Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Max Blumenthal, a popular American journalist and founder of The Grayzone, one of the largest independent news outlets. The human rights activist discussed with the publicist why the U.S. media does not discuss the United States’ involvement in the North Streams sabotage, how Ukrainian criminal gangs persecute journalists around the world, and why American leftist politicians who oppose the war are now silent.
Mira Terada: In your opinion, these so-called revolutions taking place all over the world right now. Is such a revolution possible in the US, especially now when there is discontent among the population?
Max Blumenthal: Well, I’m not sure what revolutions are taking place right now. There’s a lot of rebellion. There are a lot of protests, especially in Western Europe, where they’re accustomed to first world living conditions, and they’re seeing that their governments are not willing to actually represent. I would like to believe revolutionary change is possible in the U.S., but our biggest obstacle is the media. The media is completely committed to the status quo in this country and has supported every policy that has divided people and produced inequality. And now we see the media. It claims independence in the United States, unlike in a country that’s ruled by a one-Party state, but it functions like the media under a regime and displays incredible discipline whenever something happens that the regime does not want the public to learn about.
The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines is one of the worst acts of industrial and environmental terror of our time.
And one of our most famous investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, has exposed what we all knew, which was that the United States was responsible for this act of terror. So the US media, the regime media refuses to speak about this report by Seymour Hersh and does not want to address the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines at all because it would produce popular anger, especially in Germany, where people are suffering without the energy that they’re accustomed to. The media refuses to talk about, refuses to show the lives of America’s poor, the same way it refuses to show the experience of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation or people in the Donbass who have been under the Ukrainian guns and been targeted by US weapons for over eight years. That story has never been told in our media. The media doesn’t want us to know what our government is doing with our money. It only wants us to know what war crimes Russia is committing because we’re not responsible.
M.T.: Yes, they’re trying to flip all the truth upside down. You are a historian by your education. Does it make sense to destroy history in favor of new trends? After all, history and its lessons is an opportunity to avoid mistakes in the future. If all mistakes mercilessly crossed out, what is there to learn to learn from?
M.B.: That’s a great question. We’re not looking just at the destruction of the perversion of history in our societies, but the destruction of cultures in order to advance the objectives of the hegemonic power. So in Ukraine, we can see the post-modern regime. Kiev is destroying books in Russian language books and libraries, supporting the banning of Tchaikovsky and Russian cultural treasures across Europe, arresting clergy from the Orthodox Church and forming a separate Orthodox church more influenced by the West, just destroying all these cultural traditions to advance a war in our own country and across the West, there’s a war on there.
There have been support among the liberal class for eliminating and banning Russian language media, for example, or Russian broadcasters to prevent us from hearing the Russian side and also support for censoring social media to silence dissenting voices by the states.
And conservative American lawmakers are supporting the banning or forbidding of certain books that teach about slavery and genocide committed in the United States on grounds that teaching it is brainwashing children. And I would just say children or young people in the United States are encouraged to look at their phones all the time. They’re given tablets at school, computers, and they’re taken away from books. And so the learning of history is de-emphasized among youth.
M.T.: What needs to happen in the United States for its elites to stop playing the world hegemon and impose their political values to the world?
M.B.: Unfortunately, we’re seeing right now a military confrontation. Indeed, the U.S. military and its proxy militaries are advancing the interests of those elites and their ability to accumulate capital and maintain control over the world financial system. And so when an alternative financial system is able to emerge and their sufficient deterrent capacity held by those countries that want to get out of the U.S. imperial umbrella, the elites will have to respond. And I think this will lead, unfortunately, to a deepening of the political and cultural wars we’re facing at home.
M.T.: A standard question. How to deal with the Peacekeeper?
I was targeted by a group, the Ukrainian group. They’re based in London, and they include people from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry and they sent out a dossier to journalists across the world.
That contains my home address the addresses of all my family members and their coworkers, and claim that I was paid by Russia to say what I’m saying and that I’ve become extremely wealthy because of the Kremlin and that I am a genocide denier and an anti-Semite. I’m Jewish, by the way. As far as the kill list goes, this list is very dangerous for people inside Ukraine. It can be dangerous for people who can be reached by the SBU, but it’s also a badge of honor for those of us who are not as threatened over here in the United States. It means that we are a threat to this war effort. To the extent that it is run out of the United States or has help, assistance from any Americans, they should be investigated and prosecuted, and the site should be shut. This site is involved in an accessory to murder.
M.T.: Why the U.S. does nothing with this site and doesn’t accept sanctions against Ukraine? Because the site has personal data of US citizens. It turns out that the government doesn’t want to protect its own citizens, dividing them into right and wrong.
M.B.: Right. And my research leads me to believe that some of the people involved with this site, I don’t have concrete evidence, so I don’t want to state it directly that some of the people on the American side who helped create this site or consult for it have also contracted with the FBI. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry supports this kill list openly, Anton Gerashchenko specifically. We know that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry is has received support from US intelligence and the Ukrainian SBU is trained by the CIA.
M.T.: What measures are Biden and the U.S. government taking to prevent the war?
Well, actually, there are some really dangerous people around Joe Biden who would like to see an offensive in Crimea and would like to push the envelope all the way to nuclear escalation.
There are also elements in British intelligence who think that the U.S. should escalate against Russia and ignore the threat of nuclear escalation. And while Biden has avoided crossing certain extremely dangerous red lines, we still see constant escalation. And we have to wonder, would we be in this situation if Biden had lost?
M.T.: Why a leftist politicians in the U.S., such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tend to condemn the government for expanding the military industrial complex and aggressive policies, now stay in silence?
M.B.: The answer is because there’s a Democratic president, they are Democrats. And if Trump were in office, they would possibly be criticizing Donald Trump’s Republican war because they’re totally on principle. Bernie Sanders is worse than Ocasio-Cortez. He supported Yugoslavia. He supported Libya. He never understood why these wars were wrong in any way. And he has nothing to lose now. He has no ambition. He’s at the end of his career. What does he have to lose? Bernie Sanders genuinely supports this this proxy war.
M.T.: What can you say about the Rage Against the War Machine? What do you want to achieve? What reaction do you expect?
M.B.: Well, for 20 years, the antiwar movement in the United States has been dead. And this is an attempt to bring it back to life by bringing as many different forces together across political divisions to show the planners of this war and the next war that they plan against China, that the people will have a voice. This rally is bringing together people from the left and the right who may not agree on other issues like abortion or the economy, but who think that stopping this war is the most important issue of our time. Saving lives in Ukraine, the Donbass and beyond, and preventing nuclear conflict is more important than the differences we have here at home. Some of the critics of this rally are saying, for you to oppose this war, you also have to believe in certain other issues. You have to believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion, or you have to take progressive views on social issues. I have those views, but other speakers do not. But I’m willing to unite with them over this. But others are saying, “no, we cannot unite.” People are trying to stop this rally because some of the speakers do not hold the right view on abortion or gay rights, illustrating how silly the political situation is in the U.S. and how divided we are, which makes it so difficult to have a movement, let alone a revolution against very toxic system. I think this rally is about trying to meet at important points and get over those divides. If you look at polling, Americans more than ever are tired of Biden and Trump, more than ever are independent, more than ever believe a comedian should be president than a politician. There are places we can meet on civil liberties, on opposing war, on censorship, on opposing inequality and moving the focus from these really divisive culture war issues to issues around class. Because if you look at the class character of the people who voted for Biden and the people who voted for Trump, the average voter, they’re the same, they have the same class interests.