ill, not to mention the rates of long Covid – I would say that anything that reduces such numbers is better than nothing – we do need better vaccines …

      10. What incentive would vaxers have for reporting injuries within one week of the vax … the VAERS DB is grossly understated, Dr Chris Martensen has said for every reported incident, there are 40 unreported … and since Phizer, Mderna, J&J all have legal immunity, what incentive would people have to report an adverse event?

      11. To Doug,
        Shucks., I dunno – what incentive did the folks who reported them have?
        In any case – you failed to acknowledge that correlation does not = causation – and that’s the bottom line …

      12. To Doug,
        I watched it – and agree with much, if not all – especially with apparently the sweeping conclusion that they do more harm than good.
        I have had my own critiques of these vaccines from the beginning – starting with their rather singular focus on the spike protein, and from there with failure to pursue the more tried and true vaccine platforms that have been used successfully for years.
        The question that still remains, and that study doesn’t answer, for the very reason it was critiqued in that piece – done in ’21, roughly a year after the vaccines were rolled out, there hasn’t been enough time that has elapsed nor numbers studied to answer the question – are we better with or without the vaccine – the fact is the virus itself, sans vaccine, is being shown to produce many of the effects blamed on the vaccine ….
        Wonder if we can untangle some of the issues:
        1) do you think vaccines, per se, are dangerous, or just these particular ones?
        2) Is the problem that we didn’t do the vaccine research sooner, say, starting in ’04 when SARS Cov1 showed up, so we would have had the time necessary to do all the extensive trials – and you do know that there is, dare I say, no Rx without potential side effects – look at all the ones mentioned beneath any ad for any drugs on TV
        3) is the problem that we threw a whole lot of money behind a new technology to the exclusion of other more traditional ones
        4) Is the problem that the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry have an incestuous relationship.
        I think that we need to sort this stuff out for a simple reason – unless you don’t believe in the concept of vaccines at all, all of these other issues, raised with regard to Pfizer/Moderna vaccines, will succeed in “contaminating” any vaccine that comes along, for anything … and that, IMO, would be a real shame …

      13. Thank you for the very constructive tone of your reply …
        My qualm is not with vaccines in general – not at all … but rather, with the COVID vaccines and the inadequate, reckless way they were implemented, which I believe was no accident … as indicated in the VID I sent you, the average trial test period for any vax has historically been 10 years and these were put into action after only one year … regarding your second question, I do not believe it was an oversight to not initiate COVID research sooner – I believe it was all part of the plan to wait until a sense of panic and urgency swept the world before jumping into action … this in turn gave the govt an an “understandable” sense of permission to grant legal immunity to the manufacturers … and don’t forget that Gates warned the world of a pandemic in his 2015 TED talk and he had the money and means to begin research even before then … the incestuous relationship between the Federal govt and big business also had to be in place to make this work … note that Phizer has continued to fund MSM cable new broadcasts since the pandemic broke two years ago … so as you can see, I believe their intention from the start was to deliberately “fail” at our expense … and I believe the first big lie here in the U.S. occurred in early 2020 when the Trump administration held its first press conference on the virus … CDC Director Dr Robt Redfield made a 5m statement in which he said the chances of the virus taking root here was small … he actually said it 3 times … one month later all hell broke loose and apparently I am the only person in this hemisphere who remembers it.

      14. I don’t know how this got into a discussion about vaccines. So what are Americans to do? All we can do is accept that the vaccines and boosters that are now available are effective. It truly appears that no vaccine = COVID higher chances. The ruling class allied corporations who have formulated the vaccines are making a lot of money, but nevertheless I’d rather be alive to fight against the ruling capitalist classes than be dead, in which case I can do nothing. I’m in my 70s. I have had 4 vaccine injections at this point. My view is that to question vaccination is to succumb to right wing paranoia. We can trust our government to do a few things right. Get vaccinated or you threaten my health and my organizatinal skills.

      15. I amazed, simply amazed at you people …
        Your position that vaccines are generally good and useful is inarguable … but you insist on ignoring the fact the the people behind these COVID vaccines from start to finish have not only failed miserably, but with a little coercion from the courts, have been proven to be murderers … and there also seems to be nothing we can do about it …

      16. To Michael,
        I agree that these vaccines are better than nothing – that they reduce serious illness and death, and that’s a big deal – The issue, for me at least, is that we threw a s*** load of money at an experimental platform without also financing the use of other established platforms – that we keep having to “boost” them with the same stuff, that we refuse to share the patents with the rest of the world …
        So, Mike – you’ve been boosted – but i suspect you have noticed that vaccinated people have been getting re-infected ….
        Masks, good well-fitting ones, are still the best protection against infection …

      17. @SH
        Totally disagree, and your analogies are totally flawed.

        First, there’s a HUGE difference between regulating traffic by requiring drivers to stop at stop signs, and forcing or coercing people to put unwanted things into their bodies. One’s bodily autonomy should take priority, and I can’t think of any exceptions to that. If you want to drive, others have the right to be protected against you running stop signs, and traffic must be regulated in order to prevent constant accidents. (None of this addresses the far bigger issue of all the environmental harms caused by driving, BTW.) That is not in any way comparable to coercing someone to put unwanted chemicals into their bodies.

        Second, I totally oppose seat belt and helmet laws. Did you know that those laws were enacted on behalf of the insurance industry? Politicians didn’t enact them to keep people safe. But the issue here is whether you support a nanny state, and I firmly oppose it. If mentally competent adults don’t want to wear seat belts or helmets, that should be their choice.

        Third, you are clearly misinformed about vaccines. Viruses like small pox and polio are “stable,” so the vaccines for them are about 100% effective, thereby stopping contraction and the resulting transmission. But viruses like COVID-19 are unstable, so the vaccines for them are “leaky” and prevent neither contraction nor transmission. Even the CDC admitted this last August. I maintain my position about a person being able to protect their own bodily autonomy in either case, but there isn’t even a logical reason for coercing people to get vaccinated for an unstable virus like COVID. The greedy pharmaceutical companies you mentioned have been pushing their lies and propaganda through their paid mouthpieces in the government and mainstream media, which is that everyone should get vaccinated. These companies are making literally billions of dollars off their COVID-19 vaccines alone — Pfizer now gets about 1/4 of its revenue from them, and Pfizer is a large company that does a lot of things; it made over $30 billion from its vaccine last year alone if I remember correctly — so of course they want everyone to think that they need to be vaccinated. But this is BS, lies in order to make a lot of money for this greedy pharmaceutical company.

      18. To Jeff,
        You missed the point, again …. the point being that the Gov’t has a right, and a duty to protect “the general welfare” – that’s the point of traffic regs as for seat belts, they save lives.
        No one is “coerced” into wearing them or getting vaccinated … it is always a choice
        Were you vaccinated? Did someone hold you down and jab you?
        As to the “leaky vaccines” – the major ones most used were directed at the spike protein epitope which mutates on a fairly regular basis – there are other epitopes that are highly conserved across corona viruses that, IMO can and should be developed – we could have been working on a pan corona virus vaccine since at least SARS Cov1 showed up ~2004.
        As to Phrma making a bundle on the ones we use, i agree – but I blame that on the pols who gave out the lucrative contracts instead of funding other platforms.
        It appears we “disagree” on a bunch of things – so be it, let’s leave it at that. I have tried “conversing” with you on a number of occasions in a number of areas – persistent cuss that I am – and it has been clear to me there really is no point – it’s your way or the highway. Adios, amigo!

    2. HIS EXACT WORDS: Phizer CEO Albert Bourla recently admitted the VAX is “not very good against infections and does not last very long” … but when asked to comment on the vaccinations in a recent interview with Krystal and Kyle, Chris Hedges ignored the data that supported increasing breakthrough rates and said “I don’t think we’re going to stop the pandemic and the mutations until everybody gets vaccinated” … that’s not true and he knows it! … he also made this comment just a few weeks after a FOIA request forced Phizer to release its initial trial data that revealed that over 1200 participants died within the first 10 weeks after getting jabbed! … and the VAERS database now has over 25k reports of adverse side affects! … these are just a sampling of facts recently injected into the public domain … but I will not share the intelligent speculation on why people like you have been unaffected because you’re probably not ready to hear it … but I do have a question for you: do you really believe that the vax is “safe & effective” just because you have not been unaffected? …
      Eagerly awaiting your reply!

  20. Failing to see Hanlon’s Razor yet again. Chris has really lost his touch. Putin is losing this war to street fighters and has a deluge of egg on his face. He will later retreat in humiliation and we’ll forget all about this. The world actually hates war and it shows. However, war is not actually the worst thing we do, that would be lack of economic development.

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