War Drum Boogie: How the US Fight to Preserve Unipolar Order Risks It All
The unipolar global order the US wants to preserve is being threatened by multipolarity, and as a result, the empire's efforts are posing a great risk to the world.
The information war—on top of the actual hot war—has disoriented everyone, particularly in the west, and so much so that nobody seems to give half a fret about the distinct possibility of approaching danger. Senator Chris Coons further evoked what should be a major case of the fear when he went on Face the Nation this past Sunday to advocate for troops being sent into Ukraine, saying "Putin will only stop when we stop him."
This black and white viewpoint that the west clutches onto is what makes all of this so dangerous. With it, the collective psyche of its leaders, its media, and its cornered citizenry—much of whom have little choice but to conform to an artificial, often contradictory, authoritative narrative—have marched closer towards inflamed conflict and utter destruction. As the zombie march proceeds, these intentions to preserve "democracy" and "freedom" are revealing themselves as nothing but the deeds of an empire seeking to hold onto its dominant global authority, i.e. its hegemonic power, thus risking the whole world on behalf of the risk perceived by the empire alone.
Outside of the boxed-in picture the corporate media apparatus presents, reality can be found.
It's been nearly two weeks since Pakistan's Imran Khan was ousted from office after receiving a letter from the U.S. State Department in March that threatened a no-confidence motion, the very thing that took him down and that has been condemned by the leaders of China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
The week prior to his actual booting, the effort hadn't worked out as the vote was declared unconstitutional. However, days later, Pakistan's Supreme Court made way for the vote to be held. Following the resignation of both the National Assembly speaker and deputy speaker with prison vans awaiting outside in the ominous early morning hours, Khan was removed from the position of prime minister with a successful retry of the no-confidence vote.
There is no doubt, as many have noted, that much of the backing behind Khan was based around the economic situation for ordinary Pakistanis, and that with the globally-felt inflation affecting the nation, the promises regarding the economy were falling short. Cost of living—particularly food—was and still is on the rise there and almost everywhere, not to mention the fact that, throughout the world, the results are more often leading to an inability to purchase enough supply with one's own domestic currency.
This was, in large part, the explanation behind Khan's visit to Moscow in late February. The then-prime minister visited in order to address matters regarding food and energy trade with Russia in the face of the economic situation.
"We have a bilateral relationship with Russia, and we really want to strengthen it," Khan said leading up to the trip.
Long before the myths of it being Putin-created, inflation was up 13% in January in Khan's nation. Strengthening relations with Russia—which hasn't had the best relationship over the years with Pakistan—was, to him, a beneficial option for his people.
Many Pakistanis were aware of this, and it's a primary reason why Khan's removal from office has stood out compared to similar instances throughout history in a nation that sees such changes fairly often. That is, the public demonstrations and showings of support for Imran Khan were and still are essentially unheard of regarding any Pakistani leader's removal. Despite removal from office, support is strong.
But the west would never let on that kind of information. Instead, they'd rather turn the situation into an "us vs. them" scenario. Many, like those in the State Department, may point out that Khan visited Russia after Putin recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and that such a decision was proof that Pakistan was not a "responsible" country. They'd likely add that Khan was in Moscow when the invasion occurred despite it, by all accounts, being a complete coincidence.
The U.S. has aimed at portraying Khan's government as irresponsible, if not adversarial, because they sought to work with Russia in order to address various concerns pertaining to the financial realities of everyday Pakistanis, i.e. outside the parameters of the U.S. global power structure. More than that, refusing to bow to the west altogether.
In early March, a letter from 22 different diplomats, mostly from the European Union, demanded that Khan condemn Russia's invasion. The leader's response was insubordinate as always— this is, after all, the same leader who supports an independent foreign policy and who has long opposed the west's "war on terror," and who was dubbed "Taliban Khan" for his particular condemnation of the war in Afghanistan.
"Are we your slaves to follow your orders?" Khan asked.
As it turns out, he was expected to abide by that degrading standard, hence the threatening letter.
It was no wonder, then, that Khan's removal from office also followed Pakistan's abstention from voting to suspend Russia from the UN Security Council, which nevertheless passed just days before the change in leadership in Islamabad.
Before that, Russia had requested that the situation in Bucha—which, despite the lack of independent investigation, is the main citation used to make severe accusations against the Russians—be thoroughly investigated, but the motion was denied. (Russia has been very open to a thorough investigation, even The New York Times editorial board has admitted that.) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky then absurdly demanded Russia's expulsion, which is not possible given the fact that Russia has veto power. In the end though, and not long after, came the vote to suspend Russia.
Among the 58 abstentions, alongside Pakistan, was India.
Interestingly enough, just days after the UN vote, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken—the nation's top diplomat—made rather abrupt remarks about India's human rights abuses. The treatment of Muslims in Kashmir by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has long been a concern, and isn't being cast aside, but Blinken's timing was indicative of the US's broader game.
Recall, it wasn't too long ago that Russia and India agreed on discounted oil sales in Rubles and Rupees, furthering the extent of the dent being inflicted to the US dollar's status as a reserve currency.
As they try to hold onto hegemonic power—what's often referred to as "liberal hegemony," but may be better defined as "neoliberal hegemony"—that game is to try and prevent the multipolar transformation.
A multipolar world is the largest threat to the hegemonic standing. Take the words of University of Chicago professor John J. Mearsheimer:
"You cannot have liberal hegemony in bipolarity or multipolarity. You can only have it in unipolarity because if you're in a bipolar system or you're in a multipolar system, where the United States is one of the poles, the United States has to pay attention to the other great power or powers and it has to engage in balance-of-power politics. It cannot afford to pursue a liberal foreign policy in any significant way, maybe somewhat on the margins, but the essence of a great power's foreign policy in a bipolar or multipolar world is almost always going to be realism. So if we do move into multipolarity liberal hegemony is gone."
That realism Mearsheimer discusses would be the understanding of just how avoidable this whole invasion was as well as of the need to push for a negotiated ceasefire rather than pushing a hopeless fight that will fuel further death and insurgencies by flooding Ukraine with arms and munitions.
As the professor would tell anyone, the ambitions of the elitist foreign policy establishment are the only ones that benefit from the reckless pursuance of neoliberal hegemony. That's why the west has constantly—time and again—shoved Ukraine away from any negotiated ceasefire that would actually save lives. Because it would signify the end of the hegemony afforded by the unipolar power structure by merely conceding to Russia's demands.
At the end of the day, the US demands domination. It's actually its national security policy.
"If you challenge us, it will be your longest and worst day," then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis cautioned to the the world back in 2018 at the unveiling of the new National Security Strategy.
At that moment, the Trump Administration declared the "war on terror" was over, or at least as the primary focus of US national security. Instead, the strategy asserted the need to combat the rise of "near-peer powers," or in other words rising global powers like Russia and China.
It was Trump, after all, that began weapons shipments to Ukraine. Even his predecessor viewed such a move as a major escalation, and never went down that road— a rare moment of foreign policy temperance for Barack Obama's administration, even in spite of his State Department's heavy hand in the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine's government, which included then-Assistant Secretary of State (and current-Under Secretary of State) Victoria Nuland's infamous leaked call where she and and then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffery Pyatt explicitly discussed who the leadership of Ukraine should be made up of.
Since then, one thing has lead to another through the years, through the presidential changes, and through the pressure that continues building up while the world shifts towards multipolarity.
That shift is a perfect explanation for the west's explicit desire to escalate this whole conflict with Russia more than they already have, even as risks begin to mount to bone-rattling proportions.
It's why they would continue to celebrate a phony leader who would rather do wartime photoshoots than promote actual democracy (if that's a surprise, read up on the treatment of opposition leaders, missing mayors, journalists, and others that don't adhere to the nationalist demands).
It's also why the Bucha hysteria was and still is hyped up.
Former UN Chief Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter was suspended twice—the second being indefinite—from Twitter earlier this month, first, for calling Biden a war criminal, and second, for offering a credible counter to the common narrative regarding the events in Bucha, which again, was never confirmed independently before the western media began advertising what was essentially Ukrainian government propaganda.
The dead bodies were real, the deaths occurred, but the context and facts behind it point to another story, according to Ritter (in several different interviews, as well as in a special piece for Consortium News). Those dead bodies also had, on their arms, a white armband, which are indicative of pro-Russian sympathies, as well as dry ration packages with a white star that are identical to the ones the Russians were handing out.
Also notable were the claims, from The New York Times and others in early April, that the bodies had been around for weeks in order to uphold the claim that the Russians, who left on March 30, had committed the atrocities. As Ritter grimly observes, the bodies as shown in the footage from the Ukrainian government are not at all consistent with the state of a decomposing carcass at that point in time. Any forensic investigator, Ritter says, will tell you that a body killed on March 11, as The Times maintained with the use of satellite imagery, would be in a horrible condition by the time they were discovered on April 2: there would be bloating, discoloration, internal organs would have liquefied and bodies would have burst, creating a "pool of putrid, disgusting liquid."
Ritter concedes that there is no way to definitively say who did the killing, but notes that a Ukrainian politician got on "local television [in Bucha] on April 1st and warned the population, 'Stay at home, there is a cleansing operation underway. Do not be afraid.'"
There's plenty more inconsistencies Ritter makes note of in his interviews that point to the very distinct possibility that the narrative in Bucha, as it is being reported in the west, is an effort to jin up support for this war and possibly the further escalation of it. Ritter believes the Ukrainian national police is responsible for the atrocities, and that the US is more than well aware of that.
It's important to note of Ritter that he was strongly opposed to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 after previously holding different views of Saddam Hussein while serving as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq. He's since been a prominent and sobering voice for the anti-war movement, branded a traitor time after time despite being right about the dangers of imperialist foreign policy.
It's no wonder voices like Ritter's and others, such as longtime Eurasian and geopolitical affairs journalist Pepe Escobar, have been given the hook on what is supposed to be a platform for free debate. It's been a wave of "shushing" from the power establishment, wiping out the work of anti-imperialists and those who dissent from the shoddy mainstream narrative.
The truth is clearly in the way of US hegemonic ambitions, and it's obvious not only in America, but throughout the west. Prominent Polish journalist Konstanty Gebert, who writes for the nation's "newspaper of record" and is Jewish, quit after it was demanded of him that he refer to the Azov Battalion as "far-right" rather than the more accurate label of "neo-nazi."
Even Prof. Mearsheimer experienced potential cancellation from University of Chicago students for his realist point of view— he was characterized as "pro-Putin" for it.
That "pro-Putin" tag is so revealing of the "us vs. them" philosophy of neoliberal hegemony, and more broadly, the insanity of the information war. If one does not completely align with the will of the west's foreign policy establishment, then they must be "pro-Putin," "a tankie," "anti-democracy," "traitors," or whatever other term highlights just how dumbed-down the narrative has become. Reduced to black and white thinking, power in the west is coalescing around a crackpot consensus.
President Biden has anted up his takes as the weeks go by, regardless if the man is cognizant of it or not. First, he called Putin a "war criminal." Then, he expressed the persistent US desire for regime change, saying Russia's president "cannot remain in power." And more recently, he's gone so far as to call Russia's invasion a "genocide"— something the media and even former President Trump have ludicrously agreed with despite any proof.
In fact, the use of the term "genocide" is being used despite people with the US government openly articulating how clear it is that whatever happened in Bucha was not, in fact, a "genocide."
If one were prone to discount anything Scott Ritter says, one's attention could be brought to a Newsweek article from last week that cited a senior official with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), who said that "the number of actual deaths is hardly genocide," adding that had this been Russia's goal, "we'd see a lot more than less than .01 percent [of the city population] in places like Bucha."
The hysteria from western leadership and the corporate media is so incoherent, so unbound to reality that they are clearly spouting off lies.
Even their tough talk about holding Vladimir Putin accountable holds no weight.
"It is unclear how anyone would try Putin for war crimes since Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague," Chris Hedges observes. "But justice is not the point."
The point very likely is: risk everything to preserve the dwindling neoliberal hegemony.
Tony Blinken has already come out and said the war will likely last until at least the end of the year, and through what's been less than two months since the invasion began, these massive and hollow claims have continued to rev up the uneasiness. Going from baseless speculation about war crimes, chemical weapons, and genocide to paving the way for nuclear weapons use to take center stage, the world has descended well beyond the depths of clownish reality.
Again, this is the thick of the crackpot consensus— a line of belief among the powerful that has slowly grown more and more irresponsible.
Leave it to the Sunday cable news shows to work as a marker for how far this world is creeping towards further catastrophe.
At the beginning of the month it was Ali Velshi, in his big moment, declaring that the purpose of NATO, of the EU, of the G7, etc. is nothing if it's not to be used to stop the Russians and start a third World War. Velshi even made himself clear on Twitter, saying that he is indeed advocating for "Direct military involvement."
Senator Coons, like the virtuous neoliberal he is, wondered about how history might view this moment regarding "freedom" and how reluctance to put troops on the ground may risk Putin's continued barbarism, claiming pretty explicitly that such an egregious move on the west's part is the "only" way to "stop" Putin.
Over a week ago New York Times columnist and insufferable arranger of words Tom Friedman wrote that the US needs to "set in motion" the "forces" that can "topple Putin from power." And just this week, for US Commander of NATO Philip Breedlove ridiculously prescribed that the US and NATO intervene to prevent the Russian takeover of Mariupol, where a large chunk of the neo-nazi Azov Battalion was holding out.
Even actor Sean Penn has talked about the need to be tough, not "intimidated," and the need to consider using nuclear weapons before Putin potentially does. But at the same time, that's noted for humor, if anything, because Penn also vowed to take up arms in Ukraine— something reminiscent of a movie . . .
Anyway, this crackpot consensus is not in anyway a majority, but the power they hold while they profess these beliefs are of a magnitude that still threatens to leave everyone in the crossfire of the psychotic, rattling volley of beats pounding against the war drum. The ordinary people don't have much choice other than submit to the information war or stay out of the way, dejected.
It seems this consensus will do anything to avoid anything short of what it considers a win, even if it means taking the most hostile route and riding it with disregard.
Remarkably, after NATO expansion was arguably the baseline issue—the primary redline—for the Russians, the possibility of two Scandinavian nations with a long history of neutrality and military non-alignment joining NATO is being discussed.
The popularity regarding the Swedish possibility of joining is much lower than it is for the Finnish, but the simple truth—even as Finnish-Russian history is rich with conflict over the past century—is that if either, or both, joined the organization, it would be a blatant appeal towards conflict. To say either nation's security would benefit from joining would be a clear deception— rather, it would be an abandonment of non-alignment in order to further the reach of NATO.
Again, the question has to be asked: Why? Why is it that every decision and move from the west's power establishment seems rooted in an urge to stoke flames and up the risk factor?
"They lust for apocalyptic global war," Chris Hedges wrote in a recent Substack piece regarding these hawks and neocons, this crackpot consensus shared by what he called "The Pimps of War." He continues, writing that these warmongers believe they can "militarily bend Russia to our will."
Throughout the west, this is the case. There is no interest in ending the war, because it would be the opposite of their desire, which stems from their desperation to maintain hegemonic power for the US and its sphere of influence.
After years of choosing not to implement the Minsk Accords and following months of refusing to meet Russia's demands of Ukrainian neutrality and autonomy for the people's republics, the US effort is prepared to make things darker.
Any chance for diplomacy has been spit at by the US sphere of influence, to the point where Putin has regarded such a route as a "dead end" since there is no way to come to terms with a side unwilling to negotiate based on the reality. That reality: that this conflict was stoked by the west, that Ukraine neutrality should have been the standard from the start, and that all of this effort only exacerbates and promotes the destruction.
The invasion, like any, is not condonable, but believe it or not, Russia has been the only side readily open for dialogue. It was their military that gave those Azov fighters in Mariupol a window of time to surrender before it was refused and followed by Zelensky's declaration that if the soldiers were killed, it would end negotiations. And yet, Margaret Brennan will have on the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, who will tell the American audience that the story in Mariupol is heartbreaking because the Russians spontaneously "decided to raze the city to the ground."
The truth doesn't matter when an agenda is at work.
They've fooled people into cheering on nazis, they've fooled people into believing that Ukraine can win a war against a power like Russia, and they seem to be making headway in fooling people into supporting intervention by the US and NATO, regardless if it leads to breaking the nuclear taboo.
Expect an increase in the west's attempts to escalate as Russia expands its effort to secure the Donbas. Those who lust for war are enjoying their prolonged state of climax.
As the war drum is beat with a fervor from the top here in the west, the track for everyone else in the world is headed for that boundary where the edge of the cliff suddenly becomes a large, empty space where one only descends through in a nosedive.
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