Understanding and Resisting the New Cold War
We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us that if our country and our way of life are to survive we must weaponize, weaponize, weaponize… We must recognize this as Cold War messaging to be resisted, and help others do the same.
The first thing to understand is that the Cold War is psychological war waged by the US and its allies. It is carried out on a worldwide basis and especially in the United States against the public. These operations are aimed at conditioning people to accept war preparations and war operations. They involve the joint efforts of what Ray McGovern (a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) has called the MICIMATT Complex — the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academic-Think Tank Complex.
The Cold War aims to rationalize and justify the US government’s vast war budget, its sprawling system of more than 700 foreign military bases, and a variety of military, diplomatic, and economic operations against other nations. These other nations are assigned the role of “enemy” or “threat”, because they are attempting to follow a political and/or economic path that is different from what the US wants. Today the objects of the Cold War include China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, North Korea, as well as others.
At the heart of the Cold War is a quest for world domination under the guise of “American exceptionalism”. We are told that the US is the “only indispensable nation,” the only legitimate model for democracy, and the best model for human rights. Nations and leaders who do not go along with this are demonized and are seen as threats to “US national security.” “US national security” in this context has nothing to do with the actual security of the people of the United States; instead, it has to do with the security of US and international corporations to operate without restrictions throughout the world. In order to resist this process, we must be able to pause when being told that some other country is “an enemy” or a “threat to our security.” We must slow down and check other sources of information. We must say to ourselves, “Where does this talk or image lead us? Let me think this through.”
U.S. claims to be “pro-democracy” must be viewed in the light of the numerous overt and covert US military operations that have successfully overthrown democratically elected leaders attempting to pursue policies in the interests of their own people; in the light of US support for dictatorships that go along with US policies; and in the light of a US “democratic order” that is dominated and controlled by an oligarchy of wealthy individuals and corporations.
In today’s world, in which humanity’s very existence is threatened by nuclear weapons, climate chaos, and pervasive pollution, humanity needs worldwide cooperation. We cannot afford to have enemies. On the contrary we need the nations of the world, particularly the major powers of the world, to come together as partners in survival. Humanity urgently needs the abolition of nuclear weapons, an end to conventional wars, an end to the threat of conventional wars, and a transition to the use of humanity’s spiritual and material resources for sustainability and true human security. These goals cannot be accomplished through domination. They require mutual respect among nations, respect for the principle of national sovereignty, respect for international law, and respect for the Charter of the United Nations.
Another way of looking at our reality is to recognize that in today’s globalized world we are all interconnected such that what we do to others will eventually be done to us. This means that the Golden Rule — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” — has become a practical necessity as well as a moral imperative. And the Golden rule includes not only what we do, but how we listen, and try to understand others.
Attempting to listen to and understand supposed “enemies” is likely to raise an immediate problem. In the past people in the US who opposed war and sought peace between the US and the USSR were frequently marginalized and accused of being “communist sympathizers.” Today, such labels have been transformed into new epithets such as “Putin puppet” or “Chinese apologist.” Given the massive power and influence of the MICIMATT complex, it is understandable that advocates for peace might react defensively to such charges, and seek to prove that they aren’t “puppets” or “apologists.” The problem with this reaction is that it unintentionally gives credence to a charge that has no credence, and thus inadvertently perpetuates Cold War thinking in general. We need to be prepared to reject outright such labels and try to help others do the same.
In our quest to understand others, fortunately there are non-corporate independent media. In regard to Russia “Johnson’s Russia List” is an invaluable free resource on the internet from The George Washington University; it includes English translations of speeches, papers, and interviews from Russian political leaders and academics. There are also Foreign Ministry websites of China and other countries. One need not take everything being said from these sources as true, but view them as providing some balance and an opportunity to give due attention to other viewpoints.
Because peace is inextricably connected with the solutions to any and all problems that humanity is facing, the Cold War hampers any and all efforts for protection of the environment, for true democracy, for social justice, for an end to racism, for human rights, and for human security. Thus all progressive social movements will ultimately find themselves confronting Cold War messaging, and this can be the basis for a broad movement against the Cold War and for true peace.
Finally, we should remember that as a signature to the UN Charter, the United States is bound to its principles by law. Any act of Congress that violates the UN Charter is actually illegal, and we can band together and demand that our elected officials pledge to never vote for an act that violates the UN Charter.
E. Martin Schotz, is a retired physician living in Cummington Massachusetts, a member of the Peace Task Force of FCCPR (Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution), and a member of the No New Cold War Group of Mass Peace Action.