imperialism

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An imperialist alliance: NATO’s bloody history

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/06/2022 - 6:43pm in

NATO is an instrument of US imperialist policy, not a defensive alliance, argues Adam Adelpour

The war in Ukraine has entered its fourth month and has become an entrenched proxy war between NATO and Russia. The bloodbath could grind on indefinitely.

The US and other NATO states are pouring heavy duty weapons into the country and Russia is concentrating its forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the East. It has increasingly become a First World War style conflict where immense firepower is mobilised to take small slices of territory.

But the fall-out from the war isn’t limited to Ukraine. As well as sparking global food and fuel shortages, the war has been used to justify the dangerous expansion of NATO into the Nordic states and large-scale re-armament in Germany. This will only sow the seeds for far larger and more dangerous future wars.

Alarmingly, Germany has made a historic shift towards remilitarisation with a $107 billion USD military spending package passed through the Bundestag in June.

Its military budget was slashed after the end of the Cold War, reducing the size of its armed forces from 500,000 in 1990 to around 200,000 today. But now Social Democratic Party Chancellor Olaf Scholz says “Germany will soon have the largest conventional army in Europe within NATO.”

Germany is also sending Ukraine multiple launch rocket systems and ammunition, a serious escalation. This follows a February decision to reverse a historic policy of not sending weapons into conflict zones.

There are frightening, historic shifts in Europe’s post-Second World War security set-up. Both Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in May. Even at the height of the Cold War both countries remained neutral.

The dangers are immense. Finland shares a 1340 kilometre border with Russia. In March, Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned “there will be serious military and political consequences” if they join the alliance.

In April, Russia threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic Sea as a countermeasure. In response, CIA director Bill Burns admitted the conflict could potentially go nuclear, saying “none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons.”

Despite the terrible danger of escalation, President Joe Biden has recklessly said the United States fully supports Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

A bloody tool of US policy

As the war in Ukraine rages and Europe becomes increasingly militarised, NATO has presented itself as a “defensive alliance” and democratic bulwark against authoritarianism. In reality it is a blood soaked tool of US policy.

In a June speech Mircea Geoană, NATO Deputy Secretary General said: “NATO is a defensive Alliance whose primary responsibility is to protect one billion citizens in Europe and North America”.

He also declared NATO exists to: “deter any aggression, defend our people, our democratic values, prevent conflict, and allow people like you to have ideas, to prosper and to fulfil their lives and to fulfil their dreams.”

NATO’s history shows this couldn’t be further from the truth. The alliance was established in 1949 as a tool for the US to exercise its imperial might. Following the Second World War the US emerged as the world’s biggest military, economic and political power. But it also faced competition from Russia, which had demonstrated its own military power during the world war and emerged with control over Eastern Europe.

NATO established US military bases and political influence permanently in Western Europe. From here it could limit Russian influence and prevent any European countries challenging the US.

NATO’s first secretary-general, the British officer Lord Ismay said the purpose of the alliance was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.”

NATO was anything but democratic. It included the Portuguese Salazar dictatorship amongst its first 12 members.

When the Greek military launched a coup and seized power in 1967 the right-wing Greek Colonels had the backing of NATO until they were overthrown in 1974. France waged bloody wars to defend its colonial empire in Algeria and in Indochina while it was a NATO member, with US backing.

NATO also interfered in the domestic politics of its member states. During the Cold War NATO was also used to attack the left.

In the name of preparing for a potential Russian invasion, NATO organised a secret network of armed groups called the “Gladio” network. The network had links to the far-right and fascist groups and attempted to destabilise member countries to prevent the left coming to power. The Gladio network has been accused of carrying out bombings and massacres in Italy, and Gladio forces joined the 1967 coup in Greece.

NATO’s march east

NATO adopted an aggressive policy of expansionism following the Cold War. The US emerged as the supreme world power following the fall of the USSR and took full advantage of Russia’s weakness to expand its footprint using NATO.

In 1990 US Secretary of State James Baker promised the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand east of Germany following German reunification. “NATO will not extend by a single inch to the East”, he said.

But in 1999 the alliance pushed towards Russia’s border as it swallowed Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. NATO launched its attack on Serbia shortly after. Seven more Eastern European countries joined in 2004 including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia which were all formerly part of the USSR. As of 2019 there were 12 new NATO bases east of Germany and 13 Eastern European and Balkan countries had joined NATO.

The expansion of NATO is painted a purely a product of Russian aggression. But as the USSR collapsed, Mikhail Gorbachev actually proposed Russia join NATO. James Baker reportedly told him this was a “dream”.

It suited the US to keep Russia as an external threat to help hold NATO together. The US feared that in the absence of a strong external enemy, US control of its allies would diminish.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, an advisor to US President Bill Clinton, summarised the key goals of US policy in this period as “to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence amongst the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” Russia and China were the “barbarians”.

Out of area operations’

NATO has increasingly become an instrument of overseas war.

After the fall of the USSR NATO needed a new justification for its existence. There was a need to re-shape the rationale of the alliance.

A key aspect of this was the adoption of “out of area operations” which sought to project US power outside the territory of NATO in the name of “security” and defence of “Western values”.

NATO’s “out of area operations” began with bombing campaigns and “no fly zones” over warring Balkan countries in the 1990s. This culminated with an 11-week bombing campaign against Serbia. This left hundreds of civilians dead in the name of “humanitarianism”.

The US calculated that military intervention was necessary and used NATO to impose order on divided European governments and maintain NATO as a force for US interests in Europe.

NATO’s foreign intervention reached new heights when it began running the occupation of Afghanistan in 2003 after the earlier US invasion. The ongoing war killed tens of thousands, destroyed the country and ultimately led to the Taliban re-taking control last year. NATO headed the West’s attack on Libya in 2011. Seven months of bombardment left the country a dysfunctional war-zone contested by competing armies.

This series of bloody conflicts shows NATO is not “defensive” or “democratic”. NATO is a US-dominated, imperialist alliance willing to carry out overseas invasions. Now its expansion east has finally led to war. It armed Ukraine to the teeth and sought to put the country on the path to NATO membership with the help of Ukrainian President Zelensky.

Australia—a NATO “partner”

In April NATO agreed to an Australian request to step up co-operation in the Asia Pacific region, including in maritime security.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would provide more support to its “partners” in the region, including in maritime and cyber security. He said the Ukraine crisis has “global ramifications” and pointed to the “challenge” posed by China.

In a NATO strategy paper published in June China is mentioned more than Russia—over 180 times.

The militarization of Europe, the prospect of Finnish and Swedish NATO membership and the war raging in Ukraine are all unfolding against the backdrop the growing US rivalry with China.

The US is using the war in Ukraine to make an example of Russia and demonstrate its willingness to use military force to threaten China.

Australia has been eager to stoke anti-China policies in the Indo-Pacific. It has entered into the AUKUS military agreement with the US and UK which will see Australia acquire nuclear subs. This will drive a further militarization in the region and makes war more likely and more dangerous.

As the region becomes a tinderbox of imperialist rivalry, the new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has remained committed to AUKUS and is seeking to deepen ties with NATO.

Albanese has dispatched 14 more armored vehicles to Ukraine as part of a $285 million package of military aid and will attend a NATO meeting in Europe in late June. He has described Australia as the “largest non-NATO contributor” to NATO’s efforts in Ukraine.

The priorities of Biden and Albanese are more grotesque than ever as the global economy tanks, inflation skyrockets and more and more people around the go without basic necessities. The only antidote to the warmongering of competing imperialist powers is an international, working-class fight against their wars and their military spending.

The post An imperialist alliance: NATO’s bloody history appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Silicon Valley Corporations Are Taking Control Of History

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/06/2022 - 1:21pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/435c1e4a9146443143bac13dff749fa5/href

Twitter has imposed a weeklong suspension on the account of writer and political activist Danny Haiphong for a thread he made on the platform disputing the mainstream Tiananmen Square massacre narrative.

The notification Haiphong received informed him that Twitter had locked his account for “Violating our rules against abuse and harassment,” presumably in reference to a rule the platform put in place a year ago which prohibits “content that denies that mass murder or other mass casualty events took place, where we can verify that the event occured, and when the content is shared with abusive intent.”

“This may include references to such an event as a ‘hoax’ or claims that victims or survivors are fake or ‘actors,’” Twitter said of the new rule. “It includes, but is not limited to, events like the Holocaust, school shootings, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters.”

That we are now seeing this rule applied to protect narratives which support the geostrategic interests of the US-centralized empire is not in the least bit surprising.

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Haiphong is far from the first to dispute the mainstream western narrative about exactly what happened around Tiananmen Square in June of 1989 as the Soviet Union was crumbling and Washington’s temporary Cold War alignment with Beijing was losing its strategic usefulness. But we can expect more acts of online censorship like this as Silicon Valley continues to expand into its role as guardian of imperial historic records.

This idea that government-tied Silicon Valley institutions should act as arbiters of history on behalf of the public consumer is gaining steadily increasing acceptance in the artificially manufactured echo chamber of mainstream public opinion. We saw another example of this recently in Joe Lauria’s excellent refutation of accusations against Consortium News of historic inaccuracy by the imperial narrative management firm NewsGuard.

As journalists like Whitney Webb and Mnar Adley noted years ago, NewsGuard markets itself as a “news rating agency” designed to help people sort out good from bad sources of information online, but in reality functions as an empire-backed weapon against media who question imperial narratives about what’s happening in the world. The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal outlined the company’s many partnerships with imperial swamp monsters like former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and “chief propagandist” Richard Stengel as well as “imperialist cutouts like the German Marshall Fund” when its operatives contacted his outlet for comment on their accusations.

Lauria compiles a mountain of evidence in refutation of NewsGuard’s claim that Consortium News published “false content” about the 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine, copiously citing outlets which NewsGuard itself has labeled accurate sources of information with its “green check” designation system. It becomes clear as you read the article that NewsGuard’s real function is, as John Kiriakou put it, “guarding the country from the news.”

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Then you’ve got Wikipedia, which blacklists the same sites as NewsGuard and whose operatives run relentless smear campaigns on anti-imperialist voices, thereby guaranteeing a view of history that is wildly tilted in the favor of empire-authorized narratives. Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, also happens to serve on NewsGuard’s advisory board.

This idea that anyone can ever be an impartial arbiter of objective reality is logically fallacious and is invalidated by facts in evidence. It is clear that imposing regulations on people’s efforts to understand world events on the platforms where people have come to congregate to share ideas and information will necessarily lead to an information ecosystem that is skewed to the benefit of whatever power structure is imposing those regulations. When that power structure is an alliance of oligarchs and government proxies whose interests are served by the ongoing dominance of the US-centralized empire, the information ecosystem will be biased in favor of that empire.

The most impressive feat of engineering in the 21st century has been of the “social” variety. The social engineering necessary to continually keep people confused and blinkered about what’s going on in the world despite a sudden influx of information availability is one of the most astonishing achievements in the history of civilization, despite its depraved and destructive nature.

https://medium.com/media/de55c04c74ee2c6301ab19cfac25a587/href

The empire has had mixed feelings about the internet since its creation. On one hand it allows for unprecedented surveillance and information gathering and the rapid distribution of propaganda, which it likes, but on the other it allows for the unprecedented democratization of information, which it doesn’t like.

Its answer to this quandary has been to come up with “fact checking” services and Silicon Valley censorship protocols for restricting “misinformation” (with “facts” and “information” defined as “whatever advances imperial interests”). That’s all we’re seeing with continually expanding online censorship policies, and with government-tied oligarchic narrative management operations like NewsGuard.

_______________

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A nod to

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/06/2022 - 10:00am in

A nod to the Ol’ Queenie’s Jubilee from one of the last outposts of Empire. There he is. Up there. On the hospital. Who? Albert, HRH the Prince Consort (from 1840-61).

This here’s the Albert Pavilion to match the reverse mirror image Victoria Pavilion (1901-03), designed by NSW Govt. Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon, in the “classical Federation-style”. Mansfield Bros. contracting in Sydney Sandstone and Red Brick. Originally built to commemorate the death of Queen Victoria (1901), it was the new “men’s wing” of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), on the north side of the original building established in 1882. Women were treated in the Victoria wing to the south. This pavilion also cared for thousands of wounded soldiers from both World Wars, and is still used as regular hospital wards today. The statute of Albert and a matching one of Victoria are both nine foot tall, made of hammered copper by sculptor James White at his nearby Annandale workshop. The RPA is now one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious public hospitals in the land. Camperdown.

Kayfabe Populism: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 29/05/2022 - 9:11am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/74cdebeaf6c6fc15a9c8883423ce4a5f/href

It’s so important that the public have no real say in US politics that the empire not only set up two oligarchic puppet parties which pretend to oppose each other, but also set up fake populist movements within each of those factions which pretend to be fighting the establishment within those parties.

It’s a very clever illusion that sucks up almost all real opposition. If you don’t fall for the first kayfabe conflict and realize the game is rigged for the powerful, you can still end up buying into the fake populist movements set up to oppose them. I fell for them both early on in this commentary gig. But after a while of watching what they do (as opposed to just listening to what they say) and seeing where they actually stand and fight or refuse to fight, you see it’s all an Inception-level fakery. The opposition is controlled, and so is the opposition to the opposition.

It’s like when you dream you’re waking up from a dream but you’re actually in another dream; you awaken from the liberals-vs-conservatives puppet show and then turn to the fake progressive Democrats or the bullshit MAGA camp as a solution, but you’re still asleep.

This all sounds like an awful lot of work to go through until you remember that an entire globe-spanning empire depends on the ability to prevent the American public from either (A) voting in a disruptive government or (B) fighting a revolution. So much power rides on their ability to do this.

Ever since the school shooting in Texas we’ve been watching an entire country learn that it’s not actually cops’ job to save anyone or risk any danger and the only reason they assumed otherwise was because of movies and TV shows.

Idea for an action movie: The Rock needs to rescue his kid from an elementary school where there’s an active shooter, but first he needs to fight his way through an army of cops trying to stop him.

You end mass shootings in America by ceasing to have America serve as the hub of a globe-spanning empire that’s held together by violence and nonstop mass media psyops. It’s not impossible. It’s not even difficult. It’s just not an option anyone in charge would ever consider.

I’m finding myself having less and less patience with people who think the US is an innocent little flower regarding the Ukraine war. It’s like, come on. Grow the fuck up.

Friendly reminder that for a fraction of the cost of funding a world-threatening proxy war against Russia the US could simply have protected Zelensky from the neo-Nazi militias who were threatening to lynch him if he tried to make peace with Russia and prevented this entire war.

The airhead mainstream narrative that Ukrainian forces have been destroying Russian troops and humiliating Putin in epic win after epic win has become unsustainable:

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Another shout out to all you big brave sofa warriors who’ve been screaming that a negotiated peace settlement is unacceptable and helping the US empire throw Ukrainian lives into the gears of a stupid proxy war for US unipolar hegemony while you sit safe at home eating Doritos.

If you’re more hawkish than Henry Kissinger, you’re too fucking hawkish.

Whenever I try to talk about the risk of the Ukraine war escalating into a nuclear holocaust I get people telling me if that happens it will be Putin’s fault. Like that would make it okay somehow. Like that would somehow validate all the steps our leaders took to get us to that point.

Of all the intensely stupid ways team loyalty and partisanship can express itself, I really don’t think you could come up with one dumber than “Our nuclear brinkmanship isn’t a problem because it’ll be the other side who launches the first nuke” if you tried.

Even pretending it’s certain that Russia would be the one to initiate a nuclear exchange, would that thought actually comfort you when you feel the earth shake? Would you feel any better about the decisions which gave rise to that moment by telling yourself Putin started it? I mean if there’s any time when it doesn’t matter who “started it”, it’s surely when the “Mutual” and “Destruction” part of Mutually Assured Destruction goes into action? I think at that point all our dopey team sports cheering and booing pretty much goes out the window, no?

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Hollywood lies about what American journalists really do in the same way it lies about what American soldiers and police really do, and it has just as disruptive an effect on people’s perception of reality.

People who accuse you of having Kremlin loyalties when you question or criticize the US empire are admitting that they don’t care whether statements are true or false, only whether they demonstrate loyalty to our rulers. That’s the lens through which they examine the world, and it’s pure brain poison. How can people think lucid thoughts and engage in lucid discourse about ideas and events when they are continuously measured not by how truthful they are but by what loyalties they appear to demonstrate? They cannot.

Empire loyalists have exactly two arguments:

1. “That foreign leader my government dislikes is comparable to Adolf Hitler.”

2. “If you object to what my virtuous government has planned for that leader it means you love and support that leader.”

I honestly don’t understand how anyone can stay abreast of the day-to-day depravity of the oligarchic empire without a daily practice geared toward inner peace. Things are so insane and confusing and only getting more so; you’ve got to have a regular discipline to form stability.

Meditation, self-enquiry, healing and energy practices, whatever gets you there, but surely you’ve got to have something before you can stare into the face of the beast continuously without going mad. I can’t imagine looking at this thing every day without any kind of a practice.

________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

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US and NATO push for drawn-out proxy war in Ukraine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/05/2022 - 1:04pm in

Tags 

imperialism

The US and NATO are waging an increasingly open, long-term proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Finland and Sweden have announced they intend to join the NATO military alliance, adding to NATO encirclement of Russia.

All this makes a further, dangerous escalation of the conflict more likely, with Russia moving missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to its border with Finland.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was wrong but the US response makes it clear that this is essentially a war between the US and European imperialists and Russian imperialism on the other.
As the war entered its fourth month, the US Senate passed an extraordinary $US40 billion package to arm Ukraine. This brings total US aid since the 24 February invasion to more than $US53 billion.

$US15 billion of the new funding is for military equipment, training, Ukrainian Defence Force salaries and intelligence support. This absolutely dwarfs the $US650 million defence package given to Ukraine last year—at the time this was the most the US had ever given a country.

Massive

Increasingly aggressive rhetoric has accompanied the massive US commitment of arms and funds to the conflict.

Speaking in Poland at the end of April, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin explicitly outlined that the aim of the US is now to weaken Russia, not simply to enable Ukraine to defend itself.

When asked what he would consider success in the war, he said that he wanted “Ukraine [to] remain a sovereign country, a democratic country, able to protect its sovereign territory”.

But he then went further, adding he wanted to see “Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine”. He said that Ukraine could win the war with “the right equipment” and the “right support”.

The message is that the US and NATO now want to ensure Ukraine defeats Russia in the break-away Donbass and Luhansk regions and may even go as far as supporting a bloody conflict over the Crimea annexed by Russia in 2014.

This is a recipe for a vicious and drawn-out conflict. Russia has now defeated the last Ukrainian forces in the port city of Mariupol, giving it a crucial land bridge to Crimea.

The US and NATO are willing to extend the war and the destruction to achieve their aims. A Ukrainian news outlet, Ukrayinska Pravda, reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his April visit to Kyiv to pressure President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to end peace talks with Russia.

In the same month, The Times reported that British SAS troops had been training Ukrainian soldiers in anti-tank warfare in Kyiv.

The information was provided to The Times by two officers from separate battalions stationed in and around the capital.

Calculation

Part of the context for the US and NATO enthusiasm for war is the wider and much more serious imperialist rivalry with China. CIA Director Bill Burns underlined the way the fight against Russia is being used to set an example that will help deter China over Taiwan.

Speaking to the Financial Times in May, Burns said China was looking “carefully at what lessons they should draw” for Taiwan, was “unsettled” by the West’s mobilisation against Russia and that this was “affecting their calculation” over Taiwan. He said China was the “biggest geopolitical challenge we face over the long term as a country”.

The wider imperialist rivalry with China has driven Australia’s aggressive stance on the conflict. Albanese ousted Morrison at the election, but the warmongering and massive military spending will continue.

Before the election Albanese sought to display his pro-war credentials by calling for the expulsion of Russian diplomats.

Ukrainian ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko has said Albanese will be invited to Ukraine shortly and promised that Ukraine would continue to buy Australian coal and uranium.

The Australian government will send Ukraine a further 20 Bushmaster armoured vehicles as well as 14 M113 armoured personnel carriers. The $60 million bill takes Australia’s total contribution to the bloodbath to over $285 million.

The entrenched proxy war in Ukraine makes anti-war action in NATO countries, Russia and here in Australia more important than ever.

On 9 May there were anti-war protests across Europe. On 20 May there were strikes by transport workers across Italy, protesting government involvement in the war.

This follows strikes by transport workers in Italy and Greece, disrupting NATO arms shipments to the warzone.

It is this kind of anti-war action that can throw a spanner in the wheels of the war machine.

By Adam Adelpour

The post US and NATO push for drawn-out proxy war in Ukraine appeared first on Solidarity Online.

MSM Is Empire Fanfic For Children: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/05/2022 - 11:15am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/a71f2aadc92b015e17b8eb31992aeb55/href

April 2022: Zelensky speaks at the Grammy Awards

May 2022: Zelensky speaks at Cannes Film Festival

June 2022: Zelensky hosts SNL

July 2022: Zelensky stars as himself in an action biopic co-starring The Rock

August 2022: Zelensky releases his own breakfast cereal and clothing line

September 2022: Celebrities are flocking to the new Hollywood pop religion known as Zelenskyyology

It’s often a long, awkward process learning that literally everyone in both mainstream political factions serves the oligarchic empire. For most people you have to get your hopes dashed over and over again by your heroes before learning this lesson, and even then many don’t.

It runs counter to everything you’re taught in life that nobody in either camp is there to help you. There’s a fundamental assumption that someone among them must be decent. But if you watch carefully with enough intellectual honesty you’ll see it again and again: there’s a line that, for one justification or another, none of them ever end up crossing, and it’s the line where they would have to begin providing meaningful opposition to the oligarchic empire.

At first it makes no sense. How can there be no good guys? Not one? Then you realize: it’s because you’re living in an oligarchic empire which only elevates people who serve its interests, whether it’s in politics, government, or media. The “opposition” between mainstream factions is an illusion cooked up by the empire and continually reinforced by its narrative managers.

But you only see this if you’re intellectually honest enough to overcome your own cognitive biases. Otherwise you’ll keep doing mental gymnastics to justify the bullshit coming from Bernie, AOC, TYT, Tucker Carlson, Trump, MAGA pundits, wherever your biases are located on the map.

And then when you do see it people accuse you of being an angry hater who doesn’t have anything positive to say about anyone in politics or media, when really it’s got nothing to do with being negative but with your understanding that the machine always protects the machine.

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This proxy war isn’t about defending Ukraine, it’s about quashing a nation which has consistently resisted absorption into the US-centralized imperial blob. That agenda is best served by keeping this war going as long as possible and making it as gruelling and costly as possible for Moscow. Peace is not on the menu.

Even if Ukraine does somehow achieve total victory in the near term, it wouldn’t mean peace, it would mean more war. If Russia is driven out the war will just change shape into a concerted effort to oust Putin and shatter the Russian Federation.

This war could easily have been avoided with a little diplomacy and low-cost, high-reward concessions. The US had good visibility into the Kremlin’s plans, so they knew this. They chose not to because they wanted to use this war to hurt Putin.

A massive percentage of the people who are getting Russia and Ukraine right are going to turn into the worst people in the world once conflict shifts to China. Pretty much only the anti-imperialist left and a specific subset of antiwar libertarians will get both issues entirely correct.

I get asked if I think the US should do anything if China attacks Taiwan. I tell them I don’t think the US should do anything if any nation does anything. The US is the very last nation on earth that should ever do anything about any other nation.

We don’t talk enough about how disturbing it is that Silicon Valley megacorporations have just accepted that it’s their job to help the US win a propaganda war against Russia and everyone’s just going along with that like it’s fine and normal.

Man: [steals most of everyone’s wealth]

Everyone: Hey give that back!

Man: You’re all just jealous of my success.

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Can’t believe empire managers have the gall to keep babbling about “disinformation” even as they work to extradite a journalist to the United States to defend the empire’s right to lie to us about its war crimes.

I’ve met some cute kids in my time but nobody’s as adorable as people who think Assange can get a fair Espionage Act trial in the United States of America.

I want to live in this idyllic fantasy world where the US pours weapons into foreign nations because it cares deeply about their freedom and orchestrates the military encirclement of Russia and China because it wants to protect the world from tyranny.

The mainstream news media is empire fanfic for slow kids.

Your average Ivy League graduate working for a prominent military industrial complex-funded think tank has less insight into what’s happening with Russia and China than your average random citizen with internet access and sincere curiosity about those nations.

People who’ve escaped abusive relationships with bitchy, vindictive, passive aggressive manipulators have a natural advantage when in comes to deciphering the malevolence of the US empire.

___________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

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The TV Man Is Not Your Friend: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/05/2022 - 11:04am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/6fef5ea6cb6420a2792df897da18aaba/href

It’s very cute how empire apologists talk about driving Putin from Ukraine so there can be peace, like that’s a real thing. Like if it happened the war would just stop, and the US alliance wouldn’t with absolute certainty continue the attack and work to topple Moscow by any means necessary.

There’s zero reason to take on faith the MSM narrative that Ukraine is kicking Putin’s ass and victory is imminent, but even if that did happen there’d be less than zero reason to believe the fighting would stop there. If anything it would get much more dangerous from that point.

This doesn’t end with Russia leaving Ukraine, it ends with Putin being replaced with a Yeltsin-like US vassal and the eventual balkanization of the Russian Federation. Really it doesn’t end until Beijing has been subverted and the US empire secures total global hegemony. Or when the empire collapses. Or when we all get nuked and die.

Empire apologists don’t even really deny this:

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Marjorie Taylor Greene being better than progressive Democrats on Ukraine is noteworthy not because it makes Greene look good but because it makes those progressive Democrats look really, really, really bad.

People who think Tucker Carlson is fighting the establishment are exactly the same as people who think “the Squad” is fighting the establishment. Exactly the same. Same people, slightly different bumper stickers.

It’s obvious that every member of the “populist right” who’s now getting praise for being correct about Ukraine will function as virulent empire propagandists once the imperial crosshairs inevitably move from Moscow to Beijing. We know this because of their rhetoric about China today.

Do you know what happens to mainstream media figures who provide real resistance to empire agendas? They get fired or pushed out. Ask Phil Donahue or Chris Hedges. The fact that Tucker Carlson is a top pundit on imperial media (Murdoch media no less) means he’s an agent of the empire.

This belief that there are factions of the mainstream media working against the empire is as naive as the belief that there are factions of mainstream US politicians working against the empire. The empire doesn’t platform people who pose a threat to it. This isn’t complicated. The TV man is not your friend.

I run into far too many people who oppose war and can’t understand why I’m saying things about issues like China which disagree with what they’re being told by their “populist antiwar” heroes on the right. The propaganda campaign against China isn’t going to get better; it’s going to get much, much worse, and it’s important to start fighting it early. Because it’s going to be bad.

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They’re not worried about the spread of disinformation, they’re worried about the spread of information. Your rulers are not concerned that you’ll start learning wrong things about Covid or Ukraine, they are worried you’ll start learning true things about your rulers.

The imperial power structure which runs Silicon Valley, and which is imprisoning Julian Assange, and which literally just admitted it’s circulating disinformation about Russia, is not worried about disinformation. And it’s hilarious that anyone is pretending otherwise.

“No no you don’t understand, if the US and its allies didn’t give weapons to Al Qaeda and Nazi militias, the bad guys might win.”

The one single time the US had a monopoly on nuclear weapons at the same time it was at war, it used them. Not because it needed to, but as a show of force. That was the dawn of the modern US empire. That’s how it was born. And it never got any saner from there.

There is a kind of poetic beauty, I guess, in the way the US empire was birthed onto the world stage by a nuclear blast and will probably die in the same way.

Psychological abuse is still abuse. Psychological tyranny is still tyranny. The fact that a large amount of the tyranny in so-called free democracies expresses as mass-scale psychological manipulation does not make it less tyrannical, it just makes it more photogenic.

All of religion and almost all spirituality is glorified escapism at best and tyrannical psychological domination at worst, and humanity would be better off without it. But what remains just might save the world.

____________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

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Celebrities Are Such Scumbags Because They’re Invested In The Status Quo

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/05/2022 - 11:38am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/36088fd78a0e8c89b8f0de4e83342509/href

Have you ever wondered why a famous person whose work you’ve enjoyed has such a myopic perspective on world events? How someone can stir you at your most intimate depths with their words or their music and yet have a blinkered mainstream political worldview that is manufactured by think tanks and spinmeisters?

Celebrities have been particularly odious empire sycophants these last few days, and it’s probably worth taking a moment to reflect on what’s going on when that happens.

Bette Midler has been drawing headlines for her recent let-them-eat-cake remark about baby formula shortages, taking to Twitter to tell Americans, “TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand.”

There are of course many reasons why parents might be unable to consistently provide breast milk to their baby, including but not limited to the very health problems and long working hours that the US status quo often creates. More than this, telling individuals what to do in response to a systemic problem created by the wealthy and the powerful serves to divert attention away from criticisms of those people and those systems.

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Midler often uses her Twitter account to broadcast her indifference to the struggles of the less fortunate, like in March when she tweeted “I’d happily pay more for gas for her” with a picture of a child holding a Ukrainian flag. Midler has an estimated net worth of a quarter billion dollars.

While we’re on the subject of Ukraine, U2’s Bono and the Edge recently played a concert in Kyiv in support of the world-threatening US proxy war against Russia, because of course they fucking did. Bono, who says he has “grown very fond” of war criminal George W Bush and praised capitalism at the World Economic Forum and teamed up with warmonger Lindsey Graham to promote US empire narratives about Syria in 2016, would of course be seen singing “Stand by Ukraine” in support of US empire narratives in a Kyiv subway in 2022.

The immensely popular Indian spiritual leader known as Sadhguru Jagadish Vasudev recently tweeted “May Israel inspire the world” in praise of the apartheid ethnostate’s farming practices even as its tyranny and bloodshed draws international headlines. Few of the enlightenment merchants on the spiritual marketplace have anything worthwhile to say about individual awakening, and virtually all of them are fast asleep when it comes to consciousness about the external world.

Horror author Stephen King made the bizarre decision to tweet “I stand with Nina Jankowicz” the other day in support of the freaky shitlib who will be leading the Department of Homeland Security’s Ministry of Truth. Nothing really to say about that beyond what it is.

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This kind of thing happens so often because within an empire that is held together by propaganda, capitalism and mass military violence, those who are elevated to prominence within that empire have a symbiotic relationship with those things.

Someone who is worth a quarter billion dollars is unlikely to support the end of capitalism and the elimination of vast wealth inequality. Someone whose wealth and status come from Hollywood is unlikely to oppose the imperial propaganda machine of which Hollywood is a crucial part. Someone who benefits from status quo politics is unlikely to promote meaningful opposition to them.

And it goes both ways. The imperial machine is not going to elevate people who seek its death. Anti-imperialist journalist Aaron Maté will never win a Pulitzer. Antiwar comic Dave Smith will never star in a mainstream Hollywood movie. Chart-topping songs will tend to glorify money and affluence and will never amplify any opposition to the mechanisms which make them possible.

You don’t generally become rich and famous without the cooperation of people who have the power to facilitate your doing so. Those people will always be invested in the continuation of status quo systems, because they are intimately intertwined with those systems. If you seek the end of capitalism or empire or Israeli apartheid or US sanctions or cold war brinkmanship, you are unlikely to be helped toward the top by any of those people.

And then once you are granted your golden ticket to fame and fortune, you immediately find yourself surrounded by people who are deeply invested in the status quo systems which just elevated you. You go to their parties. You make friends with them because it’s difficult to form normal friendships with ordinary people when you’re very famous. Before you know it you’re in a tighty cloistered echo chamber of the status quo worldview.

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So fame is a self-reinforcing feedback loop of support for establishment power in numerous ways, and it’s a major problem. It’s a major problem because it means that the people with the most influential voices in our society will always necessarily be people who have benefited tremendously from status quo systems. Their voices eclipse those countless millions who are suffering under those same systems, not because they are more valid or more truthful but solely because they are more amplified.

When you’ve got all the loudest voices talking about the world and their nation in a way that suggests that the system is working fine while all the far more numerous voices saying the opposite are going virtually unheard, what happens? It creates the illusion that the system is working fine. That status quo politics is getting the job done, and no massive, sweeping changes are needed.

In this way the contentment of celebrities with the current establishment order becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, because it keeps enough of the population thinking that the status quo must be working. That any difficulties they are having making ends meet and keeping their head above water is a failure not of the system, but of themselves. That the answer is not revolution and change but self-defeating self-blame and learned helplessness.

To be a celebrity within the oligarchic empire is, with very few notable exceptions, to be an agent of that empire. The weird plastic-faced freaks who fill our screens and shape our worldviews are as much a part of the oppression machine as the Pentagon and the police force.

Just a useful thing to be aware of while navigating this mess.

____________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

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The West prepared to let Ukraine horror drag on

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 29/04/2022 - 2:35pm in

Millions around the world are watching events unfold in Ukraine with horror. Thousands dead, millions displaced, cities razed.

Russia should halt its invasion and withdraw its troops. But Western leaders are showing no interest in stopping the war.

Earlier, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky proposed that Ukraine would not join the NATO military alliance, which could have provided the basis for a ceasefire.

But instead of leaping at the opportunity, our leaders made it clear that they want the war to go on.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan put it bluntly, telling a US television host: “Our policy is unequivocal that we will do whatever we can to help Ukraine succeed …

“What we want to see is a free and independent Ukraine, a weakened and isolated Russia, and a stronger, more unified, more determined West,” he added. “We believe that all three of those objectives are in sight.”

It’s a reminder that this is a proxy conflict pitting the US and its allies against Russia, with the Ukrainian people as victims of the rivalry between the two imperialist power blocks.

The US wants to exhaust Russia, whose economy is already modest: fractionally bigger than Australia’s but with six times the population.

This would allow the US to reassert its dominance over Europe and send a message to its main global rival, China, that it can still call the shots—a point Scott Morrison has also been keen to make.

The likelihood that previously neutral Sweden and Finland will join the NATO military alliance is a boost for this strategy.

Specific

Following Russia’s withdrawal from around the capital Kyiv, Zelensky is now arguing that, with Western arms, Ukraine can win. He has withdrawn the idea of Ukraine staying out of NATO.

Hours before meeting US secretary of state Antony Blinken and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv during Orthodox Easter, Zelensky declared: “We are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons.”

For its part, Russia now plans to annex the eastern and southern provinces of Ukraine, creating a land corridor to the Russian minority territory of Transnistria in Moldova.

The West’s verbal aggression has been backed by a massive flow of armaments.

In Kyiv, Blinken and Austin announced almost $1 billion in military financing for Ukraine and 15 allies.

This is on top of eight instalments of military aid provided by the US since Russia invaded two months ago at a cost of $4.7 billion.

Initially, the US provided items such as anti-tank missiles, rifles and ammunition, worried about provoking Russia by arming Ukraine too heavily.

Ian Brzezinski, a former head of NATO policy at the Pentagon, told the Financial Times that the US was now providing heavy weapons. “It is a very clear and profound shift.”

Recent US support includes 72 howitzers, 72 armoured vehicles to tow them, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and more than 120 drones.

Britain has already sent 4800 anti-tank missiles and plans to send another 6000.

And Australia has been quick to add to this, most recently sending 20 Bushmaster armoured vehicles—organised in days while flood victims in NSW and Queensland were left without support.

Resistance

The US and its allies want to avoid direct conflict with Russia, which is why they have refused to implement a no-fly zone or send forces to Ukraine (although Britain now has military trainers on the ground).

But the West will continue to arm Ukraine even as the war drags on for potentially months or years.

If our rulers have no interest in stopping the war, it makes resistance to the warmongers by workers even more important.

Airport workers in Italy refused to load a cargo plane when they discovered that “humanitarian aid” for Ukraine consisted of weapons, ammunition and explosives.

As their union put it: “We strongly denounce this real fraud, which cynically uses the ‘humanitarian’ cover to continue to fuel the war in Ukraine.”

In Belarus, which neighbours Ukraine and whose dictator is a Russian ally, rail workers sabotaged signalling equipment to prevent the transport of military supplies.

In Greece, rail workers refused to transport US tanks destined for Ukraine from the northern port of Alexandroupoli.

Their union declared: “No participation of our country in military conflicts in Ukraine, which are committed in the interests of the few at the expense of the peoples.”

The likes of Biden and Morrison accept death and destruction as the necessary cost of maintaining military and economic power.

To stop the war, we need to build a movement that rejects the Russian invasion but is also completely opposed to the NATO war machine and its Australian ally that are fuelling it.

By David Glanz

The post The West prepared to let Ukraine horror drag on appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Siding With The US Empire Is Always Wrong: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/04/2022 - 10:31am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/46d5ea83f3586da368c442c5e8861dc1/href

If you get the feeling that all this Ukraine flag-waving is one more vapid mainstream propaganda initiative used to manufacture consent for an agenda that has nothing to do with what you’re being told, it’s because that’s exactly what is happening.

In this war Russia has killed many Ukrainians and Ukraine has killed many Russians and the US empire has killed many Ukrainians and Russians.

It’s nuts that there are still grown adults who think Putin invaded Ukraine for no other reason than because he is evil and hates freedom.

Focus less on the Azov Battalion and more on the fact that the US deliberately provoked this war with the goal of toppling Moscow and is threatening all our lives with increasingly reckless brinkmanship against a nuclear superpower.

People who promote a US/NATO war with Russia are more dangerous and depraved than racists, homophobes, transphobes and antisemites, and they should be treated accordingly. They are the most dangerous extremists on earth. This should be completely uncontroversial and obvious to literally everyone.

More Americans know Marge Simpson’s sisters’ favorite TV show than know their government is waging a deliberately provoked and profoundly dangerous proxy war against a nuclear superpower. This is because mainstream western media — all of it — is propaganda.

Everyone should be able to say whatever the fuck they want about a proxy war instigated by the world’s most powerful government that could very easily end up sparking a nuclear war.

If you’re on the side of the US empire on any issue you are on the wrong side. This doesn’t mean the other side is always necessarily in the right, it just means a globe-spanning empire that’s held together by lies, murder and tyranny will always be in the wrong. Yes, it is that simple.

It must be the most soul-destroying thing in the world to go to journalism school, study hard, graduate in front of your whole family, work your ass off building up a resume, get a steady job, and then find yourself writing hit pieces about disobedient Youtubers for The Daily Beast.

Twitter is nature’s way of dispelling the common misconception that liberals are smart.

If I was the world’s biggest narcissist, I’d probably try to become the richest person on earth, and do everything I can to make sure everyone’s always talking about me, and convince everyone that I’m going to save the world with my technology so I get a weird cult to worship me.

Twitter being biased in favor of one nation’s government is vastly more consequential than Twitter being biased in favor of one US political party. So far we’re only seeing emphasis on the latter, indicating that Twitter will continue functioning as a US propaganda/censorship apparatus. It should probably get more attention that it’s effectively impossible to have any kind of major media company in the US and not have it be absorbed into the US propaganda machine.

The Assange case is very simple: the most powerful government in the world is trying to criminalize journalism about its nefarious behavior anywhere in the world. You can sum it up in a breath. It’s only narrative spin and smears that make it seem like some big complicated thing.

Empires haven’t disappeared as the world grows more conscious of the evils of empire, they’ve just gotten sneakier and bitchier. They used to nail you to a piece of wood in public if you defied them, now they’ve got to go through this whole deceitful lawfare process just to kill one journalist.

Empires used to just openly conquer foreign territories because they want to own them. Then it became about “civilizing” them. Now they pretend it’s about “freedom and democracy”, and they don’t even make you change your flag to theirs.

Empires used to exterminate entire towns who dared to disobey them, now they have to launch these giant bitchy propaganda operations to psychologically manipulate populations into hating their enemies.

Empires are just really sneaky, bitchy, gossippy, backstabby versions of what they’ve always been. They’re just as oppressive and violent, but the fact that there are more eyes on their behavior means they have to be so much more manipulative and covert about what they do.

The more visible things become, the more hard work and cleverness is required to run an empire. That’s why they’re working so hard to make things less visible via censorship, propaganda, Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation, and the criminalization of journalism.

The biggest mistake you can make is to trust that your leaders’ actions would seem more sensible and appropriate if you knew what they know and understood what they understand. The wars really are as horrific and as pointless as they appear. The escalations in tyranny really are as bad as they seem. It’s not that you don’t understand what you’re looking at, it’s that you’re not a sociopath.

Your thoughts and opinions matter. Know how you can tell? Because every single day the world’s most powerful people pour an immense amount of wealth and energy into trying to manipulate them.

When a loved one is very self-destructive you can’t control their fate; at some point you’ve just got to let them make their mistakes and hope something in them wakes up before they wind up dead. That’s pretty much how you’ve got to be with the entire human species at this point.

_________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

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