1918

On Memorial Day 2018, in the year marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Michael Parenti contemplates the trenches and the oligarchs who caused so much unnecessary misery.

By Michael Parenti  Special to Consortium News

Looking back at the years of fury and carnage, Colonel Angelo Gatti, staff officer of the Italian Army (Austrian front), wrote in his diary: “This whole war has been a pile of lies. We came into war because a few men in authority, the dreamers, flung us into it.”

No, Gatti, caro mio, those few men are not dreamers; they are schemers. They perch above us. See how their armament contracts are turned into private fortunes—while the young men are turned into dust: more blood, more money; good for business this war.

It is the rich old men, i pauci, “the few,” as Cicero called the Senate oligarchs whom he faithfully served in ancient Rome. It is the few, who together constitute a bloc of industrialists and landlords, who think war will bring bigger markets abroad and civic discipline at home. One of i pauci in 1914 saw war as a way of promoting compliance and obedience on the labor front and—as he himself said—war, “would permit the hierarchal reorganization of class relations.”

Just awhile before the heresies of Karl Marx were spreading among Europe’s lower ranks. The proletariats of each country, growing in numbers and strength, were made to wage war against each other. What better way to confine and misdirect them than with the swirl of mutual destruction.

Then there were the generals and other militarists who started plotting this war as early as 1906, eight years before the first shots were fired. War for them means glory, medals, promotions, financial rewards, inside favors, and dining with ministers, bankers, and diplomats: the whole prosperity of death. When the war finally comes, it is greeted with quiet satisfaction by the generals.

Moguls and Monarchs Prevail

But the young men are ripped by waves of machine-gun fire or blown apart by exploding shells. War comes with gas attacks and sniper shots: grenades, mortars, and artillery barrages; the roar of a great inferno and the sickening smell of rotting corpses. Torn bodies hang sadly on the barbed wire, and trench rats try to eat away at us, even while we are still alive.

Farewell, my loving hearts at home, those who send us their precious tears wrapped in crumpled letters. And farewell my comrades. When the people’s wisdom fails, moguls and monarchs prevail and there seems to be no way out.

Fools dance and the pit sinks deeper as if bottomless. No one can see the sky, or hear the music, or deflect the swarms of lies that cloud our minds like the countless lice that torture our flesh. Crusted with blood and filth, regiments of lost souls drag themselves to the devil’s pit. “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate.” (“Abandon all hope, ye who enter” as our Dante delivered his painful message).

Meanwhile from above the Vatican wall, the pope himself begs the world leaders to put an end to hostilities, “lest there be no young men left alive in Europe.” But the war industry pays him no heed.

Finally the casualties are more than we can bear. There are mutinies in the French trenches! Agitators in the Czar’s army cry out for “Peace, Land, and Bread!” At home, our families grow bitter. There comes a breaking point as the oligarchs seem to be losing their grip.

At last the guns are mute in the morning air. A strange almost pious silence takes over. The fog and rain seem to wash our wounds and cool our fever. “Still alive,” the sergeant grins, “still alive.” He cups a cigarette in his hand. “Stack those rifles, you lazy bastards.” He grins again, two teeth missing. Never did his ugly face look so good as on this day in November 1918. Armistice embraces us like a quiet rapture. 

Not really a quiet rapture with smiling sergeants. Many troops on both sides continued killing to the bitter end, with a fury that had no mercy. In one day, November 11, the last day of war, some 10,900 men were wounded or killed from both sides, a furious rage in the face of peace, years of slaughter; now moments of vengeance.

The Fall of Eagles

A big piece of the encrusted aristocratic world breaks off. The Romanovs, Czar and family, are all executed in 1918 in Revolutionary Russia. That same year, the House of Hohenzollern collapses as Kaiser Wilhelm II flees Germany. Also in 1918, the Ottoman empire is shattered. And on Armistice Day, November 11th, 1918, at 11:00 a.m.—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month—we mark the end of the war and with it the dissolution of the Habsburg dynasty.

The House of Romanovs

Four indestructible monarchies: Russian, German, Turkish, and Austro-Hungarian, four great empires, each with millions of bayonets and cannon at the ready, now twisting in the dim shadows of history.

Will our children ever forgive us for our dismal confusion? Will they ever understand what we went through? Will we? By 1918, four aristocratic autocracies fade away, leaving so many victims mangled in their wake, and so many bereaved crying through the night.

Back in the trenches, the agitators among us prove right. The mutinous Reds standing before the firing squad last year were right. Their truths must not be buried with them. Why are impoverished workers and peasants killing other impoverished workers and peasants? Now we know that our real foe is not in the weave of trenches; not at Ypres, nor at the Somme, or Verdun or Caporetto. Closer to home, closer to the deceptive peace that follows a deceptive war.

Now comes a different conflict. We have enemies at home: the schemers who trade our blood for sacks of gold, who make the world safe for hypocrisy, safe for themselves, readying themselves for the next “humanitarian war.” See how sleek and self-satisfied they look, riding our backs, distracting our minds, filling us with fright about wicked foes. Important things keep happening, but not enough to finish them off. Not yet enough.

Michael Parenti is an internationally known, award-winning author and lecturer. He is one of the nation’s leading progressive political analysts. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. His books include Profit Pathology and Other Indecencies; Inventing Reality, The Politics of News MediaMake-Believe Media: The Politics of EntertainmentDemocracy for the FewLand of Idols: Political Mythology in AmericaHistory as MysteryThe Assassination of Julius CaesarA People’s History of Ancient Rome and the first part of his memoir, Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life.

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52 comments for “1918

  1. Cornelius Krissilas
    June 2, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    This is all in the past! What about the present? We are interested in the present and what he proposes! ETERNAL MEMORY!!!!!

    • Sendero Santos
      June 3, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      I take it from your comment that you were born yesterday. The assault contra collective memory is a tactic of the Oligarchs.
      In the British Imperial Navy it was forbidden for any sailor other than the Captain, First Officer, and the Navigator, to possess or even to touch a compass or a sextant. Any crewman found in possession of a duplicate log book of the ships daily position would swing from the ‘ards.
      The reasoning behind such draconian penalties for merely keeping a record of the change in the ships daily map coordinates was to prevent mutiny. A crew that lacks the knowledge required to navigate a passage to a safe harbor was much less likely to attempt insurrection.
      To successfully sail your own boat you must know not only where you are, but how you got there. Those who believe that their fellow humans are resources to be exploited solely for the benefit of a feckless investor class know that they are on the wrong side of history so they will suppres and deny that history and construct programs of general education that keeps such dangerous knowledge from the minds of the dangerous classes.

  2. Paul Harvey
    May 31, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Glad to see Consortium giving Michael Parenti the opportunity to showcase his work to some in the audience who may be unfamiliar with his analysis.

    I’ve been interested in his work since his material on Yugoslavia and 9/11 surfaced on the net many moons ago now.

    In this age of the synthetic left where most so-called radical thinkers are nothing more than stenographers of the Simulacrum or act like proxy warriors for NATO’s psychological warfare division, Michael is one of the genuine good guys and I look forward to seeing more of his material gracing these pages.

    • glitch
      May 31, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Second this!

    • June 4, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      Paul Harvey – great observations. Thanks.

  3. J. Decker
    May 29, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Bravo Michael Parenti! Beautifully conveyed message of disgust and loathing towards the war machine.

  4. J. Decker
    May 29, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    May we all one day wake up, eliminate this evil, and find peace and prosperity. That is my prayer….

  5. Litchfield
    May 29, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    I love Michael Parenti.
    He is a great teacher.

  6. Tony Vodvarka
    May 29, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Having followed Dr. Parenti’s work for many years, I am extremely glad to see his work published on Consortium News and hope that this essay will be followed by many more. It’s a great pleasure to read the works of a genuine working class lefty of great intellectual achievement. Viva Parenti!

    • floyd gardner
      May 29, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Amen!! Wars are fought by the Workers for the benefit of the Bosses.

  7. Abe
    May 29, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    “The name of Spanish Flu came from the early affliction and large mortalities in Spain (BMJ,10/19/1918) where it allegedly killed 8 million in May (BMJ, 7/13/1918). However, a first wave of influenza appeared early in the spring of 1918 in Kansas and in military camps throughout the US. Few noticed the epidemic in the midst of the war. Wilson had just given his 14 point address. There was virtually no response or acknowledgment to the epidemics in March and April in the military camps. It was unfortunate that no steps were taken to prepare for the usual recrudescence of the virulent influenza strain in the winter. The lack of action was later criticized when the epidemic could not be ignored in the winter of 1918 (BMJ, 1918). These first epidemics at training camps were a sign of what was coming in greater magnitude in the fall and winter of 1918 to the entire world.

    “The war brought the virus back into the US for the second wave of the epidemic. It first arrived in Boston in September of 1918 through the port busy with war shipments of machinery and supplies. The war also enabled the virus to spread and diffuse. Men across the nation were mobilizing to join the military and the cause. As they came together, they brought the virus with them and to those they contacted. The virus killed almost 200,00 in October of 1918 alone. In November 11 of 1918 the end of the war enabled a resurgence. As people celebrated Armistice Day with parades and large partiess, a complete disaster from the public health standpoint, a rebirth of the epidemic occurred in some cities. The flu that winter was beyond imagination as millions were infected and thousands died. Just as the war had effected the course of influenza, influenza affected the war. Entire fleets were ill with the disease and men on the front were too sick to fight. The flu was devastating to both sides, killing more men than their own weapons could.

    “With the military patients coming home from the war with battle wounds and mustard gas burns, hospital facilities and staff were taxed to the limit. This created a shortage of physicians, especially in the civilian sector as many had been lost for service with the military. Since the medical practitioners were away with the troops, only the medical students were left to care for the sick. Third and forth year classes were closed and the students assigned jobs as interns or nurses (Starr,1976). One article noted that “depletion has been carried to such an extent that the practitioners are brought very near the breaking point,” (BMJ, 11/2/1918). The shortage was further confounded by the added loss of physicians to the epidemic. In the U.S., the Red Cross had to recruit more volunteers to contribute to the new cause at home of fighting the influenza epidemic. To respond with the fullest utilization of nurses, volunteers and medical supplies, the Red Cross created a National Committee on Influenza. It was involved in both military and civilian sectors to mobilize all forces to fight Spanish influenza (Crosby, 1989). In some areas of the US, the nursing shortage was so acute that the Red Cross had to ask local businesses to allow workers to have the day off if they volunteer in the hospitals at night. Emergency hospitals were created to take in the patients from the US and those arriving sick from overseas.

    “The pandemic affected everyone. With one-quarter of the US and one-fifth of the world infected with the influenza, it was impossible to escape from the illness. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles to end the World War.”

    The Influenza Pandemic of 1918
    https://virus.stanford.edu/uda/

    • J. Decker
      May 29, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      The treaty of Versailles, shoved down Germany’s throat, was a major cause of WWII. Along with the Jewish boycott.

      • Abe
        May 29, 2018 at 11:35 pm

        The anti-Nazi Jewish boycott of German products was instituted in March 1933, following Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany. The British newspaper the Daily Express using the headline: “Judea Declares War on Germany” on March 24, 1933. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels announced a one-day counter-boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany to commence on April 1, 1933. The anti-Nazi Jewish boycott (which lasted until the entrance of the United States into World War II) did nothing to stop the harassment of Jews in Germany.

        Historian Francis R. Nicosia studied extensive archival sources in Germany, Israel and elsewhere, of German policies toward Palestine. In Hitler and Zionism. The Third Reich and the Palestine Question 1933 – 1939 (1989), Nicosia states that the August 1933 Haavara Agreement (Transfer Agreement) between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews, together with lessened German dependence on trade with the United States and Britain, had by 1937 largely negated the effects of the international Jewish boycott. Nicosia emphasizes that until 1941 the Nazis wished to promote Jewish emigration. Serious scholars do not hold that the Jewish boycott on Germany was a major cause of World War II in Europe.

        • May 30, 2018 at 8:29 am

          “Nicosia states that the August 1933 Haavara Agreement (Transfer Agreement) between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews, together with lessened German dependence on trade with the United States and Britain, ”

          And precipitated the Arab rebellion in Palestine crushed by the British and Jewish immigrants which led to a settlement putting and end to unbridled Jewish immigration which precipitated Jewish terrorist attacks on the British which led to the recognition of a Jewish state which led to the mess that exists there today. Simplistic and missing innumerable steps and actions but clearly the West’s support for Zionism to occupy land already occupied was a great tragedy for the native population in Palestine.

        • CitizenOne
          May 30, 2018 at 10:58 pm

          Here is an equal to this post.

          Worker Bees and Soldier Ants: America’s Army of Fascism

          Marching Boots of Mass Psychosis

          Manuel Valenzuela

          01/13/05 “ICH” — It is in times of fascism rising that armies of ignorance are once more resuscitated from the bowels of a society bordering on the edge of mass psychosis. America at the dawn of the twenty-first century is no exception, for an army of fascism is being born inside its womb, its growing power in numbers and ideology granting freedom of action to immoral despots and juntas of warmongering greed addicts. Contrived through the mass manipulation of fear and hatred, xenophobia and ignorance, searing nationalism and blind theological faith, this army represents the greatest threat to the nation, and the world.

          From all walks of life diluted brains and weak-minded individuals are answering the call of the beacon of fascism shining bright, from Atlantic to Pacific, from north to south, embracing its dastardly tentacles with the warm acceptance of comfort and submission. Millions of Americans are presently falling prey to a virulent haze gripping the United States, furthered and pursued by a small cabal of corporatist evildoers perched at the upper echelons of governance and power that seek to transform the nation into a black widow’s nest of fascism spiked with the venom of a militarized citizenry acquiescent to imperial hegemony.

          Growing daily like a malignant tumor, still entranced by the devastating images of the new Pearl Harbor, which the corporatists in power did nothing to help stop and everything possible for it to succeed, this multitude cannot see in shades of gray nor in the prism of color. Instead, like living inside the television sets of the past, only black and white can they perceive, their antenna only receptive to the microwaves of good and bad, evil and good, friend or foe. Different shades of reality escape them just as much as the reality of what transpires around the world.

          This army of fascism is the product of years of methodical ingraining of ignorance and indifference into society by those holding the reigns of power. It is the end result of the re-wired human brain preyed upon and feasted on by television and the corporations that control thought through it. Obedient to the monitor, blind to reality, the army now gathering life takes direct commands from the images, sounds and war cries emanated by television. Acting on instinct, and on the televised propaganda they are conditioned to obey and follow, the army now walking among us neither questions nor searches for answers, preferring to exult the fantasies of fiction over the embarrassments of truth, preferring to dwell in ignorance rather than being liberated by knowledge.

          Like the drones they have been bred to be the army of fascism lines up one behind another, marching to the drums of warmongers and trumpets of false prophets exalting hatreds and fears and cries for death and destruction. This monolith lacking the precepts of analytical and logical thinking minds follows the lies and deceptions of governance and the propaganda of corporations, believing every word uttered or image manipulated, absorbing as truth blatant lies and incorporating into their own thought processes the vitriol-filled, hate-induced, xenophobic-spewing, gay-bashing, women-hating, Arab-scapegoating, jingoistic-packed diatribe that litters the airwaves and acts as a conduit for the further recruitment of grunts comprising the army of fascism.

          Disguised as national dialogue, this propaganda, disseminated by the minions and lackeys of government and the corporate world, serves the purpose of unleashing inside the ignorant legions of sheep boiling magma of animalistic passion and emotion which, with further manipulation of psychology, erupts like a smoldering volcano, releasing throughout the nation toxic gases of hatred and fiery lava of violent thought.

          Thus, the harvesting of ignorance, hate and fear – all molded by the same clay, none mutually exclusive of the others – by those in power produces an army of fascism whose blind thirst for Arab blood and rabid addiction for Muslim destruction fuse to engender in the Establishment the tools necessary to mutate the United States in the direction of fascism and despotic rule, while at the same time increasing their power and control over the same army which blindly follows without knowing and is easily herded to slaughter.

          Conditioned War Culture, Dumbed-Down Education

          Millions who today march proudly in the army of hate, fear and ignorance have, since birth, been conditioned to violence and indifference through the incessant bombardment by television of those images necessary to transform a once benign citizenry into a violent and militarized war culture, in the process succeeding in shaping apathetic creatures devoid of concern for their fellow man, now desensitized to death, destruction, suffering and ceaseless violence.

          From cartoons laced with aggression and conflict to movies saturated with pyrotechnics and bullets to video games blurring the line between reality and fantasy to television shows romanticizing violence the human brain, from cradle to grave, and in a society as addicted to television watching as is America, loses all sense of shock and awe at the very real spectacle of human violence. Glamorized and white-washed, fantasy-riddled violence on television, movies and video games desensitizes the now conditioned human brain to the very real and horrific parameters of our species’ self-destructive ways, making violence accepted and indeed sought, for violent overtures to conflict resolution are all we have been trained to see, hear and believe in.

          In the realm of fiction bombs explode yet the shrieks and the misery are never seen. Bullets whiz by yet their effects on human flesh are whitewashed. Missiles rain down from above yet severed limbs and decapitated heads do not exist. The destruction of cities, houses and lives is too inconvenient to cover in the plot. The suffering and the wretchedness of human violence upon its own kind never sees the light of day. Special effects form a cornucopia of digital mastery, glossing over death and maiming, blood and guts, becoming the fiction we see and the reality we fail to understand.

          Audiences at home or in the theater fail to ever experience the reality of human violence, unable to feel the pain of injury, the concussions reverberating in air, rubble falling everywhere, explosions creating deafness, bullets penetrating flesh, the last moments of life, the entrails exposed or the limbs blown to bits. We never are confronted with the sounds of war, the smells of death, the taste of violence and the very real destruction wrought by America’s many instruments of human violence. Comfortably we sit in our couches or stadium seating, under cover of roof and air-conditioning, munching on popcorn and soda, all the while becoming ever more desensitized to death, destruction, violence and the horrors of war.

          This makes a culture such as that found in America a purveyor of violent solutions to conflict, a populace indifferent to the violence, destruction and death created by its government and unleashed on the savages and inhuman peoples of lands not known or understood, alien to our reality but familiar to our fictions. With a citizenry completely conditioned to accept violence as a solution for conflict, with a people desensitized to the horrors of human violence inflicted on its fellow beings, with tens of millions brainwashed into seeing violence as rose-petalled fiction and not as a malicious reality, the government, military-industrial complex and the cabal of corruption in control of our lives are free to unearth the most wicked forms of human violence upon innocent human life, killing with abandon in a wanton slaughter applauded by a complicit army of fascism whose minds are completely under the control of warmongers and fascists in power.

          When you add in the bogey man of the moment, the chosen Muslim Arab enemy for years implanted into our minds by government and corporate propaganda, seen in television, movies and the realm of fictionalized violence, replacing the Indian and the Soviet and the black and the Vietnamese as the enemy required to hijack the thoughts of the average American, needed to induce fear and enslave fogged minds, the brain begins associating negative feelings of hatred onto this scapegoated ethnic and religious group. Fear commences its powers of erosion, stripping rational and analytical thought from the human brain, replacing hatred and thirst for violence against the latest enemy to grace the collective imagination of Americans. Ignorance, fear of the unknown and conditioned fear of dark-skinned enemies combine to form a deadly cocktail of hatred, manipulated into the American mind by government and those whose interests lie in marginalizing Arabs, that furthers the recruitment of the army of fascism as well as the fictional “war on terror.”

          Combined with the creation of a completely dumbed down, ignorant, believe-anything, nationalistic-driven, violence-conditioned, fiction-living, theology-brainwashed, fear-induced, schizophrenically-manipulated, paranoid-delusional segment of the American population, the recipe is ripe for those in power to sound the drums of perpetual war for perpetual profit, using their new and ever-growing army of fascism, blind to the tunes of reality, to unveil the erosion of civil rights, freedoms and democracy at home and the mass murder of untold thousands abroad in an immoral attempt at achieving imperial hegemony.

          Using the ignorance of the army of fascism to its advantage, this cabal of corruption is giving birth to corporatism, transforming the nation into a conduit for despotic rule in a police-state environment, where the army of fascism is used against itself, for the attainment of a continued form of corporate feudalism, and as a tool in fighting the other half of the population that refuses to accept the master plans of those in control or to bow down to the dictates of tyranny.

          An army dumbed down by an anemic educational system whose only purpose is the systematic transformation of little primates into obedient, non-thinking drones loyal to the government that exploits and the corporations that enslave them has become a reality which today we can see in the tens of millions, perhaps half the population of the United States, that gives a thumbs up to mass murder, torture, gulags and the destruction of an entire society by their vote for warmongers, greed addicts and power hungry corrupters of civilization.

          Brainwashed from birth to adore the red, white and blue, trained to never question the authority of government or the decisions of politicians, conditioned in the fine arts of nationalistic propaganda, manipulated into loyalty to the state and deceived to the altruistic fictions of American history, children are subjected to an education designed to eradicate free-thinking minds, transforming questioning entities into subservient soldiers devoid of rebellion or resistance to bad governance. Educated to avoid seeking truth, taught to inhale as fact whatever the government states, children are methodically robbed of their natural desire to question the world around them, failing to seek accountability of authority and their innate desire for truth searching.

          After years of dumbed down education, in schools that serve to hinder knowledge and evolving intelligence thanks to rotten curriculums and decrepit resources, children become the molded adult drones of the state, unthinking, unknowing and unquestioning. The mockery that is American education, purposefully instituted by those in power, spits out a populace that fails to grasp the world around them, lacking curiosity, creativity and an ounce of knowledge of history, current events, politics, foreign nations, the arts, science, culture, geography and common sense.

          An assembly line of ignorance and indifference is created through years of abandon, both educational and parental, that is transforming American society into a culture lacking the precepts of human understanding. The wisdom of older societies is recklessly disregarded, the sophistication of cultures is frowned upon, the lessons of history are arrogantly trampled on, the convergence of diversity spawns fear and the advice of old friends is discarded. To the army of fascism, America does not need advice or assistance or friends or historical lessons. We are the greatest nation that ever lived, unable to do wrong, unable to condemn billions to misery and virtual enslavement, the chalice of altruism, the seeker of good, the defender of freedom, the protector of democracy and the Almighty’s chosen nation. America is an unbeatable superpower, emanating arrogance and cockiness, the most triumphant society that ever existed, free to do with the world and its peoples whatever suits its needs. Unfortunately, after years of brainwashing, the army of fascism believes just about anything, unwilling to even contemplate the minimal idea that all they have ever learned is false, based on propaganda and conditioning of minds, blitzkrieged into their brains for the benefit of the state and the corporate world that owns it.

          The army of fascism chooses to live in fantasy, unwilling to discard their tiny bubble protecting them from confronting reality. To them truth is stressful, reality is frightful, ignorance is bliss, and escaping the illusion they watch on Fox News or any other corporate propaganda channel is an exercise they would rather not confront. Their bubble is their paradise, no matter how pathetically delusional it may seem, no matter how obviously false it appears and no matter how much it is eroded by the plethora of truth attacking the fables and fictions sustaining their delicate web of concocted bull manure.

          To the tens of millions living inside the rabbit hole, Earth, its lands, nations, cultures and peoples are as alien as the vast expanse of universe, science and nature as hazy as history and knowledge. The reality of what the United States has been since its inception, an Evil Empire laying waste to billions of world citizens and their lives, is never taught to the very citizens now affected by the blowback inherent in perpetuating human malice throughout the globe. Instead, we are told the world hates us for our freedoms and rights, that billions are angered at us because we are such a great nation. The truth, it seems, is always discarded for fiction, and the army of fascism gobbles it up like Thanksgiving turkey, forever wanting to escape knowing painful truths by smearing themselves in euphoric falsity.

          Hijacked Fiction, Hypnotized Minds

          As if hypnotized by the thunderous sound of its marching boots, the army of fascism, millions of worker bees and soldier ants laboriously furthering the interests of state fascism, surrenders itself to its masters sounding the trumpets of fear and hatred. Ever since 9/11, millions of Americans have experienced a profound shift in their psyche, becoming, over time and thanks to ceaseless corporatist manipulation and propaganda, the mirror image of what they perceive their enemy to be.

          They have become, in a sense, what they most fear, the nighttime bogeyman lurking in dark corners and black shadows, emulating the behaviors and psychology of how they are told the enemy behaves, casting a long dry spell of hatred and racism over the lands of America, awakening from horrible nightmares to find themselves afflicted by paranoia and schizophrenia, possessed by hatred and seething anger, unable to listen or see, made deaf and blind to reality and unable to exorcise from their minds the horrible disfigurement to the national character spawned by the ghosts of 9/11. They have, for all intents and purposes, become the enemy they fear most.

          It is exactly the manipulation of fear and hatred by those who control, spawned by 9/11 and its post traumatic stresses that has elevated the numbers joining the army of fascism. A plague presently afflicts the United States, born in sin and broken psychology, rendering once capable minds as weak as rotting wood, impregnating in the ignorant among us deep hatreds and angers giving rise to increased levels of xenophobia and a growing search for scapegoats.

          The fear prevalent in the army of fascism, tirelessly manipulated and exploited by the Bush administration, birthed by the horrors of 9/11 and the correspondent images no human society has ever had to experience, played live and replayed countless times via multiple camera angels and narrated through various media outlets and personalities, immediately bombarded by anti-Arab propaganda by the corporate media, has given rise to a racist hatred seldom seen in the United States in the latter decades of the twentieth century.

          It was 9/11, that sparkplug from which all hatred now derives, that spawned the beginning stages of the army of fascism. It was in the aftermath of the collapse of the twin towers in New York City that the early manifestations of mass change in the minds of vast portions of the populations could be seen. Suddenly, as if hit by a powerful surge of psychosis, millions of Americans became conduits of seething anger, no doubt affected by high doses of post traumatic stress disorder and of feelings of catastrophe, uncertainty and bewilderment.

          The world Americans had once known changed in the rapid transgressions of a few horrific hours, popping long-lasting bubbles of invincibility and security that had for years insulated the populace from the carnage, fear and human wickedness that befell the rest of humanity, most of it at the hands of America and its vast legions of mercenaries of imperial control and domination. The new Pearl Harbor had been allowed to come into fruition, for it was the tool needed to mobilize a pacifist populace into war, introducing the fog of mass psychosis onto a suddenly fearful nation, in the greatest psychological warfare operation ever conducted, on the way to neocon and military-industrial complex pre-planned mastery of world hegemony. Along with falling towers, the fall of American rationality and analytical thought was not far behind.

          Implanted into the minds of now fragile human brains, the violence witnessed and conditioned into our psyches by endless videotaped repetition and immediate talking head jingoistic tirades was no longer relegated to the giant screens or the television monitors or the video games. It no longer lived in third world countries or was monopolized exclusively by dark-skinned peoples. Violence was suddenly scary real, a shocking energy of carnage, death and destruction imported to once safe shores, crumbling the fabric of a society’s entire psychology. This was not a movie, nor the work of special effects capturing the latest digital technology for our viewing pleasure. This was no longer the fiction we had for too long enjoyed along with popcorn and soda and stadium seating.

          Soon, through vast media/government propaganda, manipulation and conditioning, the collective wrath of an entire nation was thrust upon the people’s and lands of the Middle East, for a convenient enemy allowing for pre-planned wars of pillage and conquest had already been chosen. Muslims, long marginalized in movies and the media, became the newest bogey man to grace the long line of chosen American enemies. It was their lands and valuably needed resources, the geo-strategic location of their homes, their global position on the way to imperial hegemony, their threat to Israel that condemned millions of Afghans and Iraqis, and perhaps soon Iranians and Syrians, to the full might of American military evil.

          Through careful propaganda, then, the American people were blitzkrieged with the seeds of hatred and ignorance, fed a vast assortment of misrepresentations and lies that linger to this day. Weapons of mass deception were introduced via the airwaves and into televisions and radios, designed to plant the foundations and pretexts for embarking on wars of aggression. With the public in the collective grip of those in power, fragile, fearful, ignorant, insecure, paranoid and schizophrenic, bowing down to the power of our animal instincts, desperately needing feelings of protection and security, ready to accept whatever lie was placed at our knees, enraged at an enemy we were told hated us for our freedoms, suffering from the effects of massive post traumatic stress disorder and willing to place our trust and futures on those we have since birth been brainwashed to obey and follow, the project for a new American century could commence.

          A nebula of fear gripped the nation, thoroughly exploited by the right wing, government, media and the military-industrial complex, suddenly transforming a man of questionable courage and apparent mediocrity, with no discernable leadership skills, possessing not an ounce of morals, into a Dear Leader of unquestioned character, strength and leadership. The puppet of the corporatist world had, in the time it takes to read ‘My Pet Goat,’ become an appointed conduit of the Almighty, an heir to greatness, on the way to perpetual war, and perpetual profit and wealth, lest we forget. The questioning of the President and of government was discouraged and threatened. After all, we were either with the President or with the ‘terrorists.’ Dissent was quashed, protest was made extinct, discourse was nonexistent and debate was nowhere to be found. The myth of the Dear Leader firmly entrenched thanks to massive Rovian propaganda campaigns, his re-selection by both the vote of the army of fascism and the corruption of elections was a foregone conclusion.

          In time the healing began, and with it returned the rational and analytical thinking minds of hundreds of millions of Americans. As time passed most of the nation began to escape the clouds of 9/11, awakening to the lies and the deceits and the many manipulations that pushed a nation to war, in a sense returning to normalcy and exorcising the demons of lingering stresses and fears. The realization emerged in the minds of millions that pre-emptive wars had been based on nothing but lies, all now proven to be false, all destroyed by reality and rational thought.

          Slowly, the fictional war on terror is being discovered for what it is, a charade, a fear-engendering escapade, created to control and command, to breed power and profit, a mirage whose tentacles are used as tools in the pursuit of conquest of land, people and resources. Used like the Cold War, birthing fear into the populace through the use of fantasy bogey men lurking in the shadows, said ready to kill for our freedoms and ready to attack for our way of life, the war on terror is a control mechanism, a way to lead a nation in a certain and most ignoble direction, based on lies and manipulations, needing a concocted enemy to thrive, misdirecting the attention and energy of the people away from real internal problems, away from what is being done to them at home and in their name abroad.

          The creation of a few charlatans and messianic Machiavellis in power, the ‘war on terror’ was concocted to consolidate power at home through the erosion of civil liberties, freedoms and democracy and to expand the empire’s hegemony abroad through ruthless devastation and destruction of both land and man, exploiting and oppressing peoples whose homes the Empire needs to continue the global chess match called geopolitical maneuvering. The ‘war on terror’ is a useless game that selected as enemy a most ambiguous entity, unlike the Soviet threat, without borders or faces or uniforms, allowing for its fictions to continue lingering into perpetuity, making the American people acquiescent slaves firmly controlled by fear and insecurity, their rights and freedoms evaporating more each day. It has selected over a billion people as enemies when only a few thousand exist, allowing the military-energy-industrial complex unfettered profit and wealth through war, conquest, ceaseless production, pillage and the robbery of American treasure.

          The ‘war on terror’ is one more fiction created by those at the top to retain power, distracting and dividing the nation away from the rape of their ways of life, allowing a warmongering corporatist government the means to expand its power, making 300 million people fight themselves instead of the real enemy at the top, even as their lives are placed in ever more danger thanks to a self-defeating, unwinnable and perpetual conflict. Thankfully, more and more citizens of America are waking up to the façade that is the ‘war on terror,’ joining the rest of humanity in seeing that a corrupt few have exploited the honorable many.

          Dangers Real and Perceived

          Yet, for about forty percent of the population, the ‘war on terror’ is as real as night and day, a most important war against the hated Arab heathens who share neither religion nor culture nor skin color with noble America. To the army of fascism, Arabs are evildoers extraordinaire, savages and primitives intent on killing all of what America stands for. They are barbarians, a people worshipping false gods and idols, mere subhuman animals willing to kill themselves, the army of Satan and reincarnations of demons past. They are an enemy that must be defeated and exterminated, whatever the cost, whatever the consequences. This belief by the army of fascism, however, is one based on ignorance, the belief of fantasy and a sheer weak-minded capacity to distinguish fact from fiction. When bombarded by a Zionist-first media and scapegoat-needing government, using a massive and methodical propaganda campaign, though, the Fox News and talk radio addicted army of fascism easily succumbs to such manipulations and lies.

          While most Americans have recovered their senses in the years after 9/11, the army of fascism still remains trapped inside the clouds of asbestos and debris and smoke and dust, refusing to take the hand of truth and reality, firmly digging themselves inside the trenches of a horror-filled fantasy. Because they wish for its truth, they make it so, retaining the lies and deceits and manipulations they hear, never questioning for an instant the validity of such claim and never seeking their own education of such matters. Trained to always believe what they hear, they incorporate deceptive propaganda as their own, every day hating and fearing more and more, scapegoating an entire culture, religion and race, justifying their hatred and growing racism through the bull manure they hear and see on a daily basis.

          The army of fascism remains deeply distraught by the horrors of 9/11, still possessed by its demons and its stresses, unable to exorcise the memories or ghosts of an operation allowed to succeed by the same heroes the army now religiously follows. Their outward bravado hides a deep inner fear, acting as their protective surrogate, for traumatized they remain and brainwashed they have been made to be. Psychologically fragile and mentally intimidated, they cling to the Dear Leader their monitors and radios command them to adore as a father figure in whom they seek protection and security. These millions are not able discern the falsity of the war on terror, nor the reality of what their ‘leader’ truly is, nor the true nature of the wars of conquest against Afghanistan and Iraq.

          To the army of fascism, lies become truth just as much as reality becomes falsity. In their inescapable bubble, they see not how the world is but how they want the world to be, refusing to accept truth even as it showers them with unending facts and even as it utterly destroys the fictions they cannot let go of. These Americans remain traumatized and haunted by 9/11, clouding the rational and analytical thought processes they might have once possessed. Every hate and racist filled tirade by their favorite talking head vermin only validates in their minds the necessity to wage ceaseless war upon innocent Arabs and Muslims. Every diatribe they hear confirms their belief in the elimination and mass murder of hundreds of thousands of humans, replacing the goodness they once had with the thirst for malice that now runs through their veins.

          They have become cold-blooded manifestations of their Dear Leader, the embodiment of all the psychopathic traits he possesses. They are the exact image of the President of the United States, indifferent, uncultured, unwise, callous, complicit, without love for their fellow human beings. Warm hearts have given way to frozen arteries, their desire to do harm to chosen scapegoats running rampant inside their bodies. They hate because they are told to hate, they wish death and destruction because they follow propaganda, never questioning anything but dissent. They fear because they are ignorant, they do not understand alien ways of life because they know nothing beyond their tiny bubbles, wishing instead to remain captives to the producer and consumer lifestyle they have been conditioned to follow.

          They desperately cling to the beliefs that Arabs and Muslims are sub-human creatures and evildoers needing the salvation only America can provide. To them, America is bringing democracy and freedom to those it now occupies, and the noble intentions of the Bush administration are all that matters. The army of fascism refuses to see that tyranny was replaced by tyranny, that corruption has now been increased, that democracy is but a sham excuse to enslave and pillage, that an entire civilization lays in ruins and that 25 million people have had their lives shattered, that their tax dollars are being pilfered by corporate greed, that their sons and daughters are dying for nothing but the profit, wealth and power of the elite, that their rights and freedoms are being eliminated not by Arabs but by the leaders they shower with praise and adulation.

          Millions of Americans are being transformed into conduits of hate and racism, citizens thirsting for Arab and Muslim blood and for the destruction of millions of lives. More and more we hear them talk about using nuclear bombs and WMDs to destroy Arabs. We hear them talk about curtailing Arab and Muslim civil rights and liberties in America, with cries of sending an entire race of people to internment and detention camps. We hear them validate war crimes and the death of over 100,000 innocent civilians, extolling the virtues of shooting and bombing Iraqis and Afghans to pieces. To these warmongers and violence seekers, the more Arab blood spilled the better.

          To them torture under Saddam is horrific but under the red, white and blue, not to mention under the Star of David, it is encouraged and acceptable, no matter how sadistic and malevolent it becomes, no matter how much it contradicts basic foundations of humanity. Two dozen beheadings are condemned as barbaric yet the use of cluster bombs, missiles, napalm, bunker busters and 2,000 pound bombs that kill thousands and maim and decapitate countless more is seen as a civilized and necessary way to bring freedom and democracy to those we invade and occupy. To the army of fascism, an amalgam of Bush gulags is welcomed, and if death, torture and dehumanization results, so much the better. From Guantanamo, Cuba to Abu Ghraib, to prisons in Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Afghanistan, the army of fascism revels in the imprisonment of innocents and the torture of humans, wishing the keys to cages be thrown away for all eternity. The prisoners are Arab and Muslim, after all.

          They approve destroying cities such as Fallujah, Najaf, Mosul and Sadr City in order to save them. Under no circumstances can they ever see the quagmire that is Iraq for what it is, nor the mistakes that have led to disaster and inevitable defeat. The army of fascism sees no problem appointing as Attorney General the man responsible for legalizing torture and endangering American soldiers. They feel comfortable keeping as Secretaries CEOs and executives of the corporate world that fleeces their lives. They look forward to a State Department run by a liar, conniver and unscrupulous cobra responsible for the death of over 100,000 innocent civilians. Ignorantly they allow the dangerous Likud-first neocons to remain pestering like flies in the halls of the White House and War and States Departments, hijacking foreign policy to the tunes of Israel’s delight. They rush to the polls to cast votes for the worst president in the history of the nation, having accomplished nothing but problems for the electorate since stealing the election of 2000, yet providing a treasure trove of favors to the corporate world.

          Our Own Worst Enemies

          The parameters of life in America were altered in one giant implosion of two towering monoliths, and the resulting psychosis which has ensued has only progressed further down the slope of the surreal. To America’s worker bees and soldier ants, hatred of Muslims and blatant racism of Arabs, combined with searing nationalism and growing ignorance of reality and the world, are fusing together to form a malicious combination of behaviors and psychology that is following a clear pattern of growth that, ever since 9/11, has multiplied in aggression.

          Today, America is fast approaching a slippery slope of hatred, with xenophobia and homophobia at the frontlines, threatening to divide the nation and explode the fiery cauldron of diversity, creating a nation on the verge of implosion. Hate now fills the air, racism lingers in the environment, and, with ignorance the sparkplug of this most frightful engine, a new dawn fast approaches, pitting those blinded by hate, fear, ignorance and the clouds of 9/11 against those now free of demons, ghosts and inner turmoil.

          Lines are being drawn in the sand, and slowly, yet surely, America is being divided based on the wars of George W. Bush. Hatred, fear, racism, fantasy, blind patriotism and corrosive ignorance stand on one side with the army of fascism. On the other side stands reality, courage, peace, love, diversity, world citizenship and education. The real danger is being played out today, with the army of fascism reporting dissent to the Department of Fatherland Insecurity, thereby placing anti-war voices on “terrorist watch lists,” with protest being confined to “free-speech zones,” with Republican politicians seeking to curtail still more rights, with right-wing Congressmen seeking to define dissent a psychological disease, with the army of fascism acting as national spies, keeping tabs on those not in tune with pro-war, pro-America, pro-Bush dictates.

          This army is growing as the mass lunacy that has taken over America continues its reign of terror, invading minds and possessing spirits, catapulting inner turmoil and invasive demons onto the national stage. The army of fascism comprises your neighbors, friends and relatives, your co-workers, elected representatives and teachers. Hijacked by the psychosis of post-9/11, this army knows not what it does, doing the dirty work of the elite and warmongers who are unleashing devastation upon the green lands of Earth. They are captured by the fear exploited every day by those in power, exchanging once held sanity for evolving hatred and brewing racism.

          The danger lies in another violent attack upon the nation, whether real or concocted, for the army of fascism will undoubtedly wage war against Arab and Muslim Americans, against those seeking peace, tolerance and justice, and against those not espousing the beliefs of the fascists in government. Another bombing or unconventional attack will result in the complete assault of civil rights, freedoms and habeas corpus, resulting in the complete fascist overhaul of American society, the introduction of a police state and the implementation of repression and subjugation of large segments of the population, no doubt abetted by the growing legions of the army of fascism.

          Resurrected from the catacombs of lunacy and human wickedness past, mutating to the dictates of malice and corruption present, becoming the oxygen by which tyrants thrive, the voices by which hate prospers and the muscle by which the worst in the human condition grows, the army of fascism, birthed by brainwashed conditioning and bred in ignorance, unwillingly serves the masters who have created it, becoming its own worst enemy, the force that will self implode upon the evisceration of the freedoms, rights and democracy it took for granted.

          Soon, when the forces of corporatism no longer need the army that so blindly follows, the awakening of millions will arrive too late, and from the long slumber of post 9/11 hysteria millions of minds will realize the self-implosion they wrought onto themselves, wishing they had only known, wishing they had been wiser to the propaganda, wishing to wake from the horrible nightmare now confronting their lives. Until then, however, they are helping lead us all directly into the wretched path of despotism of old and fascism of new, pulverizing our relations with the outside world and making extinct the life we once knew to exist.

          Worker bees and soldier ants are condemning us all, for their numbers are many, possibly reaching half the citizenry, helping to keep in power the most unscrupulous cabal of human refuse to ever stand perched atop the halls of power. The world entire will have to suffer for the post 9/11 traumatic stress disorder affecting tens of millions of Americans who cannot escape the demons of crashing planes and falling towers, played and replayed countless times on video, in dreams and in the mind, that can now be seen as the sparkplug that launched America into a realm of lunacy, paranoia and incalculable human wickedness.

          As the evolution and continued growth of the army of fascism persists, the decline of what America once espoused continues. We are becoming, in the end, our own worst enemies.

  8. Jan
    May 29, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Great piece of writing. To flesh out the origins of WWI, no better analysis than Lenin?s essay “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.” Scott Nearing recommended it to me years ago.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 29, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Excellent, Jan. Additionally, to understand the confusion of socialists during WW1, “Lenin’s Struggle for a Revolutionary International”.

    • Daniel
      May 29, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Also, for a fascinating and entertaining look at WW I, please check out Robert Newman’s 45 minute stand-up historical comedy, “The History of Oil.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIpm_8v80hw&t=6s

      Where do y’all think Great Britain sent its first troops to fight WW I?
      Belgium?
      France?

      Nope. Iraq!

  9. Drew Hunkins
    May 29, 2018 at 10:18 am

    MIchael Parenti is an absolute godsend. Truly a great humanitarian intellectual, writer, scholar. The United States is a better place because of Michael Parenti.

  10. Bob Van Noy
    May 29, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Thank you Joe Lauria for this excellent essay by Michael Parenti. I remember being surprised by reading about the deep participation of the Dulles Brothers at Versailles. That was the first indication for me that something was fundamentally unjust in that treaty. I learned, over time, to distrust the Dulles Brothers especially by reading David Talbot’s excellent book “The Devil’s Chessboard”. It was their legal machinations as Corporate Lawers on the part of Companies like United Fruit that helped establish the concept of Corporate ownership abroad has led to the blurring of the idea of Sovereign Rights.

    I think that finally we’re getting to the heart of generations of Big Government wrong doing…

  11. Babyl-on
    May 29, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Now those same people, this tiny minority of the most ruthless people on earth ready to slaughter without remorse for the sake of their own power and pleasure are moving to the next stage. The AI and robots are now being “taught” the attributes of the rulers, AI/robots are designed and “taught” those things which serve their owners. The machines will understand ruthlessness and not empathy. There will be no need for billions of people they will be unnecessary to the pleasures of the great. Already today under Neoliberal ideology the lower 50% of the global population are utterly useless to the economy and are simply ignored in economic calculation.

    Those elites have known about the devastating effects of climate change at least sense the end of WWII – they hid their knowledge and agreed among themselves to conduct a slow moving genocide of the useless.

  12. Joe
    May 29, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Great piece! Thank you. No comment necessary.

  13. Tom Welsh
    May 29, 2018 at 6:56 am

    The origins of WW1 are shrouded in mystery, and yet (or perhaps “because”) they are the most important question in modern world history. As Marshal Foch said at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919, “This is not a peace, it is a 20-year truce”. Note that he was exactly right, to the year. And why? Time was needed to grow another generation of young men for cannon-fodder.

    WW1 guaranteed WW2. And WW2 finished the massive transformation of geopolitics that WW1 had begun. A transformation that placed the USA firmly in its position as unique, indispensable, exceptional ruler and exploiter of the world.

    But what caused WW1? This essay gives as good an answer as any other source I have seen. It’s ironic to think that although Bolshevism, often blamed on Marx, had nothing to do with him or his ideas, he may unwittingly have caused both world wars. Not through any malice, but rather through his attempt to bring about a great good.

    How right Immanuel Kant was when he said, “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made”.

    • Dunderhead
      May 29, 2018 at 7:42 am

      You should read Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope

    • barry k.
      May 29, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Blaming Marx ? The rich, old, contemporary schemers and generals Parenti mentioned is the true set of culprits. The capitalists and their minions always use communists (people who think sharing is a good idea) as a distraction.

      • Ciclismo
        May 29, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        Marx’s focus on capital instead of power (what truly needs to be distributed more evenly) was and is a great resource for both those who desire power and those who want to maintain it. Divide and rule 101

    • Oakland Pete
      May 29, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Marx did not in any way cause WW1. See Jan’s comment above.

  14. JWalters
    May 29, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Spectacular essay! Thank you very much.

    On the oligarchs’ machinations deep behind the scenes, I highly recommend Ellen Brown’s book “The Web of Debt”. And for new CN readers who haven’t seen it, the banker connections to the so-called “War on Terror”, the 9/11 attack, and the JFK assassination are described in “War Profiteer Story” at
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    • Dunderhead
      May 29, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Thank you for that, I am aware of a fair bit of that information but it is a concise listing and presentation, kudos

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

      Excellent link JWalters, thank you.

  15. May 29, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Great to see Parenti writing for Consortium News, and a fantastic essay at that. His opening paragraph reminds me of the conclusion that Major General Smedley Butler (US Marine Corps) came to after a long and successful military career: that war is a racket.

    He said, “I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of the racket all the time. Now I am sure of it.”

    Incidentally, Butler was approached in 1934 by the American Legion to lead an overthrow of the Roosevelt Administration, a plot supported and funded by of a number of big businesses in the United States, including J.P. Morgan and Dupont.

    The White House, as the seat of US Federal power, seems to be the ultimate prize sought by those who wish to rule the world through the incredible military and intelligence forces that it commands.

    • Daniel
      May 29, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      I’ve always wondered why FDR and Congress refused to prosecute those traitors of the “Business Man’s Coup.” In fact, they actually refused to conduct a proper investigation.

      In double fact, many of those traitorous conspirators were awarded huge contracts by the FDR Administration just a few years later in WW II.

  16. Deniz
    May 29, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I often wonder about the real story of the transition of power from the British Empire to Zionists. Did the Monarchs really lose their Empire, or did they just wisen up and go underground? The British receive very little scrutiny, yet they are instrumental in all types of espionage in the modern age. The UK/Zionist relationship seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle.

    • Dunderhead
      May 29, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Well if you haven’t already, Carol Quigley’s tragedy and hope spells out quite a bit of the Anglo US alliance as far as the zionist bit it seems like Ryan Dawson has got the best take on that that I have heard so far.

      • Deniz
        May 29, 2018 at 12:53 pm

        Thank you for the Quigley recommendation.

    • June 4, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      Deniz – Good observations on the British Empires use of Zionism. It also certainly isn’t a coincidence that the “Five Eyes” surveillance and intelligence sharing alliance consists of the U.K. and four of her former colonies, all run by white settler oligarchic establishments: the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Somehow in our diverse world they apparently couldn’t find one nation of color that could be trusted to enter this alliance. How odd, go figure? I would quite agree that the U.K. no longer seems to get the credit it richly deserves as an amoral destructive imperialist force in the world even to the present. Still, it is hard to argue that the U.K. can match the U.S./Zionist part of this axis as the most powerful and dangerously deranged members of this triad.

      We’re now at 500+ years of the West ruling the entire planet through violence and economic exploitation while rapidly growing ever more delusional as that reign shows signs of finally coming to an inglorious end. The U.S./U.K./Israel triad seems determined to kill us all rather than allow a global transformation into a multipolar world they no longer control.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    May 28, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    And then upon the carrion stench, the vultures would descend.
    Versailles would host the gambler’s den, the gaming tables set,
    Amid the rancid splendor banking proxies would be met.
    Every monied crony with connections would attend.

    Among them Brothers Dulles and the chemical concerns,
    Finance speculators and the oligarchs of note,
    The terms for peace and justice they purported to promote:
    Law firms and investors all eschewed the cash returns.

    Peace required restitution, reparations made.
    Such sacrifice was sensible, the principles were sound,
    The finest, richest upright men would thusly so expound,
    There were at least ten million dead, and prices to be paid.

    The culprits living and the dead would share the noble prize,
    The heroes would be honored and their benefactors praised.
    A flag for every hero on some cemetery raised,
    Those noblemen accrued the wealth, and both believed the lies.

    The vultures gather often and they threaten to descend,
    A whiff of doom impending taints the churning of events.
    A feast awaits the diplomats if neither side relents,
    Austerity assures the doom, incentivized to lend.

    A waif who waited tables there would meet them once again.
    He must have learned to recognize their manners and their flaws.
    Their valued skill elision framed in derogating laws,
    Young Ho Chi Minh would someday wage a war against these men.

    The bankers and aristocrats their appetites renewed,
    Are once again drawn to the scent as Europe vacillates.
    Technocrats and central banks have stifled the debates,
    Those allied sanctions must be met, Iran must be subdued.

    At home the hungry unemployed resent the migrant threat.
    In Brussels bankers resolute resolve to stay the course.
    Both right and left claim treachery, though neither names the source,
    The vultures fan the flames of hate, with artificial debt.

    Some waif in tattered clothes awaits, the vultures know him well.
    He’ll speak the words and do the deeds to usher in the feast.
    He’ll play the part appropriate to incarnate the beast,
    With crushing debt the vultures weave they’ll cast the needed spell.

    Glad to see Dr. Parenti appear here at long last.

    • C. Chapin
      May 29, 2018 at 11:33 am

      What an excellent poem, is this also from Parenti? Or original? I tried a Google search but the only hit is this exact page.

    • Typingperson
      May 29, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      This is a great poem! Far more engaging and on point than the Wordsworth et al I had to wade through in 11 grade AP English. Who is the author, sir? Vous??

      • Typingperson
        May 29, 2018 at 7:49 pm

        Aha! Parenti. Should have kept reading the thread. Thanks for posting, Mr. Sanford.

        • F. G. Sanford
          May 30, 2018 at 5:12 am

          Well, I wrote it. I’m just glad nobody gave Bob Dylan the credit. He isn’t quite as bad as Wordsworth (whom I called Wadsworth in my high school days), but I’m glad somebody liked it!

          • CitizenOne
            May 30, 2018 at 10:34 pm

            Excellent article. Reminds me of the Moody Blues song “Melancholy Man”

            Moody Blues
            A Question Of Balance
            Melancholy Man
            (Mike Pinder)

            I’m a melancholy man, that’s what I am
            All the world surrounds me and my feet are on the ground
            I’m a very lonely man doing what I can
            All the world astounds me and I think I understand
            That we’re going to keep growing, wait and see

            When all the stars are falling down
            Into the sea and on the ground
            And angry voices carry on the wind
            A beam of light will fill your head
            And you’ll remember what’s been said
            By all the good men this world’s ever known
            Another man is what you’ll see
            Who looks like you and looks like me
            And yet somehow he will not feel the same
            His life caught up in misery, he doesn’t think like you and me
            ‘Cause he can’t see what you and I can see

            I’m a melancholy man, that’s what I am
            All the world surrounds me and my feet are on the ground
            I’m a very lonely man doing what I can
            All the world astounds me and I think I understand
            That we’re going to keep growing, wait and see

            When all the stars are falling down
            Into the sea and on the ground
            And angry voices carry on the wind
            A beam of light will fill your head
            And you’ll remember what’s been said
            By all the good men this world’s ever known
            Another man is what you’ll see
            Who looks like and looks like me
            And yet somehow he will not be the same
            His life caught up in misery, he doesn’t think like you and me
            ‘Cause he can’t see what you and I can see

  18. Username
    May 28, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    The last paragraph reminds me of a quote by a famous U.S. war general.

    “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded” – General Douglas MacArthur  

  19. Jeff
    May 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Well said although WWI was not a humanitarian war it was a dynastic war that destroyed or seriously weakened most of the royal dynasties in Europe. WWII was a war of revanche for WWI and destroyed essentially the world’s industry, infrastructure, and educational structure, except in the United States. A fact that we took instant advantage of. We are facing WWIII thanks to something that Bill Maudlin, the famous cartoonist of WWII pointed out in his book Up Front. Behind the front the guys who were constantly aggressive, pushing people around were the ones that had never been up to the front fighting. Those that had been could be found in quiet corners getting drunk. It’s been 150 years since we’ve had war on our shores. When, in our hubris and stupidity, we start this next one, we’re going to regret it.

    • Strngr - Tgthr
      May 28, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you! Schemer: Frederick Trump: “When authorities found that he had emigrated when young to avoid fulfilling his military service, he lost his Bavarian citizenship; he and his family returned to the United States.” So while are boys were dyeing in the Trenches he was building a hotel empire fleaing his duty. And his grandson is a Arlington now Today! Why don’t people in the Red States just stop watching reality TV and just start just reading Wikipedia! All of this should have been in the debates. Oh, that would mean stop watching the Apprentice and learn something.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      May 28, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      “Now comes a different conflict. We have enemies at home: the schemers who trade our blood for sacks of gold, who make the world safe for hypocrisy, safe for themselves, readying themselves for the next “humanitarian war.”

      He is talking about conflicts “now,” today being humanitarian wars, not WWI.

      • Jeff
        May 28, 2018 at 9:50 pm

        Hmmm. Indeed. Something being the next humanitarian war implies that what came before was a humanitarian war also. Since the only other war he mentions is WWI, I assumed (not unreasonably, I think) that he was calling WWI a “humanitarian” war and not the myriad of other wars we’ve perpetrated in the name of “humanity” which already have that moniker. In any event, the point I was trying to make was the arc of destruction in these wars and where I thought they were going.

        • Consortiumnews.com
          May 28, 2018 at 10:31 pm

          Well you know well that there have been too many wars between WWI and now, and it’s pretty clear Parenti wasn’t skipping over all of them.

          • Jeff
            May 29, 2018 at 12:44 pm

            The danger here, Mr. Lauria, is that I love to debate. About just about anything. Nominally speaking, I’d be delighted to discuss sentence structure, referencing, and facts not in evidence. But none of this is terribly germain to my comment which was to project the arc of these conflicts from a well written essay through to today and what is likely to be the cause of the next major culling of the human race.

      • Virginia Browning
        May 29, 2018 at 2:49 am

        Dear Consortiumnews: He has “humanitarian wars” in quotes for a reason. I don’t think Michael Parenti is contrasting this with “humanitarian” wars in order to throw today’s schemings into a better light.

        Virginia Browning

  20. mike k
    May 28, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    So true. So ugly. And it goes on and on…… Will it ever end, the madness of war? We really don’t know, and that is very sad, tragic. Will this incredible evil of the rich end by destroying all of us?

    • Jose
      May 28, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      I think this evil will destroy us all. Parenti is correct when he asserts that they’re schemers.

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