Patrick Lawrence , longtime foreign correspondent, primarily for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century . On Twitter you can find him at @thefloutist . His website is Patrick Lawrence .
The Victims of the US Empire by Patrick Lawrence*
There are diabolical methods of propaganda and perception control at work that are unprecedented. This is a war being waged in a new way – both against its own people and against those who have been declared enemies.
News from Moscow, Kyiv and the western capitals reaches us every day: how many have died since the Russian intervention in Ukraine began on February 24, how many have been injured, how many are starving or freezing, how many have been displaced. We do not know, and should not pretend to know, the actual number of casualties and the extent of the suffering: this is the reality of war and each side has its own version of events.
I would like to add the deaths in Ukraine over the past two weeks to the 14,000 dead and 1.5 million displaced since 2014, when the Kyiv regime began shelling its own citizens in the eastern provinces – and that’s because the People in Donetsk and Luhansk opposed the US-instigated coup that deposed their elected president. This simple calculation gives us a better idea of how many Ukrainians are worth mourning.
As we mourn, it is time to consider the wider implications of this conflict, for Ukrainians are not the only victims. Who else has suffered? Who else was harmed? This war is of a kind that mankind has never experienced before. What is its cost?
It is becoming increasingly clear among observant observers that, in provoking Moscow’s intervention, Washington intends to instigate a protracted conflict that will corner Russian forces and allow Ukrainians to lead an insurgency that cannot possibly succeed.
Is there any other explanation for the billions of dollars in arms and materiel that the US and its European allies are now shipping to Ukraine? If the Ukrainians can’t win – a well-established fact – then what’s the point?
Whether this strategy is what Washington wants or whether Russian forces will do their job and withdraw to avoid classic trench warfare remains to be seen. But as Dave DeCamp noted in Antiwar.com last Friday , there is no sign that the Biden administration is planning further diplomatic contacts with the Kremlin.
The implication here should be obvious. Indeed, US strategy calls for the destruction of Ukraine in the service of US imperial ambitions. If this thought seems extreme, a brief reference to the fates of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria is recommended.
What have we become?
Look what has become of us. Most Americans seem to condone these things, or at least make no move to protest. We have lost all sense of decency, normal morality and proportionality. Can anyone listen to the din of the past few weeks without wondering if we’ve made ourselves into a land of the grotesque?
It is well known that in war the enemy is always dehumanized. We are now confronted with a different reality: those who dehumanize others dehumanize themselves even more.
“Reasonable argumentation is only possible and promising as long as the emotionality of a given situation does not exceed a certain critical level. But if the affective temperature rises above this level, then the possibility of reasoning ceases and the slogan and the chimerical wishful thinking take their place, i.e. a kind of collective obsession, which increasingly develops into a psychological epidemic.
This is an excerpt from a book by C.G. Jung , The Undiscovered Self . When our feelings get the better of us, we can no longer think or talk to one another in a meaningful way: that is the simple statement of the Swiss psychoanalyst.
Recently, PBS Newshour ran an interview with one Artem Semenikhin , in which the mayor of a small town was praised for standing up to Russian soldiers. In the background was a portrait of Stepan Bandera , the brutal Russophobe, anti-Semite and leader of the Ukrainian Nazis.
What did PBS do about this oversight? It blurred Bandera’s portrait and broadcast the interview with his Ukrainian hero. American journalism at its peak.
It seems to me the perfect metaphor for what has happened to our minds – or rather, what we have allowed to be done to them. Facts that are undeniable, when they are uncomfortable, are faded out of the film we think we are watching.
So is any genuine understanding of Russian intervention. I have four words for what we need to understand this crisis: history, chronology, context and accountability. Since none of these words serve our cognitive warriors, we are asked to tune them out. Again, we do so in terrible loyalty to those who actively manipulate our perception.
The context, the worst of us claim, is an idea dreamed up by those awful Russians. We are not in the least interested in what the world looks like from the perspective of others. Please tell me who thinks this is a good way to live?
I drew a pencil sketch of one nation falling apart while tearing another to pieces. A nation so mired in one of C.G. Jung’s „collective obsessions“ cannot possibly live well. As is always the case, the perpetrators are also victims.
If we’re going to find our way out of this madhouse, there’s one thing we must do above all: We must learn to speak in a clear, new language so that we can label things for what they are, instead of blurring them out like PBS does did with the Bandera portrait.
And we have to start with a word. Unless we learn to call America an empire, we will stumble in the darkness of the madhouse until it becomes so unfunny that we can no longer bear our own delusions.
I see a virtue in this big, complicated event. Between Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, which I find unfortunate but necessary, and the joint statement Putin made with Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 4, we are all called upon to either recognize the United States as what they have become, an empire violently defending itself against history, or accepting our fate as victims of that empire.
Clarity: It’s always a good thing, no matter what difficulties it brings. •
Source: https://consortiumnews.com/2022/03/08/patrick-lawrence-the-casualties-of-empire/ of 03/08/2022