Difficult to Find a Way Out of the War that is Enveloping Us

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Closed Door, Man, Dead End, Concept, Trapped

by Paul Craig Roberts via Institute for Political Economy

I will leave it to Glenn Greenwald to tell you how small the chance is of avoiding war–

War Propaganda About Ukraine Becoming More Militaristic, Authoritarian, and Reckless

The American people are too brainwashed and disinformed to have any idea of what is about to happen.  The price of American insouciance is likely to be national death:

“It is genuinely hard to overstate how overwhelming the unity and consensus in U.S. political and media circles is. It is as close to a unanimous and dissent-free discourse as anything in memory, certainly since the days following 9/11. Marco Rubio sounds exactly like Bernie Sanders, and Lindsay Graham has not even minimal divergence from Nancy Pelosi. Every word broadcast on CNN or printed in The New York Times about the conflict perfectly aligns with the CIA and Pentagon’s messaging. And U.S. public opinion has consequently undergone a radical and rapid change; while recent polling had shown large majorities of Americans opposed to any major U.S. role in Ukraine, a new Gallup poll released on Friday found that ‘52% of Americans see the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as a critical threat to U.S. vital interests’ with almost no partisan division (56% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats), while ‘85% of Americans now view Russia unfavorably while 15% have a positive opinion of it.’”

Whereas the American people are merely stupid and brainwashed, American political leaders and media are insane psychopaths.  Here are two paragraphs from Greenwald: 

“One of the media’s most beloved members of Congress, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), on Friday explicitly and emphatically urged that the U.S. military be deployed to Ukraine to establish a ‘no-fly zone”’— i.e., American soldiers would order Russia not to enter Ukrainian airspace and would directly attack any Russian jets or other military units which disobeyed. That would, by definition and design, immediately ensure that the two countries with by far the planet’s largest nuclear stockpiles would be fighting one another, all over Ukraine.

“Kinzinger’s fantasy that Russia would instantly obey U.S. orders due to rational calculations is directly at odds with all the prevailing narratives about Putin having now become an irrational madman who has taken leave of his senses — not just metaphorically but medically — and is prepared to risk everything for conquest and legacy. This was not the first time such a deranged proposal has been raised; days before Kinzinger unveiled his plan, a reporter asked Pentagon spokesman John Kirby why Biden has thus far refused this confrontational posture. The Brookings Institution’s Ben Wittes on Sunday demanded: ‘Regime change: Russia.’ The President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, celebrated that ‘now the conversation has shifted to include the possibility of desired regime change in Russia.’”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger is perhaps the most ignorant person in the world. He thinks America’s fate is directly tied to Ukraine’s and that Washington can easily save us both,  because “Russia cannot hold a candle to our air power.”  Amazing when Russia can shut down the operating systems of US aircraft from great distances away.

Greenwald explains why we cannot extract ourselves from the looming catastrophe:

“War propaganda stimulates the most powerful aspects of our psyche, our subconscious, our instinctive drives. It causes us, by design, to abandon reason. It provokes a surge in tribalism, jingoism, moral righteousness and emotionalism: all powerful drives embedded through millennia of evolution. The more unity that emerges in support of an overarching moral narrative, the more difficult it becomes for anyone to critically evaluate it. The more closed the propaganda system is — either because any dissent from it is excluded by brute censorship or so effectively demonized through accusations of treason and disloyalty — the more difficult it is for anyone, all of us, even to recognize one is in the middle of it.

“When critical faculties are deliberately turned off based on a belief that absolute moral certainty has been attained, the parts of our brain armed with the capacity of reason are disabled. That is why the leading anti-Russia hawks such as former Obama Ambassador Michael McFaul and others are demanding that no ‘Putin propagandists’ (meaning anyone who diverges from his views of the conflict) even be permitted a platform, and why many are angry that Facebook has not gone far enough by banning many Russian media outlets from advertising or being monetized. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), using the now-standard tactic of government officials dictating to social media companies which content they should and should not allow, announced on Saturday: ‘I’m concerned about Russian disinformation spreading online, so today I wrote to the CEOs of major tech companies to ask them to restrict the spread of Russian propaganda.’ Suppressing any divergent views or at least conditioning the population to ignore them as treasonous is how propagandistic systems remain strong.”

There are ways to measure insouciance.  One way I measure it is by the percentage of those who are signed up for the newsletter notices of new postings who actually open the notices.  I assume that the newsletter subscribers are the most alert and interested of my readers.  Yet in the middle of the unfolding of a dangerous war, not quite half of them open the notices.  What I have found is that a person cannot even explain the situation to people he knows, because most Americans are convinced that nuclear war cannot happen or if it does we will win.  

Ukraine’s latest ploy is to ask its ally Israel to mediate with Russia.  If Russia falls for it, she will likely be taken to the cleaners.  But there is an opportunity perhaps in the event.  Putin could explain to Israel that NATO’s encroachment requires precautionary action on her southern border, which means providing Iran with S400 missiles and establishing a military base in Iran.  This would not be necessary if Ukraine renounced NATO membership and dismantled the Nazi militias.  

Well, I had to find a silver lining.

Permission to reprint Dr. Roberts’ columns does not imply that Dr. Roberts endorses the websites or media organizations that republish his columns or that he approves of the content of the websites, media outlets or books that republish his columns.

Reprinted with permission from Institute for Political Economy.