One more just war or just one more war?  The New York Times and all the military propaganda that’s fit to print.
Monday, 15 July 2024 14:20

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.


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.

A small man sits at a very long table telling very big lies and staring like a doll  
Monday, 15 July 2024 14:20

A small man sits at a very long table telling very big lies and staring like a doll  

Published in Poetry

A small man sits at a very long table telling very big lies and staring like a doll  

by Claudia Court, with image by Alix Emery

Russian dolls are built to shrink

     wrap around the next size down

         stream bursting its banks

         invest your money

     can’t buy you love

is like a merry-go-round

table discussions will take place

     names to be written in capitals

          Paris Rome or Kyiv

          patrolled by soldiers

     made of toast

masters raising their glass

ceiling for the fairer sex

     bomb explodes without warning

          flares are so seventies

          music was uniquely good

     gracious is that the time

zone in on your target

practise what you preach

     to the converted

          barn owls screech all night  

          sirens wail in wartime

     rations are never enough

to satisfy a small man