Monday, March 27, 2017

Chris Hedges: Putin’s Useful Idiot-- A Guest Post By Dorothy Reik


-by Dorothy Reik

I had heard Hedges speak several times before but this time I was on a mission. I wanted to get him to support Bernie Sanders. I even paid extra to get into the reception after his talk. But no go. He sneered. He called Bernie a sellout, said Bernie would endorse Clinton. “ The Democratic Party is a full partner in the corporate state. Yet Sanders, while critical of Hillary Clinton’s exorbitant speaking fees from firms such as Goldman Sachs, refuses to call out the party and-- as Robert Scheer pointed out in a column in October-- the Clintons for their role as handmaidens of Wall Street. For Sanders, it is a lie of omission, which is still a lie. And it is a lie that makes the Vermont senator complicit in the con game being played on the American electorate by the Democratic Party establishment.” He repeated his mantra that both parties were the same.

He rages weekly on truthdig, blaming the "elites" as though, as an Ivy Leaguer he is not one of them. Years of being a war correspondent have left him with, I believe, more than a touch of PTSD but being a war correspondent is addictive as many of their profession admit-- the adrenalin, the hypervigilance-- they are like those they cover. Holding a dying baby, as Hedges claims he did, can sear an image in your brain that will never go away. And thus he holds his audience in his hands and with the practiced cadences of a divinity student, which he was, brings them along in his frenzied journey.

He sang Jill Stein’s praises-- remember her? It seems a lifetime ago!

"The imperative of revolt dramatically reduces the importance of elections. Elections, managed by the elites, mean nothing if radical movements are not powerful enough to disrupt and dismantle corporate power." So he turns to Jill Stein because "she, unlike Bernie Sanders, knows that this movement will never be realized within the Democratic Party."

Marsha Gessen’s rules came too late for Hedges. He thought Clinton and Trump were two sides of the same coin but they were not. He should have believed Trump’s promises but he was too busy listening to himself. Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. Hedges now channels Gessen who suggested this as Clinton’s concession speech: “Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you. We have lost. We have lost, and this is the last day of my political career, so I will say what must be said. We are standing at the edge of the abyss. Our political system, our society, our country itself are in greater danger than at any time in the last century and a half. The president-elect has made his intentions clear, and it would be immoral to pretend otherwise. We must band together right now to defend the laws, the institutions, and the ideals on which our country is based.”

So thanks to Jill Stein, Putin’s other useful idiot, now we have Trump, and Hedges, like the rest of us, is terrified. Maybe now he knows that elections do, in fact, matter. He cries out: "Reality is under assault. Verbal confusion reigns. Truth and illusion have merged. Mental chaos makes it hard to fathom what is happening. We feel trapped in a hall of mirrors. Exposed lies are answered with other lies. The rational is countered with the irrational. Cognitive dissonance prevails. We endure a disquieting shame and even guilt. Tens of millions of Americans, especially women, undocumented workers, Muslims and African-Americans, suffer the acute anxiety of being pursued by a predator. All this is by design. Demagogues always infect the governed with their own psychosis."

Yes they do, Chris. And you have infected many with yours. But no worries. You have a nice home now on RT along with a good salary and interesting people to interview. You probably even have good health insurance! On Putin’s RT you are calm but when you write for truthdig you scream in pain: "The crawl toward despotism within a failed democracy is always incremental. No regime planning to utterly extinguish civil liberties advertises its intentions in advance. It pays lip service to liberty and justice while obliterating the institutions and laws that make them possible. Its opponents, including those within the establishment, make sporadic attempts to resist, but week by week, month by month, the despot and his reactionary allies methodically consolidate power. Those inside the machinery of government and the courts who assert the rule of law are purged. Critics, including the press, are attacked, ridiculed and silenced. The state is reconfigured until the edifice of tyranny is unassailable."

Would you feel the same way with Hillary or Bernie in the White House? We will never know. Putin keeps his useful idiots close so they won’t bite the hand that feeds them. He might need them again. Rail as you will on truthdig-- on RT Putin has tamed you.

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At 7:02 PM, Blogger Gadfly said...

Ahh, you sad-sack Berniecrats, or is it Berniepanzees now.

Still telling lies about Jill Stein.

Telling new lies about Chris Hedges.

Still refusing to DemExit.

And becoming ever-stronger tools of the Democratic establishment.

Have fun wallowing in your misery.

Have fun ignoring that Bernie himself still has refused to make a direct commitment to single-payer, let alone introduce that as a Senate bill, this year.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger mainstreeter said...

Hedges at least isn't afraid. The Nation is a sell out of a publication. Thom Hartmann has a gun pointed at his wallet from various sources (WCPT in Chicago) Maddow also has a similar threat from the likes of big oil (little coverage of TPP and NDak pipeline). The secret weapon of the Republican Party has been the incompetence of the Democratic Party. Thom and Rachel both threw Bernie under the bus back in June. Even Alan Colmes was in on it. Where was a voter to go except Jill Stein.

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Utter nonsense. The above know.

"Would you feel the same way with Hillary or Bernie in the White House?"

With $hillbillary, absolutely. Moreso. $he knows how to make $hit happen. The orange-utang doesn't.

Bernie? unknown. He ran a good campaign hitting all the right notes... but then there's the DO part isn't there? Obamanation hit all the right notes... well, he scored about a 90 to Bernie's 100. But when it came to DO, obamanation DID NOT. He DID the opposite.

Bernie endorsed and campaigned for the anti-Bernie. So... maybe... maybe not.

Jill Stein? Flawed. Lacking in charisma. But advocates correctly and consistently. The DOing with her? Prolly never know. But could it be as bad as R or D? nope. Useful idiot? nonsense.

If 65 million voters had listened to Hedges, we'd all be much better off.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anon.

And Chris.

And Jill.

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "Would you feel the same way with Hillary or Bernie in the White House?" (asked of Hedges.)

Apparently the author had not read/heard anything of Hedges before Herr Hair arrived on the presidential scene. (Hint: Check for how long Hedges "mantra that both parties were the same" has been fact. Start with his assessment of the Obumma administration)

This just another cheap shot at Russia to divert attention away from the Dem's complete ineptitude.

That journalists, and US voters, flock to RT simply proves Hedges claim about US Media (destroys information).

The rap on Stein proves Hedges claim about the 2 US major parties.

John Puma

At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best proof that the Democorrupts are completely incompetent is in their craven "deal making" over confirming Gorsuch when the Republicans have never been so fractured and divided. Dems must like being bitten while snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Down With Tyranny start publishing Russian conspiracy theories and McCarthyite comment?

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous ronnie said...

I woke up this morning still thinking about this article and its absolute ignorance. There is too much to unpack but I will provide a link below that more than buries all this Cold War Joe McCarthy talk. I'm so disappointed with DWT , it seems to find a way to fit some kind of reference to Russia, or Putin in almost every single article, its like watching a weather report and hearing the weatherman somehow finding a way to put in a word or two about a Russian conspiracy.

I hope those running this site at least read the following "rant", it has over 60 links in it to support its words, and imo an article could be made out of each one. I bookmarked the damn thing because it is a motherlode of information, look and tell me differently.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the alternative to our corrupt two party system is what....crickets. We're all doing our best to get money out of politics and get the best representation we can given the current system. So we just give up and run Jill Stein every four years to pretend she's the better choice. I don't think so. Bernie awakened a whole new wave of voters and their fresh energy will eventually change the status quo. Until then the answer to your question is, No I can't shut the fuck up about Bernie Sanders!

At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Bonita Mike said...

A "cheap shot at Russia" Really? It looks like there is plenty of evidence of Russian meddling in our election. Check it out at the New Yorker and the Huffington Post, and the FBI. Once you leave prejudices at the door and avoid name calling and insults, instead of feeling bad for Russia might just find Hedges' article insightful as I did

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:04, Since Bernie awakened that wave... but then summarily betrayed them all... we were left with ONLY Jill.

Here's the constant problem with elections. Every time we fall for the same dodge (fraud): You can only vote for one of two. And as long as $hillbillary's 65 million keep falling for that horseshit, we're stuck swirling the bowl.

Clearly, the democraps aren't going to unilaterally disarm (eschew the billions from the plut-archy). Clearly, Jill Stein is far superior to everything the democraps have DONE since 1982. So voters need to not vote for democraps... who's left? Jill. That's it.

Until 50 million or more decide they've had it with democrap betrayal/lies and either don't vote or vote for someone like Jill... we'll be swirling the bowl forever.

When Bernie betrayed... couldn't vote with him could we?

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's difficult to find words for what's wrong with this article. Neither Jill Stein nor Chris Hedges caused or even had much to do with Trump's win. People couldn't in good conscious vote for Clinton? Blame the democratic party power echelons who anointed her, and quit whining.


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