Barack (Baruch) Obama, the current incarnation of American puppet theater, has concretized his position as master propagandist, hell-bent on leading the entire world to war if not nuclear annihilation. The office of the resident president – in reality an oligarchy managed by the biggest money players and lobbyists on the globe – has a long history of rhetorical oratory at the expense of The Other.
In the March 27th edition of Counterpunch Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis writes about the “War Syllogism” of the American Presidency. It is telling that Ms. Kuroiwa-Lewis uses the term syllogism in advancing her argument, when we here at kulturCritic know in fact that syllogistic reasoning is what historically locked the West and its Curriculum into a never ending legalistic battle with ourselves, with the Other, and with our world.
But, let us stay with the theme of war. Ms. Kuroiwa-Lewis says the major premise of this War syllogism is of course American militarism. Simply put: ‘If I am a hammer then everything else is a nail.’ But, I would say the major premise should be a bit broader – let us call it ‘bellicose American exceptionalism.’ Simply put: ‘We are chosen to save the world from Evil and spread the American Dream.’ Like most of his predecessors, Baruch has learned well the rhetorical niceties of this syllogistic form; and through it, he is setting us up – along with the entire Western world – for what may be the rightful end to Western Civilization and the Curriculum that grounds it. And maybe this is an appropriate endgame given our current overlapping unsolvable planetary crises.
It is more than likely, if the rhetoric keeps ratcheting up, that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will have no other recourse but to defend his country against a virulent attack from the West. Then we can witness Baruch Obama and Angela Merkel – a lady who herself learned the art of the syllogism as a Stasi propagandist (a.k.a. ‘Erika’) spreading agitpro in East Germany before the fall of the wall – marching along hand-in-hand with the new neo-Nazi rulers of Kiev.
All of this is not to say that Baruch can’t muster as much intelligence as poor dead JFK did when he made his private pleading to Nikita Kruschev asking him politely to back down from Cuba. Perhaps our Baruch will discover how to show a similar wisdom and humility. But, this really does nothing to solve the problem of America’s deluded self-image and its sociopathic need to demonize The Other – “the scapegoat” – and prostitute the rest of the world so that we may always get our way. There is a real sickness in the soul of the American populous, their constitution, their leaders, and the capitalist oligarchs, a ‘sickness unto death’ that needs desperate remedy.
As Kuroiwa-Lewis writes:
In his book, A Grammar of Motives, [Edmund] Burke explains that the scapegoat is a substitute or vicarious stand-in for a community’s ills and must therefore take the blame for those ills and be sacrificed in order to purify the community of its sickness (406)
So we, as the sick community, demonize whomever we can to assuage our deluded sense of global entitlement. We take our own sickness, our own weakness – a weakness hiding behind our macho exceptionalism and our apparent military might – and we project it onto someone whom we then can attack. But really, all of this is too psychological. The foundation of our militaristic mindset is our desperate need for diminishing resources in a fast closing negative-sum game.
The oddly reassuring part in all this hysteria is that we never hear the same kind of rhetoric or belligerence out of Moscow. But, perhaps it is not odd after all. Perhaps it is the only natural response from a more lambent Russian character – that emotionally more mature, archaic Russian soul. On the other hand, the American attitude is agitated and agitating – reminiscent of the three-year-old child who believes the world revolves around him and him alone. Like that child, we instigate trouble, and when we are upbraided, we then go into a tantrum until we get our way. And, oddly enough, our hegemony seems to be playing both roles in this Greek tragedy. Just like the militaristic Spartans before us, the West is spoiling for a real firefight. But Baruch, our ebony hegemon, is strutting more like the Persian god-king Xerxes, demanding that Putin bow before his divine majesty. However, what must not be forgotten in this current scenario is that…
Unlike the United States, Russia does have legitimate security interests in goings-on in the former Soviet republics [like Ukraine]. Obama and the others are therefore like little kids playing with matches. Fortunately, though, it seems that the Russians also know how to resist egregious provocations… In recent days, anti-Russian animosity seems even to have overcome Washington’s gridlock. And where Democrats and Republicans go, so go the mainstream media. The usual suspects are busily doing all they can to whip up a ruckus… If the Russians were to stoop to Obama’s level by taking his bait, the consequences would be dire.***
But, perhaps Russia’s long-suffering messianic mission still stands firm in the Siberian wilderness, albeit less vociferously than before: quietly attempting to recall us from the abyss of an alienated spirit that haunts the self-understanding of the West and its militaristic syllogism – a self-understanding that seems to be marching all of us hyper-rationally (irrationally) to global collapse. Unfortunately, the delusion of ‘manifest destiny’ and ‘American exceptionalism’ driving the Western hegemony and its belligerent culture is chipping away relentlessly and callously at that archaic Russian soul, perhaps more rapidly than she is able to redirect the self-destructive trajectory of Western imperialism and its global appetites.