Sometimes I'm not sure what presents a greater threat to humanity, nuclear war or the colossal stupidity that has made it possible. --Caitlin Johnstone
Manufacturing Consent for the Apocalypse
by C.A. Matthews
Many online bloggers and podcasters have been posting stories this week about when they first learned of the horrors of nuclear war. I'm not going to scare you with gory, nightmarish details from my dreams. I'm perhaps different in that my childhood experience of discovering the mystery of nuclear war is fairly benign, and it happened about twenty years earlier than most others.
I remember a simple black and white commercial that pictured a little blond girl of about four or five years of age. The little girl resembled me, so I felt an instant identification with her. She is shown playing in an open field, picking daisies and counting the petals, a pastime that I also enjoyed doing. All of a sudden there's a big bright flash and some clouds and the little girl is simply gone. Vanished. Disappeared. Then there are some words saying something about LBJ and the commercial ends.
That's pretty much how I remember it. At the time I had no frame of reference to understand what had happened to the little blond girl, but it was worrying. She was playing with daisy petals and then she disappeared, possibly because of a big bright flash in the sky. Did her mommy and daddy ever find her? Did her entire family and her cat and dog and bunny rabbit disappear as well? It was only years later that I realized this political ad had an anti-nuke message.
I started having nightmares about nuclear fallout during the Reagan era. Every time Reagan mentioned the "Evil Empire" I got the chills and recalled the little blond girl ad. Reagan seemed set on goading the then Soviet Union into unleashing their nuclear missiles onto the United States. He didn't seemed overly concerned about them starting a chain reaction and creating a "nuclear winter," either. The nuclear apocalypse was graphically demonstrated in several movies released about this time to add to my nightmares. (The Day After and Testament were the most talked about films of 1983.) The message they gave was clear: Radiation and the aftermath of nuclear attack would extinguish all life on the planet, including life in the suburbs.
Of course, by this time I also had learned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the H-bomb testings in the Pacific, and the radiation leaks from nuclear reactors at Three Mile Island and then Chernobyl. Fictional scenarios about nuclear war aren't half as frightening as watching documentary films and reading about human beings experiencing the real thing. Any intelligent, compassionate person wouldn't wish this kind of suffering on anyone else.
And yet… the United States' government has kept its nuclear arsenal intact and has built more warheads and refurbished them in recent times. It hasn't shut down its aging, inefficient nuclear plants and replaced them with safer power alternatives such as solar panels and wind turbines. It continues to posture and poke at other nuclear powers through direct or proxy armed conflicts whenever it sees something it likes (or doesn't like), very much like a toddler who can't use his words to ask nicely for what he wants.
Our government officials never act worried that one day nuclear weapons might be used by accident or by design, destroying all life on Earth in one big bright flash in the sky. Perhaps that's because they know where Dr. Strangelove's radiation blast-proof tunnels are located under Washington DC? Perhaps they've made reservations on a flying saucer--or with Jeff Bezos--for a ride off the planet in case of nuclear Armageddon?
Let's be honest here. Our government officials don't care about you or me or the little blond girl playing in the daisy field as long as they've got their own asses covered.
And now it has gone a step further. Our government wants ordinary Americans like you, me and the little blond girl to cheer on a proxy war over shutting down a liquid natural gas pipeline by encouraging direct military engagement by NATO with a nuclear super power. You probably know which one I'm talking about. It's the country the US promised in 1991 that we wouldn't ring in with NATO bases, but with the help of other NATO countries we have. The witless American public is instructed to demand a no-fly zone over Ukraine so we can possibly ignite this proxy war into an active war between nuclear powers, a World War III.
Keep your eyes peeled for the big flash of light in the sky, folks!
The US government certainly seems eager to bring about the Apocalypse. What could be so special about Ukraine that our government is willing to manufacture consent in its citizens to support a possible nuclear conflict, to do the unspeakable? Why has the mainstream media drummed up such an intense hatred for all things Russian in such a way that ordinary people in the West are cheering for nuclear annihilation?
Journalist Sara Founder sheds light on the possible motivation:
Why is EU/Russian trade and integration so threatening to US imperialism?
The EU is the biggest investor in Russia. A new and larger double pipeline, called Nord Stream 2, was built to carry cheap natural gas from Russia through the Baltic Sea and into Europe. It was supposed to provide fuel for EU industries and heat for millions of homes, while avoiding a reliance on high-polluting coal and oil. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the project Feb. 22.
Energy comes to 62% of the EU imports from Russia. It costs much less than gas from the US, which is the largest exporter of fracked LNG gas. This is a challenge to opening new markets. With war and sanctions, US gas and oil corporations will immediately profit from skyrocketing prices for fuel and guarantee their future control of the European market.
The clash is larger than just a gas pipeline. The US economy is focused on military production. It is the largest exporter of weapons systems. But US imperialism is unable to match China’s Belt and Road development plans. More than 138 countries have signed on for new ports, railroads, industrial hubs and low-interest loans.
China’s Belt and Road development loans are far more attractive than US weapons systems and the harsh austerity plans that are attached to IMF and World Bank loans. --Sara Flounders, US Threatens Nuclear War Or Sanctions
This blurb caught online gives some more insight into what makes Ukraine "special" to warmongering capitalists:
For those who ask: "Why does Ukraine matter?"
This is why Ukraine matters.
It is the second largest country by area in Europe by area and has a population
of over 40 million - more than Poland.
1st in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores;
2nd place in Europe and 10th place in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves;
2nd place in the world in terms of explored reserves of manganese ores (2.3 billion tons, or 12% of the world's reserves);
2nd largest iron ore reserves in the world (30 billion tons);
2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves;
3rd place in Europe (13th place in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 trillion cubic meters)
4th in the world by the total value of natural resources;
7th place in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons)
Ukraine is an important agricultural country:
1st in Europe in terms of arable land area;
3rd place in the world by the area of black soil (25% of world's volume);
1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil;
2nd place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports;
3rd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world;
4th largest producer of potatoes in the world;
5th largest rye producer in the world;
5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons);
8th place in the world in wheat exports;
9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs;
16th place in the world in cheese exports.
Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people.
Ukraine is an important industrialized country:
1st in Europe in ammonia production;
Europe's 2nd’s and the world’s 4th largest natural gas pipeline system;
3rd largest in Europe and 8th largest in the world in terms of installed capacity of nuclear power plants;
3rd place in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of rail network length (21,700 km);
3rd place in the world (after the U.S. and France) in production of locators and locating equipment;
3rd largest iron exporter in the world
4th largest exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants in the world;
4th world's largest manufacturer of rocket launchers;
4th place in the world in clay exports
4th place in the world in titanium exports
8th place in the world in exports of ores and concentrates;
9th place in the world in exports of defense industry products;
10th largest steel producer in the world (32.4 million tons)
And this bit of info ties it altogether:
That the U.S./NATO-instigated war in Ukraine could result in a third world war is of major concern for all of humanity, especially workers and oppressed people who ultimately bear the brunt of any war. Yet for some global billionaires — today’s ‘masters of war’ — this conflict is seen as an opportunity to further boost profits.
Among those already reaping gains are companies involved in the production and sale of weapons, planes and other military hardware. This includes 14 of the world’s 20 largest “defense” companies headquartered in the US Topping this list are Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon Technologies, which had combined arms sales in 2019 nearing $100 billion. --Betsey Piette, Lockheed and Raytheon--Today's Masters of War
It's obvious. It's pure greed along with pure arrogance on their parts to think that they--the government officials, the billionaires and their lackeys--can survive a nuclear conflict, and it will be well worth it to their bank accounts in the end.
Don't give your consent to this sickness of disaster capitalism. Don't let ordinary Ukrainians and Russians suffer anymore for the greed of the fossil fuel billionaires worldwide who are squabbling over a natural gas pipeline. Just say no to all wars and yes to ending this conflict before it's too late for every living creature on this planet.
Don't be fooled into following these malevolent, selfish fools down the road to radioactive hell.
P.S. And xenophobic, knee-jerk reactions like this don't help either:
Putin is bad so Yuri Gagarin didn't go to space and Tchaikovsky wasn't a good composer and Dostoevsky was a lousy writer and Sputnik was designed by Lockheed Martin and Anton Chekhov was Welsh and Khabib Nurmagomedov was born in Minnesota. -- Caitlin Johnstone
Related articles and videos:
Waltzing Toward Armageddon With The Merchants of Death https://popularresistance.org/waltzing-toward-armageddon-with-the-merchants-of-death/
US Threatens Nuclear War Or Sanctions https://popularresistance.org/u-s-threatens-nuclear-war-or-sanctions/
Ukrainian Leftist Criticizes Western War Drive with Russia: US is Using Ukraine as "Cannon Fodder" https://multipolarista.com/2022/03/14/ukrainian-leftist-war-russia-us/
What Polls About a Ukraine No Fly Zone Really Tell Us https://popularresistance.org/what-polls-about-a-ukraine-no-fly-zone-really-tell-us/
International Law Is A Meaningless Concept When It Only Applies to US Enemies https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/international-law-is-a-meaningless/comments?s=r
Lockheed and Raytheon--Today's Masters of War https://popularresistance.org/lockheed-and-raytheon-todays-masters-of-war/
Ukrainians Are Getting Across the US-Mexico Border But Russians Fleeing Putin Are Not https://www.vice.com/en/article/akvq3b/ukrainians-are-getting-across-the-us-mexico-border-but-russians-fleeing-putin-are-not
The New York Times Now Admits the Biden Laptop--Falsely Called "Russian Disinformation"--is Authentic https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-nyt-now-admits-the-biden-laptop
NATO Is Not A Defensive International Organization https://popularresistance.org/nato-is-not-a-defensive-international-organization-but-was-founded-to-threaten-the-ussr/
The Awesome Power of US Propaganda https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-awesome-power-of-us-propaganda?s=r
Western Double-Standards--Russian Oil Bad, Saudi Oil Good https://popularresistance.org/western-double-standards-russian-oil-bad-saudi-oil-good/
Ukrainian TV Host Call for Genocide of Russians, Quoting Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann https://multipolarista.com/2022/03/16/ukraine-tv-host-genocide-russians-nazi-adolf-eichmann/
MSNBC Praises Hitler to Manufacture Consent for Ukraine War https://youtu.be/L5j1qQb-Ch0 (video)
How to End This War! https://www.rokfin.com/stream/15956
Seen on Twitter:
Zelensky banned 11 opposition parties and every news channel except for one, but he hasn’t banned the Azov neo-nazi battalion. Tells you everything you need to know about Democrat’s new “hero.”— Ryan Knight ☭ (@ProudSocialist) March 21, 2022
Just had a nightmare where the President of The United States and the Speaker Of The House were both bent on WWIII and also too out of their minds to speak coherently.— ✊🏻 Stained Class (@DEMS_R_GOP) March 16, 2022
So this is inappropriate content now??🤔👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/y8dSJyXtt6— Lord Dokusei2 aka "Tanjiro" 🇹🇹 (@Savo33xx) March 16, 2022
Being anti-war means not picking a side.— Don't get distracted... follow the money. (@RJohnston815) March 16, 2022
There is no “win” for the workers, the poor, and the black and brown people when at the root of the fight there is imperialism and capitalism.
I still can't get over them conning Americans into cheering giving missiles to Nazis— Black in the Empire (@blackintheempir) March 16, 2022
35% of Americans favor a nuclear war over Ukraine? That's it, I renounce my citizenship.— Heidi the Viking ᚻ🏴🇵🇸 (@heidi_seidr) March 16, 2022
Ukraine joining NATO isn't worth the death of every living thing on the planet— Eddie (@SoSocialism) March 16, 2022
So basically media & our government want us to believe that in order to be opposed to the war in Ukraine, you have to support sending missiles & guns to the war & putting us all at the brink of nuclear war??— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) March 17, 2022
Ummmm, I think you’re using “anti-war” wrong.
What is more likely: US politicians really caring about Ukrainians or US politicians using Ukrainians as cannon fodder to feed the military industrial complex?— Daniel (@jai_lies) March 18, 2022
The Ukrainian people are cannon fodder in this proxy war between the US and Russia.— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) March 20, 2022
...If you don't understand that sentence, then you have been too thoroughly indoctrinated by mainstream media & US government propaganda.
We're risking a very fast, very radioactive third world war defending the "democracy" of a regime who just banned eleven opposition parties.— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 20, 2022