Tag Archives: Cold War

‘Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home’: VE Day and the End of the American Century, by Boyd D. Cathey

The American empire has faltered from the glory days after WWII the people are sharply and irreconcilably divided, and the government grows ever more tyrannical. It’s time for a split and new arrangements. From Boyd D. Cathey at lewrockwell.com:

Seventy-six years ago, on May 8, 1945, at 2301 hours, Central European Time, World War II in Europe officially ended. Although the war would continue in the Pacific Theatre for several more months, May 8 marked the dramatic end of what was certainly the most horrific and disastrous land war in history. European culture was changed irrevocably. A civilization which had survived the devastation and depopulation of the Thirty Years War, the horrors of the French Revolution and Napoleon, and then the calamity of the Great War of 1914-1918, now witnessed a kind of final collapse, a coup de grace by which its politics, its history, its traditions, its very mode of viewing the world were undone.

Those millennial traditions and inherited beliefs, that time-honored culture, that understanding of how societies function and properly exist so identified with Europe—what remained of that, after the catastrophe of the First World War—was now overwhelmed, subsumed into a new reality dominated by competing blocs: the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its Communist satraps. Both spoke often and loudly of democracy and equality; both projected global visions for the world. Their definitions were, of course, different. But both had the cumulative effect of exiling older terminologies and language, and, in practice how Europe and the rest of the world should be organized and governed, and what principles and beliefs should be held dear.

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The Christmas Truce of 1914 – Why There Is Still No Peace On Earth, by David Stockman

When the Soviet Union collapsed the world had its best opportunity since World War I for peace. That chance was not seized by the US government. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later when Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the Red Army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

The world had descended into a 77-Year War, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations that germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into World War II and the Cold War that followed inexorably thereupon.

Upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

At the end of the Cold War, therefore, the last embers of the fiery madness that had incepted with the guns of August 1914 had finally burned out. Peace was at hand. Yet 29 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it.

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The New Cold War With Russia Is All America’s Fault, by Scott Horton

Scott Horton marshals an impressive case that the US is responsible for the new cold war with Russia. From Horton at antiwar.com:

The following is the text of a speech Scott gave to the King County, Washington Libertarian Party, February 29, 2020.

According to Rep. Jason Crow, Russian President “Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

But that’s not true. There’s no real reason to believe that Putin means us any harm at all. The new Cold War with Russia is all America’s fault.

See, at the end of the last Cold War the American foreign policy community, led by the neoconservatives, adopted a doctrine of global dominance. This was as Charles Krauthammer put it in 1990, the U.S.’s “Unipolar Moment” and opportunity to remake the world our way and keep it that way. They call it leadership, hegemony, preeminence, predominance or even Full Spectrum Dominance. No really, it’s all for their own good though. Keeping the peace; protecting the sea lanes; enforcing the global rules-based liberal international order.

Dick Cheney’s Defense Department’s post-Iraq War I, “Defense Planning Guidance” from 1992 defined the doctrine for the new decade and into the new millennium: The U.S. must remain the single dominant power on the planet, and must maintain enough military power to prevent any possible strategic rivals, such as Germany, Japan, Russia or China, from even considering an attempt to challenge U.S. power.

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Hollywood reboots Russophobia for the New Cold War, by Max Parry

Washington and Hollywood have been in bed together for a long time. From Max  Parry at off-guardian.org:

​It is an age-old question as to the extent art reflects the world we live in. Bertolt Brecht allegedly said to the contrary that art was “not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”

The Marxist German playwright devised theatrical methods designed to distance the audience from the staged drama while drawing self-reflexive attention to the contrived nature of the spectacle itself.

The idea was that by estranging the spectator and encouraging critical examination, they would come to view society’s manmade injustices as similarly unnatural and be given agency to transform them in the real world. One of the implications of Brecht’s notion was that art in its more conventional forms often functions as a tool of mass persuasion for those in power to reinforce those inequities.

Marx and Engels themselves professed to have learned more about the contradictions of French society from the novels of Honoré de Balzac, which upheld the monarchy and the Church, than any historians or philosophers of their day. At its very worst, artistic mediums can be used by governments to manipulate a nation’s attitude towards other countries in order to justify war.

Brecht’s life and work coincided with the development of the film industry. However, most productions influenced by his ‘epic theatre’ were art-house and foreign films while commercial, mass-market Hollywood movies placed greater emphasis on appealing to the emotions over intellect.

However, there were some exceptions such as Charlie Chaplin who not coincidentally was persecuted for his politics by the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the Red Scare.

In the Cold War, Tinseltown played an important role in the cultural battlefield against the USSR and anti-Soviet paranoia was an ever-present theme in American cinema for decades, from the McCarthy era until the Berlin Wall fell.

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As We Face Armageddon the Western World Is Leaderless, by Paul Craig Roberts

Because nobody trusts the US, the possibility of a catastrophic mistake is higher than it was during the first Cold War. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

According to news reports, the validity of which cannot be ascertained by the general public, a crazed US government came within 10 minutes of igniting a general conflagration in the Middle East, the consequences of which could have been catastrophic for all. 

The moronic warmongers in high office—Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence—and their Israel Lobby masters are determined, and they have not abandoned their campaign for war with Iran.  Of course, the liars say that Iran will just accept its punishment for defending its territory and there will be no war.  But this is not what Iran says.  I believe Iran.

Some of the tiny percentage of people in the Western World who are still capable of thought regret that Trump called off the insane plan.  They think the consequences would have been the destruction of the Saudi and Israeli governments—two of the most evil in history—and the cut-off of oil to the US and Europe, with the resulting depression causing the overthrow of the Western warmonger governments.  They believe that catastrophic American defeat is the only way peace can be restored to the world.  

In other words, it is not clear whether Trump calling off the attack saved us or doomed us.  The Israel Lobby and their neoconservative agents have not been taught a lesson.  Trump has not fired Bolton and Pompeo for almost igniting a conflagration, and he has not dressed down his moronic vice president.  So, it can all happen again.

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Eisenhower’s Nightmare: Space Wars Edition, by Franklin C. “Chuck” Spinney

Just what the military-industrial-intelligence complex needs, a huge new program that will put it in space. From Franklin C. “Chuck” Spinney at theamericanconservative.com:

Trump’s new missile defense plan will be a bonanza for political patronage in Washington, and a huge fail for peace.

Slim Pickens as Major T.J. Kong riding the bomb in “Dr. Stangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964). Screenshot/You Tube/Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

President Donald Trump’s plan to escalate efforts in Ballistic Missile Defense (BDM), including the introduction of space-based weapons, should not be viewed in isolation.

It comes on top of the Defense Department’s plan to execute an across-the-board modernization of all our nuclear strike forces. It comes on top of the expansion of NATO under three presidents, despite earlier promises (here and here) to the contrary. It comes on top of the unilateral decision by President George W. Bush to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in June 2002, on top of Trump’s threat to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and on top of Trump’s publication of a more aggressive Nuclear Posture Review. To argue that such a massive effort is directed at deterring Iran or North Korea is ludicrous. Russia and China know who these programs and policies are aimed at.

Viewed through the lens of the precautionary principle, any sensible strategic planner in Russia and China would have no choice but to see these efforts as being a consistent, integrated plan to harden the U.S. nuclear shield while sharpening the U.S. nuclear sword.

Consider that the makeup of the offensive modernization program—i.e., the nuclear sword—includes: 1) increased precision guidance; 2) improved command and control systems; 3) dial-a-yield warheads on nuclear gravity bombs; 4) new families of nuclear warheads for ballistic and cruise missiles; 5) new ICBMs; 6) new air launched cruise missiles; 7) new bombers; 8) new missile-launching submarines; 9) modernized SLBMs; 10) new sea-launched cruise missiles; and 11) new space-based C4ISR systems with the possibility of ASAT capabilities. Taking all of this into account, it is quite obvious that Russian and Chinese war planners will have no choice but to assume the worse about U.S. intentions. Russian and Chinese planners will be forced to assume that Washington is returning to the thoroughly discredited 1970s-era nuclear war-fighting theory of graduated nuclear escalation via the use of a series limited nuclear options, punctuated perhaps by diplomatic signaling. Application of the precautionary principle by Russian and Chinese nuclear war planners would force them to conclude that the U.S. believes it can fight and win a nuclear war regardless of any U.S. protestations about its sword-shield modernization plan being a defensive application of deterrence theory.

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How the Last Superpower Was Unchained, by Tom Engelhardt

The fall of the USSR may have been the worst thing to ever happen to the US. From Tom Engelhardt at tomdispatch.com:

Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren’t so grim. If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, for instance, is a passage in the New York Times from a piece on the topsy-turvy Trumpian negotiations that preceded the Singapore summit. “The Americans and South Koreans,” wrote reporter Motoko Rich, “want to persuade the North that continuing to funnel most of the country’s resources into its military and nuclear programs shortchanges its citizens’ economic well-being. But the North does not see the two as mutually exclusive.”

Think about that for a moment. The U.S. has, of course, embarked on a trillion-dollar-plusupgrade of its already massive nuclear arsenal (and that’s before the cost overruns even begin). Its Congress and president have for years proven eager to sink at least a trillion dollars annually into the budget of the national security state (a figure that’s still rising and outpaces by far that of any other power on the planet), while its own infrastructure sags and crumbles. And yet it finds the impoverished North Koreans puzzling when they, too, follow such an extreme path.

Clueless is not a word Americans ordinarily apply to themselves as a country, a people, or a government. Yet how applicable it is.

And when it comes to cluelessness, there’s another, far stranger path the United States has been following since at least the George W. Bush moment that couldn’t be more consequential and yet somehow remains the least noticed of all. On this subject, Americans don’t have a clue. In fact, if you could put the United States on a psychiatrist’s couch, this might be the place to start.

To continue reading: How the Last Superpower Was Unchained

What Is America’s Cause in the World Today? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Do the rationales offered by the military and government officials who decide when and how the US will go to war, and embraced by the public, particularly those who lose loved ones, stand up to scrutiny and analysis?

In Memoriam, SLL, 5/28/18

Pat Buchanan asks the same question. From Buchanan at buchanan.org:

After being sworn in for a fourth term, Vladimir Putin departed the Kremlin for Annunciation Cathedral to receive the televised blessing of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The patriarch and his priests in sacred vestments surrounded Putin, who, standing alone, made the sign of the cross.

Meanwhile, sacred vestments from the Sistine Chapel were being transported by the Vatican to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to adorn half-clad models in a sexy show billed as “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” One model sported a papal tiara.

The show proved a sensation in secular media.

In Minsk, Belarus, on May 17, to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Britain’s embassy raised the rainbow flag. Belarus’s Ministry of Internal Affairs was not amused:

“Same-sex relationships are a fake. And the essence of fake is always the same — the devaluation of truth. The LGBT community and all this struggle for ‘their rights,’ and the day of the community itself, are just a fake!”

Belarus is declaring moral truth — to Great Britain.

What is going on? A scholarly study sums it up: “The statistical trends in religion show two separate Europes: the West is undergoing a process of secularization while the post-socialist East, de-secularization.”

One Europe is turning back to God; the other is turning its back on God.

And when Vladimir Putin and Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko are standing up for traditional values against Western cultural elites, the East-West struggle has lost its moral clarity.

And, so, what do we Americans stand for now? What is our cause in the world today?

In World War II, Americans had no doubt they were in the right against Nazism and a militaristic Japan that had attacked us at Pearl Harbor.

In the Cold War, we believed America was on God’s side against the evil ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which declared the Communist state supreme and that there was no such thing as God-given rights.

To continue reading: What Is America’s Cause in the World Today?

Thanksgiving 2017 – Why There Is No Peace On Earth, by David Stockman

It looked like close to a sure thing when the Soviet Union folded in 1991: the end of the Cold War would be the beginning of peace. It hasn’t panned out that way, thanks to the United States. This is an oustanding summary of the period since 1991. From David Stockman at ronpaulinstitute.org:

After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later when Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the red army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

The world had descended into what had been a 77-year global war, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations which germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into the world war and cold war which followed inexorably thereupon.

To wit, upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped-out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

We have elaborated more fully on this proposition in “The Epochal Consequences Of Woodrow Wilson’s War“, but the seminal point cannot be gainsaid. The end of the cold war meant world peace was finally at hand, yet 26 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it.

In fact, the War Party entrenched in the nation’s capital is dedicated to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee perpetual war; they ensure endless waste on armaments and the inestimable death and human suffering that stems from 21st century high tech warfare and the terrorist blowback it inherently generates among those upon which the War Party inflicts its violent hegemony.

In short, there was a virulent threat to peace still lurking on the Potomac after the 77-year war ended. The great general and president, Dwight Eisenhower, had called it the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, but that memorable phrase had been abbreviated by his speechwriters, who deleted the word “congressional” in a gesture of comity to the legislative branch.

To continue reading: Thanksgiving 2017 – Why There Is No Peace On Earth

Zbigniew Brzezinski, by Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts differentiates between cold warriors and neocons, at paulcraigroberts.org.

Brzezinski’s death at 89 years of age has generated a load of propaganda and disinformation, all of which serves one interest group or another or the myths that people find satisfying. I am not an expert on Brzezinski, and this is not an apology for him. He was a Cold Warrior, as essentially was everyone in Washington during the Soviet era.

For 12 years Brzezinski was my colleague at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where I occupied the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy. When I was elected to that chair, CSIS was a part of Georgetown University. However, the president of Georgetown University was one of those liberals who hated Henry Kissinger, who was also our colleague, and the university president also hated Ronald Reagan for his rhetoric, not for his deeds about which the Georgetown president was uninformed. So I also was unwelcome. Whatever I was worth to CSIS, Kissinger was worth more, and CSIS was not going to give up Henry Kissinger. Therefore the strategic research institute split from Georgetown university. Brzezinski stayed with CSIS.

When my 1971 book, Alienation and the Soviet Economy, which had circulated clandestinely inside the Economic Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in mimeographed form for years, was republished in 1990 with an introduction by University of California, Berkeley, Professor Aaron Wildavsky, Brzezinski, along with Robert Conquest and two members of the USSR Academy of Sciences, provided cover endorsements for my book. Brzezinski wrote: “Professor Roberts’ explanation of Soviet economic development is timely, and it fills a noticeable void in the existing literature. The book is beneficial reading for experts and non-experts alike who wish to understand the theoretical Marxian framework within which the Soviet economy grew and declined.”

I quote his endorsement for two reasons. One is to show upfront that I might be biased in my account of Brzezinski. The other is to establish that both Brzezinski and I did not regard the Soviet Union as a long-term threat. I expected the Soviet economy to fail, which it did, and Brzezinski expected the Soviet Union to breakup along nationality lines, which it did under Washington’s supervision. Although we were both Cold Warriors—I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger—both of us favored a peaceful, not a war or conflict resolution of the Cold War. Brzezinski was most certainly not a Neoconservative determined to remove Russia as a constraint on American unilateralism. Brzezinski, as National Security Advisor to President Carter, did not prevent SALT 2, which the Carter Administration honored despite the refusal of the US Senate to ratify it.

To continue reading: Zbigniew Brzezinski

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