No to NATO, No to Bases, No to Wars in Distant Places

As I head over to Ireland for a conference on closing U.S. and NATO military bases around the world — and at which some of us will make plans for protesting NATO in Washington on April 4, 2019 — the presidents of France and Germany are talking up the need for a European military that can fight the United States, Russia, and/or China. There are three responses to this development, two of which will get us all killed more quickly than the other.

One is this. Down with the stupid, ungrateful, miserable, old-fashioned Europeans! Make them fund NATO for their own good, whether they like it or not. This is a U.S. world, NATO is its tool, and others must be made to submit and to say thank you. This response unites all variety of liberal-conservative imperialists, thoughtless accepters of corporate opinion, people who like NATO because they’ve been told Trump doesn’t, and Trump himself, who of course once blurted out the obvious (that NATO is obsolete) until the generals informed him of what his job is, since which point Trump has been the biggest NATO-booster in at least half a century.

A second response it this. Hurray for a European military! This will break up U.S. hegemony. We’ll have a multipolar world, a balance of powers, independence from the Pentagon’s imperial throne. Perhaps even peace and disarmament will follow, who knows, who cares! Dance in the streets, people, the empire is collapsing! This response unites so-called peace activists who oppose U.S. war-making (and only U.S. war making) with weapons manufacturers and all variety of war and “reconstruction” profiteers. For centuries now, armaments and empires have led to wars, not peace. While the United States spends half the world’s military spending, other NATO members spend another quarter. China spends a tiny fraction of what the U.S. and other NATO members spend, and Russia spends a tiny fraction of what China spends, and has been reducing that each year, while Saudi Arabia and other weapons customers of the NATO nations ramp up.

The notion that NATO faces some external threat has become so ridiculous that the big hope for the weapons companies has to lie in two places (well, three until the Mueller investigation — or at least the Putin-stole-the-election core of it — fizzles out). The first is getting NATO to fight itself. Split NATO into Europe versus America. Get Europe to double its weapons spending to keep pace. That’ll make a few people very, very rich. Ask a U.S. weapons CEO for his or her view, I dare you. The second is getting these new rivals to sell even more weapons to poor countries and to wage even more wars against those weapons in those poor countries. There’s an old saying: When two demented, drunken, senile dinosaurs fight, it’s the ants and flowers that suffer. Rich nations haven’t actually fought each other since the Nuremberg trials. But they heavily arm and heavily bomb much of the rest of the world, the “violent” regions of which produce hardly any weaponry (and virtually all of that in Israel). If militarism is Westerners’ idea of progress, if their vision for decades to come — decades guaranteed to see environmental collapse and refugee crises — is a reorganization of barbarism, the result will make Donald Trump look good.

A third response is this. The problem is war, not U.S. war, but war. The U.S. is the biggest weapons dealer and the biggest warmonger, so it is the biggest piece of the problem. But the problem is war. And we don’t have decades left to dick around with medieval balances of power. The earth’s climate is already doomed. Militarism is both the biggest cause of climate collapse and the only industry given a waiver in major environmental agreements. Of course, Europe should stand up to the United States and to Trump’s demand to buy more weapons and fund a bigger NATO, but not by buying even more weapons and funding a different sort of NATO! As someone who has lived in Europe and loves both Europe and the United States, I have to say I’ll be extremely disappointed if Europe cannot manage to reply to fascist U.S. buffoonery with a civilized approach. Tiny fractions of what the United States and NATO members spend on wars could provide real aid to the entire world, including to these governments’ own people. A European Nonviolent Peaceforce, a European Climate Protection Agency, a European Disarmament Project, a European Aid Mission, a European Global Marshall Plan — if you want to unite Europe in opposition to Trumpian jackassery, try one of these, not a bigger jackass. Hell, try the rule of law. The chief prosecutor back at Nuremberg claimed the standards should apply to the United States as well.

If you favor peace, the above should be obvious. I shouldn’t have needed to say any of it. But peace is often a facade covering other motivations, hiding them even from ourselves. It shouldn’t be. We should have a peace movement that backs violence no more than a campaign for virginity backs sex. We’ve had 100 years now since the war to end all wars, 100 years of endless wars to end all peace. What we need is a peace to end all wars. And we need Europe to be a part of that. Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine, human experimentation in CIA prisons, fascist propaganda about poor Honduran refugees: these are symptoms of the larger problem, the problem people claimed to be shocked by when the “civilized” Germans started putting human beings into ovens: the problem is putting massive violence between one part of humanity and another. Don’t do it, Europe! Don’t follow a fool! Don’t confuse Hollywood with reality! Don’t escalate humanity’s self-destruction! Help us turn down a different path!

If you want to ape Trump, do it like this. Treat NATO the way Trump treats disarmament agreements: withdraw from it and do the opposite!

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Talk Nation Radio: Stephen McKeown on Armistice Day

Steve McKeown was a radio operator in the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1966 to 1967. He was a founding member of Veterans For Peace Chapter 27 in Minneapolis / St. Paul, and is the coordinator for their newsletter. Steve has spoken to hundreds of classes in elementary and high schools, colleges, churches, and community groups on matters of war and peace. And he has been part of organizing all kinds of peace activism including related to Armistice Day, the 100th anniversary of which was this past Sunday.

Related links:

https://vfpchapter27.org

https://worldbeyondwar.org/armisticeday

Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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The Meaning of a Multi-Polar World

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The Saker

Right now, we live in a mono-polar world. Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America’s future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. [Every other nation is therefore ‘dispensable’; we therefore now have “Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt”.] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] … In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn’t the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. [He was proud of the U.S. Government’s effectiveness at propaganda, just as Hitler was proud of the German Government’s propaganda-effectiveness under Joseph Goebbels.] Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine’s economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his — Obama’s — regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup, and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there. It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks.

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush’s term about Saddam Hussein) “regime-change” in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the U.N. asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it. Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate against bombing by Syria’s Government and by Syria’s ally Russia, while the U.S. bombed Syria’s army, which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to “regime-change” Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to “regime-change” Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the “U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane.” And Obama’s successor Trump continues Obama’s policies in this regard. And, of course, the U.S. and its ally UK invaded Iraq in 2003, likewise on the basis of lies to the effect that Iraq was the aggressor. (Even Germany called Poland the aggressor when invading Poland in 1939.)

No other nation regularly invades other nations that never had invaded it. This is international aggression. It is the international crime of “War of Aggression”; and the only nations which do it nowadays are America and its allies, such as the Sauds, Israel, France, and UK, which often join in America’s aggressions (or, in the case of the Sauds’ invasion of Yemen, the ally initiates an invasion, which the U.S. then joins). America’s generals are taught this aggression, and not only by Obama. Ever since at least George W. Bush, it has been solid U.S. policy. (Bush even kicked out the U.N.’s weapons-inspectors, so as to bomb Iraq in 2003.)

In other words: a mono-polar world is a world in which one nation stands above international law, and that nation’s participation in an invasion immunizes also each of its allies who join in the invasion, protecting it too from prosecution, so that a mono-polar world is one in which the United Nations can’t even possibly impose international law impartially, but can impose it only against nations that aren’t allied with the mono-polar power, which in this case is the United States. Furthermore, because the U.S. regime reigns supreme over the entire world, as it does, any nations — such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador — that the U.S. regime (which has itself been scientifically proven to be a dictatorship) chooses to treat as an enemy, is especially disadvantaged internationally. Russia and China, however, are among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and therefore possess a degree of international protection that America’s other chosen enemies do not. And the people who choose which nations to identify as America’s ‘enemies’ are America’s super-rich and not the entire American population, because the U.S. Government is controlled by the super-rich and not by the public.

So, that’s the existing mono-polar world: it is a world that’s controlled by one nation, and this one nation is, in turn, controlled by its aristocracy, its super-rich.

If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council would present at the U.N. a proposal to eliminate the immunity that the U.S. regime has, from investigation and prosecution for any future War of Aggression that it might perpetrate, then, of course, the U.S. and any of its allies on the Security Council would veto that, but if the proposing nation would then constantly call to the international public’s attention that the U.S. and its allies had blocked passage of such a crucially needed “procedure to amend the UN charter”, and that this fact means that the U.S. and its allies constitute fascist regimes as was understood and applied against Germany’s fascist regime, at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945, then possibly some members of the U.S.-led gang (of the NATO portion of it, at least) would quit that gang, and the U.S. global dictatorship might end, so that there would then become a multi-polar world, in which democracy could actually thrive.

Democracy can only shrivel in a mono-polar world, because all other nations then are simply vassal nations, which accept Obama’s often-repeated dictum that all other nations are “dispensable” and that only the U.S. is not. Even the UK would actually gain in freedom, and in democracy, by breaking away from the U.S., because it would no longer be under the U.S. thumb — the thumb of the global aggressor-nation.

Only one global poll has ever been taken of the question “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” and it found that, overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio above the second-most-often named country, the United States was identified as being precisely that, the top threat to world-peace. But then, a few years later, another (though less-comprehensive) poll was taken on a similar question, and it produced similar results. Apparently, despite the effectiveness of America’s propagandists, people in other lands recognize quite well that today’s America is a more successful and longer-reigning version of Hitler’s Germany. Although modern America’s propaganda-operation is far more sophisticated than Nazi Germany’s was, it’s not entirely successful. America’s invasions are now too common, all based on lies, just like Hitler’s were.

On November 9th, Russian Television headlined “‘Very insulting’: Trump bashes Macron’s idea of European army for protection from Russia, China & US” and reported that “US President Donald Trump has unloaded on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, calling the French president’s idea of a ‘real European army,’ independent from Washington, an insult.” On the one hand, Trump constantly criticizes France and other European nations for allegedly not paying enough for America’s NATO military alliance, but he now is denigrating France for proposing to other NATO members a decreasing reliance upon NATO, and increasing reliance, instead, upon the Permanent Structured Cooperation (or PESCO) European military alliance, which was begun on 11 December 2017, and which currently has “25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.” Those are the European nations that are now on the path to eventually quitting NATO.

Once NATO is ended, the U.S. regime will find far more difficult any invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2016-, and maybe even such as America’s bloody coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ukraine and installed a racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian regime there in 2014. All of these U.S. invasions (and coup) brought to Europe millions of refugees and enormously increased burdens upon European taxpayers. Plus, America’s economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran have hurt European companies (and the U.S. does almost no business with either country, so is immune to that, also). Consequently, today’s America is clearly Europe’s actual main enemy. The continuation of NATO is actually toxic to the peoples of Europe. Communism and the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirroring Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended peacefully in 1991, but the U.S. regime has secretly continued the Cold War, now against Russia, and is increasingly focusing its “regime-change” propaganda against Russia’s popular democratic leader, Vladimir Putin, even though this U.S. aggression against Russia could mean a world-annihilating nuclear war.

On November 11th, RT bannered “‘Good for multipolar world’: Putin positive on Macron’s ‘European army’ plan bashed by Trump (VIDEO)”, and opened:

Europe’s desire to create its own army and stop relying on Washington for defense is not only understandable, but would be “positive” for the multipolar world, Vladimir Putin said days after Donald Trump ripped into it.

“Europe is … a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and … sovereign in the field of defense and security,” Putin told RT in Paris where world leader gathered to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

He also described the potential creation of a European army “a positive process,” adding that it would “strengthen the multipolar world.” The Russian leader even expressed his support to French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently championed this idea by saying that Russia’s stance on the issue “is aligned with that of France” to some extent.

Macron recently revived the ambitious plans of creating a combined EU military force by saying that it is essential for the security of Europe. He also said that the EU must become independent from its key ally on the other side of the Atlantic, provoking an angry reaction from Washington.

Once NATO has shrunk to include only the pro-aggression and outright nazi European nations, such as Ukraine (after the U.S. gang accepts Ukraine into NATO, as it almost certainly then would do), the EU will have a degree of freedom and of democracy that it can only dream of today, and there will then be a multi-polar world, in which the leaders of the U.S. will no longer enjoy the type of immunity from investigation and possible prosecution, for their invasions, that they do today. The result of this will, however, be catastrophic for the top 100 U.S. ‘defense’ contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon, because then all of those firms’ foreign sales except to the Sauds, Israel and a few other feudal and fascist regimes, will greatly decline. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to keep the Sauds to the agreements he reached with them back in 2017 to buy $404 billion of U.S. weaponry over the following 10 years. If, in addition, those firms lose some of their European sales, then the U.S. economic boom thus far in Trump’s Presidency will be seriously endangered. So, the U.S. regime, which is run by the owners of its ‘defense’-contractors, will do all it can to prevent this from happening.

However, right now, Chris Hedges reports that Ecuador is in the process of killing Julian Assange, who is a major and well-known bane of America’s sellers to the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department. Hedges wants to keep his American aristocratic funder (the owner of Truthdig), and so he doesn’t say that — nor how — the U.S. regime itself is actually forcing Ecuador’s Government to do this. Hedges seems not even to care much about the ultimate perpetrator of this slow murder that he describes as being in process. Hedges instead focuses only against what Ecuador’s President, Lenín Moreno, is doing, that’s slowly murdering Assange. He also implicates Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the U.K. government, and U.S. V.P. Mike Pence. But actually, the top decision-maker, who ordered this crime, this murder, is Donald Trump, who won the U.S. Presidency with Assange’s investigative-journalism help. That’s the kingpin, and all the others are merely soldiers in the U.S. President’s organized crime. They all represent the U.S. aristocracy, but only Trump is the commander here. The U.S. regime — first under Obama, and now under Trump — is 100% of what’s forcing Ecuador’s Government to kill Julian Assange inside its London Embassy. Ecuador is doing this job, for the U.S. regime, so excruciatingly that Assange will either soon be committing suicide, or else he will die more slowly, from the ever-increasing “torture” that Ecuador’s Government is applying, and which is also destroying Assange’s health. Or else, he will give himself up to the American ‘justice’ system (which Assange’s mother, Christine Ann Hawkins, explained on November 3rd would likely mean either to charge him with ‘espionage’, or else to apply indefinite detention at Guantanamo, without charge, trial or any access to the public). There will then be ‘news’-coverage by the American propaganda-media, to demonize him. Ecuador’s President wants to do his job for his U.S. masters (the U.S. aristocracy) but not to get blame for the inevitable result. All along the line, the aristocracy know how to preserve deniability, and advise their agents so as to shift blame downward, whenever they can’t succeed in shifting it to the victim that they’re destroying. However, the ultimate blame belongs truly to the owners of the U.S. regime. Even most ‘alternative news’ media might not (and they, in fact, do not) report this fact (because most of even the ‘alternative’ media are owned by aristocrats), but it’s clearly the case. And most of the public don’t care much about it, anyway, and continue to subscribe to those ‘news’ media, which the aristocrats are actually controlling, and to buy the products they advertise, producing yet more income for the aristocracy. The public thus helps the aristocracy to fund the aristocracy’s propaganda-vehicles, to control the public, to vote for the aristocrats’ candidates, and so control the government.

A multi-polar world could enable this to change. But it can’t change in a mono-polar world. Julian Assange has been trapped by, and in, this fascist mono-polar world. He is its enemy, and they are murdering him; but, above all, Donald Trump is murdering him.

But this is not a partisan operation on behalf of only a faction of the U.S. aristocracy. The Hedges article links through to an important June 29th news-report in the Washington Times, titled “Mike Pence raises Julian Assange case with Ecuadorean president, White House confirms”. It makes clear that Moreno is doing the bidding of the White House, and that the White House is “heeding calls from Democrats wary of Mr. Assange.” America, after all, is a two-party dictatorship: both parties represent the same aristocracy, and murdering Assange is in the agenda of both of its factions, not of just one of the two parties. The U.S. aristocracy are united on this matter. And that’s how this mono-polar world is being run.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Understanding the Global Recession of 2019

2019 is shaping up to be the year in which all the policies that worked in the past will no longer work. As we all know, the Global Financial Meltdown / recession of 2008-09 was halted by the coordinated policies of the major central banks, which lowered interest rates to near-zero, bought trillions of dollars of bonds and iffy assets such as mortgage-backed securities, and issued unlimited lines of credit to insolvent banks, i.e. unlimited liquidity.

Central governments which could do so went on a borrowing / spending binge to boost demand in their economies, and pursued other policies designed to bring demand forward, i.e. incentivize households to buy today what they’d planned to buy in the future.

This vast flood of low-cost credit and liquidity encouraged corporations to borrow money and use it to buy back their stocks, boosting per-share earnings and sending stocks higher for a decade.

The success of these policies has created a dangerous confidence that they’ll work in the next global recession, currently scheduled for 2019. But policies follow the S-Curve of expansion, maturity and decline just like the rest of human endeavor: the next time around, these policies will be doing more of what’s failed.

The global economy has changed. Demand has been brought forward for a decade, effectively draining the pool of future demand. Unprecedented asset purchases, low rates of interest and unlimited liquidity have inflated gargantuan credit / asset bubbles around the world, the so-called everything bubble as most asset classes are now correlated to central bank policies rather than to the fundamentals of the real-world economy.

Keenly aware that they’ve thinned their policy options and financial buffers to near-zero, central banks are struggling to normalize their policies by raising rates, reducing their balance sheets by selling assets and tightening lending conditions / liquidity.

Unfortunately for central banks, global economies are now junkies addicted to zero interest rates and central bank stimulus / support of bond markets, stock markets and real estate markets. The idea of normalization is to slowly inch the financial system and economy back to levels that were normal in previous eras, levels that allowed some room for central banks to respond to recessions and global financial crises by lowering rates and extending credit to insolvent lenders.

But reducing the drip of financial heroin hasn’t ended global economies’ addiction to extraordinary easy financial conditions. Rather, it’s illuminated the dangers of their continued addiction.

As soon as authorities attempt to limit their support / stimulus, markets wobble into instability. The entire economic structure of “wealth” is now dependent on asset bubbles never popping, for any serious decline in asset valuations will bankrupt pension funds, insurers, local governments, zombie companies and overleveraged households–every entity which is only solvent as long as asset bubbles expand or maintain current valuations.

So how do central banks normalize their unprecedented policies without popping the asset bubbles they’ve created? The short answer is: they can’t.Rising interest rates are a boon to savers and Kryptonite to borrowers–especially over-leveraged borrowers who must roll over short-term debt and borrow more just to maintain the illusion of solvency.

As if this wasn’t enough to guarantee recession in 2019, there’s the unintended consequences of capital flows. Capital famously flows to where it’s treated best, meaning wherever it earns the highest yields at the lowest risk, and where the rule of law protects capital from predation or expropriation.

When all central banks pursued roughly the same policies, capital had options. Now that the Fed has broken away from the pack, capital has only one option: the U.S. The Federal Reserve should have begun normalizing rates etc. back in 2013, and if they’d been wise enough to do so then even baby steps over the past 5 years would have led to a fairly normalized financial environment.

But Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen blew it, so it’s been left to the current Fed leadership to do the heavy lifting over a much shorter timeline. Predictably, pulling away the punch bowl has spoiled the asset-bubble party, and now all the asset bubbles are increasingly at risk of deflating.

But the yields and relative risk available in US-dollar denominated assets is starting to look a lot more attractive and lower risk than assets denominated in yen, yuan and euros. Capital flows tend to be self-reinforcing: as capital flows out of at-risk economies, it dampens investment, speculation and spending as the economy is drained of capital.

Owners of assets notice this decay and so they decide to sell and move their capital to safer ground. Selling begets selling, and pretty soon nobody’s left to catch the falling knife, ie. buy assets that are rapidly losing value.

This is what surprised Alan Greenspan (by his own account) in 2008: bubbly markets quickly become bidless, that is, buyers vanish and sellers who want to unload their assets for cash find nobody’s willing to part with cash for a plummeting asset.

The central bank “solution” to bidless markets is to become the buyer of last resort: when no sane investor will buy bonds, stocks or real estate, then the central bank starts buying everything in sight.

We are already seeing this in action as Chinese governmental agencies have started quietly buying empty flats in ghost buildings to prop up the housing market. The idea here is to restore confidence with a relatively modest burst of quiet buying. But when markets turn and confidence is lost, sentiment can’t be restored so easily: sensing their last chance is at hand, sellers dump assets at a quickening pace, overwhelming the modest central bank buying.

This leaves the central bank with a stark and sobering choice: either let the asset bubble collapse and accept the immense destruction of “wealth,” or buy the whole darn market. This is the unintended consequence of employing unprecedented policies for a decade: like using antibiotics every day for years, eventually resistance develops and the “fix” no longer works.

Now that central banks have inflated assets into the stratosphere, there’s $300 trillion in global financial assets sloshing around seeking higher yields and capital gains. How much of this $300 trillion can central banks buy before they destabilize currencies? How much can they buy before they run out of political goodwill?

Isn’t it obvious that repeating the policies of 2009 won’t be enough to save the system from a long-delayed reset?

 

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Dan Crenshaw Sounds Like a Propagandist for Mass Murder

What is more sick about U.S. society?

1) It’s totally 100% acceptable to make cruel stupid jokes about people’s appearance.

2) There’s an exception. You shouldn’t do it if the thing you’re making fun of relates to their participation in mass murder.

3) Violation of that exception is such a sin that you must publicly repent and grovel.

4) This is true even if the sin was committed on a steadfastly unfunny and unintelligent television program that nobody watches.

5) The repentance is incomplete without declaring the participant in mass murder to be a “war hero.”

6) You also must promote militarism in general and instruct the audience to honor participants in mass murder with meaningless phrases like “never forget.”

7) You can claim to find heart-warming unity around mass-murder operations and have not a single campaign launched to remove a single one of your advertisers.

8) Only if the entire charade carefully omits any description of how one gets to be a “war hero” and does forget — always forgets — all of the following can it be truly redemptive:

The Afghan government was willing to turn over Bin Laden to trial in a third country.

He was never tried or convicted of anything.

He was later killed elsewhere, but the war didn’t pause.

Most people in Afghanistan have never even heard of 9/11.

War is illegal.

Afghanistan is hellishly worse off than ever.

The war on terrorism has predictably and steadily increased terrorism.

U.S. commanders of the war have said it should be ended the moment after they left that position and have called the war and various aspects of the war counterproductive for many years now.

Candidate Trump said the war should be ended.

The war has murdered hundreds of thousands of people.

The war makes people all over the world despise the United States.

The people who make Saturday Night Live would make IEDs instead if some foreign force occupied Manhattan.

They’ll probably do something dumber than that when Manhattan goes underwater.

The war has cost the United States trillions of dollars.

A tiny fraction of that could have ended starvation on earth or provided actual aid on a scale to make the United States the most loved country in the world.

The war has had a devastating impact on the natural environment in Afghanistan and globally.

We’ve lost many freedoms, justified by this mass-murderous crime for “freedom!”

Veterans of the war are disproportionately represented in the recent crop of mass-shooters.

We don’t have to say “U.S. mass shooters” because that’s basically redundant.

People who try to flee Afghanistan and other hells the U.S. creates are the same people liberals have at least mixed emotions about under the name “immigrants.”

The Saturday Night Live studio audience was conspicuously silent during the most warmongering remarks.

One line would have garnered more applause than the past season of the show: “End the fucking war.”

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