File:Reality Denial.pdf

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A critique of Steven Pinker's apologetics for Western Imperial violence in his much acclaimed 2011 book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Disclaimer (#3)Document.png book  by Edward S Herman, David Peterson dated 2012
Subjects: War, Steven Pinker
Source: Coldtype.net (Link)

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Reality Denial




Introduction

It is amusing to see how eagerly the establishment media have welcomed Steven Pinker’s 2011 tome, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,[1] which explains not only that “violence has been in decline for long stretches of time,” but that “we may be living in the most peaceful era in our species' existence.”[2] A professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University since 2002 and a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in the general nonfiction category,[3] Pinker’s lovable theme coincides with the Nobel Peace Laureate’s current engagement in wars on at least four separate continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America); his regretful partial withdrawal from invaded and occupied Iraq; his victorious termination of the 2011 war in Libya; his buildup and threats to engage in even larger wars with Syria and Iran, both already underway with aggressive sanctions and an array of covert actions;[4] his semi-secret and ever-widening use of remote-controlled aerial gunships and death squads in global killing operations;[5] and his declaration of the right to kill any person anywhere for “national security” reasons—officially making the entire world a U.S. free-fire-zone.[6] The Barack Obama regime, and before it the Bush-Cheney regime, have also supported and protected Israel’s escalated ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and the hostile U.S. actions and threats involving Iran and Syria are closely geared with those of Israel.

Whereas in Pinker’s view there has been a “Long Peace” since the end of the Second World War,[7] in the real world there has been a series of long and devastating U.S. wars: in the Koreas (1950-1953), Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia (1954-1975), Iraq (1990-), Afghanistan (2001- or, arguably, 1979-), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1996-), with the heavy direct involvement of U.S. clients from Rwanda (Paul Kagame) and Uganda (Yoweri Museveni) in large-scale Congo killings; and Israel’s outbursts in Lebanon (1982 and 2006), to name a few. There were also very deadly wars in Iran, invaded by [[Saddam Hussein’s Iraq (1980-1988), with Western encouragement and support. And with the stimulus-excuse of 9/11, the U.S. political and “defense” establishment was able to declare a global “War on Terror,” open-ended and still ongoing, to assure that the “Long Peace” would not be interrupted by a conflict that met the Pinkerian standards for a real war. In the same time frame as Pinker’s “New Peace,” alleged to have begun with the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, the Warsaw Pact, and of the Soviet Union itself (1989-1991), we have also witnessed the relentless expansion of the U.S.-led NATO bloc, its 1990s war on and dismantlement of Yugoslavia,[8] its acceptance of new “out of area” responsibilities for “security,”[9] its steadily enlarging membership from 16 to 28 states, including the Baltic and former Eastern European satellites of the Soviet Union, and a growing U.S. and NATO encirclement of and threats to China and Russia.[10] And during the first decade of the 21st century, the United States openly embarked on the systematic use of “enhanced interrogations” (i.e., torture) and the frequent resort to “extraordinary renditions” that send captives to torture-prone clients for some not-so-angelic working over.[11]

Pinker’s standard for an interruption of the “Long Peace” would be a war between the “great powers,” and it is true that the major Axis and Allied powers that fought each other during World War II have not made war among themselves since 1945. But Pinker carries this line of thought even further: He contends not only that the “democracies avoid disputes with each other,” but that they “tend to stay out of disputes across the board,” (283) an idea he refers to as the “Democratic Peace.”[12] (278-284) This will surely come as a surprise to the many victims of U.S. assassinations, sanctions, subversions, bombings and invasions since 1945.[13] For Pinker, no attack on a lesser power by one or more of the great democracies counts as a real war or confutes the “Democratic Peace,” no matter how many people die.

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