“JUST IN: Senate Passes $740 Billion Defense Bill With Provision To Remove Confederate Names Off Military Bases” reads a headline from the digital news site Mediaite, which could also serve as a perfect diagnosis for everything that is sick about mainstream liberal orthodoxy.

The Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate have now both passed versions of this bill authorizing three-quarters of a trillion dollars for a single year of military spending, both by overwhelming bipartisan majorities, on the condition that the names of Confederate Civil War leaders be removed from military bases.

Unsurprisingly, Security Policy Reform Institute’s Stephen Semler found a direct relationship between how much a House Democrat has been paid by the war industry and how likely they were to have voted for the bloated military budget which also obstructs any attempts to scale down troop presence in Afghanistan.

This is everything that is horrible about the Democratic Party and the ideological position of mainstream liberals. Their leaders have figured out a way to trade hard objects for empty narrative. To get people to consent to almost limitless amounts of thievery, murder and exploitation in exchange for words and stories.

They’ll get rid of Confederate names on bases, but they won’t even slightly reduce the vast fortunes they’re stealing from an impoverished populace and pouring into global slaughter and oppression. They’ll kneel wearing Kente cloth, but they won’t even think about dismantling the US police state. They’ll say “I hear you, and that’s something we’re looking at,” but they’ll never intervene against plutocrats funnelling money away from the needful to add to their unfathomably vast fortunes. They’ll call you whatever gender pronoun you like, but they’ll never do anything to inconvenience the oligarchs and warmongers.

They’ll still make you fight tooth and claw for each empty concession, because otherwise they’d be devaluing the empty, imaginary currency they’re trading you in exchange for the concrete things they want. But in the end there is no amount of narrative the powerful won’t swap out for actual policy changes of substance, because narrative in and of itself has no value. Manipulators understand this distinction with crystal clear lucidity. Their victims do not.

In reality it would be a lot more truthful and authentic for the bases within the US war machine to continue to bear the names of racists, killers and oppressors, since these embody the values of that war machine far better than anything with a more pleasant ring to it. As long as you’re robbing the American people to murder brown-skinned foreigners for corporate interests and geostrategic resource control, you might as well have names which reflect such values on your war machinery.

So I say keep the Confederate names on the bases. Hell, add more of them. Add the names of Nazis, genocidal warlords and serial killers too while you’re at it. It’d certainly be a lot more honest and accurate to have a Fort Jeffrey Dahmer as part of America’s murder machine than a Fort Colin Kaepernick.

War is the single worst thing in the world. It is the most evil, insane, counter-productive, wasteful, damaging, kleptocratic and unsustainable thing that human beings do, by a very wide margin. If Americans could viscerally experience all of the horrors that are inflicted by the war machine their wealth and resources are being funneled into, with their perception unfiltered by propaganda and government secrecy, they would fall to their knees screaming with abject rage. They would be in the streets immediately forcing an end to this unforgivable savagery. Which is exactly why America has so much government secrecy and propaganda.

If Americans could see with their perceptions unmanipulated, their response to the news that $740 billion is being stolen from the American people by a sociopathic murder machine in exchange for removing the names of Confederate leaders from its bases would not be “Oh good, maybe we’ll get a Fort Harriet Tubman!” It would be rage. Unmitigated, unforgiving rage. Which is all the status quo deserves. Which is all the Democratic Party exists to prevent.


Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on , following my antics on, checking out my podcast on either  or , following me on , throwing some money into my tip jar on  or , purchasing some of my , buying my books  and . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, . Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

73 responses to “A Headline That Perfectly Encapsulates Mainstream Liberalism:”

  1. Removing Confederate names from military bases? Are they serious?

    If they REALLY consider those people so horrible, then it would only be appropriate that their names remain on those military bases!

    If they remove those names, then they are symbolically saying that sending our kids to fight stupid wars is not so bad because they enjoy their training at Camp Walt Disney instead of Camp Stonewall Jackson.

  2. I’m livid rn that that budget went through. I’m freaked out. I’ve been waiting to see outcry about it every since I saw it announced several months ago. I’ve been waiting and waiting to at least see discussion about it. I wanted people to be rioting in the street about it. Instead I’ve not seen one mention of it. I was thinking every time someone mentioned health care for all, or education or housing that the response to the inevitable we can’t afford those things would be yes we can, we have an insane military budget.

    We could reduce our military budget to $275 billion and still have the largest military budget of any other country in the world. A $275 billion dollar military budget would be having $25 billion greater budget than the biggest other military budget of any other country! We would have $470 billion dollars left over for health care, education and housing!

    Americans that want that budget, and Americans that don’t care about it enough to be aware of it and the reprehensible level of imperialism we engage in dumbfound me. Ignorant of it is just as much a proponent as willing for it. Trump is a serious problem but the people believing Biden is better is a fully equal problem. At this point ignorance is no different than malice. Americans have plenty of both. I’m so freaked out.

  3. Just exactly WHY to do warmongers get elected election after election after election? This is your lucky day, because I’m going to answer that question with the REAL answer, and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with “defense”. I’ll use the patriotic voters of Virginia as an example of the rest of the country.
    The US’s economic system, whatever you want to call it, can not and, therefore, must not be separated or isolated from its military-security-industrial complex (MSIC) when discussing literally anything (including the Fed, the stock market, inflation, employment statistics, healthcare, etc. etc. etc.) about the United States of America.
    George Kennan was a very influential US VIP for many years. He said the following just a few short years before the end of the Soviet Union.
    “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”
    In the years that have transpired since the USSR’s dissolution, Kennan’s prediction has been proven to be amazingly accurate. Kennan’s statement must still be taken very seriously, to the extreme. At the time he said it, Kennan meant exactly what he said. What we average people have a duty to fully realize and fully appreciate is that what Kennan said is even more true today than it was in Kennan’s time!
    To elaborate, the US “system” would undergo very serious financial, social and political upheaval if its wars of hegemony and its MSIC were to suddenly be halted without an alternative economic system being fully “designed” prior to them stopping. Here’s just one example of the poilitical/financial/economic/social impact of the MSIC in just one of the 50 United in Perpetual Warfare States of America — again, the state of Virginia:
    Population of Virginia = 8.4 million
    Number of Registered Voters in Virginia = 5.7 million
    Dollar Amount of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2019 = $781.6 billion
    Number of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2019 = 1,291,034
    Number of Defense Contractors in Virginia = 17,877
    (To confirm my above statistics, Google “governmentcontractswon”, go to that site, select “contractors by state”on the right side of the page and select Virginia on the drop-down list.)
    So, what is the likelihood that the voters of Virginia are going to vote for a peacenik for POTUS in November?
    Is the reason that voters in Virginia select warmongers for POTUS election after election after election that they are brainwashed, or because they vitally depend upon that yearly DoD injection of well over $50 billion dollars, literally forever?
    It’s the $50 billion, stupid!
    The awful truth is that Virginians know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. As far as they’re concerned, Mr. Potato-Head or the Tangerine Jackass are both perfectly qualified to hold the title of POTUS because BOTH will increase the war budget from here to eternity. They don’t give a shit how many people are killed by the weapons they help produce.
    The shocking truth is that the voters in Virginia are not going to vote for a peacenik during the next thousand years.
    Virginia is a microcosm of the USA. AmeriKKKans say they want peace, but what they really want is perpetual war which justifies the annual DoD money-injection (which, in turn, requires the Fed to print literally “whatever it takes” amount of USD out of thin air which will pay for those injections from now to eternity) …………… until the bombs drop on Main Street, USA, anyway. Then there will be a very serious, nearly-instantaneous, nation-wide “attitude adjustment”…… in the heads of those still “living”, of course.
    All of the above being said, however, and say what you can justifiably say about the Tangerine Jackass, Syria and Iran still exist today as a sovereign states almost four years after the last “election”. Do you think the same would be true if Hitlery had been elected POTUS? I doubt it.
    I’d much rather have an old coward who fears the destruction of all-out nuclear war as POTUS than a “brave” sofa-warrior who wants to have a nuclear shoot-out at the OK corral to finally “decide things”.
    Remember what all those Russia/China-hating (Deep) State Department “witnesses” who testified at the impeachment hearings had to say? “If the Ukrainians don’t fight the Russians in Ukraine, we’ll have to fight them over here.” That is the mind-set, the qualification, that is required for anyone to get a job in the FBI, CIA, DoJ, etc. etc.
    Peaceniks not only do not “get to the top” in present-day American government, they don’t even get an interview.
    Therefore, here’s the most important question voters who don’t want to experience a nuclear war should ask themselves before entering the voting booth in November. Who do I think will resist the Deep State Department and CIA’s desire/obsession/advice/orders to attack Russia, China, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran etc. — Mr. Potato-Head or the ever-more-disgusting-by-the-day Tangerine Jackass? (Not that those two morons are the only remaining candidates, but as far as the bewildered herd is concerned, they might as well be; that and the factt that none of the other available party candidates are warmongering enough.)

    1. The solution then is to repurpose the MIC – the gargantuan financial and intellectual resources currently being wasted on the war machine could and should be repurposed for the common good. There is no shortage of projects to be funded and problems that desperately need solutions, off the top of my head: improved battery storage, improved solar panels, new substitutes for plastic (hemp anyone?), a solution to the gigantic plastic island in the Pacific ocean, affordable housing solutions… again that’s just off the top of my head. There are countless more ways to spend money where it would do good instead of harm and the people of Virginia could still have their jobs.

      1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
        Joe Van Steenbergen

        Question is: How to do that? We already know perfectly well that we can’t use the “system” to fix the “system.” How/where do we move on (to) from there in our efforts to effect change?

  4. Klaus von Berlin Avatar
    Klaus von Berlin

    Cultural stupidity and ignorance might not be so bad, were it not self-reproducing and viral, and prone to place stupid people in charge. All of us have ,.at some point , looked at a boss and asked ourselves how such a numb-nuts could end up in charge of the joint . But when Americans too poor to buy health care nevertheless vote to retain the corporate election process, that is cultural stupidity . Think about it.The shysters own your ass, your country has become a police state and most of the world hates you.

  5. The term “liberal” was stolen by Bill Clinton, post McGovern debacle, to represent the new donor class he fully committed the Dem Party to serve. At that time “neoliberalism” was born. This donor class crosses over to the unabashed Republican servants and there is very little difference between them.

  6. Godless Nihilist Avatar
    Godless Nihilist

    Trump has said he will veto this bill if it includes an amendment forcing the military base name change. I think progressives need to join forces with white supremacist in urging him to veto the bill. Make the Senate vote to override their president’s veto. I know how hard it will be to support Donnie and his horrible reasoning but these be hard times and the Democrats will not help us end the madness. Maybe it will take a madman.

    1. Dems and Repubs are left fight over symbolism, such as the Confederate base names. At end of the day they both want to give more money to the military, and that will happen irregardless of the theatrics that might occur.

  7. This old man has for many, many years insisted that ” following the illegal drug money ” would be the ultimate key to waking up our society to the evil murderous ways of our government, Wall Street banks, and the various other owners and masters destroying humanity. Here is an article that needs follow up:
    Brazil Exclusive: the Money Laundering Scandal From Hell No One Wants to Talk About by Pepe Escobar!

  8. Well, of course your’re correct about war Caity. But to people reading about the budget, $740 bill is a drop in the bucket, when you compare it to the $8 trillion or so that will, in the end, go to big Business – the greatest theft in U.S. history, compounding the multi-trillion dollar theft of Trump’s Income Tax cuts.
    Will it come down to Americans, unable to feed their children, acquiesce in exchange for a few more crumbs? Or is that the point – the one at which they have nothing left to lose – where they will finally grow a backbone and revolt?

  9. They are already at war….against OUR children!
    The verdict is now inescapable: Gardasil is killing girls.

    “The Australian government’s cancer data show the dramatic rise in cervical cancer in young girls vaccinated with Gardasil. Merck markets Gardasil as a prophylactic against cervical cancers despite the company’s own pre-licensing studies that showed a 44.6% INCREASE in cervical cancers among girls exposed to HPV virus prior to vaccination (up to 30% may be exposed in the birth canal)”.

    Why has government hidden this from us? Why has MSM not raised this issue? Could it be that they don’t give a shit about you or your family?

    1. How does a 44.6% INCREASE in cervical cancers among girls exposed to HPV virus prior to vaccination suggest vaccination against HPV is not recommended? Might those not exposed benefit? Very confusing statement.

  10. Ms Johnstone whenever I see an article and picture of Mr. Pompeo I think of you and your great articles about him. This picture in this article is priceless!
    One image from the week seemed to be appropriate – albeit unintentionally. It was when Pompeo was ushered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson into the back garden at Downing Street. The American’s ample gait could hardly fit into the armchair he was assigned to. There was a similar misfit in Pompeo’s Cold War mission with today’s geopolitical realities.
    This article and the great photo can been seen here:
    Pompeo on Ungainly Cold War Mission to Europe

  11. Global Capitalism is the main, hidden enemy and slave-owner these days. GloboCap is the unseen hand. Several people sent me this story. (“Know Yourself, and Know Your Enemy” to have a chance of prevailing in war.)
    GloboCap can take anything you might “fight” for, turn it into your slave-chains, and teach you to muder the evil-other.

  12. Roundball Shaman Avatar
    Roundball Shaman

    “They’ll get rid of Confederate names on bases… In reality it would be a lot more truthful and authentic for the bases within the US war machine to continue to bear the names of racists, killers and oppressors, since these embody the values of that war machine far better than anything with a more pleasant ring to it.”
    Names and symbols are very powerful things. Much has been written on that subject. When you harness the power of names and symbols and myths and tap into the Collective Unconscious, you can (as has been written) turn 2 plus 2 into 5 if you want to. For generations, Christopher Columbus was a hero who opened the doors to the New World. Columbus was a symbol of “that”. Today, Columbus becomes a vicious vulture raider who committed genocide against Native peoples. Columbus now becomes a symbol of “that”. In a few years, he can be a symbol of whatever else they want him to be. Same guy. Same history. Same events. Totally different symbols to elicit totally different reactions in the public at large. This also goes for Confederate references, or anything else they choose to redefine.
    “So I say keep the Confederate names on the bases. Hell, add more of them. Add the names of Nazis, genocidal warlords and serial killers too while you’re at it.”
    Big sports stadiums in America sell their “name” to corporate sponsors for multiple millions of dollars. This should also be done with military bases, public buildings, libraries, hell, even your local elementary school. Sell every public facility name for money. Make some bucks. Let the high bidder win. Real honest capitalism and competition! You don’t like the name of something? Pull out a big stack of green, sucker. Make it worth our while and we’ll rename our family members for the right price. Becomes easy once you’ve already sold your soul.

    1. Look thoroughly into anyone’s lifelong history and you can find something with which to demonize them for your purposes. I read yesterday that the Sierra Club (a leading environmental organisation) is now condemning its much honored founder John Muir because he purportedly expressed racist views towards non-whites.

      We’ve all heard the rap on Washington, Jefferson, Columbus, Grant, Teddy Roosevelt and other men of great accomplishment in history because of their attitudes and actions respecting race which comported with probably 99% of other enlightened whites during their epoch in history.

      Now some argue to treat Lincoln’s legacy in the same way, because he made clear on multiple occasions during his campaign and during his presidency that his purpose, belief or desire was NOT to elevate the condition of the black race, but to preserve and administer the Union effectively. He stated he would preserve slavery to keep the union together. He is also under attack, as is Roosevelt, for his poses in some statues vis-a-vis sundry black and aboriginal peoples whose conditions both of these men advanced in their public careers.

      Are people so stupid that they do not realise that any given statue is NOT meant to be an endorsement or affirmation of the subject’s entire life, personal morality and world view? Can they not compartmentalise to the point where the great or heroic acts that those individuals did can be recognised and honored for their own sake, on their own merits?

      I see the same witch hunting being pursued in science where the discoverers of profound truths that have changed the human condition irrevocably (and for the better) are being shunned and accolades rebuked because of their unfortunate attitudes about race. Nothing will ever change the fact that James Watson co-discovered the structure of DNA, even though he expressed the belief that intelligence has a strong genetic component which may not be distributed evenly throughout the greater human population, yet he’s been made a pariah since saying this.

      The sins and pecadillos of great contributors to human advancements do not negate those contributions and should not allow for the blatant editing or censoring of our recorded history. It is exactly the kind of thing that Orwell condemned using the hypothetical mechanism of a “memory hole” in his acclaimed novel “1984.”

      When will he be condemned in some future history for not toeing the zeitgeist of a world he never lived in? When will “Harry Potter” story books be burned in the village square because J.K. Rowling has what is NOW (but not just a few years ago!) an eccentric opinion of who qualifies to be called a woman according to the age-old dictionary definition of the word? When will the “cancel culture” itself be gratefully cancelled and people return to living in the world as it is, rather than one they may think they prefer?

      If present society would allow itself to deeply investigate the biographies of those much reviled Confederates, it might actually find that the individuals did much more in life than fight a war, the purpose of which may or may not have been to abolish slavery. I don’t claim to know the answer to that, but most civic leaders anywhere, especially those honored with statues, have shown more than the average public service and industry, yes, to accrue the honor and fame they acquired in life. They may not have all been nothing but despicable villains. Not having the answers, I shall reserve judgement whilst the rest of the populace brandishes its torches and pitchforks.

    2. I wonder how much Bezos would pay to have a statue of himself in a public place. I hear there’s a bunch of empty pedestals in parks around the country.
      Or Caitlin was right when she said we shouldn’t put people on pedestals.
      But, as long as we are already selling names of sports stadiums, why not make a buck and pay for community services like health care? Well, I guess the sports stadium example shows the naming money doesn’t go to the people who paid for the boondoggle with their taxes.

  13. Wake me when they start tearing down the Vietnam war memorials.
    Meanwhile, remember this? It’s been scrubbed from Google and you tube, but It’s still on Bing:

  14. As Smedley Butler realized during his career as an enforcer for corporate America during the early part of the 20th century , “War is a racket” , and as such looting the defense budget has been a way of life for Americas political class elites since 1776. These days 70 cents out of every tax dollar extorted goes into their pockets by hook or by crook. Outside of the aging nuclear weapons , the US military has become a straw-man , as Bush2 , Obomber , and Trump have proven repeatedly since 2000.

  15. An apt condemnation of the Democrats who are really just an auxiliary wing of the Republican Party. But I must protest that there is absolutely NOTHING liberal (or progressive) about them. The last nominal liberal in the entire Congress WAS Bernie Sanders. He made some wishy washy suggestions about going back to some features from the New Deal, which the Dems completely gutted and left to rot in the fetid Washington swamp under Clinton. Gore and Kerry gave but tepid lip service to “liberalism” in their inept campaigns against a world class warmonger in Cheney and his sock puppet Bush. Kerry mouthed anti-war platitudes to the Dem base on the campaign trail, but showed his true warmongering tendencies when made SS by the Great Deceiver Barack Obomber. Gore simply discovered that there was a lot more money for him to make in Hollywood than in DC. If you don’t like Trump (and who does these days since world events have all gone South on him?), don’t blame Russia, or China, or Iran, or Venezuela, etc., blame Obomber and Killary. It was their shameless bait and switch that so eroded grass root support amongst their base. The GOPers remain the world class hegemonists and warmongers they’ve always been–their drawn out pronunciation of the word “liberal” whilst wearing the obligatory sneer is just part of their kitch. (Listen, you will hear Rush’s voice on the wind, o’er the fruited plain, long after his cancer runs its course!) Since there are no real “liberals” left alive, it’s just a vague illusion to “the other.” sort of a legendary figure like Emanuel Goldstein or the Devil himself. And the Dems, while feigning opposition to the GOPers, remain the foremost true believers and stealth supporters of the Republican agenda, which, as we should all know, even if you were born yesterday, represents the will of the transnational oligarchy that owns and controls everything in the USA.

  16. Just a reminder, it is now only 100 days until “Americans tell Trump to Go To Hell” Day.
    Election day is 100 days from this weekend.
    And some lucky Americans live in states where there is already trouble-free mail voting, so many Americans will get to tell Trump to Go To Hell even sooner than 100 days from now.
    Please spare me the ‘there is no difference scam’. America is now a country where paramilitaries in uniforms that show no name, badge or insignia, are kidnapping Americans off of the streets and throwing them into unmarked vans for the crime of opposing Trump. Neither Clinton nor Obama ever did that. I know because I stood up and opposed both of them, including right outside the White House, and I was never grabbed by anonymous thugs and disappeared. There is a clear difference, and Trump is far worse than anything America has seen before.
    Trump must go, and he must go as soon as possible.
    And now its only 100 days until “Trump gets the American people’s boot up his ass” day.

    1. Obama used the FBI to crush Occupy Wall Street (https://www.blackagendareport.com/who-most-dangerous-fascist). Obama did not care that the cops were macing, beating, shooting, and kidnapping protesters, journalists, medics, observers, and bystanders, and Biden has already given us the finger. Obama did jack shit about business as usual cops beating, murdering, and kidnapping Black people.
      From the article by Glen Ford: “Homeland Security agents are actually behaving much like local cops anywhere in the United States. Chicago police for years ran a not-so-secret torture center into which Black men disappeared until they confessed to crimes they didn’t commit. Cities around the nation routinely deploy “jump-out-squads” of plainclothes officers that leap from unmarked vehicles to snatch people from neighborhood streets. And most local cops assigned to suppress anti-police protests remove their badges and identifying markers. Both local and federal SWAT teams routinely wear masks to hide their identifies. This, too, is “reminiscent” of fascism, but it didn’t arrive with Trump in January, 2017.”
      A vote for Biden is a vote to go back to putting a happy face on regular American style fascism.

      1. Now now, dont go and ruin his fantasy. Quit bringing up those pesky facts.

  17. War is the very worst thing in the world. War is when other people tell you who your enemy is. Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.

    1. Statues are not my enemies.

  18. Confederate monuments should be trashed and I don’t care which party does it: liberal, conservative, radical, revolutionary, Democrat, Republican, Green Party. I don’t care. Those monuments were built, not merely to commemorate slavery, but to signal to black people in the early twentieth century that worse was to come. It’s called Jim Crow. The Union armies had only won the battlefield but not the war. Those monuments could only have been built because of a politically resurgent racist South and ongoing white suppression, dehumanizing and super-exploitation of black people. As a black person who has no truck with the Democrats or any other party of bourgeois political elites, every racist, colonial, monument around the world is a blight on my sense of humanity. Getting rid of racist symbolism is not a relay run against dealing with impoverishment. They fit hand in glove in a continuous struggle.

    1. That reasoning is as misguided as the Muslims defacing Buddhist and Persian art worldwide because theyy fid not agree with it. Retreat to your safe space
      and leave the art history of the world alone for posterity.

    2. That’s right, to hell with those old statues. If it hurts the feelings of a bunch of racists, that’s just icing on the cake.

      1. “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.”
        — Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr, 1958

        1. And, remember, Dr King lived in a house with an arsenal of weapons, and for very good reasons, too. Love does not overcome a bullet.

        2. We all know what a fan of the confederacy he was.

  19. Nice article here along somewhat similar lines, with a focus on things environmental rather than military:


  20. Caitlin wrote:
    > War is the single worst thing in the world.
    That’s true.
    Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata, based on Akiyuki Nosaka’s story)

    1. “War is Hell”
      — Gen William Tecumseh Sherman, an early American war criminal who made Atlanta look like Fallujah before he was done with it.
      (Funny how nobody is tearing down his statues.)

      1. Here’s a bit more from that letter, ordering the evacuation of Atlanta civilians (none of whom his forces deliberately butchered as in Fallujah), who would have no livelihood after the city’s war industry was demolished, and would have to move in any case. “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our Country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to Secure Peace. But you cannot have Peace and a Division of our Country. If the United States submits to a Division now it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is Eternal War. The United States does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the National Feeling. This Feeling assumes various shapes, but always comes back to that of Union. Once admit the Union, once more acknowledge the Authority of the National Government, and, instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot resist a torrent of error and passion, such as swept the South into rebellion, but you can point out, so that we may know those who desire a government, and those who insist on war and its desolation.
        You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride. We don’t want your negroes, or your horses, or your houses, or your hands, or any thing that you have, but we do want and will have a just obedience to the laws of the United States. That we will have, and, if it involves the destruction of your improvements, we cannot help it. You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that live by falsehood and excitement; and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters, the better.”

  21. Beautiful, Caitlin, simply beautiful. Just finished a book by Swiss historian Daniele Ganser, “Imperium USA: The Unscrupulous Global Power” [my translation of the subtitle from German], Zürich, 2020), that amounts to a documentation of crimes committed in domestic and foreign policy from Columbus, to the Colonies, the aggressive expansion across the continent and beyond, etc., etc. to our day. It will never be translated and appear in English, because Americans would revolt against their own Empire, end the happy arrangement between money, political and military power, and American buildings, streets, cities and bases would be nameless. My sympathies.

    1. I could write a book like that about any empire in history. Thats how they become empires. Britian and many other european countries did the same thing. Doesnt make it right but the weak gobbling up the weak seems pretty consistent for humanity.

      1. Khatika, of course you could, but the USA is “exceptional”, the “shining
        city on a hill”. Earlier empires didn’t bother to sanctify hypocrisy and claim to be “democracies”.

        On reflection, I was wrong about Americans revolting if they knew. William Bloom published “Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” in 1995, updating it in 2014, and also published “Rogue State” and “The Most Dangerous Export –
        Democracy”. There also are Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States”, and Oliver Stones/Peter Kuznick’s “Untold History of the United States”, but nothing happened. Americans don’t care or don’t dare to know, so nothing will happen until they feel the pain, and their empire collapses from within.

        1. You are so right. I believe the British Empire started the exceptional behavior but America has taken it to unbelievable hypocritical heights.

          1. The British Empire began as Pirates raiding the European coast.
            The classic example of a Pirate getting rich and then proclaiming themselves to be King.
            The only thing ‘exceptional’ about the British is their ability to produce bullshit about how wonderful they are.

  22. If you suffer the delusion that the so called “Civil War” had anything to do with race or slavery, you are sadly uneducated on the matter. It was about exactly the same thing politics is mostly about today. Money. The South was paying 80% of federal taxes, in the way of tariffs, and receiving none of the benefits. The North was all for the secession of the South until they realized they wouldn’t be collecting those tariffs from them anymore. To classify the Confederate leadership as “racists, killers and oppressors” without attributing the same to those of the Union demonstrates ignorance of the issue. For one glaring example, the South did not wage ware directly upon non-combatants, the North did. And it didn’t stop with the end of the war.

    1. That is true but goes against the official narrative so please refrain from truth telling in the future. Kit is always about the money.

  23. If Americans could viscerally experience all of the horrors that are inflicted by the war machine their wealth and resources are being funneled into, with their perception unfiltered by propaganda and government secrecy, they would fall to their knees screaming with abject rage.

    I doubt it. People living in the base of imperial operations — in the belly of the beast — don’t rebel. They acclimate.

    1. They didn’t “acclimate” very well to what happened to George Floyd.

      1. That was s planned response to launch protests. They actually could careless about the truth of Floyd. That he was a known repeat offender for passing bad currency and died from a fentynal overdose. Also his behavior and drugs got that knee on his neck. Bad decisions often terminate your life. That said, the force exerted was excessive in time applied. Knee on the neck is how they are trained.

        1. Actually, Khatika, the Police are entirely innocent of any procedural or physical wrong doing. Fentanyl was not a cause of death. Floyd was a confirmed Covid-19 case, so that would be registered as the cause of death, not Fentanyl, policeman’s knee or whatever. Just one of the gimmicks you are using to keep the Covid numbers high. Oh, you might consider getting the Police out of the “military-against-the-civilian-enemy” mode, and untrain them on knee-on-neck restraint.

          1. Meth, fentanyl , coronavirus, heart-condition-on-meth and physical fighting and restraint stress, etc. The coroner did the best possible on this. It was not possible to state a single cause of death, based upon all of the available evidence.

          2. My bad. All deaths are from coronavirus. Two recently were a person got killed in a car crash due to coronovirus and another got shot in the head from the same thing.

            1. Don’t feel bad, Khatika. Incredibly, all nations do it this way. Now, who could possibly have an interest in inflating Covid death numbers …

      2. Considering that BLM is an Astroturf organization backing the Democratic party and also considering that these protests & riots in the name of honoring George Floyd are another attempt to get Trump out of office, it seems more like acclimating than rebelling to me. Maybe I simply don’t have your insight.
        FWIW, I don’t reside in the USA and, if I did, I would never vote Dem or GOP.

  24. AnthraxSleuth Avatar


    Love your work.
    How about an article on the Richard Burr “investigation”? You remember. That typical DOJ run out the clock “investigation” into Senator Burr’s insider trading. It’s been nearly 3 months since the run out the clock “investigation” was announced.

    1. Also an article on the grand jury. Also a story on Ozzie Myers congressman for stuffing the ballot box in philadelphia during the 2016 election would be nice. A taste of the fraud to come in 2020.

  25. Stephen Morrell Avatar
    Stephen Morrell

    Is war really “the single worst thing in the world”? What of the American Civil War? The war of Mao Tse Tung’s peasant armies against the Kuomintang and Japanese imperialist invaders? Or that waged by the heroic Vietnamese workers and peasants against the French and US imperialist invaders? Or by North Korea against the US imperialist invaders in 1950-53? By the Bolsheviks against >16 imperialist invaders in 1918-20, and once again by the USSR against the Nazi invaders in WWII? Or the Spanish Civil War? The Houthis against the imperialist-backed Saudi theocracy? All these wars, and many others, were and are worth fighting, in which every genuine opponent of imperialism, oppression, exploitation and racism has a side.
    War might be bad but when the power of the ruling class is threatened they always resort to it, without exception. So it behoves all those who oppose oppression and exploitation to beware of this and prepare for its inevitability. The capitalist psychopaths would rather incinerate the human species than lose power, and this leopard can never change its spots.
    Today, the US is as close to a civil war as it’s been in nearly a century (the reference point being the hard class battles of the 1930s, where parts of the US frequently were close to virtual civil war). All those who want to end the rule of psychopathic capitalism certainly have a side when class-based civil breaks out too, which it may well do in the near term. One simply can’t just sit on the sidelines moaning that ‘all war is bad’ or ‘war is some male-, testosterone/steroid-driven madness’.
    It should also be understood that many of the benefits that most people take for granted, or think ‘come from heaven’ (eg, ~40 hr workweek, paid annual leave, abolition of chattel slavery) were gained only through civil war or hard class struggle involving pitched battles against heavily armed detachments and the military machines of the ruling class. And many of these have since been clawed back by the bourgeoisie without any fight at all. In a prosaic sense, that’s where pacifism gets you: the main reason for the huge disparities in wealth and income that have grown over the last 40 years is because hard class warfare wasn’t fought to defend past gains, thanks to a supine trade union leadership still in thrall to the Democrats.
    War isn’t universally “the single worst thing in the world”, and in many cases to not go to war will produce a worse outcome. But war waged by the imperialists certainly comes close to being the worst thing in the world. When the imperialists go to war against each other to re-divide the world, using the working class and the oppressed as their cannon fodder, no-one should ever take the side of one gang of imperialist criminals versus the other. In fact, the only principled position to take in such a circumstance is that of Lenin: ‘turn the guns the other way, turn the imperialist war into a civil war’. And when the imperialists are invading a country like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc, the only principled position is for unconditional military defeat of the imperialists. In general, any defeat for imperialism is not only a victory for its its intended prey but also for the workers and all the oppressed at ‘home’ being digested in the noxious gastric juices of the belly of the imperial beast.

    1. One might add to Stephen’s list of “just wars” the violent though short-lived revolution led by Castro to oust Batista. His modification/clarification of Caitlin’s post with the following words is a prime example of how a comment section can make a great blog even greater. “War isn’t universally’the single worst thing in the world’, and in many cases to not go to war will produce a worse outcome. But war waged by the imperialists certainly comes close to being the worst thing in the world.” I have a feeling that Caitlin nodded her head when she read that, although she likely substituted in her mind the word “sometimes” or “occasionally” for Stephen’s “many” with regard to those instances when failing to fight a war makes things worse. At least I did.

    2. War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing. – Temptations

      1. Edwin Starr gives it more oomph…

  26. Bravo once again! I could not agree more.

    1. Do wear masks in crowds, especially indoors, and do it casually. It’s some protection for everybody.
      Don’t think things will be ok after the November election, or after there’s a COVID vaccine, or herd immunity.
      Things won’t get better, ever. This is as good as it gets. None of us can get away.
      I accept this new normal and do constructive work for those I love, and life on this planet.
      Growing food is good. (Grow food that produces steadily and can’t easily be stolen all at once.)

  27. Protesting will become a dangerous act.
    The precedent is here:

  28. jimmyrealdeal Avatar

    i’m not gonna take it anymore….oh, 1200? maybe i will. just 2 months. then it’s war.
    oh, yeah, i’m against war. but the pope said we should not be afraid of using that word.
    you know when the two French priests got killed by Moslems. happens to moslems all the time…in India. our friend.
    wait. there is only one god right. whose? maybe we have to have one more war for God rights?
    how’s your church on birth control. how may babies do they have per mommy in ElSalvador? the savior. he’s coming with more than you can guess: rubbers first. then bullets. we got to stop this population explosion. Bill Gates. Bill Soros. Bill Bezos. bill Clinton. but then we do have some enemies out there and if not we’ll make some.

    1. Don’t Bogart it, mate …

  29. “First, you’ve got to get mad!” — Network, 1976

    1. Yes, but the genuine left has been mad for along time. The key question is what comes second.

      1. I hope what comes second is people directing their anger at the ruling class instead of each other.

  30. jason kennedy Avatar
    jason kennedy

    Not just the name removal, but what names will be proposed as replacements? Will they be names chosen as a means of appropriating and twisting the legacies of African-Americans who opposed militarism? Quite possibly. They may even suggest Camp George Floyd.

    1. That sounds like a good guess to me. Or they’ll get even more ridiculous, like when they started calling torture “enhanced interrogation”. They’ll probably start dropping “enhanced landscape reconfiguration kisses” from “sparkly butterfly” drones launched from air base “fluffy bunny” by order of general “giggle pony”.

  31. Once again, Ms Caitlin Johnstone, has very adequately described the depths of depravity stooped to by the ” United States Government “! There is nothing like adding insult to injury when your government shits in your face. Instead of ” senator and representative ” our governmental shills should all be called ” Satan’s Savages ” for doing the work of the devil. These hypocrites are completely devoid of any shame at all for being the worlds worst monsters. Off with their heads is too kind; boiling in oil is too kind; dear Justice come and get them, please.

  32. And where are the protests about the ‘defence’ Budget? Crickets.

  33. Could it be that these suited sacks of shit have a death wish?
    The next step is towards oblivion.

  34. Cara MariAnna Avatar
    Cara MariAnna

    Thank you for your sane level-headed response to insanity.

Leave a Reply