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Stone writes: "In this dangerous election cycle, Republicans and Democrats continue to talk loudly – of muscle, power, and the exercise thereof. But since Vietnam, it’s equally clear we’re scared of putting boots on the ground in any significant way, as casualties are anathema to the electorate, who prefer the Empire’s use of proxy armies, covert operations, and soft power."

Oliver Stone. (photo: Art Streiber/Sunday Magazine)
Oliver Stone. (photo: Art Streiber/Sunday Magazine)


As Wars Around the World Rage, Both Republicans and Democrats Speak of Muscle, Power, and Violence

By Oliver Stone, Oliver Stone's Facebook Page

06 January 16

 

s the wars of the world rage on into 2016, the powder keg now appears to be ‘Syraq’ and not Ukraine. One day, perhaps too late, we as a country will recognize that some of our ‘friends’ are our ‘enemies,’ and some of our ‘enemies’ are really our allies. But as long as we pursue the politics of Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies, we’re squandering our life force in the creation of more and more chaos.

In this dangerous election cycle, Republicans and Democrats continue to talk loudly -- of muscle, power, and the exercise thereof. But since Vietnam, it’s equally clear we’re scared of putting boots on the ground in any significant way (500,000 went to Vietnam), as casualties are anathema to the electorate, who prefer the Empire’s use of proxy armies, and covert/soft power.

But as long as Russia continues to maintain and refine its nuclear capabilities (at about 1/5th our cost), those who actually think must understand we can’t force them into submission where their national interests are concerned, i.e., Eastern Ukraine, their borders with Europe, and terrorism against Russia, etc. Without that nuclear capacity, there is no doubt Russia would’ve rendered Edward Snowden to the United States long ago.

Having suffered through two Chechen wars, the mass execution of schoolchildren at Beslan, the Moscow theatre attack, etc., and with the largest Muslim population in Europe, terrorism is a huge issue to Russia. How much closer is ‘Syraq’ to their borders than ours? Russia well knows the US has been supporting several of these terrorist groups against them, starting with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan back in the 1980s, and that we’re now supporting Turkey and Saudi Arabia and their proxy groups, including ISIS, as well as several other organizations. Throw in mercenary Chechens in several countries, fascist groups in Ukraine; as well as NATO-aided, right-wing groups in Poland, the Baltic Republics, etc. While we continue to play Red Riding Hood’s grandma-in-wolf’s-clothing, our media consistently denies we’re the Big Bad Wolf in this affair -- ‘who me?’ In response, Russia, despite sanctions against it and a withering propaganda onslaught, has only hardened its muscle back to 1941 levels. They’re ready for the worst. This is so dangerous. Why?

Below are 5 excellent analyses showing us the details of a US strategy that allows us to understand the frightening stakes of USA/EU/NATO against Russia/Iran/Syria, reaching a tipping point in a gigantic battle for energy resources -- the 21st century Mid-East resembling the 1914 Balkans; this could bloom, like a Ponzi scheme, into a war that ultimately engulfs the rest of the world.

The most unstable particle in this fury is this damned 2016 circus of an American election. Emotions are most easily excited, dumb things about our weaknesses and strengths are said and believed by the electorate. Nor has our media really given us insight into what the Russian point of view really is, although Putin has stated it on several occasions. We keep insisting it’s the restoration of the Cold War Russian Empire -- which Putin has repeatedly condemned, saying it didn’t work THEN and it won’t work NOW. He’s deplored the fallacy of Communism. Meanwhile, we don’t seem to understand or empathize with the true size of the terrorist threat against Russia.

We should be remembering in a time of possible all-out war, when most people seem to have forgotten what war is like, that it’s not Russia, the EU, the Mid-East, or Ukraine which have the most to lose. It’s the USA -- us. Most of us would lose our lives, and we’d certainly lose our economy, and generally a way of life that’s spoiled us since WW2. I keep wondering WHY do we keep pushing for “regime change” and dominion over other lands? We never back down, it seems. There’s no end to the zombie hunger for more control. Nothing changes in our system of ill will towards any resisters, going back to the Philippines in the early 1900s.

But am I naïve to think, as bad as our rhetoric and propaganda have gotten, that the military-industrial complex in our country is not so NUTS as to set off a real hot war -- when we have the most to lose? Remember the senselessness of World War I. Will we be asking ourselves the same question about ‘Syraq’ one day? How did this start? Why?

In closing, I pray that I turn out to be as wrong as I was about Ukraine at the end of 2014, and that we’ll all still be communicating at this time next year. Let's hope so... Let's hope sanity prevails in 2016.

Pepe Escobar, “You Want War? Russia is Ready for War,” Counterpunch. http://bit.ly/1TAiOAb

Pepe Escobar, “NATO’s got a brand-new (Syrian) bag,” RT. http://bit.ly/1JpXgFX

Mike Whitney, “Putin Throws Down the Gauntlet,” Counterpunch. http://bit.ly/225osQw

Robert Parry, “A Blind Eye Toward Turkey’s Crimes,” Consortium News. http://bit.ly/1Ypk5jR

Ira Chernus, “Six Mistakes on the Road to Permanent War,” TomDispatch. http://bit.ly/1Ur5LB3

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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+46 # wrknight 2016-01-06 10:36
" I keep wondering WHY do we keep pushing for “regime change” and dominion over other lands?"

The answer is simple. It is profitable for those who are in control so long as there is no personal risk to themselves.

"Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” --Hermann Goering
 
 
+35 # wantrealdemocracy 2016-01-06 10:55
The problem in the United States is that we are no longer a democracy in any meaning of the word. Our 'Representative s' do not represent the people who live in their districts. Those scum people who like to be called "honored members of Congress" have NO HONOR at all. They are corrupted by their greed.

Our electoral system is badly flawed. Only those backed by the richest .01% of the people of this nation may even get their names of the ballot. We have two corrupt political parties and that is all. Our task if to try and figure out which of these two is the worst. This is an impossible task due to the agreement of both of these parties on endless wars, and the serious loss of a decent living standard for the working people of this nation. Austerity for the common man and tax cuts for the wealthy as everything deteriorates around us. Citizens are warned constantly of the terrible danger of terrorism by those Muslims and we, the citizens are frightened. The truth is that we, the United States of American is the worst terrorist nation on earth.
 
 
+8 # newell 2016-01-06 16:08
AGREE AND THE ONLY WAY I SEE TO CIRCUMVENT THIS ENDEMIC PROBLEM WITH ANY REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IS DIRECT VOTING (BY DEVICES). IDEAS, ANY IDEAS CAN BE DEBATED ON AIR AND ON-LINE AND THEN VOTED ON. THE REPRESENTATIVES WOULD BE MANDATED TO FOLLOW THE VOTES AND BECOME LAW. WE COULD VOTE ON WAR, EDUCATION, HEALTH, TAXES, THE ENVIRONMENT, ETC.----BUT FIRST WE HAVE TO TAKE MONEY OUT OF CAMPAIGNS IN ORDER TO ELECT HONEST PEOPLE. SANDERS IS THE BEST BET TO DO THAT........... ..............V OTE SANDERS!!
 
 
+5 # jwl 2016-01-06 14:15
Quoting wrknight:
" I keep wondering WHY do we keep pushing for “regime change” and dominion over other lands?"

The answer is simple. It is profitable for those who are in control so long as there is no personal risk to themselves.

"Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” --Hermann Goering

There was a good reason Hitler made Goering his minister of propaganda.
 
 
+6 # revhen 2016-01-06 14:28
You got the "Goe" part right. But I believe it was Goebbels: "If you say the big lie loud enough and long enough, people will start believing it."
 
 
+1 # JayaVII 2016-01-07 00:21
Goering wasn't the minister of propaganda -- that would be Goebbels. Goering of course was the head of the luftwaffe.
 
 
+10 # Pikewich 2016-01-06 14:44
Another BIG problem in the US is we do not learn and remember an authentic true and objective history.

1/2 the population can't think. They have lost the ability to sense twisted logic and react to the corporate media lies with hatred.
 
 
+7 # newell 2016-01-06 16:11
IF YOU ARE GOING TO A BETTER PLACE THAN EARTH AFTER YOU DIE--YOU DON'T NEED TO THINK. NOTHING EARTHLY MATTERS. NOT EVEN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH.
 
 
+1 # Debbie.Grey 2016-01-08 10:58
Quoting wrknight:
" I keep wondering WHY do we keep pushing for “regime change” and dominion over other lands?"

The answer is simple. It is profitable for those who are in control so long as there is no personal risk to themselves.


And that would be one way we differ from Rome. Romans were in it for the personal military glory over and beyond the profit motive.

Still, our Founders construed us as the natural inheritor of Rome, and conquer we do. So make no mistake - wars are begun by a party who wishes to hold control over a resource rather than be an equal partner in a trading relationship - not to win hearts and minds. AND the one starting the war expects it to pay for itself somehow.
 
 
+11 # cordleycoit 2016-01-06 11:25
Excellent insight, poor problem solving. Capitalism has been dead for years replaced by corporate-state socialism another failed theory.To quote Putny Swope, "Our job is not to rock the boat,it's to sink it.'
 
 
+8 # revhen 2016-01-06 14:31
"Corporate-stat e socialism" exactly. And those who benefit most from it are dead set against "socialism" if it benefits regular folk, real human beings instead of the pseudo-human corporation created by SCOTUS.
 
 
0 # Radscal 2016-01-07 00:31
OMG! I was trying to remember the name of that movie just a couple days ago. Thanks.

Oh, and up vote for your comment, too.
 
 
+8 # PABLO DIABLO 2016-01-06 12:57
Some people make money off of war, lots of money. (See Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush, George w. Bush for example) and can continue to buy politicians who will push for war ( See Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama for instance). The media is pushing Hillary to go against THE DONALD and ignoring Bernie Sanders in order to make Neocon Hillary “our” next President.
 
 
+4 # cmp 2016-01-06 13:16
I read all 5 of the articles that Oliver suggested. And, just like his piece, they indeed were very valuable insights.

.. But, at 4 PM Eastern or 1 PM Pacific, it will be Midnight in Moscow (Mockba). And, it's on January 7th, that a lot of Russia will be celebrating the Eastern Orthodox Christmas. It will also be celebrated in the Ukraine, Serbia, Georgia, ..., etc..

So, to all, enjoy your families and your friends. Enjoy your Christmas festive meal. ... And, here is my humble but very sincere attempt at Pycckeey:

Schastleevogo Rozhdestva!!!
.. ee..
Meer ee Shast'ye. ..!

.. smile..
 
 
+9 # JayaVII 2016-01-06 13:29
Fine analysis here, but the problem imho is that we have lost the ability to see ourselves, and so critical analysis and intellect have little effect on the "discourse," such as it is. Do these fools and puppets running for office possess real power? Politicians come and go, but the NSA, Pentagon, Citibank and Exxon/Mobil remain. The "democratic" process serves to distract us from the oligarchic nature of the state; thus, the more antics the better. It is inevitable that we will elect a clown to keep the circus going.
 
 
+9 # revhen 2016-01-06 14:35
Disagree slightly. The true oligarchy CONTROLS the state, its tool. It does the bidding of its masters. Don't blame the government: Blame those who control the government. "Bread and games" kept the people in happy ignorance as the Roman Empire collapsed. Why do you think sports are so important today? Let's see, who is the most entertaining clown?
 
 
+1 # Justice Lady 2016-01-07 13:42
WE can only have tru peace when we stop supporting the land lord system & dictators around the world & get our own act clean.The economy is at the root of it all. And Henry George showedd the way to solve the economic problems here & everywhere by getting down to basic justice & common sense in regard to our tax system.
 
 
+2 # elkingo 2016-01-06 13:38
Best and most reasonable yet, Ollie. It does seem however that Pootie's sensibility is that of WWII nationalism, same really as our Species Americanus Moronus Bellicosity - the mil/indust/foss il/prison complex. That is the dominant echelon here. And we are indeed flirting with WWIII.

Please entertain the following: the nation-state at all has to go, as the lethal anachronism it is. And global socialism has to be established in some viable form if we are to survive at all, even absent nuclear war.
 
 
+9 # elkingo 2016-01-06 13:40
And: "The worst of men start fights so the best of men must die". Woody Guthrie
 
 
+4 # Robbee 2016-01-06 14:06
Both Republicans and Democrats Speak of Muscle, Power, and Violence - yeah, but not with the same voice!

the difference is that Muscle, Power, and Violence abroad sums the whole of what Republicans government may do

meanwhile Democrats want government to work "for the people" inside america too

go bernie!
 
 
+3 # Robbee 2016-01-06 15:59
Democrats are the worst party in the world - until you compare them to Republicans!
 
 
+2 # Deist 2016-01-06 16:09
Thanks for a thought provoking and informative article. However, one glaring oversight is the influence Israel and its lobby has over US politicians from both parties. The US war against Iraq was started and fought for the Jewish state's security (http://deism.com/neoconsbible.htm).
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2016-01-07 00:40
And no mention of the supra-national financial organizations that fund all sides of all conflicts.

Having learned how to succeed in Hollywood, Oliver Stone has apparently learned what subjects are taboo.

But Pepe Escobar does "go there," and Oliver steers us his way.
 
 
+1 # KathJack 2016-01-06 21:35
Mr. Stone, thank you for this interesting article. Your figure in the second paragraph confused me...actually the figure for troops who actually served in Vietnam is 2,709,918, however the peak troop strength in Vietnam was 543,482 on April 30, 1968. Is that what you were referring to?
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2016-01-07 00:45
A correction:

"But since Vietnam, it’s equally clear we’re scared of putting boots on the ground in any significant way (500,000 went to Vietnam)..."

"2,594,000 Personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam. Jan. 1, 1965 - Mar. 28, 1973"

http://www.veteranshour.com/vietnam_war_statistics.htm

There were as many as 500,000 US troops in Vietnam at one time during the LBJ Administration. Maybe that's what Oliver meant.
 
 
+5 # djnova50 2016-01-07 09:40
Bernie Sanders does not support regime change in other countries.

We do need change here in the US.

Bernie for President 2016.
 
 
+4 # RMDC 2016-01-07 12:43
The neo-cons in their manifesto "Rebuilding America's Defenses" called for permanent war. I the 2004 Nat. Sec. Strategy of the US, Bush said his war on terror would last for generations and maybe forever.

The dream of the weapons makers like the Bush Family has come true -- they have their state of permanent war.

Of course, Stone is right. The Pentagon will not get into any war with a big nation that could inflict damage on the US. That would put an end to the permanent war. So only small nations, poor people, helpless people will be bombed and destroyed. It is hard to state accurately the criminality and viciousness of this war without end.

The US is the most fucked up nation on earth. The people of the US don't even understand that they are killing and terrorizing poor people who simply cannot protect themselves. This is the same sort of crime as child abuse. The US attacks nations that cannot fight back.
 
 
+2 # hwmcadoo 2016-01-07 12:59
We should start fresh and if things continue as they are we’ll get the chance; all 1000 Americans left with no crops, industry, clean water, hospitals or utilities. We are doing to ourselves what we did to iraq. What a great country!
 
 
+2 # Buddha 2016-01-07 13:06
The people who control our government push global empire because constant war boosts their share values of those companies making the implements of war. The masses embrace global empire because they believe the propaganda that we are a "force for good" and are in an existential battle against perpetually created boogiemen that rationalize war and occupation.
 
 
0 # Justice Lady 2016-01-07 13:43
True , the real boogyman is our landlord system that we support & uphold here & all over the world.
 
 
+1 # Anarchist 23 2016-01-08 14:57
As Oliver Stone's movie 'JFK' demonstrates. the Fascist Oligarchs in charge of the country and its economy don't want peace, which is not profitable; they want war which is where their money is. HW Bush was meeting with Saudis on behalf of Carlyle group...worlds largest arms dealing hedge fund on 9/11...yeah...h e knew something all right...and look how profitable these last 14 years have been! Not to mention the complete domestic take-down...our police are now like the Gestapo, and whole swaths of the population are treated to beatings and killings by official street thugs...wake up and see where you really live! It is NOT 'the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave'!
 
 
0 # diamondmarge7 2016-01-09 11:52
I have written to Planned Parenthood& will also write to other groups that have endorsed TheShillary, the Hawk, the neo-con. No more $$ for groups behind her. All my energy, interest, and passion are fueling my volunteer work for BERNIE. Please join me & go to www.citizensagainstplutocracy.org:take the pledge to write in BERNIE if the corrupt DNC manages to try to push TheShillary down our progressive throats. Tomorrow I knock on doors!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-01-10 14:58
marge is so full of herself! a GOP troll - # diamondmarge7 2016-01-09 11:52 "... take the pledge to write in BERNIE ..."

- about marge's pledge that bernie detests, says - # Scott Galindez 2015-10-20 10:28 “Its not leverage; threats backfire, especially empty ones. Bernie will not run as an independent.”

rsn is our own little laboratory of sexism, classism and delusions of grandeur in a boiling cauldron - thick with pledgers - those who hate lesser progressive hill so bad that they invite us to ignore her solid progressivism on women, unions, labor, tpp, blacks, voting rights, path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, gun control - and, if hill wins the primaries, join them in writing-in bernie, voting 3rd party, or not at all - in other words to, in effect, NOT vote progressive! - instead vote into presidency a next deeper level of zomblican hell!

well, marge - if you collect enough progressives - turn them into your boiling cauldron of pointless gestures, privileged idiots and pointy heads - such as makes you invite decent progressives to make your vicious pledge - you just may get the deeper level of zomblican hell your pledge prophesies! as scott galindez says - “Bernie needs enough delegates at that convention to win, not signers on a petition making an undemocratic threat.”

do we hate ourselves, and each other, enough to throw away our progressive vote and elect the successor to bush 2 on steroids? who here really, truly hates the rest of us that bad?
 

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