Listen to a reading of this article:

Criticizing your government is propaganda.

Disagreeing with neocons is supporting fascism.

Opposing an empire is defending tyranny.

Seeking de-escalation causes escalation.

Nuclear brinkmanship is safety.

Diplomacy is appeasement.

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength.

Criticism of US foreign policy looks like Russian propaganda to people who’ve spent their entire lives marinating in US propaganda.

They need so much propaganda, censorship and organized trolling because without those things the public would realize that pouring billions of dollars into an unwinnable conflict that risks nuclear war and makes everyone poorer actually sucks and doesn’t benefit normal people.

Comparisons of Putin to Hitler only sound profound and relevant if you only just began paying attention to US foreign policy and are therefore unaware that literally every single US enemy is always copiously compared to Hitler. It’s like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, except there is no wolf, and the boy just keeps crying “Wolf!” over and over again, and the villagers never learn their lesson and never stop believing him.

Because mainstream westerners ignored all wars until Ukraine, they don’t know we’ve seen all these tricks before. They don’t know the war propaganda is airing reruns. They think it’s new to compare today’s Official Enemy to Hitler. They never question the atrocity narratives. They don’t know the US always lies about every war. They think it’s a crazy conspiracy theory to suggest that the actions and motives of their government isn’t what they’ve been told. They say “Uh, hello? PUTIN is the one who invaded!” like that obvious fact somehow makes it impossible to be lied to about the other aspects of the war.

Because they weren’t paying attention to all the empire’s tricks leading up to this, they don’t see the same old patterns rolling themselves out yet again, often by the same old voices as before. They don’t know what patterns to watch for, so they don’t see or recognize them. That’s the only reason their eyes don’t reflexively roll when they’re told today’s Official Enemy invaded completely unprovoked, solely because he is evil and hates freedom, or that the US is defending its friends the Ukrainians because it wants to protect freedom and democracy.

If you only just started paying attention and don’t know the US power alliance literally always lies about every war it’s involved in, the war propaganda slides down their throats with zero gag reflex, because they don’t recognize it as propaganda. It’s unfamiliar to them.

Criticizing the extensively documented western aggressions that led to this war is not the same as saying the invasion is good or that Vladimir Putin is a wonderful person. If this isn’t obvious to you, it’s because US propaganda has turned your brain into soup.

It’s absolutely insane how literally any criticism of the indisputable well-documented western provocations in Ukraine gets shouted down and raged at. You’re only allowed to say this war is completely unprovoked and began solely because Vladimir Putin is evil and hates freedom.

If discussing facts and criticizing the foreign aggressions of the most powerful government in the world is taboo, you might be ruled by tyrants and surrounded by their brainwashed human livestock. If you spend your time raging and yelling at those who advocate peace, you might just be pro-war.

I gotta hand it to the war propagandists on Ukraine, it’s truly impressive how they’ve managed to convince everyone that the real “anti-war” position on this issue is the one being promoted by John Bolton, Bill Kristol, Tom Cotton and Mike Pompeo.

Putin is responsible for Putin’s decisions, the US empire is responsible for the US empire’s decisions. Putin is responsible for deciding to invade, the US empire is responsible for the mountains of well-documented aggressions which provoked that decision. This isn’t complicated.

I can respect arguments which assign blame to both the US and Russia. I can respect arguments which place more blame on Russia than on the US empire’s provocations. But the mainstream narrative does neither: it completely exonerates the US from even the tiniest bit of responsibility. Which is just a joke; there is no valid basis on which to claim this war was unprovoked. None. The only people who claim this are the propagandists and those they have propagandized.

But that’s pretty much everyone I wind up arguing with about Ukraine: those who adamantly insist that the most powerful empire that has ever existed bears exactly zero percent of the responsibility for this war. That sycophantic, bootlicking mind virus is what I am always pushing back on.

If you believe the US empire bears zero responsibility for starting this war, even in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary, it’s because empire propaganda has melted your brain. But this is most people. It’s the mainstream perspective on this war.

That demands pushback. Herculean pushback. The fact that the most powerful and belligerent power structure on the face of this earth is predominantly viewed as having no responsibility for the extremely dangerous war it deliberately provoked demands aggressive opposition.

The US deliberately provoked this war. The US is keeping this war going. The US is using this war to advance its geostrategic interests in Europe and Asia. These are facts. When facts are taboo, you are living in a world of lies.

The Assange case is resonating with so many people because it’s personal. It’s asking each of us what kind of world we want to live in: one where journalists are allowed to tell the truth about the powerful, or one where they are not? It’s a question that demands an answer.

I speak in a forceful and unmitigated way because that’s how you get people to listen to you, and because it is the right thing to do. If empire critics don’t speak in a forceful and unmitigated way, the only ones speaking in a forceful and unmitigated way will be the imperial pundits and politicians.

It often enrages empire apologists that I speak this way, because they’re not used to criticism of the US empire being voiced like this, but it also sometimes confuses people who agree with me for the same reason. Socialists and anti-imperialists usually mitigate their voices. I don’t, because that’s just a bad habit. If you’re right, you should speak like you’re right. If we don’t, the only ones speaking like they’re right will be those who are wrong. And then those who are wrong are the only ones who will be listened to.

And that’s exactly what’s happening: those with the most influential voices are those who defend the most depraved impulses of the most powerful people in the world. Those are the people who are being listened to right now. So speak like you know you’re right and they’re wrong, because that is indeed the case.

Fredric Jameson says it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Adyashanti says spiritual people are often more afraid of life than they are of death. These two points seem related. Armageddon feels less scary than sorting our shit out as a species.

The idea of finally turning towards each other and coming into enough intimacy to move from competition-based systems to collaboration-based ones feels more intimidating than the end of the world, so people start hoping for the end because at least that way it’ll be over with. For the same reason people who can’t imagine going on living get suicidal ideations, people who can’t imagine humanity transcending its self-destructive pattering get omnicidal ideations.

This is a major obstacle. Humans need to overcome their fear of life.


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77 responses to “The Boy Who Cried Hitler: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix”

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  4. Your language can’t be as “forceful and unmitigated” as war. I went through your same thought process years ago and realized it wasn’t possible for my words to be as obscene as war, in fact it’s inappropriate, obscene really, to speak of war politely.
    That’s a dreary litany about history repeating and people believing the same things over and over. Maybe step one in your universal awakening efforts needs to be awakening humanity to just how fucking stupid it is.
    “Armageddon feels less scary than sorting our shit out as a species” … Uh, not for me it doesn’t. I’m open to suggestions on the species sorting stuff but I’m genuinely scared of Armageddon and would like to avoid it.

    1. War leads to: the destruction of former friendships, suicide from experienced trauma, increased difficulty in acclimatizing post conflict, ideological conflicts, PTSD, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic abuse, hampered ability to maintain employment, mental illness, permanent physical conditions, homelessness, marital issues, depression, personality disorders, special needs care, violence, stigmatization, exploitation, conflicts-of-interest, military-industrial-complex, Wall Street war related stocks, death…

      Who, and what, are you fighting for:
      Large defense contractors have played a central role in fighting the post-9/11 wars. They have provided workers who have engaged in direct combat and provided supplies, logistical services, and arms to coalition forces and the new Iraqi and Afghan governments. Private contracting has grown to such a level that, by 2011, there were more private contract employees involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than uniformed military personnel. By 2019, the ratio of contractors to troops had grown to 1.5:1, or 50% more contractors than troops in the U.S. Central Command region that includes Iraq and Afghanistan.
      Critics have raised major economic and security concerns including the concentration of defense contracts among just a handful of large firms, exorbitant prices for goods and services, fraudulent contracts, and the “revolving door” between the large defense contractors and government, such as that between Halliburton and the Bush administration. The growth of private contracting has increased not only in the military, but also in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where private contract employees outnumber government employees in United States intelligence operations. Weapons makers have spent $2.5 billion on lobbying over the past two decades, employing, on average, over 700 lobbyists per year over the past five years. That is more than one for every member of Congress.

      War if fucking stupid; especially when you consider who and what you are fighting for. The US is not a society; it is a war facilitating device designed around incentivizing criminal behavior.

  5. Stretching Grace Avatar
    Stretching Grace

    The empire of the failed neoliberal world order is like The Picture of Dorian Gray. While the facade is maintained to cast a figure of flawless beauty, the truth of its soul is locked in the attic, becoming more hideous by the day. But now, that superficial beauty has long faded. The world sees its glaring flaws, its brute veils of fracture. No amount of propaganda make-up can prop it up as the harsh light of truth adds to its disintegration, like a vampire in the sun.

    1. Stretching Grace Avatar
      Stretching Grace

      The Lying Elites: How the American People Are Manipulated by the Government and the Press (1991)

    2. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      I think that this is the meaning Wilde meant to be understood in the Picture of Dorian Gray. And that is the reason that we all remember it. We all know what is meant when someone says “That person must have a portrait of themselves in the attic”.

  6. Caitlin got quoted in Aaron Good’s new book American Exception.

  7. zbigniew dzwonkowski Avatar
    zbigniew dzwonkowski

    Hi Caitlin , you prove yourself as a beautiful mix of Sufi and Zen masters…. They all love poetry …. your nearest future is so bright …. all the best.

  8. I could “respect” arguments that Putin “invaded” the Ukraine, except that I don’t see “arguments” only catchphrases, slogans, and absurd distortions — based on a years and years of proto-rascist russophobia. This from a One-Party state with the world’s most advanced and comprehensive brainwashing program.Just TRY and have a “discussion” with someone who gets their thinking done for them by CNN or the BBC. Just try

    1. “Just TRY and have a “discussion” with someone who gets their thinking done for them by CNN or the BBC.”
      It seems to be as difficult as attempting to use logic in convincing someone to stop smoking cigarettes. The smoker must infer themselves, that a benefit is derived from stopping. No one likes to be told what to do; questions are generally a better approach.

      1. Try to get information somewhere else than western main media, maybe some independent comentator from Russia, like this one,
        or another one Greg Yudin

        1. Thank you for the suggestion…

    2. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      I admit that I gaveup trying this some time ago.

  9. The reason that the Democrat group sent the letter is to infer a false lack of solidarity among the war mongering Democrats before the mid terms. It was a stunt.

    A lot of Americans would vote for Putin. There was someone speaking in the Duma about any US states wishing to join the Russian Federation would be welcome.

    Imagining the end of capitalism is the same in many as imagining the end of unipolarity. It’s not a choice. It’s already happening and the denial is through the roof.

    To paraphrase a great visionary, the longer that you continue on an unsustainable path, the worse it will be the pain which increases each step.

    1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      Except for the fact that Russia is a capitalist country.

      1. All countries are capitalist. There are elements of other systems present in all of them which is how we define difference in sameness.

        Joseph Cambell: “Progress is the myth of our time.”

        There is your box.

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  11. Gen. Jack Keane: US’ $66 billion investment in Ukraine is well worth it

    1. Gen Jack Keane:
      Chairman of Institute for Study of WAR.
      Funded by major defense contractors such as General Dynamics and Raytheon.
      Paid self serving mouthpiece for continued war.

  12. According to, the motto of the Special Forces of the United States Army is: ‘To Liberate the Oppressed’.
    Curiously, and considering United States’ history, I wondered which cultural/ethnic group was the most oppressed in the United States of America? According to Antioch University, Santa Barbara, Native Americans are the most oppressed:
    America’s Most Oppressed Minority:
    Excerpt: While only about 2% of the U.S. population, or 5 million people, identify as having Native heritage, Natives have the lowest per-capita income and the country’s lowest level of education; they also get first prize for the shortest lifespan and the poorest housing. Where the national poverty rate is about 14%, the poverty rate of the Native population is nearly twice as high at 26%. Poverty, suicide rates and alcoholism remain epidemic among Natives, and these struggles take a toll on the mental health of this community. Historically, Native Americans have suffered through so much loss, and they continue to suffer through negative stereotypes and microaggressions as they hold the title of America’s most oppressed minority. Natives are typically left out of the conversation when we talk about minorities, many assuming that they are living high and large on casino money, but this is most definitely not the case. Natives have demonstrated much resilience in light of such a traumatic history, however, these events have definitely taken a toll on individual mental health, hence the need for mental health services that address the trauma suffered by the Native community.

    It occurred to me that Native Americans and the Special Forces of the United States Army live in the same country (the United States); then…why haven’t the Special Forces intervened: “To Liberate the Oppressed?”
    The Special Forces of the United States Army must have an important reason for not helping the Native Americans; but, what is the important reason? Well, “Near-peer adversaries — mainly China, but also Russia — are the primary threats to US national security, and the US military, including US Special Operations Command, is adjusting accordingly.” OK…they are adjusting accordingly; but where are they? Not surprisingly, “Over the past 20 years, U.S. and allied air forces have dropped over 337,000 bombs and missiles on other countries. That is an average of 46 strikes per day for 20 years. This endless bombardment has not only been deadly and devastating for its victims but is broadly recognized as seriously undermining international peace and security and diminishing America’s standing in the world. Now you know why the United States’ Special Forces of the United States’ Army have not helped Native Americans—they’ve been adjusting accordingly.

  13. The pentagon just came out and basically said if we cant beat you by conventional means we will nuke you. I see a very bright future for many.

    1. Yes…Washington rulers, through auto-stupefaction, are adamantly determined to make all of our futures brighter through high-energy photon radiation. By-the-way, did they request your opinion, and/or approval, about their cockamamy schemes? I know the answer; they marginalize just about everyone due to their delusional exceptionality. They fear that the world is catching on; they are!

  14. “Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years,” Blinken said.

    Universal values? Was Antony Blinken alluding to Washington’s ‘rules-based world order’ when speaking about Beijing’s vision, and how it would move us away from ‘universal values’? Is the US’ perpetration, described in the story that follows, an example of Blinken’s ‘universal values’ that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75years?

    Reason U.S. Stays in Syria Revealed: To Steal Its Oil:

    Excerpt: Maher Ihsan is a journalist and political expert. He exposes the real purpose the US remains in Syria as occupiers. According to Ihsan, the US is stealing resources and imposing its will upon the political future of Syria. “Look at the situation now, the United States is controlling key gas and oil fields in oil-rich areas in Syria, it’s also controlling key agricultural areas … the United States didn’t come here to help, but to take advantage of the situation and impose their own will,” Ihsan said.

    On August 8, the Syrian oil ministry said in a statement that the average daily output of Syrian oil in the first half of 2022 is 80,300 barrels, while the US occupying forces and their mercenaries are stealing an average of 66,000 barrels a day, accounting for over 83 percent of Syria’s oil output.

    One might say that stealing Syria’s oil is being done in order to impoverish the Syrian people so much so that they will turn against and overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whom even Western-sponsored polls, which have been taken for years in Syria, have shown to be overwhelmingly the #1 person whom they want to be Syria’s President. However, whatever the reason might be as to why the U.S. regime is stealing Syria’s oil, the U.S. regime’s theft is equally illegal, and equally a gangster-operation that it is running there.

    Western-sponsored polls, which have been taken for years in Syria, have shown to be overwhelmingly the #1 person whom they want to be Syria’s President.

    1. Blinken and his ilk are the kind of schizophrenics who could claim of being the most ardent supporters of the values of marriage while holding in their hands the dripping knives with which they’ve just slit their wives’ throats.

      1. Yes, that behavior is plausible for the behavior of madmen.

  15. Freedom from the madness of MAD will extract a price.

    There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
    –Mario Savio

    1. Stretching Grace Avatar
      Stretching Grace

      Here’s a live excerpt of that amazing speech at Berkeley U, Sproul Hall, Dec 2, 1964:
      We were told the following: If President Kerr actually tried to get something more liberal out of the regents in his telephone conversation, why didn’t he make some public statement to that effect? And the answer we received, from a well-meaning liberal, was the following: He said, ‘Would you ever imagine the manager of a firm making a statement publicly in opposition to his board of directors?’ That’s the answer!
      Well, I ask you to consider: If this is a firm, and if the board of regents are the board of directors; and if President Kerr in fact is the manager; then I’ll tell you something. The faculty are a bunch of employees, and we’re the raw material! But we’re a bunch of raw materials that don’t mean to be—have any process upon us. Don’t mean to be made into any product. Don’t mean… Don’t mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We’re human beings!
      There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

      1. Stretching Grace Avatar
        Stretching Grace

        Young Americans were extremely passionate to better the world in the 1960’s. To those who call boomers “the ME generation”. After the social revolution of the 60’s – ending an illegal war, winning labor, food/consumer safety, women’s, environmental rights, Big Business rounded their wagons and began their war on the people, union-busting, capital flight, ending public money investment and turning up fascist privatization. With the public sector in shambles due to deliberate underfunding, people were forced to live on credit cards and predatory loans. If they became more concerned with self-preservation, it was because jobs were being slashed, the middle class was being carved away, mergers were creating the huge monopolies we see today. This scheme was thought to make people forget about social issues and focus on survival. Didn’t work.

        1. NAFTA= poor working conditions, put many farmers out of work, reduced worker wages, closed factories, environmental damage, job losses, union busting…
          FINANCIALIZATION= inhibits real growth, tripled debt, increased inequality, increased crime, market speculation, conflict of interest, too big to fail, global financial crisis ++, increased homeless…

        2. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
          Carolyn L Zaremba

          Thank you. You are correct.

    2. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      I always go back to that speech. Savio was right.

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  18. Truer words have never been spoken and are reminiscent of FDR’s famous phrase, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. In the lifelong struggle against fear, we fortunately learn many things that help us. First and foremost, the human brain has no memory of physical pain. I once heard a guy interviewed on the radio about when he was a prisoner somewhere (I forget where). He said he was tortured, and they pulled all his nails out.

    Of course, this will make anyone cringe as they imagine it happening to them. So the interviewer exclaimed in horror: “That must have been horrible!” – “What?” replied the old timer like from a dream. – “Having all your nails pulled out!” The guy paused and replied: “Well… no… not really…” – “What???” exclaimed the interviewer. The guy then tried to placate him by saying: “Well… maybe the first one…”

    Can you believe that? Having a tooth pulled out with not enough anaesthetic is plain unbearable and pulling out the ten nails of your hands would be a walk in the park? Obviously, this guy knew intellectually that this was torture but had no more physical memory of the pain than if it had happened to someone else.

    It sometimes helps to remember this.

    As for Putin’s special military operation, it is clear that we have an environment of soldiers on both sides and where there are soldiers, peace and love take a step back.

    But what business did the US have to intervene in Ukrainian politics to begin with?

    What business had Victoria “Fuck the EU” to spend $5 billion to back a Nazi coup against a democratically elected president just because he was about to choose cooperation with Moscow over the West?

    What business did she have choosing the next cabinet and corrupt Poroshenko whom Ukrainians ended up hating so much that they would have voted for a slug at the next election if Zelensky hadn’t turned up?

    What business had the US supporting the post-coup ethnic and cultural cleansing of the historically Russian part of Ukraine?

    Why didn’t the guarantors make the belligerents respect the Minsk Agreements?

    Why didn’t the UN send Blue Helmets to implement their Resolution 2202 when 5,000 had already been killed in the Donbass and 1,5 million displaced in February 2015?

    Why has the US prevented all peace talks to this day even though Zelensky had been elected by 70% of the Ukrainians on a peace program including the implementation of the Minsk agreements and why did it send Bojo, who was not even a guarantor of the Minsk Agreements, to threaten support withdrawal if Zelensky negotiated peace last April?

    Last but not least, after the declarations of several US officials, like Blinken’s “opportunity” after the Nord Stream sabotage or Mark Milley’s “weakening of Russia”, can anybody claim in good faith to be knowledgeable about the whole shebang and hold Putin responsible?

    1. PS: The same people will blame China if it eventually decides to put an end to US provocations by forbidding Taiwan – an integral part of China since the One China Policy was legally recognized by the United Nations and most governments including the United States in the late 1970s – to take foreign policy initiatives, including signing arms deals and holding secessionist summits:

    2. I am in agreement with ALL of your comment here, but I particularly am fond of the one about NOT being able to “remember pain”, and the related and informative anecdote. This is a phenomenon that I’ve thought about from time to time, and it does seem worthwhile remembering.

  19. Your comments are mostly wonderful…. The USA/CIA has been and is hard at work in Ukraine, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and now Haiti…. Stop worrying about the idiots who force you to temper your statements with the constant disclaimer that “Putin Bad”…. It sounds a lot like “Trump Bad” and we all know that’s ridiculous…
    Trump was the first “Non-Politician/Non-Professional Actor to gain the White House… Actual Policy/Foreign Affairs during Trump’s 4 yrs. were far less harmful than “Hope & Change/ Assassination Tuesdays” Obama’s 8…..
    The left-wing Woke Mob will come after you either way if you get too close to the actual Truth…
    The damage done, already, to society by the Biden Regime in just2 years with the Scamdemic policies and this ridiculous Ukraine proxy war are only accelerating the demise of western culture and freedom….
    Be Brave…

    1. Obama’s 8 were preceded by four in the Illinois state senate where he did little of any note before running for president.

      His law teacher at Harvard, Roberto M. Unger, argued when he could against his election based on his qualifications.

      He was no better prepared than Trump, as his performance demonstrated.

      The electorate was more interested in demonstrating their own”woke-ness” by not calling attention to his failures, most notably his “rescue” of the economy by submitting to the financial criminal class that he rewarded with some 20 Trillion dollars instead of prison time.


    True dat

  21. The same old lies about Hitler and Germany recycled as Putin and Russia.

    “[Had the US not entered WWI] … peace would have been made with Germany; and there would have been no collapse in Russia leading to Communism; no breakdown of government in Italy followed by Fascism; and Nazism never would have gained ascendancy in Germany.”
    Winston Churchill, Social Justice Magazine, July 3 (1939)

    “Not the political doctrine of Hitler has hurled us into this war. The reason was the success of his increase in building a new economy. The roots of war were envy, greed and fear.” —
    Major General J.F.C. Fuller, historian, England

    “Germany’s unforgivable crime before WW2 was its attempt to loosen its economy out of the world trade system and to build up an independent exchange system from which the world-finance couldn’t profit anymore. …We butchered the wrong pig.” —
    Winston Churchill (The Second World War – Bern, 1960

    “We made a monster, a devil out of Hitler. Therefore we couldn’t disavow it after the war. After all, we mobilized the masses against the devil himself. So we were forced to play our part in this diabolic scenario after the war. In no way we could have pointed out to our people that the war only was an economic preventive measure.”
    – US foreign minister James Baker (1992)

    “Atrocity propaganda is how we won the war. And we’re only really beginning with it now! We will continue this atrocity propaganda, we will escalate it until nobody will accept even a good word from the Germans, until all the sympathy they may still have abroad will have been destroyed and they themselves will be so confused that they will no longer know what they are doing. Once that has been achieved, once they begin to run down their own country and their own people, not reluctantly but with eagerness to please the victors, only then will our victory be complete. It will never be final. Re-education needs careful tending, like an English lawn. Even one moment of negligence, and the weeds crop up again – those indestructible weeds of historical truth.” – Sefton Delmer, 1904-1979, former British Chief of Black propaganda, said after the German surrender, in 1945, in a conversation with the German professor of international law, Dr. Friedrich Grimm


  22. ‘West prepares to plunder post-war Ukraine with neoliberal shock therapy: privatization, deregulation, slashing worker protections’

    While the United States and Europe flood Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars of weapons, using it as an anti-Russian proxy and pouring fuel on the fire of a brutal war that is devastating the country, they are also making plans to essentially plunder its post-war economy.

    Representatives of Western governments and corporations met in Switzerland this July to plan a series of harsh neoliberal policies to impose on post-war Ukraine, calling to cut labor laws, “open markets,” drop tariffs, deregulate industries, and “sell state-owned enterprises to private investors.”

    Ukraine has been destabilized by violence since 2014, when a US-sponsored coup d’etat overthrew its democratically elected government…..

  23. It’s possible that there’s another metaphor/dynamic at work here. (I believe that I got this concept from a friend, recently, but it’s also possible that Caitlin has written about it, and I unconsciously absorbed it — to the extent that I don’t recall it’s origin.) Caitlin has talked about the “Battered Spouse Syndrome” to explain some of our social behavior. Another way of looking at this is the “Charlie Brown Syndrome”. (You know: the story or Charlie, Lucy, and the football? I won’t detail it here.) One explanation for Charlie’s continued “falling for that trick of Lucy’s” is that he is basically ‘trusting’, and people who are like this have difficulty believing that people are otherwise. Using this metaphor, it looks like it is NOT the fact that folks have ‘just started to pay attention to foreign affairs’, but that they are WILLING to keep falling for the same old trick. In fact, it’s even a little ‘stronger’ than merely “falling” for the trick — many ‘trusting’ folks NEED to feel a ‘trust’ for their government, and ‘the media’ (the slick people in suits). This ‘need to trust’ (which many of us have, to varying degrees) can get to be ‘pathological’, to the point that they will invoke violence to shut down the voices of ‘distrust’. The “need to trust” is something of a ‘good thing’, in itself — it helps us form cooperative societies — but it is ‘consciously abused’ by the ‘manipulators’/’sociopaths’. (It seems that it is the more ‘liberal’ and ‘tolerant’ folk who are the folks ‘seeking trust’. The folks who are more ‘conservative’ tend to ‘distrust’ a lot of things, except their particular ‘sources’ — which happen to spout the same message of ‘distrust’ that they hold within themselves.) At least, that’s my current thinking on this stuff. Thanks Caitlin, and all

    1. Very poignant observation. The example it brings to my mind: the overwhelming success of the recent Top Gun reboot film. Not in speaking to its qualities as a film, but in the general reception of its “message”. People can recognize the original was essentially a military recruitment film; that every war the US has been involved in for nearly a century has been a disaster; that the military is overfunded and corrupt; that media is not to be trusted; that the US is not the “good guy” of the world… and yet the overall consensus opinion I heard related to the film was: “it just makes me feel good about being American again.” It is telling them the lies they want to hear. The world is a simple struggle of good guys against bad guys, and the side you are on are definitely the good guys. Pay no attention to reality or history; just watch the military-sponsored film that makes you feel fuzzy inside and go back to bed. They know its bullshit. Every single person who saw it knows there is a dishonesty there on a fundamental level. If there wasn’t, there would be no need for a film that gets them to “go back” to feeling good. But they want the lie. They need the lie or else the reality is too awful to confront.

      1. “They need the lie or else the reality is too awful to confront.” Maybe they are in the first stage of Kubler Ross’ 5-stages of grief: denial?

  24. Gerard McDonald Avatar
    Gerard McDonald

    A quite brilliant, and searingly direct summation of the Ukraine conflict. I can’t add to it other than to emphasise your point about imperialist propaganda regarding US/UK/NATO-led invasions of sovereign nations in recent history. I don’t believe a word of it, and it’s alarming to see how easily the lies are swallowed without question. Keep up the great work!

    1. Bingo, my thoughts exactly.

    2. I never get tired of Johnstone’s amazing ability to track and spear the pigs in their own habitat.
      But I find it even more astonishing that she never seems to tire of fighting the denial, stupidity, and insouciance of the people who cannot hear her speaking because she is saying things they cannot allow themselves to hear.
      I happen to know that is very hard work, work that tires us normal folk rather quickly.
      She is among the very best of our warrior dissenters, and her output is incredible.

      1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
        Carolyn L Zaremba


  25. Consistently made over $26,000 in extra income from home with the benefit of smooth playback and sticky online interest. (Zn~190) I actually made $18,636 with this perfect home income. Everyone can now without a doubt

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    1. Smooth operator eh?

      1. Appears to have caught your sticky online interest, pal Pascal

    1. You mean there might actually be some lucid thinking, cautious adults out there–not making decisions on money and power alone?

  26. Paul Caddenhead Avatar
    Paul Caddenhead

    Caitlyn, I applaude what you are doing, love you. But, about half of us here in the US would glady repeat the Civil War.

    1. I’m glad I’m in the half that doesn’t want to repeat the uncivil war.

  27. Paul Caddenhead Avatar
    Paul Caddenhead

    That last part… “This is a major obstacle. Humans need to overcome their fear of life.” (Apparently referring to the foregoing,) Simply a matter of changing the entire human paradigm. We begin our lives knowing nothing of what it is that we will face. At some point, we learn that life ends in death. We are told that death includes a punishment to be feared, that we can only transcend death through acceptance of the religious teachings of our forebears and religious leaders. (Believe it.)
    Political ideology, like religious ideologies, are transmitted from each generation to the next. The old conflicts persist and may be amplified.

  28. Cait, you fight with folks who, as Sinclair Lewis said, are paid to believe. Well dressed, educated with modulated voices and respected jobs. They didn’t just start paying attention. It’s the neighbors who are concerning. They spend good money to train their poodles and place their kids in French emersion day care, but can’t conceive that they are well trained. They love biblical prophets who wander in from the wilderness with visions in their heads, but scoff at alternative political voices like they’re schizophrenic lepers. Love them because nonconformity can destroy lives in a survival society. How many of your readers glaze over when they get to the end of capitalism section, instead their minds racing with disdain for the other, the competition.

    1. Why don’t you leave her readers alone? What do you know about her readers? These baseless speculations of yours about people you don’t even know only reflect your own personal disdain. However, these attempts at building complicity with a talented author through contempt for her readership ain’t gonna get you anywhere if you ask me…

      1. Ain’t getting you anywhere either.

        1. Hi, glad to see you here! I thought this might interest you:

      2. maybe it’s possible to construct a psychological or even political profile by reading the comments of regular posters? these are of course anonymous but you can discover consistencies in messaging etc …

        1. That’s probably Gloria’s, and clones, ulterior function. It makes perfect sense when considering US’ demeanor. Gloria’s on a fishing expedition.

      3. Mike Pence says Americans don’t have a right to freedom from religion:
        Excerpt: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” it states. In fact, there are no references to a supreme being anywhere in the Constitution, because the Founding Fathers were adamantly opposed to centralized religious power as well as requiring individuals to subscribe to any particular denomination. The concept of separation of church and state was sacrosanct to men like President Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in his 1776 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that “setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time” and that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”

    2. i was just wondering at what age one should teach one’s kids about empire without it getting awkward.

      1. Excellent question. So little time and so many variables. I’ll defer to you.

    3. I’m guessing more eyes have rolled at your posts in the past month than have glazed over Caitlin’s critique of capitalism in forever.

  29. America: the cancer of our planet.

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    2. Vera Gottlieb and all concerned

      regarding u.s. as metastasizing malignancy.

      Our gang is composing magnum opus
      on the subject.

      Please contribute a chapter.

    3. “Man’s innate yearning for freedom can be suppressed but never destroyed. Totalitarianism cannot renounce violence. If it does, it perishes. Eternal, ceaseless violence, overt or covert, is the basis of totalitarianism. Man does not renounce freedom voluntarily. This conclusion holds out hope for our time, hope for the future.”
      ―Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

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        1. Yeah, you consistently made war’ profits from consistently destroying nations and consistently killing people.

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