This space has been dormant for a while. I’ve been pretty busy.
There are all kinds of things to choose from to talk about, I think, but, yet, I find myself facing topics that just seem to keep coming back, or, maybe it would be more accurate to say that they just don’t go away, no matter how often and how thoroughly they are addressed.
It continues to amaze me to watch a seemingly endless parade of demonstrations of people completely caught up in the tragic disease I’ve been calling “bipolar political disorder”. This unfortunate affliction keeps large numbers of Americans from seeing all kinds of situations as they are, and disables their ability to think clearly about those situations and issues and problems. It is what we could call a kind of meta-problem, a problem hanging over the top of other problems, compounding and complicating the problem at hand.
So, here I am, after a bit of a hiatus from this, and I’m a little aggravated by the realization that the very same things I have talked about, many times, at length, just keep coming back around, over and over again.
The energy delusions are still thick, as exemplified by a new Washington Post article-
The topic of energy resources and use is just one of the areas where the political madness causes so much of a problem in getting a public understanding of the topic. In this case, as I’ve written so often (please bear with me if you’ve read all this before, so many times), depending on what “side” of the political lunacy grips a person, we would have an endless cornucopia of plenty of underground hydrocarbon compounds to burn, if only wrong political thinking of The Other Side were not causing problems and getting in the way, or, as the bipolar counterpart, we would have everything smoothly switching over to green renewable alternative energy (maybe infinite and free, as well, if the delusions and wishful thinking run really deep), if not for wrong political thinking of The Other Side causing problems and getting in the way.
The topic of energy, where we get it, and how we use it, and how all this affects everything, is obscured and confused terribly by the ongoing problems of this bipolar squabbling and all that goes with it. Even getting to grips with the reality of the diminishing returns in underground hydrocarbons using the simple summary term of peak oil is a problem, as so many people have some warped notion of what that term actually means, lost in the noise and confusion.
Yes, for anybody who has been reading here, this is all awfully repetitive. I keep trying to tell people. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to get through to many people. It’s interesting to notice that some people certainly do get it, they know very well what I’m talking about. For many others, it seems almost hopeless
Just recently, I found myself being positively stunned by a few posts online from somebody who, in simplest terms, was somebody who I know should know better. I mean that very literally. Given their background and general character and intelligence, they really should know better. We’re talking about somebody who I thought was well informed who turned out to be badly, even tragically misinformed, and this really switched on a stark bright spotlight on how bad some things have become. [For reference, I might just refer to the poster of the notes I’m talking about as “P” (for “The Poster”).]
Where that all started was the surprising appearance of a note proclaiming Russian President Vladimir Putin as a very bad man, in all kinds of descriptive language, practically a classic evil villain from a James Bond movie. I’m sitting here wondering how much of it to recount. The shortest version would be to just say that it was almost a verbatim regurgitation of all the noise issued from Washington about Putin over the past year and a half to two years or so. It was the now familiar stuff about: Putin, he’s an evil dictator, a madman, like Stalin, or Hitler, or Stalin and Hitler combined, and Putin and Russian Expansionism seeks to rebuild and expand a new Soviet empire, he invaded Ukraine, he wants to take over the world, he wants to start a new Cold War, he’s going to start World War III… and on and on.
Trying to point out that it was all complete fucking nonsense was frustrating. Worse, that only triggered some of what is sickeningly frequent and predictable in this situation, a common one now, which is that any such attempt to factual reality and reason into this launches people into more programmed nonsense. You are likely to get a response saying things like suggesting that you or anybody else doing so is a Putin apologist (that phrase in itself has become such a standard meme cliché phrase that it would be reasonable to think people would stop and think that maybe it has been programmed into them, and not a thought of their own), pro-Russian, even Anti-American, because, the programming tells them, it’s the evil New Stalin, Putin and the New Soviet Empire, versus America, and so anything attempting to disperse the nonsense flying around, and simply get a clear focus on things as they actually are, is some sort of Russian propaganda.
How did everything suddenly become about Vladimir Putin, anyway? The answer is simple. It’s just the most recent narrative from the neocon cult of warmonger insanity, the gang of megalomaniacs some people have come to simply refer to as the War Party in American politics and government, with the current president of the Russian Federation simply becoming one of the current bogeymen to dazzle people’s attention and divert their attention from the gang generally known as the neocons.
An amazing amount of noisy chatter and attention is directed at the Syrian situation, directly from Washington and indirectly by being passed along obediently by what we have now as media presenting themselves as “news”, that, somehow, manage to present the blatantly obvious even while it seems to be overlooked in plain sight. That is, the display of the now long running agenda and ideology of the “neoconservative” cult dominating American national government, AKA the neocons, that no nation on Earth can be allowed to have a government that fails to be completely obedient and compliant with the orders and demands of the neocons in Washington, something they regard as outrageous and completely intolerable.
All this has been noted here in my notes, along with a long list of links to articles from people trying to inform the world, taking on the role of journalism to fill the void of neglect, incompetence, and dishonesty that has taken over what is supposed to be a free press in America.
It’s nothing new.
It has been known for years that the organization called the Project for the New American Century explicitly and formally proposed national government policy for foreign policy matters to be based on the notion just mentioned. It was hardly secret. They had a website, at least until that organization officially ceased to be, with formal papers presented to the world outlining their principles and plans to make the entire world an American Empire (ruled by their bunch), even as they seemed to be very careful to avoid the actual use of a word like “empire”, or even deny that such a word applied.
We’ve watched what happens any time some nation on the planet has a government that somehow displeases these people. It starts with noises about the supposed pure evil of those new enemies of America, followed by a predictable script about sanctions, followed by further ugliness, if that doesn’t work sufficiently to please the neocons, and, if the course continues, eventually becoming some sort of covert manipulation and action and eventually bombing the place in question, and even “boots on the ground”, another stupid bit of lingo phrasing to somehow soften the reality of sending American military personnel to invade and attack another country, with there never being even a declaration of war. That, of course, is carefully avoided, that last official step, with another obvious item being avoided in plain sight, which is that declaring war on another country that has not attacked your country is, among other things, something defined by the Nuremburg tribunals following World War II as a war crime.
All kinds of blatantly dishonest nonsense is dumped on the American people, and the rest of the world, to attempt to rationalize all of this kind of thing. To itemize and describe what I’m talking about would simply be some kind of simple broad summary of what you can find yourself subjected to every time you take some time to be subjected to any kind of report of world and national news from what we now have as major news media, AKA “the mainstream media” (although even using that bit of lingo has its own problems, a story of its own, because of some of the people who use that bit of verbiage).
The pattern has become normal, and, astonishing as this is, has become commonly accepted as normal by many Americans (and people elsewhere, too). Some nation somewhere on the other side of the planet fails to submit to Washington and make their country a vassal state. They are then declared an enemy, possibly with a single particular bogeyman to focus upon as a villain, who must be deposed in a “regime change”, and away it goes, the play begins.
Somehow, no matter how often the play is performed, an unbelievable number of Americans seem to fail to get what is happening, or even what happened, years afterward.
Right now, you have probably noticed, it’s all about the situation in Syria, and, aside from everything about that particular situation, it’s important to note the way that particular situation, and the narratives of propaganda that go with it, has shoved aside other examples from the not so distant past, that follow the neocon horror story patterns- the neocons take aim somewhere, all the above takes place, and essentially the course of events follows a route in which this bunch gets involved in some bad situation and makes things much worse. Review recent history… Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq continued, Libya, Ukraine, and now Syria, for examples.
It’s very interesting (if “interesting” is the right word for such an awful story) to notice how the recent shift in barrages of overwhelming propaganda has shifted to Syria and away from the situation involving Ukraine, which, as I’ve been pointing out here repeatedly, is its own awful story of gross misinformation.
Let’s stick with the Syrian episode for now. The running narrative has been that the current leader of the Syrian government, Bashir al Assad, is the latest example of Evil Incarnate, the latest target for “regime change”, because, we’re told, he is a bad man, he is a very very bad man. “Assad must go!”.
That’s the latest meme. Don’t question it, in an y way, just pick it up, lodge it in your pretty little head, and repeat.
Assad Must Go!
It’s pretty important, in this story, or any other examples of these dramas, that to even question any of it is likely to result in people immediately turning it to be a subject about whether you regard Character X in question as a friend or foe, probably with questioning of your thoughts and motives as a defender or supporter or apologist for Character X. Friend or Foe? Good Guy or Bad Guy? It never occurs to people caught up in all this that all those kinds of questions might be a diversion that should not even be relevant, that is, that it might not be up to Washington to decide whether somebody in particular is deemed suitable by Washington to be in charge in the government of another nation.
In the specific case of Assad in Syria, it’s an easy game for the neocons to play, considering that it certainly appears that Assad can easily have the Evil Despotic Dictator label applied. I mean, a simple glance at things finds a President there who, theoretically, is an elected president, while the elections evidently never have any opposition candidate, the father of the current guy was the previous “President”, and any sort of political opposition in that country has, shall we say, difficulties.
A key item that gets swept aside in all the noise is to notice that if the crucial and vital issue in American government foreign policy is supposedly that there is a government somewhere in the world that might not be so ethical and just and wonderful, it might be worth examining how many cases there are of despotic governments in nations around the world that somehow manage to remain “friends and allies of America”, provided that they toe the line and obey Washington’s orders as a vassal state.
But just to focus on one item, about the case of Syria and Assad, there’s the running meme, completely accepted without question by even Americans who should know better (like the case of “P”), of Assad as the brutal evil dictator who attacks his own people with poison gas chemical weapons, which, in actual reality, turns out to be pure bullshit.
Hersh’s report manages to elude public awareness, as it has simply been ignored by all major “news media” here, with the astounding and profoundly disturbing consequence that it could only find an outlet by being published in the London Review of Books, not a medium the average citizen would look to for news.
To even try to get a realistic truthful grasp of the Syrian situation is, at best, difficult. The truth on anything involved is difficult given the pervasive propaganda of the neocons forming virtually all “news” presented to the average American (and European, for that matter), and even the situation itself is a tangled mess of complex chaos, made much worse by all the raw bullshit, the pervasive and incessant deceptions and hyperbole.
We’re told that it’s about the dreaded ISIS (or ISIL, or Islamic State), which suddenly replaced the previous star bogeymen of al Qaeda, and the continuing oxymoron of a phrase “War on Terror”. At the same time, there’s all the confusing nonsense in which we get all that “War on Terror” hyperbole even as many of the same characters will then talk about aid and support for “moderate rebel groups”, where people who are otherwise classified as “terrorists” suddenly somehow magically become Good Guys, if they are on the attack against somebody Washington has targeted for a little “regime change”.
Now, the Russians have gotten involved in the ugly civil war in Syria. They are there because the government of Syria has been under attack by armed groups trying to overthrow it, with that apparently covering a mix bag of different groups of characters, including the dreaded ISIS, the bunch we keep hearing are the greatest threat to the world, at least until they seem useful to the neocons, and then people in Washington start making distinctions. The government of Syria and the government of Russia having decades long relations brought a request from the Syrian government for aid from the Russian military to deal with the armed groups trying to overthrow the Syrian government, and Putin and the Russians obliged. Let’s repeat that for emphasis: the Syrian government asked the Russian government for military help in fighting off armed forces in a civil war trying to overthrow the government.
This has not gone over well in Washington, since it has obviously created a serious snag in the plans of the Washington masters of Empire in their plans for “Assad must go!”.
On top of that, maybe even worse in the minds of the neocons, is that the Russians have gone right in and hammered the terrorist groups involved, reportedly knocking out quite a bit of them and scattering them and their plans, which seems to have shone a bright light of revealing truth about the actual intentions of the Washington neocon dominated officialdom. Forget all the noisey lying about “the War on Terror” and its supposed relevance and urgency in terms of US involvement in Syria. In actual fact, it appears, the Russian quick success in causing loads of damage to the terrorist groups in Syria, something that I would think would be cheered wildly by Washington, if the “War on Terror” proclamations were really true, has in fact caused great outrage in Washington. Basically, it’s how dare those Russians get involved, attacking enemies of the Syrian government in Syria at Syria’s request!
That should get a lot of attention and thought among not just the American public, but people in European countries also dragged into the Washingin neocon games. The “War on Terror” we’re told is in play in Syria seems to be strangely occupied with bombing Syrian infrastructure, for one thing, and when the military forces of another nation come in (again, by the request of the nation whose territory holds these terrorist groups) and quickly knock out these terrorist groups, Washington starts wailing in protest.
What does this tell us?
What gets truly bizarre and disturbing and hard to understand is the kind of reactions that bring us back to things exemplified in the posts from the notes of the identity-obscured “P”. That, as best as I can understand and summarize, is a set of odd notions including the idea that this situation I’m decsribing is somehow the mad and evil actions of an evil madman (Vladimir Putin) and “Russian aggression”, and that, somehow, the Russian military involvement in Syria at the request of the Syrian government fighting off attacks in a civil war is Putin and Russia trying to start a war with the United States, essentially starting World War III. As far as I can figure out, this notion is rationalized by some idea that all this action could mean the Russian armed forces somehow become engaged in some kind of actual shooting hostilities with US forces in the course of things, and it all goes out of copntrol from there.
Somehow, the question never arises, of asking “why would, or should, any US forces be in Syria to begin with?”.
There is also the question, again, of why the matter of the Russians successfully attacking rebel terrorist groups (wanting Syria to become “an Islamic state”, apparently) would be a bother, even considered an act hostile to America, unless the supposed “enemies of America” in our vaunted “War on Terror” are not all quite what we’ve been told, and the official US foreign policy has become a case of support for terrorist groups.
All of this, by the way, is not even getting into the subject of how much in the form of money, wepaons, and other support has gone, at our expense, over there, to support supposed “moderates”, you know, the Good Guys who are not really terrorists now, and have been gathered up by these groups, who then abscond with it all and go off and do whatever they actually do.
There has been a substantial amount of commentary about Putin’s speech at the UN assembly in late September, and, according one Russian speaker, Russian-American Dmitry Orlov, what has often been quoted from the translation of Putin’s speech is not quite right:
…it was Putin’s speech that laid out the Empire’s silliness for all to see when he scolded the US for making a bloody mess of the Middle East with its ham-handed interventions. The oft-repeated quote is “Do you understand what you have done?” but that’s not quite right. The Russian «Вы хоть понимаете теперь, чего вы натворили?» can be more accurately translated as “How can you even now fail to understand what a mess you have made?”
This seems like a significant difference in the subtlety of translating meaning between languages. Paraphrasing a bit; this is not asking “do you understand now?”, it’s more a matter of saying “how can you people really still not understand what you’ve done?“.
The commentary from P keeps coming to mind, with all kinds of nonsense about some cartoon image of Putin as a swaggering irrational macho madman, “thinking with his dick instead of his head” being one phrase that comes to mind, with irrelevant chatter about Stalin and the Soviet Union (which makes no sense to me, God knows why all that is in P’s notes), with assorted comments about Putin being out of control while in possession of a large number of nuclear weapons and threatening the world.
It turned even more bizarre and utterly inexplicable when poster P began going on about something to the effect that somehow, what I was saying about the reality of world situations, not just in Syria, was, in some way I cannot begin to fathom, somehow in favor of some idea of war in Syria, or war with Syria (that alone is bizarre, considering that Washington already has us “in war with Syria”; see “Assad must go!” and “regime change!”), and World War III with Russia. This was, I was told “real chickenhawk stuff”, continuing on with absurd comments.
But it’s virtually impossible to keep a conversation in the realm of reality without running into nonsense and accusations about “Putin aplogists” or being supposedly “pro-Russian” and “anti-American”, with all that leading to more obvious questions about that latter stuff, like, examining the acceptance of declarations from people that it’s a New Cold War, and you must be on one side or the other.
It was jaw dropping astonishment to read the notes posted by P, a real shock, as I already said, coming from someone who really should know better. It ends up being a perfect, albeit tragic, demonstration of something terrible happening. Even intelligent, well educated, and generally attentive and informed people can find themselves operating based on a foundation of delusions and nonsense, evidently for the simple and disturbin greason tthat they have swallowed mass quantities of lying propaganda, and are, somehow, completely unaware that it’s propaganda.
If all the above wasn’t bad enough (including the astonishing nonsense suggesting that I want a war), it went off on other tangents about “Ultra Leftists”, with comments about how, supposedly, all of the various articles I pointed out to P trying to show him some actual journalism reporting facts, truth, and reason were polemics and propaganda from some supposed “Ultra Left” or “far Left”. There was more absurdity, more than a little simplistic, about further comments from P in later notes about how “ultra leftists” and “conspiracy theory” claimed “Obama is the enemy, not Putin”, which, again, is ridiculously simplistic. President Obama certainly is a major problem in all this, and I’m not sure if this qualifies him as “the enemy”, but it should be clear to anyone paying attention that there is a major problem with Obama in terms of him playing along completely with the neocon lunacy. Whether this is him being a willing accomplice, or a puppet afraid to put himself in conflict with the neocon cult, is a whole difficult question of its own.
All that, unfortunately, takes us right back to the serious problems wound up in the insane circus I’ve been calling “bipolar political disorder”, which causes people to operate in all kinds of delusional and irrational ways, with the details dependent on whether they regard themselves as “Right” or Left, Liberal or Conservative, R or D.
Part of the notes I’m talking about from online poster P included the now usual references to complete nonsense about the situation in Ukraine, that started with a coup d’etat clearly engineered by the neocons in Washington. That, by the way, is factually clear, and this has been covered exhaustively, with dozens of different articles linked from notes here in this space over the last year and a half to two years or so. I pointed that out to P, who was not even reached by any of that. I forget the exact wording he used in instantly dismissing any of that, but I believe the phrase “ultra left” was used again, along with comments about “blocking that shit”, and something about “thanks for your views, but I’m not interested in debating this further”, although there isn’t really much to debate about the material involved.
It was unfortunately predictable, the comments regarding Russia, Putin, and Ukraine, all the fictional nonsense pumped out by the Washington machine covering up what was a blatant coup engineered by the neocons, featuring US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the State Department official in charge of relations with that part of the world while also being married to high level neocon player and Project for the New American Century co-founder Robert Kagan.
There were the expected programmed references to Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite there being no such invasion. It should be obvious to anybody with any sense that, all things considered, if the Russian military had invaded Ukraine, Kiev would have been under Russian control in a few days.
Sometimes the narrative is about “Russian invasion of Crimea”, referring to Russian military forces in Crimea that had been there all along, in numbers allowed under an agreement between Ukraine and Russia following the dissolution of the USSR, for the continuation of a Russian naval base on the coast of Crimea that has apparently been there since the late 18th century. When the government of Ukraine was overthrown by characters severely hostile to Russia (another long story thoroughly covered by articles linked in past notes here), the Russians were never likely to simply walk away from that base, which is probably one of the main goals of the neocons in the whole Ukraine episode, another plan that backfired on them.
The Russian seizure of Crimea was actually the annexation of Crimea after something like 90% of Crimean voters, with similar percentage of voter turnout for the referendum (you know, actual democratic process seeking the choice of the people), voted to have nothing to do with the new gang that had seized Ukrainian national government, and to ask to become part of Russia, again, as Crimea had been until 1954.
None of this factual information can even get into many people’s minds, dismissed as Russian propaganda, or polemics of the Ultra Left, or Far Right, or whatever the hell it is people think.