One more just war or just one more war?  The New York Times and all the military propaganda that’s fit to print.
Friday, 14 June 2024 18:48

One more just war or just one more war? The New York Times and all the military propaganda that’s fit to print.

The so-called 'Biden Neocons' are part of the Uniparty of Democrats and Republicans who have minor quibbles but one major agreement. That is their unequivocal support for the American military, and more important behind that, American arms manufacturers. This is the United States of Raytheon (whose former board member is now the Secretary of Defense) and General Dynamics.

So the question is why the about-face of the American corporate media, who are now beginning to question the Ukrainian war? And make no mistake about it, they are questioning it. The New York Times recently ran two stories which finally hint that it’s ‘La Débâcle’, as Zola named the French collapse against Germany in 1870.

The first began to confront the ‘shanghaiing’ of Ukrainians off the street and sent to the new ‘Eastern Front’ to be mowed down by the Russians at a moment when anyone on the internet can watch people being snatched at bus stops and pulled into this ‘democratic’ army, while the Russians report finding on the aftermath of the battlefield the corpses of women and young and old men. The ‘Eastern Front’ recalls the old Hogan’s Heroes joke about where the German prison commander Coronel Klink always threatened to send Sergeant Schultz if he was too lenient with the prisoners.

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Hogan’s Heroes and the threat of the Eastern Front

And the Ukrainians are right to be afraid. These are killing fields where, almost unarmed and badly trained, they will be mowed down. Lindsey Graham let the cat out of the bag when he proudly proclaimed that the U.S. would fight Russia to the last Ukrainian and American defense officials such as Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley recently worried that the Ukrainians were becoming “casualty averse,” that is, did not want to be slaughtered on the battlefield, while Hilary Clinton prattles on about Ukraine, with its opposition media silenced, as a model of democracy.

The other story-without-telling-the-whole story was equally condemning of Ukrainian propaganda. Recently Zelensky has been touting, against the onslaught of Russian drones that are increasingly blacking out larger portions of the country – and that will continue all winter – a new ‘winter offensive’ by the Ukrainian army across the Dnieper River, where territory has been reclaimed after the failed spring and summer “offensives.”  

The Times’ story instead described men being sent to their death on a ‘suicide mission’, having to make their way through corpses of Ukrainian soldiers as they cross the river. As to the vast amount of territory reclaimed, the story recounts how a group of soldiers spent their time on the ‘offensive’ holed up in the basement of a home until it was clear to come out. It turns out then that the territory they reclaimed was one basement.

But why the shift? The Times wholeheartedly backed the war, becoming the main propagandizer and cheerleader for it in its first year and a half. Has ‘the paper of record’ suddenly become a peacenik publication? Hardly – in the same two week stretch, the paper ran two stories that worried about the military preparedness of Germany and Japan, openly promoting rearming the Axis. It’s clear that what Germany is being urged to do in rearming is, as Trump suggested, to contribute more of its budget to U.S. arms manufacturers. This at a time when the economy of Europe’s economic trendsetter is tanking. Because of the likely blowing up by the U.S. or its allies of the Russian Nordstream pipelines, energy is now so expensive that businesses are leaving Germany, fleeing to the east where there are still ties to cheap Russian oil and natural gas, or to the U.S. where more drilling than ever is going on.

Beyond that, it is clear that the Times' shift of position on Ukraine is instead a shift to a possible bigger empty hole of weapons that could become a full-blown war in the Middle East, which is now in danger of drawing Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and eventually Iran into Israel’s genocidal massacre in Gaza. The point is that in this era of ‘forever wars,’ one more just than the next as The Times would have it, the U.S. only leaves one forever war when there is another, potentially larger conflict, just down the road.

We saw this most recently in Afghanistan, where the U.S. after 20 years of futility retreated but only with the promise of the Ukraine war on the horizon. These wars have resulted in defeats, but winning or losing the war is not the point. A significant part of the point is the gaping hole that is filled with U.S. weapons, making a small portion of the U.S. military-media-elite rich, because they always win, whatever the outcome.

Journalist Max Blumenthal, taking a tour around the suburbs of Washington, where after 9/11 there were more new millionaires because of the burgeoning ‘anti-terrorism industry’ than any other portion of the country, came away seeing that these elegant homes were one war away from losing their mortgage. And, of course, this contrasts sharply with ordinary Americans (nearly 60 percent in the last survey), living in tiny homes or in their cars, who are one emergency away from being homeless.

The Times isn’t so much against the Ukraine war as it is licking its lips at the breathless proposition of a much larger regional war in the Middle East. There the results, instead of a ruined country, might be a collaring of that region’s oil, a thwarting of China’s Belt and Road project in that area, and a gigantic windfall for the U.S. weapons industry in a country where the defence budget is not only the largest in the world but also bigger, according to Brown University, than the nine next countries combined.

0053 defense comparison full

American 'defence' budget vs. rest of the world 

To have the nation engaged in war after war with no respite, several preconditions are necessary. First, in terms of treatment by the media, is presentism where history begins on the day of the horrific event which justifies the war, be that 9/11 wiping out all prior knowledge of the U.S. and European colonial history in the Middle East, or October 7 cancelling out the 75-year-history of Israel’s systematic destruction of the Palestinians.

Then there is the villain: Saddam Hussein was Hitler, Putin is Hitler, Hamas is Hitler. Finally, there is the ‘reasonableness’ of the West in not wanting to engage but in being drawn into conflict because it is a victim (when in most cases, as in Ukraine, it is the aggressor wanting to plant nuclear weapons on the Russian border) or favoring limited military conflict (the phony humanitarian pause instead of a ceasefire in Gaza as U.S weapons continue to massacre Gazan women and children.) And with U.S. battleships now encircling the Persian Gulf, how long before a rocket, errant or not, hits one and we are all asked to 'Remember The Maine!,' the battle cry that launched the U.S. imperial drive against the remnants of the Spanish empire in the Americas.

The Times isn’t for peace, it’s for a better, more enduring and more profitable war. The paper of record and ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ has become a shameful promoter of weapons, war, and all the military propaganda that fits.

Dahiya Doctrine
Friday, 14 June 2024 18:48

Dahiya Doctrine

Published in Poetry

Dahiya Doctrine

by Nick Moss

Bibi and Yoav banging on the table, demanding
Ashes, dust, blood.
The IDF playing moksha patam with groups of the displaced.
"Move south of Wadi Gaza";
So Khan Younis must be safe
Until it isnt.
Plenty of snakes. No ladders.
Bombs land on the square
At the same time you do.
Ashes, dust, blood.

A line of refugees walking through
A topography of ruin
Beit Hanoum razed
Jabalia razed
Gaza City razed
Khan Younis razed.
Al-Mawasi
Is "the humanitarian zone."
After that, the sea.
Let the human animals drown...
Ashes, dust, blood.

Outside the "humanitarian zone"
Is given over to inhumanity
The peculiar , debauched genius
That can turn a hospital or a school
Into a mass grave.
"We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba."
Revenant families caper in the wreckage
Of the Dar al-Shifa death zone
Ashes, dust, blood

Article 51(5)(b) of 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions
(and the Statute of the International Criminal Court )
Ashes, dust, blood
“intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack
Ashes, dust, blood
will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects … which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct
Ashes, dust, blood
overall military advantage anticipated” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts
Ashes, dust, blood
Major-General Gadi Eizenkot: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on"
Ashes, dust, blood
“We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. ”
Ashes, dust, blood

A group of half-naked Palestinian men
Illuminated by the light of an IDF jeep
Single file, blindfolded, hands bound,
Linked together by flex.
Due process ceased long ago.
All of this land of ashes, dust and blood
Is a permanent black site.
Min an-nahr ʾilā l-baḥr

Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Friday, 14 June 2024 18:48

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Published in Poetry

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

by Anne Irwin

Gather from the gutter
ye outsiders and ruffians
we’ll fatten you on ideologies
blood you for battle
prepare you for war.

Send you to hill tops, knolls and hillocks.
to stake out your promised domain
we’ll give you the land, subsidise your houses
with umbilical roads leading west to our homeland
we’ll make you powerful with assault rifles and guns .

Intimidate the land owners
by stalking their children
pointing guns at the four-year-olds going to school
growl obscenities at everyone passing by you
burn olive groves, ransack homes.

A phone call away there’s an army that’s ready
to help if landowners begin to react
that’s your call to action, the excuse is protection.
to justify ravaging homes,
killing families, children, neighbors
laying claim to this holy land so pure, so glorious
Remember it is yours by the right of your birth.

But be wary of international watchers and monitors
keep it low key to test the heat.
Don’t embarrass the US your godfather, your protector
they’re lining our pockets with billions a year
to annex the West Bank to our promised land.

Remember the US has their agenda.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Image above: Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City.

Exodus
Friday, 14 June 2024 18:48

To those who seek nemesis in my name

Published in Poetry

To those who seek nemesis in my name

by Janet Sillett

you do not do this in my name
you do not use my name
you do not speak for me

my anger is mine
not yours
you do not use my name
to light up the dying sky with sulphurous stars
to bleed the ocean
to bury the past in shards

you do not cancel air and water in my name

you do not use my name
to dispossess the words of poets

spit your lies into someone else’s mouth