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Their Similarities Matter More Than Their Differences: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

If people really understood just how much suffering and destruction is unleashed by US foreign policy, they’d stop making such a big deal about the minor differences between two political parties who always come together to support the most destructive US foreign policy decisions.

By Caitlin Johnstone


As a result of The New York Times’ McCarthyite hit piece on antiwar leftist groups last week: 

  1. A US senator has called for government investigations of American leftist groups.
  2. A leftist news site has been banned from Twitter
  3. Neville Roy Singham’s Wikipedia page is now a mirror of the NYT piece.

None of this was accidental. This was a blatant imperial narrative management operation. There will be more. The New York Times is a shitty militarist propaganda rag that somehow wound up setting the news agenda for the entire western world.

It’s still forbidden to say the US empire knowingly provoked the war in Ukraine, even though there are mountains of evidence the US knowingly provoked the war in Ukraine, and even though US officials constantly talk about how much the war in Ukraine benefits the US:


If people really understood just how much suffering and destruction is unleashed by US foreign policy, they’d stop making such a big deal about the minor differences between two political parties who always come together to support the most destructive US foreign policy decisions.

The human suffering caused by the minor differences in domestic policy between Democrats and Republicans is dwarfed by the suffering caused by foreign policy bipartisanship by orders of magnitude. The ways they are the same are vastly more significant than the ways in which they differ.



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The main misconception about US presidents is that they are proactive leaders when they’re really reactive facilitators. They’re not proactively leading the government in accordance with their vision and ideology, they’re responding to and facilitating the various needs of the empire from year to year. That’s what the empire managers in their administrations are doing with their daily intelligence and national security briefings: explaining to them what the needs of the empire are on that day and what must be done to facilitate those needs, using whatever language will make a given president receptive. 

The main difference between US presidents often comes down to the narratives that the empire managers who they surround themselves with will use to explain why they need to advance the interests of the empire. Progressive president? You need to kill Syrians to advance human rights. Conservative president? You need to kill Syrians to protect national security. Presidents who are unfamiliar with the workings of the empire surround themselves with empire managers who understand how to keep the gears of the imperial machine turning, and those empire managers explain what needs to be done in ways that the president will listen to. 

This is a big part of what keeps the empire moving the same way from administration to administration. Every president is being “advised” (read: directed) by DC swamp monsters who all went to the same universities and moved through the same revolving door employment circles of government agencies and think tanks and party politics and military-industrial complex advising/lobbying and media punditry, who all understand what’s required of the US president to facilitate the perpetuation of US unipolar planetary hegemony. 

These swamp monsters are part of the permanent government structure that stays in place regardless of the comings and goings of electoral politics, and they’re always balls deep in literally every presidential administration, no matter how rebellious or anti-establishment that president pretends to be. That permanent government structure is why the large-scale movements of the empire don’t change when a president is replaced by a new president of an opposing ideology; America’s official elected government may have changed, but its real government did not.


NATO leftists are like “I STRONGLY oppose the US empire and its warmongering, BUT we need to completely 100% support the US empire’s nuclear brinkmanship in Ukraine and scream at anyone who talks about everything the US empire did to provoke and prolong this war.”

All major international conflicts and negotiations ultimately boil down to the US working to stop the rise of China and China working to circumvent those efforts. Middle east policy, Russia policy, Africa policy, Australia policy, Latin America policy; it all ultimately comes back to China.

That’s why it’s silly when right wing “populists” act like antiwar heroes for saying the US should stop warmongering with Russia and the middle east in order to focus on China — it’s all about China. It’s all the same agenda. They’re not on different sides from the Democrats.

This was all set in motion decades ago when the US established a policy of ensuring that no other rival superpowers emerge after the fall of the Soviet Union.

None of which would necessarily be a problem if the US was a force for good in the world, or even just a force for good in the world relative to China. But that plainly is not the case.


So now we’re rapidly accelerating toward a horrific global conflict, all to ensure the continued domination of a power structure that demonstrably makes the world a much worse place than it would be if powerful governments just got along with each other.

The hope seems to be that China just taps out before it comes to hot war — that it just lets itself be absorbed into the US-centralized power structure like empire managers have been hoping it would for decades. But China doesn’t look ready to tap. It seems intent on retaining its national self-sovereignty.

It’s so stupid how we keep talking excitedly about the possibility that there’s non-human intelligence out there in the universe while our own oceans are full of giant-brained whales whose inner lives we know nothing about, and who are being driven to extinction by human activity. 

The inner lives of cetaceans are complete mysteries to us. We have no idea what they’re doing with those brains or what their minds are like from the inside. The sperm whale has the largest brain in the animal kingdom. It doesn’t take 9 kilograms of brain matter to make a tail go up and down. Yet there’s almost no curiosity about what they’re using it for, and we’re killing them all off with pollution, ship collisions, ocean netting, overfishing and sonar while looking to the stars for intelligent life. It may end up being the case that we kill off a high level of non-human intelligence right in front of us before we even understand it.

We’re stupid.

Caitlin's articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast, throwing some money into her hat on Patreon or Paypal, or buying her book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. New book! Lao Sue And Other Poems, available in paperback or PDF/ebook. - All works co-authored with her husband Tim Foley. https://caitlinjohnstone.com.au

Views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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