Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Pretending To Seek Peace In An Unwinnable Proxy War

Listen to a reading of this article:

 

We should probably talk more about the fact that the US empire is loudly promoting the goal of achieving peace in Ukraine by defeating Russia while quietly acknowledging that this goal is impossible. This is like accelerating toward a brick wall and pretending it’s an open road.

The narrative that Russia can be defeated by escalating against it makes sense if you believe Russia can be defeated, but the US empire does not believe that Russia can be defeated. It knows these escalations are only going to exponentially ramp up death and devastation.

Twitter avatar for @I_Katchanovski

Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski
“Privately, US officials say neither Russia nor Ukraine is capable of winning the war outright, but they have ruled out the idea of pushing or even nudging Ukraine to negotiating table.” #UkraineRussianWar #Ukrainewar

“Beat Putin’s ass and make him withdraw” sounds cool and is egoically gratifying, and it’s become the mainstream answer to the problem of the war in Ukraine. But nobody promoting that answer can address the fact that the ones driving this proxy war believe it’s impossible. In fact, all evidence we’re seeing suggests that the US is not trying to deliver Putin a crushing defeat in Ukraine and force him to withdraw, but is rather trying to create another long and costly military quagmire for Moscow, as cold warriors have done repeatedly in instances like Afghanistan and Syria.

Wanting to weaken Russia and wanting to save lives and establish peace in Ukraine are two completely different goals, so different that in practice they wind up being largely contradictory. Drawing Moscow into a bloody quagmire means many more people dying in a war that lasts years.

The US does not want peace in Ukraine, it wants to overextend Russia, shore up military and energy dominance over Europe, expand its war machine and enrich the military-industrial complex. It’s posing as Ukraine’s savior while being clearly invested in Ukraine’s destruction.

It is not legitimate to support this proxy war without squarely addressing this massive contradiction using hard facts and robust argumentation. Nobody ever has.

The idea that the US and NATO have no special obligation to help negotiate a peace settlement in Ukraine only makes sense if you pretend the US and NATO played no role in causing the war in Ukraine. Which is to say it only makes sense if you believe a silly, infantile fiction. There are plenty of arguments to be made that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is immoral and illegal, but to claim it was unprovoked and exculpate the US-centralized power structure from any responsibility for provoking it is inexcusable fact-free bullshit.

Saying “Putin can end this war by withdrawing!” in response to discussions about what the west can do to bring peace to Ukraine is just interrupting serious adult conversations with childish prattle that only serves to cover up your desire for this war to last forever.

Westerners demand more nuanced and believable motives from their Marvel movie villains than from the propaganda narratives their media peddle about enemies of the US empire.

Twitter avatar for @caitoz

Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz
Just a friendly reminder as we ramp up our nuclear brinkmanship games closer and closer to the edge that anything can go wrong in any number of ways, potentially sparking a chain of events that leads to the end of everything.
Twitter avatar for @SkyNews

Sky News @SkyNews

BREAKING NEWS: A missile was released from a Russian aircraft near an unarmed RAF plane on a routine patrol over the Black Sea, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says. Latest: https://t.co/7i6F2jLzLq 📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube https://t.co/xDsjoqE81c

Imagine living on a dying world where people are brainwashed from birth into mindless consumerism and saturated in propaganda promoting war and status quo kleptocracy and exploitation, and deciding that the real sign of societal deterioration is teenagers using different pronouns. Like okay sure we’re being marched into armageddon and dystopia by mass-scale psychological manipulation that’s so ubiquitous and pervasive that hardly anyone ever notices it or talks about it, but the real sign our civilization is crumbling is my friend’s kid using “they/them”.

It is always right and good to criticize the most dangerous actions of the most powerful government in the world. It is always right and good to demand the west uphold the values it claims to uphold and play by the rules it claims to play by. This is self-evident and requires no defense.

I’ve long felt like a big part of my job here is just being the voice that says “You’re not crazy. I see it too.” Assuring people they’re not going mad when it looks like everything they were told about the world is a lie and everyone they were trained to trust is deceiving them.

Because that is the message you will receive when you start asking the important questions and getting the important answers about ruling power structures in our world: people will act like you’re a raving lunatic for talking about US empire malfeasance and western propaganda. Only by mass-scale propaganda brainwashing would it ever appear insane to criticize the most dangerous impulses of the most powerful and destructive government on earth. It’s the most normal, sane and rational thing in the world, but it’s made to look freakish by narrative spin.

To paraphrase Jiddu Krishnamurti, it is no measure of health to be deemed sane in a profoundly insane society.

Boss makes a dollar,
I make a dime,
boss’s overseas wage slave makes a penny,
the war victim gets death,
the factory farmed animal gets torture,
the biosphere gets mass extinction,
that’s why I endorse global communism
and the metamorphosis of human consciousness
on company time.

Okay it doesn’t rhyme like the original but I like it anyway.

__________________

Thanks for reading Caitlin’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, buying an issue of my monthly zine, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon 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.

 

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Leave a Reply