World War I begins in Europe in 1914. The US officially enters the war in 1917.
World War II begins in Europe in 1939. The US officially enters the war in 1941.
Will historians say World War III began in Europe in February 2022? Or will they say it started much earlier, say 2013/2014 when the US ruling class, if not engineering a “coup” in Ukraine, most certainly facilitated or at least meddled in it (see my story recounting the experience I had there at that precise moment, http://www.fotiadis.net/the-final-countdown/). But all of that as we know, is now already ancient history. Yesterday’s headlines.
Over the last few weeks, I had hoped the events leading up to this were nothing more than a geopolitical game of chicken, a puppet show largely about energy sales to Germany. I underestimated Putin and his motives (and apparently his state of mind). I was wrong.
At this point, does anyone believe that this will remain a “contained” conflict? I don’t question the true motives or desires of an autocrat gangster like Putin, regardless of how hard he tries to veil and package this action as some noble thread of “manifest destiny” and Russian exceptionalism in the tapestry of heroic Russian history. In the last two centuries, Russia, at immense cost, repelled the conquest of Europe by would be pan-European emperors not once, but twice. Napoleon in 1812, and Hitler in 1945. Nevertheless, as hard as Putin tries to coopt Russia’s history to suit his needs (invoking that second conflict by calling Ukrainians “fascists” for example), he’ll always be a two-bit KGB agent to me. Another former corrupt bureaucrat who managed to wrest power in the ultimate power grab known as the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. If anything, he needs a better PR firm.
But why should all this matter to you (or to me for that matter)?
I’ll tell you why. Watch your “ruling class” – that cadre of US liberal internationalists sitting in their cushy petite-bourgeois suburban Washington DC homes, with their own particular brand of American exceptionalism (really veiled imperialism) and its empty, bellicose rhetoric. Watch the understandable empathy towards the Ukrainian people expressed by an angst-riddled American public, quickly become exploited and manipulated so as to transform into full blown “fury” at everything Russian (incidentally lest you think otherwise, this class doesn’t adhere to our plebeian understandings of the political boundaries of left and right. Their boundaries instead simply demarcate “us and them”).
Watch their actions even closer. Chances are you’ll see that as usual, the last thing on their minds will be your best interests. They know better than you. They’re wealthier than you. They’re more educated than you. They’re superior in intelligence and especially morality (something they’ve been desperately trying to legislate – along with speech). As a result, your world needs to be recast according to their sanctimonious, finger-wagging vision. And lucky for them, a new crisis has appeared that can be exploited to further their agendas.
As this war continues to grow like a cancer, many of them, hiding behind a mask of noble international humanitarianism will seek to take advantage of this crisis if they aren’t doing so already. To some of the ruling class in fact – oil speculators as one example – it already feels as if Putin – the ultimate bogeyman and villain from central casting – has given them a gift on a silver platter. Defense stocks are going up in value. I’ve even seen investment banks (those stalwart political donors to both morally bankrupt political parties) making “buy” recommendations in that sector. And of course, their propaganda wings – the wholly corrupt, hollowed out, and rabidly ideological US media, always foaming at the mouth to push their paymaster’s agendas, reporting on this invasion, is wetting itself pining for the next opportunity to lecture the rest of us on the superior and only true morality and world view, reinforced and proven by the inhumane behavior of the enemy. Their reporters, wearing designer fatigues and camped out on the veranda of a 5 star hotel in Kyiv (I know that hotel quite well), are sipping espresso and patiently waiting for the next missile strike to hit an orphanage while they freshen up their makeup.
These “leaders” of yours will predictably take actions that will capitalize on this human tragedy. To preserve, if not enhance both their political and economic hegemony – the only real causes they have ever believed in and fought for – and they will say it’s all in the name of “freedom”, “moral justice”, “democracy”, or whatever other virtuous buzzwords fit this particular narrative. Smelling the immense possibilities, they will try to gleefully drag the United States into a new war, and decry anyone who even questions their motives as champions of “Putinism” and tyranny. And once again, as history has shown, everyone else – the people that have the least to gain and the most to lose from yet another world war – people like you and I – and like the courageous Ukrainians who are suffering now – will suffer irreparably as a result. We are ALL about to be raked over the coals, again.
I also have no delusions about being able to influence or change the outcomes of such events. I’m a nobody. In fact, even my opinion is irrelevant. I’m not part of this entrenched international political or oligarch class moving the levers of the world for my personal gain or as a mechanism to reinforce my narcissistic self-importance (offshore accounts and mega-yachts. as we have learned, can only go so far). But having been raised in one of the millions of families that still heavily bear the psychological scars of the last world war, a war that wholly displaced both sides of my family and set it back generations, a war in which my father’s communist “liberators” proved to be just as vicious and savage as the Nazi “aggressors”, I decided a long time ago that I’d rather face the ugly truths about what wars like this really mean and become, when they are subverted and exploited, and call them out rather than allow myself to be duped by what Plato called “noble lies”.
This song I wrote called “Sacrificial Lambs” which appears on my last album, “The Disappearing Architect”, was inspired by 9/11 and the decade of fabricated wars and would be “revolutions” that came in its wake. It is the period when my cynicism began to grow. The usual suspects are largely responsible for those wars. They may not have invented the crisis, but boy did they exploit it. Of course, it’s happening again. This time it began when a crook from the East duped his army of suckers to move West. And just like in Afghanistan, when a bunch of crooks from the West pushed their armies East, most of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine right now (with the exception of a few psychopaths) have no idea why they are there. They have no idea why they are shooting innocent Ukrainians. Put simply, it’s not their business to know. Their own ruling class has told them so. Like all the soldiers that came before them, and the ones that will soon arrive wearing different uniforms, they are ALL “just following orders”.