It is a scene depressingly familiar to inhabitants of Political Washington over the past 30 years since US armed invasion of small or vulnerable countries came back into fashion after being briefly discredited following the Vietnam War. This time it is Venezuela and its twice democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro that is being demonized as a Diabolical Menace to the very survival of All That is Good and True.
One does not have to uncritically admire everything President Maduro has done as leader of his country to confidently predict what will happen if the US government succeeds in toppling him and imposing its own ridiculous figurehead – boyish, fearful, eager-to-please little Juan Guiado: Venezuela’s version of Mario Rubio and the nonentity being touted as his country’s liberator (how the spirit of Simon Bolivar must be raging – or laughing uncontrollably!).
Then, the miseries of the unfortunate Venezuelan people will not end: They will only just have begun.
Washington’s Armchair Heroes are determined to transform the Bolivarian Republic into the Gulliverian Republic – a joke of a state presided over by worthless tiny midgets.
We have seen this same infernal script play out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine with efforts to impose it on Syria and Yemen.
The outcome is always the same: Worse wars, worse suffering, huge increases in civilian death tolls, collapses of economies, violent anarchy, flourishing extreme Islamist and other terrorist groups where previously there were none, enormous rackets sexually enslaving children and young women, soaring per capita drug abuse rates.
The philosopher-statesmen and wise pundit-prophets of Washington shake their heads sadly and move on every looking for new worlds to liberate – and destroy.
Why is this happening yet again as it has remorselessly before under the previous five successive US presidents?
The answer is simple: President Donald Trump has now surrounded himself with neoconservative super-hawks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are driving policy. They have eagerly recruited Elliott Abrams, who was widely accused of supporting the genocide of the Mayan native peoples of Central America back in the time of Ronald Reagan more than 35 years ago as their Special Envoy to restore Democracy in Venezuela – a title with a devilishly Orwellian touch: For Abrams, of course will not rest until the last vestiges of democracy and meaningful freedom and independence are destroyed in Venezuela.
Most insane of all, at a time when the awful wars that George W. Bush and Barack Obama have unleashed across the Middle East, Eurasia and South Asia blaze on with no end in sight (except for the total defeat of the United States and the annihilation of all those forces shortsighted, greedy and just plain stupid enough to trust them), Trump, Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams are now determined to open up a brand new war front on an entirely different continent. And once again they are charging in with a political grand strategy certain to guarantee inevitable total defeat. Once again, the Gadarene Swine are in full stampede.
How can a nation and its ruling establishment commit so cavalierly to repeating catastrophic policies that produced nothing but horror and humiliation and failure throughout the 21st century without exception? We must go back more than 100 years to get a hint of the deeper answer to this vital question.
An amazing letter the great English philosopher Lord Bertrand Russell wrote about the work of Sigmund Freud in 1917 explains the nature of the warmongering madness and stampede to global destruction that has again taken over the US political and media elites.
In their recent enormous study “Freud in Cambridge”, John Forester and Laura Cameron quote a genius of a century ago, Russell, talking about another one – Freud.
In a 1917 letter to his young mistress Lady Constance “Colette” Malleson, Russell wrote, as World War I was still raging, “I am reading Freud on dreams – most exciting. I see in my mind’s eye a great work on how people come to have the opinions they have – interesting scientifically and undermining ferocity (emphasis in the original) the base (unmasking, I ought to have said) – because it is always hidden behind a mask of morality. The psychology of opinion, especially politically opinion, is really an untouched field… and I am excited about it.”
Russell, as usual was centuries ahead of his time. He recognized, as Freud and George Orwell in their unique ways also did, the crucial roles of emotional irrational hatred welling up from the unconscious, summoned by simple, primitive clichés endlessly repeated in a numbing, hypnotic drumbeat of mass brainwashing. “People of Oceania! We are at war with Eurasia! We have always been at war with Eurasia! We are at War with Venezuela! We have always been at war with Venezuela!”
Today 320 million Americans are once again being led by the nose into another needless, bungled, unnecessary open-ended war for the power and profit of a tiny few. And even most of them will not even get that – or at least, not for very long.
Today more than ever, we need the insights of these three great minds, Freud, Orwell and Russell to explain the delusional madness sweeping political and media Washington.
Once again, as Russell so clearly recognized and warned, crazed ferocity hides behind a mask of morality and claimed high mindedness in advocating and pushing through policies that imperil human survival. The Gadarene Swine stampede through the broad boulevards of Washington, intent on spreading their madness and destruction to the entire world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.