Chris Hedges: The Pimps of War

The unaccountable coterie of neocons and liberal interventionists who orchestrated two decades of military fiascos in the Middle East are now stoking a suicidal war with Russia.

“Whores of War,” original illustration by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges

The same cabal of warmongering pundits, foreign policy specialists and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodge responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate.

They are protean, shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. Pseudo intellectuals, they exude a cloying Ivy League snobbery as they sell perpetual fear, perpetual war and a racist worldview, where the lesser breeds of the earth only understand violence.

They are pimps of war, puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the defense contractors who lavishly fund their think tanks — Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for the Study of War, Atlantic Council and Brookings Institute.

Like some mutant strain of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they cannot be vanquished. It does not matter how wrong they are, how absurd their theories, how many times they lie or denigrate other cultures and societies as uncivilized or how many murderous military interventions go bad.

They are immovable props, the parasitic mandarins of power that are vomited up in the dying days of any empire, including that of the U.S., leaping from one self-defeating catastrophe to the next.

I spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent reporting on the suffering, misery, and murderous rampages these shills for war engineered and funded. My first encounter with them was in Central America. Elliot Abrams — convicted of providing misleading testimony to Congress on the Iran-Contra Affair and later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush so he could return to government to sell us the Iraq War — and Robert Kagan, director of the State Department’s public diplomacy office for Latin America — were propagandists for the brutal military regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as the rapists and homicidal thugs that made up the rogue Contra forces fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, which they illegally funded.

Their job was to discredit our reporting.

“Like some mutant strain of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they cannot be vanquished.”

They, and their coterie of fellow war lovers, went on to push for the expansion of NATO in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, violating an agreement not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany and recklessly antagonizing Russia.

They were and are cheerleaders for the apartheid state of Israel, justifying its war crimes against Palestinians and myopically conflating Israel’s interests with those of the U.S. They advocated for air strikes in Serbia, calling for the U.S. to “take out” Slobodan Milosevic.

They were the authors of the policy to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Robert Kagan and William Kristol, with their typical cluelessness, wrote in April 2002 that “the road that leads to real security and peace” is “the road that runs through Baghdad.”

We saw how that worked out. That road led to the dissolution of Iraq, the destruction of its civilian infrastructure, including the obliteration of 18 of 20 electricity-generating plants and nearly all the water-pumping and sanitation systems during a 43-day period when 90,000 tons of bombs were rained down on the country, the rise of radical jihadist groups throughout the region, and failed states.

The war in Iraq, along with the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, shredded the illusion of U.S. military and global hegemony. It also inflicted on Iraqis, who had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11, the widespread killing of civilians, the torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, and the ascendancy of Iran as the preeminent power in the region.

Push for War & Overthrows

They continue to call for a war with Iran, with Fred Kagan stating that “there is nothing we can do short of attacking to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons.” They pushed for the overthrow of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying to do the same to Hugo Chavez, in Venezuela. They have targeted Daniel Ortega, their old nemesis in Nicaragua.

They embrace a purblind nationalism that prohibits them from seeing the world from any perspective other than their own. They know nothing about the machinery of war, its consequences, or its inevitable blowback. They know nothing about the peoples and cultures they target for violent regeneration. They believe in their divine right to impose their “values” on others by force. Fiasco after fiasco. Now they are stoking a war with Russia.

“The nationalist is by definition an ignoramus,” Yugoslav writer Danilo Kiš observed.

“Nationalism is the line of least resistance, the easy way. The nationalist is untroubled, he knows or thinks he knows what his values are, his, that’s to say national, that’s to say the values of the nation he belongs to, ethical and political; he is not interested in others, they are no concern of his, hell — it’s other people (other nations, another tribe). They don’t even need investigating. The nationalist sees other people in his own images — as nationalists.”

The Biden administration is filled with these ignoramuses, including Joe Biden. Victoria Nuland, the wife of Robert Kagan, serves as Biden’s undersecretary of state for political affairs. Antony Blinken is secretary of state. Jake Sullivan is national security adviser.

Oct. 8, 2014: U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland at a Ukrainian State Border Guard Service Base in Kiev. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Flickr)

They come from this cabal of moral and intellectual trolls that includes Kimberly Kagan, the wife of Fred Kagan, who founded The Institute for the Study of War, William Kristol, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Gary Schmitt, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Frum and others. Many were once staunch Republicans or, like Nuland, served in Republican and Democratic administrations. Nuland was the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

They are united by the demand for larger and larger defense budgets and an ever-expanding military. Julian Benda called these courtiers to power “the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia.”

They once railed against liberal weakness and appeasement. But they swiftly migrated to the Democratic Party rather than support Donald Trump, who showed no desire to start a conflict with Russia and who called the invasion of Iraq a “big, fat mistake.” Besides, as they correctly pointed out, Hillary Clinton was a fellow neocon. And liberals wonder why nearly half the electorate, who revile these arrogant unelected power brokers, as they should, voted for Trump.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during presidential election 2016. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

These ideologues did not see the corpses of their victims. I did. Including children. Every dead body I stood over in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Gaza, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen or Kosovo, month after month, year after year, exposed their moral bankruptcy, their intellectual dishonesty and their sick bloodlust. 

They did not serve in the military. Their children do not serve in the military. But they eagerly ship young American men and women off to fight and die for their self-delusional dreams of empire and American hegemony. Or, as in Ukraine, they provide hundreds of millions of dollars in weaponry and logistical support to sustain long and bloody proxy wars.

Historical time stopped for them with the end of World War II. The overthrow of democratically elected governments by the U.S. during the Cold War in Indonesia, Guatemala, the Congo, Iran and Chile (where the C.I.A. oversaw the assassination of the commander-in-chief of the army, General René Schneider, and President Salvador Allende); the Bay of Pigs; the atrocities and war crimes that defined the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos; even the disasters they manufactured in the Middle East, have disappeared into the black hole of their collective historical amnesia.

“Julian Benda called these courtiers to power ‘the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia.’ ” 

American global domination, they claim, is benign, a force for good, “benevolent hegemony.” The world, Charles Krauthammer insisted, welcomes “our power.” All enemies, from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, are the new Hitler. All U.S. interventions are a fight for freedom that make the world a safer place. All refusals to bomb and occupy another country are a 1938 Munich moment, a pathetic retreat from confronting evil by the new Neville Chamberlain. We do have enemies abroad. But our most dangerous enemy is within.

The warmongers build a campaign against a country such as Iraq or Russia and then wait for a crisis — they call it the next Pearl Harbor — to justify the unjustifiable.

In 1998, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, along with a dozen other prominent neoconservatives, wrote an open letter to President Bill Clinton denouncing his policy of containment of Iraq as a failure and demanding that he go to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. To continue the “course of weakness and drift,” they warned, was to “put our interests and our future at risk.”

Neera Tanden and William Kristol in a dialog on Sept. 30, 2018. (Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan)

Huge majorities in Congress, Republican and Democrat, rushed to pass the Iraq Liberation Act. Few Democrats or Republicans dared be seen as soft on national security. The act stated that the United States government would work to “remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein” and authorized $99 million towards that goal, some of it being used to fund Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress that would become instrumental in disseminating the fabrications and lies used to justify the Iraq war during the administration of George W. Bush.

The attacks of 9/11 gave the war party its opening, first with Afghanistan, then Iraq. Krauthammer, who knew nothing about the Muslim world, wrote that:

“the way to tame the Arab street is not with appeasement and sweet sensitivity but with raw power and victory…The elementary truth that seems to elude the experts again and again…is that power is its own reward. Victory changes everything, psychologically above all. The psychology in the [Middle East] is now one of fear and deep respect for American power. Now is the time to use it.”

Removing Saddam Hussein from power, Kristol crowed, would “transform the political landscape of the Middle East.”

It did, of course, but not in ways that benefited the U.S.

“Historical time stopped for them
with the end of World War II.”

They lust for apocalyptic global war. Fred Kagan, the brother of Robert, a military historian, wrote in 1999 that “America must be able to fight Iraq and North Korea, and also be able to fight genocide in the Balkans and elsewhere without compromising its ability to fight two major regional conflicts. And it must be able to contemplate war with China or Russia some considerable (but not infinite) time from now [author’s emphasis].”

They believe violence magically solves all disputes, even the Israeli-Palestinian morass. In a bizarre interview immediately after 9/11, Donald Kagan, the Yale classicist and rightwing ideologue who was the father of Robert and Fred, called, along with his son Fred, for the deployment of U.S. troops in Gaza so we could “take the war to these people.”

They have long demanded the stationing of NATO troops in Ukraine, with Robert Kagan saying that “we need to not worry that the problem is our encirclement rather than Russian ambitions.”  His wife, Victoria Nuland, was outed in a leaked phone conversation in 2014 with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, disparaging the EU and plotting to remove the lawfully elected President Viktor Yanukovych and install compliant Ukrainian politicians in power, most of whom did eventually take power.

They lobbied for U.S. troops to be sent to Syria to assist “moderate” rebels seeking to overthrow Basha al-Assad. Instead, the intervention spawned the Caliphate. The U.S. ended up bombing the very forces they had armed, becoming Assad’s de facto air force.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, like the attacks of 9/11, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Putin, like everyone else they target, only understands force. We can, they assure us, militarily bend Russia to our will.

“Toward a Europe Whole and Free,” April 29-30, 2014. From left: Moderator David Ensor, Voice of America director; Robert Kagan, senior fellow, Brookings; Frederick Kempe, president and CEO, Atlantic Council; Alexandr Vondra, former minister of defense of the Czech Republic. (Atlantic Council, Flickr)

“It is true that acting firmly in 2008 or 2014 would have meant risking conflict,” Robert Kagan wrote in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, lamenting our refusal to militarily confront Russia earlier. He wrote:

“But Washington is risking conflict now; Russia’s ambitions have created an inherently dangerous situation. It is better for the United States to risk confrontation with belligerent powers when they are in the early stages of ambition and expansion, not after they have already consolidated substantial gains. Russia may possess a fearful nuclear arsenal, but the risk of Moscow using it is not higher now than it would have been in 2008 or 2014, if the West had intervened then. And it has always been extraordinarily small: Putin was never going to obtain his objectives by destroying himself and his country, along with much of the rest of the world.”

In short, don’t worry about going to war with Russia, Putin won’t use the bomb.

I do not know if these people are stupid or cynical or both. They are lavishly funded by the war industry. They are never dropped from the networks for their repeated idiocy. They rotate in and out of power, parked in places like The Council on Foreign Relations or The Brookings Institute, before being called back into government. They are as welcome in the Obama or Biden White House as the Bush White House.

The Cold War, for them, never ended. The world remains binary, us and them, good and evil. They are never held accountable. When one military intervention goes up in flames, they are ready to promote the next. These Dr. Strangeloves, if we don’t stop them, will terminate life as we know it on the planet.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor and NPR.  He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

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61 comments for “Chris Hedges: The Pimps of War

  1. Leethal
    April 13, 2022 at 02:40

    We outnumber them…. if we had the 2nd Amendment Militia which they wisely do not bother to create or even mention. Neither does the NRA (Nobody Reads Amendments).

    We have our own lazy fault to blame and dare say bloodlust.

    • Bob Dobbs
      April 13, 2022 at 10:45

      People who use violence to take power will use it to keep power so that approach only gains you new violent leaders.

      The correct approach is how Czecvhoslavakia and others beat the USSR. By disengaging. Building separate parallel institutions and starving out the state institutions. When the state system collapses as the USSR did, the parallel system is what remains.

  2. J Anthony
    April 12, 2022 at 21:16

    How are these scum to be stopped?

    • Tobysgirl
      April 14, 2022 at 14:51

      The greatest question of all time. We’re dealing with something way beyond human scale, and I doubt it can be stopped. The fall of the empire will not be pretty, but it’s coming and what concerns me about these sociopaths is that they will want to take the whole world with us.

  3. lester
    April 12, 2022 at 19:05

    Mary, nearly all Americans are still affected by our Cold War political education. Our cowboys and indians, American Exceptionalism, mythology has much to do with it too.

  4. Will
    April 12, 2022 at 18:29

    Victoria’s Secret (Nuland)
    The MSM gets its war analysis from the sister in law of the woman who made the war inevitable.

  5. lester
    April 12, 2022 at 18:12

    I’ve never understood why the neocons get the attention and the jobs they do. Ignorant obnoxious blowhards are so common,why should these guys get keep screwing things up?

    • Tobysgirl
      April 14, 2022 at 14:54

      Well, I’ve been reading about Tony Fauci’s screw-ups. Why in god’s name is he still in power? The deaths he caused among people with AIDS alone qualifies him as a mass murderer. But he censors and cancels anyone who dares to question him and his big pharma masters, and this is what Hedges notes regarding a free press at the bottom of the article. Anyone who disagrees with the narrative is putting themselves at risk.

  6. Richard Graham
    April 12, 2022 at 18:11

    Leonard Cohen – The Future (Live in London)

    John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873): “I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally conservative.”

    H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956): “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents… the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” = Reagan = Trump

    Stupidly following US leadership has always led to disaster and dictatorship. Please read Andrew Bacevich, who provides an impressive list of political ills in the US:


    After decades and centuries of self-serving lies I am breathless with contemptuous laughter. The world can no longer pretend the US knows anything about the world, their own best interests, or the best interests of their longest allies and best friends. US oligarchs put the world through four great recessions since 2000, destroying decades of lower and middle class wealth. US oligarchs can’t be expected to defend democracy, expand human rights, or manage the second or third most important part of world’s economy.

    Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

    Western lies and atrocities are endless and stretch back to slavery, Colonialism, and First Nations genocides. It is easily traced through every Presidency and Western country. The US began with Washington, who would rather sell his slaves to support his army than free them so they could fight in his ranks. Here in Canada, RCMP trained cowards routinely set lethal sniper over watch on First Nations protests. Meanwhile hundreds of First Nations children are found anonymously buried in residential school graves. The UK made noble fortunes from piracy and slavery. Prince Charles lied to Princess Diana so the royals could have a beautiful, compassionate woman reinvigorate their ugly stupid lineage.

    H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956): “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” = Obama = Biden

    The US now, and always, makes allies of the most corrupt, violent collaborators. Recently, US trained military yahoos have committed 8 coups in West Africa. ‘Los Zetas’, Mexico’s worst narco gang were trained and armed by US ‘special forces’. Honduras, where democracy was recently restored after a US-OAS coup installed a president and family now facing decades in US prisons for drug trafficking. El Salvador, where ex-President Cristiani is facing murder charges for the executions of 6 Catholic priests, housekeeper, and her young daughter that advocated for negotiations and peace. NAYOYO welcomes military coups and death squads everywhere so long as it favours corporate greed and terrifies people with human rights violations. Only the most savage, racist, drug-dealing monsters are embraced as worthy NAYOYO allies.

    Homer: “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.”

    Ukraine has publicly stated Russian prisoners are to be tortured and murdered. Women and children, especially Roma, are routinely beaten, abused, and then taped to lamp posts by Ukrainian bigots. Russia has shown mercy, and provided food, water, and medical care to Ukrainian prisoners. And yet, every western ‘media’ cloaca drips adulation for Zelenskiy and his murdering, subhuman army.

    Robert Mitchum was making a movie in Trinidad with John Huston. Mitchum walked around a lobby corner and found Huston masturbating the hotel’s pet monkey. Mitchum asked, ‘Why? Why do you do this, John?’ ‘The monkey likes it’, said Huston, ‘He really likes it!’

    Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1933: “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

    Saladin: “I warn you against shedding blood, indulging in it and making a habit of it, for blood never sleeps.”

    Bruce Cockburn – Call it Democracy

  7. Crazy Talk
    April 12, 2022 at 17:28

    One wonders where are the graduates of the Military Academies who swore to protect the C0nstitution from enemies without and within.

  8. vinnieoh
    April 12, 2022 at 16:45

    Hedges mentions PNAC (Project for a New American Century) and most of the “luminaries” mentioned above had/have an association with this vile project. Soon after I became aware of the circa 2000 document PNAC produced – “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” – I found it and downloaded it and have read it several times. Here is what it is, and what it means:

    The US DoD had, as a matter of course, prepared a “Quadrennial Defense Review and Assessment” and this document by the PNAC was prepared to appear to be that report. Except that it was not prepared by the DoD, but by many of the neocons mentioned above.

    What it means: with the collapse of the Soviet Union and an apparent end of the Cold War there was talk of a “peace dividend” and necessary obvious questions as to the continued need to dedicate so much of the US national treasure to the military. These neocons considered WJ Clinton weak, and the mood of cautious optimism for a more peaceful world as dangerous to their vested interests in the permanent war economy, and their continued pride of place at the head of the gravy train of US taxpayer largesse.

    I do not know if it was first articulated in this pseudo-document, but it is where I first encountered the mantra of “promoting US interests, ideals, and way of life.” It was repeated several times there as preface to the need to re-secure the flow of funding to the war industry/war economy. Everything that Hedges mentioned above was articulated in this document, and much more. The “need” to be able to fight and win multiple major theater wars simultaneously, the militarization of space and cyber-space, chemical enhancement of soldiers, rapid development and deployment of drones – all of it. It read like a playbook of what has transpired since the electoral putsch of 2000, and as I understand it was part and parcel of the Cheney package of self-selected VP.

    It spoke of a “window of opportunity” in a unipolar world with a defeated USSR, floundering (at that time yet) China, and a militarily and financially dominant US to consolidate and strengthen further the dominant role they envisioned for the US. Some no doubt have heard of the reference within this document to the need for a galvanizing event such as Pearl Harbor to secure the continued – no, actually, the increased funding – of the US military machine. We experienced such an event (9/11) and the fulfillment of their desires. Funding of the war machine has increased dramatically above even Cold War levels. A political atmosphere that is so polarized it can’t even make the necessary bureaucracy of government work properly obediently falls in line to throw more and more money at the permanent US war economy.

    If CN doesn’t have this document in their possession I can supply it. There is another associated document. Associated in the sense that many of the “brains” cited above had a hand in preparing it, and that document is “Securing the Realm,” a blueprint for Israeli aggression against its neighbors to extend and expand its influence/control of that region. It was prepared for use by Benjamin Netanyahu (for his very first presidential run) but apparently it was so nakedly transparent that even he would not officially adopt/endorse it. This second document is pertinent since much of what it desired has also come to pass – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon.

    In short none of what has happened since 9/11 was of necessity, faulty intelligence, or “understandable but misplaced” ideological exuberance. It has all been planned – maybe not in fine intricate detail, but in strokes not so broad as to not be able to see it and comprehend it. This is why I have repeatedly referred to what the US has done in the ME since 9/11 as “The consolidation to the victor the spoils of the Cold War.” But the window of opportunity closed before all the spoils were claimed, as Russia, off of its knees and back on its feet, interceded in Syria. And this, as many have suggested, was the go-ahead for the 2014 coup in Ukraine.

    That event was planned as a lose-lose for Russia, as surely the US brain trust must have realized the Russians would not surrender their base at Sevastopol. When the RF sponsored the referendum and re-claimed Crimea it was a simple and “obvious” response to portray this as “Russian aggression,” and the stoking of anti-Russian propaganda to the fever pitch of today. I often wonder if the indigenous population of Okinawa are jealous of the inhabitants of Crimea. Of course Japanese/Russian and Japanese/Chinese territorial disputes go way back, so there will be no initiative from the Japanese government to support the long-desired wish of Okinawans to see the departure of the US military.

    My apologies for the lengthy post.

    • Bob Dobbs
      April 13, 2022 at 10:48

      It stems from the Wolfowitz Doctrine which indicates the US must prevent any another superpowers from ascending.

  9. David Otness
    April 12, 2022 at 15:58

    God’s little trick played on us all?
    Allowing the minuscule minority of psychopaths and their sociopathic minions to hold such sway over the multiple billions who want nothing to do with their perverted aspirations and dreams. I fear nuclear weapons have led humanity to its last fork in the evolutionary branch. Nothing but blighted buds and dead wood ahead as we gaze upon and approach the vanishing point.

    Ten thousand or so years of civilisational history; now what was that all about…?

  10. shock
    April 12, 2022 at 14:38

    sorry, Chris, you weaken your article and strenghten the Usnazis with “Putin only understands force.”

    8 years of civil war and a patient Kremlin trying if not begging to neutralise tell a different story.

    • David Otness
      April 13, 2022 at 16:48

      Totally agree. Too many highly esteemed journos cast away their credibility using such hackneyed phrasing. Mr Putin deserves better; anyone who has actually read into and up on the man knows better. That statement was not only a cheap shot, it was lazy and lacking dignity.

    • Tobysgirl
      April 14, 2022 at 14:56

      Thank you, shock. As long as supposed leftists fall into the trap laid for them by the government and say such stupid stuff, there is no hope. The ONLY thing the U.S. understands is force because we are a BULLY and we project our own horribleness onto everyone else.

  11. April 12, 2022 at 14:00

    See also:
    „The US Power Elite: they are doing it again!“: hxxps://

  12. Jan
    April 12, 2022 at 13:57

    Thank you for this solid piece.
    One step further in this chain of thought takes us to an uncomfortable place, or at least it does for the American citizens among us. We, the little people, fund the empire and its perversity.Remember Lorna Helmsely?s famous line? “Only little people pay taxes.” The people mentioned above, or others just like them, have gamed the system. They have shifted the tax burden, but not control of how the money gets used. I think of them in particular around tax time every year as I fund their barbaric perversities.
    And one other step further in the chain of thought: chickens come home to roost. What we see them doing abroad will eventually happen inside the borders.

    • April 12, 2022 at 20:14

      If we shift to land value taxes and resource rent for public revenue it will be the BIG people who pay taxes until they shrink down to regular size!!! see

    • J Anthony
      April 12, 2022 at 21:24

      I’m aghast. The lines have been drawn. Are they not clearly our enemies? Yet we vastly outnumber them and cannot/will not coalesce into a unifying force. As far-fetched and impossible as it seems, what are the options? We can’t vote our way out of this madness, I don’t think.

  13. renate
    April 12, 2022 at 13:47

    Great article, plain English we all can understand, and CN is still able to post it. Many thanks.
    President Biden exposed the kind of man he is when he picked the people of his administration. They are evil.
    The article makes one feel free, to say openly what needs to be said.
    Many many thanks again.

  14. fuzzy
    April 12, 2022 at 13:17

    Great writing.

    My favorite is “They are immovable props, the parasitic mandarins of power that are vomited up in the dying days of any empire.”

    How does anyone not recognize such evil?

    • renate
      April 12, 2022 at 13:50

      Great, it can’t be said better.

      They will all meet with Hitler in hell too.

    • John R
      April 12, 2022 at 16:47

      How does anyone not recognize such evil ?
      Lots of flag waving Kool-aid drinkers, a lifetime of repetition and group-think.

  15. tis
    April 12, 2022 at 12:40

    my good friends, very good and compassionate people, educated in our public school system and universities who watch the news and read the ny times are watching the news at night and recoiling at the images of death and destruction fed constantly….

    when I started to tell them about NATO and all the evil it represents, they think I am brainwashed…… entirely wrong.

    we need nato to save us>
    I think we will be done in by our destruction of the climate we need to survive on earth….. and God will go on with the universal rules we are only now beginning to see….life on Earth will not be the same, thank God

    • renate
      April 12, 2022 at 13:58

      NATO was and still is a hoax on the people. It was never a defensive alliance, Russia was not a threat then and is not now.
      Nato is meant to protect the USA’s Supremacy, nothing else ever.

    • kirinia
      April 14, 2022 at 23:13

      I understand you, friend. The critters, except humans, would like to live in a world where there are no wars and Amazon is just a rainforest. Life is short, friend. Do not forget to stop and smell the flowers. :)

  16. Brent
    April 12, 2022 at 12:03

    Two ways to slow the ever war proponents:

    The Iraq War has come to be commonly viewed as negligent. Which justifies a campaign for reparations to Iraq. Oppose on what grounds? Paying for mistakes will deter.

    Our 4th estate has been captured. Public broadcasters, NPR and PBS, come to the public twice a year bragging about how informative they are, and how deserving of dollars. This makes them sensitive to being called out. Agitating for PB to strive for understanding and knowledge, to prepare the public to be engaged in policymaking, would influence the gatekeepers of MSM. (NPR’s go-to has been The Atlantic Council.)

    We get what we deserve.

  17. Ned Hoke
    April 12, 2022 at 12:02

    The ambrosia of these relentless sicknesses I suppose is kindred to the base forms in alcoholism. The cultural saturations and endless pathologies could be addressed more effectively by a committed and awakened citizenry as I believe Chris drives us toward. Let’s be that citizenry

  18. April 12, 2022 at 11:54

    And the controlling media and decision makers that are silent on the damning indictment above by Mr. Hedges become incensed about Putin’s war crimes and Zelensky has the gall to claim Russian atrocities are the worst since 1945. The sad thing of the millions that have died since 1945, many can be traced to American actions that fit the definition. Yes, the case can be made for Putin war crimes but what is clear that war crimes are only for losers in the world we live in.

  19. April 12, 2022 at 11:19

    Echoes of Cassandra! Obvious truths we the People consistently ignore, to our peril. It amazes me that people who realized that the corporate media and Deep State were power mad deceivers when they attacked Donald Trump now believe the same blowhards; and it amazed me just as much that purported left wing, liberal progressives who abhor war also buy into the fake narrative regurgitated by those funded by the military industrial Deep State against which Ike warned. The article is very worth the read.

  20. jef
    April 12, 2022 at 11:03

    The rate of growth and development of those destroyed countries, largely due to cheap almost free oil, gas, and energy, all of them would no longer be exporting oil as they would be focusing on domestic use just as Mexico has announced it is doing next year. As these countries grow so does their overall economies and their consumption, the global demand for all goods and resources increase putting pressure on the price of everything.

    This is why US foreign policy is what it is. It is all about the finite resources of the world, securing unfettered access and destroying demand.

  21. April 12, 2022 at 10:41

    We have been trying regime change in Washington for years now. Impossible. We need radical decentralism. We need to disentangle and disengage from the criminals running the federal government who only appear to lean on the right foot or the left but are in reality the puppets of the .01 percent. A radical middle decentralism would have principles and policies of land, banking and taxation based on the ancient perennial wisdom teachings of Jubilee Justice as found in Leviticus and even further back in Vedic economics.

  22. Andy
    April 12, 2022 at 10:23

    One of the best essays I’ve read on the duplicitous, hypocritical USA and her vassal states.
    I will forward to a few in the hope that their eyes & minds will be opened

  23. WilliamtheResolute
    April 12, 2022 at 10:00

    Contemporary world affairs explained succinctly…now we know who is really running the U.S. government. Brandon is a place holder…a paperweight if you will.

  24. Airlane1979
    April 12, 2022 at 09:18

    “Russia may possess a fearful nuclear arsenal” – Kagan was wiser than he knew. The USSR was playing catch-up throughout the Cold War its nuclear arsenal, constantly responding in fear of the USA’s insistence on possessing the greatest killing power of these FEARSOME weapons. Of course the US intelligence agencies and the corporate media, as is widely known now, lied to the world, claiming a missile gap which, in reality, was far in the USA’s favour.

    • Mike
      April 12, 2022 at 12:38

      So Kagan was certainly not “wiser than he knew.”

  25. Tony
    April 12, 2022 at 09:14

    In the UK, the Observer newspaper was a cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq.

    Today, it wants to escalate the war in the Ukraine.

    In its most recent editorial, it states:
    “He (Putin) does not want a fight with the west, let alone a third world war–Nato’s excuse for refusing to confront him. He knows he’d lose. It scares him.”

    It is good to know that it scares somebody.

    The newspaper was (and still is) virulently anti-Corbyn and repeatedly claimed, despite evidence to the contrary, that Sirhan Sirhan is the assassin of Robert Kennedy.

  26. Joe B
    April 12, 2022 at 08:32

    The warmongers have zero morality, they are primitive tribalist tyrants soliciting bribes to political parties and mass media from military industry, zi****ts, and rich socialism-haters. They are lifelong liars, like the politicians, executive agencies, judges, and mass media who serve the same bribe sources. The MIC wants an easy war anywhere; the rich want to overthrow democracies and socialism; and the zi****ts want wars in the Mideast and Ukraine (to weaken Russia in Syria), and at least half of these scammers are zi****ts (Abrams, R. Kagan, Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, K. Kagan, Nuland). Wave the flag, praise the lord, invent enemies, accuse opponents of disloyalty, and steal some more.

  27. Aaron
    April 12, 2022 at 06:36

    Superb article! The power of the Zionist media/banking/policy makers matrix is just controlling everything that happens and operate often just behind the scenes and in the shadows it seems. Nuland and her ilk are wreaking havoc and bringing the world to nuclear cataclysm and indeed mutate and spread like a virulent MRSA pathogen. It’s bleak and it just feels like one way or another, whether it’s thermonuclear war or the continued decimation of the entire web of life through industrial contamination and climate collapse, they are going to end life on earth. It’s so dispiriting to see our spineless leaders afraid to stand up to those freaks.

  28. mgr
    April 12, 2022 at 05:15

    Excellent. Their psychopathy is that they are narcissists and sociopaths and they are unable to stop. Even if they wanted to, they are incapable of controlling themselves or even pretending to be human. Using the broad term of neocons, these are the lunatics that have escaped the asylum. They cannot stop themselves. They have to be stopped. Any society that tolerates them, even worse rewards them, is doomed. They are like a cancer that has metastasized in the body of humanity and they have found a warm and nurturing environment in American culture.

    • Charles Carroll
      April 12, 2022 at 10:43


    • J Anthony
      April 12, 2022 at 21:43

      My sentiments exactly! I pontificate day and night over this, watching my fellow citizens, the many and the diverse, react or not react, as symptoms of the dark cloud hanging over all of us manifests in various ways. Mostly we don’t know etc to do, but we want to do something. We vastly outnumber these criminal deviants and cold hearted bastards, yet can’t or won’t all get on the same side in what is very obviously a common interest. I realize of course most of us are consumed by work, more work, relationships, family, and taking care. Our enemies here have lives that afford them all the time in the world to play their global power games. They went rogue a long time ago, and they don’t even hide their s*** anymore, probably figuring, “what are those sheep gonna do? Baaaaaahh!” One can imagine worse. But really, what is to be done?

  29. Georges Olivier Daudelin
    April 12, 2022 at 03:13


    C’est la Chine qui est le fleuron de l’HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS.
    Pas que la Chine soit la perfection absolue, ça n’existe pas; mais la Chine est la grande référence de notre temps, elle ouvre sur une nouvelle ère: LE GRAND RENOUVEAU DE LA NATION, ce n’est pas seulement la Chine, c’est tout État-Nation qui se préoccupe du développement réel de notre HUMANITÉ.

    Le fascisme militariste du monde occidental est incrit dans la génétique de cette organisation meurtrière et barbare qu’est l’OTAN.




  30. Vesa Sainio
    April 12, 2022 at 02:20

    But how do we stop them? I dream about millions of people taking streets and surrounding them. Then the dream transforms to a nightmare when they freeze our bank accoubts and smears us getting us to fight against each other. I wake up with a cokd sweat and the nightmare continues.. Finland my beloved country that in the past planned to become to superpower of peace, is joining the international criminal organization NATO.

    • J Anthony
      April 12, 2022 at 21:50

      I am with you, people want to DO something, but fear still keeps us in our place, I think. The state mechanisms for immediate punitive measures have gotten more severe, and easier for them to do thanks to the “Internet way of things.” Something has got to give. I don’t know how or what, but the boiling-over point seems to be getting closer. I want that to be just my own fear talking, as it is a thing we need to overcome if we’re going to through the rest of this decade.

  31. lester
    April 12, 2022 at 00:52

    Excellent characterization, Mr. Hedges! Sometime, please do a similar characterization of Christian Zionists and Dispensationalists!

    • Sam F
      April 12, 2022 at 12:35

      I recall Chris Hedges characterizing Christian Zionists and Dispensationalists in passing, in their declared beliefs.
      Others have described them as seeking WWIII as a second coming, potentially involving even the annihilation of Jews.
      My observations are that their leaders are typical tyrants of their tribe, creating enemies to pose as defenders, accuse their opponents of disloyalty, demand power over their own tribe, and steal from fake enemies to reward supporters.
      They are social manipulators and tyrants from childhood, practiced all their lives, and consider that professionalism.
      Such tyranny always leads to aggression: that of the zionists is identical in operation to that of the Nazis.

      • lester
        April 12, 2022 at 18:57

        In other words, Sam F., they are just like the rest of humanity, but get less attention from mainstream and alternative media. I personally am convinced that Bush the Younger wash a Dispensationalist adn invadeded to fulfill prophecy and make Jesus come back. Jesus hasn’t cooperated yet.

    • Maricata
      April 12, 2022 at 13:27

      He did. He wrote a whole book on them and fascism.

  32. Mary Caldwell
    April 12, 2022 at 00:48

    Is it possible that many of the people named above have been. brought up with a generational hatred of Russia….going back for years and years ?

    The hatred displayed is so abnormal imo that the only answer must be a familial dysfunctional hatred of the other, in this case Russia.

    It comes across as too personal, vengeful, nothing more than the violence of retribution.

    • Maricata
      April 12, 2022 at 13:31

      I would venture to say yes. but it is more. they are well paid for their acts of betrayal and belong to one big club. Their job is to peddle war or profit.

      They are all followers of Leo Strauss and thus consider themselves “philosopher kings”.

      They are personally demented, far removed from the public and useful idiots for the less than one tenth of one percent, the synarchy that controls the means and relations of production.

  33. Realist
    April 12, 2022 at 00:27

    It just boggles the mind to reflect back upon when Dubya was the president and all manner of lies were confabulated to start wars with Afghanistan and Iraq, with widely ballyhooed plans to attack several other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, which eventually came to pass during the Obama administrations. Oh, how the Democrats ranted and screamed (rightfully so) about Dubya, Cheney and this entire line-up of uber Neocons who now work for them!!!

    If you could believe anything the Dems said back then (and we all believed them because the killing and the carnage was so dire), this must not be the same universe I find myself now inhabiting. I must have experienced a genuine Mandela Effect for sure. All the Democratic/Liberal talking heads on Air America and other venues were mounting a full court press to demonize (again rightfully so) the likes of Richard Pearl, Charles Krauthammer and Paul Wolfowitz who could not think of a war that should not be fought. Dubya was being constantly psychoanalyzed for whatever sociopathy made him embrace the killing and the authoritarianism, and now these same Democrats are all following the same script he used back then. They have been ever since Obomber turned to the dark side and rekindled the Cold (now quite Hot) War with Russia or its proxies. That must have been when I jumped universes, when Obomber fomented the coup d’etat in Ukraine and started going entirely medieval against Russia, bombing here, sanctioning there, telling new lies, conducting false flags every day to keep the feeble-minded amongst us fooled.

    And here we are with the “liberal Democrats” far surpassing Trump and the normally bellicose GOP in warmongering. The Dems have even taken up the banner against “communists” in Latin America (Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil etc) that was Saint Ronnie’s hallmark when he searched for “freedom fighters” and “founding fathers” anywhere he could find them south of the border. The craven Dems should also have to live with the ignominy of reversing Ronnie’s ending the Cold War with the Russians, something most people never thought they’d live to see in their lifetime.

    Now, the really unthinkable by our madcap Democrats: needlessly starting that perilous conflict up all over again with all the attendant dangers of a mutual nuclear annihilation event. And the purpose was…what? Simply to out-Republican the Republicans and their trademark belligerence? Maybe to repay your patrons in the MIC for all the campaign lucre they keep directing to both our great warmongering political parties? What a way to run a country…and to destroy the whole world in the process. Great going, Dems. You damned fools should have stood pat when you condemned these vicious neocon nihilists twenty years ago. Instead, you joined them in systematically looting the treasury and keeping the population of the Middle East culled and on the run.

    Right now, the world can only look to sanity from Russia and China, and only stone cold perdition from the USA. How many more embarrassing gaffs from Dementia Joe until you cull that fool from your ranks to save seats in Congress? Then, how long does Cackling Kamala get to royally embarrass herself before you start looking outside the constitution for a fix? You name Hilary to the job and either half the country is going to join the Russian army or there will never be an election for that office again.

    • J Anthony
      April 12, 2022 at 21:56

      Yes the moral hypocrisy has reached new levels of degeneracy. And people still deny the government and large swaths of the public sphere have been dragged far to the right, slowly but surely, since Reagan. Now the Republicans are openly embracing fascism, and the (D) party, with the exception of a handful of decent reps who are ignored, is complacent in the face of it.

  34. BrownieBo
    April 11, 2022 at 23:12

    Wow.. congratulations for beautifully articulating so many IMPORTANT points in one article. The South American history of Kagan reminded me of stories/articles that I’ve previously read about Bill DeBlasio having some sort of history with Nicaragua… I’m gonna have to revisit that after reading this…. This feels akin to being a “cheated upon partner/spouse” and ALL the stories keep coming from everywhere once everyone realizes that YOU have FINALLY removed your blinders… The TRUTH shall set us ALL free… ???????

  35. Joe B
    April 11, 2022 at 20:52

    The warmongers have zero morality, they are primitive tribalist tyrants soliciting bribes to political parties and mass media from military industry, zionists, and rich socialism-haters. They are lifelong liars, like the politicians, executive agencies, judges, and mass media who serve the same bribe sources. The MIC wants an easy war anywhere; the rich want to overthrow democracies and socialism; and the zionists want wars in the Mideast and Ukraine (to weaken Russia in Syria), and at least half of these scammers are zionists (Abrams, R. Kagan, Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, K. Kagan, Nuland). Wave the flag, praise the lord, invent enemies, accuse opponents of disloyalty, and steal some more.

    • John Zeigler
      April 12, 2022 at 12:39

      Very true. Eisenhower’s first draft of the Jan. 1961 speech called it the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, but it seems to grow more and more tentacles as the years pass.

  36. Topor
    April 11, 2022 at 20:34

    “I do not know if these people are stupid or cynical or both”…..Wrong paradigm Mr. Hedges! These beasts looking Oh so respectable in their “suits” are smart, perfidious Psychopaths! You mention the gruesome, bloody horror of Nicaragua,El Salvador, etc. and now Ukraine. All these scenes we attribute to Nazi/Fascist brainwashed simpletons. Who brainwashed them? The respectable, educated, influencers in SUITS ,the real nazis/fascists. They get rich while brother fights brother for bankers, politicians, military contractors etc. The names you listed are repeat offenders ,if they where black they would be in prison on 3 Strikes You’re Out! This won’t happen because they are a tribe/clan/gang/club/religion…….take your pick.

  37. Lois Gagnon
    April 11, 2022 at 17:38

    The only regime change we need is in Washington. The sooner the better.

    • Fernando Oliveira
      April 12, 2022 at 08:54

      Tal e qual !

    • doris
      April 12, 2022 at 15:35

      True that! Regime change begins at home! Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

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