The Same Mindset Supporting Russiagate Supported The Iraq Invasion 15 Years Ago

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readNov 8, 2017


Image by by Paul Udstrand

“Resistance” hero and lead Russiagate cheerleader Keith Olbermann was recently featured on The View, wherein he sincerely and unironically stated that John McCain is his favorite politician, that he wants Mike Pence to be president, and that he feels he owes George W Bush an apology for how oppositional he was during his administration.

Many American progressives remember Olbermann not as the flag-swaddled screaming nutcase that he has become today, but as a stable voice of sanity that they clung to like a life raft during the frenzied psychosis of the Bush years. In the span of about thirty seconds, Olbermann completely invalidated all of that.

I’m calling this piece “The Same Mindset Supporting Russiagate Supported The Iraq Invasion 15 Years Ago”. I can already see the comments from Democratic party loyalists saying “Well there’s definitely a there there and blah blah Mueller blah Facebook ads blah blah, but I was opposed to the Iraq war!”

That isn’t what I’m saying here, though. I’m not saying the people who supported the invasion of Iraq are all the same exact people who are now cheerleading for Russiagate (although some of them are), I’m saying that the mindset is the same. The same type of mindset which argues with me about the establishment Russia narrative today would have been arguing with me about WMDs in 2002. This is because many people who view themselves as anti-war progressives have been slyly paced by anti-Trumpism into becoming dull-witted neocon hawks who will believe anything they’re sold with no evidence.

Anti-Trumpism has never been about Trump. Anti-Trumpism has been about shoring up neoconservative influence within the Democratic party. Trump is being used on Democrats in exactly the same way 9/11 was used on Republicans.

I have had many, many Russiagaters scoff at my fear of the escalating cold war tensions that their behavior has manufactured public support for. I have never had a single one of them explain why. Not once, in all the months and months I’ve been talking about this thing, has an establishment loyalist explained to me why I shouldn’t be worried that tensions between the planet’s two nuclear superpowers keep escalating in the form of sanctions, NATO expansionism and proxy conflicts in which anything could go wrong at any time. They just scoff and mock me for saying that this is concerning.

And all I keep hearing is that ridiculous old line Republicans used to scream at anyone who questioned the WMD narrative fifteen years ago: “Support the troops!”

Keith Olbermann’s fellow “Resistance” pundits are currently beating their chests and howling triumphantly over the election results last night. They’re not putting on this show because they’re legitimately orgasmic over a few state and local assembly seats changing hands, they’re putting on this show because there’s been a lot of doubt expressed that the anti-Russia, anti-Trump drum that they’ve been beating for the last year is a worthy strategy. They’re all telling rank-and-file Democrats, “Look! It’s working! Keep doing the Russia thing! Keep doing the Trump thing!”

Meanwhile, the Democratic party’s approval rating has hit a quarter-century low of 37 percent, which is equal to Trump’s. The drum of the new cold war keeps beating, and tensions continue to mount.

In mid-October Professor Joseph Bahout predicted that Lebanon, which had managed a state of relative peace surrounded by a sea of violence, would soon become a target of Saudi Arabia. On Monday, Saudi Arabia proclaimed that Lebanon is waging war upon the KSA, which is just how powerful nations declare war on weaker nations these days. This conflict runs the risk of drawing in the US and Israel, as well as Iran, Syria, and, you guessed it, Russia. And God knows who else if that happens.

These conflicts and others have been looming on the horizon for a long time, hence the US power establishment’s thirst to manufacture a war-ready populace. A whole new generation of soldiers has reached fighting age, ready to be thrown into the gears of the death machine when the time comes. Let’s try and raise our consciousness above Keith Olbermann before then.


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