From Africa to Europe to the Middle East to Latin America, the unspoken macro trend of U.S. intervention abroad is society destruction. Look, for example, forward and backward from the last manufactured crises geared to enable US-led ruin of another society – the “weapons of mass destruction of Iraq”, the “genocidal plans of the dictator Gadaffi”, “Assad’s chemical weapons used on his own people”, or, across the ocean, Venezuela’s “despotism” which priorizes public education, healthcare and poverty elimination. Always the victim society has far more developed social programs than its neighbours, but this too is taboo to report.
The Generic Deadly Pattern There is a common pattern of social destruction. It begins with US covert forces sponsoring opposition forces featuring fascist or jihadist insurrectionaries, mounting global media campaigns against the targeted leader, murders committed by covert operatives pretending to be state agents, growing civil division and hate towards civil war, exclusively one-sided reporting of the US point of view, and high moral justifications for what invariably ends in society destruction. These strategic axes for deposing constructed enemies reappear over and over again. Yet no common causal mechanism is spoken of in public, and so another war fable rules the air-waves to grow the failed global system further is as its threat to life on Earth grows ever more undeniable. “Terrorists” is in corollary the hate term for whatever organised force resists, a device also used by the Nazi war machine in Europe, and again in Eastern Ukraine.
US-led mayhem and violence varies widely, but the dots have not yet been joined on what is always achieved beneath the political-ideological shows – the tearing apart and dispossession of one society after another by US-led financial and armed means. Not only is the society decapitated, as in Ukraine to begin the crisis, or Libya or Iraq, or as demanded in Syria. Much more deeply the society’s civil bonds are rent asunder, its productive base is sabotaged, its social life supports are stripped, its government is made permanent debt servant, and its environment and resources hollowed out. Seek exception. There is no evident objective fulfilled except social-system destruction. Yet this reiterated outcome again and again is effectively taboo to observe, as is the unlocking of the society’s natural, human and market resources for new transnational corporate spread and looting. This multiplying global system growth is the only ordering principle in fact at work, and it metastases across regions and borders at every level of life organisation, as I demonstrate in depth across decades in The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ from Crisis to Cure .
Yet the connections are unspeakable in official culture. Not long after destroying Iraq and Libya on known false pretexts, the US proclaimed again and again that mass-murderous gas used in Syria was by “Assad the war criminal” which went all the way to a White House plan to bomb Syria’s civilian infrastructures to correct the problem, as in Iraq and Libya. Even with Assad’s much trumpeted “war crime”, the truth found by multiple analysis was that “kitchen sarin” manufactured in Turkey and crude-missile lobbed by the al Nusra jihadists allied with the US and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar was the source of the gas massacre (as Seymour Hersh finally made public). But neither this fact nor the plan to bomb Syria has disappeared. The mass media including the New York Times continue to broadcast “Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people” while erasing Hersh’s research from the record. Disconnected from view at the same time is the reborn plan to bomb Syria so “to stop ISIS” whose creation was itself by the same parties that are now in coalition to bomb it as a mutated asset. Needless to say, it brings the armed forces of the U.S. overt and covert back into territory control by new bombing and war that Obama promised to stop. His quandary has its uses.
The men doing the bombing feel pumped with power, but the underlying logic of destroy to feed on is blinkered out. As General Rick Hillier, commander of Canada’s forces helping to bomb Libya said afterwards: “We did it because we could”. As CIA executive director Buzzy Krongard acknowledges about the permanent US war, but still without the consequence named: “It will be won by forces you do not know about, in actions you will not see, and in ways you may not want to know about”. ISIS is the latest example, financed, armed and orchestrated by covert US-and Gulf state allies to unseat Assad in Syria, it has morphed into a monster still deployed as an asset in the field of universalizing destabilization and war. But against what? Any nation or leader not serving transnational corporate control of resources and markets across borders is always the villain. Anything that stands in the way of further money-sequence system metastasis and growth across nations is the enemy to freedom. As a thought experiment, search for disconfirmation of this diagnosis.
The Ukraine Crisis as a Paradigm Illustration The Ukraine crisis is like the U.S. script of the Cold War. We may recall here that Russia’s “plot to rule the world” was the bottom line story to explain why war must be made against it. But although the opposite has in fact occurred, Russia is again the villain since the US-led coup’etat in Ukraine has run into major opposition on the ground. Before the coup, as US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told a business meeting afterwards, $5 billion of public money was invested for regime change. The method was familiar – ever-rising civil destabilization and US alliance with internal extreme-right parties, in this case, parties descended from Ukrainian Nazis supporting Hitler, Pravi (Right) Sektor and Svoboda (“Freedom”). Although Europe was near brokering a peace agreement, Nuland went ahead with the coup hand-picking the prime minister, banker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and instructing him to consult with Oleh Tyahnybok (whose Nazi salute is well known on the Internet) “at least four times a week”. When reminded of the EU peace talks, she responded in famous leaked reply, “Fuck the EU”.
This US-orchestrated coup occurred after three days of sniper murder and chaos were blamed on the then government to overthrow it, but traced back to the coup alliance. All of this quickly disappeared into the memory hole of media and government reports, as did the words of former “Orange revolutionary” and gas oligarch leader of the Fatherland Party, Yulia Tymoshenko, when she was released from jail for criminal embezzlement of state property. She said: “Take up arms and go and wipe out these damn katsaps” [Russian minority] – – – so that not even scorched earth would be left of Russia.”
The Russian-speaking city of Luhansk was levelled months later by artillery, rockets and air-bombing of civilian centres and water and electricity infrastructures, with 350,000 forced to flee from this city. Yet here too the facts have disappeared down the memory hole, with by September one million people fleeing Eastern Ukraine ignored (figures reported by the UN High Commission for Refugees in September). The refugee figures exceed the ISIS clearances, with ISIS itself linked back to CIA and Gulf-allies backing. Control both sides of the war and all assets become accessible. But an opposite narrative is repeated non-stop to shift the blame. Those who resist are called “terrorists” or “Russia’s aggression”. Reverse projection is the syntax of the story every time.
The Betrayal of Canada’s Peace Tradition Canada could play key peacemaker here with its federalist and bilingual model of government. Eastern Ukraine’s uprising began in fact with these very goals – return of Russia language rights abolished by the coup, and a federalist system as planned by Ukraine’s formerly governing Party of Regions. But none of this registers to Canada’s political parties, including the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, Paul Dewar. Rather a toxic amnesia of Canada’s historical success with evolving federal government and power sharing to bring culturally and linguistically opposed peoples into productive unity has crossed political parties. Any contribution to resolve Ukraine’s crisis by federalist organization and language rights has been pre-empted by one-sided diversion to “Russia’s aggression” and “Putin’s new Cold War”.
US-led geopolitical strategy directs Kiev, but the profound interests at stake are unnamed. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe and its biggest landmass. Public assets are all on the privatization block. Slash-and-burn budgets are set to pay unpayable debts to foreign banks with ample collateral on tap. Ukraine even has large and untapped fracking-gas deposits, and it provides new strategic military control up to Russia’s main border and its colossally rich natural resources on the other side. Once Ukraine is in the EU and NATO, there is no limit to the looting possibilities. Yet all we hear about is the reverse projection of “Russia’s imperial aggression”. With one-way pervasive media abuse, cumulatively destructive sanctions, and arming of the neofascist-led Ukrainian armed forces and Blackwater mercenaries (now surreally renamed ‘Academi’), vast global power and treasure are at stake in the constructed conflict.
Revealing the undertow power at work, Canada’s once-defining “peace mission” has become unspeakable. It is overwhelmed in the flood of corporate media accusations of “Russia the growing threat”, “the source of the rising crisis”, “the out-of-control power that must be stopped”. Few observe the constant operation of reverse blame at work from Iraq to Libya to Syria to Ukraine in one ruinous destabilization to the next. Yet always the US (and now Canada) accuse the Enemy of what it is doing itself as the justification for attacking it . Canada once avoided the worst from Vietnam to Iraq, but its lead parties now bark at Russia instead (which it is worth remembering has already been driven into the ground and a far lower population than Brazil).
What about Russia’s Seizure of Crimea in Violation of International Law?
“Russia’s brutal invasion and seizure of Crimea” is the core charge. Yet Crimea has been an historic Russian port and strategic peninsula for centuries since defeat of the Ottoman Empire there – a war beginning in the late 1500’s. Ukraine’s brief interregnum occurred by 1954 decree by Khrushchev a Ukrainian leading the defunct Soviet Union. This is “the sacred territory” that Harper has sworn will be retaken in pledging “family” loyalty on the September 18 visit of billionaire President Poroshenko to Ottawa. In fact, the Russian soldiers “who poured into Crimea to seize it” were already there and in fewer number than Ukraine-Russia contract allowed. Almost all of the 83% voter turnout elected integration with Russia after the literally fascist-led coup in February, whereas Poroshenko’s post-coup election was by a fraction of Ukraine’s total electorate with most of the Russia-speaking South and the East unable to participate. The October 26 snap parliamentary election continues the slow-motion ethnic cleansing with more than a million fled and organized political opposition banned.
Altogether erased from reports are the facts that the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter and “the right of nations to self-determination” (Article 2, Chapter 1), the very right Ukraine invoked in seceding from the USSR in 1991, and the same right invoked for the separation of Kosovo from Serbia. Also erased is the UN International Court ruling in July 2010 that “general international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence”.
The collapse of Ukraine’s GDP by 60% after 1991 is evidently not enough for the ravenous appetite of US-EU corporate globalization. While mass media and states chorus “Russian brute force” and “what Hitler did back in the 1930’s” (Hilary Clinton), reverse projection is again the syntax of blame. The fire-bombing of the House of Unions in Odessa by regime gangs and again in Mariupol on Victory Day over the Nazis (May 9) were major mass murders never investigated. The atrocity of shooting down a full civilian plane MH17 which followed now increasingly points in evidence towards another Kiev-hatched black op to incite Nato to attack Russia – the constant goal. Already with Nato backing, the Kiev regime has escalated the conflict into war-criminal bombing of resisting Eastern cities and civilian infrastructures with US-selected PM Yatsenyuk shouting “Russia’s war to take Ukraine” throughout. War on civilians and mass murders blamed on the victims are familiar from the Nazi past, but now as then just push the Russia button and all becomes permissible.
Worth Remembering in the War Fever The sniper murders of 21 people in the Kiev uprising in February 2014 by the Ukraine coup started the war against Eastern Ukraine, formerly the key to electoral power in Kiev. It was rather like Canada making war on Quebec, but so murderous and chaotic that the president ran away. The EU’s Foreign Minister’s recorded conversation with Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet of Estonia, speaks for itself. He reported that all 21 murders were (his words) by “the same type of bullets” and from “the same handwriting” which could only be from “the new coalition which does not want to investigate what happened”. Nor did any Western press.
In fact, such mass murder is grounds for prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law and prosecution by the International Court. But due process of law and criminal prosecution do not count except as they serve corporate money sequencing to more, the underlying meta program. Meanwhile war-drums beat against those who draw a line against it. The deprived become the Enemy whenever they fight back.
Beyond amnesia: Who is the lawless aggressor? Censorship rules by unseen means – selecting out of public view all facts not consistent with the ruling script. More exactly, corporate states and mass media reproduce only what sells the growth of the transnational money-sequence system. This is why we never hear of “lawless US aggression”. Pervasive accusations against resistance to it reverse the blame a-priori. We need to join the dots of what is not reported to comprehend the meaning. The US has refused to ratify the International Criminal Court to uphold the law against war crimes and crimes against humanity, and it has publicly repudiated the Court’s right to investigate US criminal violations including the “supreme crime” of a war of aggression. While it invokes international laws to blame others of violating them (e.g., Syria’s unproven use of chemical weapons in fact used by jihadist opposition funded by the US and allies), it abhors any life-protective law applied to it. This is why the US has systematically undermined virtually all international laws to protect human life – treaties and conventions against landmines, against biological weapons, against international ballistic missiles, against small arms, against torture, against racism, against arbitrary seizure and imprisonment, against military weather distortions, against biodiversity loss, against climate destabilization, and even international agreements on the rights of children and of women.
As the U.S.-led global corporate system multiplies through life hosts across continents, not even international laws now protect them. It is time Canada awoke to its own historical values and meaning in a world disorder submerged in inanely virulent propaganda.
John McMurtry is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and his work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his latest book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/from Crisis to Cure .