Patrick Lawrence: War as Presentation

There’s the made up Ukraine-Russia war, and there’s the real Ukraine-Russia war. Guess which one Russia’s winning. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

As the U.S. midterm elections approach, the gap between Western media’s depiction of the war in Ukraine and the actual war waged on the ground appears to be widening more dramatically.

Voting Day. (Danny Howard, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

We are urged at every turn to dismiss everything Vladimir Putin says as upside down to the truth. Those of us who keep our heads, while all about us others are losing theirs and blaming it on us, risk dismissal when we take the Russian president seriously.

Never mind. It is time simply to dismiss those who dismiss.

In his long interviews with Oliver Stone five years ago, Putin observed that it is impossible to work with the Americans because everything is held hostage by their election cycles. So true. Too bad so many among us are not capable of listening to the Russian leader on this point and learning from it something about how our post-democratic system malfunctions.

Domestic politics — what plays in Peoria and all that — determines foreign policy. This was Putin’s point. And when electoral politics determines foreign policy, foreign policy becomes presentation, which is to say unserious, because all the good people of Peoria ever get from Washington pols are unserious presentations of events and policies that have little to do with reality.

America has started wars because of what political candidates think will play in Peoria at election time. Countless lives have been sacrificed to the cause of this or that political candidate or party.

As the late Robert Parry and Gary Sick established, there is ample reason to suspect that the Reagan campaign conspired with Iran during the 1980 presidential campaign to delay the release of American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran until after the Nov. 4 elections.

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