Take heed ... how you awake the sleeping sword of war. For never two such kingdoms did contend without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops are every one a woe, a sore complaint, 'gainst him whose wrongs give edge unto the swords that make such waste in brief mortality.
Shakespeare, Henry V
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
The United States and Russia are rushing, relentlessly, toward war, unless cooler voices are heard and heeded. Those voices are not being heard in our mass media or heeded by our politicians.
The familiar historical indicators of a march to war are apparent to all with eyes to see: arms buildup, depersonalization of the "enemy," demonization of its leaders, marginalizing of moderate voices, suppression of dissent, refusal to negotiate and compromise in good faith, deliberate failure to recognize the concerns and interests of "the other."
And propaganda -- OMIGAWD, the propaganda! We are immersed in it.
Exhibit A: On the cover of a recent "The Week" magazine, Vladimir Putin is depicted as a mafia don at a casino. And on that cover we find this question: "Why is Putin preparing for an all-out war with the West?" This sort of question would not be allowed in any court of law, for it assumes what should be at issue; namely is Putin is in fact "preparing for war? "
Well is he? Where is the proof? There is none in the indicated article. So why should we believe that Putin is "preparing for an all-out war with the west? No reason whatever is offered.
Exhibit B: In the Time Magazine "The Year in Review," Table of Contents we find: "Russia's Leader Seeks to Restore an Empire." Notice: this is not a question, it is a declarative sentence.
So we read the article. Proof? None! Just a reiteration of the accusation. We are given no reason to believe it. Instead we are presented with an array of groundless assertions and accusations too numerous to tally, in an essay that reads like a declaration of war.
The American corporate media is notorious for its habit of presenting "both sides" of settled scientific issues such as climate change, vaccination and evolution. But when the subject is official dogma, "the other side" is absent. There is no shortage of scholars and journalists familiar with Russian culture, history, politics, foreign policy -- scholars who have devoted their lives to Russian Studies, many of whom have lived in Russia and speak Russian. Among them, Stephen Cohen, Ray McGovern, Robert Parry, John Mearsheimer, Ambassador Jack Matlock, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, John Pilger, Noam Chomsky and many others. These individuals understand Russian concerns and objectives; in other words, they understand "what it is like to think like a Russian." Thus they are well equipped to lead us away from our present peril.