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Why America Acts So Goddamn Crazy

By Caitlin Johnstone

September 30, 2017 "Information Clearing House" -  I just finished reading what may be the single best takedown of the US establishment’s Russia narrative that anyone has published so far. In an article titled “Russia-gate’s Shaky Foundation”, Consortium News’ Daniel Herman meticulously goes over many of the major glaring plot holes in the official story about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election after reminding us of America’s extensive and well-documented history of using lies, false flags and propaganda to manufacture public support for war.

It’s a very thorough beatdown on the way the American people are being asked to swallow a collection of extremely grave charges with unfathomably dangerous implications about being “at war” with the planet’s only other nuclear weapons superpower based on amazingly flimsy evidence provided by known liars and manipulators. I highly recommend reading it and sharing it widely, even though the response from many Americans will be to put their fingers in their ears and hum the latest Pepsi jingle to escape the cognitive discomfort of realizing they’ve been completely wrong about everything and having their entire worldview ripped to shreds.

Russiagate is bullshit. We’re seeing nothing other than the boring repetition of the same tired old patterns we’ve been seeing from the American war machine for the entirety of living memory, repackaged in a shiny new 2010s wrapper with pictures of hackers and Twitter bots on it. The US power establishment is working to manufacture support for escalations with Russia for the same exact reason it has worked to manufacture support for escalations with all the other governments that it has bullied into submission over the years: to prevent the rise of any global power that could weaken the hegemony of the US plutocracy.

This is why America acts so goddamn crazy all the time, and it’s also one of the major obstacles to getting any kind of robust peace movement up and running in the US. The fact of the matter is that America is conducting a nonstop campaign to destabilize, manipulate, bully and control other nations to prevent the rise of a new rival superpower, and many Americans would rather it keep doing so. I can’t tell you how many Americans I’ve encountered while sharing my anti-war message who have said “Yeah, I agree war is bad and we’ve done some awful shit… but if the world is going to have a top dog controlling its affairs, I’d rather it be America.”

That’s it. Right there. That tells the entire story of public support for the US war machine in a nutshell. The crux of the issue is that you cannot want America to remain the world’s only powerful force and also be anti-war at the same time. These are necessarily two mutually exclusive ideals. One of the crucial ways that America remains on top is by keeping potential rivals off-balance using endless war in key strategic locations — if you stop the US war machine from doing this, you cripple America’s ability to ensure that it remains the world’s only superpower.

No anti-war philosophy is complete unless it directly addresses this fundamental reality. If you want America to remain the world’s leader while also wanting America to stop waging endless wars based on lies, you’re not anti-war, you’re a vapid, cutesy vanity politics airhead sharing social media-friendly bumper sticker ideals with nothing behind them. You don’t want the killing to stop, you just want to look like someone who wants the killing to stop.

The fact that US warmongering plays an essential role in maintaining its status as the world’s only superpower is not a secret, by the way. Washington’s neoconservatives, whose bloodthirsty policies have been consistently snaking their way into the mainstream platforms of both parties for decades, are completely transparent about this. The extremely influential neocon think tank Project for a New American Century’s most well-known publication, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century”, argues extensively that America’s victory in the Cold War against its only rival superpower means the US must step into a planetary leadership role and maintain that leadership role by any means necessary, including military force.

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“As the 20th century draws to a close,” PNAC’s Statement of Principles reads, “the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?”

The answer to this question came after 9/11: yes, yes it does. The New American Century has seen an immense increase in military interventionism across the globe to ensure the hegemony of the US dollar and prevent Russia and China from climbing the global power ladder unchecked.

So the question being asked of all peace-loving Americans, really, is this: are you courageous enough to relinquish your attachment to the neoconservative notion that America should be the world’s only superpower? Are you truly anti-war, or are you a neocon with a ‘Coexist’ bumper sticker?

Noam Chomsky recently said that America “has been the safest country in the world forever, and the most frightened country in the world.” Indeed, America’s borders are easily-defended and remote from areas of potential conflict, which was why the country was able to surge ahead in the world after World War 2 while everyone else was rebuilding their industrial infrastructure from the rubble. It’s also why an extremely powerful billionaire class has set up its home base there; the plutocracy’s investments are well-protected in an easily-defended nation.

America is the safest country in the world and the most frightened country in the world, but if its people truly want to stop the wars they’re going to have to find some courage. America can maintain a strong military to defend itself without being spread out over hundreds of military bases throughout the globe and engaging in endless acts of military interventionism to keep other countries down. If it can build a real economy that isn’t propped up at the barrel of a gun it can even remain a major force in the world. But the fear of another country becoming powerful elsewhere on the planet will need to be relinquished before wars can come to an end.

The reason the US power establishment works so hard to manufacture public support for its wars is that it needs that support. The public can make things very, very difficult for the war machine if it stops listening to the propaganda lullabies and decides enough is enough. But that can’t happen as long as the American people are living in fear of the rest of the world. If you want peace, at some point you’re going to have to get okay with letting the world manage its own affairs. There will be no significant peace movement in America until this happens.

Caitlin Johnstone is a 100 percent reader-funded journalist so if you enjoyed this, please consider helping me out by sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or throwing some money into my hat on Patreon.

This article was originally Published by Medium -

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