I am publishing the short article and embedded YouTube video below, in my new ‘Anti-War’ category. For some time now, I have felt a need to supplement my engagement with the problem of the egoic mind – which has been primarily through meditation and self-enquiry – with some engagement with the disturbing reflection of that egoic violence and hatred that we can see when we look in a penetrating way at the values, systems, and structures (and individuals), that govern our outer world. While most of us in the modern West have a complacent sense of safety and stability, those around the world in less fortunate countries are finding themselves in the cross-hairs – the object of regime change operations funded by our governments, and supported by various well-funded pro-war propaganda agencies. This war has two enemies – because the propaganda war is always being simultaneously waged against ourselves, by these same agencies, who desperately need to cover up or justify what is being done in our name.
We live in extraordinary times; dark times in which great crimes are being committed both covertly and in plain sight; times in which the economic and political culture of the liberal democracies of the West has degraded to such an extent that both government and media are frequently acting in a way that is not only not at all in the interests of their populations, but very dangerous for the future of our planet. In a modern world where both nation states and international institutions are failing to maintain their integrity in the face of corporate and oligarchic forces and the march of new technologies, we need to create a culture of non-violence and wisdom – and as part of this we need to support those embattled independant voices for peace, truth and justice that are trying to push back against these dangerous collective manifestations of the egoic mind.
Please forgive my forthright and unqualified style in these short anti-war articles. My research is very deep and thorough however – certainly not confined to the mainstream media channels. I wish I had time to write longer, more detailed articles with references and sources.
In the liberal democracies of the West, we are mostly unaware of how heavily propagandised we are. We trust our governments and we trust our mainstream media outlets. This is an extremely dangerous state of affairs, because in actuality both our foreign policy decision-making and our reporting of foreign policy issues has been subverted, and is in effect outside of democratic control and beyond reason. Foreign policy decision-making has been handed over to government ‘experts’, arms industry lobbyists and military intelligence personnel, many of whom have an extremely irrational bias towards war, if not a direct financial interest in its promotion. The government and arms industry operatives both covertly provide massive funding to pro-war think-tanks, specialist public relations firms and sponsored academics – and to far-right groups (in both South America and Ukraine) and Islamic terrorist groups (e.g. in Syria, Libya and Western China). Not only is this whole peace-time propaganda process out of democratic control on the government side, but the journalists and the documentary makers in both state-funded and commercial TV and newspaper channels are not pushing back with any factual reporting or demands for common-sense and accountability. War, and the creation of enemy images that lead to war, has unfortunately, always been good for the news industry – but this is especially the case in the modern US.
Far from providing any critique, our news media generally now merely provide cover, and have become used to acting as mouthpieces for the perverse and dishonest pro-war narratives being generated by the military-industrial complex and our un-thinking government ‘defence’ and foreign policy staff, who appear to have lost any sense of the value of peace and diplomacy in the modern world. The predominant frame of reference is actually not freedom, democracy, humanitarianism and ethics, but neoliberalism and US hegemony – the very antithesis of these values. Peace and diplomacy have no value in this frame of reference because they do not make money for the armaments industry, and they do not provide distraction from the disastrous effects of neoliberalism’s failure at home. We cannot assume that if we live in a liberal democracy and watch the TV news regularly, we are well-informed on foreign affairs. In the modern world the reverse is true – far from being informed, the general population in the West are being propagandised, manipulated, and ‘played’ by the dishonest rhetoric of freedom and democracy, while actually being prepared for war. It really seems as if the Western moral order has actually already collapsed, and all those who study the situation closely can see that most of the reporting in the foreign policy arena is already characterised by the worst forms of Orwellian Doublespeak.
All this being the case, we need media channels that provide journalism that has integrity and can provide the historical context and truly humanitarian perspective that is missing elsewhere. I thoroughly recommend ‘The GrayZone’, an independent channel on YouTube. We are closer to the full horror of a modern war between Russia and the West, than at any other time since the second world war, and this situation has been created not by Russian aggression, as the propagandists would have us believe, but by the belligerent stupidity of the US and the aggression of NATO expansion to Russia’s borders. The horrible and extremely dangerous crisis in Ukraine, and the massive propaganda attack on Russia for acting to protect the Russian speaking communities of eastern Ukraine, is a dishonest mess that has been 30 years in the making. In reality NATO had no legitimate purpose after the fall of the Warsaw Pact – except as a vehicle for US hegemony and US arms sales. I thoroughly recommend this video (below) of an English academic, Richard Sakwa (Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent), being interviewed by Aaron Mate several weeks ago, when the warmongering rhetoric was beginning to ramp up. This is a truly superb piece of journalism – honest well-informed commentary pushing back against a sea of misinformation.
Aaron Mate, whose instinctive sympathies are with the left rather than the right of US politics, is nevertheless one of the best informed journalists in the world on the whole insane ‘Russiagate’ misinformation mess that was created by the US Democratic Party in the wake of the election of Trump. He is someone who understands that the current Ukrainian crisis goes back not just to the US-facilitated coup in Kiev in 2014 during the Obama years; he knows that Biden, and Victoria Nuland, who is now US Under Secretary of State, were actively involved in that process of establishing the domination of right-wing anti-Russian sentiment in Ukrainian politics, which led to the promotion of the Ukrainian nationalists (literal pro-Nazi fascists!) in its army, which are terrorising the Russian speaking people of Eastern Ukraine. To understand the Russian protective actions, we need to be aware of the history of Ukraine-Nazi collaboration against the Russians in World War Two – and we need to be aware that Ukraine, far from being a model democracy is a rather crazy country with vast extremes of wealth and poverty, and with a deep-rooted fascist past, that has been pushed towards extreme anti-Russian sentiment by US and NATO interference.
The reason that we are being bombarded, in the mainstream media, with news that Russia is preparing for war, is precisely because the opposite is true. Russia is responding to provocation. Witnessing the military buildup on the Ukrainian side threatening the Russian-speaking break-away republics of the Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, it is preparing to defend those people if it has to, and is simply asking the US for a legally binding pledge that NATO will stop expanding east. This has put the US on the spot, because the US foreign policy system is used to functioning as the world hegemon and they are not interested in peace and diplomacy – they do not do multilateralism and mutual respect. Domination, it seems, is their modus operandi, and the only language they understand. Hence the need for a massive anti-Russian propaganda campaign to distract the world from recognising the aggression and hostility of the US-NATO position.