The Iraq invasion was a prelude to our current war run-up, the war run-up that the United States would experience when its global imperial hegemony came under threat during the 2020s. Like was the case in 2003, the empire’s propaganda machine has inculcated its narratives into the minds of a solid majority of the public. Like was the case in 2003, the main target of the empire’s violent rage is merely a scapegoat for the crises that the U.S. has been experiencing. The difference is that in 2020, America’s cultural psychosis is being directed towards preparing for a war far larger than the Iraq War, a war so destructive and costly that it could end up breaking U.S. hegemony for good.
Consumerism, and the capitalist mentality more broadly, are equivalent to nihilism. They strip the human experience of meaning beyond what serves the market. When a culture revolves around this monetary and commercialist view of the world, it ceases to bring true fulfillment.
In a major essay to mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, John Pilger describes reporting from five ‘ground zeros’ for nuclear weapons – from Hiroshima to Bikini, Nevada to Polynesia and Australia. He warns that unless we take action now, China is next.
When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.
Throughout its era as the “world police” that overthrows governments for the benefit of corporate interests, the U.S. has perfected a strategy for destroying societies and remaking them according to its own preferences. To varying degrees, this playbook for regime change has consisted of a basic formula: destabilize a society, then use propaganda and violence to impose Americanism onto its culture and governmental system. We’ve seen this carried out in Iran with the 1953 CIA coup that overthrew the country’s democracy and replaced it with the Shah, in Chile with the 1973 CIA coup that overthrew the country’s socialist president Allende and installed the Pinochet dictatorship in his place, and so on.
This last week, U.S. intelligence officials and their allies in the corporate media spread the evidence-free claim that Russia has put bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. This propaganda campaign was both an attempt to reinforce anti-Russian sentiment, and a subtle way to manufacture consent for the ongoing Afghanistan war. Which prompts one to ask: why is the empire so committed to perpetuating war? Why haven’t any of the wars it’s started since 9/11 been ended, and why does it evidently have every intention of making sure they don’t end?
On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.
The New York Times claims that Russia offered to pay Afghans to kill U.S. (and allied) troops. It does not claim that any payments were made. It does not claim that any troops were killed. It does not claim that any impact was had on anything. It does not name its sources. It does not offer any evidence other than the supposed assertions of nameless government officials. It does not offer any justification for not naming them. It does not provide the context of all the years the U.S. government spent arming and funding Afghans to kill Russians, nor all the more recent years during which the U.S. military has been both the enemy of the Taliban and its top funding source (or at least second to opium). It promotes the ridiculous and debunked Russiagate notion that Trump is too kind to Russia.
Underneath the bluster of a Trump administration that still acts like the United States is the world hegemon, the ruling class is working to pragmatically respond to the loss of America’s status as a dominant power. In 2017 the Pentagon put out a report that admitted American global influence is rapidly declining, and now that the U.S. is sure to soon lose its superpower status, the corporatocracy has to address this issue.
with Abby Martin
ProjectCensored on Jun 4, 2020
Student shot and produced, United States of Distraction: Fighting The Fake News Invasion chronicles critical media literacy and faculty experts, students, and media makers whom provide contextual analysis for understanding the current rise of the so-called “fake news” phenomenon. In addition to deconstructing fake news, the film reminds us that this is not a new development, but rather, a form of propaganda. The interviews provided in the film offer solutions for mitigating the pernicious influence of false content on America’s democratic institutions. Edited narrated by Abby Martin.
The ruling class has more class consciousness than the lower classes do. They’re the ones who have to manage the relationship between the classes, and to keep this relationship in balance so that revolution is prevented. This makes them especially equipped to engage in what Marxists call dialectics—the practice of assessing material factors and opposing social forces. With this ability, they can adapt the power structure to be able to best respond to whatever threatens their interests.
with John Pilger
Consortium News on Apr 18, 2020
With imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange facing the twin dangers of extradition to the U.S. and Coronavirus in Belmarsh prison, watch a panel discussion on the state of Assange’s legal process, the state of his health and the health of press freedom with John Pilger, Italian reporter and WikiLeaks partner Stefania Maurizi and journalist and author Charles Glass.
Haruki Murakami said that “Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” It’s with this self-awareness of my attraction to the apocalypse that I confront the converging crises of our era. These crises point towards an outcome that’s not as dire as the literal end of the world, but that still conjures the sense of fascinated suspense which Murakami described.