Having just returned from a trip to Russia, I am pleased to report that the Russian people and the officialdom that I encountered displayed none of the vitriol towards Americans that I half expected as a response to the vilifying of Moscow and all its works that pervades the U.S. media and Establishment.
To be sure, many Russians I spoke with were quick to criticize the Trump Administration for its hot and cold performance vis-à-vis the bilateral ties to Moscow while also expressing mystification over why the relationship had gone south so quickly, but this anger over foreign policy did not necessarily translate into contempt for the American people and way of life that characterized the Soviet period. At least not yet.
Somewhat to my surprise, ordinary Russians were also quick to openly criticize President Vladimir Putin for his autocratic tendencies and his willingness to continue to tolerate corruption, but everyone I spoke to also conceded that he had generally acted constructively and had greatly improved life for ordinary people. Putin remains wildly popular.
One question that came up frequently was “Who is driving the hostility towards Russia?” I responded that the answer is not so simple and there are a number of constituencies that, for one reason or another, need a powerful enemy to justify policies that would otherwise be unsustainable. Defense contractors need a foe to justify their existence while congressmen need the contractors to fund their campaigns. The media needs a good fearmongering story to help sell itself and the public also is accustomed to having a world in which terrible threats lurk just below the horizon, thereby increasing support for government control of everyday life to keep everyone “safe.”
And then there are the neocons. As always, they are a distinct force for creative destruction, as they put it, certainly first in line with their hands out to get the funding of their no-expenses-spared foundations and think tanks, but also driven ideologically, which has made them the intellectual vanguard of the war party. They provide the palatable intellectual framework for America to take on the world, metaphorically speaking, and constitute the strike force that is always ready to appear on television talk shows or to be quoted in the media with an appropriate intelligent sounding one liner that can be used to justify the unthinkable. In return they are richly rewarded both with money and status.
The neocons believe in only two things. First, that the United States is the sole world superpower, given license by something like a Divine Entity to exercise global leadership by force if necessary. That has been translated to the public as “American exceptionalism.” Indeed, U.S. interventionism in practice has been by force majeure preferably as it leaves little room for debate or discussion. And the second neocon guiding principle is that everything possible must be done to protect and promote Israel. Absent these two beliefs, you do not have a neocon.
The founding fathers of neoconism were New York Jewish “intellectuals” who evolved (or devolved) from being bomb throwing Trotskyites to “conservatives,” a process they self-define as “idealism getting mugged by reality.” The only reality is that they have always been faux conservatives, embracing a number of aggressive foreign policy and national security positions while also privately endorsing the standard Jewish liberal line on social issues. Neocon fanaticism on the issues that they do promote also suggests that more that a little of the Trotskyism remains in their character, hence their tenacity and ability to slither between the Democratic and Republican parties while also appearing comfortably on disparate media outlets considered to be either liberal or conservative, i.e. on both Fox news and MSNBC programs featuring the likes of Rachel Maddow….
Readers of this blog hopefully understand the psychological connection between satanic ritual abuse, imprinted genital mutilation and the compulsion to empire. When there is no safety within the family or even within the body, one seeks safety and self-validation by building fortresses.