A week ago I presented three written pieces loosely connected by the theme of amnesia. Here’s another three (OK one is a listen, not a read) and these too have an over-arching theme.
The denial of reality. There’s a lot of it about right now.
The US has tried to woo New Delhi since the outbreak of the Ukraine war while also not shying away from applying pressure. The latter is beginning to increase as the Neocons in the State Department grow impatient with India’s refusal to bend its national interest to US demands. Washington is responding the only way it knows how: by becoming more confrontational – an approach that will only motivate India to work out its differences with China, grow even closer to Russia and work harder to fortify BRICS.
Conon Gallagher, below
Only the irredeemably cynical would link Washington’s newfound concern over human rights abuses in Modi’s India ….
… to New Delhi declining to join the sanctions against Russia, as reported six days earlier by Bloomberg on April 6, 2022:
As Michael Hudson has noted, Washington’s heavyhanded efforts to stop Eurasia uniting at its east and west poles – as feared by European policy-makers since the 16th century, and by their US counterparts from 1945 to the present day – call to mind ancient Greek tragedy. Everything Oedipus does to avert his fate of patricide and incest serves only to advance those outcomes. So too have Washington’s efforts to curb Moscow served only to deepen the latter’s ties with Beijing.
Far from learning from its wrongheadedness on that front, it now seems intent on repeating it vis a vis New Delhi. Over to Conon Gallagher, writing today on the excellent Naked Capitalism site.
As if it weren’t enough for Washington to drive Russia and China together, its with-us-or-against-us attitude is also alienating India and providing evermore incentive for New Delhi and Beijing to put aside their differences. Washington is upset that India continues to play a central role in the development of BRICS, maintains strong and profitable ties with Russia, and refuses to follow neocon orders to be a US bulwark against China in South Asia.
The US has tried to woo New Delhi since the outbreak of the Ukraine war while also not shying away from applying pressure. The latter is beginning to increase as the neocons in the state department grow impatient with New Delhi’s ongoing refusal to bend its national interest to meet US demands. Washington is responding the only way it knows how: by becoming more confrontational – an approach that will almost certainly only motivate India to work out its differences with China, grow even closer to Russia and work harder to fortify BRICS.
The most recent dust up involves the killing of a man in Canada. In June, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate for an independent Sikh state, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in British Columbia. Some Sikhs in Indian diaspora communities support the establishment of an independent nation called Khalistan in the Indian state of Punjab. A failed insurgency there in the 1980s and 1990s led to a sizable emigration to Canada, the UK, and the US.
Canada has accused New Delhi of orchestrating Nijar’s killing. India has denied the allegations and accused Canada of hosting Sikh extremist groups.
According to the New York Times, the US provided intelligence for Trudeau’s claims and soon after backed Ottawa. Secretary of State Blinken called it a case of “transnational repression.” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said India has no “special exemption” to carry out extra-judicial killings.
(The US killed up to 16,900 people in drone strikes between between 2010 and 2020. Obama even whacked US citizens in Yemen, including a 16-year-old born in Colorado. Trump later took out his eight-year-old sister.)
The FBI is warning Sikhs in the US that India might come after them too. Canada apparently did the same for Nijar, but as The Canada Files points out, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has a long, suspect history with Sikh separatists.
While this is the most serious dust-up between India and the West since the war in Ukraine began, it is hardly the first.
As important as the Canada brouhaha is the fact the US has begun to enact sanctions on Indian companies – the first known measures against any Indian business since the beginning of the Ukraine war ….
… the empire barrelled on with aggressions against Russia and now China. Anyone who says these are terrifyingly incendiary provocations is shouted down by what amount to arguments against reality. That’s the main tool in the empire apologist’s toolbox these days: arguing with reality.
Caitlin Johnstone, below
The day before Conor Gallagher wrote his piece, on the denial of reality in the corridors of US power, Caitlin Johnstone was focused on the useful idiots who give US power a free pass on pretty much everything. Here’s what she was saying on September 30:
Much empire apologia now consists of westerners saying governments not aligned with the USA shouldn’t have the security concerns they have, shouldn’t regard their national interests the way they do.
Armchair warriors against Russia defend the NATO expansion which led to war in Ukraine by saying Russia should not have taken issue with a western alliance amassing war machinery on its doorstep. If you bring up the fact that a great many western analysts spent a great many years warning that NATO actions after the fall of the USSR would provoke Russia into war, their only argument is to say Russia should not have been provoked by those actions.
You see the same with regard to China. Beijing’s standoff with Taiwan is a civil war frozen (by US interventionism) since 1949, with a history that goes back centuries. The west’s response to China’s push to reunify island and mainland has been to insist that Beijing regard Taiwan as a sovereign nation, even though the west itself does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty.
In both cases, the US empire is confronting nations with policies, regarding their immediate surroundings, which run deeper and go much further back than vapid liberal ideals. Russia was invaded through Ukraine by Napoleon and Hitler. Taiwan was used by Japan as an aircraft carrier to attack the Chinese mainland during WW2. Disagree with such deep-rooted security concerns if you like, but you can’t just hand-wave them away because they don’t fit in with the made-up rules the west pretends to play by.
Realists like John Mearsheimer said years ago that the west’s aggressions toward Russia meant “Ukraine is going to get wrecked” because they looked at what the west was doing, and at Russia’s national security positions. They weren’t fixing on ideological shoulds and shouldn’ts, or babbling about what would be a just position for Russia in some alternate universe. They were focused on what was happening and what would happen. A lot of death and destruction would have been avoided if they’d been listened to.
Instead the empire barrelled on with aggressions against Russia and now China. Anyone who says these are terrifyingly incendiary provocations is shouted down by what amount to arguments against reality.
That’s the main tool in the empire apologist’s toolbox these days: arguing with reality …
Never has the world seemed a more dangerous place, nor more in the thrall of power-servingly mendacious accounts of why.
We are talking to ourselves. We are leading to the destruction of Ukraine because there is no way to have a military victory over Russia. Russia has escalatory dominance, up to and including nuclear war. We are on a reckless path based on falsehoods.
Jeffrey Sachs, below
For his part, a chillingly sober Jeffrey Sachs spoke eight days ago on September 25. The targets of this economist and academic, specialist on sustainability and poverty, are on the one hand the criminal recklessness of a US leadership which has led us to the brink of nuclear war; on the other our debased media which, in paving that ‘reckless path of falsehoods’, bear an equally criminal responsibility for the infantile reasoning speared in Caitlin’s piece.
Speaking for just under twenty-five minutes, here’s what Professor Sachs had to say:
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