Chris Hedges Forever Wars Original

Hedges: No Way Out but War

Permanent war has cannibalized the country. It has created a social, political, and economic morass. Each new military debacle is another nail in the coffin of Pax Americana.
Original Illustration by Mr. Fish — “No Guts No Glory”

By Chris Hedges / Special to ScheerPost

The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon.

The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

We are paying a heavy social, political, and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana.

Democrat or Republican. It does not matter. War is the raison d’état of the state. Extravagant military expenditures are justified in the name of “national security.” The nearly $40 billion allocated for Ukraine, most of it going into the hands of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, is only the beginning. Military strategists, who say the war will be long and protracted, are talking about infusions of $4 or $5 billion in military aid a month to Ukraine. We face existential threats. But these do not count. The proposed budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion. The proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Ukraine alone gets more than double that amount. Pandemics and the climate emergency are afterthoughts. War is all that matters. This is a recipe for collective suicide.

There were three restraints to the avarice and bloodlust of the permanent war economy that no longer exist. The first was the old liberal wing of the Democratic Party, led by politicians such as Senator George McGovern, Senator Eugene McCarthy, and Senator J. William Fulbright, who wrote The Pentagon Propaganda Machine. The self-identified progressives, a pitiful minority, in Congress today, from Barbara Lee, who was the single vote in the House and the Senate opposing a broad, open-ended authorization allowing the president to wage war in Afghanistan or anywhere else, to Ilhan Omar now dutifully line up to fund the latest proxy war. The second restraint was an independent media and academia, including journalists such as I.F Stone and Neil Sheehan along with scholars such as Seymour Melman, author of The Permanent War Economy and Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War. Third, and perhaps most important, was an organized anti-war movement, led by religious leaders such as Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr. and Phil and Dan Berrigan as well as groups such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). They understood that unchecked militarism was a fatal disease.

None of these opposition forces, which did not reverse the permanent war economy but curbed its excesses, now exist. The two ruling parties have been bought by corporations, especially military contractors. The press is anemic and obsequious to the war industry. Propagandists for permanent war, largely from right-wing think tanks lavishly funded by the war industry, along with former military and intelligence officials, are exclusively quoted or interviewed as military experts. NBC’s “Meet the Press” aired a segment May 13 where officials from Center for a New American Security (CNAS) simulated what a war with China over Taiwan might look like. The co-founder of CNAS, Michèle Flournoy, who appeared in the “Meet the Press” war games segment and was considered by Biden to run the Pentagon, wrote in 2020 in Foreign Affairs that the U.S. needs to develop “the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours.” 

The handful of anti-militarists and critics of empire from the left, such as Noam Chomsky, and the right, such as Ron Paul, have been declared persona non grata by a compliant media. The liberal class has retreated into boutique activism where issues of class, capitalism and militarism are jettisoned for “cancel culture,” multiculturalism and identity politics. Liberals are cheerleading the war in Ukraine. At least the inception of the war with Iraq saw them join significant street protests. Ukraine is embraced as the latest crusade for freedom and democracy against the new Hitler. There is little hope, I fear, of rolling back or restraining the disasters being orchestrated on a national and global level.  The neoconservatives and liberal interventionists chant in unison for war. Biden has appointed these war mongers, whose attitude to nuclear war is terrifyingly cavalier, to run the Pentagon, the National Security Council, and the State Department.

Since all we do is war, all proposed solutions are military. This military adventurism accelerates the decline, as the defeat in Vietnam and the squandering of $8 trillion in the futile wars in the Middle East illustrate. War and sanctions, it is believed, will cripple Russia, rich in gas and natural resources. War, or the threat of war, will curb the growing economic and military clout of China.

These are demented and dangerous fantasies, perpetrated by a ruling class that has severed itself from reality. No longer able to salvage their own society and economy, they seek to destroy those of their global competitors, especially Russia and China. Once the militarists cripple Russia, the plan goes, they will focus military aggression on the Indo-Pacific, dominating what Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, referring to the Pacific, called “the American Sea.” 

You cannot talk about war without talking about markets. The U.S., whose growth rate has fallen to below 2 percent, while China’s growth rate is 8.1 percent, has turned to military aggression to bolster its sagging economy. If the U.S. can sever Russian gas supplies to Europe, it will force Europeans to buy from the United States. U.S. firms, at the same time, would be happy to replace the Chinese Communist Party, even if they must do it through the threat of war, to open unfettered access to Chinese markets. War, if it did break out with China, would devastate the Chinese, American, and global economies, destroying free trade between countries as in World War I. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Washington is desperately trying to build military and economic alliances to ward off a rising China, whose economy is expected by 2028 to overtake that of the United States, according to the UK’s Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The White House has said Biden’s current visit to Asia is about sending a “powerful message” to Beijing and others about what the world could look like if democracies “stand together to shape the rules of the road.” The Biden administration has invited South Korea and Japan to attend the NATO summit in Madrid.

But fewer and fewer nations, even among European allies, are willing to be dominated by the United States. Washington’s veneer of democracy and supposed respect for human rights and civil liberties is so badly tarnished as to be irrecoverable. Its economic decline, with China’s manufacturing 70 percent higher than that of the U.S., is irreversible. War is a desperate Hail Mary, one employed by dying empires throughout history with catastrophic consequences. “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable,” Thucydides noted in the History of the Peloponnesian War. 

A key component to the sustenance of the permanent war state was the creation of the All-Volunteer Force. Without conscripts, the burden of fighting wars falls to the poor, the working class, and military families. This All-Volunteer Force allows the children of the middle class, who led the Vietnam anti-war movement, to avoid service. It protects the military from internal revolts, carried out by troops during the Vietnam War, which jeopardized the cohesion of the armed forces.

The All-Volunteer Force, by limiting the pool of available troops, also makes the global ambitions of the militarists impossible. Desperate to maintain or increase troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military instituted the stop-loss policy that arbitrarily extended active-duty contracts. Its slang term was the backdoor draft. The effort to bolster the number of troops by hiring private military contractors, as well, had a negligible effect. Increased troop levels would not have won the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but the tiny percentage of those willing to serve in the military (only 7 percent of the U.S. population are veterans) is an unacknowledged Achilles heel for the militarists.

“As a consequence, the problem of too much war and too few soldiers eludes serious scrutiny,” writes historian and retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich in After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed. “Expectations of technology bridging that gap provide an excuse to avoid asking the most fundamental questions: Does the United States possess the military wherewithal to oblige adversaries to endorse its claim of being history’s indispensable nation? And if the answer is no, as the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suggest, wouldn’t it make sense for Washington to temper its ambitions accordingly?”

This question, as Bacevich points out, is “anathema.” The military strategists work from the supposition that the coming wars won’t look anything like past wars. They invest in imaginary theories of future wars that ignore the lessons of the past, ensuring more fiascos. 

The political class is as self-deluded as the generals. It refuses to accept the emergence of a multi-polar world and the palpable decline of American power. It speaks in the outdated language of American exceptionalism and triumphalism, believing it has the right to impose its will as the leader of the “free world.” In his 1992 Defense Planning Guidance memorandum, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz argued that the U.S. must ensure no rival superpower again arises. The U.S. should project its military strength to dominate a unipolar world in perpetuity. On February 19, 1998, on NBC’s “Today Show”, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave the Democratic version of this doctrine of unipolarity. “If we have to use force it is because we are Americans; we are the indispensable nation,” she said. “We stand tall, and we see further than other countries into the future.”

This demented vision of unrivaled U.S. global supremacy, not to mention unrivaled goodness and virtue, blinds the establishment Republicans and Democrats. The military strikes they casually used to assert the doctrine of unipolarity, especially in the Middle East, swiftly spawned jihadist terror and prolonged warfare. None of them saw it coming until the hijacked jets slammed into the World Trade Center twin towers. That they cling to this absurd hallucination is the triumph of hope over experience.

There is a deep loathing among the public for these elitist Ivy League architects of American imperialism. Imperialism was tolerated when it was able to project power abroad and produce rising living standards at home. It was tolerated when it restrained itself to covert interventions in countries such as Iran, Guatemala, and Indonesia. It went off the rails in Vietnam. The military defeats that followed accompanied a steady decline in living standards, wage stagnation, a crumbling infrastructure and eventually a series of economic policies and trade deals, orchestrated by the same ruling class, which deindustrialized and impoverished the country.

The establishment oligarchs, now united in the Democratic Party, distrust Donald Trump. He commits the heresy of questioning the sanctity of the American empire. Trump derided the invasion of Iraq as a “big, fat mistake.” He promised “to keep us out of endless war.” Trump was repeatedly questioned about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. Putin was “a killer,” one interviewer told him. “There are a lot of killers,” Trump retorted. “You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump dared to speak a truth that was to be forever unspoken, the militarists had sold out the American people.

Noam Chomsky took some heat for pointing out, correctly, that Trump is the “one statesman” who has laid out a “sensible” proposition to resolve the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The proposed solution included “facilitating negotiations instead of undermining them and moving toward establishing some kind of accommodation in Europe…in which there are no military alliances but just mutual accommodation.”

Trump is too unfocused and mercurial to offer serious policy solutions. He did set a timetable to withdraw from Afghanistan, but he also ratcheted up the economic war against Venezuela and reinstituted crushing sanctions against Cuba and Iran, which the Obama administration had ended. He increased the military budget. He apparently flirted with carrying out a missile strike on Mexico to “destroy the drug labs.” But he acknowledges a distaste for imperial mismanagement that resonates with the public, one that has every right to loath the smug mandarins that plunge us into one war after another. Trump lies like he breathes. But so do they.

The 57 Republicans who refused to support the $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, along with many of the 19 bills that included an earlier $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine, come out of the kooky conspiratorial world of Trump. They, like Trump, repeat this heresy. They too are attacked and censored. But the longer Biden and the ruling class continue to pour resources into war at our expense, the more these proto fascists, already set to wipe out Democratic gains in the House and the Senate this fall, will be ascendant. Marjorie Taylor Greene, during the debate on the aid package to Ukraine, which most members were not given time to closely examine, said: “$40 billion dollars but there’s no baby formula for American mothers and babies.”

“An unknown amount of money to the CIA and Ukraine supplemental bill but there’s no formula for American babies,” she added. “Stop funding regime change and money laundering scams. A US politician covers up their crimes in countries like Ukraine.”

Democrat Jamie Raskin immediately attacked Greene for parroting the propaganda of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Greene, like Trump, spoke a truth that resonates with a beleaguered public. The opposition to permanent war should have come from the tiny progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which unfortunately sold out to the craven Democratic Party leadership to save their political careers. Greene is demented, but Raskin and the Democrats peddle their own brand of lunacy. We are going to pay a very steep price for this burlesque.


NOTE TO SCHEERPOST READERS FROM CHRIS HEDGES: 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.

170 comments

  1. One of Hedges best. The Empire of Lies has gone insane so get ready to reap the whirlwind.

    1. ye’r referring to putin/russia? where calling a “war” an actual “war” can net ye 15 years of prison?: well if ye can punish uttering truth with 15 years of prison, why, ye deserve the moniker’empire of lies’ thank ye, ‘maverick’, for yer insight…and remember, in yer country, do NOT call it a war!!!

      1. Naw, he’s talking about your free and democratic country, where revealing its war crimes can get you 150 years, whether a law applies to you or not!

    2. Granted Chris Hedges has repeatedly called out the US on its support for the Saudi monarchy. But low and behold the moment they talk about not using the petrodollar all of a sudden now they are on his good side. If this isn’t proof enough that Chris has ulterior propaganda motives I’m not sure what does prove it.

      1. indeed, especially how he embraces 9/11 through the given d.c. narrative. Hey, Hedges, talk about Building 7…otherwise, stop your controlled “Hannity Lite” opposition.

      2. @christopher r corvino
        Where did Hedges say that Saudi Arabia is “on his good side”? He was pointing out that some major countries are dumping the petrodollar, which BTW can’t happen too soon.

        Your comment is what’s called “projection,” which is projecting your personality onto others. It is clearly YOU have ulterior motives, namely to discredit Hedges for no legitimate reason.

      3. You’re part of the problem, attacking truth instead of promoting it.

      4. Hedges is NOT on the side of Saudi Arabia. He is FOR a multi-polar world to establish a balance of power instead of using conflict to try and retain a stranglehold on US unipolar global hegemony.

    3. And we would be better letting Russia trample not only Ukraine but all of Europe and possibly the US?

      1. “Trample”?? Get real. It’s defending it self. And rightly so!

      2. This is the problem when people don’t understand the history which led to events happening, and only understand the political narrative talking points. Learn about NATO expansion and its true motives. It was always about keeping Germany down and Russia out during the Cold War. And after the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, it was about advancing up to Russia’s front door, and inevitably forcing itself into Russia’s house. The United States does no wrong of course, they only provoke other nations and then say “see what you made us do !”.

      3. Start your history lesson with the fall of the USSR and the guarantees given to Gorbachov regarding NATO expansion. Check subsequent NATO expansion. Then check how the USGOV undermined the legitimate Ukrainian government in 2014 and how the new government legislated against Citizen Russian speakers causing the breakaway of the Donbass. Check 14 years of lethal bombardment of the Donbass and 20,000 dead. You cannot fathom the lies that you have been fed without knowledge of the actual facts.

      4. If you look into Chris, he appears to be a Russian agent and a socialist who was and probably is on Moscow’s payroll and doing Russia’s deed in US using the freedom of press in this country while in Russia itself, there is no freedom of press. The analogy I can use is when Iranian women joined the revolution in Iran only to end up being pushed under the social, economic and literal veil for the rest of their lives and following two generations so far.

      5. How ignorant are you? This is an operation master crafted by rich oligarchs with tendencies that one would have to call ‘suicidal.’
        Or if you like ‘globacidal.’

        You honestly think anyone including the US
        has the ability to just run through Europe? You know today we ordered Greece to seize an Iranian oil tanker.

        We have lost control. We are petulant impulsive openly derisive divisive miscreants. All YOU need do is see how we treat Julian Assange. Or the tortured at Abu Graib. Dan Hale, a true hero sits in Prison for telling the truth.

        Or, any of the immolated socialists in a building during The Maidan Coup. that was perpetrated by Nazi’s in Ukraine which we openly support and lionize.

        Ask people of The Donbas, who have been fighting as a group of people who simply want to live their fucking lives. We razed Ukraine to the ground. We killed its infrastructure and led it down a path of no return.

        We made them subservient and destroyed their once bustling economy.

        Putin doesn’t want a world war and anyone who does is psychotic. No, I do not ascribe to any war or violence. But, when The Palestinians’ are backed up against a wall all they can do is come out fighting.

        We support USrael as well. We support the systematic starving of millions as we wait like vultures to rip what’s left off the bone. We would defecate in another’s water just to fuck up there lives. And celebrate the moment we saw someone drink. Congratulatory and Celebratory.

        We are hellbent on eliminating human kind and animal and flora kind as well. Putin is a dictator. But we back The Saudi’s and they are a human rights abuse parade. We like Israel ( another war crime laden empire and Colonizing nightmare. ) will back whoever and whatever serves our myopic narcissistic agenda.

        I can not believe that you would even conjecture what Putin will do.
        He’s calculating. Not a mad man as our endless propaganda perpetuators would have you believe.

        And his metric has not been scorched earth but a mission of deference and restraint. If he had truly wanted to destroy Ukraine he could have just poured troops and hardware into Ukraine and leveled it.

        This is what I mean. They are taking out things that support the Ukrainian Military. It is Azov and Right Sector who happily use Ukrainian Civilians as human shields cowards that they are.

        We will always believe that we can supersede anyone’s sovereign state or country. We treat everything we see no matter where it’s located as some kind of inherent birthright .

        I’m pissed at myself now for spending so much time writing this.
        With a little research from viable sources it is easy to see what the US wastes its money on. Insatiable greed, avarice and separatism.

        It would appear the ‘red scare’ is once again being promulgated by the grotesques in our government. Our never satiated corporate capitalist
        bloody sick society.

        The world and its oligarchs are one big incestuous collective. And sadly, it looks like they pulled the plug and we are spiraling into the black hole of our own manifestation powered by massive machinations against humankind.

        We are literally being torn apart by the very thing we are composed of. Hate and Intolerance. We are a false flag continuum. You should never assume we can be trusted. And no one does.

        We can’t be trusted even our allies sleep with one eye open.
        All our support could turn on a dime. Once Friends, suddenly Enemies.

        And now that our bloody veil has been torn off,
        what is now visible is the most fetid and disgusting ‘might is right’ jingo driven cesspool.

        Julian as much as I love him and no, I don’t know him is all we need to see to assess just what a bunch of apathetic sadistic bastards we are.
        I suggest you let Putin be.

        And focus on the one nation under fucking money that has successfully pulled your life right out from under you. Hitler came about with us in mind. He saw how we tore the Indigenous Nations apart and we became his de facto role model.

        Follow the money and you will be led
        to the feet of The Imperialists. Or, Simperialists because we cry foul every time another group of people excels.

        I’m saying this shit because I am hoping that you will focus on self and those around you and anyone who is suppressed or repressed or oppressed by another.

        For me personally I am very nihilistic and it is taking its toll.
        I can’t escape the endless misery we visit on black and brown and poor people. It tears me me up and ‘Tears’ me up.

        What could have been vs. what is, is simply too overwhelming.
        What hit me the hardest was the fire in Australia.

        Seeing that bird tail aflame terrorized and burning alive in flight brought me to a whole devastatingly reality, a realization that we won’t be happy till we have killed everything.

        Bombs away with a smiley face.

        Or. Peace

    4. My first read of The Scheer Post. Chris Hedges is a good writer, however he makes no mention of The United States Department of State Agency For International Development or Foreign Aid, no mention of The Peace Corps, no mention of Public Housing, our free Public Education, assistance for food, assistance for children which includes clothing, and many other social programs. He has little to say about global economics and the interdependency of nations on foreign trade. His rabid tirades and critiques of our country are endless. Would he rather see a nuclear war in Europe? He makes no mention of the contribution of NATO. He could probably find a paycheck or donation from Putin. Chris Hedges is a bitter man, I wonder if he has ever lived under other political systems for any period of time without the privileges of a press pass? I doubt it. Hedges is a great propagandist for “America Haters”. He wants it all for free. The rhetoric and his assumptions are personally offensive to me. What has he to say about the drug war?

      1. @Kathryn Stewart McDonald
        America haters comprise the majority of people on Earth, and also all decent people. If you support the evil empire, you are on the wrong side and are part of the problem. All of your phony baloney crap about the supposed good that the U.S. does is ridiculous. Compared to other developed countries, the U.S. has the worst social programs in the world, including the worst medical system by far.

        If you don’t like Chris Hedges, I suggest that this isn’t the place for you.

    5. greene is demented, eh? what’s that supposed to mean, mister twister, eh?

  2. Thank you Chris Hedges!
    A brilliant, all encompassing summary with tragic implications.
    Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex realized in ways he could not have imagined. We are witnessing the end of Empire with all of its grim ramifications.

    1. err, kind reality check- we might be witnessing the end of Ukraine and all of its grim implications… cause putin done waged a colonial war to bring this fake country which never really existed [putin’s own words, on the record, do read up!] home into the REICH….
      but yes, it all fault of U.S., them done handed out cookies on Maidan square in 2014….

      1. Are you ok? I’m trying to figure out what your trying to say is it like a gimmick to seem intelligent? Maybe just clearly state what you are trying to say would help with whatever it is you’re doing.

      2. Chris Hedges compels me to hear out loud his nihilistic tirades in what is irresistible consummate crank of discontent and perpetual protest without solution and end that much like the libertarians of the right protest the capitalist state at the same time they perpetuate that state as he an Mr. Scheer pursue they self imposed exile from the establishment media that once paid them.

        Much like the “Liberated Guardian” undermined the “National Guardian” and “unionizes” political campaigns in another extortion racket of lies (as in the Sanders Warren 2020 Presidential runs) where money greases the wheels and “real radicals can go screw themselves” while pseudo radicals are seriouls challenged in connecting all the dots.

        (The Guardian, was a left-wing independent weekly newspaper established in 1948 in New York City. The paper was founded by James Aronson, Cedric Belfrage and John T. McManus in connection with the 1948 Presidential campaign of Henry A. Wallace under the Progressive Party banner”)

  3. Next will be ending social security, medicare and medicade because they are bankrupting the US. Forget about the pentagon failure of their audit…21 trillion missing!

  4. Let me be the first reader this Monday to deplore and oppose war as a solution to climate instability, debt and the overabundance of weaponry.
    As a plain living laboring citizen of average intelligence I am smart enough to see how we’re all being cheated and lied to. Sometimes I think the problem is that smart people use their surplus IQ to impress wealthy criminals rather than for the general welfare. By intense application of my small and plodding mind I got a scholarship to college. After a few weeks I discovered that the only thing that interested me (other than relationships) was the peace movement.
    As the “commissar” of SDS at my school I tried to organize teach-ins and demonstrations. But because most of the other members (actually infiltrators) were from better off circumstances they repeatedly informed on us, fabricated falsehoods and embezzled assets. After two semesters I was expelled from school. But that taught me alot.

  5. Great recitation of facts, Chris. But you and others have said this before, many times. I always agree with you — EXCEPT you never provide any solutions.

    Might it be better to simply begin at a starting point that the MIC is in control and brainstorming a plan / strategy to reverse the permanent military economy, which has been going on actually since WW II, rather than saying the same thing over and over without any results?

    1. Tom you have a point. This is a mere recitation of what so many of us already know or at least suspect. Solutions indeed, but we are witnessing in real time another repetion of WWII Armegedon ….what now coach? As a fellow Presbyterian (as is Hedges),I and need a practical way out whether by divine intervention or looking for an ad hoc group of commissioners or comisars to successfully sue Putin and the western elite for peace.

      1. We need a massive peace movement. I’m an unemployed grandmother living far from DC, but I want nukes to be permanently eliminated. I’m looking for someone who can lead or guide such a movement, not just about nukes, but to get their attention about Ukraine & Russia. Almost no one in DC has the guts to speak the truth about this war. And almost no one in media has the guts to tell the truth about it. The reason for both is to demoralize anyone who feels the way I do, and make us feel isolated and in a teeny tiny minority, too small and powerless to do anything. If my friends and family are any indication, the majority of the public believes the lies about this war because anyone opposing it publicly is made to look like a fringe wingnut. They think I’m a wingnut because they don’t know the context of this war, and don’t believe our government would do such abominable things in our name with our tax dollars.

      2. To Liz,
        The best place for a massive peace movement – is at the polls, voting 3rd party – the D/Rs have proven time and again that “peace” is not in their best interest, though it is in ours – time, past time, to “throw the bums out” …

      3. Given the rapid escalation of tensions in this proxy war, I don’t think waiting until the Nov 22 election (or later, realistically, to make the cry for peace truly heard) can make a difference is enough. And if elections are to have any influence, there must be politicians who know the truth about this war and are willing to risk vilification to speak the truth, so I see a grassroots movement of protests, rallies etc. as essential to any impact at the polls. Another vital part of that must be breaking the stranglehold that the two-headed Dempublican party has on elections.

      4. To Liz,
        I agree with you – we cannot sleep and wake up every 2-4 years to “do our duty” – but, as I have said elsewhere, movements without electoral politics and vice-versa are like a one legged man, he can hop around a lot, but he won’t get too far …

      5. @Liz
        Code Pink is the best anti-war group in the U.S. Unfortunately, the peace movement here is almost nonexistent, because without a draft, no one cares.

    2. He tells you over and over again but apparently you never seem to read that part. According to Chris Hedges and I agree with him, our only hope is in mass peaceful civil disobedience. That’s it, and there is no other way. So quit blaming Chris for your inability to actually resist.

      1. To JustA,
        ” … our only hope is in mass peaceful civil disobedience.”
        Indeed – mass peaceful civil disobedience – but where? We can’t even be disobedient at the polls, refusing to vote for the duoply – so tell us, where should we be “disobedient” and what form, precisely, should that rake?

      2. Oh, resisting here, in a blog, going toe to tongue with creeps like arvo and the like? Chris is a seminarian, so put that into perspective. Not a liberation theologist, but close. He is what he is in terms of mastering language and putting the spin on the same old song, and that’s not his fault.

        Resistance is futile?

        There will be a new order of things, so to speak: Davos Man, the Coke-Snorting Billionaire, ZioLenskyy. He’s got citizenship in the UK, Poland, Israel, and USA!

        +–+

        Three months after the start of Russia’s Operation Z in Ukraine, the battle of The West (12 percent) against The Rest (88 percent) keeps metastasizing. Yet the narrative – oddly – remains the same.

        On Monday, from Davos, World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Ukrainian comedian-cum-President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the latest leg of his weapons-solicitation-tour, with a glowing tribute. Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.”

        He means, of course, everyone except the 88 percent of the planet that subscribes to the Rule of Law – instead of the faux construct the west calls a ‘rules-based international order.’

        Back in the real world, Russia, slowly but surely has been rewriting the Art of Hybrid War. Yet within the carnival of NATO psyops, aggressive cognitive infiltration, and stunning media sycophancy, much is being made of the new $40 billion US ‘aid’ package to Ukraine, deemed capable of becoming a game-changer in the war.

        This ‘game-changing’ narrative comes courtesy of the same people who burned though trillions of dollars to secure Afghanistan and Iraq. And we saw how that went down.

        Ukraine is the Holy Grail of international corruption. That $40 billion can be a game-changer for only two classes of people: First, the US military-industrial complex, and second, a bunch of Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-connish NGOs, that will corner the black market for weapons and humanitarian aid, and then launder the profits in the Cayman Islands.

      3. Hundreds of solutions many of have, but this is it, you want the pamphlet version or white papers or ground truthing ? Here, at Sheared Off Post? Get real.

      4. If it’s on TicTok then you may have a chance. Americans are so soft and ignorant I doubt it will ever happen.

      5. @Dermot Meuchner
        Americans have it way too good (at the expense of the Earth and all the life here, including other people). That’s the problem. Comfortable people aren’t going to make the effort or the sacrifices necessary for revolt or revolution. If things continue to get worse for average people, that might change, but we’re nowhere near it yet.

    3. Absolutely. I grew tired of Hedges incessant “doom and gloom” years ago. And this guy just keeps churning out the fluff. He should get out from behind the computer and run for office and maybe, just maybe, accomplish something for people instead of just walking about with the “end of the world” sign.

  6. Thank-you, Scheerpost, for this article and the previous one by Michael Klare about putting geo-politics ahead of climate action and future generations.

    Chris:

    From my tiny corner of the world, I’m seeing my family and neighbors try to maintain their quality of life as best they can, and trying to buffer themselves with money. This will work for a while, until the waves of reality crest the levees they are creating.

    You mention the loss of social forces to curb militarism in the US, as well as the progressives in the Democratic party having sold out to the military agenda. Having a good income and quality of life versus standing up to the status quo is a dilemma we all face: the labor and political struggles of our ancestors have enabled many families since WWII to have increased affluence compared to earlier generations. Do people really want to give up a type of Disneyfied, consumer lifestyle to experience a fraction of the punishment Edward Snowden or Julian Assange have incurred?

    I did not expect a decline in quality of life so soon, as the Russian sanctions are reflecting back on the West. The economic fallout from militarism will create the kinds of social unrest that I saw climate change creating: a perfect storm for cementing a fascist state in America, like that of Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    Unless someone can correct me, I’m not seeing a peaceful, prosperous path forward for future generations. I fully expect protests to mount, as quality of life is destroyed for many people due to inflation, whether from geo-political conflict or climate change, or both. As long as people have their basic needs provided, including the elites, they do not have be moral or reasonable or wise, or have a grasp of reality: they can behave as they desire until the music stops.

    1. I wanted to try and answer my own question: how can there be a better path forward?
      *The more there is a general understanding that the Earth is sacred, and we need to become its stewards to survive, there is hope that people of many backgrounds will organize better alternatives.
      *If nuclear war can be avoided, China will continue to create a commonwealth with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the US will fall behind economically, and perhaps some sanity can resume if the US is not trying to be a world hegemony. Then, the leading powers can cooperate to prevent the worst excesses of climate change.
      *Even under a future US totalitarian govt, movements to shift our minds to caring for the Earth, or using technology to benefit the greater good can take place. History is full of the cycles of rise and fall, and the Renaissance, for example, could not have happened without the end of the Roman Empire.

      1. Knowing the bad governance of the Government, I am confused and wondering why Americans are so naive to Vote for the Republicans or Democrats?
        Don’t America has other better parties to Vote for? At least put them in.

    2. @nyethornet why, the Ukrainians did not expect a decline in quality of life so soon, as the Russian illegal war is reflecting upon them in a very real way, so do spare us yer whining on yer caviar having gone up a few roubles…

      1. If you look into Chris, he appears to be a Russian agent and a socialist who was and probably is on Moscow’s payroll and doing Russia’s deed in US using the freedom of press in this country while in Russia itself, there is no freedom of press. The analogy I can use is when Iranian women joined the revolution in Iran only to end up being pushed under the social, economic and literal veil for the rest of their lives and following two generations so far.
        And oh yes, at least in Americans get to vote, unlike China and Russia and Saudi Arabia and all Chris’s apparent model civilizations that cherishes?

  7. So we have insane Rs and corrupted Ds, or is it the other way around, or both … hmm maybe time, past time, way past time, to choose another option, one that has been available for some time …

  8. A “side issue.” maybe, but it’s revealing that so many liberals conveniently forget about the Democrats’ ongoing war on the poor. Millions left jobless, many with $0 incomes. As many lives as this has cost over the past 26 years, none of it gets through to them. That said, if liberals knew the political left from right, they would see that Democrats are currently the leading regressive party, and there isn’t a single progressive in political office today.

    1. I got a letter from Barrack Obama this morning asking for $50 to support Joe and Kamala as they help the middle class get ahead.

      Every couple days there is a message on my answering machine reminding Frederick how much Donald Trump needs him.

      I have no idea who Frederick is. I don’t know any Barrack Obama either.

      1. R.H.–As I’d bet you know, “middle class” is a silly misnomer. A slogan functioning such that the majority working class once believed they had a right to economic comfort. New Deal, unions…now gone.

        At the turn of the 19th C. only 14% in the US were middle class; status was precarious. Boom and bust cycles wiped them out repeatedly. History does not repeat itself really, but there are echoes. Even education doesn’t mean middle class access any longer. Ask any recent university grad who moved back home and is working gig jobs just to survive. Middle class?! Ha!

        The only people the Ivy D mob cares about are what I call 20%ers. Their own kind–the elite upper middle class professionals, administrators, and managers, who went to school with the old money elite Rs. The Ivy Ds guaranteed their own survival by serving the 1% and abandoning everyone else. Sure, they’re fine with BIPOC. But how exactly does a half Black and half South Asian woman VP help anyone without status, whose parents weren’t both college professors?

        The terrible irony of the last two years being that we found out just who the essential workers were: in NT terms, the least among us. Yet the only people speaking to these minimum wage workers are the R allies of their exploiters. No Ivy D elitist would ever consider us “basket of deplorables” as something human.

      2. Middle class? Come on, this is a debt nation.

        During a May appearance on Letterman Obama stated the catechismal account of the myth of the middle class, referring to “middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.” Those impressive benefits once available to the Golden Age single-breadwinner household are typically held to demonstrate that the “middle class bargain” has been a reality for the majority of American workers. To be sure, we’re in a bit of a wee depression right now, but once that’s fixed the middle class dream will once again be within the grasp of those willing to “work hard.” That was the message of the Obamination’s Letterman stint.

        An Accurate But Limited Response to the Myth of the Middle Class

        A rational and historically informed response to the legend of the middle class is that this alleged stratum of the 1920s and the Golden Age existed for a mere 34 years of American history. Before the1920s just about all working-class peole were poor. Since 1974 then we have had 42 years of burgeoning inequality, un- and underemployment, growing poverty and steadily declining wages with no end in sight. The middle class was a departure from the historic norm of a materially insecure working class, the default position of industrial capitalism.

        That response, accurate as it is, harbors a deeper myth that disguises a virtually unremarked and scandalous feature of the history of the U.S. working class, namely that it has always been poor. There never was a middle class, not in the sense in which that concept is meant to pack the punch intended by capitalist apologetics. If that’s so, the U.S. has never been a “rich country.”

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/28/the-myth-of-the-middle-class-have-most-americans-always-been-poor/

      3. If you cite 1974 as the end of 34 years of a true American middle class, it started with WWII in 1940. As with WWI, Europe took the brunt of both wars leaving the US relatively unscathed, at a competitive advantage in manufacturing, and in a movement of GIs and their families off of farms, and into cities and later suburbs.
        Americans proved innovative in the ’50s and ’60s, but eventually sent their manufacturing and innovations abroad, focusing instead mostly on paper shuffling and stock market casino “easy money”.
        “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
        War is what you do if you have no skills; you steal from others to survive.

    2. Knowing the bad governance of the Government, I am confused and wondering why Americans are so naive to Vote for the Republicans or Democrats?
      Don’t America has other better parties to Vote for? At least put them in.

      1. To Chee & Albert,
        I have been wondering that for years, myself, decades, actually …. We DO have better parties to vote for, but we don’t vote for them – because we have been told over and over, by the D/Rs, that there is no alternative to the D/Rs because “3rd parties can’t win” (which is a bunch of bunkum, because any candidate on a ballot can win if enough people vote for him/her) – so, the story goes, if we vote for someone who “can’t win” we are taking a vote away from a D or R thus helping those “awful ” candidates of the other party to win – we wind up voting for what we think, depending on our politics, is the “lesser of 2 evils” – we vote against what we don’t want most instead of for what we do want – If people voted in electoral polls the same way they do in opinion polls on various issues, we would have a very different and, in my opinion , much better Gov’t. by now.

        I have been watching this dynamic for decades, have voted 3rd party myself since ’96 and marveled, in dismay, at how many of my fellow citizens have not done the same ….

      2. @SH
        The problem is that most people just want to live their lives and aren’t interested enough in politics to find out what’s really going on. Consider that the vast majority of people get propaganda, not news. That combined with people’s tribal instincts (“I’m a Democrat,” “I’m a Republican”) causes people to support and vote for one of the two gangs instead of for decent candidates.

        No solution here except for a major lowering of population and a major restructuring of societies so that people know each other and lying becomes much more difficult.

      3. To Jeff,
        Oh baloney – how’s “lowering of population” going to change political allegiances – I know what the problem is – the answer is not to “lower the population” – the answer is for that population to wake up and smell the stinkweed – You have been consistently undervaluing, or attempting to convince the rest of us to undervalue, our ability to make change through electoral politics …
        As Alice Walker said – the best way to keep people from using their power is to convince them they don’t have any – so congrats, Jeff, you are serving that aim well!

      4. @SH
        You don’t understand what I mean. I’m talking about lowering the population hugely in order to live in naturally small groups where everyone knows each other. Once a group is overpopulated to the point where everyone doesn’t know each other, you get all sorts of manipulation. This society is idiotically complicated, that’s also one of the problems regarding politics, and the only way to fix that is to greatly lower the population.

        Watch the beginning of a movie from the 1980s called The Gods Must be Crazy to get an idea of what I’m talking about, even though it doesn’t discuss politics.

        And no, I’m not trying to disempower people, I’m trying to get them to wake up to the fact that electoral politics in this society isn’t an answer to anything, especially in the totally rigged system that we have. If you can’t see how futile electoral politics is in this context, I don’t know what to tell you. And I’m someone who’s worked on political campaigns and even run one. People need to find their power from other things beside these charade elections.

      5. If you look into Chris, he appears to be a Russian agent and a socialist who was and probably is on Moscow’s payroll and doing Russia’s deed in US using the freedom of press in this country while in Russia itself, there is no freedom of press. The analogy I can use is when Iranian women joined the revolution in Iran only to end up being pushed under the social, economic and literal veil for the rest of their lives and following two generations so far.
        And oh yes, at least Americans get to vote, unlike China, Russia, Saudi and other countries Chris apparently loves?

  9. For a majority of the graduate students I teach, biology has become technology: If you want to know what’s happening in Ukraine or China or in one of the British royal’s palaces, view Netflix or Hulu.
    Years ago, before technology, John Kenneth Galbraith, the most intellectual member of JFK’s cabinet, was asked seemingly out of the blue: “What will it take for Americans to finally come to their senses?” He pondered for a bit then replied: “Perhaps something like three concomitant catastrophes.”
    Well, we’ve experienced many more than three concomitant catastrophes, but technology (and ideology) have transformed them all into species of entertainment. As for what’s happened in the past, perhaps beginning with the Vietnam War, those public memories have been replaced with lies and American heroism.

  10. In the bizarre alternate universe of Hedges, Greenwald, and other left-ish Neo Progressive demagogues and propaganda buffs, serial liars and conspiratorial BS spreaders like Trump, Greene and Carlson are heroes who speak the truth, while liberals, anti-Trump conservatives, and even progressives who dare to defy the radicalized left-ish party line are sellouts, criminal elitists and warmongers who are to be reviled.

    Anyone who calls Trump ‘statesman’ is either as demented as Trump, ignorant as the vast majority of his cult followers, or purposely seeking the collapse of the US, and liberal democracy in general.

    I strongly suspect that Hedges, Greenwald, and other hypocritical left-ish Neo Progressive, Regime-Changers, pundits and flock belong to the latter group.

    1. If “demented” Far Right-Wingers such as Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene make a truthful observation, it is for the wrong reason. Best not to cite them as truth-tellers.

  11. @democracy … and , strangely the fact that the most recent major war was instigated NOT by usa/nato, but actually PUTIN who wants to annex a country in what ye have correctly labeled a ‘colonial war’, – is never mentioned once….
    no doubt weapons manufacturers in the west are licking heir chops, but what about all this mindless propaganda about putin just HAD TO start this war what with Ukraine possibly becoming a member of NATO in, what?, 20 years, and him being ‘ENCIRCLED with NATO bordering a whopping 6% of his land borders, and it’s the time of the month when him that way, and him did put down ‘RED LINES’, and Zelensky done wore the same dress just to spite him… and nazi nazi nazi like they don’t have’m in russia
    all the shills try on this site is to sell this as a war that NEEDED TO HAPPEN like stopping Hitler… well israel is using the very same tactics, just BLAME THE VICTIMS… we need to kill cause them ‘terrorists’
    so in this whole pseudo-philosophical lament of the formerly great Chris Hedges is just more fodder for them who pay him…
    let me leave ye with a quote by Chris Hedges, from the ‘Gaza Diaries’:

    “Children have been shot in other countries I have covered – death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo – but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport,”
    CHRIS fucking HEDGES riddle me this: why are UKRAINIAN kids being slaughtered by indiscriminate shelling not worth a few lines from a man of yer clout?
    them just not the right race? them not WORTHY VICTIMS? wrong color hair? what is it?
    ye beg for money on yer substack , yet ye do not provide a venue ANYWHERE to talk to ye directly [oh ye so exalted now]
    please, Bob Sheer, kindly forward this to CHRIS fucking HEDGES:
    @CHRIS HEDGES: WHY AIN’T UKRAINIAN KIDS WORTHY VICTIMS?
    WORTHY OF YE SPEAKING OUT FOR THEM? what, ye might lose a paycheck?

    1. @arvo Chris Hedges could be forgiven for failing to provide a venue to talk to him directly (he has his reasons) but asking for money makes him seem as dishonest as any garden variety politician. Then again, it must be quite challenging to make a living from writing articles. A journalist asking for a donation hardly equates with texting millions of people daily for months asking for $$$ for legal fees to contest a national election. It’s still worth reading his free essays for whatever insights he has now and again.

  12. @ CHRIS HEDGES the exalted, who mere mortals cannot contact [but do pay him on substack!]
    a kind reality check: “SEASONAL WAR HAS PARALYZED UKRAINE”. no, really. check the news…
    if ye had a moment, i mean AFTER three months of an essentially COLONIAL war going on in Ukraine, to weigh in on the ethical justification of the ongoing murder of Ukrainian civilians, why that would be much more appreciated, and needed, than waxing on about the ‘merchants or war’, who i hate, too, make no mistake…
    ye wrote something once, a long time ago, which burneditself into my mind and made ye, briefly, me hero [context: Gaza, Israel, Murder of Kids]: from the ‘Gaza Diaries’:

    “Children have been shot in other countries I have covered – death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo – but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport,” see, back then ye had a moral clarity…

    err, what be wrong with them Ukrainian Kids that in THREE months ye have not spoken on their behalf? wrong race/ creed/ color of hair? ye just don’t like Ukrainians? them not worthy victims in yer exalted eyes?
    grow some balls and respond. explain. or just quietly collect yer paycheck….tuck yer tail and run, counting yer money…

  13. “The United States… is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care… The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation…”

    When all you have to offer is Death… you have really outlived any usefulness you may have once had.

    We need to remember that ‘The United States’ is not a ‘thing’ at all. It is not a single ‘anything’. ‘The United States’ in reality has always been a collection of very many things all going in their own directions at the same time.

    When one speaks of, ‘The United States’ in terms of its ambitions for Unassailable Worldwide Empire Forever!… what is really meant are those tiny handful of miscreants who have purchased and seized power over the ‘United States’ name plate and seized the Ship of State wheel. The ‘United States’ isn’t doing anything. It is these deviants who are doing the doing. And fatally soiling the name United States in the process.

    We don’t need high speed trains or universal health care or infrastructure programs or food programs or anything useful for people because we DON’T NEED PEOPLE anymore. Thus it has been decreed from the Dark Anti-Gospel coming not from On High but from Way, Way, Way Down Under. And all those who worship at the hind end of their cosmic boss, the one characterized by the red suit and horns and long tail and look of evil glee in his eye.

    It is no wonder why They want to techno-erase out all of the spirit and soul out of human beings. They are trying to remake us to be as dead and lifeless and empty inside as They already are.

    You may or may not believe in the Bible. But in that book appear the words, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    Only a fool today would doubt those words. They are right on target. And that’s why The Bible is also being erased today along with the moral authority that it represents. The Not-So-Great-Reset New/Old-World Disorder Gospel of death and destruction cannot allow such ideas to be in circulation any more.

    Some mystics and spiritualists have long speculated that the Earth itself is actually… Hell. For a long time that seemed like a silly notion. But in our Times today, that idea doesn’t look so silly after all. In fact, it looks more accurate by the day.

    “Since all we do is war, all proposed solutions are military.”

    Full Spectrum Dominance. That’s what we were told would be coming. That’s what we’re seeing now.

    The idea of ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ itself isn’t actually a completely untenable notion. The great big problem is in WHO and WHAT is doing the Dominating and WHY and in WHOSE INTEREST.

    In the Right ‘Hands’… Full Spectrum Dominance might not even be the worse way to live. But in the wrong hands… this kind of Heavy Hand Boot In The Face IS the worse possible way to live.

    Like the song says… War… What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHING.

    Nothing. Except to further enrich those who won’t stop until no one doubts that the Earth IS in fact… Hell. ‘Mission Accomplished! again, right?

    1. @Roundball Shaman
      I agree with your post except for your false characterization of the bible and christianity. This evil religion and its book (along with the other evil fanatic monotheistic religions) bear a great responsibility for all the problems you mentioned. What is now the U.S. was mainly an ecological paradise before christians got here and totally ruined it by murdering the Natives, stealing their land, destroying it, and using people as slaves who were kidnapped from Africa. THAT’s what christianity and the bible are. Geronimo (his white people name, I don’t recall his real name), Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Chief Seattle, etc., EACH had more integrity and morality in their respective anuses than all christianity put together.

      1. Jeff: “… your false characterization of the bible and christianity. This evil religion and its book (along with the other evil fanatic monotheistic religions) bear a great responsibility for all the problems you mentioned.”

        Roundball: “And that’s why The Bible is also being erased today along with the moral authority that it represents.”

        My comment is not to assert whether or not the Bible has moral authority. It is meant in the vein of what the Bible purportedly represents to a great many people (and has represented such for generations) in general Society.

        The Bible is like a hammer. A hammer can be used to build a homeless shelter or it can be used to do serious damage to someone’s head. It’s all in how the Bible is being used and interpreted.

        If the Bible is being used to actually promote legacy positive values, then it has a moral authority about it for that reason. If the Bible is being used to oppress or conquer… it does not possess that same moral authority. But it is people who are doing the oppressing. A book on a shelf was not wiping out the Native Americans.

        The Bible is a book written by humans about a human construct of the Cosmos. And as such, it possesses both wisdom and flaws. (Yes, there’s all that talk about how it was ‘inspired’. But such inspiration is still coming through a very human filtering system and is subject to human weaknesses. God was not dictating words to some recording secretary with a note pad.

        Again… my comment was more about the intent of the false gods among us to wipe out anything that has a scent of moral authority about it in an attempt for them to gain full dominion over it.

    2. Hello, World ! Many great comments here, such as yours, Roundball Shaman.

      I’ve never read the Bible , but I believe the Bible gives believers a certain strength to fight back against evil rulers, and that’s why it’s being erased as you say. It was obvious to me during the lock downs, when casinos stayed open while churches were forced to stay closed.

    3. @Roundball Shaman
      There are a few good things in the bible, mainly what Jesus said. But as a whole, it’s an evil book that supports an evil religion. For one thing, monotheism is fanatic theocratic authoritarianism. For another, these evil religions promote killing the Earth by having “dominion” over it, instead of living in proper balance with it and its ecosystems. They hold humans out as better and more important than other species, which is both totally immoral and provably false. Additionally, the concept of heaven after death (instead of within) means, as a Native leader said, that if you think you’re going to a better place when you die, you won’t give a damn about this place. For a third, they promote false dualities, like body & soul, instead of oneness, making them a force against mental and spiritual evolution instead of for it.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree about this. I don’t at all see the bible or christianity as being merely neutral forces that can be used for good or evil. I think it’s quite clear after 2,000 years that christianity is a force for evil.

      1. Jeff: “They hold humans out as better and more important than other species, which is both totally immoral and provably false.”

        The Bible is a book… well, let’s start there. The Bible is/was not a book at all but a collection of some ancient writings along with very many stories passed down by word of mouth… some of these stories passed verbally-only for many hundreds of years. Someone collected these — rejected certain other writings based on personal agenda — and began to call it ‘The Bible’.

        But whatever one calls it… it is now considered a book. A book – written by humans about humans for humans promoting a very human and limited and skewed characterization of a Power which is beyond description. Good luck accurately describing something that cannot be defined.

        If cats had ‘dominion’ over the Earth, the Bible would written by cats and be cat-centered. Or any other critter one might choose to insert in there. We see the World in OUR image, regardless of who is doing the seeing.

        Jeff: “Additionally, the concept of heaven after death (instead of within) means, as a Native leader said, that if you think you’re going to a better place when you die, you won’t give a damn about this place.”

        Not necessarily. We might want to ‘go to Heaven’ but right now also want to keep a neat and nice house to live in while we’re waiting.

        ‘Holy books’ — if they are being honest in their quest — are trying to point to an elevated reality beyond the Earthly mundane. We would all be served better if these ‘Holy Books’ were actually a bit more Holy and less problematic.

        To bring this back to Hedges… the Bible can be used to justify wars or to condemn wars. It is the intent of the user that is coming out in the choice made.

        And no ‘Holy Book’ anywhere should ever be used as a weapon.

      2. No way out but pandemic after planned pandemic. USA is perverse, a cancer on humanit. Big Pharma? Who runs those outfits?

        Do your research:

        But then, here,

        The Russian military has spent over two months now detailing the extent and reach of the US military-biological research effort in Ukraine, revealing that the Pentagon has used the country as a testing ground for the study of deadly bioagents, and uncovering the tangled web of military, corporate, and political interests behind these activities.

        Russian Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Defence Troops chief Igor Kirillov issued a fresh briefing on Friday, providing new information on US military biological activities in Ukraine, as well as details on what his troops know about monkeypox, a smallpox cousin which has caused a global health scare in recent weeks.

        The Pentagon, he said, introduced a mandatory smallpox vaccination back in 2003, with US diplomats and medical personnel also required to be jabbed against the infectious disease.

        https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/05/27/russian-military-points-to-presence-of-us-funded-biolabs-in-nigeria-amid-global-monkeypox-scare/

      3. @Roundball Shaman
        I don’t presume to know what felines would do if they had human-type powers — like being able to walk upright, and possess opposable thumbs, an advanced intellect, and human-like self-awareness — and you shouldn’t either. You’re doing what psychology calls “projection,” which in this instance is projecting the human personality onto felines. Nor do we know how felines see the world; hell, it’s hard to even know how other humans see it.

        This concept — that put in our position, the concept of which BTW has no basis in reality, other species would destroy the Earth and kill all the life on just like humans are doing — is nothing but a lame excuse for indescribably bad human behavior. I’ve heard this BS many times before, and I don’t buy it.

        This is far too much for a blog. I suggest reading the excellent book The Myth of Human Supremacy by Derrick Jensen. He articulates what I’m trying to say in great detail, with scientific and logical bases for his claims.

        As to the bible, it’s irrelevant to this discussion whether it’s a book. I’m familiar with what you said about it being a collection (I don’t need to agree, it’s a true fact and not disputable as far as I know). It’s also irrelevant to my point whether the bible can be used for good or evil. My point is how it has been and is still being used the vast majority of the time, not what potential it has one way or the other.

  14. There is little hope, I fear, of rolling back or restraining the disasters being orchestrated on a national and global level.

    Why do people continue to fawn over Hedges when he writes sentences like the one above. For someone as erudite as Hedges, he has a very narrow minded, ignorant view of the working class he supposedly writes for. From his comfortable, bourgeois life he ignores the one true and powerful force that can save us all from the misery he so loves to write about, but never offers solutions for, the international working class. I ask all of you on here to go back and read the article and where ever Hedges writes militarism, war industry, or sentences like – Since all we do is war, all proposed solutions are
    military – with the word capitalism ( or capitalist where appropriate ) of which, he manages to let escape from his pen only once in this article. The international working class must take control of the means of production and distribution by leading a revolution for socialism and anti-imperialism to free OURSELVES from being exploited as surplus labor and cannon fodder that is our only purpose in the psychopathic minds of the ruling class. There is no alternative. There is no “other solution.”
    As a global society of workers we cannot rely on a more altruistic capitalism that Hedges and so many others cheerlead for. We cannot rely on any of our nationalistic leaders no matter what they preach. We can only rely on OURSELVES, and the VOICES of the global workers of the world. Hedges is merely a bush beater shaking up the branches with his ink stick but refusing to dig into the roots to write about the solutions that, if he has any clear understanding of Marx’s historical materialism, are all around him living, working, and scrapping by on a daily basis and being constantly told by Hedges and his ilk that there is little hope, I fear which plays right into the hands of the cretins he is suppose to be against.

  15. We’ve had a permanent war economy since Jamestown. This stuff didn’t start after WWII.

    The Euro-colonists were at war nonstop along the continually expanding ‘frontier’ from the time of their first steps on this continent. It didn’t end for more than three hundred years, well into the 20th century with a Ute uprising in Utah in 1923.

    We had lots of military action in the 20th century in between the world wars and the Indian Wars, including in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

    Saying all this started in the middle of the 20th century denies the reality of this country, which was at war continually just taking the country.

    I can only guess why more than three centuries of constant warfare against indigenous people doesn’t count as war. Maybe considering that undeniable warfare as significant could help make sense of the rest of the nonstop sociopathy. It does for me.

      1. @SH kind sire, i am sure that Ukrainian kids being bombed into, like, DEATH will greatly appreciate yer concern about raping the moon… see, some of them “unworthy-victim” kids had their Moms raped in this stupid medievalcolonial war, so just mebbe yer obsession with the transgressions threatened upon the moon, ring a wee bit hollow with them? but do wax on… yer priorities are yer sacred right… [just curious- ye ever had any kids of yer’s murdered?]

      2. Maybe. But I doubt it. Environmental Coffeehouse had a great video on four days ago with Antonio Reid, titled “The Mission to Mars: The Last Great Folly”.

        It’s quite interesting.

        Nothing is enough for us. All we ever say is, “WE NEED . . . ” followed by an infinite list of things we need, like more money, more planets, different and better processes and systems, more technology, homes for the homeless, new regulations, new scientific understanding, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

        We might be the neediest humans of all time.

      3. To Tupe,
        Thanx! i will check it out, I confess, my main concern re this endeavor, given all the “objectives”, is for the moon, which I confess I have a soft spot for, given that it, it seems, is the “offspring” of this planet – even if we don’t get to Mars, we can do a lot of damage to the moon in our attempts and our greed for “resources”. We haven’t “inhabited” this planet in a healthy way, destroying so much …

        I always like your posts – with your perspective, a much needed one – so thanx …,

    1. @Tupe
      Don’t forget Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Standing Rock, etc. The colonizers have never stopped and are still at it.

    2. Tupe,
      I didn’t think of it as war but as genocide. The end result is just as horrific.
      How many millions were exterminated in N. and S. America??
      There will never be atonement and it will be blocked for teaching to kids in schools.
      Superior peoples never need to apologize or be accountable until not superior.

      1. @Keith Mcmaugh
        I agree, with a minor comment: Instead of “superior,” how about “victorious” or “militarily superior.” Other than military technology and having more people, I see nothing superior about colonizers.

  16. Oh Chris, A tale of woe and delusion here.
    All Societies are founded on conflict.
    Why should the USA be any different ? Its whole mythology is based on Violence ,Genocide,Slavery & War. This is an historical part of the human landscape.Harold Blair symbolizes it beautifully in 1984. From Rameses11 to Biden it remains unchanged.
    The USA is just another chapter.Sadly Americian exceptionalism was just another illusion used for power & subjugation.
    It is good politics.lf you seek power & election to public office start a beautiful, brand new War, your sure to get elected.The nature of Humans are always been seduced by Military adventureismn.
    Any country that dropped 2 Atom Bombs on Civilian Cities killing hundreds of thousands can hardly claim innocence and has pronounced judgement on itself.As you conclude there is no way out.

    1. @Ed Wilson
      It’s the the “human landscape,” it’s the history of agriculture and civilizations. Hunter-gatherers don’t behave this way. All societies are not founded on conflict, only agricultural (i.e., civilized) ones are.

      1. Sorry, that should read, it’s NOT the human landscape.

        This site really needs an edit function for the comments.

  17. The war is not about The Ukraine. It has been stated the war’s aim is to destabilise Russia, encourage regime change, a regime that is favourable to the exploitation of Russia’s vast natural resources by global corporations…A war no matter what the cost, and by every means possible…It does not matter to the politicians or corporation if the USA is driven heavily into non-payable debt, so long as taxpayers fund the US military so it can serve the corporate interest.. Dont be surprised when the US uses battlefield nukes to achieve its goals. The Ukraine is expendable…

    1. @lesonline, i wish to point out logical fallacy. nice try, though… the party who starts the war [i will help ye out here, as in THE PARTY WHO CROSSES THE BORDER AND INFLICTS DEATH ON THE FOLKS OF THE OTHER SIDE, that clear enough for ye?] so that party defines the narrative. like, them say why we go out kill others. WHY INDEED?
      Putin’s narrative has been very much, totally, absolutely, irrefutably [cause so documented, in his own words, do yer own fucking study por favor] that this war is ENTIRELY about Ukraine, a country Putin does not even assign the right to exist to, they do not have the right to join the EU. or NATO., they need to be rescued from NAZINAZINAZI [a problem the utra-zionist jerusalem post refuses to see]. etc…
      letta me breaka this down to a barroom fight…. the guy who throws the first punch defines what the fight is about. that bastard be putin, and his words be a matter of record.
      nice try, now go shill out…

  18. Biden has reversed Donald Trump’s withdrawal of US forces from Somalia and will redeploy Special Operations Forces. It is just the latest move in a long history of destructive US-UK meddling in the Horn of Africa.

    Almost as soon as the administration of President Joseph Biden announced a redeployment of US Special Operations Forces to Somalia on May 16, the Western media began to spin the intervention.

    As the BBC framed it, Biden’s deployment would “support the fight against militant group al-Shabab” (sic). The intervention coincides with the re-election of former Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who governed between 2012 and ‘17.

    Similarly, the New York Times (NYT) reported that “Biden has approved a Pentagon request for standing authority to target about a dozen suspected leaders of Al Shabab, the Somali terrorist group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda.”

    But are these motives true? Does Washington really want merely to defeat al-Shabab? Is al-Shabab actually linked to al-Qaeda and, if so, to what degree? As usual, the mainstream state-corporate media reportage is missing context and reference to international law.

    As we shall see, the context behind the US redeployment is naked imperialism using counterterrorism as the latest in a long line of excuses to interfere in the politics of the strategically-significant country on the Horn of Africa. In terms of international law, signatories of the UN Charter have legal responsibilities to gain authorization from the Security Council before launching military operations –– something the Biden administration and its predecessors have never done in Somalia, or anywhere else, for that matter.

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/05/23/a-history-of-naked-imperialism-continues-as-biden-approves-somalia-redeployment/

    +–+

    For the love of the queen:

    The UK government is funding a Nazi regime in Ukraine rather than prioritizing its domestic national interests.

    Britain’s parliamentary warlords have to date gladly provided £2.1 Billion to fund the Ukrainian war effort rather than budgeting to fix the UK’s gutted NHS, declining educational system, historic poverty or ever-increasing homeless population. With the deplorable state of the UK in mind, why does the British public continue to ignore this national decline in favour of Ukraine’s factual allegiance to neo-Nazism?

    Answer: the lies of the British media.

    It is high time to factually challenge the British media cover-up of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi connection by exposing the inconvenient truths regarding its allegiance to Nazi-inspired Ukrainian leader Stepon Bandera, the Ukrainian Right Sector, and the Azov Battalion whose swastikas are steeped in the blood from the slaughter of 14,000 eastern Ukrainians.

    The origin of the war in Ukraine and its propagation of neo-Nazism can be traced back to the 2014 Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” that saw America help overthrow the legitimately elected president Viktor Yanukovych and create the terror of Maidan Square. Months before, Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland had publicly stated that the US had spent US$5 Billion to support US-style democracy in Ukraine. When that “democracy” spiralled into predictable national violence much to the dismay of European leaders, Nuland famously stated, “Fuck the EU.” A three-word synopsis for US democratic diplomacy then and now.

    Regionally and culturally Ukraine is divided East to West, on either side of the Dnieper River with the capital, Kyiv at the north end. Eastern Ukraine is primarily culturally Russian and has been for centuries. The 1939 Molotov/ Ribbentrop Pact divided Ukraine along new borders and today western Ukraine is far more aligned culturally and politically with western Europe and the US. For these reasons, western Ukraine has great animosity towards the East, hence the 2014 election was very close and violent.

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/05/22/ukraines-nazi-connection-and-the-british-national-cover-up/

    +–+

    For the love of the French:

    Mali recently announced that it would no longer be part of the G5 Sahel. From the beginning, it was clear that the formation of the G5 Sahel was encouraged by France, and that the real focus was to be security.

    On May 15, 2022, the military junta in Mali announced that it would no longer be part of the G5 Sahel platform. The G5 Sahel was created in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in 2014, and brought together the governments of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to collaborate over the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel belt—the region just below the Sahara desert in Africa—and to increase trade among these countries. Behind the scenes, it was clear that the formation of the G5 Sahel was encouraged by the French government, and that, despite all the talk of trade, the real focus of the group was going to be security.

    In early 2017, under French pressure, these G5 Sahel countries created the G5 Sahel Joint Force (FC-G5S), a military alliance to combat the security threat posed by the aftermath of the Algerian civil war (1991-2002) and the detritus of NATO’s 2011 war in Libya. The G5 Sahel Joint Force received the backing of the United Nations Security Council to conduct military operations in the region.

    Mali’s military spokesperson Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga said on May 15 that his government had sent a letter on April 22 to General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno—President of Chad’s transitional military council and the outgoing president of the G5 Sahel—informing him of Mali’s decision; the lack of movement in holding the conference of the G5 Sahel heads of state, which was supposed to take place in Mali in February, and handing over the rotating presidency of the FC-G5S to the country, forced Mali to take the action of leaving both the FC-G5S and the G5 Sahel platform, Colonel Maïga said on national television.

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/05/23/is-this-the-end-of-the-french-project-in-africas-sahel/

    1. Interesting comments on the Sahel; probably the US will pick up the “French Project” as they did in Vietnam. Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa already are gearing up for the Yanks.
      Have to correct you on the Orange Revolution, which was in 2004-2005 in Ukraine. Yanukovych won the Election over Yushchenko, but the CIA intervened and in a re-vote Yushchenko (an obvious US puppet, married to a State Dept/ CIA agent) won and borrowed lots of money at high interest from the EU (the money went poof! Ukraine is proud of their corruption). Yushchenko made Stepan Bandera, the NAZI collaborator, a Hero of Ukraine and (probably at the instruction of the US, glorified NAZIs and neoNAZIs as a provocation of Russia). In 2009-2010 Yushchenko received only 5% of the vote (monitored by UN observers) and Yanukovych was elected. He was a typical “fence sitter” or “three stools” leader playing the West against Russia. The Podesta group, Greg Craig (Obama’s consul), Manafort and Gates were Yanukovych’s handlers– Joe Biden was running the country as Viceroy since 2009 (ukrainegate.info)– but Yanukovych was not a good US puppet. In late 2013, he picked Russia and lower interest rates (as if Ukraine pays the money back!) over the EU. In response, Western Ukrainians (Kiev is in the West) who hoped to get access to EU jobs and money, flooded the capital in protest in February 2014 (the “Revolution of Dignity”), which quickly turned into the US-backed Maidan Coup, with NeoNAZIs taking credit for killing 50-100 protesters, earning a place in the new regime. Democratically elected Yanukovych had agreed to new elections (he had a year remaining) but barely escaped with his life. The US has run the Puppet State, picking their favorite candidates, more closely since 2014 (Putin quickly took Crimea with a plebiscite). The Ukrainian NeoNAZIs now dominate the military, the police, and security apparatus. Under Poroshenko, Yanukovych’s supporters were targetted (Russian language and culture were forbidden) and the East and South tried to break away. Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas fought to a draw, Mariupol and Odessa were conquered by the AZOVs. According to OSCE and the UN neutral observers, the Ukrainian army was responsible for >80% of 14,000 deaths in the Donbas, many civilians, and were lined up and increasing shelling when Putin invaded this February.
      Partition seems the most likely outcome, unless the US and NATO push for WWIII.

    2. @paul&h… yeah, and for the love ofUKRAINIAN KIDS DYING IN A SENSELESS COLONIAL WAR, will ye make an ethical choice? will ye condemn the relentless SHELLING OF CITIES AND VILLAGES IN UKRAINE, or will ye maintain yer relentless SHILLING FOR PUTIN THE MAGNIFICENT, THE MERCIFUL, THE JUST?
      just why are the Ukrainian kids dying in this madness , just WHY ARE THEY UNWORTHY VICTIMS ? cause ye sure as hell never talk about them, just answer this one question…why them kids unworthy victims? wrong race? wrong creed? wrong color of hair?
      cause it sure ain’t NATO killing these kids, it’s the russians ye praise so incessantly… PUTIN THE MAGNIFICENT. to be more precise….h e started this war, oh, excusez-moi, ‘special military operation’ where ye reside, in the empire of lies, yer chosen residence……

  19. It is so hard to know what you write to be the truth…and still find a way to get up every morning with a morsel of hope not crushed yet by despair. Thank you for your voice.

  20. What Hedges wrote rings true but only superficially.

    Is this war inevitable? Are we inherently violent? Not at all, but we have capability of emotionally incited hate and violence and that is being exploited by violent elites organizers and promoters of systemic violence.

    Is there any way out? or it is simply in our nature?

    There is no human nature or essence instead there is human condition and collective culture shaped by social structure and its institutions.

    As a matter of fact so called historical records full of violence are written mostly on orders of purveyors of said violence so they normalize it via concocted myths to justify its legitimacy. All that phony record to make us believed that we the people are violent species while in fact we are not. It is elites who made their trade in provoking violence to gain control.

    The violence is not in human nature, in fact most of 350,000 years of human species existence, humans genetically identical to us rarely were more than five feet tall unable to violently challenge most of encountered predators individually.

    Not violence but fleeing, hiding was our trade until extraordinary ability for advanced planning and cross-generational abstract learning and training was developed as a part of human culture of collectivism and stemming from that exponentially increasing hunting and gathering capabilities.

    At that same time dangerous hunting involving violence was in large part replaced for much more efficient and safer domestication of animals they used to hunt subordinating and regulating violence only necessary for omnivore diet of humans.

    Hunting and gathering was largely replaced by raising animals and gathering already by nomadic tribes at least 100,000 years ago long before about 20,000 years of quasi permanent and 12,000 years of permanent agricultural civilization was created and subsistence driven violence spilled into human on human violence driven by desires to protect and control sedimentary agriculture meaning protection of fertile land in which labor was invested, creating primitive form of property.

    Agricultural civilization by itself did not cause it but enabled political violence of conquest of control over property, human, animal or fixed mobile material property.

    The political violence is no inherent human individual trait although we have capabilities to be violent. The political violence is systemic from ancient slavery driven by imperial conquest, to feudalism with its protection racket based economy, to capitalism with its violently enforced systemic oppression and exploitation of working class as required for profit.

    And hence systemic changes are needed to institute social peace before peace between nations can be achieved and key to achieve this is abolition of private property but not necessarily all but only that used as a source of individual income as preferably collective labor should be a source of collective income.

    And definitely it does not mean nationalization and centralized government as Marx pointed out but collective control over land and real estate and means of production in the area by people who live there.

    As society is of statistical nature none of detrimental social phenomena can be completely eradicated but may be substantially marginalized and that includes automatic marginalization of political violence in equal, equitable and egalitarian democratic societies ruled by consensus.

    There are viable systemic social alternatives to violence and its political reincarnation of war but two billion dollar a day global propaganda makes sure that we won’t consider them and instead follow 12,000 years old script of succumbing to divisions and hatred.

    1. Kalen, I wish to add to the previous comment about biology’s primary causative power in “human nature,” that you are absolutely correct regarding conditions and socialization.

      Even if humans were all exactly the same, as we like to believe, they live in entirely different realities depending on their conditioning and socialization. Humans don’t look out and see the same planet from every culture in every place and every time on Earth. They see quite different realities and truths, because of their socialization. They even have different thoughts and feelings about it all.

    2. @Kalen
      You are absolutely right : “There are viable systemic social alternatives to violence and its political reincarnation of war”.
      The only problem in Ukraine is convincing Putin….

      1. You grasped nothing from my comment. But I won’t try to convince you. Keep trolling.

    3. @Kalen

      What is the source for your claim that humans began animal agriculture 100,000 years ago? And which humans would that be? Regardless of whether your claim is true, animal agriculture is WORSE than plant agriculture, because cattle are not naturally-evolved animals and cause massive ecological harms wherever they graze for that reason independently, and because grazing done by domesticated animals is substantially different than grazing by wild ungulates, thereby also causing massive ecological harms for that reason independently.

      BTW, humans have only existed for 200,000 years. Neanderthals and other similar primates were not humans, they were hominids.

  21. Kalen,
    You wrote, “There is no human nature or essence instead there is human condition and collective culture shaped by social structure and its institutions.”

    Thank you for this. I’m not certain I agree completely, but it’s a breath of very fresh intellectual and philosophical air compared to the rationalizations most people make based on the made up “human nature.”

    Human “nature” is, first, biological. Biology makes the consciousness of animals to a wildly significant degree. A cow sees corn and thinks and responds, “Yummmmm.” A wolf sees a cute little bunny and has a similar response. Neither one gets excited at the other’s main meal course. It’s hardwired.

    Much of our pain and suffering is physical; we can be injured and killed, and it is part of our psychology to react with emotions of fear and anger, just like the other animals. It’s hardwired.

    Some people, and the field of science promoted these ideas for generations, think we are nothing but our biological programming. I’m not sure I believe that, but I have utmost respect for Nature and the fact that I am its product, including my brain, just like my dog’s brain is a dog’s brain. My brain is not limitless in its ability to experience or comprehend reality anymore than my dog’s brain is.

    What I don’t believe is that we in this culture and everything we choose to do are “human nature,” like so many people say all the time. I don’t believe it is human nature to be at war all the time, to kill everything that moves, to plunder the world for money no one needs, to compete in a twisted hierarchy with everything you see even the other animals, to hate the planet, and worship yourself, etc.

    I don’t believe that stuff that we say all the time about how all people are everywhere at all times and in all places and cultures. We make all that up. We know almost zero about other humans and how they have been, but we really need to believe that we are no worse than anyone else. That’s what matters most, from what I can gather.

    Not to mention that the proclivity for universalizing all the time, and continually ascribing our limited perspectives to “the world,” is straight out of our Judeo-Christian church and belief patterns. We spent centuries listening to men in front of a room telling us how everything is everywhere everyday at every time possible.

    We talk like that all the time even though we don’t know shinola about other people, other times, or other ways of being. We love us some cosmic universalizing about how things are, oblivious to the fact that we’re making it up as we go, and everyone doesn’t talk that way.

  22. After reading this, I need to go over to the New York Times where Paul Krugman will reassure me that everything is actually pretty OK and Democrats are much better than Republicans.

  23. More and more intelligent details from Chris, thank you.

    So, why do we keep on being war mongers and a war economy???
    ” there is Money in it”……
    Lobbyists, from M I complex, donate millions to war happy politicians.
    And no money from CDC, or EPA, or any others.
    So therefore military, war, naval bases, and war budgets are de rigeur.
    The ‘ mother of All Traps’ is our military service, as it provides employment, pension, advancement opportunities, and in retirement, a rich job as Lobbyists to bride politicians.

    It is an exquisite circle that can not be broken unless, as Chris notes : Yankee dollar collapses. Or unless we endure a civil war, that is more evident than now.
    We are now in a low level civil war: flash grab and dash robberies, mass shootings, school shootings, police violence, attacks on Asians, politicized courts, etc.
    Today in Texas, another huge school shootings but my memory can not remember these regularly occurring crimes anymore.
    What I remember, is some one will deny it happen and it was faked.
    Buffalo, Tops supermarket shooting is not a crime but civil war action.
    What we do domestically, we also commit in foreign affairs: we War on every one, including ourselves.
    Thank goodness we have the guns to do it.

    1. Granted Chris Hedges has repeatedly called out the US on its support for the Saudi monarchy. But low and behold the moment they talk about not using the petrodollar all of a sudden now they are on his good side. If this isn’t proof enough that Chris has ulterior propaganda motives I’m not sure what does prove it.

      1. @christopher r corvino
        Nothing in this column even infers that Saudi Arabia is on Chris Hedges’s “good side.” What Hedges said is that some major countries, including Saudi Arabia, are moving away from the petro dollar and/or U.S. currency. If you disagree with something that Hedges wrote, have the decency to just say so instead of writing a dishonest comment that claims that he said something that he did not.

  24. @ chrishedges the exalted: let me remind ye of who ye were, once…
    “Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered … but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.” (Chris Hedges, “A Gaza Diary” Harpers Magazine, October 2001).
    Chris, kids be dying, right now, in Ukraine. kids that got nothing to do with nothing.
    and a man of yer clout, a man of yer [past] integrity, cannot, for the world of it, be caught condemning this? ye looked into the mirror, lately? ye like what ye see?
    why them ukrainian kids unworthy victims? wrong race? wrong creed? wrong color of hair? no one can force ye to answer these questions but yer honor, …there any left?
    yer silence sure is deafening….

  25. War is a force that gives meaning to careers of critics like Hedges, whose never-ending boilerplate on the evils of empire is just the kind of controlled opposition made to order by the propaganda system. “War is the raison d’etat of the state,” as he says, and he’s certainly done his part on behalf of the state’s coup d’etat which began before this war conveniently came along to continue its siege upon humanity.

    Even as it serves as a leading test ground for the WEF’s technocracy, Ukraine is now the site for the state’s weapons of mass distraction to disguise the world war already well underway since the covid coup, as conventional war’s destruction covers for the shock-and-awe campaigns of the biosecurity state, from pandemics to climate crises manufactured for its health as the means of power for ruling class elites to advance the totalitarian agenda of the new abnormal world order.

    Accordingly, the Ukraine war’s disruptions to global commerce and currency takes the blame for the economic warfare launched with lockdowns over two years ago as their controlled demolition takes heavier toll in such forgotten consequences as far more deadly immiseration and starvation of national populations beyond this square on the geopolitical chessboard. And rather than some bungled backfire, this simultaneous destruction and distraction is the purpose of sanctions, moral pretenses hiding in plain sight crimes against humanity of disaster capitalism, now the bizzness as usual of the Great Reset and 4th Industrial Revolution.

    Likewise by design is the emergence of a so-called multipolar world from the decline of U$ economic hegemony, if not (yet) militarily as globocap’s globocop. Transnational oligarchs don’t care how they make their money, just so long as the same system of biodigital slavery of human resources prevails across boundaries of nation-states and spectacles of political theater (e.g., Trumpism) in which Hedges and other gatekeepers, like Chomsky, keep subjects bound.

    Professional class intelligentsia like these leftist impostors are our enemies in manufacturing consent in limited hangouts of dissent to the global state that is now emerging worldwide. Their collaboration with CIA psyops like conspiracy theory thought control and fascist false flags from 9/11 to covid-1984 leave us blind prey to the wider war waged upon humanity.

  26. @niko,

    “. . . never-ending boilerplate on the evils of empire is just the kind of controlled opposition made to order by the propaganda system”

    Brilliant. I agree. If we live in the society, we cannot help but further it. We were born in servitude.

    But . . . some criticism of the evils of the society is allowed. Said criticisms, especially when celebrated, are consumed by the evil and used by it, without change to any of the evil fundamentals. The criticisms themselves become evidence of the “greatness” of the whole, and not a real opposition of any kind.

    1. @Tupe
      So what is your alternative? To never criticize the State? I know you’re opposed to everything that Hedges pointed out, so I don’t understand your comment. Niko and a few others here make comments like this regularly, but I’m surprised to see it from you. Hedges has called for nonviolent revolt or revolution. I don’t know what more you could possibly want him to do, and that call is certainly not “controlled opposition.”

  27. Why do I have to see pathetic begging for the very cause of our problems, money, after reading this report from the Department of the F*ing Obvious?

    Why do we have to pay to hear “the truth”?

    How about volunteering your time and energy to spreading the truth. If you get laid to write, you are no more than an agent of propaganda.

    1. @Michael Wolf
      Really? Do you work for free? I’m all for the elimination of money and landlords, but until that happens, we all need to get paid just to be able to eat and have a roof over our heads.

  28. @SH, Thanks! I like your posts, too.

    I love the moon. I live in the subarctic, and we are barreling toward the solstice now, with zero nights of true dark. In the winter time, however, the moon’s presence looms huge over the white winter landscape, making full moons so bright as to be able to see mountains in the far distance. I have to walk my dogs at in deep nighttime dark at least three times a day, and I’m always hyper aware of her phases in the winter.

    Right now I can’t see a single star.

    1. Six months of sun, six months of moon – that must have a profound effect on one’s circadian rhythms, perspective, and sense of time as well ….

      1. At the height of both solstices there is a sense of timelessness, of endlessness, that is quite magical. I arrived here near the summer solstice. I kept waiting for night time that never came. It was profoundly unsettling, and produced a deep anxiety after a few days that took some time to get over.

        For many things, it becomes irrelevant when you do them. It’s either dark all the time or light all the time. It doesn’t matter when you sleep or eat. It only matters when you make noise if you have neighbors.

      2. To Tupe,
        Was hoping to hear from you again because I wanted to ask if you post anywhere else, do you have a site or something – frankly, you are one of the few folks I see post here that, IMO, is worth reading after a post or 2 🙂 – and i just plowed through a bunch of “stuff” to see if you turned up .. would like to read more …

  29. This war in Ukraine – a US proxy war against Russia – will change the world. The white supremacist states of Europe and North America will lose their hegemonic status. Power will move to the East. The global South has refused to support US sanctions against Russia. The Sanctions are hurting the West more than Russia. Countries are boycotting the US Organization of American States meeting in LA in June. The dollar is ending as the world’s currency. The Rubble is strengthening while the dollar falls. The US will have less of an ability to just print money because it will now be rated against all other currencies.
    The end of US hegemony will be good for the working people throughout the world including in the US. It will be difficult to give birth to this new world but it is a necessary change if we want an end to war, violence, militarism, climate change, and pandemics, caused by climate change. It can mean that underdeveloped countries may have the ability to get out of IMF imposed debt and develop.
    This is what is at stake in Ukraine. The US bullied Russia as it does every country in the world, but this time Russia and China prepared for it and punched the bully in the nose. The bully is crying foul and it hurts.

    1. @Joe Lombardo
      My feelings exactly! I’m a radical environmentalist, so the changes I advocate and seek go well beyond removing the Evil Empire and apply to all countries, but eliminating the U.S. empire would definitely be a good start.

    2. Joe L., dream on!
      It ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime, your best hope is for a hot civil war, maybe over the 2024 election.
      Hope you live until the end of the century, as it seems likely the United States will break up as we are at least 2 different peoples: rural/suburban VS urban cities.
      Then all your wishes and comments should be realized.

  30. “Greene is demented ….” OK Hedges, that’s more than enough senseless slander in just three words, you total loser.

  31. The US spends 3.5% of its GDP on the military (global average is 2.6%).

    Which renders “The permanent war economy” pure hyperbole, and an obvious demagogic nonsense.

    In addition, the entire listing of important items on the progressive agenda that the US do not do is due entirely to the permanent fixture of conservative-liberal tension which is deflected, dismissed and/or denied by left-ish Neo Progressive demagogues and propaganda buffs like Hedges, other similarly-minded pundits, and their flock.

    It is beyond incredulous that the one time when the US is incontrovertibly on the right side of history and political justice – helping a democratic sovereign nation avoid a brutal imperialist onslaught of a brutal despotic tyrant – with respect to its average (globally speaking) military spending, left-ish Neo Progressive pundits chose the losing, criminal side, and shamelessly parrot its fiction-based propaganda.

    Haven’t they learned a thing from the last time the left had chosen Russian fiction over obvious facts? Granted, Putin is a far cry from Stalin, but the left-ish attempt to portray him as Che Guevara, or the ‘David’ side in a ‘David-Goliath’ conflict is ludicrous, delusional and dangerous.

  32. No way out but financial kleptomania:

    In Afghanistan, the Biden administration continues to use sanctions as political leverage against the Taliban, compounding nation-wide and regional instability, and making food and fuel much costlier for tens of millions of Afghans. As a result, the United Nations estimates 97 percent of Afghans could be living below the poverty line by the middle of this year.

    The Black Alliance for Peace Solidarity Network’s Afghanistan Committee continues its efforts to raise the public’s awareness on the role the United States and its coalition partners continue to play, despite mostly evacuating the country in September.

    The United States continues to support what the UN has called a “downward humanitarian spiral” in the country by:

    Refusing to return $7 billion in Afghan funds, preventing the country from resolving its crises and meeting the needs of the Afghan people.

    Leveraging sanctions and using aid as a political tool to destroy the Afghan economy, forcing tens of millions of Afghans into dependence on Western “humanitarian” funding for their well-being.

    Decades of interference and occupation, which led to reactionary violence, both inside and outside the country, thus paving the way to recent deadly confrontations with regional neighbors Pakistan and Iran.

    If the ruling class in the United States continues down this road, more Afghans will die over the next year than the number who died amid two decades of U.S. military occupation. Washington’s hegemonic grip over Afghanistan has been the status-quo for decades, but it may be faltering in the face of constructive diplomatic actions China and Russia have taken.

    For more insightful READING, https://blackallianceforpeace.com/

    Starving a People, Committing a Genocide: Biden’s Sanctions on Afghanistan
    March 18, 2022, by Eve Ottenberg for CounterPunch

    The billions in stolen assets from Afghanistan by the United States is a crime against humanity that condemns possibly millions of Afghans to starvation.

    Afghanistan’s Per Capita Income Dropped By More Than a Third in 2021
    April 14, 2022, by News Desk for The Cradle

    U.S. sanctions have exacerbated the crisis in Afghanistan, with over 13,000 newborn babies dying since January as a result of the health sector’s collapse.

    The Consequences of Closing Girls’ Schools
    March 30, 2022, by Abdulhakim Allahdad for the Afghan Eye

    Why the closure of girls’ schools in Afghanistan will continue to affect two important areas within the country: social unrest and security.

    China Condemns ‘Racist’ Western Hypocrisy Over Ukraine
    April 1, 2022, by Benjamin Norton for Multipolarista

    China’s Foreign Ministry said the “US, NATO and some Western media are very hypocritical” over Ukraine, that their “reports smack of racism,” and are not “equally concerned about the civilian casualties in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine.”

    An Economy in Crisis: Q&A with Afghanistan’s Former Finance Minister
    March 21, 2022, by Adam Weinstein for Responsible Statecraft

    Quincy Institute research fellow Adam Weinstein asked Khalid Payenda, Afghanistan’s former finance minister, about the causes and solutions to Afghanistan’s economic woes.

    Timeline for Demonstrating U.S. Responsibility for Chaos in Afghanistan
    September 7, 2021, by Solidarity Network’s Afghanistan Committee for BAP

    As the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan worsens, it’s important to remember how U.S. policies and actions wreaked havoc across the country during the Biden administration’s deadly withdrawal.

  33. I may go to hell, but I agree with one thing, Lib, the military interventionism of USA around the world must stop, and the cash flow kept home before we wake up in Latin America.

  34. Chris Hedges compels me to hear out loud his nihilistic tirades in what is irresistible consummate crank of discontent and perpetual protest without solution and end that much like the libertarians of the right protest the capitalist state at the same time they perpetuate that state as he an Mr. Scheer pursue they self imposed exile from the establishment media that once paid them.

    Much like the “Liberated Guardian” undermined the “National Guardian” and “unionizes” political campaigns in another extortion racket of lies (as in the Sanders Warren 2020 Presidential runs) where money greases the wheels and “real radicals can go screw themselves” while pseudo radicals are seriouls challenged in connecting all the dots.

    (The Guardian, was a left-wing independent weekly newspaper established in 1948 in New York City. The paper was founded by James Aronson, Cedric Belfrage and John T. McManus in connection with the 1948 Presidential campaign of Henry A. Wallace under the Progressive Party banner”)

  35. “Permanent war” only “benefits” the self chosenite WEJ people. It is my argument (make shine/white) is that they are the “let us go down and confuse their language” people/controlled by other “dimension” entities who accepted “lucifer” as their “god” thinking it was the SUPREME Divine unity in their minds. One of their own “Saul/Paul” is attributed as saying if one has “faith” have it to thyself. Is not public display of “religion” vain glory for it says “oh i’m better than you”?. USURY is a root of the earth’s problem, needing to micro-manage people is a root of the problem.
    Does Nature teach micro-management? NOPE. It teaches processes and methods point in place
    Just about ever State has betrayed their people to the US (10 square miles) by “volunteering” their Citizens to DC

  36. I stopped reading after the first paragraph, since your intro reads like a socialist wet dream. The only thing I agree with is fixing the roads. Take your gun control and go fuck yourself.

  37. This is a bit too futuristic nihilist absolutist for my taste. Could have been written in 1774 or 1477 or 2022. Strong writing. But there is a way out and war will end and the $40 billion is all counterfeit so it may as well be bitcoin. The bridges will be repaired, baby formula will be delivered, students will graduate.
    This too shall pass.

  38. War against the world is a projection of the war within ourselves which is not as profitable.

  39. This is one of Chris Hedges’ best analyses. He right that “Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. ”

    The US dollar’s days are numbered because the next currency to be backed by Gold shall be the World Reserve Currency. The ruble is already linked to Gold at 5,000 rubles per gram. Sellers of crude oil in yuan to China can use the yuan to buy Gold at the Shanghai Gold Exchange since 2018. Both the currencies are de facto backed by Gold.

    It is tragic that the US can garner a military budget of $813 Billion for 2023, give $40 billion to Ukraine while there are no baby formula in America, 500,000 homeless Americans are sleeping in make-shift tents in the streets and 45 million Americans are surviving on Food Aids. These are the veritable signs of a decayed military empire and will lead to the collapse of Pax Americana.

    What can Americans do to change its destiny ?

    First nationalize the Fed, which is a federal as Federal Express. It was set up by the men from Jackal Island in 1913 after the Federal Reserve Act was signed into Law by a bribed President Wilson. He regretted it later.

    The FED is owned by 8 Zionist banking families (4 in the US and 4 in the UK/EU).

    The Fed and the Zio globalist cabal own all the major banks, Big Oil, Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Tech, most of the Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood, Las Vegas and the MIC, the Arms Merchant which wants endless wars to make obscene profits at the expense of the American taxpayers and the lives of young Americans.

    Second, start a Global Peace initiative under the auspicious of the US, Russia and China.

    Third, pull back all the 800 military bases around the world.

    Forth, use half the $813 billions military budget a year to create jobs by repairing the rickety infrastructures, build new airports, bridges, high speed rails, shelters for the homeless and universal health care for the American people. Viola.

  40. Mate if you’re going to keep waffling on about fake pandemics and fake climate change crap, the only audience you’ve got is going to dwindle fast.

  41. Beady eye Biden:

    Biden Promises Conflict and Elusive Developments in his Asia Visit

    In his maiden tour to Asia as the US President, Joe Biden announced that the US will “defend” Taiwan if China attacked. The announcement, while very significant, signals a concerted US attempt to up the ante against China at a time when Washington is already fighting a war against Russia in Ukraine. This announcement, thus, signals how the US is fully involved in a geopolitical struggle with its strategic peers, a struggle that, first and foremost, is supposed to serve one cardinal objective for the US: a global political and financial/economic system under Washington’s hegemony. This objective can be realised only by fighting, weakening or, more ambitiously, defeating Washington’s rivals. It is, therefore, no surprise that Washington’s aggressive push to expand NATO to include Ukraine provoked the present Russia-Ukraine war. This war most certainly increased the level of hostility between Russia and the US, which has led to a major ‘re-unification’ of an internally divided NATO i.e., most European members of the alliance, under the US leadership. In this context, it is no less predictable that the US is actively expanding its conflict with China and making aggressive statements to infuse a sort of ‘transatlantic unity’ in Asia and the Pacific.

    Ever since its establishment in 2004, the Quad has been dormant, with successive US presidents trying to revamp it in different ways. For Joe Biden – who himself launched ‘Asia Pivot’ as part of the Obama administration’s plan to establish a strategic alliance in Asia and the Pacific – the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has created an opportunity to use conflict – or prospects of a military conflict involving China – as a strategy to cement a military alliance. He made his intentions clear in Tokyo on the occasion of the Quad summit when he reiterated the US commitment to defending Taiwan.

    This announcement is a major shift from the 1979 US-Taiwan Relations Act, which enabled the US to supply “arms of defensive character” to Taiwan and “resist,” diplomatically, any efforts to force Taiwan into submission. China, while emphasising its ‘One China policy,’ has not resorted to the use of force against Taiwan, yet the US has now arrogated to itself the right to militarily “defend” Taiwan in ways that would involve the US military in active combat against China.

    By militarily committing to Taiwan, the US has communicated as much to Taiwan and China as to the Indo-Pacific nations, including the ASEAN states whose leaders recently met Biden in Washington. This summit produced no significant anti-China success for the US, making it all the more necessary for the US to use Biden’s Asia summit as an opportunity to raise the level of aggression vis-à-vis China.

    Whether China will ever attack Taiwan and whether the US will actually involve its military against China remains to be seen, but the very promise of defending Taiwan is meant for other states to join the US bandwagon. This is evident from the fact that the 13-nation Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) that Biden launched during this visit does not include Taiwan.

  42. Jeff: “I don’t presume to know what felines would do… and you shouldn’t either. You’re doing what psychology calls ‘projection’… Nor do we know how felines see the world; hell, it’s hard to even know how other humans see it.”

    Anyone who is around cats already knows how cats think… ‘I am the center of attention here! You can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do!’ From this it can be easily concluded that cats would have no trouble being the center of Earthly attention and power if they had that elevated status. No projection needed.

    Jeff: “It’s also irrelevant to my point whether the bible can be used for good or evil. My point is how it has been and is still being used the vast majority of the time, not what potential it has one way or the other.”

    Being ‘used the vast majority of the time?’ Maybe a little ‘Projection’ going on here in that observation? If one asserts that we can’t know “how other humans” (see the World) … then we can’t conclude we know how most people are using the Bible.

    In any case, the Bible has and will continue to be used in many ways. And people can accept it or reject in parts or in total. But if one does reject the Bible completely, then they are also throwing out parts within that are good bits of wisdom about Life. And yes, they are allowed to do that if they want.

    Again, back to Hedges. The point is that war means different things to different people. To many, it is big dollars. To many others, it is a moral atrocity.

    And no one ever gets to vote on having a war or not. It is foisted upon us like filth being dropped mid-flight out of a passing jet to clear out the fuselage rest room.

    1. @Roundball Shaman
      I was going to write that I know from your other posts that you know better than this. But then it dawned on me: you’re a human supremacist, like almost all other humans. Try taking your spiritual knowledge and feelings to another level by including ALL beings and in fact the entire universe, not just humans.

      As to cats, I could not disagree more with your characterization of them. You are anthropomorphizing the feline personality for one thing. I once lived in a duplex and had 2 cats, and my neighbor in the other unit also had a cat. All 3 were friends. One day I heard loud animal sounds outside, and when I approached the source it was our 3 cats surrounding another cat who has wandered into “their” territory. If your self-centered characterization of cat personality were true, our 3 cats would not have joined together to do this.

      It’s also not true that you can’t get cats to do or refrain from doing things, you just have to be reasonable and willing to compromise, as it should be in all interactions with other beings, human and otherwise. For example, I’ve gotten cats to refrain from going onto tables where I eat (though admittedly I can tell that they did it when I wasn’t home because I would see their hairs).

      As to christianity and the bible, I’ll end my comments with this: Yes, there are some good things there, just like I’m sure one can find some good ideas in Nazism (I presume, don’t know of any). For example, I pretty much agree with everything Jesus said (with the exception of some spiritual differences that I won’t get into here). But that’s like putting vitamin C in a bar of plutonium and saying, “look, there’s vitamin C in here, it’s not all bad!” When I studied spiritual disciplines a long time ago, my first studies were all-inclusive, including christianity, and I readily agree that there are some very good things there. My problem with monotheistic religions, and because I live in a christian country, christianity specifically, is that the harms far outweigh the good. It was christians who colonized the Americas and Australia, murdered the Natives, stole their land, kidnapped people from Africa, and enslaved those people to work the land that they’d stolen. And these damn christian missionaries are still at it all around the world, spreading their evil crap to indigenous and more traditional and therefore better cultures and beliefs.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, I hate christians as much as anyone, and by christians I don’t mean people merely born christian, but people who practice it. I’m also not talking about rare exceptions like Chris Hedges who preach and practice what Jesus taught instead of the grossly perverted religion that’s called christianity that almost all christians practice.

      1. Jeff: “As to christianity and the bible… there are some good things there, just like I’m sure one can find some good ideas in Nazism…”

        I am no apologist for Christianity as an organize religion. The structure and bureaucracy is corrupt and stifling and has done great damage for generations. But so have been all the other major (and most of the minor) religions of the World. I try to center upon the principles that these claim to espouse and not the fact that They misrepresent and defile them with their behavior. These are separate things.

        Jeff: “My problem with monotheistic religions, and because I live in a christian country, christianity specifically, is that the harms far outweigh the good. It was christians who colonized the Americas and Australia, murdered the Natives, stole their land, kidnapped people from Africa, and enslaved those people to work the land that they’d stolen.”

        It was SOME Christians who did that. Lots and lots of Christians did not, and do not, do such things. Some nice folks in the farm fields of Iowa or Kansas today who went to church did not do those things. And they are just as horrified by that kind of historical behavior as you are. I am simply being mindful of a balance between broad-brush judgments and fairness of intent of someone like Jesus who had evolved spiritual ideals and was NOT a Christian. (Christians tend to forget that).

        Again, this gets us back to the main topic of war. War is ideology and raw animal savagery to the extreme. Demonizing the ‘enemy’. Turning one’s back to what humans should be and how they should interact with each other. Using the pursuit of money and power to obliterate any and all other concerns. In whatever name and form one does this with.

        Perhaps if everybody just dialed back the lower-brain urge to easy judge and harm and we acted on the World stage with less belligerence and more toleration and cooperation, we just might start to dial back this nonsensical default-setting that differences among Peoples have to be settled with weapons and death.

        “I hate christians as much as anyone, and by christians I don’t mean people merely born christian, but people who practice it.”

        You have strong feelings about this and you have your reasons. We were all born differently for a reason and we all have different takes about this wild quantum soup we are all stirring around in.

        But we can agree with the great Edwin Starr when he says, “War? What is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!”

      2. To Roundball,
        Excellent post –
        Hate, such as the poster you replied to expressed feeling, is at the “heart”, or lack of it, all – it is not an emotion at the heart, or core, of all honest religious belief …

      3. @SH
        Sorry, I’m NOT nonviolent. I guess you can call me a bad Buddhist, as a friend calls himself. I feel nothing but hate for people who place humans above other beings, including the Earth and its ecosystems, and then act and advocate living that way. Same for people who think it’s OK to colonize and do other grossly immoral things. No apologies here, those people get from me the reaction they deserve.

      4. To Jeff,
        I’m sorry, too .. Hate is a fire that will eat you up …
        Anger, yeah – I’m angry about a lot of things, but hate, naw, too much wasted energy better spent on something productive …

      5. @SH
        On one hand, I agree with you. But on the other hand, how is one supposed to react to evil people and evil organizations like false religions? These jerks are killing the Earth and the life on it, there’s nothing worse than that. I try to focus on rehabilitation and not revenge, but that’s the best I’ve come up with.

      6. @Roundball Shaman
        Yes, we can agree that war has no benefits for anyone except for the rich & powerful, and for arms manufacturers. But you should also realize that war is endemic to civilization, which can’t exist without it. It’s not about the feelings that soldiers are programmed to feel, as you described. Wars are fought, first and foremost, for resources, and always have been, with only rare exceptions. When you overpopulate and live in a civilized manner, which means dense urban areas, you can’t live off your own resources, so you have to make war on others to take theirs. Derrick Jensen has done excellent work describing this if you’re interested.

  43. @SH
    wow. I am so complimented. Thank you. I don’t have a blog. I kind of started one last year, but I lost interest.

    I make comments on my local newspaper with about ten other liberals who live here out of thousands of people.

    I want to write something to bring all this philosophy and biology and cultural experience together. I know when I talk to young Native Americans, they love it. After seventy years of living in two vastly alien cultures, I’m able to articulate their confusing, and very painful experiences with the dominant culture, and they beam at me when I talk to them.

    So far, I’m kind of missing something. It may just be discipline. It may be talent. It may be fate or karma. I don’t know. I wish I did.

    I would love to write a book. Even a short story. I seem only good for paragraphs.

    If I ever do more, I’ll let you know first.

    T

    1. To Tupe,
      Was hoping to run across you again – I had wanted to reply to a previous post of yours, but couldn’t at the time and then couldn’t find it again in all this jungle of posts so …

      In that previous post you said you have “no hope” – but no hope of what, that we can “save the earth” or that the earth will be “saved”. The earth has been around for billions of years and will be around for billions more – til the sun explodes and engulfs it – it has been through numerous incarnations, and it will re-incarnate itself again – we humans are just another experiment in its “laboratory”, so it perhaps remains to be seen whether She, Mother Nature, decides it has been a failed one. And the “decision” perhaps will be based on whether we decide to “heal” ….

      But I do “believe” that life is the most powerful force in the universe – look around, it is everywhere, fragile, fierce, “defiant” – that the “dark energy” that scientists say composes most of this universr, that they call “dark” because their models and equations can’t cast a light on it, is consciousness – the “ground” of everything – that it pervades all that is, that everything that ever was and ever will be is “encased” in it and remains – “forever”.

      I have had this idea that I was a NA in a previous life – wishful thinking no doubt – and I was first attracted to your posts because i thought I saw what I understood to be “native thinking” – so i wonder, I don’t know, if the concept of “hope” is perhaps not particularly relevant there – there is something beyond “hope” that sustains us all, before, now, and after – that we are connected to – my favorite phrase “all things are connected” – so that our contribution, as transient physical instantiations of this universal consciousness, our job, if you will, using our senses and our voices, is to enrich those connections …. but whatever we do or feel will become a part of it and endure …

      So your sorrow and tears, felt by many others as well – are not in vain ….

      1. Hi, SH. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

        You saw truly. My thinking is very traditional Native American. I grew up with traditional elders, one born in 1867 and a few who were born in the 1890s. They got me early in life, and I grew true to the worldview mold, even though I look much more like my German and British Isle ancestry.

        I can’t discuss reality without talking about Nature – the trees, the animals, and the waters. And them. They matter so much to me.

        I don’t have hope for a future for Life on Earth. But I’m not worried that Life won’t continue. We WILL see you next time. There will be water in the rain.

        Friends along the road are a great gift.

      2. To Tupe,
        I think we can “see” each other now – we are, were, and always will be “connected” – in a much deeper than a personal sense …
        My parents had “their song” – a bit of a tradition in my “culture”, and it was “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that my heart embraces ….” a song for the ages ..
        So, indeed, I’ll be seeing you … (smile)

      3. I have to add, Yeah. Native Americans have a lot of experience being extinguished by certain forces. I might have been taught to be more accepting of a reality that is deeply, deeply painful – the loss of everything.

        I could be wrong . . .

        When I was sixteen, I went to visit my great-grandmother and her brother, my gg-uncle by myself. My uncle spontaneously began to speak to me. It was the first time any of them spoke of the loss of their world to me directly. It was all gone, he said, the clean waters, the clean air, the forests, the animals, and the Indians, too. I was assured that I, too, would be destroyed if I sought out the larger culture.

        Native people have had a lot of experience dealing with this kind of thing, and it very much affects my perspective. It IS my perspective. Along with lots of science.

      4. @Tupe
        I too am greatly saddened and angered because of all we have lost due to the humanpox, specifically civilized humans. I agree with your gg-uncle; civilization is a cancer that consumes all who come near it. Even we radical environmentalists participate, as our use of computers shows. We need an incremental movement toward living naturally and in much smaller numbers, because we can’t just switch to living that way immediately or even quickly (it took a long time to get into this mess, and it will take a long time to get out of it).

      5. To Jeff,
        What’s a “radical environmentalist” doing advocating for “an incremental movement” ?

      6. @SH
        My views are radical in that I advocate for returning to living as hunter-gatherers and to a human population in proper ecological balance with the Earth and its ecosystems, which is 5-10 million people globally. But realistically, this can’t possibly happen for thousands of years for multiple reasons. No one is going to give up everything all at once, and, for example, if we abandoned industrial society without lowering human population to one billion people, most people on Earth would starve to death because the Earth can only support one billion people without artificial fertilizer, which requires fossil fuels.

        We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we’re not getting out of it overnight either. Making incremental changes in order to reach an extreme change eventually is the only realistic possibility. This is a battle for the hearts & minds of humans, and if we don’t win that, we don’t, win, period.

      7. To Jeff,
        And what do you expect people to “hunt and gather” in “thousands of years” when the earth has been “destroyed”?

        And you realize that prior to the arrival of Columbus, the population of the Americas is estimated to be around 60 million. A couple of hundred years later it was about 10% of that … So it appears the earth could sustain more than “5-10 million people” – living in “ecological balance” ..

        It appears from this and other posts that you are a “bit” of a misanthrope, even “uncivilized” ones …

      8. @SH
        There were 5-10 million people on Earth when humans stated using agriculture, about 10,000 years ago. Humans had been around for 190,000 years before that, so 5-10 million is clearly the proper ecological number of humans. Agriculture provides an unnatural overabundance of food, which causes overpopulation, just like the Petri dish experiment we all did in high school biology showed.

        The Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs were agriculturalists and therefore overpopulated. There was also some agriculture on the east coast of what is now the U.S (and maybe Canada also, I don’t know), and a very little bit in the western U.S. (the so-called Pueblo became extinct because they were agricultural, and the Hopi used agriculture, but that’s about it for the west). The claim that there were 60 million people in the Americas when the colonizers got here is not a proven fact, and even if it were, all those people are because of agriculture.

        And finally, yes I am a misanthrope, and damn proud of it! The human race fits the medical definition of being a cancerous tumor on this planet, so what’s not to hate about it?

      9. So all those colonizers did the earth a favor by depopulating it – most of the depopulated being the indigenous folk – and they “deserved” to be depopulated because they – planted crops

        OK, you hate humans – but you are one (or are you?), so with whom do you think that depopulation should begin, eh?

      10. To Tupe,
        Nothing is ever truly and forever “lost”
        As your being here attests to, native folk are not “gone” … and life can, and does, renew itself … I don’t think one has to have “hope” for that, because it happens and has for eons, even when there was no one around to hope for it …

      11. @SH
        Sure, the Earth will be around until the sun burns out and/or Andromeda collides with our galaxy. But as what? A seemingly dead rock, or a vibrant planet full of plant, animal, and other life?

        Humans have already destroyed the Earth to a large extent. Compare the Earth from before agriculture to the Earth now; looks like 2 different planets, the first having been largely destroyed. No less than Stephen Hawking said that if humans don’t stop their environmental destruction, we could turn the Earth into Venus. While life is quite resilient, we can’t know whether we can destroy life on Earth. The facts that we’re now causing a great extinction event, are acidifying the oceans, have destroyed entire ecosystems, and are destroying our atmosphere show that humans are capable of destruction on a massive scale beyond our comprehension.

  44. @Jeff, I think my uncle knew what he was talking about, too. Civilization blew it. Period. The Native people were all over the art and science of being human animals on Earth. What more is there? We haven’t improved upon it.

    I do believe the Earth’s corpse will continue to revolve around the sun.

    @SH, this entire world will be lost, probably much sooner than most people believe. But this isn’t the only world there is. It is in but one of countless universes, infinite creations inhabited by intelligent beings. If some of my indigenous traditions and some others are to be believed, it might not even the best version of Earth that there is.

    We will see you next time, next place, next world. I will see the ancestors and my family face to face. It’s okay. But while I am here, my job is living with it all, carrying it as best I can. Grief has been a constant companion for a very long time. It comes with the indigenous territory. I’d rather have it than not have anything of them at all.

    1. To Tupe,
      As for grief being a constant companion – and the idea that it forms a link with your ancestors, i understand that, believe me I do … but while hanging on to that, maybe you could also consider the other links that you have – the ones that speak of life and community, the traditions of ceremony and gratitude, that also “come with indigenous territory” – which, until they are, indeed, all gone, if ever, are, it seems to me, the lifeblood of a people – the gift you were given and have to give ….

    2. @Tupe
      The best people on Earth focus on expanding their consciousness, and leave the physical/natural world alone as much as possible. Humans’ best quality is our minds, and that’s where our focus should be. Because humans can’t survive without using our minds (we’re extremely physically inferior to other similar species), we do great harm if we do any more than just get the bare necessities in order to survive.

      “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Aldo Leopold (not necessarily one of my heroes, but I totally agree with this quote)

  45. @SH, further to the discussion of loss; loss of everything is inevitable. Death is inevitable.

    I don’t mind the Earth passing away. I mind it being murdered.

    I agree with Jeff; I don’t have confidence that the Earth will support life far into the future. The 450 nuclear power plants and other nuclear constructs, submarines, etc., and all their waste storage that need constant power and management will become increasingly unmanageable.

    That kind of radioactivity could alter the atmosphere to the point that the planet becomes uninhabitable to any biological life.

    I understand that the Earth has come back from extinction events in the past, the Permian being the worst. The Permian was caused by massive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere from volcanic action.

    We are putting CO2 into the atmosphere, plus deforesting, plus exterminating all biological life, wildlife, insects, marine life, freshwater species have been in trouble for a long time, plus we put hundreds of thousands of tons of toxins into the environment every single year, etc., ad infinitum.

    We don’t know that the Earth will come back from radioactive soup and high temperatures we will leave behind. The Earth’s corpse will continue to revolve around the sun, but the Earth might very well not come back from what we have done.

    1. To Tupe,
      So how did earth recover from the Permian? There is no time in earth’s history when all biological life has been exterminated – if that were the case, where did those “new” life forms that succeeded post Permian come from?
      https://www.treehugger.com/what-caused-the-permian-extinction-5180989

      As for radiation – other than the enormous heat from an explosion – the main effects are from radiation – and those effects can be felt in the short or long term – in the short term, acute radiation sickness from high exposure can kill, over the longer term, mutational effects are what effect changes – these mutational effects, aka, the tools of evolution, can and do “change” a species for better or worse – but which it is depends on the context, for some it produces what may amount to lethal changes, for others it may produce changes which are adaptive ,,,
      https://www.sciencefocus.com/planet-earth/the-road-to-recovery-how-life-can-survive-in-a-radioactive-environment/

      Yup, we may wind up with a “corpse”, but because I believe that life is the strongest force in the universe – perhaps IT is the Great Spirit spoken about, and that it “will find a way” – so the ? still is, it seems to me, is it all life we weep for, or only our own and the creatures we identify with – and remember, those evolved from basic, more “primitive” forms, in conditions much “worse” than we have now – as for Venus:
      https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/scientists-suggest-possible-life-on-venus-may-be-creating-its-own-livable-environment-1.5717834
      This is the same concept by which we arose, exist and have flourished- I have always thought that concept of “the 7th generation” referred to by NA is a good one, both as a guiding principle for our actions here and now, but also perhaps as a metaphor – who knows how long a “generation” is?

      So, it seems to me, here and now, what can/”should” we do – take care of the life we know and have – understand that we can and do destroy it, weep for our folly, and grieve for our loss, but have faith in the power of life – “creative destruction” is often a phrase that
      tech companies use, but for them it seems to entail both their destroying and their creating – indeed we may be the ones destroying, but in the long run we are not the ones doing the creating – it seems to me that a dose, a big dose, of humility is required by our species – to at least stop the “destroying” part, but whatever we do, know that life will fill in the void, as it always has and always will – the best we can do, I think, is to make that void as small as we can …

      This is not an amorphous or inchoate “hope”, it is science – the reason for having “hope” is that it buoys us up and makes it possible for us to go on living and loving … Even as we keep opening Pandora’s box – the story is that there is one thing left in the bottom, hope … it is up to us rather we empty it out – that is a choice …

      1. Thanks for the links. I’ve seen some interesting information on Chernobyl. I felt a lot of hope when I first heard about it, but that was some time ago.

        I had to laugh. From your article, “. . . in Chernobyl. . . for wildlife, the presence of humans is in some ways worse than large doses of radioactivity. This is because humans encroach on the habitats of many animals through settlement, hunting and agriculture . . .

        Obviously, biological life rebounded from the Permian from the remaining 25% – 30% of terrestrial life and the 5% of marine life that survived.

        You may be absolutely correct. I honestly don’t know. I do not subscribe to the belief that no matter what we do the Earth will rebound. I’ve been following lots of science on the subject for more than a decade. I don’t believe we know that.

        I’m not interested in adopting such a belief. I’m good with agnosticism on that one.

        On the other hand, I don’t think anyone can know that things are “hopeless” until it’s clearly hopeless. Maybe the Earth will come back.

        I have hope. I’m not at all worried about hopelessness.

      2. I previously said I have no hope, which I clarified – I have no hope in humans getting together enough to save the planet.

        I have plenty of hope that life will go on. Somewhere. In some form.

        If people need to have hope that life will go on here on this planet in some fashion (worst outcome without planetary extinction), I feel them. I’ve been there.

        Or, if people need to have hope that humans will organize enough to live sustainably (best outcome), ideally with lots of renewables, I totally respect that they need to hold that belief.

        I’ve been there, too. I haven’t been there a lot since the 1980s, but I grok it.

      3. @SH
        Your comments about radioactivity make you sound like an apologist for the nuclear industry, and are not even accurate. Radioactivity is harmful in any amount — even natural background radioactivity is one of the main causes of aging, for example — any additional amount is worse, and it causes mutations. It is totally inaccurate to characterize those mutations as sometimes detrimental and sometimes beneficial, as you did. The fact is that the vast majority of mutations are harmful; mutations that lead to evolutionary qualities are few & far between.

        As to comparing natural extinction events with the current human-caused one, there are serious logical fallacies here. First and foremost, the other events like volcanoes and meteors didn’t flood the planet with radioactivity or unnatural pollution, didn’t destroy ecosystems by doing things like turning forests into deserts, turning natural landscapes into agricultural non-native ones, damming rivers, didn’t acidify the oceans, didn’t destroy the atmosphere, etc. The events did ONE of those things, we’re doing all of them at once. Second, the other events were unpreventable, whereas what we’re doing is the exact opposite and is a choice.

      4. To Jeff,
        LOL! apologist for nuclear industry – that’s a good one …
        And have you never heard of radiation Rx?

      5. @SH
        I do agree with you that we should never give up hope. If you keep trying you never know what might happen. But we have to distinguish that with keeping our expectations realistic, and Lupe has expressed realistic expectations.

  46. @Jeff,

    I agree that this extinction event is different. First of all, before the worst of it hits we’ve already exterminated probably 75%-80% or more of the wildlife species that existed in 1950. We certainly exterminated at least 68% of them just between 1970 and 2017, according to recent reports.

    Some people may not realize this, but 1970 was not an apex year for wildlife numbers globally. Wildlife populations had been declining throughout the western hemisphere since before the early 19th century. Their decline in Africa began in the mid-19th century.

    In addition, the meltdown at Chernobyl was stopped. If extreme climate or power outages prevent humans from tending to nuclear everything, there will be more than 450 power plants that go into meltdown, and nothing will stop them for a really long time.

    We don’t know what that will do to the planet.

    We are causing two simultaneous extinction events – massive elimination of habitat for species combined with pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere that we cause extreme warming and weather and disasters that affect all infrastructure, that will likely lead to a third extinction event revolving around nuclear power plants, etc.

    1. I may not understand correctly, but I believe that while the reactors at Fukushima are stable, they require continuous cooling with seawater that then becomes radioactive itself. If that application of cooling water were not continuous, the plant would go right back into meltdown. It is causing hundreds of tons of radioactive water to be released into the Pacific regularly, if not daily, were the numbers in the past, and far larger dumps intermittently.

      There are about 1000 tanks at Fukushima storing radioactive water that is a result of cooling the reactors. NBC News wrote about it last year:
      “The government decided in April to start discharging the water, after further treatment and dilution, into the Pacific Ocean in spring 2023 under safety standards set by regulators. The idea has been fiercely opposed by fishermen, residents and neighboring countries including China and South Korea.”

      This is the problem we have with all of the power plants that are vulnerable to extreme weather and climate change, barely different than Fukushima, caused by a tidal wave combined with some people who knew better but took risks. They are all collecting radioactive waste that no one knows what to do with at this time, just like Fukushima.

      We gots us a conundrum with it. We say we can’t live without it, but physics and sanity say we can’t live safely with it. Once you have it, how do you get rid of it?

      I remember the debates in the 60s surrounding nuclear power. We were assured that by the time nuclear waste from these things became a problem, engineers would have figured it out. Sixty years later they have not.

      We’re in the same position with CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere. We put some stuff out there that we don’t know how to get rid of, at least nowhere near the scale needed. Nothing close.

      1. @Tupe
        The same people who can’t imagine living without electricity or the rest of industrial society don’t consider living without other species or a live planet. Humans are insane and it gets worse by the day. I can only hope that this gets reversed before it’s too late, which it might already be.

    1. @Tupe
      Humans could have been a shining light on this planet instead of the cancerous tumor that they are. It’s all about choices, whether conscious or unconscious.

      1. @Jeff Whenever I don’t feel hopeful about humans and the planet I check for updates from Ocean Conservation Namibia. They are a small team of rescuers who save seals from fishing lines, nets, hooks, etc. that get into the ocean from careless humans. Every day they go out and scan the coast for seals who need help. In some cases the skin grows over the fishing line. One seal had fishing line wrapped around its mouth so it couldn’t eat. The seals would die without the help of the rescuers. Most make a full recovery. As their channel grows, they acquire better tools. I hope they reach 1 million subscribers this year!

  47. @Jeff,

    You wrote, “The best people on Earth focus on expanding their consciousness, and leave the physical/natural world alone as much as possible.”

    This is a very interesting comment to me. It is how I was raised, except they didn’t say it like that. I never heard it expressed as making them the “best” or most evolved or whatever. They just said, “You don’t need it,” about almost everything.

    After my real needs were met, I learned to make my own clothes, or clean house, or grow something in the yard. If my real needs were met and I still wasn’t happy, I needed to take “responsibility” for my inner experience, too. I needed to figure it out.

    This is big and ties in with my previously quoted line from Lolly Vasquez, “What’s the matter with your feel right . . . ?”

    The difference for me is they had very different solutions for human emotions, and their solutions didn’t include money. My elders came from a culture that was old, old, old, and was not created around money. At all. It wasn’t in their thinking.

    People who have never seen humans like them cannot comprehend what they were like. We don’t know how to think outside of our money power structure and its violence, and the threat of that violence.

    But 19th century Native Americans could think outside of it, and they were very interesting people. They were quite Zen about many things, and it wasn’t all heavenly perfection gentle kindness. It was often like Wes Studi’s Magua in Last of The Mohicans. In the scene where Alice dies, Magua first encourages Alice to step away, with obvious sincere concern for her. He pleads with his hand and eyes. Then Magua in pure pragmatism accepts her choice while watching Alice go over the cliff. He sees, and he just moves on. Oh, yeah. Wes was all over that one.

    1. @Lupe
      The reason that I said “The best people on Earth …” was that I was comparing what humans SHOULD be doing and not doing, on one hand, to what the vast majority of humans do and don’t do, on the other. If people are more mentally and spiritually evolved, they don’t think of themselves as the best, because that would be an ego trip. So of course people like your relatives don’t think of themselves that way; they’re too evolved to compare themselves to others like that.

      1. To Jeff,
        Is the poster you are replying to named “Lupe” or “Tupe”?
        Perhaps you might want to call ’em by the right name – It might help your credibility …

  48. Spectacular hard hitting piece by Mr Hedges.
    It is difficult to read comments by persons who either didn’t bother to read the article or are to blind to see that it was in part about them.
    Mr Fricke, brilliant myopic thoughts. For too many Amerikans the truth is in front of their face but so hard to see with eyes closed.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: