Chris Hedges Military nato Original

Hedges: NATO — The Most Dangerous Military Alliance on the Planet

The massive expansion of NATO, not only in Eastern and Central Europe but the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia, presages endless war and a potential nuclear holocaust.
Together We Are Wrong — by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the arms industry that depends on it for billions in profits, has become the most aggressive and dangerous military alliance on the planet. Created in 1949 to thwart Soviet expansion into Eastern and Central Europe, it has evolved into a global war machine in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia. 

NATO expanded its footprint, violating promises to Moscow, once the Cold War ended, to incorporate 14 countries in Eastern and Central Europe into the alliance. It will soon add Finland and Sweden. It bombed Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo. It launched wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, resulting in close to a million deaths and some 38 million people driven from their homes. It is building a military footprint in Africa and Asia. It invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, the so-called “Asia Pacific Four,” to its recent summit in Madrid at the end of June. It has expanded its reach into the Southern Hemisphere, signing a military training partnership agreement with Colombia, in December 2021. It has backed Turkey, with NATO’s second largest military, which has illegally invaded and occupied parts of Syria as well as Iraq. Turkish-backed militias are engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds and other inhabitants of north and east Syria. The Turkish military has been accused of war crimes – including multiple airstrikes against a refugee camp andchemical weapons use – in northern Iraq. In exchange for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s permission for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, the two Nordic countries have agreed to expand their domestic terror laws making it easier to crack down on Kurdish and other activists, lift their restrictions on selling arms to Turkey and deny support to the Kurdish-led movement for democratic autonomy in Syria.

It is quite a record for a military alliance that with the collapse of the Soviet Union was rendered obsolete and should have been dismantled. NATO and the militarists had no intention of embracing the “peace dividend,” fostering a world based on diplomacy, a respect of spheres of influence and mutual cooperation. It was determined to stay in business. Its business is war. That meant expanding its war machine far beyond the border of Europe and engaging in ceaseless antagonism toward China and Russia. 

NATO sees the future, as detailed in its “NATO 2030: Unified for a New Era,” as a battle for hegemony with rival states, especially China, and calls for the preparation of prolonged global conflict.

“China has an increasingly global strategic agenda, supported by its economic and military heft,” the NATO 2030 initiative warned. “It has proven its willingness to use force against its neighbors, as well as economic coercion and intimidatory diplomacy well beyond the Indo-Pacific region. Over the coming decade, China will likely also challenge NATO’s ability to build collective resilience, safeguard critical infrastructure, address new and emerging technologies such as 5G and protect sensitive sectors of the economy including supply chains. Longer term, China is increasingly likely to project military power globally, including potentially in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

The alliance has spurned the Cold War strategy that made sure Washington was closer to Moscow and Beijing than Moscow and Beijing were to each other. U.S. and NATO antagonism have turned Russia and China into close allies. Russia, rich in natural resources, including energy, minerals and grains, and China, a manufacturing and technological behemoth, are a potent combination. NATO no longer distinguishes between the two, announcing in its most recent mission statement that the “deepening strategic partnership” between Russian and China has resulted in “mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order that run counter to our values and interests.” 

On July 6, Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, and Ken McCallum, director general of Britain’s MI5, held a joint news conference in London to announce that China was the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.” They accused China, like Russia, of interfering in U.S. and U.K. elections. Wray warned the business leaders they addressed that the Chinese government was “set on stealing your technology, whatever it is that makes your industry tick, and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market.”

This inflammatory rhetoric presages an ominous future.

One cannot talk about war without talking about markets. The political and social turmoil in the U.S., coupled with its diminishing economic power, has led it to embrace NATO and its war machine as the antidote to its decline.

Washington and its European allies are terrified of China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) meant to connect an economic bloc of roughly 70 nations outside U.S. control. The initiative includes the construction of rail lines, roads and gas pipelines that will be integrated with Russia. Beijing is expected to commit $1.3 trillion to the BRI by 2027. China, which is on track to become the world’s largest economy within a decade, has organized the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade pact of 15 East Asian and Pacific nations representing 30 percent of global trade. It already accounts for 28.7 percent of the Global Manufacturing Output, nearly double the 16.8 percent of the U.S. 

China’s rate of growth last year was an impressive  8.1 percent, although slowing to around 5 percent this year.  By contrast, the U.S.’s growth rate in 2021 was 5.7 percent — its highest since 1984 — but is predicted to fall below 1 percent this year, by the New York Federal Reserve.

If China, Russia, Iran, India and other nations free themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network financial institutions use to send and receive information such as money transfer instructions, it will trigger a dramatic decline in the value of the dollar and a financial collapse in the U.S. The huge military expenditures, which have driven the U.S. debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the U.S.’s entire GDP, will become untenable. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military in 2021, $ 801 billion which amounted to 38 percent of total world expenditure on the military, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined. The loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will force the U.S. to slash spending, shutter many of its 800 military bases overseas and cope with the inevitable social and political upheavals triggered by economic collapse. It is darkly ironic that NATO has accelerated this possibility.

Russia, in the eyes of NATO and U.S. strategists, is the appetizer. Its military, NATO hopes, will get bogged down and degraded in Ukraine. Sanctions and diplomatic isolation, the plan goes, will thrust Vladimir Putin from power. A client regime that will do U.S. bidding will be installed in Moscow.

NATO has provided more than $8 billion in military aid to Ukraine, while the US has committed nearly $54 billion in military and humanitarian assistance to the country.

China, however, is the main course. Unable to compete economically, the U.S. and NATO have turned to the blunt instrument of war to cripple their global competitor. 

The provocation of China replicates the NATO baiting of Russia.

NATO expansion and the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv led Russia to first occupy Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, with its large ethnic Russian population, and then to invade all of Ukraine to thwart the country’s efforts to join NATO. 

The same dance of death is being played with China over Taiwan, which China considers part of Chinese territory, and with NATO expansion in the Asia Pacific. China flies warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone and the U.S. sends naval shipsthrough the Taiwan Strait which connects the South and East China seas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May called China the most serious long-term challenge to the international order, citing its claims to Taiwan and efforts to dominate the South China Sea. Taiwan’s president, in a Zelensky-like publicity stunt, recently posed with an anti-tank rocket launcher in a government handout photo.

The conflict in Ukraine has been a bonanza for the arms industry, which, given the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, needed a new conflict. Lockheed Martin’s stock prices are up 12 percent. Northrop Grumman is up 20 percent. The war is being used by NATO to increase its military presence in Eastern and Central Europe. The U.S. is building a permanent military base in Poland. The 40,000-strong NATO reaction force is being expanded to 300,000 troops. Billions of dollars in weapons are pouring into the region.

The conflict with Russia, however, is already backfiring. The ruble has soared to a seven-year high against the dollar. Europe is barreling towards a recession because of rising oil and gas prices and the fear that Russia could terminate supplies completely. The loss of Russian wheat, fertilizer, gas and oil, due to Western sanctions, is creating havoc in world markets and a humanitarian crisis in Africa and the Middle East. Soaring food and energy prices, along with shortages and crippling inflation, bring with them not only deprivation and hunger, but social upheaval and political instability. The climate emergency, the real existential threat, is being ignored to appease the gods of war.

The war makers are frighteningly cavalier about the threat of nuclear war. Putin warned NATO countries that they “will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history” if they intervened directly in Ukraine and ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on heightened alert status. The proximity to Russia of U.S. nuclear weapons based in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey mean that any nuclear conflict would obliterate much of Europe. Russia and the United States control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads, with around 4,000 warheads each in their military stockpiles, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

President Joe Biden warned that the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be “completely unacceptable” and “entail severe consequences,” without spelling out what those consequences would be. This is what U.S. strategists refer to as “deliberate ambiguity.” 

The U.S. military, following its fiascos in the Middle East, has shifted its focus from fighting terrorism and asymmetrical warfare to confronting China and Russia. President Barack Obama’s national-security team in 2016 carried out a war game in which Russia invaded a NATO country in the Baltics and used a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon against NATO forces. Obama officials were split about how to respond. 

“The National Security Council’s so-called Principals Committee—including Cabinet officers and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—decided that the United States had no choice but to retaliate with nuclear weapons,” Eric Schlosser writes in The Atlantic. “Any other type of response, the committee argued, would show a lack of resolve, damage American credibility, and weaken the NATO alliance. Choosing a suitable nuclear target proved difficult, however. Hitting Russia’s invading force would kill innocent civilians in a NATO country. Striking targets inside Russia might escalate the conflict to an all-out nuclear war. In the end, the NSC Principals Committee recommended a nuclear attack on Belarus—a nation that had played no role whatsoever in the invasion of the NATO ally but had the misfortune of being a Russian ally.” 

The Biden administration has formed a Tiger Team of national security officials to run war games on what to do if Russia uses a nuclear weapon, according to The New York Times. The threat of nuclear war is minimized with discussions of “tactical nuclear weapons,” as if less powerful nuclear explosions are somehow more acceptable and won’t lead to the use of bigger bombs. 

At no time, including the Cuban missile crisis, have we stood closer to the precipice of nuclear war. 

“A simulation devised by experts at Princeton University starts with Moscow firing a nuclear warning shot; NATO responds with a small strike, and the ensuing war yieldsmore than 90 million casualties in its first few hours,” The New York Times reported.

The longer the war in Ukraine continues — and the U.S. and NATO seem determined to funnel billions of dollars of weapons into the conflict for months if not years — the more the unthinkable becomes thinkable. Flirting with Armageddon to profit the arms industry and carry out the futile quest to reclaim U.S. global hegemony is at best extremely reckless and at worst genocidal.


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.

52 comments

  1. Military worship that rivals the worst that Rome ever promoted is what the US is about. Prior to 1941 the US maintained a military the size of Portugal’s and even though it had pretensions of Empire, keeping the Phillipines as a colony and a potent fleet, it did not go about looking for trouble. Following the triumph of WWII and the rise of the Soviet Union, a National Security State was declared, pursuit of Hegemony glorified and confrontation was the order of the day.
    We are today on the brink of a nuclear war and the public is oblivious. The American public is known for its single-minded glorification of its military, from putting up banners to its enlisted men and women on city streets to involving its military in every public function to giving carte blanche to the most obscene military expenditures in the history of mankind. Will they wake up before it’s too late? Don’t bet on it……

  2. OK, Chris – what’s the solution? Oh, right, I forgot – you don’t do “solutions” …
    See, here’s the thing – although you write quite well, and outline the problem clearly and succinctly – those of us who have read you, basically know all this stuff – we hear it over and over.
    With climate change we have the science that outlines what the problems are and there are solutions proposed – in that case what gets in the way is lack of political will – in the problem you outline, I see no outline that even looks like a solution …
    As they say, without a vision, the people will perish – so what is your vision that we have to work toward realizing …

    1. Agree with SH, above.

      I avidly read most of what Chris Hedges writes, here and in his books. For a long time I’ve considered him to be essential reading. I so very much admire the passion and the compassion.

      And yet . . . There is always so much DEscription and such a paucity of PREscription, and this is ultimately SO frustrating.

      Because I’m also trying to puzzle out these things for myself, I keep wanting to ask Chris Hedges, “Here’s your magic wand. You can re-create the world, ar at least America, however you wish. Now, what (specifically) would you DO?”

      1. Hedges has repeatedly described a situation that leaves only one alternative: the forcible overthrow of the capitalist system and its faux republic.

        History shows that revolutions aren’t planned or plotted, that’s a reactionary paranoid fantasy.

        At some unforeseen point, they erupt.

        The responsibility of revolutionaries is to be prepared and to make the necessity for revolution clear to as many as possible. To make the enemy’s identity clear.

        Taking advantage of the recent unionization efforts, educating the people involved and helping to spread the organization of workers is an ongoing opportunity.

        Clarifying the uselessness of the current political system is paramount.

        The Democrats are useless corporate whores and the Republicans are white nationalist neo-fascists.

        THAT’s the establishment.

        They both need to be removed and replaced.

        In addition to the growing workplace revolts, common sense is starting to break out on the left.

        Body armor and tactical gear are becoming increasingly popular among leftist progressives of color, gun rights advocate says
        https://www.yahoo.com/news/body-armor-tactical-gear-becoming-161633572.html

      2. To SH and Net Chat: I’m sure Chris Hedges has a solution. But if he revealed it you would you follow him? More than likely you wouldn’t. He’s a columnist and he’s doing his job. The question is what is your solution? Consider what we’re doing by voting. We are enabling the politicians to screw us by doing so. My solution: we would get politicians attention by not voting at all. Therefore let’s organize a rebellion along those lines.

      3. Net Chat and SH, Chris has repeatedly said the solution is mass, continual, peaceful movements. But first we need to understand and be able to recognise the threats and articulate them to our fellow citizens.

    2. SH I agree with you. I have been calling out Hedges and his lack of solutions. for some time now. If he were to answer you, he’d most likely say a third party, like his support of the useless People’s Party, is the solution. The only solution available to humanity is through the International working class rising up as one and overthrowing the dead carcass called capitalism, and its outdated nation states with their blood stained flags and narrow minded amoral nationalism, for a socialist system of, for, and by the workers. The answer will come from nowhere else. No one should look to our dysfunctional political systems and their wealthy owners to find a solution.
      It’s the carnival barker like Hedges who lures you into his old, tired show of gloom and doom without once ever offering a solution other than to imply we can make a kinder, gentler capitalism with sweeter, more altruistic oligarchs. Anyone expecting a reformation of this capitalist system is a danger to themselves and to others, for their delusion sends too many into a wilderness of obfuscation. The workers of the world must unite, not on nationalistic terms, but on an international scale for a real workers rules based order to take fruition. It’s either that, or we, as Rosa Luxemburg said, ” regress into barbarism.” We must educate ourselves and choose wisely.

      1. Chris is a reporter. He has spent a lifetime reporting the news and often facts that no one wanted to hear. He isn’t a politician. Unlike your carnival barker, he isn’t hoping to lure you into the tent and get you to pay money to see the fat lady or Siamese twins. He has no hope and he has said so. He isn’t trying to sell you anything and hope is a thing you have when you believe it will go better. He doesn’t expect you or anyone else to do anything but deny the problem until its too late. Until then, he will report the news.

    3. Why is it’s Chris’ role to solve this problem? Is he the President, a super Hero, a miracle man who walks on water? Maybe a Jedi or Sith Lord.

      The world has these troubles because ‘ Visions ‘ are all in conflict with each other.
      There are lots of solutions by great many peoples but they all clash with each other.
      The human animal defends and expands its territory

    4. It’s a bit rough, expecting Chris to come bail us out of the situation, we all ourselves have watched and actually assisted by our lack of back bone, and willingness to continually vote for the wrong people in Congress. I’m sorry, S.H. but the BUCK stops with the people, who have turned a blind eye to all these events culminating where we are today. It seems to have escaped your attention, Chris is a JOURNALIST, not a member of Congress, or sits on that poxy organisation called the U.N. His task, (and IMHO, he does an excellent job of it) bringing us the unbiased FACTS, so WE, (that is the humble people who claim we’re all kept in the dark,) can gain the knowledge to make decisions on how WE will respond to that information. You need to ask YOURSELF, now that YOU are aware of the FACTS, where do YOU go from here on in. What actions do YOU yourself initiate in response ? You see the BUCK stops with US. Not Chris. It’s up to US, what we intend to do about these issues, or sit quietly, with eyes shut and turn the channel on the T.V. to another.

      1. Excellent response.

        I wonder how many of you who seem to think you are doing the world a favour by challenging Hedges to come up with a solution – other than mass, peaceful protest – are getting out in the streets on your days off and organising. Quit waiting for someone to save you (and this declining empire) and hit the streets.

      1. Your long winded plan lacks practical ideas. All home owners should get busy replacing lawns with organic food and pollinator gardens yesterday. Everyone should be Humanure composting their own waste. We need invasive plants removed and replaced with natives. We need all pesticides and herbicides banned. We need easy and cheap access to abortion and financial rewards for people who don’t reproduce. We need the roofing industry to offer only one color – white. We need rain barrels attached to every roof and we need to implement Brad Lancaster’s ideas from his book “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands.” Home canning, dehydrating, pickling, and fermentation need to be mandatory classes in schools. We all need to be cooking with Sun Ovens. We need to ban the sale of clothing and home linens compromised of synthetic fabrics. We need to ban the sale of single use plastics. We need to force Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Pepsi, Coke, and Nestle to clean up the oceans or ban them from doing business. We need personal care products sold only in large sized glass containers. Plastic razors, floss holders, straws and bags must be banned. We need to force industry to build products to last or be banned from doing business. We need to ban the sale of personal vehicles that don’t get at least 45 miles per gallon. We need to charge by the pound for residential and business trash collection. We need to eliminate charges just for having electricity and gas and charge only based on consumption, with escalating rates for those using more. We need traditional burials and cremation replaced with ecoburials. We need property taxes abolished to help people afford to homestead and not work to begin dismantling the consumerist system destroying the planet. That’s a good start.

    5. To condemn Chris Hedges for not answering the question, “What’s the solution?” is ridiculous….Did you ever occurr to you that there might not be a solution to the increasing horror that’s going on around us?….Just be grateful that we have someone to tell us the truth, solution or not.

    6. Agreed. Sick of Hedges screaming about problems he has no solutions. Rarely read him anymore.

    7. The solution, if you really follow Hedges, is the same one that Chomsky poses. A diplomatic solution is the only option. But it’s being thwarted by the US and its NATO allies. What would you propose Chris does, personally call Putin and the Ukrainian puppet?

  3. An excellent summary of the increasingly insane situation egged on by NATO & its puppet masters. One small point: in the litany of Turkey’s crimes, you did not mention the invasion & occupation of Cyprus (1974). Turkey is still in occupation.

  4. We are not flirting with Armageddon, we are groping it. The west has gone collectively insane. If you can’t see it, then you are part of it. When I look into the future…..words fail me.

  5. Americans have closed their eyes & ears to what is going on.

    I am grateful for your continued reporting.

  6. Superb analysis. The image evokes Hedges’ soliloquy on Ahab.

    Dismemberment of Russia, or at least its reduction to an anarchic collection of de facto independent provinces — is the core objective of the US and its NATO interventionist force.

    The ultimate objective is to stop China’s Road and Belt initiative in Central Asia, after those republics are corrupted and drawn into the American influence sphere. One “revolution” there was recently squashed by Russian intervention.

    Russia has resisted penetration and manipulation and must therefore be broken.

    Everything that’s happening now needs to be understood in light of a much larger picture.

    The US, like its British once-parent–now-puppet Britain have always fought the rise of any power that could unite Europe: one that will unite Eurasia is substantially more frightening.

    Activation of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) already looms as a way to avoid several maritime “choke points” the two maritime powers are fond of imposing, making the Suez Canal and other supply chain routes obsolete.

    “Scary” map: new route in red…

    https://ifpnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/photo_2019-03-06_15-24-23.jpg

    What the desperate US-led powers are trying to do is stop and reverse the giant wheel of history: integration of the Eurasian landmass, which will make Europe a peninsula of the globe’s core and the US and Britain offshore islands.

    Adding to the western panic is that these rising peoples are not white. It’s the end of 500 years of presumed global dominance by the self-sanctified “white race,” a development causing violent reactions here in the core of WhiteLandia.

    The old Silk Road and the Pax Mongolica resulted in trade and cultural contacts that assisted a hobbled Europe to stage its Renaissance, emerge out of its Dark Ages and ultimately modernize.

    Integration of Europe with the rest of Eurasia will ultimately result in a flowering of human understanding and collective progress.

    Any and all efforts to reverse this process must be fought and destroyed, by whatever measures are necessary,

  7. Humanity is in a new era – one of war not peace. Political and military planners have not worked this into their calculus: assuming the current crisis is simply a re-run of the Cold War, and will end the same way. But the Cold War was an era of peace (or relative peace). What has followed is an age of instability and inability to control the factors that will lead to WW III. Often it is too late when states realize the war the get is the one they are trying to avoid.
    https://patternofhistory.wordpress.com/

  8. Even a limited nuclear exchange could trigger global cooling that would seriously affect the entire world.
    From Science News July 7, 2022 “It doesn’t matter who is bombing whom. It can be India and Pakistan or NATO and Russia. Once the smoke is released into the upper atmosphere, it spreads globally and affects everyone,” said Harrison, who has a joint appointment at the LSU Center for Computation & Technology.

    1. ““It doesn’t matter who is bombing whom. It can be India and Pakistan or NATO and Russia.” Indeed, the very scenario spelled out in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1959), which ought to be required reading (it was in my HS English class, many years ago).
      We must seemingly reconcile ourselves to the reality that the world is ‘governed’ by sociopaths, locked into their 19th century mindsets of gunboat diplomacy (only the gunboats have morphed into missiles). The world is faced with climate catastrophe that, possibly, could be averted with total international cooperation for renewable energy, reduced consumerism, and economic restructuring that favored people and the planet, not the oligarchs. But we instead pursue collective suicide, so the monsters promoting endless wars can try to resolve their infantile, repressed emotional conflicts.

      1. The world is NOT governed by sociopaths.
        The world, or nation states more precisely, are governed by people who are mostly on the normal spectrum.

        As for sacrificing “neutral” countries, US Cold War strategic nuclear planning included destroying countries who were not involved in any conflict with them, notably China via direct nuclear strikes and Finland and neighbours who would all die of radiation from strikes on Russian targets.

        Decisions by very normal people.
        On the collapse of the US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War on Russia, visibly collapsing, go here . . . https://les7eb.substack.com/p/ukraine-notes-the-long-proxy-war-b15

  9. Folks keep clamoring for solutions when it is clear at this late stage of imperialism that there are none. We cannot even admit that we’re stuck on a locomotive speeding on a downhill stretch and the brakes have failed.
    After 70 years of brainwashing the public is as blind as a bat and the effects of drinking from the Kool Aid fountain of Freedom and Democracy have rendered them unable to tell the difference between shit and shinola. Prepare to kiss your asses goodbye while you plant your patriotic flags on your pickups and holler Amerika! Amerika!

    1. UNSEEING ELITES

      At least the truck driving peasants know something is wrong–they live with trickle-up economics and no job future. They want to believe the propaganda because what’s the alternative? If they actually had any faith in it, they wouldn’t have to mask their deep fear and insecurity behind a display of guns and camo.

      The neolib Ds haven’t done anything for working people in 4 decades and the progressive educated class is focussed on its own wish list. Both groups openly denigrate those Others obviously considered to be inferiors and unworthy. Great way to attract votes or form alliances, huh?

      The administrative and professional 20%ers believe they’re entitled to rule. They’re the best and the brightest whereas “the public” is a faceless mass of all too common tastes. 20%ers think they’re exempt from the economic horrors; any problems they have can be solved with a few reforms. The D party 20%er elite bet its future on connections to the MIC. A few green sentiments here and there can’t hide the reality of ecological destruction and the devastation of human communities. They just refuse to look.

      So then who is the least able to see?

      1. You nailed it Rafi! Permission to share your comment? Happy to give you credit unless you don’t want your name used.

  10. While worth analysis, I don’t think NATO really wants war with China just to defeat an economic competitor: if so there would be no trade at all. The MIC wants to build the MIC of China for mutual provocations and profit alone.

    The US could easily set up price controls based on features and quality, so that imports are sold at the US-competitive price regardless of cost, to protect US industry, and the markup goes to retrain US workers for competitive jobs, or to foreign aid to less developed countries. So foreign competition is not a problem unless US scammers make it a problem. The US oligarchy refuses because it believes in scams not fair market value.

    1. Quote, “The US could easily set up price controls based on features and quality, so that imports are sold at the US-competitive price regardless of cost, to protect US industry, and the mark up goes to retrain US workers for competitive jobs, or to foreign aid to less developed countries. ” Unquote. Where have you been over the last 30-40 years ? During this period, the U.S. has continually off shored it’s manufacturing simply to increase the profits, at the same time, closing down manufacturing in the U.S. To make matters worse, also DELIBERATLY off shored was the latest up to date technology used for that manufacturing. Technology in the U.S. was archaic and manufacturers had refused to spend the neccessary funds to up date their processes. Instead higher profits were gained by off shoring that manufacturing and installing modern higher tech to manufacture these products. Thus bring home exorbitent profits. No one cared about the flow effects of shuttered factories, unemployment and homeless people due to lack of employment. Then all of a sudden, China is the culprit, China is accused of stealing U.S. high tech, which was legally given to them, by none other than the manufacturers with their latest facilities and the Chinese even UPGRADED and improved that tech, which now the U.S. greedily looks on with envy and hatred for their very own stupidity. So pray tell, if the U.S. business concerns were not in the least concerned about off shoring their manufacturing, why would they all of a sudden involve themselves with “retraining workers” when they have not displayed any concern for such issues in the past ? Why on earth, would they SPEND their profits on training workers, when such workers are already trained and work for less in China than in the U.S. ? “Competitive jobs”, since when has the U.S. actually openly competed with anyone in the manufacturing sphere ? All I’ve seen at first hand, is the U.S. DESTROYING any competitor that arrives on the scene producing something cheaper and better than the U.S. does. OR, if they can’t destroy that competitor, then they too will off shore their production. Again, I have recently experienced such behaviour at first hand only 18 months ago.

      1. That is what I said: “The US oligarchy refuses because it believes in scams not fair market value.”
        Thanks for elaborating on the scams.

    2. fair market value is a scam—Acquinas wrote about just pay for quality work….markets guarantee low quality, the choice between a Big Mac and Burger King

  11. Great analysis of high stakes security situation.

    However, you miss the hyperthreat of climate & environmental change. https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2022/07/climate-change-isnt-threat-multiplier-its-main-threat/368814/

    An escalation in traditional military style confrontation would derail humanity’s chance to avoid dangerous climate change and ecological crisis. This, the current approach can be characterized as a new dorm of “Mutually assured destruction.” (MAD).

    Please see censored PLAN E for an alternate security stance. https://bylinetimes.com/2022/06/23/defence-agencies-accelerating-risk-of-hothouse-earth-us-military-study-warns/

  12. This essay will have Chris Hedges branded a Kremlin stooge.
    What has occurred in Sri Lanka may happen in the capital cities of other countries.
    But they will have to deal with the security forces who will attack them.
    In the limit, Western Governments behave as fascists.

    Clearly the US-NATO-UK Ukraine Proxy War on Russia has failed and achieved diametrically opposite outcomes.
    Examined here . . . https://les7eb.substack.com/p/ukraine-notes-the-long-proxy-war-b15

    The history of the US-UK power elite sacrificing third countries should come as no surprise. We are all expendable.

  13. Bravo 👏! Another damn good read 🙌
    Nice to know what’s really going on! The doomsday clock is seconds to midnight and this article explains why! Thanks Hedges! So refreshing! Riunite on ice 🥂🍾 That’s nice!

  14. Oh no, more critics of Chris. The big thing I hear is “he gives no solutions.” That’s asinine, for sure. If you take Chris’s take on the perversions of this country, this society, and the culture most posters at Sheared Off post from which they hail, then start looking at other countriies. Sit-ins in Sudan to protest that military junta, and the other countries’ humanity putting up their dukes and resisting anyway possible. Yet in Netflix-landia, where Americans love their own solitary confinement, where they go out, 9 to 5, M-F, and variations on that theme, to screw their neighbor, and then they huddle up with la familia, and the trucks, RVs, the backyard pool, and that’s it for the arm chair warriors of America.

    Some of us, like myself, have fought every step of the way the perversions — in higher ed, in newspaper reporting, social work, activism, planning. We challenge that powers that shouldn’t be. And, some of us break into the system our own ways.

    Again, here, not the perfect dude for Mexico, but better than the other drug loving freak presidentes: And note that this perverted society, both dems and repubes, for how many years, hating on Cuba. This is the Empire of Hate, the Empire of Lies, the Empire of Chaos, and the Empire of Empty Humanity.

    So, let Chris be the commentator. What solutions do we give you readers, uh? Go out and burn down a bank. Burn your CDC vaxx cards. Burn a hole in your head to gain some wisdom. Chris has solutions all the time. And it’s a mix of so many things, including tax resistence, strikes, rolling strikes, working to monkey wrench the system, and, well, there needs to be a better Anarchist’s Cookbook for the 21st Century of Penury, Polluted Politics, Oligarchs and the Eichmann Syndrome!

    RE:

    On Monday, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) described Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolution’s historical leader, as one of the great political figures in the world.

    A few hours before traveling to Washington, AMLO recalled that Fidel continues to be a political reference and recognized his firmness in confronting the U.S. blockade against Cuba that President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) initiated and has not ceased to this day.

    “When Commander Fidel Castro died, I said that a giant leader like Mandela had died. Mexican conservatives were furious. How dare I compare Mandela with Fidel? And why?,” AMLO recalled referring to the 2006 presidential elections.

    On that occasion, the Mexican right frightened voters by recalling the references that candidate Lopez Obrador made to other Latin American leftist leaders such as the Brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Venezuelan Hugo Chavez.

    or,

    December Revolution’s Rebirth”: Sit-ins Mark New Stage of Protests against Sudan’s Military Junta

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/07/12/december-revolutions-rebirth-sit-ins-mark-new-stage-of-protests-against-sudans-military-junta/

    1. Paul, both you and AReply make excellent observations, and I begrudgingly agree from my own too frequent periods of screen-based solitary confinement. When each of our lifestyles are upended like those of other countries (now happening in the West thanks to its own Russian sanctions), more people are going to throw a wrench into the works and participate in mass civil disobedience. Whether you create an organic bubble on a private farm or live as an elite in a gated community, the consequences of climate change/chaos or social breakdown due to dysfunctional (neoliberal) economies will reach you eventually.

    2. I want to add a couple closing thoughts, because I do no wholly agree with Paul+Haeder and AReply:

      *It’s going to be up to each of us, and our friends and families, to decide how we face adversity that comes from a pathological economic system. Caitlin Johnstone does a good job of describing our current state of consciousness: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/06/17/the-mainstream-worldview-is-self-evidently-bullshit-notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix/

      *Scheerpost has done a phenomenal job in creating an independent news site and curating articles that challenge and educate its readers, in the best traditions of journalism. We’re heading into dark times, a climate and security state dystopia, and while I would like to donate $50 to a Green party or a Democratic Party and know they’ll fix things, I understand our system is too corrupt and sophisticated for that. It’s very easy, if you have enough affluence, to believe it is the govt’s problem or somebody else’s problem to fix things. If we had a wise, caring society, Scheerpost would have been heeded and Robert Scheer could have truly retired long ago.

  15. The hunger for solutions becomes directed towards criticism of the messenger because the message, by its way of framing the problem, can never induce a solution. Hedges engages in forceful righteous polemics. There’s no space for solutions because his framing doesn’t create the needed space.

    Hedges as a source of information is one thing. Hedges as an analyst is another. Hedges as a scholar is yet another. Then there’s Hedges the priest, with his old-timey fists in anger at the injustice of it all.

    I have no doubt he’s a good person doing excellent work. But that has very little b to do with his online screedling.

    If you find his views resonant and humane, as I do, then you naturally feel energized towards action in the face of new knowledge. But where, in context, can you direct it?

    I can offer the suggestion that use this energy and Hedges’ observations as a template to structure, guide and represent your own like-minded concerns to those around you. Such small gestures and acts are part of the solution, such is the Good Word. Thanks, God!

    And props to Hedges rhetoric for offering a template, for showing how it’s done: gain worldly experience, develop a moral code, represent that code through your work, take your licks, build alliances and represent.

    Such action is available to everyone!

    The next step is to expect your civic leaders to share the journey of life and plead them represent your code, and where you find them lacking, to step up to fill the gap.

    So what is your code?

    You might notice this work is eternal and endless.

    You might also assume that’s precisely the work what got us all here!

    The frustration about the lack of action (solutions) is that we already have a vast history of excellent polemics. We aren’t limited by lack of moral and ethical analysis and judgment.

    We’re limited by space and time and inability and disinterest of institutions to connect with the details of world that threaten us. The web has made the space-time conundrum very bad.

    The thing about Hedges is he writes from the mountain top to tell you that the end is nigh. And of course it is, for all the reasons he mentions and more.

    Newsflash: You are all going to perish of old age and decrepitude, even given the most idealized future, and your demise is going to happen soon. And not only that, it will be very unpleasant.

    Ok, thanks for the warning! So what’s the solution?!

    You see the problem in discourse.

    A couple of traits about news stick out:

    1) News is never about anything new (to paraphrase Alan Kay. If it were, you wouldn’t understand it.

    2) News never cites its antecedents. If a publication tells a story, it never offers its previous takes on the story. It’s about how to forget the previous takes and replace them with a new hot-take. Which in turn is forgotten.

    3) News and opinion are now indistinguishable: every factoid invites its judgment. A lot of energy is put into pursuit of factoids which justify a priori beliefs, where anything that contradicts the belief is sidelined and de-contextualized. It’s Devil take the hindmost.

    4) Journalism is simply not permitted visibility into how things actually work, which suppression is justified by the principle of the “reality based community” (look it up) whereby powerful peoples’ actions always accelerate away from scribes’ capacity to record the actions and their implications. “We’re an empire and we create reality”.

    What we have is a journalistic event horizon, where guys like Hedges sit at the edge of a singularity and emit extremely high-energy radiation that will reach people of Earth only long after the star has collapsed.

    These physics explain the Biblical tone of Hedges polemics.

    If Sheerpost were about access to tools and resources, like Stewart Brand’s Last Whole Earth Catalog, then local masses could begin to coalesce and gravitate. But these sites expect you to orbit them, not the other way around. You know, for the money.

    It’s about old journalists who have been cast out or retired just sawing the log of their former relevance as scribes and minions. Zero leadership.

    And if like me, you are a drone just following the comments on these blogs of hackneyed old polemics, to lazy to do anything but passively beg the present sages for solutions to the problems of their mentations, then you might admit that have no real interest in action for change in the first place.

    This is church not journalism.

    Your saving grace is to not join in as part of a mutual admiration collective.

    1. Whilst I agree with everything you have said in your post. The FACT remains, people are far to complacent in their daily lives, to do anything about the situation. Far better to leave it all to someone else, (Assange comes to mind) thus when the S.H.T.F. the only folks who get targeted, are the stirrers who voiced the complaints. People will only rise up, if the only thing they have to lose is their life. (Example, Sri Lanka,) where people are currently starving, the possibility of dying from starvation is highly likely, thus, either way, folks will die. That’s why now, they are doing something about it, and rather die protesting in the streets trying to change things, instead of slowly dying from starvation. Years ago, I formed a protest movement, trying to make changes to improve our lifestyle and working conditions. At the beginning, I had 100% support, when we refused to offer our labour under the current conditions, again 100% support. However, after the first week, the rumblings of discontent began. Wives were pressuring husbands to cut the crap, and go back to work. The mortgage was due shortly, and funds in the bank were not sufficient to cover the payment. The second week, the rumblings turned into a cyclone, and support reduced to 25%, despite have some success in the Courts, the rank and file had lost enthusiasm and wished to return to work. The third week, support had reduced even further, and on my way down from Court in the lift, the opposition Lawyer tells me there are no less than 6 people, who have relenquished their Union membership and signed Individual Agreements with management. Thus undercutting my efforts to fight for a better deal in the Courts. That experience taught me valuable lessons about humanity and their propensity to abandon any fight at the drop of a hat, simply to carry on the status quoe. I believe many people are all to aware of this, and that’s the reason, very few people today, are committed enough to make changes. The desire to line up and be serious to take on the establishment, is simply no longer there. Another good example is Ukraine, despite what’s happening there, the people are reluctant to take on their Corrupt Government, and would rather be killed by them in their own homes whilst they sleep. NONE of them, have made any effort to protest or remove that corrupt Govt, just sitting there and getting killed for nothing.(The exception being the Oblasts who HAVE stood their ground, and ARE prepared to lay down their lives to change things.) This attitude is not simply in Ukraine, it’s all over the planet, with the exception of South Asia, where the folks have very little to start with anyway. Will things change ? Not in my lifetime, and I’m 73 years of age.

      1. I would suggest this is true in the angloshere, not elsewhere
        Chile—when transport fees increased vast protests, rescinded
        France–yellow vests caused govt to rescind fuel taxes
        Russia—when retire age increased, vast protests; govt had to exempt 40% of intended occupations, delay by 5 years others
        China—1000 strikes past decade
        Ecuador–vast protests when fuel doubled last month, rescinded
        during covid—many huge protests vs covid fascism—Denmark, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, France, Austria, Italy
        Ukraine many protests, mainly in Russian regions, such as Odessa, Kharkov however in past 4 months 10 million have moved to Romania, Poland, Russia, Moldova, Hungary. there have been numerous efforts to challenge Zelensky govt from right and left. it is reported that some in the military very dissatisfied. Recently Bulgaria had protests and anti-NATO leader elected. Georgia recently had protests vs LGBT degenerates
        India has had a great deal of turbulence—farmers strikes as had Netherlands—Pakistan did several months ago, etc…Mali, Somalia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Central African Republic,Nigeria Congo are all in the midst of social transitions
        I only point to some; turbulence has potential for leading to fascist populism or to radical reform[—I do not claim that all turbulence is good or bad; it is generally more complex

  16. I’m one of those long time admirers of Chris, who has, unfortunately, ragged on Chris about a lack of solutions.
    I forgot the important lessons that Carlin taught me about specific language.
    I don’t want Chris to offer solutions.
    I absolutely don’t expect Chris to solve any problems.
    But, I want to know more about what he thinks.
    What behaviors, on my part, might Chris consider useful, in addressing the morass that is the USA?
    Does Chris think that calling for a general strike could break the back of the oligarchs?
    Does Chris think that this might be an opportune time for people in the USA, particularly women and girls, to refuse to consume, or produce, given that the US Supreme Court has tried to strip them of their autonomy?
    And, the men who love them could certainly back their play.
    What else?
    Tax resistance?
    Check.
    How about we all go shopping, fill up a few shopping carts, and then vamoose.?
    Jam, and overcrowd, the courthouses, so we can participate in the USA legal process?
    Burn down, empty polling places?
    Im asking!
    What do you think really happened on 9/11, Chris?
    Shit’s been tormenting me for twenty years.
    You baffled?
    Say so.
    I’d really appreciate it.
    Your words have helped me navigate a corrupt society, and an unjust prison term.
    I’ll always have appreciation for how your words have impacted me, and admiration for the sacrifices that you have made in the name of journalism, and human decency.
    Now, will you kindly, tell me what the f*ck to do!
    Or not.
    Thank you for so much.

  17. there are a few incorrect facts. the conclusions cannot be accepted
    the French economist Jacque Sapir demonstrates that the actual indispensable nation Is Russia. the mismeasure of the Russian economy derives from using bourgeoise methods; when actual productivity, balance of trade and commodities are factored as Sapir writes, “the Russian economy is vastly larger than Germany”
    actual estimates not counting the 10,000 battlefield nukes possessed by Russia range between 6000-6200
    NATO is a creature of USA; when the empire soon collapses funding will disappear, NATO also. Today NATO can only threaten small weak nations. Iran DPRK, etc cannot be challenged. Sweden and Finland are of no importance. Only 1 NATO nation has a capable military—Turkey and they have ambivalent relations with USA, France, Greece, perhaps better relations with Russia, Qatar. In my view NATO has only symbolic importance; less dangerous than many hysterics believe

  18. Why is NATOs expansion a justification for the brutal invation of another country? “A provocation”? Germany, one of NATOs most important members was very friendly with Russia, had a very small army compared with its potential, and was buying more than 50% of its gas from Russia. Now, all of that is going to change. And what did the rest of NATO members outside of the US did to Russia to be so afraid of them? Turkey was oposing the incorporation of new members even after the invasion because of their own interest carried more weight. Looks to me that the oposite is far more reasonable. Over and over again Russia has invaded its bordering countries, that is why Sweden and Findland are ending their historic neutrality. If Ukraine had joined NATO, millons of their people would have been spared the sufering and death that they are experiencing now, and all the other countries around Russia have taken notice of that.

    I thought that we had learned that apeasement of all these extremly authoritarian and beligerant countries was a terrible mistake.

  19. For some reason my extended response didn’t make the comment section. It was well thought out and polite. Wasted time.

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