Caitlin Johnstone: Bravado on the Nuclear Brink

Sean Penn — who is now plugging his new Zelensky movie — says it’s cowardly not to risk the life of every terrestrial organism on earth to achieve U.S. military objectives.

Film director Sean Penn at the premiere of his documentary Superpower, chronicling his trips to Ukraine, at the Berlin Film Festival 2023. (Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading of this article.

During a recent appearance on Face the Nation to plug his new Zelensky movie, actor Sean Penn decried the “cowardice” of the U.S. government in its caution around provoking a nuclear exchange with its proxy warfare in Ukraine.

“It is my absolute feeling that the caution with which the United States has pledged support, which seemed, in my reading of February 2022 was a, like a lean on in the fear of nuclear conflict, something I think all of us should look very carefully at and understand that, of course, is possible,” Penn said. “And that’s to be concerning. The likelihood is extremely low. And as one of our witnesses in the film says, you know, are we going to let a gangster with nuclear weapons dictate the way we live?”

Penn emotionally lamented the fact that the Biden administration did not pour F-16 warplanes into Ukraine from the very beginning of the conflict, initially fearing the move to be too escalatory. Describing this hesitation, Penn said that “at some point, caution becomes cowardice.”

As you might expect, the interviewer refrained from challenging Penn on his claim that the likelihood of nuclear war is “extremely low” in spite of his acknowledgement that it’s a real possibility, or on his claim that resisting increasing the likelihood of nuclear war is an act of cowardice.

Sean Penn has been one of Hollywood’s most egregious empire apologists for some time now (in 2020 he told CNN that “there is no greater humanitarian force on the planet than the United States military”), but even by his standards these comments about nuclear brinkmanship are remarkably odious.

There’s this obnoxious idea that comes up in mainstream political discourse about Ukraine that an aversion to nuclear brinkmanship is somehow cowardly, and that being willing to risk the life of every terrestrial organism advancing US strategic objectives is somehow an act of courage.

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We saw this back in July from Paul Massaro, an adviser to the U.S. government’s Helsinki Commission and a minor celebrity in online Zelenskyite circles. 

During this year’s “Captive Nations Summit” with the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Massaro mocked Westerners for being “fearful” of proxy warfare in Ukraine leading to nuclear warfare.

“I think the biggest thing is fear, I think we’re fearful,” Massaro said

“It’s very funny to me, because you meet Ukrainians, not a single Ukrainian is fearful. You talk to Ukrainians it’s like ‘What if the Russians use nuclear weapons?’, they’re like ‘We’ll keep fighting, we’ll win.’ You know it’s only the westerners that are like ‘Oh my god, I’m over here in California and what if the Russians use nuclear weapons?’ You know, it’s almost pathetic.”

It’s a common theme. Any time you talk publicly about the risk of the continually escalating war in Ukraine leading to nuclear catastrophe you’ll get empire apologists calling you a coward and saying we all need to be brave and stand up to the big bully Putin. And it’s just such a disgusting perversion of what courage actually is and what it looks like.

Empire loyalists often talk about nuclear brinkmanship like it’s something courageous that they personally are doing, as though gambling every terrestrial life on strategic grand chessboard maneuverings is a brave risk that could only hurt them. If you think you are brave for risking the life of everyone on earth to advance your personal geopolitical agendas, you might be a malignant narcissist, because you think the world revolves around you, and other lives exist only as props to support your main character adventures.

Hardly any human on this planet cares who governs Crimea or the Donbass — and exactly zero of the plants and animals do — but people like Sean Penn and Paul Massaro think they have every right to not only gamble all their lives on a bid to control that outcome, but to call themselves courageous for doing so. 

Imagine being so self-absorbed you think you’re a brave hero for putting the lives of Africans, Asians, and South Americans on the betting table who’ve never even heard of Donetsk or Luhansk and don’t care who governs them, as well as every non-human life on earth.

It’s as emotionally stunted and infantile a perspective as you could possibly come up with, but these are the people whose worldview is shaping outcomes on this planet. These are the sort of people who are setting the trajectory of our species as a collective.

The mainstream Western political consensus is a sickness of the mind. Its existence should make us all want to fall to our knees and beg the forgiveness of every life on this earth that it imperils.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her onFacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, 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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83 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Bravado on the Nuclear Brink

  1. Patrick Constantine
    September 27, 2023 at 19:27

    everyone dunking on Sean Penn – and with good reason. but maybe it’s just an aging male vanity thing to wanna talk war shop and play flak jacket. Sebastian Junger’s pathetic film glorifying Libyan head chopper rebels comes to mind. And of course the classic case is Steinbeck’s pro Vietnam magazine articles in his silver years; if even the author of The Moon is Down can succumb to this, of course Sean Penn is vulnerable.

  2. LeoSun
    September 27, 2023 at 17:23

    SUPERPOWER,” a documentary by a common Democrat, Sean Penn, “the person who grows with a habit, grays with it.”

    “But I don’t believe. And I’m not consoled. I lean closer to the fire, but I’m cold. The earth was born in a storm The waters receded, the mountains were formed. The universe loves a drama, you know; and, ladies and gentlemen, this is the show:”

    — “There’s this obnoxious idea that comes up in mainstream political discourse about Ukraine that an aversion to nuclear brinkmanship is somehow cowardly, and that being willing to risk the life of every terrestrial organism advancing US strategic objectives is somehow an act of courage.” (Caitlin Johnstone)

    The refrain, “Ukraine’s the sacrificial Pawn on the Imperial Chessboard.” Russia rocks the Queen. Et tu, USG/NATO?!?

    “We” work it out in song, A Call to Arms. “Well, son, I hope you don’t grow up believing that you gotta be a puppet to be a man.”

    “Nobody’s looking to up to care about a drone. All too busy looking down at our phones. Ego’s begging for food like a dog from our feed. Refreshing obsessively til our eyes start to bleed. Serve up distractions and we eat em with fries,” i.e., Sean Penn’s “Superpower.”

    “Til the bombs fall outta our f—k’n skies.”

    —“these are the sort of people who are setting the trajectory of our species as a collective.” (Caitlin Johnstone)

    “Turn off the TV. Turn off the news. Ain’t nothing to see. They’re serving the blues…Bull$h*t on my TV. Bull$h*t on my radio. Hollywood’s telling me how to be. Bull$h*t’s GOT To GO!!!” (Sturgill Simpson, on SNL, 6 years ago, “Call To Arms,” hxxps://

    HEAR! HEAR!! — “[THE MAINSTREAM] Western political consensus is a sickness of the mind. Its existence should make us all want to fall to our knees and beg the forgiveness of every life on this earth that it imperils.” (Caitlin Johnstone)

    “If every human on the planet; and, all the buildings on it should disappear, would a zebra grazing in the African Savanna care enough to shed one zebra tear?!? Questions for the Angels.” (Paul Simon)

    Bravissimo!!! Caitlin Johnstone, Tim Foley, CN, et al. “KEEP IT LIT!”

  3. September 27, 2023 at 12:02

    You can view the trailer for Superpower on IMDB. While there, you might notice that the movie’s writer is
    Volodymyr Zelenskyy. hXXps://

    • robert e williamson jr
      September 27, 2023 at 13:36

      Paul Merrell really gets around. Got you 5 X 5 Paul.

      Mr. Penn’s father is Jewish, the son of emigrants from Merkine , Lithuania.

      I viewed the imdb site, not the trailer, slickly produced as you would expect from an actor and director from Hollywood with loads of money and an agenda.

      I’m pretty damned sure I don’t want anyone from Hollywood making foreign policy for me especially when they happen to have and agenda and a comedian writing for them. Can you say PROPAGANDA?

      You cannot make this stuff up,

      Thanks Paul and CN

  4. peter mcloughlin
    September 27, 2023 at 06:46

    “The likelihood [of nuclear war] is extremely low.”
    When powers get closer to the conflict they are trying to avoid – this case WW III – the more they convince themselves that events will go in their favor. During the Cold War nuclear exchange was prevented by nuclear deterrence doctrine, according to the proponents of that theory. But for it to work, there was always a scenario in which nukes would be used: the scenario unfolding before our very eyes.

    • robert e williamson jr
      September 27, 2023 at 13:00

      Peter you forgot luck. I will not list the episodes they do exist however. Notice we have no scenarios to prevent mistakes.

  5. lester
    September 26, 2023 at 22:47

    If Penn is such a non-coward, why not enlist in tje Uki foreign legion? Run through a minefirld, etc.?

  6. robert e williamson jr
    September 26, 2023 at 21:59

    I guess this stuff could be funny if it weren’t so damned sad.

    Sean Penn? Sean who? Listen Kiddies this ain’t Hollywood!

    Arthur Paul Massaro III: Google him, 32 years old, BA German, May 2014, Masters in public policy 2014-2015, PhD policy studies, 2020-2023, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Associate Dec 2013-April 2016, CSCE, Policy Advisor April 2016-July 2021, CSCE, Senior Policy Advisor July 2021- (present)

    wiki hXXps:// from the wiki the National Endowment. This is the a typical CIA cutout type organization. Wake the %&k up!

    Fir the sake of Dog the only thing he don’t hav going for him is he is a lawyer, . . . .yet!


    So at the ripe old age of 32 this guy is a senior advisor for OSCE the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

    Now fold his young ass into the mix that has become the war in Ukraine. He is born , 1991, about the time Bush 41 creates controversy about Russia, Ukraine and Nato and now comments on how the Ukrainians are brave.

    What could go wrong.

    If you folks that comment here aren’t doing at least some due diligence on what is presented here you are missing much of the point writers here are trying to make.

    Much continued strength for the CN crew, my check will be forth coming.

    Thanks – I think!

  7. Valerie
    September 26, 2023 at 13:34

    I must say, i haven’t laughed as long and as hard as i have reading these comments. And i only hope Mr. Penn reads them all and changes his views. Or he could make a new film with himself in the role of “major Kong – dr. Strangelove2.”

  8. Robert Carl Miller
    September 26, 2023 at 12:40

    People who wear Nazi regalia and repeat Nazi rhetoric tend to be… NAZIS.

    Sean Penn is free to join the fight. Go ahead, you effing idiot.

  9. John
    September 26, 2023 at 11:25

    At some point Sean Penn’s blow has got to wear off.

  10. David Hamilton
    September 26, 2023 at 07:16

    A friend with a long career in the film industry, described Sean Penn as “the worst alcoholic I’ve ever seen in the industry” and that involved overcoming some serious competition.

    • Valerie
      September 26, 2023 at 13:13

      He does look somewhat ravaged in that photo. And he’s only 63.

  11. Francis Lee
    September 26, 2023 at 05:02

    At the present time the tectonic plates of geopolitics are moving and undermining the social/political order. Moreover the situation is taking on global-historic characteristics. As Marx once noted: ‘What was once a solid and indestructible melts into air.’ K.Marx – Civil War in France. 1871.’ Instants of these processes are easily identified (not for the first time) as contemporary turbulences which have been particularly notable in the Northern Hemisphere. To cite two examples perhaps were the English Civil War 1642-1647 and the American Civil War 1861-1865. More to follow.

    Presently, it seems to be the character of our period that norms and truths which were once believed to be absolute, universal and eternal or were accepted with blissful unawareness of the implications, are being questioned. In the light of modern thought the investigation much of what was once taken for granted is declared to be in need of demonstration and proof. The criteria of proof themselves have become subjects of dispute. We are witnessing not only a general trust of validity of ideas but also of the motives who assert them.

    This situation is aggravated by a war of each against all in the intellectual area were personal self-aggrandizment rather than truth has come to be the coveted prize.

    ”We look in vain in the modern world for the serenity and calm that seemed to characterise the atmosphere in which some thinkers of ages past lived. The world no longer has a common faith and our professed ”community of interest” is scarcely more than a figure of speech.” (Karl Mannheim – Ideology and Utopia).

  12. Carl Zaisser
    September 26, 2023 at 03:55

    Penn seems to have done a 180 since the days he traveled to Iraq with Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin. Suspicious of US foreign policy objectives then, now he’s egging Washington on to be even more reckless in pursuit of its global hegemony project.

  13. Cesar Jeopardy
    September 26, 2023 at 02:31

    Penn is free to go to Ukraine, volunteer for the military, and fight the Russians. Chances are he’d be killed quickly. At least he wouldn’t be volunteering the rest of us to die.

  14. Eddy
    September 25, 2023 at 23:00

    Gypsy33, stop worrying. You can tell Penn himself is a coward, because if he wasn;’t he’d put his money where his mouth is, and either freely volunteer his services to the Ukraine military, show us all, the tricks he’s learnt on the battlefield at Hollywood, should shorten this war by months, on top of that, in the U.S. he might even gain status as a future President. Sarcasim running wild here. In reality, this guy is not even a warmed up anal hot air. Probably spends most of his time and money buying Zelenski his next hit and sharing it with him. That’s why Ukraine is where it is, all it’s leaders are druggies, and we all know how far the drug infection has gone in U.S. society, take a good look at Biden’s crowd and even his own son. If Penn is serious, next stop for him, is the recruiting office in Ukraine.

  15. John Zeigler
    September 25, 2023 at 22:43

    “Someday, they will throw a war, and nobody will come.” Hopefully, there will be someone left to refuse the invitation. Thank you, Caitlin, for a sobering, humbling plea for humanity.

  16. September 25, 2023 at 21:39

    Thus proving, once again, that when you bang Madonna for a period of time, your brain turns into a puddle.

    • Robert
      September 26, 2023 at 14:09

      The Face the Nation host had the perfect time to ask Penn, point blank, to tell us his thoughts on American involvement in the 2014 coup and specifically about his thoughts on the Victoria Nuland phone call in which she was determining who was going to be the next President of Ukraine. The follow up would have been for Penn to inform us of his thoughts on the admission by the former German and French Presidents admission that the Minsk Agreements were always intended to be merely a delaying tactic to provide Ukraine to gear up for a proxy war against Russia.

      That likely would have made this an interesting interview.

  17. hilda
    September 25, 2023 at 21:35

    Paul Massaro mockes Westerners to be fearful (of nuclear war), according to him N O Ukrainian is fearful
    May be has not seen the article of the Ukrainian Pravda, that states:Andrii Demchenko, spokesman for Pravda the State Border Service says
    “20-30 men attempt to cross the border illegally every day”.
    Since the beginning of the full scale Russian invasion, male Ukrainians aged 18-60 have been prohibited from traveling aboard. Ukrainian men pay big money to evade conscription. Thousands fled the country already.

  18. James White
    September 25, 2023 at 20:48

    Sean Penn is just another needy entertainer. Always starved for attention and willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Mental illness is epidemic in the U.S. right now. I ended up on a Newsweek site article today and the comments about Russia and the war were entirely delusional. Every commenter thinks Putin is Hitler and believes that Russia is losing the war. So we need to get tough and show Putin who’s boss. Incredible how people are demoralized by propaganda and have no idea what hit them. The U.S. owes the world an apology for being so dim and destructive.

    • Carl Zaisser
      September 26, 2023 at 03:57

      Accurate, and very sad…

      • Doug Darlington
        September 26, 2023 at 10:44

        I liked Sean Penn best as Spikoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

  19. Gypsy33
    September 25, 2023 at 20:14

    It sickens me when so-called “celebrities” like Penn employ their bully pulpits to cheer escalation of war and even nuclear strikes.
    Compare this clown to the likes of rock god Roger Waters, who strenuously advocates for world peace and justice.
    It truly boggles my mind that a film is actually being made about ZelBoy ?
    And thank you, Caitlin, for another grand slam.

    • J Anthony
      September 26, 2023 at 06:18

      Yes, indeed, Penn isn’t fit to wipe Roger’s behind. Always enjoyed his movie work, but this s*** is beyond-the-pale.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        September 27, 2023 at 00:01

        Right on.

    • James White
      September 26, 2023 at 09:18

      Roger Waters’ father was killed during the battle of Anzio only about 6 months after he was born. Depriving Waters of ever knowing his father. 2nd Lt Waters’ name is on a memorial at the nearby Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Cassino, but his remains were never found. Rogers grandfather was killed in WW1 in 1916. Nearly every Russian family suffered similar losses between the two world wars. We honor the memory of the fallen each day by proving that we have learned nothing from their sacrifice.

  20. Balu
    September 25, 2023 at 20:08

    “… are we going to let a gangster with nuclear weapons dictate the way we live?”

    He talking about the yoonited states of murica ?

    • Hegesias
      September 26, 2023 at 16:11

      The US knows that the US is the only country morally depraved enough to use nukes.

      • Michael Philip
        September 27, 2023 at 09:50

        Indeed, that was a slip of Freudian proportion..

  21. Mikael Andersson
    September 25, 2023 at 19:40

    The Russian Federation has achieved its mission in Ukraine without resorting to WMD. Ukraine will not recover during our lifetime and will never become a USA / UK / NATO fortress on Russia’s border. Only two unknowns remain – will Ukraine exist at all and who will clean up the depleted uranium radioactive waste created by the USA / UK / NATO.

  22. bardamu
    September 25, 2023 at 19:14

    Penn gets to be an idiot; it’s a role he has rehearsed for.

    The trouble is that this sort of psychopathy is represented way up through the ranks of government and business. For a psychopath, holocaust amounts to the risk of one death, if that. The rest of us might as well be blow-up koochie dolls–if that.

    Our existing system persistently selects psychopaths for power. Selecting blind drivers or epileptic pilots would be less serious.

    If one does not recall the Cuban Missile Crisis, it’s easy to read about. Effectively, that was a dice roll. The motives for Russian officer Vasily Arkhipov’s decision to not blow up the world were apparently not visible or available to the Kremlin, the White House, or the leagues of privileged lobbyists either side. Lest we imagine it differently, this was not just a matter of Kennedy or Kruschev risking the world for brownie points or bragging rights. There existed a whole power structure in denial of vision and dead set against the most obvious sanity, only somewhat different in each society.

    We cannot keep doing this. While the deciders cannot steer for psychopathy, their results amount to a dice roll. And if you keep rolling those dice, it’s like a drunken man’s walk; the results are not 50-50, or even in doubt: whichever is the last dice roll is, you lose. This relates to all of our ecological problems, too, but here things could be sudden.

    We have to get rid of these guys–at least remove them from power. It would be helpful to do it before the nukes get set off, no?

    Have we not had enough hints?

  23. September 25, 2023 at 18:42

    Penn and Massaro talk the talk but fail to walk the walk cause when push comes to shove you won’t find them on the front lines.
    Pathetic losers.

  24. Gregory
    September 25, 2023 at 18:09

    Most people think of megatonage in relation to nuclear war, but warheads are reduced to demolition and munition devices, which makes the use of them more likely.

  25. Burt
    September 25, 2023 at 18:04

    If only Sean could revert to his Jeff Spicoli character. He would get Putin, Zelynsky, Biden et al in a room put on some Stones or Zeppelin pack a bong (maybe pull out a bag of mushrooms) and this whole thing would be over in a few hours.

    • Doug Darlington
      September 26, 2023 at 10:48

      Right on Burt!

  26. Lois Gagnon
    September 25, 2023 at 17:25

    How pathetic NBC felt justified in putting moronic Sean Penn on its program to spout his vile ignorant opinion on the possibility of sparking nuclear war with Russia. They need to hear serious pushback for making such a disastrous choice. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    • vinnieoh
      September 26, 2023 at 10:48

      “Face The Nation” is the CBS Sunday morning political propaganda show. FTN hasn’t seen a war it does not like, and CBS has always been the most “conservative” of the big 3, whatever the hell that means anymore. It means they’ll run a 15-minute segment on the “slovenliness” of John Fetterman’s hoodie (as a plausible fictitious example.)

      • Lois Gagnon
        September 26, 2023 at 15:59

        Thanks for the correction. Obviously, I don’t watch that dreck on any station. Every time I think they can’t go any lower, they prove me wrong.

      • Susan Siens
        September 26, 2023 at 16:58

        And FTN is hosted by Joe McCarthy wearing lipstick (I’ve called her this so long I can’t remember her name). She sickened me when she red-baited Bernie Sanders (for whom I have no love). Back in the day, CBS made no bones about having a CIA officer in the newsroom. What I’ve noticed in recent years is that the other entertainment [sic] networks seem to switch around who’s going to be more gung-ho for war.

        And you should know that staffers on Capitol Hill are NOT PERMITTED to dress like Fetterman, they have to wear suits. Kind of like the Met Gala where the power brokers didn’t have to wear masks.

        • vinnieoh
          September 27, 2023 at 09:29

          The whole Fetterman dress thing has struck me like – do those knobs really think that wearing a suit makes them appear more respectable? They could all dress like Beau Brummel (now I’ve hopelessly dated myself) but they still couldn’t rise to the honesty or political dexterity of a Charlie Chaplin character.

          Robert Menendez dresses nattily – does that make him respectable? What is it – the third or fourth time he’s been indicted? Maybe this time it will stick. And the palace intrigues continue merrily along. Will AIPAC come to his rescue?

          Are you referring to Margaret Brennen? There isn’t a TV anchor anywhere in the US who would say shit even if they had a mouthful.

  27. Caliman
    September 25, 2023 at 16:56

    So many Dr Strangeloves, who have learned to stop worrying and love the bomb … “Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.” Gen. ‘Buck’ Turgidson

    Of course, that’s off by a factor of about a hundred, at least …

    Penn says “and that’s to be concerning. The likelihood is extremely low. And as one of our witnesses in the film says, you know, are we going to let a gangster with nuclear weapons dictate the way we live?”

    Yes, we are, if it comes to it. But more importantly, in what way does a border skirmish in the Donbass dictate the way you live???

  28. Eleanor Wagner
    September 25, 2023 at 16:35

    Who pays him?

    • Frank Lambert
      September 25, 2023 at 21:24

      Superb question, Eleanor! Methinks the ones who might be paying are the Hollywood moguls,the CIA, Pentagon, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve Banks, the infamous international bankers, aka the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and possibly manufacturers and distributors of the MIC (military industrial complex) industries, et al, producing weapons for death, destruction, misery, and suffering around the globe.

      Maybe Penn is just carried away for his roles in Hollywood movies which gave him a macho persona. We don’t know for sure.

      It’s very scary, as the Doomsday Clock is getting closer to midnight.

    • Susan Siens
      September 26, 2023 at 17:02

      I totally agree with Frank. Does anyone legitimate want to hire Penn? The DoD which runs Hollywood and makes all those abysmal movies put up the money for the film, and this way the camera-hungry actor [sic] keeps his name and face in the public eye.

  29. John Manning
    September 25, 2023 at 16:00

    you know, are we going to let a gangster with nuclear weapons dictate the way we live?”

    This is in fact the key question of our times. The problem however is that Americans are so confused about Trump that they may actually let the gangster be president for a second term.

    • DebsWasRight
      September 26, 2023 at 12:39

      “People get the government they deserve, and they deserve to get it good and hard. –H.L. Menken

      So a senile old white man competes against an equally mentally dysfunctional angry old white man, and the nation responds by zealously battling over which dodderer is the lesser evil, best represents their anger, or will fuck the other guy best. Foolish red/blue tribes sing the praises of their senile mascots. As someone wrote, “Trump = Civil war, Biden = WW III.” We the people in our greed and arrogance own this. The real question is, are we going to complete our own destruction and possibly save the world, or take everyone down trying to prove our exceptionalism?

  30. Umberto Squarcia
    September 25, 2023 at 15:59

    either it is a case of an American idiot or an advanced dementia

    • bryce
      September 26, 2023 at 02:24

      To be a Nazi-loving Jew just doesn’t compute.. It’s just awful..

      • September 28, 2023 at 10:41

        Bryce, look up “kapo.”

  31. Rob
    September 25, 2023 at 15:46

    I confess, I am a coward when it comes to risking Armageddon. Anyone who is not a coward is a damn fool and also possibly crazy.

  32. Marie-France Germain
    September 25, 2023 at 15:39

    I wager that Sean Penn would have been positively green with envy that our Canadian parliament actually stood for an ovation for a fellow fascists! He would have drooled over them. And is he drug addled? It sure seems like it to me, but I’m not a specialist.

    I believe there should be a deep trench dug around an island full of the murderous narcissists who have taken over the Western half of the globe and is forcing a truly deadly and undemocratic ideology upon us who blithely float through life without a single thought flitting through ill educated brains. We can ensure they cannot communicate with us normal people anymore since they have done enough damage by degrading our countries to this point.

    What part of Nuclear Storms do these idiots not understand? Ten years of literal cloudy skies that so interfere with the sunlight we need to feed ourselves (strange that, both flora and fauna need sunlight to thrive) will ensue any nuclear conflagration. If you are one of the lucky ones, you will be under one of the bombs that will decimate our countries. Then we will need to hope that Africa doesn’t suffer too much radiation poisoning and can repopulate the globe in a more humane and less animalistic attitudes than a good number of our leaders at present. Of course, the Africans could refuse and enjoy some peace and prosperity without the western world greed for once.

  33. September 25, 2023 at 15:23

    “‘What if the Russians use nuclear weapons?’, they’re like ‘We’ll keep fighting, we’ll win.’”

    Those purported Ukrainians (alongside many other people around the world) do not realize the mindnumbingly miserable existence (or, far more likely and quite probably more mercifully, the cessation thereof) that awaits them should multiple tactical nuclear weapons be deployed within their country, to say nothing of a full-scale nuclear exchange between great powers occurring on a global scale as the world climbs the escalation ladder. It is an awful scenario that makes even the ongoing contamination of Ukrainian territory with depleted uranium and other toxic armaments as conscripts and volunteers are intermittently run ragged on calorically insufficient one-potato-a-day diets look infinitely more desirable by comparison.

    Even those celebrities and oligarchs who can afford the luxury of a well-provisioned, manor-sized McBunker complex with a consistent food and water supply, a full library of physical media, and a retinue of servants, concubines, and mercenaries to fend off the irradiated, starving, and cataract-afflicted barbarian hordes vastly underestimate just how much their lives would end up changing for the worse.

    Sean Penn has truly become a “snowman melting from the inside,” as David Bowie summarized his character in the 1985 film “The Falcon and the Snowman” (based on the true story of Andrew Daulton Lee and Christopher John Boyce).

  34. September 25, 2023 at 15:11

    “Is that you, John Wayne? Is this me?”

  35. Lee Vail AKA Kalev Efrayim
    September 25, 2023 at 15:05

    Sean Penn needs to shut up and do what he does best, and it ain’t acting, but being an idiot.

  36. Drew Hunkins
    September 25, 2023 at 14:30

    I swear, the powers-that-be in Hollywood, Washington, and New York must have the goods on him. Remember back about 15 years ago how good he was regarding the great Hugo Chavez. Sad.

    • Frank Lambert
      September 25, 2023 at 21:27

      You may be correct, Drew! I don’t think he needs the money to be a mouthpiece for an unwinnable war.

      • Susan Siens
        September 26, 2023 at 17:04

        Being an addict is a very expensive lifestyle. I think he needs the money and the attention.

  37. Richard Romano
    September 25, 2023 at 14:24

    As always Caitlin you have angrily expressed my views. Our whole country has gone insane. But so few see it. I don’t think it will work but …

    • Frank Lambert
      September 25, 2023 at 21:28

      I second your comment, Richard R.

    • J Anthony
      September 26, 2023 at 06:24

      More of us see it than you’d think. It is not the average-everyday-Joes-and-Janes on the street who are asked their opinions of this travesty by the likes of corporate media, is it? If they did that occasionally, the war propaganda would not hold up for long.

  38. Valerie
    September 25, 2023 at 13:53

    And here i was, believing it’s only Bruce Willis who is suffering from dementia.

    • Sam
      September 25, 2023 at 15:35

      Don’t think he’d be invited onto Face the Nation with any other message.

    • Frank Lambert
      September 25, 2023 at 21:34

      Valerie, it’s not even a case of dementia, in my opinion, but I’d say more of a denial of reality in the cause and effect of a nuclear exchange, by the non-thinking public who drink Kool-Aid from the big corporate medial conglomerates who love stirring the cauldron of hate and fear for the ill informed or willfully ignorant citizenry who are legion. Very scary!

  39. mgr
    September 25, 2023 at 13:53

    Maddening. Just when you think people cannot become any more depraved. Mr. Penn should pull on his little boots and rush to the front lines in Ukraine along with all the other conscripts whose life-expectancy upon arrival is about 24 hours. Then he could lead the charge himself for a few seconds of “glory.” That would be more honest than cheer-leading others to their deaths while staying safely out of harms way in order to make a movie to glorify it.

    Nearly half a million people have now died because most of the US population, along with Mr. Penn, simply cannot be bothered to actually examine the causes, engineered by the US, that led to this point.

    You would think that the lies that led to the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq by the US in 2003 would have served as an antidote or wake-up call to this narrative engineering, but no. Instead of “fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me,” it’s “take advantage of me to your heart’s content.” Rather than a big man standing up, Penn is like a fool bent over a barrel. This is America today. Perhaps Penn’s various movies have even contributed to that.

    I think one reason that we survived the first Cold War was because of the Cuban missile crisis in ’62. I lived through that, a whole generation did. Anyone who did knows that Sean Penn is an ignoramus, and a dangerous one too.

    • Valerie
      September 25, 2023 at 14:58

      “Mr. Penn should pull on his little boots and rush to the front lines in Ukraine”

      Yeah, waving the Oscar he won, which he has loaned to zelensky, till they defeat Russia. LOL
      (Stranger than fiction)

      • Frank Lambert
        September 25, 2023 at 21:38

        You nailed it, Valerie! Let all the political leaders who insist on sending others in harm’s way, lead by example and be on the front lines. If that happened, I think “war” would be relegated to history books.

        • Xpat Paula
          September 27, 2023 at 13:30

          Nope! Ancient empires’ leaders led the troops in battle. Didn’t stop them from making war.

    • Jack Lomax
      September 25, 2023 at 20:59

      Well and thoughtfully said mgr. I am 95 years old and witnessed the human debris of crippled males long after that
      Word War One was finished My paternal uncle was killed in that war. Word War Two was yet another disaster for humanity as a whole and in which my older brother was killed. I was injured in the Korean War and receive even now a war injury pension. The continuous US provoked and supported wars are indeed war crimes and Penn is a blowhard fool and coward

      • James White
        September 26, 2023 at 19:10

        Thank you for your service Mr. Lomax. It must have taken incredible fortitude to have taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States in Korea after losing your brother WW2.
        That was the world I was born into and I always found it deeply meaningful. Nearly all of my male ancestors served in the Navy or other branches of the armed forces. It was as natural as breathing the air to volunteer to protect our country from those who may wish to do us harm. If you didn’t want to kill anyone, you could opt to serve as a corpsman instead. I can’t explain how so many of our young men have lost that sense of duty and honor to our country. I can criticize the leadership. Especially at the very top echelon. I grew up in the same town as General Mark Milley, now past chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I always admired his commitment to the service, as I do yours. But I don’t recognize the things I hear today from General Milley or SECDEF Lloyd Austin. They have become part of the corrupt military industrial complex. Like our corrupt President, they lie with impunity and have no honor. I can list for you specific lies told by Biden, Austin and Milley just in the past few months of 2023 alone. A liar deserves no respect and above all should never be promoted to high office in the military or the government. I could not in good conscience recommend that any young person should want to enroll in today’s military. It is too great a commitment considering the poor qualities of those in charge. They just are not worth risking one’s life to serve under and that is a tremendous loss to our country.

    • J Anthony
      September 26, 2023 at 06:31

      What you reference is indicative of partrisanship, I think. Liberals had no problem excoriating the Republicans over the Iraq fiasco,even if it was ac ouple years after they themselves agreed to invade, and the lies that led up to it. Now it’s “Democratic war” and the Republicans (a few, anyway) are against it and Democrats continue to lie in order to justify it. It’s the same-old-same-old, just in reverse. A lot of those tools in D.C. put party-loyalty above all else, for whatever reasons. Much to the country’s detriment. Naturally brand (D) more often than not has the support of bourgeois liberals in Hollywood, Penn being a prime example.

  40. JonnyJames
    September 25, 2023 at 13:36

    Penn is an actor, he has no training or knowledge on international affairs, IR, military strategy, history etc. It would be one thing if he were well-read and had some expertise on the issues, but he has absolutely none.
    Why is this man (or others like him) given credibility on these issues? Is he a CIA asset? Or is he just a typical, ignorant useful American idiot?

    • Valerie
      September 25, 2023 at 15:05

      “It would be one thing if he were well-read”

      Well he probably read all his lines in the scripts he was offered Jonny. (And remembered them too, i suppose. So there’s that.)

    • Selina Sweet
      September 25, 2023 at 15:51

      Good question – Why is Penn given credibility on anything else besides acting? or even acting, for that matter?
      This is an excellent example of not only American propaganda for the domestics, but of corporate media’s utter
      disdain for the citizenry. Their arrogance in feeding us what amounts to slop for so called “news” is laughable were it not
      so disgusting.

      • September 26, 2023 at 15:23

        Come now Slee, we’ve all tried and failed at some point to be recognized for something we are not; its just a much bigger room of buffoons this time, Mr. Hand has retired, and the audience is armed and way more dangerous.
        Given the soreness, timing and derision of the subject, Michael Moore would get the same treatment if he made the Pic. But it may be more entertaining to watch.

    • JonT
      September 25, 2023 at 16:17

      The trouble is that some actors think that real life is like their films…

    • gcw919
      September 25, 2023 at 16:41

      Senn Penn should stay in his lane, and leave the international politics to the adults. Oh…. there aren’t any.

    • J Anthony
      September 26, 2023 at 06:32

      I’d say the latter.

  41. Carolyn L Zaremba
    September 25, 2023 at 13:35

    Sean Penn is a dick. A Nazi-loving, suppurating diseased dick. Sorry, but I can find no other words to describe him.

  42. susan
    September 25, 2023 at 13:20

    I believe that Sean Penn has completely lost whatever was left of his “little grey cells” He is also living in a complete and utter fantasy world if he thinks for one moment the US Military Industrial Complex cares one iota for humanity. How about we get some balls and stand up to the real big bully in the world – the good ole USA.

    • Frank Lambert
      September 25, 2023 at 21:40

      I agree, Susan! You said it well.

    • Susan Siens
      September 26, 2023 at 17:08

      Addiction is not good for the brain or the heart. I don’t know his exact age, but I’m just about 70 and look 20 years younger than Penn who looks like he just crawled out of a gutter. Whatever happened to LOOKING at people and see them for who they are? No, Ronald Reagan was not a genial old grandfather, he was a very angry man and it was visible right below the surface. Penn is a raging addict and these TV numbskulls (remembered her name, Margaret Brennan) act like he’s normal.

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