Listen to a reading of this article:

Everyone’s anti-war until the war propaganda starts. Nobody thinks of themselves as a warmonger, but then the spin machine gets going and before you know it they’re spouting the slogans they’ve been programmed to spout and waving the flags the flags they’ve been programmed to wave and consenting to whatever the imperial war machine wants in that moment.

Virtually everyone will tell you they love peace and hate war when asked; war is the very worst thing in the world, and no healthy person relishes the thought of it. But when the rubber meets the road and it’s time to oppose war and push for peace, those who’d previously proclaimed themselves “anti-war” are on the other side screaming for more weapons to be poured into a proxy war that their government deliberately provoked.

This is because the theory of being anti-war is very different from the practice. In theory people are just opposed to the idea of exploding other people for no good reason. In practice they’re always hit with a very intense barrage of media messaging giving them what look like very good reasons why those people need exploding.

Being truly anti-war isn’t easy. It doesn’t look like people picture in their imaginations. It looks like getting smashed with a deluge of information designed to manipulate and confuse and working through it while getting screamed at by those who’ve fallen for the brainwashing. It’s not cute. It’s not fun. It’s not the feel-good flower power time that people intuit it is when they look at the part of themselves that seeks peace. It’s standing up against the most sophisticated propaganda machine that has ever existed while being offered every reason not to.

When people think of themselves as “anti-war”, they’re usually imagining themselves as anti- another Iraq war, or anti- some theoretical Hitler-like president starting a war because he likes killing people. They’re not picturing the reality of what being anti-war actually is in practice.

Because selling the war to the public is a built-in component of all war strategy, the war will always look necessary from the mainstream perspective, and it won’t look like those other wars which we now know in retrospect were mistakes. It’s always designed to look appealing. There’s never not going to be atrocity propaganda. There’s never not going to be reasons fed to you selling this military intervention as special and completely necessary. That will be the case every single time, because that’s how modern wars are packaged and presented.

This is why you’ll always see a number of self-described leftists and anti-imperialists cheering for the latest US war project. They are ideologically opposed to the idea of war in theory, but the way it actually shows up in practice is always different from what they pictured.

Our entire civilization is shaped by domestic propaganda, but the only time you ever hear that word in mainstream discourse is when it’s used to discuss the comparatively almost nonexistent influence of Russian propaganda on our society. All the mainstream alarm ringing about Russian propaganda gives the impression that it comprises close to 100 percent of the total propaganda that westerners consume, when in reality it’s a tiny fraction of one percent of the total propaganda that westerners consume. Almost all of it comes from western sources.

Propaganda is the single most overlooked and underappreciated aspect of our society. It has far more influence over how the public thinks, acts and votes than any of our official mechanisms for doing so, yet it’s barely discussed, it isn’t taught in schools, and even the best political ideologies barely touch on it relative to their other areas of focus.

All the fretting about Russian propaganda from establishment narrative managers comes so close to giving away their secret: that they know it’s possible to manipulate the way the public thinks, acts and votes using media. They just don’t admit that they’re the ones who are doing this.

It’s actually the weirdest thing in the world that there’s something that has been directly affecting our minds our entire lives, and which directly affects the way our entire society is organized, but we don’t talk about it constantly. It should be at the front and center of our attention.

But of course that’s the whole idea. Propaganda only works on those who don’t know they’re being propagandized. The US-centralized empire’s ability to hide its propaganda machine is a foundational element of its brilliance.

Being truly anti-war is necessarily a commitment to finding out not just what’s true about all the war narratives currently promulgated by the imperial war machine, but all the narratives you’ve been fed about the world since you were young. It’s a commitment to truth that takes on an almost spiritual quality in the way it informs every aspect of your life when truly espoused.

It’s important to research and learn new things about the world, but what’s equally important and which doesn’t get emphasized nearly enough is the practice of examining the beliefs you already hold about your society, your government, your nation and your world. Inquiring as to whether they’re really true, and who might benefit from your believing them.

Don’t make the error of assuming you’ll be aware and informed enough to spot all the lies right away. You’re dealing with the single most advanced and powerful propaganda machine that has ever existed, and you’ve been marinating in its effects your entire life. It takes some time. Even the most aware among us were indoctrinated into the mainstream worldview to some extent earlier in their lives, and to this day most of the information they get about the world has some of its roots and branches in parts of the propaganda matrix.

It takes work to see things clearly enough to form a really truth-based worldview. But unless you do this it’s impossible to be truly anti-war, because you can’t skillfully oppose something you don’t understand. To fight the imperial war machine is to fight the imperial propaganda machine.


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85 responses to “Everyone’s Anti-War Until The War Propaganda Starts”

  1. Nobody ever asks what the endgame is and whether it can be accomplished when they are told war is the necessity. They just go with the trend because it is the trendy thing to do. People who consider themselves antiwar and who would be aghast at the idea of sending guns into a US city to solve a problem are screaming for blood in Ukraine. Putin and Russia must be wiped out they say. Is that the end game? Really? Wipe out Russia? That would be the mother of all wars, certainly bloodier than WWII based on modern warfare. That’s a lot of territory to conquer. Or is it just drive them out of Ukraine? But that’s not the same endgame. And not going to solve any of the issues as to situation that exists. That will just put in back to square one at the same negotiating table (which is now far worse for Ukraine as Russia piles up land and bargaining chips). The only solution is peace. There will always be bad actors, bad people, bad regimes (or ones that you just don’t agree with or like). The goal should always be keeping those disagreements and dislikes from erupting into a war.

  2. I have stood by Russia from the start. Doesn’t matter how much crap the western news organizations are throwing around, my position will never change…

  3. Propaganda – File under manufacturing consent

  4. Ministry of Truth

    The DHS is forming a new Ministry of Truth
    headed by a former advisor to the Ukrainian government.

  5. Hey speaking of propaganda howbout them hanging Bucha on the Russians? That’s some real narrative control. Like Lincoln said, you can fool most of the people most of the time. Most of the rest you can intimidate into silence.

    1. Lincoln actually said: ““You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
      About Bucha, according to Réseau Voltaire…
      … the bodies of victims autopsied by international coroners in Bucha (Ukraine) all bear the same signature: metal darts. This ammunition had been used on a large scale during the First World War and in the jungle during the Vietnam War.
      Ukrainian artillery units made use of it to attack their compatriots in the Donbass in 2014.
      This report contradicts the Ukraine government’s version according to which Russian soldiers had fired on the civilians with automatic weapons.

      1. The flechette story sounds bogus, and is being used to blame the Russians: “The Guardian: Dozens of Bucha civilians were killed by metal darts from Russian artillery”. The Guardian says “Pathologists and coroners ….said they had found small metal darts, called fléchettes, embedded in people’s heads and chests.” Flechettes are wide area artillery weapons and would be distributed evenly on victims, not concentrated in the heads and chests. You can’t execute people with them. I doubt the Russians have any. We won’t be getting the truth from the MSM on this, and we sure as fuck won’t be getting any dissent from the Bucha party line from anybody on the ground in Ukraine.

        1. You are delusional if you think flechettes are not used to kill people. They certainly do not distribute evenly, especially if the target may be lying down, peeking their head up, etc. You obviously have never served in the Armed Forces and have no idea of what you speak. Educate yourself before you spew nonsense next time.

          1. I’m an aerospace engineer and have forgotten more about ballistics than you’ll ever know, and I haven’t forgotten much. By what mechanism do you imagine explosively dispersed projectiles are focused, moron? I don’t recall reading about it in the literature. Maybe you should use a little civility, at least until you get a relevant degree.

          2. Regardless, when the Guardian writes a piece and mentions past usages of flechettes and fails to mention the Donbas 2014, it makes people do a 180 when they find out, shut out their reporting and question everything. I have no opinion who used them in Bucha. I have no doubt both sides are committing atrocities and there is ample evidence of that. It’s war. But when the paper looks like it is spouting bs or covering something up, people will take the other side.

        2. While I am aware that both Ukraine and Russia have artillery that can fire flechette rounds, IIRC it was once possible to get flechette shotgun rounds and some were used in Vietnam. Perhaps the SBU has a source??

          1. Ted Christian Avatar
            Ted Christian

            Perhaps the latest weapon shipment from the US has some? Perhaps the whole thing is fabricated?

  6. If the weather gets bad in Langley, those emphasizing that Putin is the aggressor period might be interested in a little historical background…
    … especially those who don’t think US politicians say all options are on the table when Lindsay Graham publicly calls for legitimately elected president Putin’s assassination and Let’s Go Brandon advocates for regime change in the sovereign country, permanent member of the UN Security Council, that he governs with 83% favourable opinions after 22 years according to… American polls while Brandon barely makes 30% after 15… months. I’m asking you…
    Imagine the reverse situation: Putin calling Biden a dictator and advocating for regime change in Washington while arming Mexico to try and bring it about. Even on the edge of the galaxy, people would have to wear earplugs to dampen the squeals of the US media, White House press secretary, State Department and MIC-sponsored “independent” pundits!

  7. Here is my opinion as a modest French citizen, crushed by the NATO propaganda. To be able to counter the propaganda, one must have a solid culture. In particular in history and geography but also a good literary culture. A good culture should be the basis of a critical mind.
    I have long wondered why the French school gave up teaching these subjects properly for the last thirty years. The answer is simple : a consumer does not need to understand because, if he understands, then he risks not consuming anymore. And therefore to consume without satiety all the propaganda of the USA.
    Last remark : to be anti-war, one must admit the possibility of war in order to counter the process that leads to it.
    Thank you for your site and please excuse my English which must be atrocious.

    1. thorsjackhammer Avatar

      Yep, the world is being gradually socially engineered to not think outside the box, particularly about authority and ‘official’ narratives.

  8. The key phrase is “commitment to truth”, essentially the opposite of propaganda.

    I was inoculated against propaganda by the Vietnam war but got a booster from Iraq. I was puzzled by all the unsubstantiated WMD claims but eventually realized it was all fabricated and have ever since adopted a default BS position. It works. Children in school should have to recite it every morning instead of the pledge.

    Propaganda is not a fair fight, inasmuch as it is between one brain and the collective endeavor of millions, but truth and reason are great force multipliers. One weapon is the simple WTF hammer: dropping bombs on people from airplanes? WTF? Another weapon is as you say the simple realization that you’re being told things for a reason, and it’s not to inform you. Just realize what’s happening. And like you point out, if we’re supposed to think Russian propaganda is bad, it’s plainly trivial in scale next to Western propaganda.

    War needs to be reframed as warmongers vs. normal people. Before WW II, military leadership commonly denounced war in the harshest terms, sometimes quite eloquently. Eisenhower, MacArthur, Sherman, the list goes on and on. After WW II, when the principal tangible benefit of war became the profits of the war companies, that stopped like it hit a brick wall. I challenge anyone to find an antiwar statement from a high ranking military officer since WW II. Money has turned them from warriors to shills. Anybody wants to parrot a prowar line at you, pound them over the head with this. Another talking point is peace, which we’re supposed to want. Challenge people to find the word “peace” on a government, republican, democratic, or think tank website. They don’t have to read anything, just word search on “peace”. See if they can find it anywhere. Another talking point is the myth of a military economy. There is no such thing. An economy is the production of goods and provision of services to meet wants and needs. War and the provision for it is about destruction, period. It is the opposite of economics, and people should be embarrassed for being fooled otherwise. And don’t just see the warships and the bomber planes, see the schools and hospitals that aren’t there, don’t just see the warheads or the nerve agents, see the childhood diseases and the old age infirmities that still exist. Google “Cross of Iron”. If blowing people to pieces isn’t distasteful enough for someone, or at least too expensive, point out the cost they don’t see.

    My favorite propaganda myth is the claim that the atomic bombing of Japan was necessary. In fact, Eisenhower and MacArthur both denounced the use of atomic bombs on Japan as unnecessary in their memoirs. Irrefutable evidence supports their belief, should someone be disinclined to give credence to the opinions of the number one and two US military commanders of WW II about WW II. And yet questioning the necessity of the atomic bombing of Japan is something of a third rail in US politics. Anybody who questions the effectiveness of propaganda, its uniformity, or their susceptibility to it, needs to roll this data point and take a hit.

  9. US Green Party Peace Action Committee

    Posted on March 5, 2022 by GPAX
    Statement on Western Imperialism and the Conflict in Ukraine

  10. Here’s exactly why the US is a mess and push, push, pushing the world to nuclear WWIII and, best of all, it’s short, sweet and simple. Narrative is only part of the reason why Americans behave they way they do.
    US voters go to the polls in November, 2022 and November 2024. Among those voters will be Mainers and Virginians. I was born in 1950 and was raised in a small town in the state of Maine, about 15 miles as the crow flies from Bath Iron Works (BIW) — a place that for many, many decades has manufactured, and to this day continues to manufacture, warships (which the locals who work there worship). Read all about this wonderful place with all of its investment and employment opportunites. Yummy.
    In the late 1950s and early 1960s my family used to drive by BIW on our way to Reid State Park and ignorantly marveled at those warships. Like the tens of millions of people living in The Greatest Nation On Planet Earth who are directly or indirectly employed by the MIC, the 6 thousand or so human beings employed at BIW will do absolutely anything to keep their well-paying jobs, and that includes voting for proven warmongers when they enter the voting booth on Groundhog Voting Day. They always have. They always will.
    (The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, is another well-paying war-enabler that employs thousands of voters living in both southern Maine and southeastern New Hampshire. They are ALSO going to do their solemn duty every November election day. Read all about this wonderful place with all of its employment opportunites. Yummy. )
    Then there are Virginia’s wonderful voters. Let’s look at a few Virginia statistics.
    Population of Virginia = 8.6 million
    Number of Registered Voters in Virginia = 5.98 million
    Dollar Amount of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia in 2020 alone = $53.8 billion
    Dollar Amount of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2020 = $846.6 billion
    Number of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2020 = 1,617,422
    Number of Defense Contractors in Virginia = 18,227
    (To confirm my above statistics, go to and select “contractors by state” on the right side of the page and then select Virginia on the drop-down list.)
    Now pull your heads out of the mystical sand and ask some real-world questions about “the average people” of Virginia.
    What is the likelihood that the vast majority of voters in Virginia are going to vote for a peacenik for POTUS or federal legislator on any future November election day? Correct, real-world answer: 0%
    What is the likelihood that the vast majority of voters in Virginia are going to vote for a warmonger for legislator or POTUS on any future November election day? Correct, real-world answer: 100%
    Now, you thoroughly-woke, logical-thinking commenters, is the reason that voters in Virginia have selected warmongers for POTUS and federal legislators election after election after election, that they are brainwashed and un-woke, or is it because, in Virginia’s case, those voters vitally depend upon that yearly DoD injection of well over $50 billion dollars, literally forever? Correct, real-world answer: It’s the $50 billion!
    The awful truth that people living both inside and outside the US, especially those living in Russia and China, must fully understand is that Virginians know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. As far as Virginia’s voters are concerned, Biden or Trump or Pompeo or Bolton are all perfectly qualified to hold the title of POTUS and you-already-know-their-names warmongering bastards for the federal legislature, because all of these impeccably tailored baby-killers will increase the “defense” (perpetual-war) budget from here to eternity. Virginia’s voters don’t give a shit how many people are killed by the weapons they help to produce, and they are not going to vote for a peacenik during the next thousand years! They’re perfectly willing to risk nuclear war rather than vote for their unemployment.
    Now, how’s that for a “wake-up call” in the middle of our dark night of 24/7 propaganda?
    Virginia’s political/economic situation is a microcosm of the USA. Americans say they want peace, but what they, the vast majority of voters, have voted for, time and time and time again, is perpetual war and “full spectrum dominance” of the world which, again, justifies the annual, annual, annual, not-just-once,-but-from-here-to-eternity DoD money-injection.
    Once again with feeling, the US has a war-based economy, folks! George Kennan spelled it out shortly before the USSR ended.
    “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.”
    Will “average Americans” vote for perpetual war yet again this November and on every November election day in the future, and will they, as they have many times in the past, ignore any candidate who wants to seriously cut the war budget and create a more peaceful world? My answer is “you bet your ass they will!” Now, you tell me your answer and what that bodes for the future.

    1. Excellent analysis ISHKABIBBLE – thank you for the effort. :0

      1. It was only a few short years ago that I learned Virginia was the biggest recipient of defense dollars. Always had guessed that liberal California was first (believe they are second).

    2. The only possible answer I can see, and it’s about as long a shot as can be imagined, is the repurposing of the MIC to promote the flourishing of life (all life) instead of the taking of it. There are jobs aplenty in that new purpose, are there not? Which helps to make Ish’s familiar point that we can’t even BEGIN to move in that direction by voting for any R or D currently on the political horizon.

    3. Here is an appropriate video about blood money:

    4. Excellent article – excellent comment. Same here in the UK. I’m considered insane for avoiding contracts in ‘finance’ and ‘defence’. By corporate greasy pole bot mediocrities. But I can get by and also live with myself, despite their mediocre tittle tattle. Matt Taibbi hit the nail on the head – time to forget about cancellation and consider damnation.

  11. Frank Thompson Avatar
    Frank Thompson

    Those who accept that Russia had to invade to protect Russian-language speakers in Donbas overlook the fact that there would be no Donbas insurrection without military support from the Russian government. It is much like there would never have been a Contra war in Nicaragua had the U.S. government not formed, trained, and armed the Contras.

    Moreover, it makes no sense to believe that Russia’s interest in the invasion was to protect so-called ethnic Russians when it’s army concentrates on seizing territory for a “land bridge” to Crimea.

    The de-nazification rationalization is similarly without foundation.

    So, all of the commenters here standing up for the Russian Empire, please remember that anti-imperialism opposes empires. You aren’t anti-imperialist if you are supporting Russia in this conflict.

    Anti-war opposes war.
    Adios! for a couple more weeks.

    1. I have never seen an American shed a tear for any of the victims of American Imperialism. Americans take it as their right to do regime change.

      Not Cuba, not Venezuela, not Iraq, not…

      Even in the early days it was understood that the purpose of argument is not to determine the truth, but to beat down (de down and battuere beat) one’s opponent.

      The purpose of the US government is not to promote free speech.

      The “right to free speech” is only the right of the silenced to bring suit AGAINST the government’s suppression of speech.

      And even this “right” is not allowed if this speech reveals government war crimes it conceals.

      See Assange.

    2. Actually not so. The Donbass was armed by deserters from the Ukraine army, who brought their arms with them when they defected. NATO Colonel Jacques Baud tells the full story here
      Also it is a common misconception that these regions sought independence or integration with Russia. They wanted certain autonomy while remaining part of the cobbled-together country under Kiev’s control. The popular TV comedian Ze was elected on the promise of normalizing relations with Russia and implementing the Minsk accords, but he immediately fell under control of the nationalist militias, who might best be described as third-generation Nazis, without the redeeming qualities (ha ha) of the originals.

      Imagine what Washington would do if, say, China overthrew the Canadian government, installed a virulent anti-American regime, supplied it with billions in deadly weapons, and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia drove out the coup’s storm troopers and asked for our help. Would we have waited eight years and watched 14,000 people slaughtered before taking action? It will also be interesting to observe Poland take back its territory that is currently part of Ukraine

  12. Cultural conformity and myth making has always existed as has suspicion of the other. You could be shunned or banished. I would advise caution in portrayal of propaganda as conspiracy that only the awakened can see. Many people distrust their government but are constrained economically and socially as they raise families and pay the bills.

  13. I grew up under the threat of nuclear annihilation in WWIII.

    Why do so many ( mostly Democrats) engage in nostalgia for those childhood days of living on the edge of extinction?

    1. What nostalgia? We’re still there.

  14. Harry S Nydick Avatar
    Harry S Nydick

    There’s no need to get verbose. The last time that I was not absolutely anti-war was at the end of WW II. that’s because, at the time, I was only one year old and was not developed enough to even know what war is. But, the older I got the more anti-war I became. Korea made no sense to me, Viet Nam even less. Every propaganda claim from our government is so obviously self-serving that each and everyone appears to make the actual truth transparent.

  15. The streets of the USA were full of antiwar marches and protesters when George W Bush did his war of aggression against Iraq.

    When Obama was elected president the marches ended.

    I came near to blows against Obama pro-war Democrats when I criticized Obama’s continuation of the Iraq war and addition of the war in Afghanistan.

    Funny how I was attacked by Democrats for being opposed to Obama’s “smart war”.

    1. Blessthebeasts Avatar

      I was horrified when Obama was elected and the antiwar movement just melted away. The carnage was continuing every day, yet the liberal set just looked away and defended Obama’s war crimes. “Give him time,” they whined while the drone strikes escalated and he started five new wars. Cindy Sheehan was one of the few that spoke out against the hypocrisy and she was vilified by the phonies that wanted to use her to promote the neoliberal agenda.
      That’s when I realized that that left and right are meaningless terms and war will always be a good racket.

      1. The Democrats dumped on Cindy Sheehan because she was TOO anti-war, so much so that she challenged war monger Pelosi for her seat in Congress.

        Pelosi is such a war pig.

        1. Blessthebeasts Avatar

          Cindy Sheehan and Nancy Pelosi couldn’t be more different. Cindy is the kind of person Pelosi pretends to be and it’s a sad commentary on our precious “democracy” that she didn’t win that election in 2008. The system isn’t broken, it’s fixed.

  16. Stephen Justino Avatar
    Stephen Justino

    Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone! In this polluted propaganda media environment our insights are like a breath of fresh, clean, truthful, air.

  17. Third-Eye Roll Avatar
    Third-Eye Roll

    You know your country’s propaganda machine is functioning brilliantly when any attempt to raise awareness of it invites derision.

  18. Brilliant analysis, Caitlin, and thank God for truth speakers like you. As a default position, when it comes to personal self-defense, trust your reflexes. You’ll either run or fight and you won’t have to think about it because you won’t have the time. In any other situation, just ask yourself if the situation (whatever you think the situation is) will be improved by you killing someone or by anyone killing someone with your approval. If you’re anywhere in the ballpark of being a not-so-bad person, the answer will be no. If the answer is yes to killing, then you’re part of the problem.

  19. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
    Ordinary “westerner”

    On propaganda, beware logical fallacy of GENERALISED agency: If there’s a fire, AND generalised Empire says there’s a fire, then there’s no fire. That’s a logical disorder, no matter how much bad stuff generalised Empire has done.

  20. Beau of the 5th warns me to be on guard against Russian propaganda, and to particularly watch out for the archaic term “cauldron battle,” which is a meaningless concept in modern war, with satellites and drones and the general mobility of armed forces now-a-days making such a thing an impossibility.
    Interesting, considering much of the drone footage I’ve seen of the battlezone in the Donbass reminds one of WWI, with the trenches of the Ukraine forces running as far the eye can see, and the terrain on both sides of the trenches a mud brown hell-scape of impact craters and shattered tree stumps.
    Hey Beau, how do like the term “kill box?” Those can be either large or small, and whether the forces trapped inside are mobile or not is irrelevant. In 1991, almost the entire – highly mobile – Iraqi Army found themselves situated in one big kill box, and we fixed em in place, and then let our B-52’s pound them for weeks on end. We heated em up good kid. Just like a cauldron battle of yore.
    Also, that column we caught out in the open on the “Highway of Death” at the end of that war, the operation you are so proud of, well those forces were mobile until they weren’t. You’re right, several of our pilots had the brilliant foresight to take out the first and last vehicles, which fixed the column in place, and the we proceeded to destroy every last military and civilian vehicle in it – including several two-seat bicycles, if a friend of mine is to believed.
    Took us 10 hours, but we did it.
    That was sort of mini-cauldron, don’t you think, especially for the Iraqi forces that we “heated up” to the last man?
    What is most fascinating to me about the narrative that the Ukraine Army is winning this modern war of mobility, is despite the fact that I think we can all generally agree that the US (and Nato) have totally dominated the propaganda part of it, making it difficult if not nearly impossible to see any real aspect of the war up until this point, still, almost by accident I guess, I have run across at least 70 or 80 videos of Russian armored or supply columns of 40 vehicles or more, including several columns numbering well over one hundred, going somewhere. Some were under fire, most were not, but they were Russian mobile military columns of one sort or another.
    On the other hand, I’m not sure I’ve seen any video of more than three Ukraine military vehicles of any kind grouped in one spot, let alone bear witness to them as they roll triumphantly somewhere in what might loosely be described as, a “mobile” armored column.
    The Russians have yet to take out the bridges over the Dneiper Beau, you stupid fucking nit, that’s how confident they are.
    But you are not stupid, are you? You just play dumb for your audience. You know as well as I do, if the Ukranians want to send more forces into the Donbass cauldron, the Russians will be more than happy to oblige.
    The Russians are up to 250 sorties a day Beau, and the heavy stuff on the ground is now in place. That means two things, one, the Russians can take their time in the killing, and two, the Ukraine forces trapped inside the pocket – or cauldron, or kill box, whatever you want to call it – have the same choice the Iraqi Army had in ’91, surrender, or die to the last man.
    The Iraqi’s chose surrender, for the most part, what do you propose the Ukranians do in the Donbass Beau?
    Note: Who do work for Beau? I’m starting to question your motivations, as I always do when confronted with people who advocate for senseless death.

    1. Are you referring to the battle where President Bush ordered the slaying of 150,000 Iraqi troops, in a convoy of military vehicles carrying white flags, on their way back to Iraq under Geneva Convention rules of agreed disengagement and withdrawal while, in another part of the front, 12,000 Iraqi soldiers were buried alive in trenches they occupied?,MONSTROUS%20in%20the%20truest%20sense%20of%20the%20word%3F

      1. The Highway of Death.
        Official death toll was placed in the 500 to 1000 range. US losses, zero. Whether white flags were being waved or not has never been established.
        Reportedly Bush Sr. was appalled at the slaughter, and is said to be one of the main reasons he called for a cessation of hostilities a few days later. He thought the Air Force’s blood lust was up, and feared what might be coming next.
        Yeah, the main bulk of the “fighting” in Gulf War I consisted of B-52s buring Iraqi troops alive – or dead – in their trenches, which being dug in sand, weren’t very deep.
        Initially, the Air Force claimed they killed more than 100,000 during the bombings, but walked the figure back in the war’s aftermath when the Army complained that they were taking all the credit.
        What the official figure is now, I don’t know.
        Just tweaking Beau of the 5th’s nose here. He is the best American war propaganist out there, in my estimation, and he also considers himself a something of a military genius.
        He loved the Highway of Death, that’s for sure. Told his viewers all about the “stunning victory,” used it as an example of why setting up a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be a piece of cake.

        1. Anonymous White Male Avatar
          Anonymous White Male

          “Reportedly Bush Sr. was appalled at the slaughter, and is said to be one of the main reasons he called for a cessation of hostilities a few days later. He thought the Air Force’s blood lust was up, and feared what might be coming next.”

          Do you actually believe that Satan….. I mean Bush, Sr., was ever appalled at any slaughter, much less called for cessation of hostilities because of it? Or, that he was worried about the Air Force’s “blood lust”? Can you say “propaganda”? I knew that you could.

  21. Yes you are totally true: But only in case you started thinking and reading newspapers on February 24th.
    or an amnesia that lasted for some decades?

  22. President Wilson was anti-war also untilhe wasn’t (blackmail). Obama the same, anti-war on Iraq, but pro-war on everyone else after the election.

  23. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
    Ordinary “westerner”

    – Russia initiated this war.
    – Russia is continuing this war (2 months).
    – Russia is the military aggressor here.
    – Only party issuing nuclear threat: Russia.
    – Biden said US military response off table.
    – Biden has held to that, despite pressure.
    – Weapons to Ukraine are requested by Ukraine.
    – Weapons to Ukraine aren’t killing Ukrainians.
    – Ukraine is defending itself against superpower.
    – Most people obviously don’t want WWIII.
    – The situation is a terrible dilemma for West.
    – Russia created that dilemma by invading.
    – Russia initiated the war (to repeat).
    – The first-strike nuclear threat is Russia’s.
    – Putin made that threat directly.
    – The above may anger you, but it’s true.

    1. Yes, with those beliefs I’d definitely believe you’re an ordinary Westerner!

    2. Yes you are totally true: But only in case you started thinking and reading newspapers on February 24th.
      or an amnesia that lasted for some decades?

    3. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
      Ordinary “westerner”

      So, you think your interpretations of recent history, prior February 24, somehow change empirically verifiable facts? Are you some kind of postmodernist?

      1. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
        Ordinary “westerner”

        You have it flatly wrong, MAX424. on both counts. I said “The first-strike nuclear threat is Russia’s”. Putin made that direct threat very clearly on video, widely reported (his “blink of an eye” comment, etc). So, the threat was made by Russia. As to their actual capabilities to strike first (whether in Ukraine, or firing a warning nuke over the North Sea, etc), I have no idea, since I’m not an expert on Russian nuclear capability. That was never my assertion. Only the threat made, which was clear, undeniable.
        As for your claim of “our politicians and media screaming for it [WWIII]”, I think that’s flatly false. I’ve never heard a single politician or media presenter or pundit screaming for nuclear war. Quite the contrary, most seem deeply disturbed by the situation in which Russia has put the world by starting a major war.
        But I’m open to counter-evidence. If you can provide examples of “our politicians and media screaming for it [WWIII]”, then I’d be interested to see them in context.

      2. Sorry for your mixing up assessment of a situation and judging a situation, just read a message and than think a bit about before you answer; what “empirical facts” are you fantasizing about, you are adult or you missed reading newspapers the last decades? Just some quiz for your reminder..
        (you are allowed to skip the wars before your birthday, and guess the ones from Russia)

        • Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
        • Guatemala 1954
        • Indonesia 1958
        • Cuba 1959-1961
        • Guatemala 1960
        • Congo 1964
        • Laos 1964-73
        • Vietnam 1961-73
        • Cambodia 1969-70
        • Guatemala 1967-69
        • Grenada 1983
        • Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
        • Libya 1986
        • El Salvador 1980s
        • Nicaragua 1980s
        • Iran 1987
        • Panama 1989
        • Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
        • Kuwait 1991
        • Somalia 1993
        • Bosnia 1994, 1995
        • Sudan 1998
        • Afghanistan 1998
        • Yugoslavia 1999
        • Yemen 2002
        • Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)
        • Iraq 2003-2015
        • Afghanistan 2001-2015
        • Pakistan 2007-2015
        • Somalia 2007-8, 2011
        • Yemen 2009, 2011
        • Libya 2011, 2015
        • Syria 2014-2015

        Assume you are in the wrong blog here?

      3. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
        Ordinary “westerner”

        So you post a long list of US military interventions, and that’s supposed to tell us that it’s not an empirically verifiable fact that Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022?

        1. Yeah you are right: that’s why I have written excerpts… just to see if you realize that this far from being a complete list. Missing is that from 2000 – 2008 (and up to today) when this war already began, with slaughtering and killing at random anyone (Maidan) or lateron burning Russians Civilans alive (has been in Western press, too – as I assume that you don’t know the UNHCR or OSZE reports about it, that of course were not in the mainstream press) seems not to be of any concern or even knowledge to you….guess who gave them (the Ukraine Nazis) the help, the weapon, the money…

          But you just blurt out your “empirically verifiable fact”, without understanding what the issue is about. Your personal belief is ok for you, but not of interest to anybody here, if you are without understanding of the hidden agendas of the message and myths that surround it, let alone considering it, as loving only your “empirically verifiable fact” is just a strange wording, not an argument.

          Start to get older newspaper of that time, start reading it, and just try judging yourself, try with
          “assertion-justification-evidence or also thesis-antithesis-synthesis”

          This is my last post on this matter, I don’t intend to be your tutor…although the others certainly don’t find your real-life satire that bad

          “There is only one wrong view: the conviction that my view is the only right one.”
          – Nagarjuna from the 2nd century AD


          As I have observed, those who plow trouble and
          those who sow evil reap it.
          —JOB 4:8

          1. Frank Thompson Avatar
            Frank Thompson

            Jean wrote: “But you just blurt out your “empirically verifiable fact”, without understanding what the issue is about.”

            So, anyone who wants war will find a way to rationalize it. Nonetheless, Ordinary “westerner” has pointed out, it was not necessary for Russia to invade Ukraine. Ukraine was not threatening the territorial integrity of Russia. It was Russia who for several years has been arming and supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine. Yet, Ukraine did not go to war with Russia, but attempted to defend itself against the Russian proxies in the east.
            Now the Russian military has invaded Ukraine, and anti-westerners want to cheer on the invaders due to some historical grievances.
            If war is “the worst thing in the world” as Caitlin has often written, should we not be a bit more skeptical about the narrative pushed by the invaders in a war of choice?

            Or, in more simple terms, there may be plenty of bad guys in the situation, but clearly the Russian army are not the good guys. They are choosing to bring the worst thing in the world to Ukraine. If you cannot see that, I would reverse the accusatory responses and say that you may have been hoodwinked by the pro-Russian propaganda that is so generously sown on this site.

        2. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
          Ordinary “westerner”

          It seems like you’re copy-n-pasting this stuff straight from the Kremlin propaganda manual, and then quoting the bible. Like quite a few others on here. It’s very odd.

      4. What, you drop yourself into the continuum of history and arbitrarily say that everything before that is irrelevant?? Nice scam if you can get away with it….

    4. – Only party issuing nuclear threat: Russia.
      The Russian Federation has issued statements that it is prepared to commit mutual national seppuku, if that’s what the USA wants, but other than that, I don’t recall them actually threatening us.
      At least I don’t feel threatened. Not by Russia anyway. All the escalation talk toward WWIII scenarios has been emanating from Washington. Haven’t you heard our politicians and media screaming for it? I have. It’s unnerving, to say the least, how cavalier some of my fellow citizens are about the prospects of bringing on the death of all things.
      – The first-strike nuclear threat is Russia’s.
      That will be shocking news at the Pentagon, who believe they are the only ones capable of conducting a successful nuclear first strike.
      I mean, for the Russian’s to carry out a successful first strike, they would need to sink 14 ballistic missile submarines, much of our surface navy, attack and destroy more than one hundred military bases scattered all over the planet, while eliminating all of our siloed ICBM’s out West. Simultaneously.
      That’s tough action, especially for a nation with a military budget on par with that of Saudi Arabia.

    5. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
      Ordinary “westerner”

      You have it flatly wrong, MAX424. on both counts. I said “The first-strike nuclear threat is Russia’s”. Putin made that direct threat very clearly on video, widely reported (his “blink of an eye” comment, etc). So, the threat was made by Russia. As to their actual capabilities to strike first (whether in Ukraine, or firing a warning nuke over the North Sea, etc), I have no idea, since I’m not an expert on Russian nuclear capability. That was never my assertion. Only the threat made, which was clear, undeniable.
      As for your claim of “our politicians and media screaming for it [WWIII]”, I think that’s flatly false. I’ve never heard a single politician or media presenter or pundit screaming for nuclear war. Quite the contrary, most seem deeply disturbed by the situation in which Russia has put the world by starting a major war.
      But I’m open to counter-evidence. If you can provide examples of “our politicians and media screaming for it [WWIII]”, then I’d be interested to see them in context.

    6. Sadly you are an ordinary westerner.

      You are an example of a typically indoctrinated dupe.

      For you, the history of this war began in 2022, and nothing ever happened ever before.

      It’s like my uncle used to say, “he started it, he hit me back first.”

      1. well put. there’s a little tag team here, maybe the same troll.

    7. I thought this was a parody at first, then I realized you were serious. LOL

  24. For the past weeks I have listened to CBC commentaries and ‘news’ regarding the War in Ukraine. Well, as much as I could stand … Much talk about ‘Russian Propaganda’. Yet I have heard virtually no so-called Russian propaganda. Strange. All I have heard is propaganda from the big dog and its little dog friend (Canada). I have wondered what I have been missing and why. (I used to be an advocate for the CBC – radio that is.) Early this morning — it’s 4:00 am here in Eastern Canada — I listened to your latest offering on propaganda, and you are spot on!. It is difficult to over emphasize my appreciation for your work. Thankyou.

    1. Good point, proof that Russia is propagandizing us is as invisible as proof that Russia put Trump in the white house.

  25. Frank Thompson Avatar
    Frank Thompson

    The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. The enemy of the U.S. led empire is not necessarily friendly to my interests in peace.

    Caitlin wrote: “war is the very worst thing in the world, and no healthy person relishes the thought of it..”

    So while we can be against the American empire’s wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan, etc., we can also see clearly that

    the Russian government is solely responsible for the current war in Ukraine.

    Had the Russian army not invaded, there would be no hot war there now. War is the worst thing in the world, and without Russian government decisions to start a war there, it would not be happening there now.

    Guard against being propagandized by the U.S.-led empire. But do not let your guard down to fall for the pro-Russian Empire propaganda, either.

    1. paul battenbough Avatar
      paul battenbough

      FRANK THOMPSON. your reply perfectly illustrates the fact you are propagandised. There would still be a war there if Russia did not advance into the donbass. The Ukrainian army had been terrorising their own people for 8 years. you didn’t know about it because the MSM didn’t cover it in the propaganda outlet you’d been gorging on for so long. Anyone who has looked for truth knows that.
      I did just that, looked for clues, because I see the propaganda every day and will never again trust MSM news after Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan. Syria. All presented as just interventions.
      You thought in your reply you had some enlightening insight into this, but all you have done is illustrate perfectly what Caitlin is saying and you even fail to understand that. You’ve been taught to hate and at the same time back actual Nazis who have been doing what Nazis do. Torture, terrorise, use people as human shields, create false flags. You think you’re so darn clever as well don’t you. incredible. the lack of self awareness is staggering.

      1. lol seriously dude, Russia has done nothing but harass and threat former USSR states since its collapse. stop with the westsplaining, watch how no one in Eastern Europe falls for their lame act. it;s not that deep you know, sometimes people are just evil

    2. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
      Ordinary “westerner”

      On the contrary, Frank Thompson’s reply seems one of the few here NOT contaminated by propaganda. He expresses the sane position that a genuine anti-war position opposes war regardless of its perpetrator, and recognises that its perpetrator right now is Russia.

      1. OMG! You actually BELIEVE what you wrote! I thought you were taking the piss!

        Of course Russia isn’t the big bad guy here, you have to look at Victoria Nuland and the Bidens, and what happened when they launched their ‘colour revolution’ in Ukraine.

        America said at the end of WW2 ‘Russia is next’, and they have spent 70 years trying to crush Russia since then.

        Luckily for the rest of the world, this disaster of their making will consume themselves, and the loss of the petro-dollar will see America sink back into obscurity.

        Like all ‘Ordinary Westerners’, you should read more than the mainstream rubbish!

      2. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
        Ordinary “westerner”

        Your words misrepresent me. I didn’t say Russia is “the big bad guy”, since I don’t think that. I simply recognise a fact: Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia is the military aggressor in this case. Some of you seem in denial about this.

        1. No one is in denial here. Russia invaded Ukraine. You seem fixated on nuclear threats. There are countless examples of US politicians stating all options are on the table. Russia has 800 military bases circling the globe, no wait, that’s the USA. What is your point? What thesis are you putting forth and why? Caitlin is writing about the effects of propaganda and you seem to think that her lefty readers think that Russia didn’t invade Ukraine. Why don’t you comment on her article?

        2. Ordinary "westerner" Avatar
          Ordinary “westerner”

          Idiot – I’m not the one fixated with WWIII here. I’m addressing that fixation (and the imputation of its threat to US actions only) which exists all over this blog and its comment section (in case you hadn’t f**king noticed). I’m glad you acknowledge Russia invaded Ukraine. Some here don’t. Caitlin outright denied in a previous comment (different post) that Russia was the aggressor here.
          Let’s hear some examples of the “countless… politicians stating all options are on the table” that you casually assert. I see none, but I’m open to counter-evidence, as I said.

  26. I used to believe some of the ZIO/US war rhetoric !

    When Russia went into Syria in 2015 and proceeded to wipe out 400 THOUSAND ( big number ) ZIO/US/NATO – ISIS ‘proxies’ – all the ZIO/US/NATO could do was watch !

    THAT event changed the balance of power FOREVER !

    ZIO/US/NATO are again being reduced to spectators !!

    Russia will claim complete victory on May 9th and there is NOTHING the ZIO/US/NATO can do about it !

  27. [quote]
    “Propaganda only works on those who don’t know they’re being propagandized.”
    That is not accurate. Research shows, that e.g. the credibility of information coming from seemingly different sources rises even if participants were explicitly informed of that effect prior to the experiment.
    The data retreived from antisocial media about how topics are passed around and influence posts has produced tons of new ways to influence/propagandize people independent of whether or not they were expecting it.
    From a personal point of view i stuck with two basic rules to hopefully not stray to far from the path:
    – Anything the US geopolitically supports must be wrong.
    – We are not the good ones.

    I think you kind of admit that by writing:
    “It takes work to see things clearly enough to form a really truth-based worldview.”

    The “takes work” part is very important. It will never be easy, at best easier, due to practice. We try to save energy by taking the easy way, which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, but is one mechanism to get fed other peoples thoughts and ideas.

  28. Kathryn Jorgensen Avatar
    Kathryn Jorgensen

    And now people will yell “conspiracy theorist!” who are, themselves, utterly gullible and fooled and won’t actually do any research that would overturn what they think is true – because what they think is true is, actually, merely what they WANT to be true. They don’t want the truth to be what it really is.

  29. Great one, Caitlin!!!

    1. One of her best. I’m reminded of a proverb I came upon earlier this morning: “With the blade of truth, one can write upon granite.”

  30. Caitlin,
    Once again, you are right on point with your observations. However, speaking as a US citizen, born and raised in the US, and now 78 years of age, I must say that you are much too kind to the willfully ignorant “American people”. I have endured over a half century of their willful ignorance and stupidity, through all the illegal and immoral wars of aggression – from Vietnam to the present time – and I can say without hesitation that these people will NEVER LEARN not to automatically accept the lies that the US propaganda machine, disseminated by all their agents – MSM, think tanks, lying intelligence agencies, former military officers now getting rich on the boards of arms manufacturers, the whores who occupy the Congress who receive the bribes from the thieves who run the show, etc. I have given up on the “American people”. They are incapable or unwilling to think critically or doubt at all the lies they are told by the US government, no matter how many times it has been conclusively proven that the lies told as a pretext for the previous war were, in fact, lies. Ukraine is only the latest example. The ignorant people refuse to accept the obvious fact that this war was manufactured by the US as its latest war of aggression, the purpose of which is to subjugate Russia into yet another country which must, as US foreign policy demands, follow US orders. Of course, the US calls the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Ukraine “spreading democracy”. It use of hard core Nazis in the process is denied as “Russian propaganda”, another lie which is eagerly accepted by the majority of the American public. It never ends. This wanton abuse of power by the rogue state of the US will continue until it no longer has the power to force its will on other nations. I think that time will be brought about by its arrogant overreach in Ukraine, notwithstanding the pompous proclamations of the Washington gasbags such as Biden and Blinken.

    1. Well said, well argued, and although I want to disagree with the concept that the “willfully ignorant American people” are unsalvageable, I just spent a half hour staring at my writing box and wasn’t able to come up anything.
      I had sheep metaphor developing at one point in my mind, the sheep are only as good as the dogs that are herding them, and such and such, but it fell apart due to temporal complications, as I began to consider that the herding dogs, the shepherds that train them, and the sheep themselves, are really all part of a willfully ignorant puppet team, with greater powers above them pulling the strings of the team.
      Either way, I was trying to figure out a way to lay the blame for the sheepification of America squarely on the media, which is my want, and what stopped me is I couldn’t. To mix metaphors, the media are just pawns in this Grande Neo-Liberal Game. So are the retired Generals who choose to break solemn oaths to become treasonous corporate whores. So are our politicians like Biden and Pelosi and Mitch “the turtle”* McConnell …and endlessly on and on … who govern on behalf of every interest imaginable other than that of the United States of America.
      And maybe that’s the point. If those supposedly powerful folk are just pawns, where does that leave We the Sheeple, other than very close to helpless before the non-stop onslaught of their propaganda?
      Hell, even though I wake up ready for them they still get me almost daily to buy into some stupidity, if for no other reason than I believe the Law of Averages dictates that occasionally something they tell must be true.
      This has not proven to be the case however for for the greater Covid narrative, or for the current Ukraine conflict, it’s been 100% lies so far, so I need to flesh out this Law of Averages theory a little more.
      *Nothing against turtles. I had turtle once. He had a non-sell-out look about him, so I named him Thomas Paine.

      1. Why is Putin lying to us about covid? What does he gain from helping Biden?

  31. Very few are for war if they have to do the actual fighting.

    1. thorsjackhammer Avatar

      Hence the invention of the fooled proxy.

  32. Pro-Peace might work better as a concept, but peace is hard to arrange a lot of the time, with all the cries of “Let’s you and him fight!”
    One big and recurrent problem is that war eventually comes home to the people who were convinced to support the abstraction of war in far away places.
    People have been mis-taught history in every country of the world, so don’t understand how normal people were crazy enough to support Hitler and stuff, but Hitler got support from all over the world. How did the Hitler that got support globally become the Hitler we now think of, as taught to us in history class.
    The narrative about him changed, and he probably did way too much speed during the war, and when things get really bad for people, their behavior is not going to improve, but become more extreme.
    Really learning from history is the appropriate process, but it’s not really permitted anywhere.
    Free Bait (pay later)
    A friend recently said that you can tell there is a trap by the presence and nature of “bait”.

    COVID-19 Deep Dive Part VII: Smart Cities and Neo-Malthusianism​ ​ ,Spartacus
    Welcome to the new tyranny, same as the old tyranny​
    ​What the Elites aim to bring into being is a system of full-spectrum control and naked tyranny never before seen on this planet, where people’s every move is tracked and quantified by remote, and then nudged along lines that the tyrants find more acceptable, using a blend of scientific management, behavioral economics, big data, and AI algorithms. They believe this will result in a more resilient society, more capable of absorbing unexpected shocks and surprises. It will not. It won’t, because they’re not taking the wisdom of crowds into account, and because they want to employ the same top-down, planned economy methods that failed in prior socialist dictatorships. While crowing about preserving liberal democracy, the Elites plan on creating a system that is, at its core, illiberal and undemocratic, taking human decision-making out of the equation entirely. An automatic, self-managing cornucopia of wealth and prosperity for the few, and a system of brutal, totalitarian control for the many.

    1. Those supporting Hitler assumed he would attack Russia. Sometimes things just dont work out the way you plan.

  33. I disagree. It is easy in theory to be totally anti-war. We just need to always remind ourselves that it is always the powerful who benefit and always the poor and defenceless who lose. Propaganda need not change that but unfortunately it always seems to work. Over and over again. We all benefit from you reminding us where we should stand.

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