“Putin’s America,” tweeted Anand Giridharadas, a pundit who was genetically engineered in a Monsanto laboratory to appeal to NPR listeners on every possible level.

Giridharadas used these words yesterday to caption a short video clip of two tanks being carted through the streets of DC in preparation for their appearance in a parade for Independence Day, a holiday in which Americans gather to eat hot dogs and drink Mountain Dew in celebration of the anniversary of their lateral transfer from monarchy to corporatist oligarchy.

The military hardware parade is taking place at the behest of President Bolton’s social media assistant Donald Trump, and critics have been vocally decrying it as alien and un-American. Pundits like Giridharadas and Steve Silberman have been saying it’s something Russia would do. The Independent said it’s a spectacle you’d see in “authoritarian regimes such as North Korea, Iran and China.” Adam Best and Charles Pierce both likened it to something that would be done in a “banana republic”, an interesting choice of phrase for a gratuitous display of American military bravado given that term’s blood-soaked origins in US corporate colonialism.

All of these people are of course being ridiculous. There’s nothing alien or un-American about Trump’s parade at all. Jingoistic fetishization of the military is as American as a deep-fried trademark symbol.


All this parade is, actually, is just one of the many, many, many many times over the last two and a half years that Trump has shown America its true face, and Americans haven’t liked what they’ve seen.

“That’s not my reflection!” the Americans scream at the mirror he holds up for them. “That’s Putin!”

“That’s not my reflection!” they protest. “That’s North Korea!”

“That’s not my reflection!” they say. “That’s a banana republic!”

No, America. That’s you. It’s been you all along.

This is the same country, after all, in which someone simply mentioning that they were in the armed forces often elicits a reverent “Oh, thank you for your service!” from whoever happens to hear them, as though spending four years protecting Raytheon profit margins and crude oil is something ordinary civilians should be grateful for. You guys know no other country does that, right? In Australia if you tell someone you were in the army they’ll tell you “Aww, bonza mate. I’m a plumber meself.” It’s not a thing, because when you’re not part of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, powerful people don’t have nearly as much invested in making a thing out of it.

This is the same country where every second house and every single McDonald’s has its flag flying over it, a cult of idolatry that’s become so ubiquitous that a football player choosing to kneel instead of stand before that stupid piece of cloth generates national outrage. The same country where simply bleating “Support the troops!” or “Freedom isn’t free!” was in and of itself seen as a be-all, end-all debate-winning argument for the rape of Iraq. The same country that spent weeks on end mourning the death of bloodthirsty psychopath John McCain on the grounds that he’s a “war hero” when they should have loaded his heartless cadaver onto a trebuchet and launched it into the nearest tire fire as part of a telethon benefit for Syria.

All that’s considered perfectly normal by mainstream America, and liberals are getting their knickers in a knot over a few tanks and “Blue Angels” (another ridiculous yet perfectly normalized American spectacle)? Hell, it’s not even like Trump invented presidential parades full of instruments of mass military slaughter. Check out this photo from JFK’s inaugural parade:

Or this one from Eisenhower’s:

Or this one from FDR’s:

And the fact that it’s mostly Democrats kvetching about this parade is especially absurd, given that in 2019 they’ve somehow managed to become even more hawkish and jingoistic than the Republicans. This is the same crowd that just the other day was attacking Trump for having the audacity to meet with Kim Jong-Un, the same crowd that’s constantly accusing Trump of being weak on Syria and Afghanistan, the same crowd that’s made heroes of the US intelligence community and the “grownups in the room” generals in the administration, and the same crowd that’s been shrieking hysterically for the last three years demanding greater and greater escalations against a nuclear superpower because something-something Putin’s cock holster. The biggest problem with Trump’s tank parade will be that male Democrats in attendance will have trouble hiding their erections.

Americans are the most aggressively propagandized people in the world, and US service personnel are the most aggressively propagandized people in America. That’s the group that all this special reverence and fetishization has been attached to: a bunch of kids who’ve been manipulated into killing and dying for plutocratic investments and the mommy-shaped hole in John Bolton’s heart. That’s what this parade is meant to manufacture even more support for in a culture that is saturated past the brim in a relentless barrage of war propaganda.

Face it, America. Trump’s tank parade isn’t in any way alien to anything you’ve ever stood for. The only way to make it more American would be to add a few monster trucks and a Kardashian. This parade is your reflection. This parade is you.


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72 responses to “Jingoistic Military Fetishization Is As American As Bald Eagle McNuggets”

  1. Grannies Smith sharing her concerns for US military in OZ
    Well done transformation into a war, Donald Trump, supporter around 1:06.
    (What a great avatar peaceconvergence!)

  2. Over at Veterans Today, senior editor Gordon Duff a Marine Viet Nam vet has published a couple hard hitting articles.
    Gordon nails it consistently.

    VT is the one major outlet that has been consistently targeted for internet attacks.

  3. More on America’s addition to war–and the use of, shall we say, White lies to rationalize them.

    America’s Triple Addiction: Lies, Race and War

  4. American militarism is American as baseball, apple pie, and bombing other nations back to the Stone Age.

    After all, the self-styled Land of the Free was founded and built upon the enslavement of Africans and the ethnic cleansing of Native Indian peoples, as well as the theft of Native, Mexican, and Hawaiian lands, which the USA colonized to expand America’s capitalist system.

    America has *always* been a predatory nation–but one that attempts to disguise this reality by psychologically projecting its malign nature onto other nations and presenting itself as a virtuous victim that is threatened by Evil-Doers Who Hate Our Freedoms.

    This is the American Way–from Wall Street to Main Street, USA.

    The so-called average American identifies with American militarism and the idea of American Exceptionalism (aka American Supremacism) in general. They just prefer that these beliefs be concealed behind deceptions about “promoting freedom and democracy”–as opposed to Trump’s more naked militarism.

    Though it is a virtual Thought Crime to admit this, democracy, freedom, and human rights are *not* American values.

    The manipulation of democracy, freedom, and human rights as propaganda to disguise the true national character of the American Empire and its rapacious capitalist system are the USA’s true founding values … since 1776.

    Coming Home to Roost: American Militarism, War Culture, and Police Brutality

  5. You make me happy I sent you $$$, will gladly send more when I accumulate it!

  6. Thanks Caitlin!
    If I see a tank passing by I won’t try to hide my tumescence, I’ll just haul it out and salute
    that damn tank with a jingoism.

  7. One of the beauties of being old and retired is that a person has time to think and reflect upon a lot of things. Every ” fourth of July ” I peruse the many Internet articles about this ” holiday “. For the last few years there have been many ” truthful articles ” about the true nature and history of these United States. My award for this years best article goes to Mr. Paul Edwards and this article;

    1. Yes, Sir, being retired confirms our statement that we do not need constant stimulation, we can enjoy roaming this net and finding friends who, like one’s self,Loves this Earth and all the LIFE that’s trying to live on it, in peace and HARMONY. That’s why I support gratefully, her sharing her and her family’s LOVE for LIFE and EARTH.~~~~~Oh! How it seems we LOVE that Whore called WAR! How happy we are to spend $350,000,000.00 on a fancy, faulty F-35 Warplane, while millions of our fellow men/women/children have no food, or place to live, but we don’t care if they die, they’re not US. US of Assholes. GOD bless the USA! A Plague on all the Neo-cons and warmongers……

    2. Mr. Edwards responds:
      Hello, Mr. Campbell,

      Great to hear from you and know I took the trophy today, and much obliged for sending it to CJ who is one of my favorite minds and articulators of the falsity and idiocy of our vicious and stupid elite.

      You have made my day, too. Thank you, cousin lucky.



  8. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    Talk about “propagandized”! When you accept the “official” version of the sad 9-11 event, you will accept anything.

    I remember saying to myself after 9-11 that the ruling elites this time have gone too far and the people will reject them.

    What I did not know at that time (yes in those days I was young and naive about people) is that the people are no better than the ruling elites. So, it is true to say that people have the rulers they deserve.

    And in our days, which are a repetition of the days of Noah, all of this is no surprise.The Second Coming of Jesus is very near.

    I pray the Rosary to hasten His Glorious Return.

  9. I’ve just read this for the second time and laughed at least as hard as I did the first time around. As a US Veteran, I can testify that many such as I would agree about the suggested trebuchet into the tire fire “honor” but perhaps someone will take up that idea for John Kerry when his own honors are due?

    I will be disappointed, however, if our Independence Day parade doesn’t have numerous M1 Abrams tanks at least on static display, the Marine Corp Band, endless waves of aircraft flyovers and plenty of hot dogs. Actually, the Soviets (remember them?) once, or perhaps always held flyovers where the aircraft actually circled around several times so that idea apparently works. Better to be flying over DC than Tehran I’d say.

  10. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jim McGovern, and what’s the Oregon rep, the standard bearers of the american left in DC have been the worst warmongers in the last 20 years. oh yes, they oppose one war here and there and turn around to fund them and scream for more wars.

    in the 90s, it was the Clintons and their handlers like albright, hallbrook, dennis ross, who itched to nuke North Korea.

    a bunch of bloodsuckers. cut the cord between you the host body and the parasites!

  11. Writers who make us laugh in the midst of the world’s horrors deserve a special accolade! Sometimes I think that the only work worth publishing, whether online or print, is what makes us laugh. And look how much truth you can tell through humor! Many, many thanks to you, Caitlin.

  12. Gary C Techentien Avatar
    Gary C Techentien

    Best read of the week! Love you, Caitlin.

  13. Excellent, and accurate summation of the sad, sorry, deluded state of United States ‘society’. I won’t even watch any major Sports event with a United States team competing such is my aversion and disgust at the robotic chanting of U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A…. bleat bleat bleat, all like moronic sheep. And given the sheer arrogance and jingoistic chest thumping of many from this country, it seems things like humility and modesty are anathema to the American pysche. And how many trillions in debt is the U.S, while there are literally whole armies of homeless, destitute, with many millions living from paycheck to paycheck, and many isolated and lonely in this uber individualistic ‘society’. You nailed it Caitlin, thanks.

    1. Jacqueline Cleary Avatar
      Jacqueline Cleary

      A Poem for the Fourth of July


      If all the waving of our flag rose up in mighty winds
      That whirled us round and round
      So we could not tell
      Which way was up and which was down,
      We’d blow about the earth
      Taking root in land that is not our own
      An invasive weed that kills the native species
      So we can plant our flags.

      If all the cheers of misplaced pride rose up at once
      We would not be able to hear ourselves
      Or others who prefer the silence
      Drowned out by shysters whose fortunes rise
      As truth fades to a whisper and disappears.
      And if all the greed in grasping hearts rose up in flames
      And burned away the victims
      Who would be left to do their bidding
      And envy them their riches?

      If all the tears shed for lives cut short by war

      A Poem for the Fourth of July

      If all the waving of our flag rose up in mighty winds
      That whirled us round and round
      So we could not tell
      Which way was up and which was down,
      We’d blow about the earth
      Taking root in land that is not our own
      An invasive weed that kills the native species
      So we can plant our flags.

      If all the cheers of misplaced pride rose up at once
      We would not be able to hear ourselves
      Or others who prefer the silence
      Drowned out by shysters whose fortunes rise
      As truth fades to a whisper and disappears.
      And if all the greed in grasping hearts rose up in flames
      And burned away the victims
      Who would be left to do their bidding
      And envy them their riches?

      If all the tears shed for lives cut short by war
      Rose up in clouds that drenched the earth
      And pooled in seas of sorrow
      Refilled daily by the grief that doesn’t go away.
      That ocean would rise up in angry waves
      To punish the ignorance and pride
      That cherished our false interests
      And threw away those lives.

      Jacqueline Rogers Cleary

      Rose up in clouds that drenched the earth
      And pooled in seas of sorrow
      Refilled daily by the grief that doesn’t go away.
      That ocean would rise up in angry waves
      To punish the ignorance and pride
      That cherished our false interests
      And threw away those lives.

      Jacqueline Rogers

      1. Wonderful poem Jacqueline. Thanks for so well expressing the dismay many of us here feel about the usual martial and jingoistic display on the fourth of July.

      2. That was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL POEM! I wish I could get a copy of it for myself? I am an old NAM vet. I wasn’t there long before I realized “I Like these People.” I was a recon machine gunner, but I never put a bullet into one of those cool people. I realized that those people were defending their land against an INVADER. What courage they displayed, going up against the supposed Major Power of the whole World, with nothing more than the clothes on their back, no uniforms, no special equipment, just an old beat up rifle and a supreme desire to be left alone to live out their own lives. Our so called good old USA, thinks it his/her right to butt in anywhere on this planet, especially if it involves corporate $$$$$. The Military/Industrial Complex basically rules this nation. And if anything should threaten it, it will react with outright fury. Peaceful Protesters will be shot on sight.~~~~~Now I use what little money I have to support those young men, wounded, disabled, killed in our wars of greed, most of them do not think what is “Patriotism?” Does butting in on other countries business means we are Patriot’s? When one is 18 or 20 years old we are not taught on how to decide Right from Wrong. The propaganda is really effective, for it is endlessly propagated, begins at birth, and by the time you become 18, you cannot believe otherwise, unless you can awaken your own self. This is called Awareness of the World around You. Not enough people find this “Awareness”, so it is easy to fill the quota’s for your Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and coming soon to a theater near you, a Nice little Tidy War. Can’t sell bombs if we don’t use the old one’s up. Now, I am supporting “Road Home Foundation”, because it was formed by Alex Marrocco, who’s son Brandan Marrocco went to Iraq in G. W. Bush’s lying war, and came home missing his arms and legs from an IED device. He is lucky to have a loving devoted family, and the V.A. He has been through hell, but his dad and brother were with him all the way, built him a house designed to be easy to live in. Stayed with him through the many, many operations and stays in the Medical center. Maybe if we all had to live for a period of time without the use of our arms and legs, perhaps we would become less inclined to march so merrily off to war. Maybe I better quit here, don’t intend to write a book, but that poem inspired me. Thank you, POET!

      3. Jacqueline – just one word: profound. Much appreciate your poem, I send you best wishes from Melbourne, Aussie.

  14. Everything our rulers and masters do they do for our very own good; everyone must trust them! President Trump envies the world’s dictators and tyrants; he wants to be just like them and kill journalists he does not like, etc., etc. Let’s go crush a country tomorrow. Someone bring the beer.

    1. Oh for crying out loud, when are people going to get it into their heads, it is NOT Trump, that started this targeting journalists. (Yeah, I personally don’t like the prick, just as I haven’t liked ANY U.S. President through out my bloody life, because they are ALL made from the same MOULD.)
      But to blame him for this vendetta against journalists is giving the bastards that started it a free pass. Remember this started in IRAQ, where any journalist that was not EMBEDDED, ( reads “vetted” by the authorities and wont release anything that may shed bad light on U.S. troops) were LEGITIMATE targets. How can anyone forget the targeting of the hotel where journalists were residing in by U.S. tanks, the operators of which stated they had ORDERS to do so ???? Where is the critisiszim of Bush and the Bush Government in this ???? Why have folks like yourself IGNORED those events, and simply target Trump for doing the same thing, and giving the Bush Criminals a free pass ??????????

  15. How the Hell does our Caitlin, — I always think of her that way, since I feel like she is a good and long standing personal friend of mine, simply on the basis of all the right on essays she posts, even though I’ve never actually met her — manage to come up with so many consistently fine and important policical analyses of everything under the sun nearly each and every bloody day?? Whew!! Did she sell her soul to the devil or something?? But then she always comes down on the side of the angels, i.e. the oppressed and unjustly treated majority under this wretched neoliberal fascist capitalist order!! so how would the devil let her get away with such piercing revelations of the truth any more than the MSM will repost her stuff, and that even though it gets reposted all over the “alternative” internet with the great alacrity its conistently high quality fully deserves!! She is definitely reaching a much wider audience, and hence transforming public discourse slowly but surely, than any of us who are stuck in facebook and mostly just preaching to the choir! So carry on our goodly Caitlin!! There are those among your readers who fully understand, even if we cannot for some reasons emulate, your great passion to make some small impact on the world in the name of justice, peace, freedom and eauality!! In fact, I would even say that there are those of us who have come to love you, and look forward anxiously to hear your latest thoughts and poems. Carry on, greatest of all the contemporary journalists and editorialists!! Your salubrious influence upon this sorry nation, in which you do not even live, — although Australia has become as politically craven of late as well — continues to wane. You are indeed breaking through, even if the establishment and deep state will continue to attempt to slander and deride you. Therefore please remember and take fully to heart, Henry David Thoreau’s, and my own advice: “[Do] not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails.” For your critics and enemies are merely that, nuthatches and mosquito’s wings, but you, my dearest, are one powerful train, and certainly “bound for glory!” So choo choo to you!! Keep shovelling your wonderful articles into the firebox to keep your steam box hot and full of rhetorical magic!! Yours, As ever, Bill F.

    1. Seriously Bill, I believe Caitlin has the intellectual ability to put into AWESOME words, the feeling and things we all already KNOW, but find ourselves unable to voice in such eloquent prose.
      Go Caitlin.

  16. Thanks again, Caitlin! Your analysis of US jingoism is spot on. Our country is an embarrassment to modern civilized society, and it appears that it’s been that way for a while now. Here’s a great speech called SuperPatriotism by Michael Parenti from 15 years ago that every American should listen to on July 4:


    He really is a top critic of American chauvinism and the corporate/capitalist power structure and his other books and speeches are worth seeking out.

  17. Americans refusing to recognize their reflection reminds me of a passage from a book I vaguely remember, describing two scenarios. The first was “nothing more than the rage of Caliban seeing his reflection in the mirror.” And the second was “nothing more than the rage of Caliban not seeing his reflection in the mirror.”

  18. Thanks for the kick off. Will you allow me to carry the ball a bit?

    Patriotism and Reality

    The “good” things my Country does do; those do NOT excuse NOR do they outweigh the evil destruction and general mayhem which it has come to promote, facilitate and actively participate in around the Globe.

    Starving people to get them to overthrow their governments is pure evil.

    Today is today. It is real.

    Using great power in economic, political and military spheres to coerce, to threaten, to bully and demand obeisance from the rest of the members of our Global Village is a gross abuse of power and privilege and an entire repudiation of the concept of the right to sovereignty. . It shows us to be anything but concerned about the welfare of others or even our own welfare right here. It gives exposure to the lies our Government and its agents and proxies peddle as reality.

    Our Government lies to us; it steals from us; it mis-allocates our resources, directing them away from our long term well being; and relies on us, the citizens, the ones who are supposed to be the very source of power and legitimacy, to simply accept its propaganda; telling us how “great we are and how much greater we are going to be”; all while proving through its revealed actions how much all that is anything but true.

    The truths revealed by Assange and Manning and many others are ignored, vilified and baked in a giant cake of misdirection and deceit. Those who are responsible for the great usurpation of the American Dream go on an on without consequence while the truth tellers are literally brutalized.

    This type of conduct which our government indulges in does not make the citizens of this country safe and secure, nor prosperous. And deceit and lies told by our Government, once discovered and revealed, ultimately pollute and forfeit trust and respect; making true “negotiations” with other countries impossible. It all renders the Government itself, in the eyes of the aware citizens, totally without legitimacy.

    Without acknowledging, highlighting and actually physically protesting against these “downsides”; the waving of the “Flag” under these realities amounts to blind faith as well as complicity in the evil we allow our government to engage in around the world with our once vast wealth and resources. That wealth is more and more rapidly being depleted as are our resources, but truthfully not to our own benefit.

    Those things, our vast collective wealth and resources, are being stolen from us and need to be benefiting US right here, not squandered to our own detriment and especially to the brutalization and masacre of humanithy who just happen to be in the way.

    Destroying key civilizational monuments from the literal cradles from which a series of our predecessor civilizations spanning thousands of years have sprung; destroying critical societal infrastructure and the very history of regions and their institutions, both social and religious, (all documented acts perpetrated by the US and its “coalitions of the willing” against numerous foreign countries, distant from our own shores) along with targeting and killing vast populations “over there” just can’t be things a patriotic citizen willingly supports.

    Those acts fly in the face of every value we tout as identifiers of our touted to be superiority.

    The support we, through our Government, do provide, including money and armaments and logistics, to the Zionist Separatist Apartheid fanatics of Israel (or the undeniably NAZI freaks of Ukraine) who are totally in power and control there, who then visit both cruelty and violence upon the citizens of Palestine or other co-located groups (as in Western Ukraine and occupied territories) and anyone who isn’t born and sworn to Judaea; and those Israelis who ignore the norms of Sovereignty of their neighbors and others in the world community, attacking and destroying people and infrastructure and meddling in the affairs of other countries internal policies and workings is all unforgivable and has nothing patriotic in it for a US patriotic Citizen. Nor is the degree of covert sabotage which we allow and actually support them in which is being sown and has been sown across the Globe.

    And supporting the House of Saud in its practice of aggressive invasive genocide towards the citizens of Yemen is nothing any sincerely patriotic US citizen can hold up as laudable nor supportable.

    The support we provide to various Terror Organizations and who we then use as proxies to cause violence and chaos in countries with the express purpose of destabilization and fragmentation with complete disregard for the local people who are harmed by these proxies serves a patriotic US citizen how, exactly???

    None of it is in the interests of any Patriotic US Citizen, unless they happen to have allegiance to more than one Country, nor does any of it benefit us who live, are citizens of, and work here in the US.

    Yet it is what we allow our government to do when we don’t at least rail against it publically.

    There is no excuse for the Legislature in my Country to waste time by creating laws which further the interests of anyone or any other Country BUT Americans right here. The slavish obsequiousness to a foreign power which is evident in creating laws criminalizing the exercise of our own rights to free speech and free action; things enshrined in our Constitution as guaranteed as being inviolable for each of us, should not be tolerated by any of US Citizens, Patriotic or otherwise.

    Every single lawmaker who has advocated for and voted for prohibitions against exercising those rights enshrined and specifically highlighted in our Constitution should be impeached and then tried for treason.

    Those who push for wars of aggression and choice against those who are not actually attacking America right here are clearly neither patriotic nor compliant with the precepts of America and are not supporting the interests as well as safety and security of America’s citizens.

    No one with multiple allegiances has any business being permitted in any of our governmental bodies, especially those which are responsible for the creation of our laws or are appointed to represent us in any fashion abroad.

    All these things and acts totally fail to honor all those who have sacrificed for this Country and literally spits on our very founding; and to blindly wave and glorify the “Flag” when what we are doing under its auspices is illegal, reprehensible and actually causing danger and insecurity for us here in the US is disgusting to the extreme not to mention being an insult to those who went before us.

    Parades of military hardware, of which we have nothing to brag about except how much the industry has raped the taxpayers in the process of building and delivering it all; parading it right here in our Capitol City, are a type of militarism and just one more aspect of breast-beating Hubristic false patriotism designed to express something which is a perversion of what I believe we stand for and for which those who have sacrificed themselves actually did.

    It is way past time to stop cheering and saying “hurray for our side” and own up to what is being done with our resources and our complicity; all of it which is inhuman and criminal.

    If you see it, acknowledge it, and still don’t act to forbid it and move to prevent its continuation then there you are: as criminal as our government.

    Around the World The US is not seen the way we are told we are. When the reckoning comes, and it will, those who are complicit, even through simple acquiescence and failure to speak out against, will be held accountable and made to pay up.

    Chickens will come home to roost! And whistling past the “grave yard” won’t do you a bit of good.

    Wake UP!!! Do it before the world is destroyed by the idiots and fanatics. Supporting our Government while it commits the crimes it is doing is NOT patriotic!

    1. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn Zaremba

      Too long. Write your own column.

    2. Aardvark-Gnosis Avatar

      Many may read this and never understand the subversive Mob mentality that is destroying our revolutionary struggle to be free of the inquisitors of history and the racial predigests of the counter culture within our midst. The few internationalist parasites that drag down patriotic history with there Eurasian Khazarian communist manifesto, and the protocols of world global slavery.
      With all due respect, your piece of reality here, is priceless for the minds that can see beyond their nose and there conditioned state of propagated reality in a matrix of false narratives. As well, the special interest that control the merchant’s market to destroy and cleans the earth of free thinking people with minds that can see beyond the illusion painted by the Sycophant boot lickers of Money Inc. AKA the ruling fiat houses of wall street… A minority of those called the chosen to run the world. Their god is the god of this world and mammon…

      They are the fake Eurasian hordes of the Bolshevik revolution, killers of Christians and peasant non- reformers alike, The AKA, Nationalist Workers of the World… and just good outstanding family people surviving in a pseudo governed society of a minority parasitic monopoly of trade and hording of goods and materials… Yes! I mean to say they make killing machines to keep those they want in bondage in bondage to the source of Rabbinic mentality… and Bankster usury.

      For the short witted that can’t read a good comment, this is what we are up against in the gene pool of American diluted wisdom under mob rule and the fact that the majority are now being ruled by A-Moral selfish small minded morons that want their special rights legislated while they stomp on the rights of the majority… and Atlas Shrugged!

      Bravo for writing in the absence of common sense and wisdom of the masses. If the shoe fits where it!
      Truly yours.

    3. Awesome post, rarely if ever, do we see such a revelation from an American citizen, (I do hope you are American) such revelations give me a tiny glimmer of sunshine, that there are folks like yourself struggling with what we face, awake to the machinations of your Government. I thank you for such an honest, reveling post.

    4. Your screed is too long.
      Trump is horrible … but what makes him so ugly to so many is that his is the bold face of
      the America which shifted from royalty to oligarchy.

  19. Well done, Caitlin. You’ve said even more eloquently what I’ve been saying for the last 50 years or so. My personal favorite was “Americans gather to eat hot dogs and drink Mountain Dew in celebration of the anniversary of their lateral transfer from monarchy to corporatist oligarchy”.

    By accident of birth am I considered an American, but that has ALWAYS been as far as it goes.

  20. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
    Carolyn Zaremba

    But, really Caitlin, there are a great many of us in the U.S. who are fighting for the overthrow of capitalism and who despise the warmongers and war criminals. In face, we love your articles and share them widely. So the generalization is a little mean. But I understand what you are getting at. Sometime I’m so appalled by what the government does and how people just accept it, that I feel like screaming. Not even words. Just inarticulate rage and horror.

    Keep up the good work for those of us in the U.S. who don’t remember joining the fascist party.

  21. “War Crime” is an oxymoron. Although so called “civilized societies” have attempted to implement rules by which to conduct “nice” wars, in truth war is what happens when all such rules of civility fail. History shows that entities which adhere to conducting only “nice” wars are still being “nice” if they limit their warriors to shooting, blowing up and/or burning their enemies and by extension doing likewise to innocent civilians inclusive of whole families who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time living under the wrong “enemy” government.

    Apparently conducting such a “nice war” is not defined as a “war crime” within any tribunal having authority (for which there is apparently none) so long as a legalistic argument can be raised saying there was provocation with no feasible immediate recourse other than taking said action of war. In the absence of any “controlling legal authority” to borrow a phrase, there is effectively NO LAW. By extension thereof, if there is NO LAW, there can be NO CRIME. That said, call it what you will but if your army can’t back you up, good luck enforcing your rules. Such is usually attempted well after the fact but only by the victor against the vanquished, but never the other way around.

    A flag remains a perfectly good symbol of national pride which should transcend petty political bickering in favor of recognizing whatever common good remains among people.

    1. Speaking of flags, I bought a brand new 36×48 Made in USA Flag yesterday to fly in my yard, I have flown a peace flag, but they were made in China and fell apart in less than a year. The Flag I replaced was also made in USA, and it lasted over three years 24/7. I just wish I could buy a drill bit made in the USA, but every store within my range has sold out on made in USA, I consider all those Mega-Corporation’s who opted for Cheap Labor, instead of quality; Traitor’s, and they ought to be thrown in jail and their assets distributed to the working and non-working regular everyday ordinary people those Obscene Profit’s…..Every time old J. Bezos banks another Billion, somewhere out there in the world there are 10 million working men and women missing out on $100.00 in their pay checks…..

  22. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
    Carolyn Zaremba

    “President Bolton’s social media assistant Donald Trump”!!! Caitlin, you made me laugh so hard I spit up my coffee.

  23. Darkly humorous, I love the trebuchet bit, but why only the heartless dead launched into a fire? I can think of plenty whose only dead bit is their humanity who should be loaded kicking and screaming onto said trebuchet. On a more serious note it’s good and important that you and other “dissidents”- one day maybe you and others like you will be mainstream and they the dissidents- keep pointing out that it’s no good just piling America’s global evil on Trump. It must be almost in the DNA because that nation which could truely be a “light on the hill” is instead a fierce and destructive fire.

  24. The same country that spent weeks on end mourning the death of bloodthirsty psychopath John McCain on the grounds that he’s a “war hero” when they should have loaded his heartless cadaver onto a trebuchet and launched it into the nearest tire fire as part of a telethon benefit for Syria

    That sentence had me laughing out loud! Thanks for this piece. It’s becoming more difficult by the day to live here amongst people who, were they forced to read your article, would spontaneously combust in a fit of patriotic fervor. As a working carpenter, I see and talk to folks on the right and left. I leave many of these interactions with a feeling of absolute disgust that people can lap up bullshit nonstop, and then defend it to the point of violence. It’s pretty sad…

  25. Sad but true … Best one yet for this Johnny come lately . Though all the rest of the Johnny boot straps on the ground are immune from war crimes in their ever quest of the coca cola campaign .

    The Up Sell Continues

  26. “Thank you for your service” is ignorant of the horrors our kids are committing. It’s scary how a military uniform excuses atrocity and how routine it is for soldiers to kill anyone they’re pointed at: Anyone! No questions asked. “Don’t blame me for my depravity. I’m just doing my job.” How can they believe that?
    What if soldiers had the courage to shut the military down, just go on strike? That this idea is absurd is the real absurdity. There is no Bill of Rights in the military, by the way.

    1. I’ve met many who are haunted by what they did during their time in the military. As young kids they didn’t have the experience and knowledge to see past the marketing pitch and once in battle were primarily concerned with making it back home alive and in one piece. Once back they’ve had time to reflect, educate themselves, and see the wars from the outside perspective.

      While we don’t have child soldiers, we do have a national narrative that conditions many in their formative years with this mythology that leads them to make the choice to sign up thinking they’re doing something good and noble – or just doing something that will help them have better opportunities later in life (education, training, etc).

      Personally, I try not to judge them for having signed up but on how their perspective develops once they have been back for a while. For some, they cling to the lies and mythology, others wake up and see the reality of it and are haunted by it. There’s a reason veteran suicides are so high. That’s a hell of a lot of trauma and regret for a young adult to handle.

      In short: it’s not the vets I blame, it’s the system that creates them.

      1. The problem is, the US armed forces are all volunteer-I think, if I’m wrong it hardly alters my view- they don’t have to go to countries many couldn’t find on a map and kill people. If you look at the wars since WW2, which have all been wars of aggression-the supreme war crime- those in the services could refuse to fight. Also, and I posted this yesterday’s as well: Frankie Boyle” what’s worse than going to other countries and killing lots of people, they come back 20 years later and make a movie about his killing all those people made their sockets sad”. It’s hard to feel sympathy for the “trauma” returning soldier feel, their victims,often killed in large numbers and buried in mass graves leave traumatised and grieving survivors. Some of those survivors will seek revenge and use whatever means available against a mighty army. This not to justify acts of terror but if you live in a conflict zone and know armed drones can kill many in a flash of light and sound wouldn’t you be terrified?

        1. Need to proof read my posts so should read come back and make a movie about how killing all those people made their SOLDIERS feel sad.

      2. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
        Carolyn Zaremba

        Agreed. I feel sorry for these damaged young people. And after they return, they’re treated with contempt by the government.

      3. Geo wrote: “I’ve met many who are haunted by what they did during their time in the military.”
        There’s a Caitlin’s impressive article on that:
        The US Army Asked Twitter How Service Has Impacted People. The Answers Were Gut-Wrenching. – Caitlin Johnstone

        1. Imagine how gut wrenching it is for survivors picking up the scattered remains of relatives and try to piece them together to see who is who. It’s instuctive that here and on other sites where sympathy is expressed for the returning military but almost NEVER-as here- a single word about the real victims, killed for reasons they do not understand. The US government’s professed concern for” human rights” is rendered a vile, bloody joke with the butcher’s bill for the literally millions of people they have slaughtered. Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq were “liberated” by the US and its “allies” after months of heavy shelling and bombing. Both cities are in complete ruins with unburied corpses under the rubble. No effort has been made to reconstruct these devastated places unlike Aleppo and Douma where the evil Assad and his foul partners-Russia,Iran and Hezbollah worked hard to minimise casualties and immediately started reconstruction.

    2. Soldiers actually DID DO JUST THAT, in the beginings of the Iraqi war. Funny how that event has disappeared entirely from the MSM records. The stand off lasted about 4-5 days, threats were made by their authorities, then the whole thing simply vanished. I’d love to hear from any soldier who was involved in that episode. However, I suspect they have been sworn to silence, or else.

    3. Watch “Sir, No Sir!” and see what happened when soldiers threatened to strike. This is why we have a “volunteer” military. I like the commenter on truthdig who pointed out that he knew it was wrong to kill people for money when he was ten years old. I live in a poor, rural state where you can make $15 an hour even if inexperienced if you’re willing to work in construction, and where you can make a lot more money if you go to technical school and learn to weld, plumb, etc. But we have a huge veteran population (do these guys really think it’s easier to go into the military than go to community college?) and constant refrains on the chuckleheaded local news about what heroes they are.

  27. Charles Robinson Avatar
    Charles Robinson

    The indoctrination is omnipresent. The National anthem, all about the flag flying and bombs exploding. The children being required to stand and pledge allegiance to the flag with their hand over their hearts. Yet, in the dark halls of the Capital and the White House, the people are mocked. They click their champagne glasses, their pockets brimming with graft money from the corporate, war chest, racket; while, dismantling and pissing on the US Constitution on which all of the laws in The united states are founded. Those Men and those Women hiding behind the smelly, putrid, genocidal curtain they call the flag, want you to keep being hypnotized by the “FREEDOM FLAG!!!!!!!!” USA! USA! USA! Indoctrinated slaves who are fed shit, corporate fast food, are taxed to death, are monitored to death and who are hypnotized to believe they are free.

  28. When the hypocrisy is everywhere, including right in front of our noses, then you know the ruling sociopaths have successfully molded our society in their own psychological image. And as Caitlin so beautifully points out, the hypocrisy is indeed everywhere.

  29. Sadly you are 100% correct.
    Sadder still that it takes a fine young Australian woman like yourself to say it because 95% of Merikans have no fucking idea because they’ve all been brainwashed by corporate media.
    I am embarrassed to be called Merikan and have been for about 30 years now.

    The entire corporate media and DNC is busy right now stealing the Democratic primary so they can hand the election to Trump absolutely guaranteed.
    And in usual Merikan fashion we’re going to do absolutely nothing about it.

    1. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn Zaremba

      The Democrats are just as warmongering as the Republicans. Don’t kid yourself. That’s propaganda, too.

  30. Dead right & your best post ever I believe

  31. Real Stakeholder Avatar
    Real Stakeholder

    Hysterically funny, as usual. But also horrifying. I no longer recognize the Democratic Party, to which I once pledged my loyalty.

    The Democrats have eclipsed the Republicans in their war aggression and racial intolerance, and support for the preservation of the plutocracy.

    The media manipulation has reached comic proportions, although there is nothing remotely funny about the messages being pushed on American citizens. It’s a constant drumbeat of racial hatred here at home, and fear-mongering about a Russian threat that has never been proved.

    What’s most frightening is that anyone under age 50 is not old enough, nor do they have the perspective of history. The majority of Americans appear to believe “normal” is neo-liberalism. It’s the brand of politics delivered to America by Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, and it ‘stuck’.

    My brand of politics was John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. In 2019, I feel like I’m living in The Twilight Zone (which of course has no meaning to anyone under 50).

    1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
      Joe Van Steenbergen

      The Democrats will do and say anything, anything, to hurt Trump. They are now pro-war because Trump campaigned as anti-war and continues to make noises, though not take actions, that seem like he wants us to pull back from some of our endless wars. And, FWIW, the Democrats dropped most anti-war sentiment when Obama was in office; since he was fomenting endless wars, and he was the self-described and self-proclaimed “smartest guy in the room,” they didn’t want to appear to be criticizing The One. It has been a sad thing to watch Democrats descent into the depths of Trump Derangement Syndrome; they’ve become completely unhinged.

    2. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn Zaremba

      Johnson accelerated the Vietnam War. No heroes in the Democratic Party.

  32. Trisha Driscoll Avatar
    Trisha Driscoll

    NPR = National Propaganda Regurgitator
    PBS = Propaganda Broadcasting System

  33. Your articles are intriguing and thought provoking Caitlin. Thank-you!
    My word vocabulary is definitely also growing with each article. lol

  34. Like you wrote awhile back, one of the reasons Trump is so hated by so many, especially those in positions of power is because he is so honest. He shows the true face of America without the nice manners, proper dress and sanctimonious words. Raw reality is just so vulgar. It’s not what one does that’s important it’s appearances.

  35. Universal Freedom requires most of the sheeple in the west to be self directed in reeducation in history and science. You can only be lied to by those you trust. Begin your liberation with the obvious propaganda in rote narrative history.

    “All Wars Are Bankers Wars” by Michael Rivero at WhatReallyHappened

    “How/Why Big Oil Conquered the World” > “The World War One Conspiracy” > “Divide &Conquer, the Left/Right Fraud” > all at CorbettReport(.)com

  36. I grew up in a small American town. I remember the Independence Day festivities well. There was a small public park attached to the large country club and golf course. Every Independence Day, they’d throw a big picnic and BBQ with fireworks after sunset. I remember that the local National Guard hauling out the military gear so us kiddies could see what it felt like to climb into a tank and picture that we were blowing away the fascists like in the movies. Lots of tanks and jeeps and of course a big modern cannon to admire instead of the usual Civil War era ones. Military gear and Independence day go together in my memories, although what I really remember is the cotton candy and the snow-cones and the BBQ and of course the exploding fireworks. Ooooh. Aaaah. Ooooh. Aaaah. Everyone together now. Oooooh. Aaaaah.

  37. I call the US the Land of Eternal Amnesia. Every new war crime, every new outrage, is always New and Never Before part of American Values. All previous outrages are forgotten. (You can see this with the outrage about conditions of the refugees at the border. They swear that these are Unprecedented). This is from a speech I gave during the Bush administration, when Democrats were horrified to find that Americans were outed for torturing prisoners in Iraq.
    “In 1988, we were shocked, shocked to find out that the US was teaching torture techniques to the Central American heroes using a manual called “Human Resources Exploitation Manual”, which was an update of the Kubark manual, used in the 60s to teach torture to military forces from Guatemala to Columbia to Vietnam, where we were shocked, shocked to find out about the Phoenix Program, in which the US and its Vietnamese proxies tortured and killed tens of thousands of prisoners. It has been claimed that not one prisoner survived interrogation in the Phoenix Program. We were shocked when Office of Public Safety was shown to have taught torture to police forces in Central and South America in the 70s. We have periodically been shocked when it turns out that some graduate of the SOA is responsible for a massacre that catches our attention for some reason. Maybe they rape and kill nuns, or accidentally murder an American – something out of the ordinary run of the mill peasant suppression massacre. These forms of torture should be classified as terrorism. Mutilated bodies thrown into ditches and dropped from helicopters terrorize the population into submission. US involvement in these mass torture and murder projects have usually been covert, hence the “shock” when information leaks out.

    How is the George Bush/Dick Cheney administration different? Using the destruction of 9-11, along with a massive fear mongering propaganda campaign afterwards that told us that we were all afraid of terrorists, they embarked on a new chapter in American history – open imperialism, with blatant disrespect for international law, including illegal invasions, indefinite detentions and the unashamed use of torture by Americans.

    Much to their dismay, Americans who were engaged in torture at Abu Ghraib took pictures, enabling more than the usual suspects to find out about real American foreign policy. International outcry forced some sort of response. Those involved who took pictures were tried and convicted. Although evidence surfaced that similar torture techniques were used at Bagram and Guantanamo, no one involved took pictures, and none of them was tried.”


  38. Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone!
    Yesterday, I yielded to moral weakness. My cheap watch had stopped working and — since I’m obsessive about time — I stopped at the local WalMart to replace it. (I know… I know… ) I selected a $7 winner and paid for it at the self-serve checkout.
    Predictably, the young woman “Greeter” (aka Security Guard) asked to “scan my receipt” as I exited the store. I said: “Why yes, if you think I shoplifted it, you may!”
    “Oh, I don’t know why I was told to do this, but I was just hired and I’m doing what they told me to do.”
    Me: “Well, as a new hire you were certainly stuck with a crappy job, weren’t you?” (Smiling.)
    Her: “Oh no, I’m glad to have the job. WalMart is one of the places that hires disabled veterans like me!”
    Me: [sad head shake]
    On the way to my car I thought about how this kid, who must have joined the military at 18 (she looked so young) and gotten herself disabled in the process of “defending ‘Murrica,” came back home and was duped — YET AGAIN — into serving a brutal corporation which will get a large tax write off for hiring people like her.
    It was very depressing.

  39. Such veracity is a delight to read. Another incisive piece with a smattering of shamelessly barbed satire. Loved it. Well done again Caitlin.

  40. Good one Caitlin.Here’s one from the past:

  41. Bingo, Caitlin. There’s an excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode in which Larry refuses to thank a friend’s soldier relative for his service. The ensuing outrage is hilarious.

  42. Ms Johnstone, your writing delights me in the same way that listening to the parliamentary performances of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating did, a delight quite separate from his political positions, consisting principally of linguistic relish.
    You tell the truth, & you tell it well.
    Thank you

    1. You compare Caitlin to Keating? I’m horrified. He was a nasty despicable human being.

      1. Comparing linguistic relish after saying ‘quite separate from his political positions’ does NOT mean endorsing Keating. It simply means that the ability to use the language is masterful. You could probably learn something from both Caitlin and Keating …

        I find many American politicians abhorrent, but I do have to admit that some of the worst politically were masters of what passes for language.

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