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Nonstop Corporate News on Ukraine Is Fueling Support for Unchecked US Militarism

The U.S. public is being fed continuous nonstop images of technologically sophisticated weapons being used in Ukraine — in effect this appears to function as a sort of advertisement for the weapons industry, coupled with the sensational presentation of gratuitous violence

Talking heads in the dominant media landscape churn out cheap binarisms about good and evil, democracy versus authoritarianism. In doing so, they reinforce the mythic narrative that the U.S., a model of liberal innocence, is furthering the global fight for democracy, untainted in its false assertion that fascism is always elsewhere — in this case exclusively in Russia.

There is almost no talk about the role of the military-industrial complex, both in its push for war, and how it usually emerges as the only winner. Nor is there any talk about who profits from an embrace of war talk, the spectacularization of war and war itself.

Henry A. GirouxTruthout,  13 Apr 22,    The drums of fascism are beating louder. The catastrophe of war and outpouring of support for the millions of Ukrainians suffering under the brutal attacks by Russia has morphed into increased warmongering from the West. The shock of war has been transformed into a cinematic spectacle used to fan the flames of militarism. The sheer boldness, violence and ruthlessness of Russia’s attack on Ukraine has created a global political crisis accentuated by both a crisis of ideas and a crisis of historical reckoning, at least in the Western mainstream media.

The wider public’s inability to reflect on the underlying causes of the war is due at least in the United States to its long-standing dominant belief in its own exceptionalism, reinforced by a moral righteousness endlessly reproduced in the mainstream media.

Tragic pictures of the agonizing hardships faced by the Ukrainian people too often appear with little or no critical commentary in the corporate-controlled cultural apparatuses. Endless images of unfathomable agony by the Ukrainian people dominate the conventional news outlets and other monopolies of information governed by the spectacle of 24/7 coverage, matched almost entirely by a lack of historical analysis. While widespread moral repulsion to the tragedies of the war are understandable, what is not acceptable is the refusal of the mainstream media to reflect on the historical, political and economic conditions leading up to the war.

The U.S. public is being fed continuous nonstop images of technologically sophisticated weapons being used in Ukraine — in effect this appears to function as a sort of advertisement for the weapons industry, coupled with the sensational presentation of gratuitous violence.

 Within this militarized aesthetic, operating in the service of permanent war, as cultural critic Rustom Bharucha writes, “there is an echo of the pornographic in maximizing the pleasure of violence.” The corporate media are thus rendering war as riveting, emotional and free from demanding intellectual complexities since it emerges out of an either/or view of good and evil.

Images of violence are replayed in the mainstream media over and over again, making violence not only more visible but also rootless. The sheer monopoly of such images gives them a fascist edge, all the while dissolving politics into a cinematic pathology. Writer and philosopher Susan Sontag’s observation about war coverage, made in a different historical context, is even more relevant today. According to Sontag, the endless images of war and suffering, removed from the context of rigorous historical analysis, represent a contempt for “all that is reflective, critical and pluralistic [and are] linked to forms of rabid masculinity [that] glamorizes death.”

Talking heads in the dominant media landscape churn out cheap binarisms about good and evil, democracy versus authoritarianism. In doing so, they reinforce the mythic narrative that the U.S., a model of liberal innocence, is furthering the global fight for democracy, untainted in its false assertion that fascism is always elsewhere — in this case exclusively in Russia. There is almost no talk about the role of the military-industrial complex, both in its push for war, and how it usually emerges as the only winner. Nor is there any talk about who profits from an embrace of war talk, the spectacularization of war and war itself.

When more critical explanations of the war appear, especially from those criticizing the eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which created one set of conditions for the conflict, they are often mocked, ignored, or at worst, accused of being treasonous. In this instance, a rampant militarism collapses the difference between a critical analysis and a justification for Russia’s actions………….

We have seen a similar shutting down of dissent before in the face of catastrophic events, especially in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing “war on terror.” Yet, the frenetic opposition to dissent today seems more dangerous, especially given the multiple cultural platforms calling for “virtual war, for participating in it, and being manipulated by it, [including] crowd funding urban militias on Twitter, posting videos of captured tanks or ‘army cats’ to Instagram and TikTok.”

The need for community is too often now organized around a bristling war fever feeding on militaristic language in mainstream outlets such as The Atlantic, The New Republic, New Yorker, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. In all cases, rightful moral outrage over the brutality of Russia’s unlawful invasion morphed quickly into a fog-of-war hysteria demanding more military aid, more punitive sanctions and bolstered by the discourse of unchecked jingoism. The call for peace or a diplomatic solution is barely mentioned.

With the war in Ukraine raging, more nuanced analyses along with dissent disappear in the suffocating discourses of hyper-nationalism and the growing bonfire of militarism fueled by what Indian essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra, writing in the London Review of Books, calls “an infotainment media [that] works up citizens into a state of paranoid patriotism.” The military-industrial-intellectual-academic complex has reasserted itself in the face of Russia’s violation of international law, accelerating the prospect, if not welcoming, the potential of another looming Cold War, aided greatly by media apparatuses that bask in the comfort of moral certainty and patriotic inanity. In this atmosphere of hyper-war culture, military victories become synonymous with moral victories as language becomes weaponized and matters of ethics no longer inform the urgent call for peace.

In the face of the brutal Russian invasion, the concept of militarization is being amplified and put into service as a call for more upgraded weapons. Talk of war, not peace, dominates the mainstream media landscapes both at home and abroad. Such talk also fuels a global arms industry, oil and gas monopolies, and the weaponization of language itself. Militarism as a tool of unchecked nationalism and patriotism drives the mainstream and right-wing disimagination machines. Both fuel a global war fever through different degrees of misrepresentation and create what intellectual historian Jackson Lears writing in the London Review of Books calls “an atmosphere “poisoned by militarist rants.” He goes further in regarding his critique of the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine, writing in the New York Review of Books:

Yet the US has failed to put a cease-fire and a neutral Ukraine at the forefront of its policy agenda there. Quite the contrary: it has dramatically increased the flow of weapons to Ukraine, which had already been deployed for eight years to suppress the separatist uprising in the Donbas. US policy prolongs the war and creates the likelihood of a protracted insurgency after a Russian victory, which seems probable at this writing. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has refused to address Russia’s fear of NATO encirclement. Sometimes we must conduct diplomacy with nations whose actions we deplore. How does one negotiate with any potential diplomatic partner while ignoring its security concerns? The answer, of course, is that one does not. Without serious American diplomacy, the Ukraine war, too, may well become endless.

The horrific events in Ukraine have mobilized a global response against the brutal acts of violence inflicted on the Ukrainian people, but such massive acts of violence have also taken place in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen without eliciting comparable condemnations or humanitarian aid from the U.S. and Europe. Moreover, while public outrage in the U.S. is warranted in light of the “horrendous crimes by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians—massacre, murder, and rape, among them,” memory fades, and the line between fantasy and historical consciousness disappears, “erasing the brutalizing crimes committed during America’s Global War on Terror.”……………………………………..

Historical amnesia and a prolonged military conflict combine making it easier to sell war rather than peace, which would demand not only condemnation of Russia but also an exercise in self-scrutiny with a particular focus on the military optic that has been driving U.S. foreign policy since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in the 1950s of the danger of the military-industrial complex.

The Ukrainian war is truly insidious and rouses the deepest sympathies and robust moral outrage, but the calls to punish Russia overlook the equally crucial need to call for peace. In doing so, such actions ignore a crucial history and mode of analysis that make clear that behind this war are long-standing anti-democratic ideologies that have given us massive inequality, disastrous climate change, poverty, racial apartheid and the increasing threat of nuclear war.

The horrific events in Ukraine have mobilized a global response against the brutal acts of violence inflicted on the Ukrainian people, but such massive acts of violence have also taken place in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen without eliciting comparable condemnations or humanitarian aid from the U.S. and Europe. Moreover, while public outrage in the U.S. is warranted in light of the “horrendous crimes by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians—massacre, murder, and rape, among them,” memory fades, and the line between fantasy and historical consciousness disappears, “erasing the brutalizing crimes committed during America’s Global War on Terror.”……………………………………..

Historical amnesia and a prolonged military conflict combine making it easier to sell war rather than peace, which would demand not only condemnation of Russia but also an exercise in self-scrutiny with a particular focus on the military optic that has been driving U.S. foreign policy since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in the 1950s of the danger of the military-industrial complex.

The Ukrainian war is truly insidious and rouses the deepest sympathies and robust moral outrage, but the calls to punish Russia overlook the equally crucial need to call for peace. In doing so, such actions ignore a crucial history and mode of analysis that make clear that behind this war are long-standing anti-democratic ideologies that have given us massive inequality, disastrous climate change, poverty, racial apartheid and the increasing threat of nuclear war.

War never escapes the tragedies it produces and is almost always an outgrowth of the dreams of the powerful — which always guarantees a world draped in suffering and death. Peace is difficult in an age when culture is organized around the interrelated discourse of militarism and state violence. War has become the only mirror in which alleged democratic capitalist and authoritarian societies recognize themselves. Rather than defined as a crisis, war for authoritarian rulers and the soulless arms industries becomes an opportunity for power and profits, however ill-conceived.

Peace demands a different assertion of collective identity, a different ethical posture and value system that takes seriously Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s admonition that human beings must do everything not to “spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear annihilation.” This is not merely a matter of conscience or resistance but of survival itself.


April 14, 2022 - Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war

7 Comments »

  1. Dear Christina

    Many thanks for you post, excellent indeed. The whole thing is a distraction in fact as much as anything, to take peoples’ attention from such things as vaccine harm and deaths.

    I wrote my own article on it, much in a humourous vein as it seems more like political theatre than anything else.

    In it I say the following:

    “If Putin really wanted to take Ukraine, or at least the bits he wants, he could.

    Putin is problematic but so is Zelenskyy.

    In reality Zelenskyy and his regime are Neo-Nazi. He is part of the WEF and Klaus Schwab’s team so has to be suspect.

    The agenda seems in part to make out that the pope will save the day, but as he is a false Christ, ultimately he is deceiving the nations.

    The ramping up of fear distracts the nations from what else is going on, the various evils and battles against them. We should not be distracted.

    This includes the rise of inflation and economic disruption

    Centralisation of money and power and control in fewer hands, the elites who wish to subjugate the children of God, the gentle gentiles, a far larger group than some may imagine.

    Using taxpayers’ money to buy arms that are either not required or can be used to blow others to bits so that undertakers can bury or doctors repair and all for money of course – the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

    Push countries into huge debts owed to the banks which are owned by…? Double check.

    Bankrupting countries will help them subjugate the nations. Unless perhaps you are Germany with a budget surplus of course…Mmm…I mention Germany somewhere, don’t I?

    Vaccine harm and deaths.

    And where have all the ‘push the vaccine’ videos on YouTube gone??

    Euthanasia laws as an excuse to murder the innocent elderly, then the disabled, then the useless eaters, then you…..

    Abortion laws as an excuse to murder the innocent unborn and traumatise mothers. Why stop there if a child is born with a disability missed in a scan or otherwise. Or if you become disabled etc etc. Where will it stop?

    Mid-term elections in the USA, indeed elections anywhere. Don’t be distracted, watch the ballots like hawks. Don’t let fraud occur.”

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson
    Please excuse the nom-de-plume, this is as much for fun as a riddle for people to solve if they wish.

    Comment by alphaandomega21 | April 14, 2022 | Reply

    • mmm..mmm quit a lot of questionable assumptions in there, Baldmichael……..

      Comment by Christina Macpherson | April 14, 2022 | Reply

      • Then ask me questions. If you say something like that you need to be specific, otherwise we don’t gain wisdom which is precious and useful.

        Comment by alphaandomega21 | April 15, 2022

      • For a start ”vaccine harm”. The figures are telling us that the fully vaccinated do not get as sick as do the unvaccinated.

        ”euthanasia laws to murder the innocent elderly, then the disabled, then the useless eaters” As I understand it, there are stringent regulations on these laws, which depend on the genuine wish of fully competent individuals in extreme health circumstances.

        ”Abortion laws as an excuse to murder the innocent unborn and traumatise mothers” I know of no evidence of these motivations in action.

        Comment by Christina Macpherson | April 15, 2022

      • Dear Christina

        Many thanks, that gives us something to work on. I will start with vaccine harm.

        But first I must ask you a question; what do you think Covid 19 is? I have had a look at your site but can”t see any obvious references to Covid. I have done an extensive amount on my site.

        If you care to briefly say what you think, I can then address the point.

        Comment by alphaandomega21 | April 15, 2022

      • Thank you, alphaandomega. You don’t find references to Covid-19 on my site because this site is dedicated to the nuclear issue. I think Covid-q19 is a virus that causes illness .I think that it ”jumped species” to humans, – as we encroach further on the habitats of other species. I am not interested in turning this site into a debate on important issues other than the nuclear one.

        Comment by Christina Macpherson | April 15, 2022

      • Thank you. Perhaps then I should just say this in response to the 3 points you raised.

        1. ‘the fully vaccinated do not get as sick as do the unvaccinated.’This is media distortion of the facts as usual. As one finds with the Ukraine/Russia situation. They have lied to us consistently about Covid 19 and have not stopped lying.

        Governments keep changing the goalposts. What was fully vaccinated no longer isn’t. Those who have vaccines but not all the doses are being counted as unvaccinated, distorting the figures.

        Here’s a link which may help.

        https://timefortruth.blog/2022/02/01/how-the-media-lies-about-covid/

        2. ‘Euthanasia’ laws. Some people are pushing for these across the world and this has been going on for a long time. Like all such laws the boundaries keep being pushed back, the usual thin edge of the wedge. You only have to google this and you should find evidence, but I can suggest a link if you need it.

        3. ‘Abortion’. Some people are pushing to extend the law for abortion up to and even beyond birth in the UK. Again, you only have to google this and you should find evidence, but I can suggest a link if you need it.

        As regards Covid 19 I have done much, here is my link to my summary. That gives access to the various other issues. I cover the statistics in the UK and USA and more recently those in Australia.

        https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/covid-19-summary/

        Please note I do sometimes use humour to get my points across and lighten the mood.

        Comment by alphaandomega21 | April 18, 2022


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