The Big Two Op-eds in the New York Times...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 11:48 AM

Is politics nothing but the art of deliberately lying?—Voltaire

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

Looking over today's print edition of the NY Times, I came across two op-eds. One by the top foreign policy mandarin at the Times, Tom Friedman, and the other by the nominal top dog in Washington, to wit, the non-credible Papa Joe Biden, who informs us What America will and Will not do in Ukraine.

Both complementary articles struck me as partly mendacious, partly invidious, and thoroughly misleading and unwise. Even laughable. In other words, propaganda. I fear the U.S. establishment has talked itself into a corner, a dangerous corner.

Among other things, there is no recognition that the Russo-Ukraine war represents a serious failure of Washington’s foreign policy. Such an idea assumes that not stopping the conflict before it began is a failure. In this case, U.S. policy not only did not stop it, but actually brought it about and is responsible for it.

Of course, The Blob does not see it that way. The Washington foreign policy establishment is crowing among themselves about what a success it all is. Russia has been cut off from Europe. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany has been halted, perhaps for good. 

Russia has been sanctioned to the max by both the US and the EU. Russia has been blackballed. Russian assets outside Russia have been seized or pirated by Washington and its tributaries. For the moment the EU is united and may expand further. 

In addition, there is talk of defenestrating President Putin from the Kremlin, the primary goal of the project from the start. Friedman smugly, not to mention cynically, remarks in closing, “Putin is a problem for the Russian people, not us.” (Putin Awakened a Sleeping Giant) Meanwhile, Washington gets to utilize the Ukrainians and the Russians as cannon fodder, and the European economy can go to hell. 

The war is a means to achieving these ends. As such, we are witnessing a triumphal success for U.S. foreign policy, not a failure, according to the Blob. Its members do not say this out loud of course, but it can be inferred from their attitude. The sanctimonious pronouncements of Washington politicians represent the same hubris.

BTW, Friedman's headline in the paper, Putin awakened a sleeping giant, is taken from Grand Admiral Yamamoto. After the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, he said that the attack had awakened a sleeping giant, America. 

Yamamoto was against the attack but was assigned to execute it. Note that FDR’s foreign policy which brought about the Pearl Harbor attack is seen by Washington insiders as a triumph, a required sacrificial gambit to achieve a wider purpose. Just like Ukraine. In any event, we are playing with fire.