Tell me again what ‘provoked’ means

29 Aug

Among many gems in her post today, Caitlin offers this:

So much empire apologia today is just people pretending not to understand what the word “provoked” means.

“Oh, so you’re saying the west’s actions JUSTIFY Putin’s invasion?? You’re saying we MADE Russia invade? You’re saying we used Jedi mind control to FORCE Putin to invade??”

Shut up, wanker. You know what provoked means.

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5 Replies to “Tell me again what ‘provoked’ means

  1. I love Caitlin.

    Shut up wanker is perfectly apt in response to those who act so dumb when US provocations are cited.

    And her response when The Economist says “Should war break out with China” is Fuck you. Brilliant. By “break out” what they actually mean is if/when China is sufficiently provoked into a war. Should war break out is so shitty and inane. It’s almost as if they think wars “break out” by magic.

    • In my experience, which on the kind of exchanges she lampoons here is considerable, a puerile sarcasm is the hallmark of those whose readings of Guardian and Economist leave them with the preposterous notion they are not only well informed but have arrived at their assessments, of leaders and states targeted by Washington and its vassals, on their own sweet lonesome. While less pretentious folk down at the Trout & Screwdriver come out with “we’ve got to stand up to Russian aggression”, it’s the liberal intelligentsia who are most likely to deploy those smugly sarcastic non sequiturs.

      I first noticed it in arguments over Syria. “Oh yes”, one friend retorted back in 2015, when media propaganda blitz had cast Assad as the devil incarnate, “I’m sure he’s a saint”. At that time I still saw below the line comment at the Guardian as a forum worth engaging in, so was used to lines like “what’s the weather like today in Moscow, comrade?”

      I don’t know of anyone who skewers such glorified stupidity better than Caitlin – so, yes, I love her too!

  2. A bit off topic, but the UK propaganda outlet is now admitting that the Ukraine has huge casualties.
    Of course “Russia has many times more”. But it’s one of the multiplying number of cracks in the official narrative. One of these days they will actually admit the provocation narrative too. (Don’t hold your breath though – it will be a decade or so, and only with caveats, from carefully selected apologists).

    How I enjoy seeing them squirm.

    • One of these days they will actually admit the provocation narrative too.

      In fact the Caitlin piece I took the above from opens with this:

      A lot of empire sycophancy hides behind the fact that it’s always permissible to retrospectively oppose US wars that already happened, but not the current one. It’s permitted now to say the destruction of Vietnam and Iraq and Libya were mistakes, for example, but if you said it at the time people would treat you like a monster and call you all kinds of names.

      And it’s important to understand that this is still happening today. One day it will be permissible to say in mainstream circles that it was wrong for the US empire to deliberately provoke the war in Ukraine and keep it going as long as possible to bleed Russia, but it’s taboo to say that now, because the empire hasn’t yet accomplished all its goals in Ukraine.

      They always act like the most recent interventionist disaster was the final one. They always act like the hawks may have been wrong all those other times but they’re not wrong now. And then when they’ve killed everyone they wanted to kill and grabbed everything they wanted to grab and there’s no possibility of losing anything they gained, it will suddenly become permissible to make the present disaster the final one while they assure us the next one is completely righteous.

      And the brave columnists at Guardian and NYT who, two decades after the fact, float the notion that “we” committed wrongdoing in those far-off lands targeted by the Empire’s wrath will win plaudits for their fearless investigative work. Bah.

      Not sure the link on the map still works but here’s the intrepid Guardian, 11 years on from Iraq … and again thirteen years on

  3. Pingback: Two short reads: Mary Mellor on ‘wellth’; Caitlin Johnstone on advertorial ‘journalism’ - steel city scribblings

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