More and more, all we can do is laugh in the face of the increasingly absurdist idiot western propaganda that passes for “truth.” And it’s a good question, desperate or evil? What is the relationship between these two conditions? Are all evil acts actually acts of desperation? Certainly, we think of desperate acts as not necessarily evil, just short-sighted, or dominated by the reptilian part of the brain that each of us carries around inside our skulls. Let us remember that! We’re not just “left” brain logic and “right” brain intuition, we’re also living (at least partially) inside material 3D bodies that seek, above all, to preserve their lives no matter what. It’s a rare person who doesn’t succumb, at least sometimes, to this atavistic dynamic.
We usually think of real evil — if it exists, does it? — as “cold-blooded,” “calculating,” not desperate. Hmmm. I do wonder about the question —evil or desperate? — and tend to come down on the side of desperate whenever I’m faced with someone in my own life who does something that the rational part of me would judge as “evil.” Usually, I ask myself, how did this person get into a position where this act seemed necessary, or justified? I can usually find a way to empathize with the suffering that lies at the very bottom of whatever’s going on.
Even CEOs and other 1%’ers: I can imagine the suffering that attends their gnawing hunger for more more more, so that no matter how much they have, it is never enough.
However, when we shift the playing field from individual human to nation states, corporations, and other fictional entities, It seems to me that we must look at the “evil or desperate” question very differently, especially since the scale of the evil perpetrated in the wake of what appears as institutional desperation is so vast, and other-than-human entitities are not set up to truly “care.” (Could they be set up to care? Or is this the nature of institutions, that all they “care about” is to maintain their form and, if possible, expand.)
Sometimes I think that maybe the only way to get out of the horror that overtakes us (and the Earth) when institutional structures of any kind are allowed to dominate, is to dismantle them all. Period. Stay local. Stay connected, person or person. Or if you aren’t already there, get there. Know your neighbors. Help each other. Share.
In any case, this is a particularly welcome article, summarizing a huge amount of geopolitical history and current affairs, in detail, but succinctly.
April 18, 2014
by Anthony F. Shaker
counterpunch via philosophers-stone
The United States, France and England—today’s bald-faced fiction of an “international community”—believe they can use their twin battle horses, “human rights” and “democracy,” indefinitely in their effort to destabilize international relations and world order, as flawed as these have been.
They have already ripped through the social, political and economic fabric of numerous countries: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Myanmar, Venezuela, and having failed in Russia proper, now Ukraine. Sanction-hemmed Iran will forever be in their sights, regardless of the outcome of the nuclear negotiations.
There are many ways to wage war. The easiest, most cost-effective is propaganda. Only, propaganda is as fleeting as a Hollywood flick. Still, Western leaders figure that here they are immune, because they imagine this to be a one-way street. With the West’s frozen perch on the “moral high ground,” other nations’ interests appear peripheral, at best, to the main design of the Anglo-American axis, which is now caught in the death grip of an increasingly useless Israel.
New marriage of left and right
Western politics today embodies a historic alliance forged as far back as early last century between both “conservative” and “liberal” demagogues. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, both of which blazed this trail for everyone, proved how easily the “West”–another reigning fiction–can be the graveyard of “liberal democracy.” Not by repression, but through ideological assimilation. Lyndon B. Johnson is a perfect example of a war-mongering “progressive liberal.” He married the War on Communism with the War on Poverty, a policy that arguably triggered the start of the US’s torturous but sure decline. His epigones are former Trotskyites turned Zionist commentators, and antiwar liberals like current Secretary of State John Kerry standing at the forefront of elaborate foreign campaigns of destabilization.
Working in unison with our politicians are ideologically driven outfits like Human Rights Watch, not to mention the thousands of professional “activists” milling around the world. HRW has pretty deep pockets for an NGO, even in times of severe fiscal compression. It associates and is supported by ubiquitous American Zionist groups, which are directly coordinated by Israel regardless of their political affiliation. It has the backing of shadowy American foundations and the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a virtual “Who’s Who” of the US foreign policy elite. Well-subsidized, it engages in elaborate media stunts involving photo exhibitions, musical concerts, and brain-addled pronouncement by entertainment stars.
HRW is now beating the drum of war at a frenetic pace, much as we remember Amnesty International doing at the height of the Cold War. As the West churns out its propaganda on an industrial scale, however, this is precisely the moment when the “Western march” eastward seems to be coming to a screeching halt on the Eurasian landmass.
Stars are not forever
All the propaganda, serial lying and self-flattery in the world will not save the day if the very source of “power” has been extinguished. Today, the West is like a dead star. It may shine on still, but its short 150-year moment of glory has already passed. And, as a result, Chancellor Angela Merkel, or whoever succeeds her as de facto head of the European Union, may find her still-occupied Germany in a dangerous political vortex.
The point is that Western inanities are contributing handsomely to its collapsing narrative; and the Ukraine is looking increasingly like the dark room that just got lit, catching the West head and limb in the cookie jar! Western governments have had a field day presenting arguments to the public based, almost invariably, on wild assumptions and claims that have no basis in reality except in the minds of armchair strategists, secret plotters and lunatics.
One recent example is an article in Foreign Affairs, a major establishment policy journal (“The Good and Bad of Ahrar al-Sham. An al-Qaeda–Linked Group Worth Befriending,” by Michael Doran et al.). Its authors casually argue for American rapprochement with Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi jihadists around the world, as if this has not already happened.
The mock ignorance behind such moral acrobatics, in this case indistinguishable from US attempts to legitimize violent criminal elements innocuously grouped under the umbrella of a “Syrian Opposition,” reveals a fundamental weakness. “Fundamental” because, as it manifests itself now in the Ukraine, American and Western impotence is obvious to everyone in the “international community.” Establishment newspapers like Die Zeit in Germany have seen right through President Obama’s grim antics.
Therefore, Western largesse to the dregs of Ukrainian society—ultra-nationalists with known links to Nazi proxy forces back in WWII—is not a sign of strength, but of something that is not “quite right” with the West. It bespeaks a strategy of the weak, revealing a far more sinister design than even the expanding rivalry into which the US is now locking itself with the Russian Federation entails in the short term.
The very first question that comes to mind, even if the authors of the article are correct in distinguishing good from bad Wahhabi terrorists is, to what end? What do the authors hope Obama would achieve with such an alliance? More successes like Iraq and Libya? The West has had a uniform record of failure starting with the Korean War. Perhaps it’s all about liberty, or some antiquated American version of “democracy.”
The United States is operating, more than ever, under the cloak of “revolutionism,” one based on the notion that human rights must be practiced according to US dictates and whenever the US pleases—not before or after!
Naturally, this new tribal redefinition of liberty requires the demolition of “regimes” refusing to embrace America’s “self-evident truths” and rejecting its antique sense of exceptionalism. But because nobody has the patience to listen anymore, Obama the “permanent revolutionary” regularly has to issue military threats, impose sanctions, etc., just to be heard over the growing din of misery around the world.
With its elaborate sanctions regime against Iran falling apart, even before new rounds of negotiation, the United States has returned to its old tactic of deploying armed terrorist militias, just as it did against Central America, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, of course Afghanistan under the Soviets, and other countries. Bloodthirsty terrorists–and literally, FSA cannibals who film themselves eating human flesh–apparently pose no obstacle today. We simply nickname them “moderates” or “fighters against Tyranny”—more offensively, “activists.”
Is this how human rights and democracy are to be established in countries we claim to care about? Or, is this a useful instrument with which to demolish states that the governments of both the US and Israel feel are blocking their view of the glorious future awaiting us all under Israel-American “guidance.”
What currently drives the United States is a cartoonish vision of the world at the intellectual level of Bibi the Bomber during his comical address at the UN. I say this because it has become amply clear the US is on a fast-track to the “dustbin of history” on this march, with lots of help from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and is in no position to dictate.
American losses are piling up. The purpose of using Saudi-sponsored and Israeli advised armies of Wahhabi terrorists, most devastatingly in Syria, is not to build anything, but to pave the way for direct foreign control in an increasingly desperate situation for the Anglo-American alliance with Israel on nearly every front (geopolitical, diplomatic and economic).
We get glimpses of the US’s survival strategy and its reach deep inside other countries thanks to tapped conversations (like that of the US envoy Nuland, caught mouthing off with expletives about the EU’s irrelevance on the phone) and, of course, the boundless NSA revelations.
Unfortunately, in its desperation, the Atlantic Alliance is grasping at straws, particularly the dry straw of borderless Israel, whose future as the only racially constituted state in the world, is now in serious doubt (judging from a wide range of political opinion inside the US itself).
True, the EU is increasingly irrelevant. To put it bluntly, though, it is not the EU that’s in question now. Western world hegemony as a whole is collapsing. The US envoy wouldn’t have uttered those words otherwise, and this is not merely a passing phase in the history of the world.
The US’s pseudo-revolutionary strategy and rhetoric are not even meant to reestablish American domination anymore, a forlorn hope. Rather, they are shaping up into some sort of “orderly” retreat, as far as humanly possible.
But this is not going very well either. The destructive and unabashedly tribal nature of American policies has cut into its retreat. And it has become inextricably linked to the blood-curdling rhetoric of the all but moribund Congress and European Union. The US has reduced itself to demolishing as many independent states as possible (partly at Israel’s behest)—any state that refuses to tow the line—before possible collapse.
It need not be so
Human rights have been an instrument of manipulation since the Cold War. But we should ask ourselves, who really disagrees with the idea of human dignity and rights? It’s not as if it was invented by the West. No, this instrument is being used as a Trojan horse or battering ram to destroy entire societies. It allows foreign puppeteers to move quickly from small street demonstrations to the dismantlement of economic infrastructure and the destruction of vital military installations.
After all, the West invented sabotage tactics for use against the wartime Nazi occupation of Europe. Today, one has to be pretty desperate to embrace them with a straight face. And the Atlantic Alliance is desperate.
The United States has taken on the phony mantle of “revolutionism,” as if to emulate the Soviet Union in bygone days. Since President Ronald Reagan, the Neocons have been at the forefront of this new, “revolutionary” conservatism–an idea invented by pre-Nazi German ideologues and philosophers of the extreme right.
How Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Carter advisor, laments the lost historical opportunity offered to us with the collapse of the Soviet Union! Indeed, we had a chance to build new relations with the East…maybe even a new, more tranquil world, God forbid!
Brzezinski uttered those words when the longevity of the so-called Postwar was being seriously debated. The Postwar Era did see a lasting relative peace (no world wars) and economic growth. Not because of American leadership, wisdom or that irreverent, down-to-earth pragmatism which Old Worlders used to find so charming about “America.”
Rather, it was because the world had been bled dry–nearly 85 million dead from two world wars. This is the context against which the current preaching about “human rights” should be read today.
Western interference in the Ukraine may very well mark the official end of this “tranquil” period. Today, the US is a dangerous, destabilizing force, though one quickly running itself ragged. Who knows, it may have run aground already.
Anthony F. Shaker is a Visiting Scholar at McGill University and a specialist in Islamic philosophy and civilization. He has authored several works and was an elected member of the party executive council of the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament.