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Pedro L. Gonzalez

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Keeping Out the Jacobins


I’ve been reading The New Jacobinism: America as Revolutionary State by Claes G. Ryn, first published in 1991. It’s a short but insightful polemic about the pernicious influence of neoconservatism—the “New Jacobinism”—on American affairs. Here is a brief overview:

"This strongly and lucidly argued book gave early warning of a political-intellectual movement that was spreading in the universities, media, think-tanks, and foreign-policy and national security establishment of the United States. That movement claims that America represents universal principles and should establish armed global hegemony. Claes G. Ryn demonstrates that, although this ideology is often called 'conservative' or 'neoconservative,' it has more in common with the radical Jacobin ideology of the French Revolution of 1789. The French Jacobins selected France as savior of the world. The new Jacobins have anointed the United States. The author explains that the new Jacobinism manifests a precipitous decline of American civilization and that it poses a serious threat to traditional American constitutionalism and liberty. The book’s analyses and predictions have proved almost eerily prophetic."

“Prophetic,” indeed, for two reasons.

First, it was published a decade before “President George W. Bush made neo-Jacobin ideology the basis of US foreign policy,” transforming America into the spearhead of the “global democratic revolution” with all the blood and tears that has entailed. Second, Ryn’s close encounter with neoconservatism helps to make sense of certain intellectual trends today.
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NATO Has Become the Very Thing It Was Created to Fight


After more than a decade, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) updated its Strategic Concept to name China as a chief global security threat to our "values." In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the alliance of promoting "conflict and confrontation."

"It is filled with the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices," Lijian said. He's right, and NATO's prejudices extend to the very people who NATO claims to represent: China is a threat to the US-led alliance—but so is everyone, everywhere, who does not share its ideology. And contrary to what NATO claims, its ideology is little more than a universalist commitment to subordinating nations to international bodies and reducing people to mere populations to be managed and controlled.

The US originally spearheaded NATO against the global hegemony sought by the Soviet Union, which, much like NATO, promoted "conflict and confrontation" with every government that did not share its ideology. The historical irony is that the US emerged from the ashes of the Cold War as an ideological nation itself with the same zeal to remake the world.
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The Mariupol Theater Bombing


On March 16, the Donetsk Regional Drama Theatre in Mariupol, Ukraine, was bombed. The building reportedly housed scores of civilians at the time. Maxar satellite images showed the word “CHILDREN” written in Russian in large letters on the pavement outside. The incident occurred within hours of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s virtual address to Congress, where he asked again for the United States to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
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The Fog of Information War in Ukraine


The Western intelligence apparatus has been busy in Ukraine. With financing and collaboration through various non-governmental organizations, it won the information war with the help of Ukrainian media before Russia ever fired a shot in February. Even the country’s newest publications, like the Kyiv Independent, have received support and funding from institutions associated with the Central Intelligence Agency.

In most cases, these outlets have propagandized to the beat of the West’s war drums rather than inform the public.

Since the Independent launched last November, it has amassed nearly two million Twitter followers and become a main artery of information in the war. Far from being objective, its writers tend to snap at those who contradict their narratives. Illia Ponomarenko, the Independent’s defense reporter, even declared himself “brothers in arms” with Azov Battalion, a unit known for committing war crimes against civilians in eastern Ukraine. According to journalist Michael Tracey, Ponomarenko amassed almost a million followers in less than two weeks.
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