Most of what consumes human attention is narrative; stories about what’s happening, which can be easily manipulated by the powerful. Things that are not narrative include weapons, troops, and resources. You can punch through the narrative distortion by just watching where the weapons, troops and resources go.

If you believe the mainstream narrative about any US-targeted nation you will wind up on the wrong side of debates about that nation. This is because the US empire is the single most corrupt and murderous institution on earth and its power is held in place by lies and propaganda.

It’s so obnoxious how the empire destroys entire countries and sows chaos, destruction and poverty around the world and the only mainstream pushback we ever see against any part of this is opposition to the arrival of immigrants who are fleeing that devastation.

Hey remember when it was confirmed that the CIA still plots assassinations of journalists, with a known plan drawn out in 2017 against Julian Assange, and then nothing whatsoever was done about this horrifying fact?

I still routinely run into people online who think Assange’s extradition case is about the 2016 WikiLeaks publications. It’s probably believed by a majority of politically active liberals, even though the news media never actually told them this. Gaslight people enough about reality and eventually they’ll start gaslighting themselves.

It’s silly to call the US war machine the Department of Defense. The US military doesn’t do “defense”, it does nonstop unprovoked aggression around the world. Defense is what the nations who resist US acts of aggression against them are doing.


Propaganda targets government policymakers as much as the general public. Policymakers get most of their information about the world not from secret briefings but from mainstream news reporting and its various amplifiers within their circles. That’s why so-called free democracies get to claim they don’t have domestic propaganda: because the official elected governments aren’t the ones distributing that propaganda, and are in fact often its targets. The distributors of propaganda are unaccountable power structures who nobody gets to vote for.

All US elections are fraudulent on the national level. None of them ever permit real opposition. It’s a one-party system controlled by plutocratic and military institutions fraudulently disguised as democracy. Shut the fuck up about Latin American elections.

Western civilization is so free and democratic that its rulers allow regular elections to determine which of their puppets will represent them and advance their interests going forward.

The sensible position is to focus on criticizing the most powerful and destructive government on earth, which is indisputably the USA. That is the real conversation. It is those who try to divert that discussion to criticism of other governments who are guilty of “whataboutism”.

“The US is indisputably far more murderous than China and our criticisms should reflect this.”

“You’re doing a whataboutism!”

“No, you are. Stop trying to divert the conversation from criticisms of the most powerful and destructive government with whataboutisms about China.”

The political/media class spent years hammering a Russia scandal that was obviously bogus from the beginning and is being proven so more and more as time passes, and this same class still has the gall to act outraged that people distrust it about Covid. They caused that distrust.

All you need to know about Russiagate is that it began with unsubstantiated claims made by the US intelligence cartel and ended in cold war escalations against a nation long targeted by the US intelligence cartel. All the rest was just unethical political and media opportunism.

It’s very revealing how many of those “Vote Democrat for damage reduction and then fight the power with direct action” lefties always do the voting Democrat part but never the direct action part.

Socialists who promote imperialist narratives are like that guy who got unplugged from the Matrix and then agreed to betray his comrades in exchange for being plugged back in.

Anti-imperialism sorts out the real ones from the phonies because you can gain a massive following and lots of cred in leftist circles championing economic justice and opposing police abuse while tacitly supporting western imperialist foreign policy, but the reverse isn’t true. You can get amazingly far in left punditry by being basically a garden variety shitlib plus the occasional “defund the police”-type remark, but you can’t get far in left circles by just talking about foreign without also talking about domestic policy, so if they do you know it’s not about building a brand.

“We must eliminate white supremacy,” said the political and economic institutions whose entire existence is built on the murder and exploitation of darker-skinned populations in the Global South.

Shitlib institutions give mountains of lip service to disadvantaged groups to distract from their refusal to ever cede any ground to the left on capitalism or imperialism, which is funny because both of those things are disproportionately destructive to disadvantaged populations.


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38 responses to “Call It The Department Of Aggression, Not ‘Defense’: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix”

  1. I’d rather keep the name and change the behavior instead. The department of defense can all come home, there’s plenty to do in America.

  2. “It’s silly to call the US war machine the Department of Defense. The US military doesn’t do “defense”, it does nonstop unprovoked aggression around the world. Defense is what the nations who resist US acts of aggression against them are doing.”
    Didn’t Orwell rename that function the “Ministry of Love?”
    I’ve usually been partial to the “Department of Offense” myself.

    1. How about the Depart Fence of Offing?

    2. It was originally called “The Department of War.” then some PR people, Edward Bernays people, spun it as “The Department of Defense.” Sounded much nicer, friendlier.

  3. Caitlin Johnstone, With respect, you are still fighting a war you have already won. The Ruling caste have an uncanny ability to pick the worst possible choice at the worst possible time. In 30 years since the fall of the USSR they have taken the USA and the Collective West into a quagmire from which they can find no exit.
    Consider this.
    When the Trump regime invited Iran’s General Solimani for peace talks then assassinated him, the Iranians warned them they would attack an American military base in Iraq with missiles. The missile shield failed to stop Iran’s homegrown missiles. What chance would that shield have against the far superior Chinese and Russian missiles? Aircraft carriers are the modern Maginot line. Magnificent one day, junk the next.
    There was no retaliation because they could not afford to be humiliated when the Iranians showed the
    mighty USA military to be a paper tiger.

    No empire could recover from the levels of debt, currency debasement and daily household expenses experienced to day in the USA. The more they print and borrow, the worse the problem becomes.
    Their industrial base, supply lines and wealth creation were exported to China along with real wealth creation and tax base. They spend the next generations inheritance propping up the illusion, but the foundations are gone. Economic Collapse is a question of when, not if.
    Russia survived the collapse of the Soviet Union, USA and the Collective West will survive.

    But what comes next? That is the real conversation. That is the new struggle.
    Russia had no plan for after the fall of the USSR, and was raped and pillaged.
    Caitlin Johnstone, you and fellow activists, your readers need to plan now.
    When the existing power structures have gone and the masses are stunned and bewildered, who will lead them and in what direction?
    Do you have a plan?

    1. Nicely said Archeon…All corrupt, demoralized and mentally impoverished Empires come to a sad end…No exception

    2. I second, nicely said ARCHEON.
      The United States transferred their manufacturing base to China 35 years ago, and as ARCHEON has observed, when will the manufactured Ponzi Scheme that is now floating the American economy come crashing down and what plans are being laid to provide some kind of structure when that does occur. Again I refer anyone not understanding this to a documentary made in 2010, narrated by Matt Damon, that shows what happened to Iceland and what is in store for many other Western countries.

  4. DisinfectantSunlight Avatar

    It’s more like “The offensive Department of the Empire”

    1. Naaah! Department of (extreme) VIOLENCE.

  5. Sending US troops to Ethiopia as “peacekeepers”. Um…..rriigght. Poor Ethiopians situation is about to get worse, I fear.

    This past Thursday was Veterans’ Day in the a US. Many ceremonies, businesses offering freebies for vets such as coffee, a meal, an oil change; many thank yous for service. Lots of patriotic flag waving, like Memorial Day and a Independence Day.

    But never any recognition nor amends done for vets damaged physically and mentally as a result of their service. While the freebies are appreciated I’m sure, so many need much more than a meal and a coffee.

  6. On 9/11 I watched from my office window as the twin towers burned and fell. My colleagues were furiously angry: revenge! We must kick the shit out of somebody!
    And I thought, wtf? You have no idea what just happened, or why, or who was responsible, but you’re ready to go out and kill somebody, just because.

  7. All US elections are fraudulent AT EVERY LEVEL

    RE: “on the national level”

    1. No, on the local level of, for example, an election in a small or mid-size city, many elections are not fraudulent in the same sense that national elections are. Occasionally, a genuine outsider can sneak in as mayor, etc. Of course, what he or she can do once in office is limited by the larger systems. A weak point in today’s radical left (of which I count myself a member) is exaggeration and overstatement, seized upon and easily picked apart by reactionaries and defenders of the status quo.

  8. The power of words, alone:
    “To act outraged that people distrust [them] about Covid”:

    1. Sure, the whole world is conspiring to make a bunch of unknown conspiracy nuts get a shot.

      1. just those that rule the world the WEF need a smokescreen for the great reset and the financial meltdown that was about to happen that made the 2008 look like child play impose draconian laws and destroy everything so they can build it back better FOR THEM
        and do some population culling

  9. Truer words have never been spoken. With the added bonus that propaganda works because people love it. And why do they love it? Because it gives them what they want – the old press motto. Left-wingers love left-wing propaganda (with the science et al – even if it all comes down to the $cience in the end) and right-wingers love right-wing propaganda (with God et al – even if it’s all Mammon’s world in the end and Jesus says he’s not system-compatible). Why do they love propaganda? For the same reason they love fast food and ready-cooked dishes even though they make them sick and obese but fortunately Big Pharma’s got solutions for them. It’s modern (people love being modern ™) and it makes life easy. Same as they don’t have time to cook because they want to watch the reality show on TV (and let’s be honest, they don’t really like cooking cos’ you gotta peel and cut stuff), they don’t have time to think (and let’s be honest, they don’t really like thinking either cos’ it might take them into areas of their psyches they don’t really want to hear from – especially if they were in My Lai on 16 March 1968 or similar stuff which has led twenty-two vets a day for years, although perfectly trained to be brutes, to take their own lives out of PTSD). Propaganda offers them a bunch of ready-made thoughts that you just have to put a few minutes into the microwave and off you go with an opinion that will win you friends – in the sociological circle you’re part of, that is – and influence your uncle. You’re told who to love, who to hate, who to worship and who to bash in real time and can practice singing it in unison with your folks. You’re a good guy ™ and it’s confirmed everyday by your favorite news outlet. You belong! And when your troops go abroad to kick ass, well… it’s well known, thanks to propaganda, that all these guys abroad are bloodthirsty murderers potentially swimming in shoals across the ocean with their knives between their teeth to slit your throat while you’re asleep… So, as some neocon once put it, “every once in a while, you’ve got to take some shitty little country and bash it against the wall to show who’s boss”. And people go with that because when your football team plays that of another town, do you wonder about how moral and educated these guys are? Of course not! You want the hell kicked out of them because they don’t belong, which makes them the bad guys ™. That’s all there is to it and propaganda plays those basic instincts like a Stradivarius :o)

    1. Brilliant observations. Caitlin says that “(s)hitlib institutions give mountains of lip service to disadvantaged groups to distract from their refusal to ever cede any ground to the left on capitalism or imperialism.” I think it has begun to go further than lip service, and that the liberal wing of the establishment will parcel out more and more small pieces of the pie to black people as black people, for instance, thereby (deliberately) pissing off a lot of white people who will then vote for whatever Trump character happens to be running in the next election. Then once that Trump character has milked the system for the elite as much possible at that moment, the liberals will be given another turn at bat, etc. etc. etc. Good cop/bad cop has always worked politically for many of the reasons you state.

      1. Thanks for your kind words. It is indeed jaw-dropping to see how politicized the perception of the simplest facts has become to the point of letting people die by banning medicine known to work because the prez’ who supported it is an asshole. Even if the main reason was of course Mammon’s interference, this did give a welcome boost to the narrative :o)

  10. I am obliged, by my very real responsibility and obligation to Life, to ask you to consider the possibility that any nation and any political philosophy might well be vulnerable to such corruptions.
    Take, for instance, the known fact that the global structure and function of the corporate entity (which is an unliving entity in and of itself) has rather obviously migrated towards the largest living population center on the planet that it could find.
    The threat that we truly face is a ‘what’, it is not a ‘who’.

  11. Yes Ma’am, that is correct.
    The root and the cause of this condition of suffering happens to be the spiritual afflictions of deception and evil.
    It just so happens that a great part of the ruling class of our own race have been enslaved by these afflictions.
    However, our world’s true history shows very clearly that this condition is not necessarily exclusive to them.
    It’s the ‘what’ very much more than it is the ‘who’.

  12. “The US is indisputably far more murderous than China and our criticisms should reflect this.”
    Right now the Untied States is heavily influenced by China. COVID-19 is the issue we are dealing with currently, because that is the excuse that countries around the world are using to deprive people of basic rights.
    As far as I can tell, by reading volumes of literature, the COVID-19 crisis was a joint U.S./China operation.
    Yes the pandemic started in Wuhan from a likely leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as a result of research that was funded by the United State Nation Institute of Health (NIH); funded through Ralph Baric’s Eco Health Alliance that was working closely with Shi Zengli, director for the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at WIV.
    Unless we understand this and the degree to which China and the United States collaborates we will find ourselves marching into a new world totalitarianism that we will never be able to break out of because it will be managed with AI Deep Learning systems being developed both in China and the United States.
    SAR-CoV-2 is a chimeric virus that the genetically engineered in the lab, likely at Wuhan with U.S. funding.
    We want neither a totalitarian China, nor a totalitarian United States taking control of ever aspect of people’s lives.
    So let’s stop playing this black vs. white game and begin looking at what the prospects look like for humanity if either China or the United States implements a global social credit system like the vaccine passports currently being rolled out in the United States and in many other countries around the world, including Australia.
    Here is the real story of our times, not the Bush era false flag events designed to move the U.S. population to accepting the invasion of every country the White House chose to attack for what ever reason they picked.
    Yes that was horrific, but we have a new problem now, and we had better deal with it or we will get the Social Credit system of China propagated around the world, a system that we will never be able to revolt out of. The vaccine passports, that the United States is trying to enforce, is just the toe in the door toward to full blown social credit system.
    Please wake up people.

    1. That all sounds highly plausible Timothy.
      Here’s a slightly different point of view:
      The question, is would the US/Euro oligarchs want to get in bed with the Chinese oligarchs?
      When one has everything and anything one wants, what is the one thing left to possess?
      TOTAL FUCKING CONTROL of course.
      Digital currencies would give them that.

      1. China is that manufacturing hub of the world. It is for that reason that Microsoft, Google, Facebook censors content that isn’t flattering to China. I think what we may be seeing is the emergence of a global elite that will include Chinese elite.
        I am aware of the murderous history of U.S. covert operations and the propaganda that was used to put a smiling face on those murderous covert operations from the Middle East, to Latin America, Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, Africa, Oceania, and the attempt post WWII to gain control of China as well, and of course the U.S. is still in Korea and Japan.
        What we want is to see is federal democratic republics emerge where local sovereignties are still honored, rather than moving toward a global system with central control. Somehow we have to decouple democratic republics from capitalism which is choking the world. I think China is sporting a more capitalistic approach these days where international commerce is concerned.
        Consider what happened to Iceland when global capital moved in. See:
        This is an very informative bit of history which speaks directly to the current crisis in the world where Wall Street has now turned to the pharmaceutical companies to make their investments profitable.

        1. We were warned by Klaus Schwab, (founder of the World Economic Forum) that by 2030:
          ‘You will own nothing and be happy about it’ Not ‘we’, you.
          The first ‘nail’ in that coffin a syringe?

    2. As far as I can tell, by reading volumes of literature, the COVID-19 crisis was a U.S. act of “economic warfare”, which has contributed to undermining both China’s economy as well as that of most Western countries (allies of the US), leading to a wave of bankruptcies, not to mention unemployment, collapse of the tourist industry, etc.
      While the “Made in China” coronavirus label served as a pretext, the unspoken objective was to bring the Chinese economy to its knees.
      Late February: Financial manipulation characterizes stock market transactions Worldwide.

      The stock value of airlines companies collapses overnight. Those who had “foreknowledge” of Trump’s March 11 decision to ban transatlantic flights from EU countries made a bundle of money. It’s called “short-selling” in the derivative market among other speculative ops. Institutional speculators including hedge funds with “inside info” had already placed their bets.
      COVID-19: Welcome to the New Dark Ages
      Cover for an economic reset and an elitist-driven totalitarian global authority.
      The state has long planned for this scenario. It realizes the asset bubble and Ponzi scheme economy cannot be sustained and the crash will be catastrophic. The plan is to blame COVID-19 for the crash. This will not only allow the real culprits—central banks, the Federal Reserve, investment firms, and other scam artists and economic criminals—off the hook but flood them with trillions of bailout dollars

      there is no need for the US to use the wuhan lab China and Russia are surrounded by more then 400 US bio labs
      Ukraine is host to some 5 high security US bio-war labs. They test regularly new viruses on the population – yet, when strange diseases break out in the surroundings of the labs, nobody is allowed to talk about it. Something similar, she says, is happening in Georgia, where there are even more Pentagon / CIA bio-war labs – and where also new and strange diseases break out.

      there is also verifiable evidence regarding the recent interest of one controversial U.S. government agency in novel coronaviruses, specifically those transmitted from bats to humans. That agency, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), began spending millions on such research in 2018 and some of those Pentagon-funded studies were conducted at known U.S. military bioweapons labs bordering China and resulted in the discovery of dozens of new coronavirus strains as recently as last April.

      Bats, Gene Editing and Bioweapons: Recent Darpa Experiments Raise Concerns Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, by Whitney Webb

    3. Pretty good, I agree with a lot of what you say, however, China and the U.S. were collaborating on the development of a SARS virus since 2007. The ingredients for SARS-CoV-2 came from bats in an abandoned mine in Yunnan Provence in Western China about 1,000 miles southwest of Wuhan. Four viruses were collected from, bats in Yunnan province, each of which had a segment of nucleotides that would eventually end up in SARS-CoV-2. The best explanation for this is genetic engineering where the four virus genomes were recombined in a lab to produce SARS-CoV-2, complete with it’s ability to bind to the human ACE-2 receptors and thus gain easy access to human cells. China had to know about that, nothing happens in China without Beijing knowing about it. Remember the Chinese doctor that tried to warn the people of Wuhan that there was a dangerous virus spreading in the Wuhan area was arrested by the Chinese authorities. He subsequently died of COVID-19. China has been working with the U.S. since before the Reagan administration when George H.W. Bush met with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng. His younger brother Prescott Sheldon Bush Jr. worked with Jiang Zemin, created the U.S. – China Chamber of Commerce ,built the first golf course in Shanghai and worked closely with Beijing to open up American markets to China and in return open up China to American companies so they could get their products produced cheaper in China. Xi Jinping gave a fawning tribute to George H.W Bush saying he was “greatly saddened” by the late president’s passing, describing him as “someone who made important contributions to the China-US friendship and relationship during his lifetime.”. See: and

    4. Timothy Michel, back when we lived in smaller communities, people knew each other, strangers were rare. Everyone had a social credit score, it was your reputation and it followed you around
      Your employment and marriage prospects and the amount of respect you were shown depended on your honesty and commitment to social norms.
      The Chinese social credit score is just a formal reputation.
      The reason their prison population is so low is because they can punish bad behavior before it gets out of hand. Break the rules and your face is flashed up on digital billboards warning people to ostracize you. Because everything is paid for with a smart phone, access to anything can be restricted.
      That is the Chinese way, for them it works.
      It would not be my choice.
      But I do not think our present system is any better or fairer.

    5. Wrong, a social credit system is a way for the state to track every behavior or every person in the country and to make sure that they are complying with all government mandates and the ability to cut off their access to resources if they don’t comply..
      In the local community example this would be like one person having control over all the activities of every other person in the community and being able to cut off their access to community resources if they don’t follow the dictates of that one person leader.
      This central control system flies in the face of diversity, which has been shown time and again to be more stable than top down control which always leads to mono-culture, one size fits all when there are a diversity of sizes needed.
      I don’t get it, most of the people commenting on this blog feel that the United States’ attempt to control Iran’s access to resources, or that of any other country, is patently wrong. When China does the same thing to their own people we give them a pass.
      Local community means jurisdiction of the local community over their own affairs and I would hope some kind of democratic process where every member of the community is included in the decision making process for that local community. More importantly every community also needs to be a republic, meaning that the governance of the local community is designed to be in the interest of the people in that local community and not some foreign entity, i.e. global state or corporation.

      1. Timothy Michel, with respect, I disagree. America is 10 generations old. China has had 200 generations to evolve a method of governance suitable for their circumstances and national character.
        They used data gathered from everyone’s smart phones to monitor the virus as it rippled through their communities, and also monitor their remedy. The Chinese delegate the CCP to regulate their behavior and seem happy enough to do so. We use twitter facebook and the oligarchs to control free speech and monitor our actions and behavior, 24/7/365.
        Our criminal justice system depends entirely on wealth, how is that better than the Chinese system?

        I entirely agree with you that every community running their own affairs would be a better choice. But I know of nowhere that this system has survived human greed. As our host has said above, let us get our own house clean before we call our neighbor dirty.
        Thank you for the compliment above, that made my weekend.

    6. Well, consider this article, because this may very well be what we are facing in our own countries and in China as well.
      I know people that are from China and people that visit China on a regular basis and they tell me that the Social Credit system is a system that is designed to lock society down.
      Also see:

  13. What I really repulsive is all the brainwashed Americans who keep thanking their murderous Troops for their services.

    1. or genuflecting to the CIA and NSA etc. “our intelligence community”. they should rename the state department the department of imperialism for that matter. so many opportunities to spread freedom and democracy now that the us got kicked out of afghanistan.

  14. Mankind has had an insane culture of glorified violence since the beginning of social organization, Our religions and entertainments perpetuate horror, death, and destruction as inevitable attributes of existence. Its mindlessness feeds the war industry and their blood lusting profiteers while dramatically sustaining the competitive requirements of all-life-destroying capitalism. To survive into the future, we must truly grow up and appreciate peaceful co-existence with our fellow man and the biosphere. Madmen always rule in wealth-driven cultures. Violent entertainment is the most perverse pornography.

    1. It won’t be popular here, but I’ll make the statement anyway. ALL pornography is perverse, because the sexual and the violent, at least for many (especially of the male persuasion…and now I’m REALLY in trouble) are intertwined at the core, what Freud referred to as the polymorphous perversity of the Id. I disagree with much that Freud said, but IMHO he nailed this one.

    2. Very good and honest Post, I agree big time with you !!!!!

  15. About the time NATO was formed, the propaganda experts got the name changes from the more honest “War Department, ” which had been its bame since the republic’s inception.

    War Department is adequate. I try to use the term when possible.

    1. How about Whore Dept? Just a thought.

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