The Insanity That Grips Washington

You know you’re living in a profoundly sick society when the world’s most influential newspaper runs propaganda for World War III while voices pushing for truth, transparency and peace are marginalized, silenced, shunned, and imprisoned, writes Caitlin Johnston.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

The New York Times, which consistently supports every American war, has published an op-ed by a neoconservative think tanker titled “Biden’s Cautious Foreign Policy Imperils Us“.

This would be Joseph Biden, the president of the United States who has been consistently vowing to go to war with the People’s Republic of China if it attacks Taiwan, and whose administration has been pouring billions of dollars into a world-threatening proxy war in Ukraine which it knowingly provoked and from which it has no exit strategy.

With this administration’s acceleration toward global conflict on two different fronts, one could easily argue that Biden actually has the least cautious foreign policy of any president in history.

“In the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s recent nuclear threat and call-up of reservists, it was reassuring for the leader of the free world to be unflinching,” writes the article’s author Kori Schake, who then adds, “Rhetoric aside, the administration has signaled in numerous other ways that Putin’s threats have constrained support for Ukraine.”

As though the possibility of nuclear war should not constrain U.S. proxy warfare in that country. As though the crazy thing is not the U.S. government’s insane nuclear brinkmanship with Russia, but its reluctance to go further.

More Money for War

Schake criticizes the fact that while Biden has been saying a PRC attack on Taiwan would mean a direct U.S. hot war with China, the U.S. military would need far more funding and far greater expansion to be able to win such a war, so it should definitely do those things instead of simply not rushing into World War Three.

“But worse are the real gaps in capability that call into question whether the United States could indeed defend Taiwan,” Schake writes, adding:

“The ships, troop numbers, planes and missile defenses in the Pacific are a poor match for China’s capability. The director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, has assessed that the threat to Taiwan between now and 2030 is ‘acute,’ yet the defense budget is not geared to providing improved capabilities until the mid-2030s. More broadly, the Biden administration isn’t funding an American military that can adequately carry out our defense commitments, a dangerous posture for a great power. The Democratic-led Congress added $29 billion last year and $45 billion this year to the Department of Defense budget request, a measure of just how inadequate the Biden budget is.”

The Pentagon. (Joe Lauria)

As Shchake discusses the urgent need to explode the U.S. military budget [already at $777.7 billion] in order to defend Taiwan, The New York Times neglects to inform us that Schake’s employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has been caught accepting a small fortune from Taiwan’s de facto embassy while churning out materials urging the U.S. government to go to greater lengths to arm Taiwan.

In a 2013 article titled “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” The Nation’s Eli Clifton reports that, thanks to a filing error by AEI, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office was found to have been one of the think tank’s top donors in 2009. Had that filing error not been made, we never would have learned this important information about AEI’s glaring conflict of interest in its Taiwan commentary.

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AEI is one of the most prominent neoconservative think tanks in the United States, with extensive ties to Bush-era neocons like John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, and the Kristol and Kagan families, and has played a very active role in pushing for more war and militarism in U.S. foreign policy. Dick Cheney sits on its board of trustees, and Mike Pompeo celebrated his one year anniversary as C.I.A. director there.

Epitome of the Revolving Door

Kori Schake.
(Center for Strategic and International Studies/Flickr)

Schake herself is as intimately interwoven with the military-industrial complex as anyone can possibly be without actually being a literal Raytheon munition. 

Her resume is a perfect illustration of the life of a revolving door swamp monster, from a stint at the Pentagon, to the university circuit, to the National Security Council, to the U.S. Military Academy, to the State Department, to the McCain-Palin presidential campaign, to the Hoover Institution, to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, to her current gig as director of foreign and defense policy studies at AEI.

Her entire career is the story of a woman doing everything she can to promote war while being rewarded with wealth and prestige for doing so.

And now here she is being granted space in The New York Times, a news media outlet of unrivaled influence where enemies of U.S. militarism and imperialism are consistently denied a platform, to tell us all that the Biden administration is endangering us not with its insanely reckless hawkishness, but by being too “cautious”.

One of the craziest things happening in the world today is the way westerners are being trained to freak out all the time about Russian propaganda, which barely exists in the west, even as we are hammered every day with extreme aggression by the immensely influential propaganda of the U.S.-centralized empire.

You know you are living in a profoundly sick society when the world’s most influential newspaper runs propaganda for World War Three while voices pushing for truth, transparency and peace are marginalized, silenced, shunned, and imprisoned.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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25 comments for “The Insanity That Grips Washington

  1. don engelbach
    September 30, 2022 at 16:37

    As they told us over the past few years, all we need is more women in politics (HRC, Pelosi, Liz Truss) and we will all have a kinder, gentler world. A very subtle piece of propaganda. A lot of US population drank that kool aid whole and you can see what it has given us.

  2. Douglas Dunlop Baker
    September 30, 2022 at 14:54

    With Chief Wehrmacht Foreign Armies East Military Intelligence hat in hand, Lieutenant General Reinhard Gehlan approached Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower’s “hatchet man”, General Walter Bidell Smith, with the idea of being a rain maker for the birth of Nazism in U.S.S.R. occupied countries as Russian armed forces occupied Berlin. U.S. clandestine services folded Gehlan into their Eastern Europe resistance to Russia. General Smith went on to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. and forth Director of C.I.A. and continued his service to Eisenhower during his time as POTUS. Gehlen’s organization was folded into West Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service with Gehlan as first director. The destruction of Russia for Russians has been a long time goal of imperial powers since Peter the Great’s time t now. Sad current POTUS Biden would want to wage two front nuclear war against both the Russia Federation and the Peoples Republic of China.

  3. robert e williamson jr
    September 29, 2022 at 21:41

    A serious message to the POTUS. Ever here of the saying ” when you have dug a hole for yourself ( and the country you run) that is over your head some sound advice is to stop digging.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    September 29, 2022 at 10:14

    America needs to be taught a lesson it won’t forget so soon. A war on it’s own territory to feel, see, hurt as much as other nations have suffered under the Yanx. The never ending bellicosity is incredible.

  5. rgl
    September 28, 2022 at 21:11

    This insanity does not infect D.C. only. Across america, when a concert gets cancelled, for whatever reason, you’ve got rioting in the streets. NATO, which the US leads, is training nazis in the Ukraine. We’re training the same evil people our forebears fought.

    And not a peep is heard from the peeps – who I should add are losing billions to train these nazis – about this. Our priorities are inverted to the degree that we can indeed be considered insane.

    Kosovo. Syria. Iraq. Afghanistan. And now the Ukraine. The US/NATO keep doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result. And we cheer them on. Now, that’s insanity.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      September 29, 2022 at 10:15

      Hopefully, the wheels of justice are turning…slowly but turning.

  6. Anon
    September 28, 2022 at 18:02

    I wonder if the purpose of the piece isn’t more sophisticated: to psychologically shape the NYT readership’s opinions? Anyone with any common sense can see how RECKLESS the foreign policy of the United States is; however, when the NYT calls it “restrained”, it places it in the “spectrum of acceptability of governmental policies” (ie Overton Window). One could imagine the German press doing the same thing in June 1940, praising Hitler’s “restrained” foreign policy by allowing the British to escape at Dunkirk. Thus, the German blitzkrieg of France gets reframed as a “restrained” military action, allowing the average German to feel good about how virtuous they (and their government) are.

    Thus the NYT might not be advocating for a more muscular foreign policy, but instead they maybe trying to subtly gaslight their own readership? If so, it is a very clever application of psychology, NLP, nudge theory, etc. IMHO

  7. September 28, 2022 at 17:28

    Why not encourage people to call the Washington Post’s Foreign Desk? You guys act like you’d have sent Toto to the dog pound, for pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz.

  8. Realist
    September 28, 2022 at 17:04

    The US, the UK, the Five Eyes, the EU, all of Nato and the UN Security Council (sans China) need to get a grip on reality, try returning to civilisation, display some moral and ethical behavior and desist from the disgusting, demented and thoroughly vile gang rape of Russia that they are all trying to perpetrate. The absolute plethora of lies and criminal actions rolled out by the minute are truly astounding. I’m sure they discovered that it’s easy to become evil savages when “everybody’s doing it,” they become lost in anonymity and the blame and responsibility seem to become so diluted that getting away with it all is a piece of cake, a breeze to put over on themselves and the entire populations that they control and thereby lead astray. None of these gangsters are fooling anyone when they feign ignorance about Washington’s culpability in the thorough and terminal destruction of the only gas pipelines that could possibly prevent a catastrophic winter for most of Europe, most notably Germany.

    American dictator Joe Biden promised to do exactly what happened on Monday. He’s quoted on videotape. American war ships were observed in the vicinity of the crime at the very time it was being perpetrated, the explosions heard and the seismic shocks recorded from the Baltic deep. Washington is the only entity with both the ability and motivation to have carried out the crime. Poland already “thanked” Washington for committing this heinous act. When American assets engage in the destruction of an estimated 20 billion dollars worth of both Nordstream pipelines owned jointly by Russia and other sovereign European states, there is no denying the fact that America has directly committed acts of war against Russia in its conflict with Ukraine, nefariously provoked to start with by the United States, beginning with the overthrow of that country’s legitimately-elected president (Yanukovych) and unilateral replacement of him with their own series of puppets (Poroschenko, then Zelensky).

    This is no longer simply a matter of offering “aid” upon request to the Ukrainian puppet government as it carried out extensive genocide against ethnic Russians for eight continuous years, killing thousands in spite of signed and sworn agreements (Minsk2) to establish a peace between the factions. We’ve all known for certain that Washington instigated this entire conflict, now we know conclusively that they have directly participated in the military hostilities and are therefore culpable for the fascistic Ukrainian government’s many war crimes. Russia would have been totally justified to sink the three American warships in the immediate vicinity of this crime against, not just Russian property, but European humanity that will suffer greatly in consequence of it. It could hunt down the vessels now to arrest and prosecute the crews, which is probably the kind of confrontation that Washington desires in order to escalate this conflict further. May President Putin, who has shown the patience of Job, choose his response against the war-seeking Evil Empire wisely. This could well be the very last (real or apparent) free choice before a preprogramed chain of events kicks in to culminate in a nuclear exchange, which, frankly speaking, Washington seems eager for even as it struggles to place the blame on Putin.

  9. Mireya
    September 28, 2022 at 16:12

    I have been wondering all along about the popularity or lack thereof of Joe Biden. Is he invested in these wars (Ukraine-Taiwan) in order to become popular?

  10. September 28, 2022 at 15:47

    To leave comments at the Washington Post’s Foreign Desk, call (202) 334.7400. I have left numerous voicemail messages today, detailing their lopsided and biased coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

    My primary theme: Did Russia violate international law, assuming that people of the Donbass and Crimea did not wish to join the unelected and unconstitutional coup d’etat government the US installed in Kiev in
    2014 (a safe assumption, given the fact that both regions gave Yanukovych 70% of their votes in the election prior our coup d’etat)? In other words, these two regions voted overwhelmingly for the guy we overthrew.

    It’d be like confederate Jefferson Davis showing up in Washington on March 4, 1861, to be inauguated in the place of the 1860 election winner, Abraham Lincoln.

    Funny how authoritarian liberals foisted upon Ukraine a precursor to January 6. Terrible here? Yes, but fine by them when we wreak the same havoc abroad.

  11. Jeff Harrison
    September 28, 2022 at 13:03

    Trite Cliches are called that because they are repeated over and over, not because they are inaccurate. Just remember: What goes around, comes around. and Money talks and bullshit walks. Trouble is that the US doesn’t have any more of da monay any more.

  12. BB
    September 28, 2022 at 12:08

    Only the United States is responsible for fueling and escalating the conflict in Ukraine. In an effort to maintain US hegemony in the world, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem to have gone berserk, unconditionally supporting the puppet regime in Kiev. But after all, by the participation in the conflict, albeit indirect so far, the United States only immeasurably increased the risk of a nuclear catastrophe. This led to the fact that a local conflict turned into a global one, as a result of which the political atmosphere in the world became excessively tense. At the same time, only the United States could easily return the world to pre-war calm. For this, it is not too late, instead of adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, remember that in addition to military means there is also diplomacy, and sit down at the negotiating table with Russia to sign, as the wise Kissinger advises and Russia has been asking for many years, a simple document that takes into account Russia’s legitimate security interests.

  13. Alan
    September 28, 2022 at 11:22

    People of influence, like Kori Schake, who advocate for wars of aggression, should be sent to the front lines to fight in those wars. Experiencing first hand the horrors of combat would be a just fate for warmongers.

  14. rosemerry
    September 28, 2022 at 10:44

    To pretend any of this spending and behavior is for “defense” is a huge lie, as NOBODY is threatening the USA itself, only its grossly overblown opinion of itself as some sort of model for us all to emulate. Taiwan needs this ludicrous funding and arming to stay close to us and thrive???? Look at its place on the globe, its population, its main trading partner (China, also the MTP for nearly every country in the world!). The mainland has NOT been making the dangerous moves, but the USA, pretending to “protect” Taiwan while goading China to react.
    The USA is as well in a proxy war in Ukraine, which is just a pawn run by “leaders” who have used huge piles of weapons and money to put their people in needless danger. Causing thousands of deaths by refusing reasonable demands for human rights (!!!) for Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens, the “sovereign, independent, democratic nation” which is corrupt, indebted and unable to survive without NATO/USA has refused all 8 years of effort at peaceful resolution of differences with its vast powerful neighbour.
    Instead of negotiating with Russia, until the end of last year when the USA refused even to consider Russia’s demands for security, the Biden administration neocons kept goading Russia to intervene.
    “This Administration is the most dangerous for the world since WW2”, according to analyst Alexander Mercouris of the duran, an antidote to the MSM (all of them!! I live in France) Someone needs to take seriously the situation, including the latest desperate event with NS1 and NS2.

    • C.Kent
      September 28, 2022 at 13:25

      I watch Mercouris (Brit attorney disbarred for dishonesty turned smooth-voiced Youtube hoodie and mug salesman), he is interesting and has that pleasant private school accent.

      However to suggest that this admin “… is the most dangerous since WW2” is ludicrous solipsism born of over amplifying the times you live in over every other time.
      Every US administration of the 50s and 60s were criminally warlike, on steroids, times an order of magnitude. And the US people were that much more racist and self absorbed. The hotheaded power mad American administrations that built the US nuclear arsenal to 15K deliverable warheads instigating an arms race from which we still suffer, that designed endless iterations of bombers and missiles and had plans to use them, that overthrew dozens of regimes, were the most dangerous national governments in human history. See Kubrick’s “Dr Strangelove,” Read Kinzer’s “overthrow.”

  15. C. Kent
    September 28, 2022 at 10:31

    Stephen Kinzer wrote, “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change” in 2006. The book is not particularly well written, but it is packed full of deeply disturbing detail; the play by play of the cases of direct US overthrow of foreign governments, including the reactionary support lent to those projects by the media of the day particularly the NYT. The propaganda headlines in support of US overthrow of legal regimes in Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Chile, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq are remarkably similar to what can be found in the same rag today.

    Before the 1917 Revolution in Russia created the commie bogeyman, the cause for overthrow was generally Monroe Doctrine driven, “good order required to do good business.” Since the Soviet dissolution quieted the anti-communist excuse, we have media-driven “bad guy” creation and/or “support of democracy and human rights.”

    Throughout this history of horror there were the expected boilerplate characters, highly ideological US politicians like Henry Cabot Lodge, highly religiously ideological like John Foster Dulles, and endless hired mafioso and hit men to do the dirty work. It’s a litany of the Ivy Leagues consorting with the scum of the Earth. Not one of these overthrows has been atoned for though there has been an occasional feckless self interested apology from some half empty session of Congress.

    The book pictures an American public in a near schizophrenic reverie; seeing demons in the woodwork, glorying in misguided destruction of said demons, embarrassingly self congratulatory over their own lack of real knowledge of the places they knocked off the course of normal and natural self development. You can’t read the book and not be ashamed of not only this country’s power brokers and politicians, but it’s people.

  16. Robert Sinuhe
    September 28, 2022 at 10:28

    I never miss Caitlin’s articles– succinct, gloves-off reporting. I just wonder if Washington has any idea the danger it’s putting the world through.

  17. September 28, 2022 at 08:59

    German Jewish people did not believe that they would be exterminated by their own government. That is why they walked pathetically towards their deaths. This is why the west is marching towards the end of humanity.

  18. Dfnslblty
    September 28, 2022 at 08:49

    Keep writing, keep sounding the alarm against congressional, executive and military insanity in the usa.
    You are not alone in writing against corporate violence and against oligarchic stifling of dissent.

  19. Leon
    September 28, 2022 at 07:44

    Peace! Bread! Heat!

  20. mgr
    September 28, 2022 at 06:05

    “You know you are living in a profoundly sick society when the world’s most influential newspaper runs propaganda for World War Three while voices pushing for truth, transparency and peace are marginalized, silenced, shunned, and imprisoned.” The desperate frenzy of the neos seems like a “now or never” push. They are terrified that their party is coming to an end. Just looking at the photo of a manic Ms. Schake sums it up.

    And the entire US State department is operating at the same level and being driven by the same self-serving egoism. Think the nation is being led by careful, rational thinkers and planners with the best interest of the United States, let alone the world, and its people in mind? Nonsense. They left rationality behind long ago. The current neocons in the Biden admin are just like the ones of the Bush administration. Their only priority is in “being right” so they can lord it over others. Of course they are anything but, and therein lies the rub. And for this, we all have to die. The banality of evil.

  21. J Anthony
    September 28, 2022 at 06:04

    Schake and her ilk ought to be strung up by their intestines.

  22. peter mcloughlin
    September 28, 2022 at 05:52

    The closer states get to the war they are trying to avoid (because it is the one they will lose) the more convinced they become they can win it. History does not support that dangerous assertion. Everyone eventually faces that fateful conflict, because wars are about power: but power is an illusion.
    If interested in reading more search: A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  23. Andrew Nichols
    September 28, 2022 at 04:41

    What a terrifying sick deranged individual…

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