Censorship Chris Hedges Forever Wars

Hedges: The Age of Self-Delusion

The US and Russia, faded relics of the Cold War, unable to accept their terminal decline, launch futile and self-defeating wars to reclaim their lost imperial power.
“Portion Control.” [Original illustration by Mr. Fish]

By Chris Hedges | Original to ScheerPost

Blinded by what Barbara Tuchman calls “the bellicose frivolity of senile empires,” we are marching ominously towards war with Russia. How else might we explain Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s public declaration that the US goal is to “weaken Russia” and Joe Biden’s request for another $33 billion in “emergency” military and economic aid (half of what Russia spent on its military in 2021) for Ukraine?

The same cabal of generals and politicians that drained the state of trillions of dollars in the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Somalia and learned nothing from the nightmare of Vietnam, revel in the illusion of their omnipotence. They have no interest in a diplomatic solution. There are billions in profits to be made in arms sales. There is political posturing to be done. There are generals itching to pull the trigger. Why have all these high-priced and technologically advanced weapons systems if you can’t use them? Why not show the world this time around that the US still dominates the globe? 

The masters of war require an enemy. When an enemy cannot be found, as George Orwell understood in Nineteen Eighty-Four, an enemy is manufactured. That enemy can become an ally overnight – we allied ourselves with Iran in the Middle East to fight the Taliban and later the Caliphate – before instantly reinstated Iran as the incarnation of evil. The enemy is not about logic or geopolitical necessity. It is about stoking the fear and hatred that fuels perpetual war. 

In 1989, I covered the revolutions that toppled the communist dictatorships in Central and Eastern Europe.  President Mikhail Gorbachev, like his successor Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin in the early stages of his rule, hoped to integrate Russia into the western alliance. But the war industry places profits before national defense. It needed an antagonistic Russia to push the expansion of NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany in violation of a promise made to Moscow. There were billions of dollars to be made from a Russian enemy, as there are billions more to be made from the proxy war in Ukraine. There would be no “peace dividend” at the end of the Cold War. The war industry was determined to continue to bleed the US dry and amass its obscene profits. They provoked and antagonized Russia until Russia filled its preordained role.

The humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan and two decades of military disasters in the Middle East have magically been atoned for in Ukraine, although we have yet to place any troops on Ukrainian soil. We have taken ownership of the Ukrainians, as we did with the mujahideen we funded to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.

“For the first time in decades, an American president is showing that he, and only he, can lead the free world,” wrote George Packer, one of the most ardent cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq, in The Atlantic magazine.

“NATO has been revitalized, the United States has reclaimed a mantle of leadership that some feared had vanished in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the European Union has found a unity and purpose that eluded it for most of its existence,” The New York Times crowed.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The New York Times wrote, carries around a map of Ukraine, marked with tactical details. “With aides, he drills down for details about the location and combat readiness of specific Russian ground units and ship movements,” the paper noted.

Former NATO commander Richard Shirreff told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program the West should prepare to fight Russia.

“The worst case is war with Russia,” he said. “By gearing itself up for the worst case, it is most likely to deter Putin because ultimately Putin respects strength.”

War is a drug. It cripples your body. It fogs your brain. It reduces you to poverty. But each new hit sends you back to the euphoric heights where you began.  

More weapons mean more fighting. More fighting means more death and destruction. More death and destruction mean more antagonization of Moscow. More antagonization of Moscow means we circle closer and closer to open warfare with Russia. Following Ukraine’s strikes on Russian military and energy facilities, Moscow threatened to attack incoming NATO weapons shipments. Reeling from sanctions, Moscow halted gas supplies to two European countries. It warned that the risk of a nuclear war is very “real” and that any direct foreign intervention in Ukraine would provoke a “lightning fast” response. As Finland and Sweden debate joining NATO, Russia has called further expansion of NATO another dangerous act of aggression, which of course it is. There is mounting pressure for a no-fly zone, a move that would trigger direct confrontation between Russia and NATO, as would a Russian attack on a NATO arms convoy in a Ukrainian neighbor country. Putin’s revanchism is matched by our own.

The disorganization, ineptitude, and low morale of the Russian army conscripts, along with the repeated intelligence failures by the Russian high command, apparently convinced Russia would roll over Ukraine in a few days, exposes the lie that Russia is a global menace. Russia’s forty-mile long convoy​ of stalled tanks and trucks, broken down and out of fuel, on the muddy road to Kyiv was not an image of cutting-edge military prowess. Russia has been unable to overwhelm a poorly equipped and numerically inferior force in Ukraine, many of whose troops have little or no military training. Russia poses no threat to the NATO alliance or the United States, barring a nuclear attack.

“The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself,” historian Andrew Bacevich writes.

But this is not a truth the war makers impart to the public. Russia must be inflated to become a global menace, despite nine weeks of humiliating military failures. A Russian monster is the raison d’être for increased military spending and the further projection of American power abroad, especially against China. Militarists need a mortal enemy. That enemy may be a chimera, but it will always be led by the new Hitler. The new Hitler was once Saddam Hussein. Today it is Vladimir Putin. Tomorrow it will be Xi Jinping. You can’t drain and impoverish the nation to feed an insatiable military machine unless you make its people afraid, even of phantoms.

The war in Ukraine is intimately linked to the real existential crisis we face – the climate crisis. The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns that greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025, and be nearly halved this decade, to thwart global catastrophe. UN Secretary General António Guterres characterized the report as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” Triggered by war in Ukraine, soaring energy prices have pushed the US and other countries to call on domestic oil producers to increase fossil fuel extraction and exacerbate the climate crisis. Oil and gas lobbyists are demanding the Biden administration lift prohibitions on offshore drilling and on federal lands.

Black and brown people, who suffered in the brutal wars in Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Syria, without the western support and sympathy shown white Ukrainians, will again be targeted. The Indian subcontinent is currently plagued with temperatures as high as 116.6 degrees, power outages of 10 to 14 hours a day and dying fields of crops. An estimated 143 million people will be displaced over the next thirty years, nearly all from Africa, South Asia and Latin America, the IPCC writes.

These endless conflicts will inevitably militarize our response to the climate breakdown. Absent measures and resources to halt the rise in global temperatures, curtail our reliance on fossil fuels, foster a plant-based diet and curb profligate consumption, nations will increasingly use their militaries to hoard diminishing natural resources, including food and water. Russia and Ukraine account for 30 per cent of all wheat traded on world markets. Since the invasion, the price of wheat has gone up by between 50 and 65 per cent in commodities exchanges. This is a hint of what is to come.

The Ukraine war is part of a world order where the rule of law has been jettisoned for aggressive, preemptive war, a criminal act of aggression. These wars bring with them black sites, kidnapping, torture, targeted assassinations, censorship, and arbitrary detention. Rogue private contractors, along with covert intelligence paramilitary units, carry out off-the-book-war crimes. Russia’s Wagner Group (The name Wagner is supposedly the call sign of its founder and commander, an ex-GRU officer called Dmitry Utkin, who reportedly has Waffen-SS insignia tattooed on his collarbones) or the US mercenary group Academi, founded by the Christian Right leader Erik Prince, function as little more than death squads. 

War is a spectacular form of social control. It secures a blind, unquestioning mass consent propped up by what Pankaj Mishra calls an “infotainment media” that “works up citizens into a state of paranoid patriotism,” while “a service class of intellectuals talks up the American Revolution and the international liberal order.”

In The London Review of Books, Mishra wrote:

Humiliation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at home by Trump, demoralised the exporters of democracy and capitalism. But Putin’s atrocities in Ukraine have now given them an opportunity to make America seem great again. The Russian bear has long guaranteed, more reliably than ‘Islamofascism’ or China, income, and identity to many in the military-industrial and intellectual-industrial complex. An aging centrist establishment – battered by the far right, harangued by post-Occupy and post-BLM young leftists, frustrated by legislative stalemate in Washington – seems suddenly galvanised by the prospect of defining themselves through a new cold war.

This world of fantasy is sustained by myths – the myth that the people of Afghanistan and Iraq would welcome us as liberators, that Ukraine is not a real nation, that Ukrainians see themselves as pan-Russians, that all that stands between Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Somalis, Yemenis and Libyans and ourselves are terrorists, that all that stands between Putin and Ukrainians are neo-Nazis and their supporters in the West.

Those that challenge these fantasies, whether in Russia or the US, are attacked, marginalized, and censored. Few notice. The dream is more appealing than reality. Step-by-step these blinded, bloodied cyclops of war stumble forward leaving mounds of corpses in their wake.


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 waver 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

90 comments

  1. Hedges is wrong about a couple of key aspects of this situation:

    1. The war is going well for Russia. Period.

    A Russian ‘B Team’ is slowly crushing the trapped Ukrainian army, which has no air cover, in Donbass. Meanwhile, the rest of Ukrainian military machine has been destroyed/disabled (air force/airfields, navy, infrastructure, fuel/ammo dumps etc). This, and not the taking of Ukrainian cities (except for Mariupol), was ALWAYS the plan for the initial stages of the military operation. Meanwhile, Russia’s A Team sits at high alert – waiting for NATO.

    2. Russia is not ‘reeling from sanctions’. Period.

    The Ruble is riding high and there are plenty of Asian takers for Russian gas and oil that the Europeans no longer wish to avail themselves of. Russia is also self-sufficient in energy and food. It can happily trade with China – the world’s biggest factory – for most things it does make itself.

    1. Well, you have to consider, both Nancy Pelosi and Angelina Jolie were in Ukraine at the same time, publicizing themselves with their usual panache. With opponents like these, how can the Russians ever hope to win?

    2. Your second point is becoming clear, even in the corporate press.

      What’s the source of your military analysis?

      1. Scott Ritter, Douglas McGregor, and Brian Berletic (who has a podcast on YouTube called The New Atlas) are all folks with considerable expertise in military matters who have analyzed the military situation thoroughly. There’s also some good reporting on this, relying on various sources, on the Moon of Alabama site; for example, this the other day: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/05/ukraines-army-is-in-very-bad-state-more-fighting-will-only-destroy-it.html#more

    3. Quite correct. Chris is very uninformed on both counts. He’s also wrong about there being low morale in the Russian military.

  2. Ahh, the three trick pony. Look, as Hedges writes and writes and writes, he shows his weaknesses, for sure. There is angst and desperation, for sure, as he has seen himself “cancelled” in more than one or two ways. He still, however, relies on the masters of propaganda — NYT, London Review of Books, generals, and I don’t know what else when he says the Russians are bogged down, poor planners, and with conscripts demoralized.

    This is the west now — writers and TV anchors and politicians and the general public deluded and full of false balance and equivication. To believe that was is a drug for Russia, for Putin, for the Slavs, now, is absurd. But, then, Chris is locked in a tradition of high horsing this, and low balling that.

    The drug is power. Money. And, so much of what is wrong with the world is on the backs of elites. Eichmann’s pulling up the rear for those chosen few. A fine super minority ruling the world through lies, media, medical fraud, all sorts of fraud against humanity. The idea is to drain the people, not the swamp. Their schemes go on and on, whether you die from their pills or their sanctions or their perversions in entertainmen, criminal injustice, policing, taxation, obscene education, their anti-collective bargaining ways.

    Then, well, you have many elephants in the room — dispicable Israel-Zionism, AI leaders, Google, Microsoft, Gates or Soros, Buffet or Dimon, Fink or Sackler, et al. Criminals one and all and yet we are comparing Russia with Brussels? With EU? With Germany, the enemy! Italy? France? The collaboraters of Nazism. Then there is Canada/Klanada, UK, USA, Australia . . . .

    Americans think all those (in quotation marks) exports are amazing, that is, those the USA churns out like plastic tokens. Imagine how invested America has become, and then imagine all that the USA and the West exports that not only sullies the people of the world, but literarlly kills them.

    ….. Good one from Pepe Escobar,

    Eurasianism – and its several declinations – treats the complex Russian identity as double-faced, between east and west. Western liberal democracies simply can’t understand that these ideas – infusing varied brands of Russian nationalism – do not imply hostility to “enlightened” Europe, but an affirmation of Difference (they could learn a bit from reading more Gilles Deleuze for that matter). Eurasianism also weighs on closer relations with Central Asia and necessary alliances, in various degrees, with China and Turkey.

    A perplexed liberal west remains hostage to a vortex of Russian images which it can’t properly decode – from the two-headed eagle, which is the symbol of the Russian state since Peter the Great, to the Kremlin cathedrals, the St. Petersburg citadel, the Red Army entering Berlin in 1945, the May 9 parades (the next one will be particularly meaningful), and historical figures from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great. At best – and we’re talking academic level ‘experts’ – they identify all of the above as “flamboyant and confused” imagery.

    https://thecradle.co/Article/columns/9733

  3. Another one on the watch: Written by Eric Zuesse

    Was Iraq a national-security threat to America? Why did America invade Iraq?

    Was Ukraine a national-security threat to Russia? Why did Russia invade Ukraine?

    Iraq had no nuclear weapons, and is 6,000 miles from America. It also had no military alliance, no alliance at all, with any country that endangers America. So, why did America invade it?

    Ukraine has no nuclear weapons, but it seeks them from America and is backed to the hilt by America and by its anti-Russian NATO military alliance. And Ukraine borders on Russia and has the nearest border to Moscow; and, if Ukraine is admitted into NATO it would be able to allow its dream of having U.S. nuclear missiles against Moscow placed there only a five-minute striking-distance away from blitz-obliterating Moscow and maybe thereby disabling all of Russia’s retaliatory capability so as to allow America then to take over and rule by dictat the entire world.

    Clearly, America had zero justification for invading Iraq, but Russia has considerable justification for invading Ukraine.

    Therefore: why is virtually all of the ‘news’-reporting in U.S.-and-allied countries saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an intolerable international-war crime, but that America’s invasion and continued occupation of Iraq (despite all of Iraq’s Parliament having voted to expel all of them) is not? Blatantly the truth is the exact opposite: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is self-defensive, but America’s invasion of Iraq was not.

    1. I agree with your comments entirely. Thank you for them.
      And I like to point out at every opportunity that no one – no one at all amongst all our leaders and commentators and pundits and wise men is calling for peace. Which I find to be a total condemnation of us in itself.

      1. @AB
        In case you did not notice there was one person Putin, who was calling for peace in Donbas for eight years. It wasPoroshenko and Zelensky who ultimately rejected peace in 2021 due to false promises of military support by western warmongers .

        Putin effectively stopped the Donbas war in 2014 by promising his support for Minsk peace agreements (backed by France and Germany. He thought he would stop the bloodshed by halting 2014 successful Donbas militia offensive that amid complete collapse of AFU command and anti Bandera 22 millions of ethnic Russians in Ukraine would surely end up in Kiev, deposing Kiev Nazi regime and restoring legitimate presidents Yanukovitch and by that let go of idea of Autonomy or independence for Donbas.

        Back them still it was time to do it. After eight years of total economic blockade and daily terror in Donbas it is no longer possible.

        It was Putin’s naive peacemaking lack of hindsight of true anti Russian hatred of the west that brought us today to this war of necessity for Russia.

        I look suspiciously on stop the war absolutists as they can be easily exploited by warmongers who also want peace as soon as they won. And hence stopping the war in Ukraine which is a NATO Russia proxy war now means prolonging it into more brutal phase with more deaths from new deadly weapons both sides will have time to arm themselves.

        Hedges who knows wars from personal experience as he was reporting for over two decades once said echoing sensibility of Rosa Luxemburg that he is against imperial wars but he is not a pacifist as he never would tell Salvadoran peasants facing paramilitary deaths quads to stop fighting and lay down their arms for sake of peace as such peace could only be of family tomb kind. That kind of attitude Russians who lost 30 millions of citizens during war against Nazis will never change while fighting against Nazism in Ukraine as well in the west.

      2. To Kalen,
        I think that is it in a nutshell – at one time when i heard that Zelensky was thinking about negotiations the West rushed in with arms – essentially to say, “you don’t have to negotiate! Here’s lots of weapons! You can win!” And they are keeping it up …

        One ironic thing – Biden has carried out Trump’s wish to “get Europe to spend more on its own defense” … of course that means buying wore weapons from the US …

    2. Paul, also a comparison must be made to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
      USA forbids Russian missiles in Caribbean but today USA forbids any objections to placing Nato , American missiles and troops within mere minutes from Moscow.
      The world miraculously escaped a nuclear war 60 years ago but a second miracle is difficult.

      1. Turkey or Italy, anyone? This Nuke America has been the tip of the terrorist spear for more than 75 years:

        While Soviet ships had not attempted to break the U.S naval blockade of Cuba, Soviet nuclear missile bases remained on the island and were rapidly becoming operational, and pressure on President Kennedy to order an air strike or invasion was mounting, especially after an American l -2 reconnaissance plane was shot down over Cuba that Saturday afternoon and its pilot killed. Hopes that a satisfactory resolution to the crisis could be reached between Washington and Moscow had dimmed, moreover, when a letter from Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev arrived Saturday morning demanding that the United States agree to remove its Jupiter missiles from Turkey in exchange for a Soviet removal of missiles from Cuba. The letter struck U.S. officials as an ominous hardening of the Soviet position from the previous day’s letter from Khrushchev, which had omitted any mention of American missiles in Turkey but had instead implied that Washington’s pledge not to invade Cuba would be sufficient to obviate the need for Soviet nuclear protection of Castro’s revolution.

        On Saturday evening, after a day of tense discussions within the “ExComm” or Executive Committee of senior advisers, President Kennedy decided on a dual strategy—a formal letter to Khrushchev accepting the implicit terms of his October 26 letter (a U.S. non-invasion pledge in exchange for the verifiable departure of Soviet nuclear missiles), coupled with private assurances to Khrushchev that the United States would speedily take out its missiles from Turkey, but only on the basis of a secret understanding, not as an open agreement that would appear to the public, and to NATO allies, as a concession to blackmail. The U.S. president elected to transmit this sensitive message through his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who met in his office at the Justice Department with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin.

        That meeting has long been recognized as a turning point in the crisis, but several aspects of it have been shrouded in mystery and confusion. One concerned the issue of the Jupiter missiles in Turkey: U.S. officials maintained that neither John nor Robert Kennedy promised to withdraw the Jupiters as a quid pro quo, or concession, in exchange for the removal of the Soviet missiles from Cuba, or as part of an explicit agreement, deal, or pledge, but had merely informed Dobrynin that Kennedy had planned to take out the American missiles in any event. This was the version of events depicted in the first published account of the RFK-Dobrynin meeting by one of the participants, in Robert F. Kennedy’s Thirteen Days: A Memoir at the Cuban Missile Crisis, posthumously published in 1969, a year after he was assassinated while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. While Thirteen Days depicted RFK as rejecting any firm agreement to withdraw the Jupiters, this was also the first public indication that the issue had even been privately discussed.

        With Dobrynin obviously unable to publish his own version—he remained Moscow’s ambassador in Washington until 1986, and Soviet diplomats were not in the habit of publishing tell-all exposés prior to glasnost—the first important Soviet account of the event to emerge was contained in the tape-recorded memoirs of deposed Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, which were smuggled to the West and published in 1970 (after Khrushchev’s death, additional installments saw print in the West in 1974 and 1990). The account of the RFK-Dobrynin meeting in Khrushchev Remembers, in the form of a paraphrase from memory of Dobrynin’s report, did not directly touch upon the secret discussions concerning the Jupiters, but did raise eyebrows with its claim that Robert F. Kennedy had fretted to Dobrynin that if his brother did not approve an attack on Cuba soon, the American military might overthrow him and seize power.” The second volume of Khrushchev’s memoirs (Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament), published posthumously in 1974, touched only briefly on the Robert Kennedy-Dobrynin meeting, but included the flat statement (on p. 512) that “President Kennedy said that in exchange for the withdrawl of our missiles, he would remove American missiles from Turkey and Italy,” although he described this “pledge” as “symbolic” since the rockets “were already obsolete.”

        Over the years, many scholars of the Cuban Missile Crisis came strongly to suspect that Robert Kennedy had, in fact, relayed a pledge from his brother to take out the Jupiters from Turkey in exchange for the Soviet removal of nuclear missiles from Cuba, so long as Moscow kept the swap secret; yet senior former Kennedy Administration officials, such as then-National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, continued to insist that RFK had passed on no more than an informal assurance rather than an explicit promise or agreement.

        The first authoritative admission on the U.S. side that the Jupiters had actually been part of a “deal” came at a conference in Moscow in January 1989, after glasnost had led Soviet (and then Cuban) former officials to participate in international scholarly efforts to reconstruct and assess the history of the crisis. At that meeting, former Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen (and the uncredited editor of Thirteen Days) admitted, after prodding from Dobrynin, that he had taken it upon himself to edit out a “very explicit” reference to the inclusion of the Jupiters in the final deal to settle the crisis.

        Now Dobrynin’s original, contemporaneous, and dramatic cable of the meeting, alluded to in some accounts by Soviets (such as Anatoly Gromyko, son of the late foreign minister) with special access, has been declassified and is available at the archives of the Russian Foreign Ministry. It is reprinted in translation below, along with relevant excerpts from the other publications mentioned above. The Dobrynin cable’s first publication in English, a copy obtained by the Japanese television network NHK, came last year in an appendix to We AII Lost the Cold War, a study by Richard Ned Lebow and Janice Stein, whose commentary is also excerpted.

  4. Russia is running what it calls a “Special Military Operation” according to its own plan and timetable. The systematic advances that Russia has made in the East, the slow destruction of much of the Ukraine Army with estimates of 45,000 KIA, MIA, wounded or captured, and the panicked tones in the West to provide more weapons to Ukraine all tell their own story as does the strength of the ruble vs the dollar despite “sanctions from hell”.

    From Larry Johnson:

    “If you are listening to the U.S. media about the war in Ukraine, Russia is struggling and on the ropes. But the map and the following videos tell a different story:

    https://sonar21.com/update-on-the-military-situation-in-ukraine/

    1. good but more than a month old. I left a comment/question there: ‘what’s the situation now?’
      I’ll ask the same here. What is it?

      1. Remember, Russia was “losing” in February, and then in March it only had a week’s worth of ammunition left?

        If you are interested in more balanced and realistic assessments not full of propaganda and BS, try The Moon of Alabama, and The Saker of the Vineyard.
        https://thesaker.is/

        At the very least, one should know their enemy and not smoke their own crack – as in MIC /neocon propaganda.

  5. Chris Hedges is always insightful and worth reading; nevertheless he misses some key points. For one, he hardly mentions the nazification of Ukraine that has created a fascist government there, a government with visceral hatred of Russia and its own ethnic Russians. This was one of the precipitators of the conflict, just as much as NATO expansion and de facto NATO inclusion of the Ukraine. It is well known that these Nazis propelled the Maidan Coup and their ties to the CIA goes back to post-WW II.
    He also seems to accept certain narratives and myths of the information war. He says, “Russia’s forty-mile long convoy​ of stalled tanks and trucks, broken down and out of fuel, on the muddy road to Kyiv was not an image of cutting-edge military prowess. Russia has been unable to overwhelm a poorly equipped and numerically inferior force in Ukraine, many of whose troops have little or no military training.”
    First, according to ex-Marine Scott Ritter, Russia’s march on Kyiv was a feint designed to ‘fix’ Ukranian forces while the real military objective was the Ukrainian army in the Donbas that had been threatening the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics.
    Second, the troops stationed in the east are Ukraine’s best, highly trained, and fully equipped with NATO weaponry and trained by NATO personnel (NATO and the US are practically synonymous).
    Third, Russian military doctrine in the Ukraine is to minimize civilian casualties and civilian infrastructure. This has entailed very slow going and has resulted in many Russian casualties.
    Finally, it is getting more and more clear that the Ukrainian forces, surely the Nazi elements, are the ones committing atrocities and war crimes. Recently, Ukrainian artillery slammed into Donetsk, killing dozens of civilians. The Azov Battalion killed civilians and used them as shields in Mariupol. It is likely that the murders in Bucha were revenge killings on ‘collaborators’ committed by Ukraine’s secret police.
    There should be an urgency in the West to stop the rise of another fascist state in Europe, but since that fascist state is the creation of the USA, it is more convenient to just believe the propaganda. Kyiv and the US has won the information war, but facts on the ground favor Russia.

  6. We’re not seeing a duel between empires.

    The US, the only empire in the game, has been moving NATO purposefully toward Russia and has now succeeded in goading its much weaker opponent into an ill-advised military venture. A giant replay of the Afghan strategy, which was a replay of the strategy that goaded Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor.

    Russia, thanks to the idiocy of Gorbachev, is now — as Obama triumphantly stated — a regional power, not a global force.

    China is the other major, global force, and it’s not an empire. As people in Asia and Africa will tell you, it’s also a positive force. Africans spend decades pleading with WhiteLandia to please, please, buy our produce — to no avail. Now , the US and its European string-alongs are worried that China is “taking over” Africa.

    The non-white world, i.e. the global majority — sees things very clearly.

    They are not particularly interested in the fact that white people are massacring each other en masse again in Europe. Maybe the Organization of African Unity should issue a tut-tut statement critiquing white Europeans for their violent tribalism, corruption and inability to get along with each other.

    Out of 195 countries, only 30 have honored the US sanctions on Russia. That means about 165 countries in the world have refused to join the sanctions. Those countries represent by far the majority of the world’s population. Most of Africa, Latin America (including Mexico and Brazil), East Asia (excepting Japan, South Korea, both occupied by U.S. troops and hence not sovereign, Singapore and the renegade Chinese Province of Taiwan) have refused. (India and China alone represent 35% of humanity.)

    Much of the world is reacting as it did to the BLM marches.

    Millions out there in support.

    For the US-instigated Hong Kong rioters?

    Crickets.

    The same crickets are chirping for the Ukrainians and their Azov “heroes.”

    Yes, Africans and others will suffer from these displacements, but they know who the real criminals are.

  7. Hello
    I do not see Russia as a “senile empire” as the empire of the Soviet Union died naturally of the costly administration in 1989. The US empire swallowed what has been left in a triumphant seizure of brigandage. This fall has had the horrendous price of several millions of lives during the transition to a liberal capitalist state. Slowly Russia reorganized itself to what it is now. It was a big challenge just to observe that again there is hostility from the west in a manner that makes me ashamed as a Westerner. The initiative in Ukraine is not a conquest but self-defense from the aggressive USA/NATO belligerence.

  8. Interesting view, Chris, looking at resource wars. We know this, especially the smart boys and girls at the truth machine, but we can’t think it, it’s unthinkable. I hear young leftie voices supporting Russia and their military prowess, but most of the mind melting media spin myths of western goodness. As the streets of my city clog again with traffic and homeless tent encampments linger on and the grocery bill skyrockets, I can feel your words of mass migrations and resource wars.

  9. The illustration at the top says all that needs to be said about the U.S./Russia situation. During the U.S.S.R., a punk rock band from Berkeley, California had an album cover that was virtually the same: a picture of the Earth with a dagger through it, with half the handle saying U.S., and the other half saying U.S.S. R. You can now add China to this, as it doesn’t give a damn about the Earth either, and its Roads & Belts initiative or whatever it’s called with further wreck the planet with destruction euphemised as “development.” Of course these overly large countries are not the only environmental problems, but breaking them all up into smaller countries would do a lot for our planet.

    I generally agree with this column except that Hedges is a little too hard on Russia. I also oppose Russia’s invasion, but the U.S. provocations over the past 30 years were the cause of that invasion and should be kept in the forefront of any discussion about this war, especially in the U.S. where it could not be more hypocritical to complain about the invasion.

    “President Mikhail Gorbachev, like his successor Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin in the early stages of his rule, hoped to integrate Russia into the western alliance.”

    And the U.S. refused. It denied Russia NATO membership, then later made sure it was also denied EU membership. That along with the illegitimate continued existence of NATO is the heart & root of this problem. I have a lot of issues with Russia, but who exactly is the bad guy here?

    “Absent measures and resources to halt the rise in global temperatures, curtail our reliance on fossil fuels, foster a plant-based diet and curb profligate consumption, nations will increasingly use their militaries to hoard diminishing natural resources, including food and water.”

    Lowering population isn’t mentioned as a necessary solution, and it’s the biggest and most important one. Human supremacists don’t like discussing human overpopulation; in fact, they often if not usually refuse to recognize this obvious problem, because they’re so blinded by worship of themselves via worship of their own species. This is another aspect of an oversized ego problem, the latter that Hedges sometimes mentions.

    1. @Jeff

      Can you point out when Russia applied for EU membership and was rejected? I find hard to believe that Russia will have accepted to renounce its status of “superpower” in order to accept the whole corpus of EU legislation and to be one of the 20 something states , with a voice equal to Luxembourg or Bulgaria ( no offence intended to either of them).
      As regarding your contention regarding ” illegitimate continued existence of NATO “the only ones that can decide on its legitimacy are its members ! None of them wanted to leave and the ex USSR republics and ex Warsaw Pact countries were more than eager to join, based on their past history with Russian aggression and the continued examples of it ( 1990-1991 Moldova, Chechnya)

  10. I don’t believe Putin or Russia is at all self deluded. I believe they understand exactly what the West’s ultimate intentions are, and what their ultimate fate will be if they lose this conflict. They consider this an existential threat and we do not. That is what scares me. The West seems utterly oblivious to where this all leads.

    1. @JustAMaverick
      Oblivious or Dr. Strangeloves/General Rippers. Don’t underestimate the psychopathy of some of these people.

  11. I’ve liked Putin since I first saw a video of him over a couple of years ago now, don’t remember exactly when.
    His manner and speech are just so absolutely calm and honest compared with the patent spin and and specious bullshit of our politicians. So it seemed to me. Perhaps Putin fooled me but for sure our mob don’t fool me. I speak their language, I am aware of nuance. They are specious liars, there’s no doubt. Acting all the time. Trying to con people. Trying to project an image ‘I and my party are so wonderful’ and so on…
    A non-stop con game that’s conned them, theirselves, more than anyone.
    So yes, I would like Putin to turn out to be all I thought he was.
    I remember back when Trump mooted working with Putin and how Putin spoke at that time and all through the following quick demolition of Trump’s idea and the resurgence of Russia hatred married with Trump hating.
    Most unedifying. Instructive. Informative to a great degree. But uplifting, no. Depressing. Our side revealing itself to be corrupt and stupid. Sadly. Who amongst us isn’t sad about it?
    But two insane covid years and we can no longer deny it.
    And now this madness.
    Forget hating Putin. Forget hating Zelensky. All that’s wasted effort. We need effort into finding the quickest way to end the killing.
    Who is looking into that? Our mob? No way. Not a fraction. Not in the smallest way. If I ever saw stoking the fires this is it.
    Yes. I tend to think Putin is a calm realist. He spoke of this eventuality, sort of, years ago. Questioned something about possible Russian future aggression he more or less scoffed at the idea (except Putin doesn’t ‘scoff’, does he? Our politicians make a career of it. There’s another clear difference). He pointed out it was a ridiculous thought. No chance. As calmly and convincingly as the Indonesian leader when he put Australians back in their box when they were being paranoid about a proposed ‘Indonesian attack’. We’ve got enough to think about at home he said, or something like that. Overwhelmingly convincing. No histrionics.
    Looks to me like Putin knows damn well his nation and himself will be ostracized and victimized after this. But – so what? I imagine he thinks. What was happening before? Steadily growing enmity, pressure, hostility. Refusal of the west – i.e. the USA hegemony – to work in tandem at all.
    That’s the simple truth I think: we in the west do not want peace. We want war. Perpetual war.
    Not you and I: dumb voters. But we’re so dumb we don’t realise the truth of what we’ve been told and shown over and over again ever since who was it – Eisenhower? – the military industrial complex that IS the USA wants perpetual war.
    Putin is deliberately splitting the world into two clear and formally defined camps.
    Erecting again an ‘iron curtain’.
    Simply revealing the truth. Making it concrete. Showing the world how it is. How the USA insists it be.
    And over on that side of the curtain they’ll do fine and get along better than we do on this side.
    Look at our side: nothing but hatred and stupidity – a cowed population lacking reason and sense recently stripped of their supposed inestimable valued possession: democracy and the stability and wealth of it all predicated on a State mortgaged to the hilt rotten and corrupt through and through…
    I think the thing to do is concentrate on Peace.
    Make peace with Putin as swiftly as possible.
    Offer him what he first asked for and see if he will accept: stop NATO expansion, stop shelling the Donbas States is all.
    And let the iron curtain come down.

    1. @arthur brogard
      The U.S. doesn’t want peace in Ukraine and it has said so publicly. It wants Russia bogged down there and Putin thereby weakened.

      As to how to end the war, how about Ukraine implementing the Minsk II agreement to which it agreed years ago but has totally reneged? That might not only be a good opening offer from Ukraine, it might end the war without any further negotiations. But the U.S. has blocked Ukraine from offering this or anything else that would be reasonably acceptable to Russia, so here we are.

  12. “The US and Russia, faded relics of the Cold War, unable to accept their terminal decline, launch futile and self-defeating wars to reclaim their lost imperial power.”

    Superpowers are not built and sustained by common sense and decency. They are built and sustained by endless lies and unbridled thuggery. And an out-of-control sense of false godhood and unassailable rightness about anything and everything they do.

    Truth is bad… Independence is bad… ‘Anything We Don’t Control’ is… bad.

    ‘If you’re not with us you’re against us!”

    Blah… Blah… Blah.

    Superpowers become drunk on themselves. They are FULL of themselves (and other things as well).

    There becomes a point in the aimless wanderings of Empires that they need to prove their ‘manhood’ to themselves and everyone else. So They do what Empires always do in these situations – They haul out their rulers (measuring sticks) and begin to measure and compare the size of their… ‘manhoods’. And as They do that… the World and everyone else around them suffers. While those who ordered the hauling out of these measuring sticks always hide safely behind gated walls and thick-necked strongarms so that They are not inconvenienced in the slightest.

    What are these ‘leaders’ who order the World to the eve of destruction really? Adolescent boys and girls who did not and will not ever grow up and become responsible adults. They are the adolescents who like to strike matches inside the house… chase cats around the yard with a rake… tease and taunt the quiet next-door neighbor kid who just wants to the left the hell alone… swipes stuff off the shelf at the convenience mart when the clerk isn’t looking.

    They live to annoy… hurt… pose… act the King… abuse… demean… profit from the misery of others.

    They suffer from a deep form of spiritual sickness. A darkness of the soul that pervades their lives and which is their default lifestyle and way of thinking.

    They do not recognize decency because there is no decency in them. They use high-sounding words and deceptions to cover their bleakness and immaturity.

    And They fear two things. One – that the People of the World will one day recognize who and what They really are.

    And Two – that Someone Else actually has a bigger measurement once the ruler-stick has made its… ruling. One ‘Ruler’s’ manhood revealed by the other kind of ruler not to be as big as the Others. And no one ever likes not to… measure up. Especially on the World stage,

    They hate The Good because good is Their enemy.

    They live for two things. Power for themselves. And, the endless promotion of Self. Not the healthy sense of Self that we all need. But the perverted, dark sense of self that defines them and gives them purpose and meaning in the World.

    In simple terms, these are some really effed up individuals. And it is They who are always holding the World in their childish, filthy, match-clutching hands.

    This never makes for a completely restful night of sleep for anyone. The nagging fear that one of these Einsteins will finally step over the line and strike that Really Big Match just to see what happens…

    Note: The above words have NOT YET been cleared and approved for appropriateness by the National Department of Fatherland Disinformation Clearinghouse and Mass Disinfo Dispersion Center and Foot-In-Your-Face-Planting Office. Such review is pending.

    1. @Roundball Shaman
      Apply your analysis to the entire human race with rare exceptions for hunter-gatherers and ascetic monks, and you’ve got it. Humans’ obsessions with ego, intellect, materialism, and unnaturally & very harmfully manipulating the physical/natural world beyond what’s needed in order to survive are the problems here. This amounts to a lack of proper mental and spiritual evolution, or as you put it, children who never become adults. Of course the leaders are “[a]dolescent boys and girls who did not and will not ever grow up and become responsible adults,” because the people are that way also. Witness the people who call for a Green New Deal, for example, as if merely changing technologies would stop the extreme environmental and ecological harms caused by living unnaturally with industrial civilization. These people fight for their lifestyle in the guise of fighting for the environment. (I fully realize that many if not most people fighting for a Green New Deal simply don’t know the facts & realities of the situation, but anyone who thinks they can have their cake and eat it too, and/or that you can get something from nothing, is as immature as it gets.)

      Humans went off the rails thousands of years ago, and we need to get back on track. Maybe it’s too late, but I’ll never give up hope or stop advocating for doing the right thing, because the alternative is not acceptable.

      1. I’m not so sure that humans were ever ‘on’ the rails.

        Humanity seems to be stuck in a never-ending loop of self-defeating thinking and behaviors. Yes, there have been some exceptions in history with some of the native tribal people who were spirit-centered and who valued life and nature and the Great Spirit.

        But that vast majority for what constitutes humanity seems to take delight in just passing along a box filled with excremental thinking and teachings and proudly handing that off to the next generation (who will likewise do the same thing).

        Old-time religion people call it looking for Revival. Mystics call it seeking Enlightenment. Whatever one calls it… this is the deep yearning within part of Humanity that we finally get our act together and become something more than the sluggish, selfish, bottom-feeding beings that much of humanity has been up until now.

        People have and are waking up. But it’s like pushing a big rock up a hill. The numbers have been against The Enlightened. And there is a strong opposing force that works tirelessly to make sure that Humanity NEVER wakes up because that’s not in their selfish interest for humanity to make that leap.

        It sure would be nice to finally sit up there on those rails. And once there… think of the places humanity might finally get to travel to.

      2. @Roundball Shaman
        When humans started moving out of Africa 60-90,000 years ago, they caused extinctions wherever they went. So I’m giving humans the benefit of the doubt (to the extent that there is any) in saying that agriculture was the beginning of humans going down the wrong path. Maybe humans ARE the wrong path. But I never give up hope, so I’ll keep trying to show people there’s a much better way to live even though I get major resistance to it because people obsess on all the wrong things. All we can do is do what we can, and giving up is not an option.

  13. I’ve been active in US politics since the JFK campaign when I was 12, was a walking encyclopedia re: the FDR admin, managed local pol candidates, and fought the center-right unfriendly takeover of the D party. I was also trained in the ’60s by leftist labor organizers, who told me “liberals are the ones who leave the room when the fight starts.” So I’m not naive. Yet it’s been difficult for me to fully grasp just how bad things are–I guess I didn’t want to see it. I cling desperately to that thin reed of hope.

    Bad enough that from my low income seniors’ apt I see pollution spewing bumper to bumper traffic that only lets up 3-4 am. In a city known for lib-lefties, eco activists, and great public transportation. Only a minuscule % of us aren’t de facto collaborators in ecocide.

    Add to that the irrelevant centrists trying to hold onto power no matter the cost to everyone else. Using the old trick of trying to distract us through war. “For the 1st time in decades, and American president is showing that he, and only he, can lead the free world.” Joe Biden?! Could the air of unreality be any denser? The ones trying to convince us are heirs of the same in The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam and Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly. The same who have cheered on one disastrous war after another.

    Since they are desperate, they’ve convinced themselves the US won the Cold War; let’s bring that back! Uh, take a closer look. All of those external wars produced internal losers like the War on Poverty, sound infrastructure, a healthy economy, etc. Those alleged freedoms we were supposed to be defending have now devolved into endless propaganda and outright censorship. “Free world” is no longer appropriate. That’s the reality of the 2nd Cold War and “leadership” by tepid centrists.

  14. “The US and Russia, faded relics of the Cold War, unable to accept their terminal decline, launch futile and self-defeating wars to reclaim their lost imperial power.”

    I don’t know if Dr. Hedges wrote the above or not, but I’m quite tickled by it.

    It basically says that the US and Russia, faded relics of evil, unable to accept their self-inflicted destruction (from their own evil), launch evil, to reclaim their prior evil.

    1. That’d be right. And do evil unto themselves in the process.

      What I like is ‘US and Russia’.

      What are we talking about here? When it comes to paying the cost from dollars to lives via blood and suffering we mean the people.

      But none of the decisions were made by the people.

      It is not, was not ‘US and Russia’ it was and is only a relatively tiny handful of people in those countries.

      I really don’t like this unconscious anthropomorphism of countries, speaking of them as though they are living entities with one body and one brain.

      It enables – it’s obvious, isn’t it – the machinations of even only one man and the evil consequences of it to be visited upon millions.

      1. I hear you, Arthur. We are easily confused by language. I’m certain I’ll have more to say about that exact topic any minute.

  15. US is on a predetermined course here. Since dropping Nuclear Bombs on 2 civilian cities in Japan only one outcome was ever possible.That was not the end of something it was the start. (The start of the end if you like. )
    As the greatest military machine ever seen in human history encircles all countries & imposes its vision of “world order” on mankind with evangelical zeal ,we now wait with trepidation for the final outcome.
    Dr Strangelove has become real in a case of life imitating art.To appeal for rational behaviour is now a distant dream.

    1. @Ed Williams
      Yes, and to think for how many years and how hard we laughed at Henry Kissinger, er, I mean Dr. Strangelove. Nothing funny about it now.

  16. We screwed up and have been doing so for quite a long time … but it cannot last much longer …

  17. Of course Chris H has tremendously important comments of The American Empire’s war economy but also he should be noting the vital role of the war culture led by a militaristic media. We have a perfect triad of war economy, war culture and blood thirsty media, therefore we can’t be beat as the arms manufacturers buys the best politicians that money can buy and spend more than imaginable on propaganda.

    Interesting article…… Why does the media seem so hungry for war with Russia?
    https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/why-does-media-seem-so-hungry-war-russia-n1295001

    Has there been a war that the media and public and politicians that they opposed??
    Those oppose are regarded as traitor or mental ill.

    Very Much sympathy is given by Western media to the suffering of Ukrainians, more than to those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and no one is surprised.

    1. You write as if the media were not a function of government, not a stenographer for the Pentagon and White House. The days of an independent media seeking truth is long gone. The only media that counts now are the radical left, maybe the radical right, but those not beholden to money and power.

      1. don’t think so. the independent truth seeking media of today are right here in columns such as these..

        the media today is YOU. and me. All of us.

  18. Where does one get accurate reports of what’s happening in Ukraine?
    Does self interest trump facts?
    Is the Truth doomed forever?

  19. Re – “The disorganization, ineptitude, and low morale of the Russian army conscripts, along with the repeated intelligence failures by the Russian high command, apparently convinced Russia would roll over Ukraine in a few days, exposes the lie that Russia is a global menace. Russia’s forty-mile long convoy​ of stalled tanks and trucks, broken down and out of fuel, on the muddy road to Kyiv was not an image of cutting-edge military prowess. Russia has been unable to overwhelm a poorly equipped and numerically inferior force in Ukraine, many of whose troops have little or no military training”.

    Isn’t this contradicted by numerous military professionals?

  20. It is quite strange situation here as most of those commenters who criticize Hedges arguments and supportive evidence are right while in the same time the main point of Hedges article, namely that NATO needs enemy to exist and they made it out of non confrontational free trade globalist Russia is true only some supporting arguments he used are blatantly incorrect or completely untrue .

    Hedges should be sophisticated enough to clearly distinguish between war between nations from conflict between Western and Russian (and Chinese) oligarchic elites Ukrainian proxy war is all about.

    It is not a total war among nations when Russia did not cut vital for its enemy energy supplies. It is not total war when oligarchy on both sides only getting reacher and Russia increased exports of fuels 50+% and all the self righteous western corporations while suposedly dropped Russian cooperation and investments are buying everything Russian like crazy even involved themselves in smuggling.

    Today so called Kazakh blend sold in the west is 90% Russian. US as well excepted Russian oil from embargo for.. national security reasons while EU cannot find anything to seize from Russian oligarchs but art from Russian museums.

    Hedges reaches right conclusion about NATO being product of MIC by using many spurious arguments.

    It is sad but Chris seems to be highly exposed to MSM propaganda from which he seeks to extract some truths while on fact western propaganda is 200% lie no shred of truth in it.

    Few major points Hedges is making.

    Poor Ukrainians are defenses against overwhelming Russian aggressor who falters? Right? Wrong.

    Total of AFU ( Ukrainian military) active, reserves and territorial defense plus Nazi battalions many trained and continually armed by NATO instructors for eight years is 600,000+ (Second or third largest military in Europe ) versus 260,000 of total RF military and LDPR militia combined almost 3 to 1 advantage AFU. Scott Ritter called it Russia’s kid glove approach, force that is not nearly enough for full scale invasion as that requires 3-1 advantage Russia and hence special operation in Ukraine was always planned as limited and careful intervention not invasion from the start. Russia can mobilize 2,000,000 military.

    Russians are losing big time low morale of conscripts. Right? Wrong. It is a blatant lie.

    First of all there are no demoralized or not conscripts in Russian army as this war is fought exclusively by contract army of volunteer professionals and reservists, in contrast to conscripts of general mobilization draft in Ukraine. There is no even limited mobilization draft of reservists in Russia only medial campaign to join contract army who sign up for war and are being paid for it. Hedges should have known this.

    Second, Four weeks after intervention started pentagon reports stated that 600,000+ strong AFU lost all its ability to launch any offensive operations required to remove Russian forces from Ukraine and virtually without fight retreated to cities that were purposefully not evacuated.

    De facto as Scott Ritter posited that Kiev regime effectively declared those cities militarized fortresses protected by mostly ethnic Russian hostages used as human shields and by that AFU committing war crime.

    That is why in cities like Mariupol there is substantial damage due to this criminal tactics of ambush jumping from building to building purposefully drawing Russian fire as seen almost always only top floors of building are damaged where AFU and Azov set their anti tank or sniper positions while residents were robbed and herded to basements for month with little water and food. It is care for civilians not inaptitude of Russian generals and low morale of supposed conscripts that causes slower but relentless military advance.

    Since late March no one inch of Ukrainian territory was regained by AFU in direct combat, all small local counterattacks failed as one may expect as Russia achieved air supremacy.

    Majority of Russian causalities were hit and run ambushes of Russian logistical and supply convoys initially unprotected (few Russian active duty regular military draft soldiers who were illegally used in these unprotected transports were captured and killed. Putin ordered to withdraw all remaining few hundred conscripts late February )

    About 50,000+ of Ukrainian soldiers were disabled, dead, wounded, AWOL, MIA or POWs captured by Russians according to Ukrainian estimates. Mostly died in trenches due to Russian artillery and aerial bombardment left alone defenseless by Ukrainian command per their testimonies. Russian and LDPR combined losses are 3000+. Is that Russian chaos and lack of aptitude?

    It is clear that Russian threat to the west, NATO is hysterical about, is hugely exaggerated but not as Hedges posits because Russia is a paper Bear, economically and military incompetent or weak but it is because of its geopolitically non-expansionist policies implementing globalist cooperation with US and EU as well. Collapsing weaken West in turn shows last throws of aggression to preserve western imperial domination. One way or another this domination gonna end.

    1. Oh, dirty tribalism and dirty tricks. Amazing, the rabbi-induced culprits conspiring to shekel up and murder goy.

      Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in recent weeks has received media advice from public relations consultants who worked for former Israeli Prime Minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, the Walla! news website reported on Tuesday.
      According to the report, Srulik Einhorn, a senior consultant for Netanyahu’s Likud party in the most recent elections, has advised Zelensky. He is also said to have spoken with Jonatan Urich, a senior Netanyahu aide who is still the former prime minister’s spokesman.

    2. To Kalen,
      This is all very interesting – I would really like a view from 20,000 feet to see what is really going on ….

      1. Such high altitude view of mass endeavor of Russian intervention requires recognition of the fact that it is continuation of eight year Russia NATO proxy war in Eastern Ukraine and that includes bloodless return of Crimea to Russia in 2014 as major Russian victory.

        Hence only in context of preparation for showdown, a war between NATO and Russia since 1992 one can understand what is really is going on.

      2. To Kalen,
        I had been following what was going on in eastern Ukraine on RT – since the coup, which i miss – not that I signed on to the whole 9 yards, but it rang true … the western media didn’t cover it, so I guess it felt no real need to produce propaganda concerning it .. Ritter has what I thought was a great interview on Pirate TV
        I get the gist, I guess what I am more curious about is the real details of who is doing what to whom, now
        Thanx for all your great stuff!
        How do you think this will “end” and when?

      3. @SH
        As Jimmy Dore put it, there are only 3 ways this can end: 1) a negotiated settlement where eastern Ukraine is either independent or at least autonomous, and where Ukraine is neutral and may not join NATO; 2) a long, protracted war that goes on for years; or 3) nuclear war.

  21. Chris notes that “the war industry places profits before national defense.”
    And obviously the fossil fuels industry is a central component of the war industry. This behemoth cares diddly-squat for anything but its own profits. Concern for the biosphere? Nup. Concern for ecosystems and species extermination? Nup-Nup. Concern for poor unfortunates who are referred to as collateral damage, people like those who read this column just want the politicians to piss-off? No-way, not when there’s abuck to be counted.

    “For the first time in decades, an American president is showing that he, and only he, can lead the free world,” G. Packer.
    If an American president is going to “lead the free world”, how can the “free world” be free? None of us who live in the free world (outside USA) have anything to do with the election of the “leader of the free world.”
    One thing that the world’s leaders have proven since time immemorial is that they are bad for humanity. It is they who lead citizens into wars. It is they who have led the world into planetary unraveling. It is they who spin bullshit every election campaign making promises they can’t recall saying.

    “By gearing itself up for the worst case, it is most likely to deter Putin because ultimately Putin respects strength.” Richard Shirreff.
    Putin (and Biden) have access to nuclear weapons that can send us all to smithereens (even those of us who are not American or Russian); and what do we get from retired war-mongers? Amateur psychology.

    Same as it ever was.

    1. @Graeme
      Bad societies produce bad leaders. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Chief Seattle were good leaders, for example, but they came from good societies living naturally off the land in small numbers. As long as we have societies where people obsess on material things, think it’s OK to overpopulate, and don’t have empathy and love for the Earth and all the life here, we’ll get leaders like this.

      1. Thank you, Jeff.

        I appreciate your comments a great deal. I love me some Sitting Bull quotations!

        “If I agree to dispose of any part of our land to the white people I would feel guilty of taking food away from our children’s mouths, and I do not wish to be that mean.” Sitting Bull

        Our wealth is from our willingness to be “mean” to someone all the time.

      2. @Tupe
        My favorite one is, “This love of things is like a disease with them.” This shows how mentally and spiritually unevolved white people are compared to the Natives here.

  22. @Kalen

    Thank you for that. You say everything I want to hear. So I guess I better try to do some checking before enthusiastically broadcasting your words everywhere I can.
    Could you help us with some indication of your sources, especially if they should be sources we can check (given we’re behind our usual Western wall of censorship here) ?

    And I especially totally agree with your last paragraph.

    1. It is not hard to peer behind public records of events to see where Kalen’s analysis comes from. We don’t need any more documented sources than public records, just as long as we reject the analysis given by the corporate media, in thrall to Washington and Kyiv.
      Any day a search on #Donbas on Twitter will bring accounts from Ukrainian warmongers and Russian peacemakers.
      To understand geopolitics might require some study, but there is plenty on that out there. Michael Hudson is one of the best.

    1. The link you provided leads to neocon think tank that specializes in peddling war fantasies about Iraq, Syria, Libya Afghanistan etc., and now Ukrainian war, funded by usual neocon supported US government run foundations.

      Here is what clearly western biased Wikipedia has to say about so called Institute for the Study of war:

      Some critics have described ISW as “a hawkish Washington” group[33] favoring an “aggressive foreign policy”.[6] Writers for The Nation and Foreign Policy Magazine have called it “neoconservative”.[34][35]

      That just mildly put it but it is a group of warmongering fanatical neocons who pushed US into quagmires and endless wars since 2007 and Kagan and Nuland even before. These were guys who in early 2021 predicted that it would take Taliban two years to enter Kabul. They have no credibility exempt continuously underestimating enemy strength and whitewash real military outlook.

      And here is who they represent:

      The ISW board includes General Jack Keane, Kimberly Kagan, former US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, William Kristol, former US Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Kevin Mandia, Jack D. McCarthy, Jr., Bruce Mosler, General David Petraeus, Warren Phillips, and William Roberti.[16] Previous and current members of the ISW’s corporate council include Raytheon, Microsoft, Palantir, General Motors, General Dynamics, and Kirkland & Ellis.[17][18][8]

      Are they peace loving objective guys or warmongers for profit.

      Let’s look at the ISW map blue areas. These are areas of Russian orderly withdrawal last March early April not results of any AFU counteroffensive.

      Scott Ritter said that it was a brilliant deception of binding and blocking 200k+ AFU by 80k Russians in Kiev, Sumy and Kharkov while establishing Air supremacy and destroying AFU command and control, logistics, fuel and ammunition depots. AFU military hardware is all but destroyed or buried in ditches or underground bunkers unable to move with little to no fuel or ammunition.

      From AFU POWs testimonies we know that Ukrainian soldiers after first week of war were allowed to use cellphones including commanders who stole them from civilians and then quickly discarded not be traced since there was no AFU secure military communications by that time. Russians are prohibited from even having mobile phones on battlefield as it would reveal troop concentration.

      All that while real Russian target was south unblocking water canal and electricity supplies (taking over Zaporozia NPP) for Crimea and taking over entire Ukrainian coast of Azov sea and all the ports there as well as opened up another military Z group two supply corridors via cities of Volnovachia and Mariupol as alternative to Kerch strait bridge. Also liberation of less defended LPR (now 95% liberated ) DPR is 55% liberated.

      So there was and is no counteroffensive near Kharkiv as in Kiev region. Ukrainian troops ran PR stunts few weeks ago where they were attacking two villages already abandoned by Russians days before like it was in Bucha where AFU was shelling city two day after Russian withdrawal. In neocon style this is all white, gray and black propaganda.

      There is plenty of that on ISW website. They are experts.

      Today on all fronts there are small methodical advances of RF army as AFU is using eight years in making heavy fortifications and system of concrete bunkers many within city limits often full of civilian hostages not allowed to leave. In Kharkov city there was no Russian take over plan ever. It was deception. City military infrastructure was attacked as well as some military administration buildings now Russians defend their western flank and logistic routes in the area while AFU is shelling villages on Russian side of the Ukrainian border again for western PR as those assaults have no strategic nor even significant tactical meaning as there is no way to cut Russian supplies.

      More truth than ISW you can get from Ukrainian or Russian daily military briefings if you speak Russian or Ukrainian however one can find balance analysis of those briefings in SOUTHFRONT and some of NEWSFRONT and ANNA NEWS in English as well as on LDPR official sites. But the best source of confirmation of those briefings is ordinary people reporting what is going on around them on YT and alternatives of course knowing foreign languages is critical.

      1. Thank you for that. Much appreciated. And it has the ring of truth about it. Meaning no offence. But you will well appreciate that we must suspect everything we read/hear these days.
        I do not speak anything other than English, unfortunately. I use google translate when it helps but often – like with videos – it is of no help at all.
        So I suffer from a dearth of information.
        Any news/info sources in English that you know of would I think be greatly appreciated by myself and many other.
        🙂

      2. p.s. any simple ways of getting a link to particular comments, such as yours for instance, so that one might paste them into facebook and twitter and our own websites, etc, like pass them around?

        Even simple ways of downloading that particular comment in order to keep it? I have to select/copy/paste into text editor or something. Not much hassle but a hassle.

        🙂

  23. Thank you, Chris, for your article.

    Putin himself asks, why in the popular western imagination the bad guy or thug is always Russian, when Russia herself wanted to join NATO too?

    We in the west have been mentally conditioned for generations.

    You cannot deny, though, that the Russians have been raping and pillaging Ukraine.

    President Obama should have taken his own red-line in Syria more seriously.

    1. The Russians have been raping and pillaging the Ukraine, undeniably?

      When/where/how? I am a Westerner subject to 24/7/52 Western propaganda and behind a censorship wall as far as anything else is concerned. I think you’d know that’s how it is for us now.
      Has been since the beginning of the Covid thing and looks like it is going to be our permanent state henceforth.

      Well I’m just a bit surprised that in that Russia-hating scenario I’ve to date heard nothing about Russians ‘raping and pillaging’ the Ukraine.

      Though before they made the decision that Ukraine was god and Putin the devil they did used to give us bits of information about kinda ‘raping and pillaging’ by the Ukraine governments of their own people.

      I’d be interested to know more.

    2. To Martin,
      It does seem, though Western media never covered it, that for years Ukrainian forces were raping and pillaging their fellow Ukrainians in the east …

  24. Oh those Jews in “Israel.”

    How does Israel and one of the largest and most powerful Ultra Orthodox Zionist organisations merge with Ukrainian nationalism and state-sanctioned Nazism?

    How does Israel and one of the largest and most powerful Ultra Orthodox Zionist organisations merge with Ukrainian nationalism and state-sanctioned Nazism?

    In this deep dive with historian and author Matt Ehret we examine the history of Zionism in Ukraine and the origin of many of the Zionist ultra nationalist groups now occupying Palestinian territory since the Nakba (ethnic cleansing of Palestine) in 1948.

    We look at the emergence of the Chabad Lubavitch sect that was established before Zionism came into existence and has its origins in Ukraine – now with 10,000 emissaries in 100 countries at the cutting edge of Zionist expansionism. This group is believed to be responsible for the majority of the price tag attacks in occupied Palestine, denies the right to return for all Palestinians and leads the ideological war against non adherents of Judaism.

    We make the link between this secular ultra nationalist ideology and consider how it is mutually inclusive of the Ukrainian far right and Nazi elements that now dominate Ukrainian politics, military and police. Matt analyses the Oligarchical power base behind these cults and how it ties into the Great Reset/WEF agenda that is threatening Humanity.

    https://thewallwillfall.org/2022/05/03/zionism-in-ukraine-allied-with-nazism-the-history-of-the-great-reset/

  25. @Jeff:

    I have given a lot of thought to the cultural divide between indigenous people and our dominant culture. Probably more than anyone you will ever meet. I grew up living with 19th century traditional elders who spoke their own language.

    For what it’s worth, I cannot say that I believe North American Nature cultures produced more “evolved” humans, but they certainly produce better behaved humans back then.

    I think indigenous Nature cultures were more evolved cultures, and that made a difference in the humans who lived in them. To put it simply, their cultures were more “evolved” because they were more dedicated to Reality. Life is a biological construct. It isn’t a human intellectual construct. They figured that out.

    Essentially, they lived on a different planet than we do because they saw it differently, and they valued it differently. Their understanding of their planet was superior to ours, which views the world as a resource, instead of a home to love.

    Money is the number one cause of war.

    It is the number one cause of all crime. Statistically.

    It is the number one cause of all murders, followed by love/sex and revenge to round out the top three.

    Native cultures didn’t have money. They didn’t have lack of money to drive them to constantly invade other people for more resources or to fight with each other over. When a person died, all their personal possessions were laid to rest with them. No one fought with their siblings over inheritance. No one had to.

    They didn’t have alcohol or alcoholism, which drives a lot more social problems, and a lot more violence. In fact, it is a huge factor in societal violence, right after money crimes. They were all sober all the time. It made a big difference in them.

    They had their sociopaths and they had social problems, just like we do. They had justice, too, but not like we do.

    One big advantage they had was that they weren’t owned and controlled by sociopaths like we are, something that our wealth seeking and social stratification guarantees. Sociopaths make us do things that we shouldn’t be doing.

    They had much more happiness than we do, and much more than we had when we arrived. Benjamin Franklin wrote about it in 1770, saying:

    “Happiness is more generally and equally diffus’d among Savages than in civilized societies. No European who has tasted savage life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.”

    That’s what happens when you aren’t run by sociopaths. It’s better.

    We don’t live in reality in our culture. We live in our heads, and our thoughts about reality. But reality is much kinder than we are.

      1. Thank you, SH. I hope it was helpful to anyone who is interested in this question of culture.

  26. @Jeff,

    I would like to add, regarding indigenous Nature cultures, many people would question my position that indigenous cultures were more reality based, especially anyone who is familiar with how much their spirituality permeated their lives. Spirits were everywhere! Birds were messengers, and trees could talk. Ghosts walked the Earth. Magic warfare was more “evolved” than violent warfare, which I love.

    I think they were right about all that, too. They were just all over the art and science and work of living on Earth as a human being, and they did great.

    1. I should have written the work of living on Earth as a human animal, instead of being.

      It would have been clearer, and more accurate, both in terms of measurable reality and in their understanding. We’re animals that talk and build rockets, but biologically we’re just animals. Mammals specifically, that give live birth and nurse our young.

    2. I recall during the time I spent in a Korean monastery how the Master and monks alike were very respectful and devoted to certain rocks and trees alike, just as much as the Buddha statues in the meditation halls. Interestingly, this monastery sat at the source of the water for the valley below and thus could be seen as defending the water.
      Thus, highly educated, sophisticated Korean Buddhists held the same kind of respect for the ‘spirit’ world as other peoples in the world do.

      1. @Ted+Tripp
        Yes, there are many valid ways of looking at life. I firmly believe that the most evolved people are ascetics like Buddhist monks, and traditional indigenous people (mainly hunter-gatherers). The idea is to shed your desires and ego as much as possible, and focus on expanding your consciousness, however you go about doing that (meditating, Arts, hiking, etc.; even playing sports can be a way to expand your consciousness). For humans, enjoyment of the physical/natural world should be on a look-but-don’t-touch basis, because the less we interact with it, the less harm we cause (because of our gross physical inferiority compared to other similar-sized animals, humans have to use tools in order to survive, and it’s really easy to overdo that as humans have done since we started using agriculture).

    3. @Tupe
      We’re in basic agreement on all this, we just have a slightly different way of looking at it.

      Spiritual reality is just as real as physical reality, and vice versa. Consider the physical reality of running into a tree, for example. The pain and possible injuries from doing that are not spiritual, they’re physical, but they’re just as real in this realm as spiritual reality. On the other side of the coin, scientists have no idea why our hearts beat, for example. The intellect is nothing but a lens through which to view the world, and if you limit yourself to the intellect, that’s all you’ll see and you’ll miss out on most of life.

      I agree that different people live in different worlds. People in this society think I’m weird because I live in a more nature-centered world — not physically, unfortunately, but in the way I relate to the world and the way I feel about it — but that doesn’t make their world any less real. The difference between us is what we focus on, not what’s real and what isn’t. Civilization’s physical destruction of the natural world is unfortunately quite real. Money isn’t real because it’s just a symbol of wealth, but that wealth is quite real, despite the fact that seeking and hoarding it are very foolish and unevolved behaviors, in addition being very destructive to the natural world.

      As to evolution of humans: Evolution for humans is mental and spiritual, not physical. Our ONLY legitimate role on this planet is to expand our consciousness, Evolution for humans is NOT unnaturally and very harmfully manipulating the physical/natural world, as the large majority of humans happily do. It is not the new technologies and their resulting toys that seemingly make our lives more fun and/or convenient, but that in fact do not, in addition to killing and destroying the Earth and the life on it. Humans went down the wrong path by using agriculture, and it’s been all downhill since. A very small percentage of 1% of us try to break free from the wrongful direction of the majority of humans, and the goal is for everyone, or at least the large majority of people, to stop obsessing on material things and start focusing on expanding our consciousness in order to eventually get back on the right path, even though doing that will take thousands of years. I agree that the indigenous societies you describe are also more evolved, but more evolved societies produce more evolved people. I fully realize that people are people and that therefore just because a person came from a more evolved society doesn’t mean that they won’t regress into unevolved behavior, as we see. (The way a Native friend put it when we were discussing this was, “we’ve always had problems with scouts.”) The temptations of the material world and ego can be great, and it takes a lot of integrity and mental/spiritual evolution to control oneself and/or not be substantially temped by them, but I maintain that people who eschew materialism and egoism, and instead focus on expanding their consciousness, are more evolved people.

      By “spiritual” I mean things like feeling and acting as if all life is “one,” eschewing materialism and ego, focusing in expanding your consciousness (many different ways to do this, I don’t mean just sitting around meditating, though there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way either), etc. As to ghosts, spirits, and the like, those are different ways of looking at and living in the world. Modern humans call them microbes, atoms, etc. Their hard science binds their reality, so they can’t recognize them as things like ghosts or spirits that are part of the web of life. So viewing life through a spiritual lens instead of an intellectual one will cause people to see ghosts & spirits instead of atoms and microbes. The main reason that this is superior to viewing life through an intellectual lens is that the former properly integrates people into the web of life, while the latter separates people from it, and separated people have no problem killing and destroying it.

      I will end by saying that discussing spiritual matters is very difficult, because talking is in the intellectual realm, and spiritual things are not of that realm and therefore can’t be described very well in words. (Try convincing someone who obsesses on the intellect of that!) Books like The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point, both by Fritjof Capra, are the best I’ve found for explaining all this. A book called What The Buddha Taught is also pretty good, but it’s a different perspective. Humans have created a totally unnatural society that’s as disconnected from the natural world as possible, and it’s really hard to get people to even begin to think & feel differently than they now do. But that should be our goal, because it’s the only way to get humans back on the right path and to stop killing the Earth and all the life on it.

      1. I don’t usually talk about spiritual matters beyond occasionally saying that I have convictions regarding spiritual realities. I don’t find it to be particularly fair to anyone.

        All humans have that we can know *together* is that which we can look at together. Until one human can have another human’s spiritual experience, I stick to the things we can look at together, the things that are measurable between us.

        I consider morality, because of its relationship to suffering and destruction, to be measurable.

        But . . . if spirituality is real, then it is more real than this world. It is more real in the same way that my waking life is more “real” than my dreams from the perspective of my waking consciousness. When I am dreaming, my dream world IS reality; I don’t question it unless I can have a lucid dream.

        When I wake up, my dream usually doesn’t feel very real at all. Quite the opposite. It feels disjointed and fantastical from my waking perspective. Ironically, it is often the “unreality” of dreams that trigger lucid experiences. We realize we must be dreaming, something that requires memory to occur. There is a lot of science around the subject of memory, and its role in consciousness is critical to understanding consciousness, and “reality.”

        When I used the word “real” in terms of culture, I did not deny the real consequences of us living in an artificial reality in our heads. Again, Benjamin Franklin discussed this at length in multiple historical documents, mentioning the “artificial” wants and activities of our society that were destructive to humans.

        The consequences of us living in unreality in our minds, in our intellectual and religious delusions about the world, are quite real and quite dire, cosmically tragic, and I believe, inescapable.

        Thanks for the talk.

      2. @Tupe
        We could probably talk endlessly in some cafe about all this. Thanks to you too, I like exchanging ideas with people on subjects like this that go way beyond traditional political ideas.

        BTW, when I was an Earth First! campaigner, I would say things to my Native friends that are considered quite radical in this society, like no one should be extracting anything from below the surface of the Earth. They would respond something like, yeah, I know, my grandmother taught me that. So what sane, rational, more evolved people think and feel is normal is considered radical heresy in this society. That alone says quite a bit.

      3. p.s. I don’t know what “evolution” of consciousness means, even though a lot of people seem to talk about that kind of thing.

        I define consciousness the same way science does, both as a definition and a model. There are three recognized states of “consciousness” in humans. There is waking consciousness, dreaming sleep states, and nondreaming sleep.

        I think most humans exist on a bell curve. There are a certain number of humans at one end who are dark in the extreme. There is probably an equal number at the other end who are honest-to-god saints. The rest of us are a lot of varying shades of gray.

        In other words, wherever you go, most people are average. A small number of people are very tall, about the same number are extraordinarily short, and most people average. Some people are brilliant, some are intellectually limited, and most are “average,” like at least 85% of us. Some people are really beautiful, some really are not, and most folks have a charm or two to get them through the night and long enough to make more like themselves.

        I believe in the Milgram experiment. Under the right conditions, and they aren’t very complicated, two out of three modern, western humans will murder a total stranger just because another total stranger tells them to.

        It’s not what I want to believe, but hey. It is what it is. It makes sense of a lot things.

        Being convinced that this world is not all there is to reality works just fine for me. I’m grateful for several experiences that put me here. I haven’t found any other answers that work as well as just knowing that someday I’m going Home, and it’s going to be okay.

      4. @Tupe
        Expansion of consciousness, not evolution of consciousness. You know like when you get epiphanies or revelations. Or when you’re playing sports or you’re “in the zone.” Or like the high you get from meditation or music or mushrooms.

        The idea is to get all the average people to expand their consciousness and become better than they are now so that the average person is much more enlightened. It’s humans as a whole who have to expand their consciousness, not just a few people.

  27. Russian intervention is called unprovoked inexcusable even by vital by Russia’s national security interests, aggression by state that was called by MLK worst purveyor of aggression and violence in the world. Today this American exceptionalism (what’s good for us is bad for you) seems to have spread to Australia. Watch Australian friendly invasion of Solomon Islands coming soon.

    From RT.

    Leader of Solomon Islands located just at the north east coast of Australia Sogavare complained, insisting his country was being “threatened with invasion” over the controversial pact and that Australia’s response demonstrated a “lack of trust.”

    Sogavare said on Tuesday that there had been a “warning of military intervention” in the Solomon Islands if other countries’ security goals were undermined. “We are threatened with invasion,” he warned. “Now, that is serious.”

  28. There is substantial evidence that the intelligence agencies never terminated COINTELPRO or MK-ULTRA — that they continue today under different names and different budgets.

    In fact, for at least the last 35 years, scores of Americans have claimed to be victims of these hideous, retooled programs. Why hasn’t either Scheer or Hedges investigated these claims?

    Here are a few links. Perhaps somebody at ScheerPost will find them worthy of investigation?

    1. Arnold Lockshin, “Silent Terror” (free pdf download): https://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com/ Lockshin was a cancer researcher. He and his family emigrated to the former Soviet Union after years of abuse at the hands of the FBI.

    2. Project Censored, “Electromagnetic Weapons & Human Rights”: https://www.projectcensored.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ElectromegnaticWeapons.pdf

    Here’s an excerpt from Project Censored’s 2006 study:

    “New technological capabilities have been developed in black budget projects over the last few decades — including the ability to influence human emotion, disrupt thought, and present excruciating pain through the manipulation of magnetic fields. The US military and intelligence agencies have at their disposal frightful new weapons, weapons that have likely already been covertly used and/or tested on humans, both here and abroad, and which could be directed against the public in the event of mass protests or civil disturbance.”

    1. To RNM,
      ” … including the ability to influence human emotion, disrupt thought, ……. through the manipulation of magnetic fields.”
      Hmm, sounds like the Internet to me – and i wonder as we move up the chain of “G”s , let’s see, 2,3,4,5 – working on 6 …

      1. In his bill “Space Preservation Act of 2001,” former Congressman Dennis Kucinich acknowledged the existence of an array of “exotic” weapons which must never be used; among them:

        1. Directed energy (including molecular or atomic energy, subatomic particle beams, electromagnetic radiation, plasma, or extremely low frequency or ultra low frequency energy radiation).

        2. Land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations…

        https://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/house-bill/2977

        These weapons are being used today on law-abiding citizens.

      2. @RNM
        I worked on Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign in San Francisco. If only Democrats were like him instead of being shills and puppets for the ruling class like Republicans are. And that includes The Squad, a bunch of phonies whose main job is sheep herding progressives into the Democratic Party in order to neuter them.

    1. @peter mcloughlin
      Wars are mainly fought over resources, but you’re right that power is an illusion. That was probably the biggest lesson in Game of Thrones. Power rests in those who people think it rests in, and if people change who they think it rests in, the center of power changes. The moral of the story is that people need to stop believing this nonsense and realize that in this universe, NO ONE IS IN CONTROL! We are just tiny parts of the web of life, and trying to acquire and use power is both foolish and extremely harmful.

      1. @Jeff,

        I think you might be one of the few people in the US who would understand what I’m going to write. A few years ago I had a severe back injury, a result of muscles going into extreme spasm from long-term positional stress. I woke up one day in agony, and barely able to move from my neck to my mid-back.

        I spent days on pain meds and a heating pad just trying to get out of pain enough to do more. Just as I was starting to be able to move and thinking about going to a doctor, someone gave me one gram of psilocybin mushrooms.

        Not having any clue whatsoever as to how much I should take, and being cautious with myself in my old age, I took about a third of the mushrooms.

        Somehow, the combination of that near almost micro-dose of psilocybin and my back injury triggered a kundalini experience that lasted the next eleven weeks, as long as it took my back to heal to about 90%.

        God! It was freakin’ wonderful!!!! It was like being on about one gram of mushrooms ALL the time, night and day, and being able to tap into spiritual experiences anytime I wanted.

        I spent that time cleaning my house, taking my dog for long walks outside in rural Alaska, meditating and doing yoga more than two hours a day every day, as well as taking daily additional hot baths and doing stretches for my back.

        It was a spiritual adventure all the time. It was very shamanic, too. My experiences with animals, especially ravens, were pure magic.

        I never went to the doctor because I didn’t want anything to interfere with the experience. I cried when it was gone. I’ve taken mushrooms since then, and nothing like that has happened again.

        I still like to talk about science most of the time. Most people aren’t going to understand this stuff.

      2. @Tupe
        Thanks for sharing, great story!

        The first time I did mushrooms, my friend and I literally couldn’t stop laughing, so despite wanting to go out, we had to stay in all night. When I woke up the next day, my face and the front of my body were sore from laughing so much and so hard. I decided to never do acid again after that (I’d probably done it 100 times at that point).

        Things like pot and mushrooms are great for showing you new realities, opening your mind to new things, etc. But it’s much better to do that naturally with things like meditation, yoga, or whatever works for you. As they teach in Buddhism, drugs cloud your mind, and that includes mushrooms. So try the meditation and yoga without the mushrooms and see what happens. And be patient, you can’t expect results overnight.

      3. I understand. Never had such an extreme experience and I’m fascinated to hear about it. But simply on good mull, good hash, a bit of mushroom and acid I’ve had experiences that cause me to say, to feel, to believe, that I can well understand you.
        And nowadays I am a firm believer in the truthfulness of the accounts of the NDE people we can view/hear on Youtube.
        Taken all in it points to a reality far, far more wonderful and open ended than this miserable crazy reality our ‘leaders’ etc. are presenting to us today.

  29. @Jeff,
    In my next lifetime I’m going to be the next Matthieu Ricard.

    1. @Tupe
      Sounds a lot like Fritjof Capra, though he went for the scientific route.

      Choose wisely for your next lifetime, you only live twice. 🙂

  30. Hi, Arthur. I’m so glad you like the account of my experience. That experience was so WONDERFUL, and it showed me so much. I spent a year mourning its loss and trying to integrate its meaning in some way.

    I did a research paper on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross for my degree in psychology. My professor required that I read every book she published to write it. Kubler-Ross’s journey from atheist to “The Tunnel and the Light” is documented in her books. If you haven’t read them yet, they are awesome.

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