Culture Of Cruelty Obvious, From Big Picture Down To Details Wherein The Devil Dwells

The only way left to affirm yourself in failed societies is to destroy.” 

— Chris Hedges

The arc of my reading this morning was rooted in Hedges’ bracing essay on why the U.S. imposes a culture of cruelty on so many innocent victims. None of his examples of sadistic public policy were new to me, but taken together as a whole they paint a picture of surprisingly consistent cruelty.

It’s been decades since I let corporations tell me what news to pay attention to, so I went on from there to read some familiar websites like Pressenza and a newish one specific to my home state, the Maine Monitor (formerly Pine Tree Watch). 

At Pressenza I read more about a situation I’ve seen some tweets about, “US Trying to Extradite Venezuelan Diplomat for the ‘Crime’ of Securing Food for the Hungry: The Case of Alex Saab v. The Empire by Roger D. Harris. It’s one pungent example of U.S. economic warfare via sanctions enforced by incarceration. 

Did you know that one-third of nations on our planet are under some form of collective punishment via U.S. sanctions?

 Hodeidah, Yemen where the U.S.-supported war waged by Saudi Arabia has created rampant malnutrition. © Asmaa Waguih/Redux

Some awareness of history suggests that sanctions nearly always precede our invasions and bombing campaigns to control other nations’ resources. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously defended sanctions imposed on Iraq that resulted in the death of an estimated 500,000 children: “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, the price is worth it.” 

This was before her confirmation hearings, by the way, but apparently posed no barrier to her joining the Clinton cabinet. Perhaps cruelty is actually a requirement for those who serve the empire?

Children are also the victims in Maine. When their parents are incarcerated, often for non-violent crimes and often for simply being too poor to pay fines or make bail, children struggle to stay in touch. As a former school teacher I know from personal experience how much kids struggle when a parent is in jail. But both public and private jails in Maine make money from gouging families for phone calls with loved ones. “As families struggle to afford 15-minute phone calls from jail, Maine counties rake in millions” by Samantha Hogan provides the satanic details.

Source: Save the Children

Zoom back out to the big picture, where children are going to bed hungry while billionaires buy another mansion. From Children’s Defense Fund:

As of February 2021, more than 1 in 5 Black and Hispanic adults with children (22.8% and 20.6%, respectively) said their households were not getting enough to eat compared with 1 in 10 white adults with children (10.4%).

Cruelty as public policy is designed to engender fear, according to Hedges. Turning it back on the perpetrators is what is required now: 

“History has amply illustrated how this process works. It is a game of fear.

And until we make them afraid, until a terrified Joe Biden and the oligarchs he serves look out on a sea of pitchforks, we will not blunt the culture of sadism they have engineered.”

Lesser Of Two Evils Still Extremely Evil In Supporting The State Of Israel

Source: Al Jazeera “A Palestinian woman is manhandled by an Israeli policeman in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem [Mahmoud Illean/AP]”

I’m feeling super glad that we in the U.S. elected the lesser of two evils so that Israel would no longer have a blank check for ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.


If anything, the Biden Administration may be more beholden to the Zionist lobby than its predecessor who only had an ambitious son-in-law planning to ride the issue to an even higher post than he got using nepotism. 

After all, our current prez and VP were previously senators who asked “How high?” when AIPAC told them to jump. 

Caitlin Johnstone, an Aussie blogger who monitors media messaging closely, feels that the corporate media narrative of made up facts i.e. Israel wrongly portrayed as victim while it terrorizes Palestinian populations is coming unraveled. She attributes the shift to the prevalence of phone cameras and platforms for sharing raw, unfiltered video of horrors like this:

And this:

Zionists do not represent all Jews, despite their claims to the contrary. 

Jews and people of conscience everywhere are now speaking out against Israel’s violence harming hundreds worshipping at a mosque, bombing Gaza killing little children in their beds (again), and displacement of Palestinians who are residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem.

There are good people in Israel speaking out against the violence, too. There are brave young people in Israel refusing their cumpulsory military service and going to jail for it. They get about as much traction as do those of us loudly condemning military “aid” to Israel (really credit for buying weapon systems at U.S. taxpayers’ expense) or the violent occupations by our own military.

But Israel is losing the public relations battle, right now in real time. 

And this could be a game changer for their violent colonial project of ethnic cleansing in Palestine.