• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

When is Hysteria Treason?

For the first time since 1962, world war could be only days or hours away.

That fact is appallingly frightening and profoundly sad, but what is most devastating in assessing what has brought us to this point is the sickening harmonic it sounds with the greatest tragedies in modern history.

Both World Wars were triggered by the blind arrogance of rigid, irrational, egocentric elites captive to wildly distorted visions unhinged from reality who, in their furious self-absorption, cocooned in their power fantasies, allowed themselves to drift casually into horrors of unimagined scale.

It is no secret to the world–though it is to our dull, propagandized people–that we have been ruled for decades by contemptible whores to American Oligarchs in our Presidency and Congress whose only mission is promotion of criminal predatory Capitalism behind the shield of brute military violence.

On Capitalism’s payroll, funded and elected with dirty money, they served the oligarchy exclusively, indifferent to the needs of the American citizenry.

America is now run by an infantile hysteric who dominates the smoking wreckage of a sclerotic bureacracy, and a noxious, putrid cloaca of a Congress, in conjunction with a pompous, dimwitted military generalled by ignorant, insulated automatons, pickled in their own yahoo Jingo dogma.

This authoritarian combination of malevolence and idiocy has brought us to the brink of incomparable catastrophe that the hysteria from the President, and from all official voices, has rendered increasingly likely, if not certain.

Sadly, possibly tragically, there is no significantly powerful and morally persuasive corpus of opposition to the virus of war madness that has infected our entire political apparatus.  The elites are uniformly complicit.

Not that getting support for war has been difficult in America.  It has always been easy for the controlling elite.  Herr Goering had it right:

All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

 Another factor that favored our war enthusiasm since 1812, is that there was never any chance its inevitable destruction would come home.

These two qualifiers are absent now.  We are obviously not being attacked in Syria, though our pet Jihadis are, and it is very possible, if hot war should erupt, that great, even incalculable, damage could be done at home; to us, to our families, our children, to those we love.

During the long, tense, dangerous period of the Cold War, America and the USSR engaged for decades in a duel for advantage in nuclear weaponry and neither prevailed.  If, at certain points, one or the other had a slight tactical edge, the impulse to war was stifled by the recognized validity of the principle aptly abbreviated MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction.  A first strike by one would result in a devastating response from the other.  This awareness created a stasis, a balance, a stability in a time of total enmity.

Operating rationally though bitterly opposed and hostile, the powers worked through many crises with diplomacy.  Never friends, ever enemies, they saved themselves and each other through close engagement.  This sanity prevailed even in the terrifying near-disaster of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Both sides suffered setbacks, defeats, betrayals; both were confronted with costly and embarrassing reversals and losses; they reviled and insulted each other, and damned each other to perdition.  But they behaved with determined restraint and moderation for the most part, never using wild pretensions and absurd, incredible inventions as sufficient causes for war.

All that is gone.  Not that it was wonderful: it was sane, prudent, pragmatic.  What we have now, under our Imperial monsters, hysterics, and psychos, is a regime that, having destroyed weak countries, provokes the strongest; having failed in every single war it forced down our throats, aspires to fight new ones; having vilified and demonized the most powerful national leaders on earth by imbecile accusations spun of fevered imagination and fairy dust, it proposes to punish them for imaginary transgressions.

The question for us is, when does this hysteria become treason?  At what point of our shame is open rebellion the only choice?  If not now, when?

With war, or without it, that question must be confronted and answered.

More articles by:

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at: hgmnude@bresnan.net

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 23, 2019
Kenneth Surin
Western China and the New Silk Road
W. T. Whitney
Stirrings of Basic Change Accompany Protests in Haiti
Louisa Willcox
Inviting the Chief of the Grizzlies to Our Feast
Jonathan Cook
The Democrats Helped Cultivate the Barbarism of ISIS
Dave Lindorff
Military Spending’s Out of Control While Slashing It Could Easily Fund Medicare for All
John Kendall Hawkins
With 2020 Hindsight, the Buffoonery Ahead
Jesse Hagopian
The Chicago Teachers Strike: “Until We Get What Our Students Deserve”
Saad Hafiz
America’s Mission to Remake Afghanistan Has Failed
Victor Grossman
Thoughts on the Impeachment of Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
Celebrity Protesters and Extinction Rebellion
John Horning
Spotted Owls and the National Christmas Tree
Dave Lindorff
Moment of Truth on Military Spending in the NY Times
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail