As a veteran of the Viet Nam war, underage protester division, I’m as confused as anyone by the current pro war stance of so called progressives.

Perhaps it’s as simple as the concept that it gives their lives meaning, (thanks Mr. Hedges), in which case I understand completely. How much meaning is there in Starbucks and Facebook?

Or are these happy, Volvo driving, NPR-brain-scrubbed masses really happy with America’s endless attempts at world domination, doomed though it must be? Which is more frightening?

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I serve in Vietnam as a medical corpsman. I'm an endangered species in my old age. A dinosaur. Most of these war hawks advising Biden have been civilians all their lives. They've never been in an actual war. All they know are images the corporate TV and cable media, including the suits in Hollywood, feed them. It's all propaganda. I experienced war, up close and personal. Remember all our presidents, except Papa Bush in the Second World War, our last actual war veteran to be president, avoided war by deferments (Cheney, Clinton, Biden) or hid out in the National Guard (Bush, Bolton). Or were late baby boomers, too young for war (Obama was only three or four years old when the Tet Offensive of 1968 happened, but I remember it like it was yesterday.) Reagan went on national tours selling Liberty Bonds to citizens to fund the Second World War. War is something you have to experience. All these macho strutting war hawks are virgins when it comes to the reality of war. They're clueless. They will have a rude awakening, as will all these civilian war hawks will, if Ukraine spins out of control, into a major world war. Then it will be too late. And remember progressives betrayed their ideals when they supported President Wilson to get us involved in the First World War. The feminists suffragettes, who pressured Wilson for the vote for women before our entry into the war, dropped their pressure and supported Wilson to curry favor. They were rewarded with the passage of the 19th amendment on June 4, 1919. That's why this war hysteria has reached such a feverish pitch for Ukraine in America. So AOC and other progressives are just repeating historical mistakes previous progressives did in an earlier era of our history. We are sleepwalking, once again, toward the abyss, and ignoring the painful lessons of history that should inform us to make rational, moral decisions. What I saw in Vietnam was so horrific I can't forget about it. In the same way adults and my grandparents used to talk about the Great Depression and the Second World War around the dinner table when I was growing up in the late fifties and early sixties. That's what I find so disturbing about our country. It's like civilians are living in a parallel universe. Or how Neo perceived reality before he swallowed the red pill and saw the Matrix was a simulacrum of reality. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you, Leon Trotsky ironically observed. We are all going to be quite surprised if Ukraine spins out of control. Then war will be very interested in us. Biden and his advisers are making the reality of a Third World War more and more a distinct possibility by prolonging Ukraine into a war of attrition. They suffer from a subtle mediocrity last seen in the Eisenhower administration, They lack of imagination even though most of them attended the most prestigious and expensive Ivy League universities in America. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad and tragic.

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Aug 28, 2022·edited Aug 29, 2022

Anders Fogh Rasmussen was the Danish prime minister, who lied to the Danish parliament and the Danish people in order to trick Denmark into joining the warmonger states in the Iraq War. He is a war criminal, like Bush and Blair. As a thank you, he became general secretary of NATO and he is now on the board of NewsGuard.

He also presided over the cartoon scandal, where he played a role as a stout supporter of the freedom of expression against so-called "religious terrorists". Until Turkey a few years later made clear, that if he was to be secretary general of NATO, he would have to do something about the Kurds, who lived in Denmark as political fugitives. So he promptly banned the major European Kurdish TV-station as a "terrorist organisation". It was was based in Copenhagen, Denmark, but had to move to Sweden. This is "Western values" at their finest: Freedom of expression for me, not for you.

The Kurds had to move to Sweden, but now Sweden wants to be a member of NATO, and Erdogan has repeated his claims: Abandon the Kurds, or forget about NATO. Funnily enough, no big Western media outlets seem to care. Fuck the Kurds, fuck Julian Assange, fuck Russia seems to be the password, if you want to join Western corporate media.

The only thing that still makes me feel a little optimistic is the decline of the USA. I feel for the Americans (and the British), but I am looking forward to the coming collapse and sinking of the flagship of West. With a little luck I will live to see it happen in my lifetime.

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Powerfully presented. This Disney narrative on war has me heartbroken. War is the enemy of the people, and the business of war is an engine that needs to be stopped

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Tucker Carlson recently made the point that the targeted material that the Biden Administration confiscated in their likely illegal FBI raid on the former President's home was likely evidence of the US government's involvement in international arms trading.

Related to this, Carlson made the accurate point that our mainstream media, previously the forth arm of government to keep it straight and honest, is curiously incurious about the actual content of these documents seized.

I am not surprised at all about that as the mainstream media is owned by Blackrock, Vanguard and State Street... trillion dollar asset management Wall Street firms that manage the assets of our globalist billionaires. The corporatist cabal aligned with the American political establishment that today is 80% Democrat... this cabal benefits from the lucrative market of war and this explains why they bought the media and keep the media from digging into the stories.

But I am still confused over why the young people on the left support the political establishment. They rage against Trump and Trump supporters... who are against the US being involved in international conflict, against the giant globalist corporatists, and against the US political establishment.

Young people seem to be brainwashed clones sleepwalking in support of the very things they should be ideologically and idealistically against.

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Thank you Rev Hedges for speaking truth to power.

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We are so far from "The Terror of War" AP photo that won a Pulitzer in 1973, the photo of the nine-year-old girl who survived a napalm bomb by tearing off her clothes. I recall that this photo turned many against the war. Would AP circulate such a photo again? Not likely. Thank you, Chris, for this incisive critique. The question that follows is what-to-do.

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As I commented today to "these 'TIMES' they are a-changing" but too slowly re. the 'TIMES' article this Sunday:

"Cloud Wars: Mideast Rivalries Rise Along a New Front"


Yes, "Cloud Wars" to corner the global market on rain, seems to be a very appropriate multi-metaphor and multi-country race in heated conflicts for exploiting, extracting, expropriating, economics of; rain water, energy, technology — along with, the darker-arts of weapons, propaganda, social-media platform sophistication, and skills in precipitating proxy-wars through the eternal and successful actions of Empires employing the tried and true weapon of guileful 'Divide and Conquer' — together with increasingly popular proxy-wars of the three, four, or more party types.


I think we should look at this from the military point of view. I mean, supposing the Russkies stashes away some big bomb, see. When they come out in a hundred years they could take over!


I agree, Mr. President. In fact, they might even try an immediate sneak attack so they could take over our mineshaft space.



Yeah. I think it would be extremely naive of us, Mr. President, to imagine that these new developments are going to cause any change in Soviet expansionist policy.

I mean, we must be... increasingly on the alert to prevent them from taking over other mineshaft space, in order to breed more prodigiously than we do, thus, knocking us out in superior numbers when we emerge! Mr. President, we must not allow... a mine shaft gap!

[From "Dr. Strangelove" Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers 1964]

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To understand the U.S. position on the current Russia-Ukraine war – and many of our previous wars, incursions, etc. – just follow the money - as Chris has. As he notes in this article, “Congress has approved over $53.6 billion ($13.6 billion in March and a further $40.1 billion in May) since Russia’s February 24 invasion. War takes precedence over the most serious existential threats we face. The proposed budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion while the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Our approved assistance to Ukraine is more than twice these amounts.”

And six months ago Chris explained why NATO continued to expand after the fall of the Soviet Union even though many political leaders expected no such expansion. “How naive we were. The war industry did not intend to shrink its power or its profits. It set out almost immediately to recruit the former Communist Bloc countries into the European Union and NATO. Countries that joined NATO, which now include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia were forced to reconfigure their militaries, often through hefty loans, to become compatible with NATO military hardware. There would be no peace dividend. The expansion of NATO swiftly became a multi-billion-dollar bonanza for the corporations that had profited from the Cold War.” – Russia, Ukraine And The Chronicle Of A War Foretold (February 25, 2022) – https://www.mintpressnews.com/chris-hedges-ukraine-soviet-union-russia-war/279793/

But what about our press which constantly reminds us of Ukraine’s cause for freedom and sovereignty vs. Russia’s authoritarianism and corruption? Manufacturing consent long has been at the core of our MSM as Herman and Chomsky reminded us of so many years ago (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=herman+chomsky+manufacturing+consent.) And Chris discussed this media control with Matt Taibbi in two On Contact programs in 2019: Matt Taibbi – The Deep Rot of American Journalism Part 1 (28:19) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wTClM2xaM0 and Matt Taibbi – Deep Rot in American Journalism Part 2 (30:07) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFaGSuubMHs.) Chris also recommends Matt’s book on our media. This is the revised edition, revised after Trump won the presidency in November 2020:

Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another https://www.amazon.com/Hate-Inc-Todays-Despise-Another/dp/1949017257.

We have become an empire that depends on permanent war!

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Aug 29, 2022·edited Aug 29, 2022

I've been anti-war for years, but this Ukraine war is different. Some of my family is Ukrainian and anyone who thinks that we should stand by as Russian rockets tear in to apartment buildings and war crimes are committed is not walking the same side of the street as me. Yes, Ukraine has too much corruption, yes NATO makes Russia nervous. None of that excuses what they are doing. I opposed the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, the bungled Afghan War, and many other stupid actions this country has engaged in, but regarding Ukraine: thank god for the military industrial complex. It's time Russia's army is forced to go home. Let them drink their oil.

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Aug 28, 2022·edited Aug 31, 2022

About 2/3 of Americans trust the U.S. military, making it the most trusted U.S. institution. So much for the new world that the '60s should have ushered in where military spending and U.S. militarism would be greatly decreased. Whether it's propaganda or just the personality of the U.S. populace, this strong support for the military of the evil empire is as concerning as it is disgusting.

As to the Wikileaks comment here: Wikileaks is not credible regarding political issues, because it has ties to the CIA, and because it has posted smears of real progressives without even giving them a chance to respond or to add their own comments to their own pages. Jimmy Dore has done some good reporting on this, see his podcasts for details.

CORRECTION: I meant Wikipedia, not Wikileaks. Wikileaks is as credible as it gets. It has never had to retract anything it ever published because it's all true and correct.

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The Hedges link to the 2004 NY Times obituary of Dr. Melman is an incredible example of how severely our journalism has declined - it not only does a good job summarizing Melman's work, it also uses Chomsky as a source. These are ideas that are taboo and have been virtually eliminated from public discourse. Read it and check out how bad our current "journalism" is:


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Thank you Mr Hedges, this is so right on target for the problems in the US and due to their foreign policy also for the whole planet!! The unbelievable part is that WE do not march on Washington and demand CHANGE (not - of course - the promised Obama change ...) and of course peacefully ...

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Sep 5, 2022·edited Sep 5, 2022

I would suggest not having someone else read your commentary. It’s hard to listen to what comes across as melodrama. Much better to have you say your own stuff in your own voice. I had to turn this one off — the reader exhausted me.

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Chris Hedges is the best as are his many books. Please check out my sub stack it's free, A builder's Tale, a novel with additional chapters weekly

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Thank you for this article. I have remained your loyal fan for decades because you are one of the few voices that speak out against this insanity.

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