The Single Dumbest Thing The Empire Asks Us To Believe

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readMay 1, 2023


Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

The single dumbest thing the US-centralized empire asks us to believe is that the military encirclement of its top two geopolitical rivals is a defensive action, rather than an act of extreme aggression.

We’re asked to believe many extremely stupid narratives by the manipulators who rule over us, but I really think this one might take the cake. The idea that the US militarily encircling Russia and China is an act of defense rather than aggression is so in-your-face transparently idiotic that anyone who thinks critically enough about it will immediately dismiss it for the foam-brained nonsense that it is, yet it’s the mainstream narrative in the western world, and millions of people accept it as true. Because that’s the power of US propaganda.

It gets more and more absurd the more you think about it. Their argument is basically, “No no you don’t understand, the US has been hurriedly surrounding its primary geopolitical competitors with war machinery because it wants to prevent them from doing something aggressive.” They’re like, “We can’t just have nations exerting military aggression willy nilly, that’s why we needed to move all this war machinery to the other side of the planet onto the borders of our primary strategic rivals.”

Can you think of anything more insane than that? Than all of the most powerful and influential figures in politics, government and media simultaneously claiming that a nation amassing heavily-armed proxy forces on the borders of their enemies is something that should be regarded as an action designed to prevent aggression, rather than an incendiary act of extreme aggression in and of itself?

I recently had someone tell me that the US has every right to expand its immense military presence near China, and to illustrate their point they said that if China set up a base in Mexico the US would have no business telling them not to. But that argument actually illustrates my point, not theirs: only the most propaganda-addled of minds would believe that the US would allow China to set up a military base in Mexico for even one second. There’d be kinetic warfare long before the foundations were even poured.

What this undeniably means is that the US is the aggressor in these conflicts. It was the aggressor when it expanded NATO and began turning Ukraine into a de facto NATO member, and it is the aggressor as it accelerates its encirclement of China and prepares to open the floodgates of weapons into Taiwan. If it is doing things on the borders of its geopolitical rivals that it would never permit those rivals to do to it, then it is the aggressor, and anything its rivals do is a defensive response to those aggressions.

This is how the US-centralized empire always acts. It continually attacks, starves and menaces nations which disobey the decrees it issues in its self-appointed role as the leader of the so-called “rules-based international order”, then as soon as its aggressions receive the slightest bit of pushback its spinmeisters feign Bambi-eyed innocence and pretend they’re just passive witnesses to unprovoked aggression by the disobedient nations.

But the empire is not passive, it is not innocent, and it is primarily responsible for the extremely dangerous current and emerging conflicts we are seeing on the world stage. The US empire is imperiling us all with its last-ditch frantic scramble to secure unipolar planetary hegemony before multipolarity takes over, engaging in freakishly aggressive actions on the borders of the nuclear-armed nations who challenge its power.

And I just think that’s worth reiterating from time to time. If we don’t keep reminding ourselves what’s true, these bastards will drive us all nuts.


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