I was thinking about an appropriate title for what I wanted to cover this time, and in some reading, I actually found what was a perfect title to get the gist of at least part of what’s on the plate. That was an essay called The Imperial Rot of Armchair Warriors. Just the name sums up so much of the problems we have swirling around now that just quoting it almost tells you everything.
We’re talking about an incredible example of the sheer audacity of hollow men, of the subspecies of hollow men, that being the armchair warrior. By the way, I think I should be clear that in that last sentence, I used the word “incredible” very carefully and literally, as in not credible.
The demonstration of this kind of creature showed up published by the Wall Street Journal, as an essay written by Robert Kagan, showing up on the Wall Street Journal website as “The Saturday Essay”, “Robert Kagan: America’s Dangerous Aversion to Conflict” with the header/subtitle “The U.S. increasingly yearns to escape the harsh realities of war, but as recent events make clear, raw force remains a key element in international politics.”.
You might know of Kagan, you might know of him because I’ve mentioned him, but in case you don’t, Robert Kagan was one of the main characters in the neocon organization Project for the New American Century. That organization is now officially defunct, something I was surprised to realize a few months ago, which was surprising because it isn’t as if the people involved, or the ideas they assert, pretty aggressively, have gone away. This was a bunch whose prime directive was that the United States government should be the ruler of a worldwide empire, in simplest terms, while carefully avoiding (or disavowing, if it came up) that an empire was what they sought, always skirting it and playing with euphemisms and so on. [We’re not an empire! No, not at all! We’re the world’s sole superpower! Totally different thing! Empires are bad, we’re the Good Guys bringing the freedom and democracy! Never mind their actual actions, which indicate that freedom, and democracy, are about the least of their interests.]
Kagan is also, as I’ve pointed out, the husband of US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, AKA “Fuck the EU!” Nuland, who was formerly advisor on foreign affairs to Vice President Dick Cheney. Reasonable people might think that previously being advisor on foreign affairs to Dick Cheney would disqualify a person for any sort of working position more than simple labor performed under close careful supervision. Instead, she got a position as the highest ranking State Department official responsible for an area of the world that includes Ukraine (and Russia, the “Eurasian” part of the title), where she became somewhat more well known than before by her part in supporting the overthrow of a democratically elected president in Ukraine, with the support of neo-Nazi goons, while diverting attention from what was happening by declaring that the Russians were invading and taking over (hint: they weren’t).
Back to Kagan, his essay in the Wall Street Journal takes on the attitude and air of a serious “policy paper” from a studied wise scholar, a great thinking informed in world affairs, while spewing megalomaniac madness. The appearance of gravitas is underscored by the author information saying “Mr. Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of books including “Of Paradise and Power” and, most recently, “The World America Made.”“.
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” – George Orwell
There seems to be a general pattern to the neocon cult, which I think could be reasonably simplified to looking around out in the world, finding a bad situation, and making it much worse.
I was looking at Facebook, and somebody had posted a “photo share” from a Fox News yapfest TV show. There was a photo of Secretary of State John Kerry and previous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with text accompanying this, from a daily Fox News TV yapfest show. The text from Fox said that each of them had stated at some time that they thought “climate change” was a bigger issue, a bigger “challenge”, as this put it, than the newest bogeyman on the block, ISIS/ISIL/IS, or terrorists in general. The person posting this added their comment that these two people were “clueless” and people we do not need in the White House, finishing with the admonition to people to please think.
Personally, I do think, and I do think it’s pretty obvious that the general physical state of the planet Earth pretty much does trump all else, really. If that goes to shit, to put it bluntly, quite a lot will be somewhat less relevant and important. In the realm of Fox News, people are being bombarded now with the ISIS bogeyman, apparently having replaced the al Qaeda bogeyman which evidently has gone a bit stale as a basis for police state and military empire adventures all over the globe, expressed in oxymoronic language like “keeping us safe from terror”.
What the Fox News audience is not likely to get so much is anybody saying that both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry has serious issues, shall we say, in how they’ve performed the job of Secretary of State, in terms of both of them being totally on board with indulging the agenda of the neocon cult in Washington in their mad quest for empire, no matter what damage it does.
I can’t say what every given person thinks, but I can certainly talk about what people are told to think, pretty much incessantly, any time they expose themselves to the infotainment circus substituting for news. Given the alternate reality of Fox News and the like, and the whole crazy alternate realm of what I’ve been calling bipolar political disorder, you get people either stuck in the confused delusions fed to them about how H. Clinton, Kerry, and Obama are supposedly terrible foolish weak people “making America less safe” by failing to dominate the world as American empire, or in opposition, that those three are masters of diplomacy, the wonderful peacemakers sorting out the troubles of the world, everybody stuck in all this nonsense managing to not realize that they’re all stuck in the same neocon delusions (even as everybody avoids notions like “empire”, instead yammering about “Exceptionalism” and how we’re the Good Guys bringing the freedom and democracy, only with slight squabbling arguments about the details.
In thinking about all this, I keep coming back to what seems unavoidable, which is the way that what is supposed to be a functioning free press in America is constantly failing so badly to keep the citizenry properly and accurately informed about things that matter. The obvious thought arises; the infotainment celebrities are very much their own particular kind of Hollow Men, empty vapid noise sources entertaining “news consumers”. There’s something both maddening and depressing about the simple fact that a supposedly serious periodical like the Wall Street Journal would be giving space and credence to a mouthpiece like Robert Kagan, when years of passing events and situations have piled up endless loads of reasons to turn to the entire neocon culture and tell them to shut the fuck up and go away, because they’ve caused far too much damage already.
I was starting this thinking about calling it something about the cult of personality. The cult of personality weirdness definitely comes up regarding the Ukraine situation. The machinations and manipulations of the neocon cult, with Victoria Nuland as main operative, managed to get their desired “regime change” in Ukraine (the reasons why being another whole subject of its own), and in the process, managed to obtain a result where neo-Nazi fascists ended up in top positions of power, the first time since World War II that honest to god Nazis have been in power in a government in Europe, an astonishing and horrific fact.
Listen to the US government and the noisy propaganda that serves as news here now, and all you hear is complete bullshit, fiction, about “Russian aggression” and “invasion” and “the seizure of Crimea”. If there’s even a whiff of what has actually happened coming up in the main US news, it’s tossed in quickly in passing and then immediate dismissed as “Russian propaganda”, either as an alleged explanation for how people in Russia could have a much different view of what’s happening in Ukraine (that is, based on what actually is happening, often because they actually know people in the area), or as lies from Putin trying to cover up his evil schemes.
I read some comment online from somebody completely baffled by the bullshit, with things like “anti-American critics”… “Putin apologists”… “Russian propaganda”. From the people speaking from the US government, to the infotainment noise, it’s all about this narrative of “Putin’s aggression” and this and that and the other thing, and it’s just amazing, a complete farce, to watch this, because it isn’t about Putin. The only way any of it is about Putin is the extent to which he’s been dragged into a farcical horror show other people created. But making a big show of Putin the big mean Russian Bad Guy villain works as a distraction, and so it has gone, or at least, it works on people who don’t know what’s going on, and can be sold a big steaming crock of fiction.
Things got slightly interesting over the past few days as the big NATO conference featured lots of war drums banging led by the neocon brigade, lots of posing theatrics about “the Russian threat” to Europe that seems to only exist in the neocon’s fevered brains (and I don’t know that I really believe that even they believe the nonsense they spew, although it is quite probable that many of them are genuinely deluded, after so long so deep into the bullshit). At the same time, there was a suggested cease-fire peace plan, which ironically came out of suggestions from Putin, who has actually been trying to get the lunatics responsible to stop the violence, while Kerry and Obama and everybody playing along with their narrative have been proclaiming that “only Putin can order a stop to this”.
The civil war ugliness has been about the coup in Kiev, involving characters who are openly hostile to Russians (which includes the large chunks of Russian-Ukrainians), and the rejection of that coup by Russian-Ukrainians in the east (not “pro-Russian”… they literally are Russian, and Ukrainian, both), who were not about to accept a new coup government with people in power who literally have openly said they either want to kill them, or drive them out of Ukraine as refugees fleeing into Russia. The result of that rejection was the new goons in Kiev ordering an onslaught of attack by the Ukrainian military against the “separatists”. The “separatists” were then there in their own home territory being attacked by the Ukrainian military, literally fighting to defend their own homes and save their lives (while being called “terrorists” by the junta in Kiev). From what I gather, the Ukrainian military attack of the people in the east has not gone well, with part of the story being that the regular army troops are not exactly enthused about being ordered to attack other Ukrainians (even if they are the Russian kind). The American neocon plan to take over control of a country on Russia’s border has not gone well.
The neocons just keep on going anyway.
In a extra twist of stupid, even though a cease fire was apparently agreed upon, with the coup government in Ukraine agreeing to stop their assault on the people in the east, apparently the US/EU/NATO cabal decided to come up with even more “sanctions against Russia” (the country that didn’t cause the trouble, and evidently even helped stop it).