It would be tempting to conclude that the outpouring of concern and support for the Ukrainian people among American statists, especially those writing news articles, op-eds, and editorials in the mainstream press, reflects the giant awakening of conscience that I have long yearned for in our country.
Alas, such is not the case. Instead, such outpouring of concern and support is nothing more than the standard consequence of indoctrination and propaganda. The indoctrination begins in the first grade, especially in the public (i.e., government) schools, where the state molds the minds of young people to defer to authority and automatically adopt the mindset of federal officials, especially in times of crisis. The propaganda emanates from the Pentagon and the CIA and is propagated largely through their assets in the mainstream press.
My term for American statists is “deferentials.” They are people who automatically defer to federal authority and quickly adopt whatever mindset federal officials have at any particular time but especially during crises.
How can we tell that the outpouring of concern and support for the Ukranian people is a result of indoctrination and propaganda rather than a genuine awakening of conscience? There are certain clues that that show us that that’s what is going on.
For example, whenever a news report or a commentary addresses the crisis, you will find the obligatory opening paragraphs that condemn Russia’s “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine.
Why is that a clue?
There is never a hint of criticism for the role that the Pentagon and the CIA have played in bringing about this crisis. If the Pentagon and the CIA had dismantled their old Cold War dinosaur NATO at the end of the Cold War, which they should have done when the Cold War racket ostensibly ended, the crisis in Ukraine would never have occurred and all those people who are now dead in Ukraine would be alive today.
Instead, the Pentagon and the CIA had NATO moving eastward, absorbing former Warsaw Pact countries and aiming ultimately to absorb Ukraine, which would enable the Pentagon and the CIA to establish military bases, missiles, tanks, and weaponry on Russia’s border. The Pentagon and the CIA knew as an absolute certainty that this would cause Russia to invade Ukraine. The Pentagon and the CIA concluded that U.S. military bases, missiles, tanks, and weaponry on Russia’s border were more important than the lives of the Ukrainian people. Thus, all those people are dying in Ukraine not for freedom but for NATO and the Pentagon and CIA wish to establish their military bases, missiles, tanks, and weaponry on Russia’s border.
But you won’t find a hint of criticism of the Pentagon or the CIA from American deferentials. That would be considered beyond the pale, especially in a time of crisis. Their criticism is limited exclusively to Russia.
Consider the coverage that the mainstream media is devoting to civilian casualties and massive property destruction at the hands of the Russian military in Ukraine. You didn’t see any of that with the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, the focus was almost entirely on the virtues of the U.S. military, even when it was bombing wedding parties and, in the process, killing brides, flower girls, grooms, and family members. Remember the popular mantra that everyone was supposed to recite daily: “Support the troops!” There was never any hint of concern for the victims of the massive U.S. campaigns of death and destruction in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The fact is that there is no difference in principle between the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yet, notice that today, while there is widespread criticism among American statists for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there isn’t a hint of criticism for the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. And after all, the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan just recently ended after 20 deadly and destructive years. The U.S. occupation of Iraq is still going on. It’s entirely possible to criticize both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The criticism of one does not preclude the criticism of the other.
The problem, of course, is that American statists still believe that the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were good, virtuous, and well-intended. That mindset comes from indoctrination and propaganda. The mindset is that the U.S. invasions were conducted by “our” troops, not Russian troops. Thus, the statist sympathy and support has always been for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the troops rather than for the people they were killing, injuring, and maiming in their invasions and occupations.
One of the big characteristics of deferentials is that they are easily able to identify evil in foreign regimes, at least when U.S. officials point out such evil but, at the same time, deferentials are unable to identify and oppose evil within their own government.
Consider Russian president Vladimir Putin. Statists are unanimous in their belief that Putin is evil. They say it and write it all the time. He might well be. I’m not an expert in determining which people in life are evil and which ones are not. I have to leave that assessment to psychiatrists and church ministers, who specialize in such things.
But I am an expert in governmental institutions, and I can state unequivocally that a national-security state form of governmental structure is evil, whether it is adopted by Russia, China, North Korea, or the United States.
This is what deferentials simply cannot bring themselves to see — that it is the national-security state form of governmental structure that both Russia and the United States have adopted that is evil. That’s why they inevitably cheer when they see the U.S. national-security establishment engaged in such dark-side practices as assassination, torture, indefinite detention, coups, invasions, occupations, sanctions, embargoes and wars of aggression. It’s also why they readily condemn regimes that U.S. officials label “rivals, adversaries, opponents, and enemies” when they do the exact same things.
Recall the brutal sanctions that U.S. officials enforced against the people of Iraq for more than 10 years. It contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent children. Yet, not a hint of criticism from American statists, not even when U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright declared that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were “worth it.” It’s not difficult to conclude what the reaction would be among American statists if Russia were to kill half-a-million Ukrainian children. Statists would immediately recognize the evil in such action.
We are currently witnessing a deferential indoctrination-and-propaganda phenomenon with respect to Venezuela. Not so long ago, U.S. officials incited American statists to go into hyperbolic overdrive against Venezuela’s socialist dictator Vicente Maduro. “He’s a threat to national security!” the deferentials exclaimed, to the glee of U.S. officials. “Take him out! He’s not the legitimate president of the country!” deferentials exclaimed.
Today? Silence or even support of Maduro. Why the dramatic transformation? Because U.S. officials are currently in the process of transferring Maduro from the ranks of official enemies, adversaries, and opponents to the ranks of official friends. The reason? They need his oil for the U.S. war machine. The mindsets of American statists are quickly mirroring the new reality. The socialist dictator Maduro will now be our friend, not our enemy, adversary, and opponent.
What we need in America is a genuine awakening, one that involves a higher level of consciousness and an exercise of individual conscience within the American people. When that day comes, Americans will be able to recognize the evil within their midst and eradicate it. The entire world will be the beneficiary.