Compassion for Ukrainians victimized by Russia’s violence demonstrates that human hearts care. However, beneath the visible current of compassion there’s an alarming, dangerous dynamic at play.
What’s hair-raising about the crisis is not only the violence, but the fact that US political leaders and media makers are not recognizing positive and negative motivations on both sides of conflict. Instead, they’re deliberately creating an inaccurate good vs. evil storyline—for potentially harmful reasons.
1. The Script: Evil Persecutor, Innocent Victim, Rescuing Hero
Since its inception, the US government has perpetually perceived and advertised its role in conflict as that of a heroic rescuer or innocent victim upholding humanity and freedom in a fight against malicious, lying, evil persecutors. Whether the US government’s enemies are Native Americans, the British, Confederates, Philippinos, Germans, Japanese, Communists, North Koreans, left-wing Latinos, or Mid-Eastern militants, Americans are forever supposed to be wound up with the fervent belief that enemies’ motives are cruel, their minds are unreasonable, their hearts are cold, and their bodies are better off dead. What’s more, because they’re so evil and dangerous, we’re supposed to think that punishing and killing them is the moral thing to do.
To perceive US violence as eternally moral, Americans are taught that US foreign policymakers wage war, topple foreign leaders, and impose sanctions only when necessary to resist grave threats to humanity, freedom, and civilization itself. This belief that a noble hero must use violence to rescue an innocent victim from an evil persecutor is what psychological analysts Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward called a “cultural script.”
But consider US history. A timeline of US wars against Native Americans covering the years 1776–1890 reveals only 30 years with no battles: 1796–1810, 1815–1816, 1819–1822, 1824–1826, 1828–1831, 1833–1834. A second timeline of US military conflicts and occupations, not including Native American wars, CIA violence, or US funding for proxy wars, reveals 20 years without violent military engagements: 1784–1785, 1788–1790, 1795–1797, 1811, 1826, 1828–1830, 1834, 1837, 1845, 1850, 1897, 1977, 1979. Combine these lists and you’ll see that in its 245-year history, a mere 10 years exist without violent US military conflicts: 1796–1797, 1826, 1828–1830, 1834, 1897, 1977, 1979.
What are the odds of a nation having a 245-year history with a military conflict in every year but 10, and taking part in every one of those conflicts purely on the defense as a heroic rescuer or an innocent victim? Examination of the actual events of these 245 years of US history reveals that the perception of always being a good guy fighting evil is fiction, a psychological construct. In truth, good and bad, truth and lies, invariably exist on both sides of conflict. When you see the evil persecutor, innocent victim, and heroic rescuer drama played out on the front pages of mainstream media and in our political leaders’ statements, it’s a tip-off that you’re not receiving comprehensive truth. You’re getting only half-truths, misleading statements, carefully framed perspectives, and probably quite a few lies.
To support the script that good is all on one side of conflict and evil on the other—thus justifying their hostility, US policymakers have had to perpetually twist and bend the truth beyond the snapping point. In fact, US policymakers’ pattern of relentlessly legitimating their violence, deadly sanctions, and foreign coups by denying the validity of enemy grievances, hiding their own greed and aggressive motives, refusing to cooperatively negotiate, concealing enemy negotiation offers, fabricating lies, omitting significant facts, using false pretexts, and overlooking the disastrous results of a pseudo-religious faith in the problem-solving magic of weapons is so predictable that it’s hard to decide whether it’s more enraging, pathetic, boring, or nauseating.
2. Brzezinski’s Baiting of the USSR
Consider one relevant conflict from forty years ago. The assigned roles in the drama: evil persecutor: USSR; innocent victim: Afghans; rescuing heroes: Afghan-Arab holy warriors, the mujahideen, armed and funded by the US, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and China. At the start of the drama in 1979, President Jimmy Carter, livid over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, claimed it was “the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War.” Incidentally, this alarmist remark, which ignores a great deal of history, is nearly identical to Biden’s remarks today. Actually, Afghanistan’s Marxist government, which had been trying to reform the extreme, unjust inequalities of wealth and land ownership in Afghanistan, had requested Soviet assistance against insurgents, but the USSR, the “evil persecutor,” didn’t want to send troops. When the Soviets finally complied, they explained it was because of secret US involvement in Afghanistan. The world called the Soviets liars.
Two decades later US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted that Carter had begun aiding the insurgent mujahideen—the “heroes”—six months prior to the entry of the persecutors, the Soviets. A delighted Brzezinski knew this could provoke the Soviets to invade and get mired in their own “Vietnam.” Convinced of Soviet evil and mujahideen goodness, US policymakers ignored that the mujahideen skinned Soviet POWs alive.
And now we’re told that US sanctions and weapons are needed to rescue Ukraine and Kiev’s “2.8 million innocent people,” as Biden referred to them, from Russia. Of course, we’re supposed to readily believe that, because we’re not supposed to think about Brzezinski and his little plot to ensnare the Soviets. We’re also not supposed to think about why US policymakers never try to make a situation less provoking, to ease the tension of conflict so that the enemy will feel less threatened and therefore be less threatening. Instead, US policymakers invariably respond by making a situation more provoking to put pressure on the enemy in order to use force to try to compel him to obey. It’s a rather stunted way of dealing with people, I’d say.
Notice that the US prefers to blithely ship off weapons to conflict-ridden nations, as it did to Afghanistan in 1979 and as it’s been doing to Ukraine since the start of its civil war in 2014. For what seems to be a mixture of greed and illogical reasons, the US seeks to exacerbate conflict and help one side, the so-called “good” side, win by killing off the other side, the side portrayed as “evil.” The idea of lessening conflict and helping both sides win by harmonizing and avoiding violence doesn’t seem to enter the minds of US policymakers. Perhaps the script gets in the way. But how will weapons resolve the roots of the conflicts? Won’t weapons merely escalate hatred, misunderstanding, and distrust? Incidentally, we’re not supposed to question why the weapon industry routinely contributes enormous funds to politicians’ campaigns and why those contributions aren’t called bribes.
3. Cold War Truth and Propaganda
We’re expected to sit back, relax, and let all information fall into the ruts of our minds shaped by decades of Cold War lies and propaganda. Imagine how furious John D. Rockefeller was in the 1880s when Russian oil drillers struck enormous deposits in Baku, on the Caspian Sea. Russia was able to sell oil to Europe at prices that undercut Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Cruel, underhanded, ruthless to his competitors, and lethally negligent towards his employees, Rockefeller, who had a history of selling temporarily at low prices to put his competitors out of business, wanted that market. So Rockefeller, who had mercilessly swallowed up his American competitors, schemed to destroy Russian competition. He lowered prices for Europeans, raised prices for Americans, spread rumors questioning Russian oil’s safety, and barred cheaper Russian oil from US consumers. This pattern of telling lies, pursuing greed, and not really caring at all about foreigners or Americans is a pattern that eerily persists in US foreign policy. Of interest, Rockefeller, the son of a religious mother and swindling father, somehow managed to think of himself as virtuous.
Of course, we’re not supposed to question whether perhaps selfish economic rivalry was at the root of the Cold War. Even though the US government has befriended and installed numerous brutal tyrants worldwide, particularly in Latin America, we’re expected to be convinced that the Cold War was a US fight against brutal tyranny. In fact, we’re also supposed to think of the War against Terror as a fight against tyranny, even though a major provocation of terrorism is the tyranny of Mid-Eastern dictators, most of whom are strongly supported by the US government. And we’re certainly not supposed to learn about Islamism, whose leading theoretician, Sayyid Qutb, cherished Islam largely because in a truly Islamic state there would be true freedom from oppression, where no one is subjugated to another.
So we’re supposed to think that the Cold War was a fight of good vs. evil, not merely base economic rivalry, and not the result of capitalists’ frustrations that they couldn’t access the markets, resources, and profits of a Communist nation. Charles Conant’s influential 1896 theory set forth in his work, A History of Modern Banks of Issue, warned that US capitalism would collapse unless the US government worked closely with powerful banks and businesses to continually force open foreign markets and investment opportunities to increase profits. The US had already conquered the Native Americans of the mainland, but Conant’s theory helped drive US imperialism and conquest across the oceans in search of markets abroad, thus ushering in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, a horrific war to subjugate Philippinos. Quotes of policymakers at the time clearly reveal their ultimate goal: they see the Philippines as the gateway to China’s resources and markets. And even before the creation of the CIA and its coups, the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell was helping corporations strongarm foreign nations to get the business deals they wanted abroad. The kleptocratic philosophy was then as it is today: government with its wealth of tax dollars exists to serve the corporation.
Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which eventually purchased a stake in Baku’s oil fields, lost millions of dollars when Russia became Communist in 1918 and the Bolsheviks nationalized Baku’s oil business. Perhaps it comes as no surprise, then, that beginning that same year, US policymakers chose to dispatch 10,000 troops to invade the USSR and battle against the Bolshevik’s Red Army in the Soviet Union’s civil war. Once the USSR fell in 1991 and transformed back into non-Communist Russia, Azerbaijan, and several other independent nations with economies open to foreign investors and bankers, US businessmen and investors eagerly continued where Rockefeller had left off.
But forget all that! Media owner Henry Luce in the 1950s, owner of Life, Fortune, and Time, together with his close friends Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and CIA Director Allen Dulles—both previously lawyers for Sullivan & Cromwell, helped indoctrinate millions of Americans with their fervent anti-Communist views and false convictions that Moscow was behind reform movements everywhere. Movements in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to help the poor, the landless, and the worker were really just fronts for the coming Soviet invasion! Consequently, Allen Dulles’ CIA put a stop to any reform leader who offered their people a brief window of hope for relief from poverty and injustice. Of course, had this director of intelligence actually spent more time developing his intelligence about the USSR and about reform movements worldwide, perhaps he would’ve learned that his theories were wrong before destroying the prospects and lives of so many people. But we’re not supposed to ponder over US appalling interference in foreign politics and elections worldwide, interference to the point of killing leaders and setting off decades of brutality under right-wing leaders, because that would make Russia’s alleged attempts to influence American voters in the US 2016 elections not seem that big of a deal at all. We’re supposed to believe that Russia is evil, Russians are inferior and worthy of being the brunt of jokes and insults, the Russian way of war is more diabolical than the American way, and the US government, even though it has interfered in multiple elections worldwide for decades, is always right and good-intentioned.
Most importantly, we’re to trust that the ludicrous, antagonizing, confrontational US approach of responding to conflict and fears with wars, weapon shipments, and sanctions actually isn’t ludicrous at all but is the rescuing hero’s key to nobly and fairly resolving international conflicts—even though such an approach doesn’t address a single cause of conflict. We’re supposed to juxtapose Josef Stalin’s horrific brutality and paranoia over every Russian action throughout time as proof of Russia’s evil. And we’re expected to let the memories of the US military’s ungodly behavior towards Native Americans and a variety of other nations quietly glide out of our minds. Don’t even read Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, or you’ll get the wrong impression about US government benevolence.
With regard to the current crisis, the US propaganda formula to push the script is simple. The first step is to teach Americans that Russians are brainwashed by propaganda, but Americans are not. Americans, if properly bred, will never guess how the mainstream media drastically limits the scope of discussion on any given topic in order to constrain our own brains, narrowly channels solutions into those already chosen by US policymakers, and omits the perspectives of an enormous range of people outside the social and business circles that have designated themselves to be our foreign policymakers and foreign policy commentators forever and always. Once Americans accept mainstream news as the truth, the rest is smooth sailing.
4. Russian Fears
The second step for pushing the script is to depict Russia as the persecutor with evil motives. That’s easy. Americans brains, already molded from decades of conditioning, are likely to be unquestioning and receptive. All that’s needed is for the US to utterly ignore or simply discount Russian fears as absurd: NATO’s expansion into Slavic lands, NATO—Ukraine military collaboration, US Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore missile launchers deployed on bases in Poland and Romania, anti-Russian prejudice in Ukraine and the US, neo-Nazi paramilitary violence in Ukraine, the manipulation of Ukraine by Western profit-seekers collaborating with corrupt Ukrainian leaders, and Western economic and political conquest—likely of Russia itself.
Of course, past Russian fears were already disregarded decades ago. US history books condemn Russia for getting out of WWI in 1918 after the Bolshevik Revolution, and they characterize the USSR as evil for forging a pact with Hitler in 1939 at the start of WWII. Nothing is understood from the Russian point of view.
In fact, Russia/USSR was invaded in both World Wars, with more than 25 million killed. Russians had been involved in WWI from the start and were extremely war-weary and disgusted with wars, especially imperialist wars. The Brest-Litovsk Treaty to depart from the war was humiliating for Russia because it lost territory, but it had already lost more to death than any other nation. Instead of recognizing the wish to no longer engage in war as valid, the Allies perceived Russia as a traitor or even as pro-German.
The Allies did little if anything to help Russia/USSR during either war and, to my knowledge, made no attempt to rescue Russians when Leningrad (St. Petersburg) was besieged during WWII.  Ford, General Motors, Standard Oil of New Jersey, International Harvester, and du Pont all invested deeply in German weapons production during the Hitler era. John Foster Dulles had helped facilitate a system whereby US banks could profit enormously from the interest gained from loaning money to Germany so that Germany could pay back its WWI debts that its enemies had imposed upon it. Sullivan & Cromwell, the law firm for corporations who seek to control foreign policy, even helped foil a Canadian effort to block the sale of steel to Germany’s weapon makers. Understandably, the USSR felt utterly abandoned. The treaty with Hitler, which lasted only until Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, was a self-preservation measure.
Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers and Christopher Simpson’s The Splendid Blond Beast suggest that US policymakers such as John Foster Dulles and their social circles of elite, wealthy men from banks, law firms, and corporations felt more comfortable with a society in which the wealthy elite maintained social status, political power, and wealth at the top of the hierarchy. These men truly seemed to believe that society needed them to be on top in order to run society smoothly and intelligently. (They seem to think that way now, too.) They may have felt self-centered and greedy and/or they may have ignorantly and arrogantly felt that preserving their positions on top was the moral thing to do—for the sake of society.
It’s relevant to today’s dynamics amongst world political and business leaders to understand that part of what seemed to hold American and German bankers, lawyers, and businessmen together was their earnest desire to maintain the system of capitalism—perhaps for its own sake—but quite likely to ensure their continued status at the top of the political, economic, and social hierarchy. Bolshevik Communism was frightening not only because it could be violent, but because it threatened to overturn the hierarchy: workers would receive much greater power, wealth, and status.
The American and German elite, such as Jack P. Morgan Jr.—previously banker to Tsar Nicholas II, were convinced that removing elites from power would empower revolutionaries to seize power and spell the end for capitalism and their way of life on top of the hierarchy. In fact, Morgan was alive only because assassination attempts against him had failed. The Communist International (Comintern) had singled out bankers as the archenemies of the working class. Morgan hired “Wild Bill” Donovan to investigate the Comintern, and Donovan later became the head of the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. Morgan’s personal attorney, Elihu Root, became the honorary chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. It’s a small world amongst US policymakers, the CIA, lawyers, and bankers. When the elite hate Communism, destroying it becomes a foreign policy priority.
The capitalist vs. Communist Cold War conflict, rather than being a moral, humanitarian, or religious battle, really seems to have been more a battle over maintaining the wealth and power of the traditional power elite. Unfortunately, the brutal inhumanity of Stalin and Hitler seemed to be of lesser significance to policymakers than threats to the social status, political power, and wealth of those who were used to being on top. Some Allies even hoped that if they made a separate peace with Hitler, Hitler would keep fighting the USSR and slaughtering Russians. It’s therefore quite hypocritical that the Allies denounced the USSR for making a separate peace with Hitler at the beginning of the war.
Hitler’s severe anti-Communism tends to get muffled in the United States, perhaps because that might make us feel sorry for Communists, which is not what the US policymaker-businessman-banker-lawyer circle wants. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright describes Lord Halifax, Edward Wood, formerly the viceroy of India and a close associate of Prime Minister Chamberlain: “Like many of his social standing . . . Halifax measured politicians primarily by the intensity of their distaste for Bolshevism. In 1936, he visited Germany for the first time and pronounced Hitler’s regime—which had locked up every Communist it could find—‘fantastic.’”
In an effort to improve modern US-Soviet relations, singer and songwriter John Denver, whose feelings of friendship and sympathy evidently contrasted greatly with the attitudes of US policymaking circles, travelled to the USSR in 1985 and visited Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery in which 470,000 Russians are buried who died during the 872-day siege of Leningrad primarily inflicted by Germans but with the help of Finns. It was the longest and most destructive siege in history. 630,000 Russians died from starvation.
While the siege was devastating to the USSR, it’s rarely heard about in the United States. Americans never hear about the Diary of Tanya Savicheva, only the Diary of Anne Frank. West of the Leningrad-Moscow line, destruction from the Nazi invaders was nearly total with most homes, factories, bridges, waterways, dams, canals, barns, sheds, and wells destroyed, ruined, or poisoned. But Russian pain, suffering, and fears are always muted in the US press and in US policymaker minds, because such emotions shine a dangerous glimmer of thought in the American mind that Russia may, after all, not be evil.
Clearly, Russia has had to fend for itself, but US policymakers never seem to grasp Russia’s need for friendly neighbors. Following WWII, NATO was created to militarily combat the USSR. The Marshall Plan, proudly described as an indicator of US generosity, was established to contain Communism, but perhaps even more, it enabled the US to economically outrival the USSR—just as Rockefeller wanted to 60 years earlier—and economically dominate Europe through promotion of the US “Open Door” policy which boosted US business profits and access to markets in Europe. The USSR was also desperately in need of a loan, but the US refused to give it any loans unless it first agreed to join the US-dominated World Bank, an institution now infamous for imposing intrusive conditional requirements upon borrowers. The USSR refused to join.
Marshall Plan aid was opportunistically tied to the purchase of US agricultural products, and the program also helped the US policymaker-businessmen-banker circle by creating an international order based on the dollar. The authors of the Marshall Plan, State Department official George Kennan and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal (formerly a board member of the Chase Securities Corporation associated with Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank and former president of the investment banking firm of Dillon, Read & Co.), with CIA Director Allen Dulles as a consultant, created a secret system enabling the CIA to skim millions of dollars from the plan as a constant source of untraceable cash. Each nation that received Marshall Plan aid had to set aside an equivalent sum, and five percent of those funds were given to the CIA through the plan’s overseas offices.
If there is still any lingering admiration for US generosity associated with the Marshall Plan, note the words of its author, George Kennan, in a 1948 memorandum:
We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real test in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world beneficiaries—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization.
Following the reunification of Germany, NATO callously expanded to include former Soviet republics and satellites, leaving Russia even more isolated. As William Hartung reports in Prophets of War, NATO’s expansion was also prodded by US weapon corporations who were eager to meet company export goals and sell weapons to new NATO members who’d be required to discard Soviet weaponry. Lockheed Martin even promised Romania it would argue on its behalf for NATO membership if Romania agreed to purchase Lockheed Martin weaponry.
Putin has repeatedly warned that NATO’s expansion is an existential threat to Russia, a military threat to its very survival. US leaders, the same leaders who quake in their boots over a coronavirus that has only mild symptoms for more than eighty percent of the people, the same leaders who call Russia’s alleged interference in US elections an “existential threat,” laugh at Putin’s fear as unhinged. How could anyone, they wonder, be afraid that NATO might attack them?
That’s easy to say if you’re not the nation for whom NATO was created to attack. But with NATO bases in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, with US missile launchers in Poland and Romania, and with US nuclear warheads in Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy for NATO’s use, Putin’s fear is valid. Put yourself in Russia’s shoes. NATO’s expansion into former Soviet republics is like taking away your family, friends, and neighbors, then training them and arming them against you in case you get aggressive, which you just might do because they’ve taken away your family, friends, and neighbors and turned them against you.
Or, put another way, would the US approve if the American Southwest seceded, militarily allied itself with Mexico, and deployed missile launchers in Texas? Would the US be pleased that the illegal immigrants at the border were no longer an issue? Or would the US government turn purple with rage at the very thought of losing territory it seized from Mexico in 1848? It’s as if nobody’s feelings matter but those of US policymakers, for Putin’s words have been repeatedly ignored. No wonder some people, including terrorists, have said that violence is the only language the US government understands. US policymakers, as talented as they may be in some ways, seem to possess a below-average degree of empathy. They don’t seem to understand others’ feelings or hear the significance of their words.
The one way to get US policymakers’ attention is with violence. Once an enemy gets violent, then US policymakers respond—but not by addressing their grievances. Never! At that point, US policymakers respond with punishment. Then, acting like a snippy, tight-lipped parent, they proclaim they won’t communicate or negotiate with the enemy because that would be considered a “reward” to the enemy for his violence and thus encourage enemy violence—even though it was the US government’s failure to remedy injustice and grievances that encouraged the violence to begin with, and even though the US government has no qualms about being the world’s Number One Weapon Salesman and inflicting its own violence around the world.
So US policymakers are basically saying: “We didn’t listen to you before when you were non-violent, and we certainly won’t listen to you now because you’ve been violent. The truth is, we’ll never listen to you because we don’t care about you.” It’s very much like a parent who never listens to its child and then, when the child acts up out of frustration, coldly punishes the child for not being obedient. Is it possible our policymaker circles were raised in a similar manner? Is this how they learned this type of human relations? Or did they learn it from each other as they conformed to stark foreign policy traditions?
Another Russian fear is neo-Nazism, but Putin’s accusation that Ukraine’s government includes neo-Nazis is brushed aside as absurd and simple-mindedly “proven” false by the mere fact that Ukrainian President Zelenskiy is Jewish. The fact that Hitler annihilated millions of non-Jewish Slavs, Communists, and socialists doesn’t seem to enter into this strange logic. However, if the Ukrainian president is Jewish, this is supposed to prove that the entire government does not include or support neo-Nazis.
Despite the enormous intellectual depth of this bizarre American logic, human rights groups have condemned Ukraine’s rising neo-Nazi paramilitary violence, including attacks on feminists. Neo-Nazis are even active in Ukraine’s military and police, helping to give their violence impunity in the streets. As Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies of Code Pink explain, the extreme right-wing Svoboda (Freedom) Party played a major role in Ukraine’s 2014 coup. And the peaceful protests against the administration of President Viktor Yanukovich turned into violence, thanks to the armed behavior of the extreme right-wing Right Sector. While there is some disagreement about whether or not neo-Nazism is a part of the Svoboda Party and Right Sector, these groups seem to be a blend of ultra-nationalism, neo-Nazism, and fervent anti-Communism. At the very least, we can agree that they’re clearly not representative of the broad spectrum of views within the Ukrainian population, and therefore their political domination could not be considered democratic, let alone peace-oriented. Right Sector attacked anti-coup protestors and riot police and seemed intent on ridding the country of pro-Russian protestors. Once Yanukovich was ousted, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was installed. Yatsenyuk then rewarded the Svoboda Party with three high-level positions in the new government. Meanwhile, the neo-Nazi unit Azov Battalion helped attack Donetsk and Lugansk, and Ukraine’s civil war began.
Perhaps US policymakers trivialize Putin’s fear of neo-Nazi violence because the US government is all too comfortable working closely with both Nazis and neo-Nazis. Following WWII, the US government seemed to quickly change sides and employed thousands of Nazis for espionage against the USSR. Similarly, the UK made an about-face in Greece and turned upon the very Communists that had been largely responsible for resisting the horrific, cruel Nazi occupation of Greece. No sooner had the Nazis left when the British arrived. The Greeks thought they were liberated until the UK grew alarmed that Communists—people who called for such wild and obnoxious conditions as an eight-hour day, better salaries for workers, and labor unions—would prevent Greece from having a king duly subservient to the UK. Consequently, UK forces delivered the democratically-minded Communists into the hands of former Nazi collaborators for torture and execution in a massively deadly campaign known as the White Terror. US President Truman, perceiving the world as good vs. evil and possessed by a violent sense of moral mission, soon issued his Truman Doctrine and funded the corrupt Greek regime in its civil war against Greek Communists.
Even in 1973, the US was collaborating with brutal pro-Nazis during the CIA’s 9/11 coup against Chile’s left-wing Salvador Allende. Pro-Nazis helped ensure a horrid aftermath for tens of thousands of Chileans. So in 2014, it’s not surprising that Russian news sources reported that US private military contractors were training right-wing Ukrainian extremists. If true, perhaps this is why the US government has never bothered sending troops. The use of private military corporations enables the US government to get involved violently but out of the public eye.
Once all of Russia’s fears of NATO, neo-Nazis, and so forth are flippantly dismissed by US policymakers and media makers as nonsense, it’s supposed to become clear to Americans that Russia is consequently not acting out of reasonable fear, but instead out of evil malice and aggression. In fact, we’re to believe that Putin is a bully who wants to resurrect the Russian Empire! The European Union, YouTube, and several others are even blocking access to Russia’s state-run news, Russia Today and Sputnik, so that Americans can’t hear Russia’s government speak for itself. According to the EU, it’s so that no one can hear Russia’s lies about the conflict. But from the relatively small number of articles I’ve read on Russia Today, I think it’s very well written, balanced, and informative. Quite frankly, it doesn’t reek of propaganda the way the US mainstream news does. But this is another trademark of US and other Western policymakers: don’t communicate with the enemy, don’t listen to their perspective, just go after them. Do everything you can to avoid understanding. And for God’s sake, uphold belief in the script!
5. US Greed and Biases of the Policymaker Breed
The third step in the formula to secure belief in the script is to paint the US as a heroic rescuer. Simple! Greed-related, kleptocratic motives for antagonizing Russia are carefully and methodically ignored: colossal profits made by US weapon corporations and their high-salaried CEOs, NATO’s agenda for naval bases, the Black Sea, and beyond, IMF goals for austerity budgets so that Ukrainians can deprive themselves of money to pay back rich creditors, ExxonMobil’s coveting massive Black Sea fossil fuel deposits, and Biden family connections with the board of Ukraine’s largest private natural gas corporation—Burisma Holdings Ltd. Despite the highly suspicious nature of all of these factors, they’re off the table for mainstream news discussion.
Also hushed up are US hopes to dominate the global energy trade, maintain the dollar as the international energy trade currency, retain all accompanying political benefits of dollar hegemony—including sanction power, displace Russia from Europe’s gas market (so Rockefeller can finally rest in peace), and shut down Nord Stream 2. In fact, closing down Nord Stream 2 is cleverly framed as a punitive, disciplinarian reaction to Russia’s invasion rather than an ulterior US goal to drive Russia out of Europe’s market.
Lastly, the media ignores the unrelenting US government–business push to export unpopular fracked liquefied natural gas to Europe via Ukraine. Although former US Secretary of Energy and former Texas Governor Rick Perry had been eagerly pushing to sell fracked LNG to Zelenskiy to help out the companies of friends and political donors in Texas and Louisiana, the issue of sending LNG to Europe is framed, naturally, as a rescue mission, to rescue innocent Europe from evil Russia—not a Texan profit-making bonanza at all! LNG companies are excited that the US has become the world’s largest exporter of LNG, a product once spurned by Europe because of its methane-leaking properties but now eagerly consumed, thanks to propelling Russia out of the European market. But again, not one speck of greed or acquisitiveness can be displayed, or it would detract from the rescuing hero image.
To believe in the script as truth and really see the US as a noble hero, we’ve also got to ignore the biases and aims of groups such as the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG)—which has Russian business acquisition interests, and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). ASD, an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the US, has the precise mission of opposing and defeating Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, supposedly for being an authoritarian aggressively seeking to oppose democracy. One wonders whether these business-oriented Americans are actually more angered over Putin’s re-nationalization of parts of the Russian economy, including the banking and energy sectors, and their possibly reduced access to Russian markets under his leadership, in contrast to the time following the USSR’s dissolution in 1991 under President Boris Yeltsin when Russians and Americans were making windfalls at the expense of the Russian people who fell into poverty.
On the advisory board of ASD are people with a certain frame of mind found only amongst certain Americans who are unrepresentative of the American population—or at least unrepresentative of the un-indoctrinated American mind. It’s worth examining these individuals because their minds are a big reason why the US is responding to the current conflict the way it is. Advisors include a mix of neoconservatives and liberal hawks, a marriage that transpired during the Trump administration, when neoconservatives left the Republican Party and joined ranks with Hillary Clinton. It was probably an easy marriage. After all, they seem to agree about the importance of using government to intervene abroad in order to make money for corporations, which they apparently mistake for the concept of democracy.