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Covid, Climate, Russia – Hysteria and the Next Horseman of The Apocalypse


Peter Ford

21st Century Wire

Again, Russophobes, germophobes, it’s all the same…

How seamlessly we have moved from war with covid, to war with Russia.  But how, by what process has this happened, and why?

What, if they exist, are the links between these two totally different enemies?

The how is relatively easy to define. The narrative – everything in these mediatised days is about the narrative – is much the same in each case.

A dreadful scourge of mankind (the coronavirus, Russia) suddenly emerges out of nowhere and ravages populations. Governments, overwhelmed, clueless how to respond but under huge pressure from media and public  to ‘do something’, flail about, alighting on draconian measures (lockdowns, sanctions) which make everybody feel good about themselves but do nothing to solve the problem and boomerang on the societies which deploy them. However, there is no price to pay for this self-inflicted damage because it’s all the fault of the covid or Putin, isn’t it, and so the restrictions/sanctions are ratcheted up and extended.

There is no cost-benefit analysis, no scrutiny. Left and Right are united in baying for what amounts to self-abuse, especially as the poor will bear the brunt. Only a few cranks or marginalised figures on the Right (Farage, Tucker Carlson) or the Provisional wing of the Left (Piers Corbyn and Jeremy Corbyn) beg to differ.

With covid it was slightly different, thanks to a number of freedom-loving Conservative MPs, but the fact remains: Right and Left were broadly united on covid and even more so on Ukraine.

Much the same analysis could be made of the climate ‘emergency’ fandango.

The techniques used to develop the narrative are the same in each case. The mainstream media open the spigots, as they have now with Ukraine, for an inescapable  torrent of ‘coverage’ indistinguishable from propaganda.  Dissenting voices, even distinguished professors and diplomats, are denigrated, marginalised, silenced and ignored.

War porn, hospital porn, swamp the media. Crisis actors (featured in NHS ads and, allegedly, Ukrainian PR videos) make their cameo appearances. We clap for the Ukrainians (well, nearly) and believe all their claims, implicitly, just as we believed our politicians and public health officials.

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We follow events by the hour. The daily death count which worked so well with covid doesn’t work so well with Ukraine, because according to the UN the death count after two weeks is still in the low hundreds, a figure about which Yemenis and Syrians could only dream. Never mind, the daily refugee count will do.  This has the advantage of allowing us to flagellate ourselves for never doing enough and being selfish.

The parallels between the two war scenarios, covid and Ukraine, are almost uncanny. Even down to details. For example we knew already from the sensible doctors in South Africa that Omicron was a pussy, at least in countries which had already had high exposure to covid, but we still ignored them and went to panic stations.  Similarly, we blanked out the Africans when half the countries on that continent, as evidenced by their votes at the UN, refused to be dragooned into condemning Russia. Indeed, countries representing more than half the world’s population refused to go along with the West’s narrative, but who’d have known that from oh so anti-racist Western media?

The why of this congruence of wars is more tricky. Some are drawn to the simple answer that it’s all part of the same basic plot involving a cabal, globalists and the World Economic Forum. I wouldn’t dispute that those latter day white man’s burden – carrying humanitarian interveners who try to impose Western-style democracy are often the same as those who wish to impose lockdowns and vaccines. But I prefer to look deeper.

It’s often instructive to look at things through a religio-mythical lens for explanation of seismic society-wide developments. And what we see using this lens is that what links covidism, Russophobia, and climate zealotry – is a form of quasi-religious hysteria.

Since at least 9/11, to hear people speak, we have been living in the End Times. First terrorism was going to end civilisation as we knew it, with Al Qaida, and later ISIS. Then the climate ‘emergency’ prophesied by a child saint promised Extinction, before the covid came providentially along.  Pestilence did a good job of maintaining hysteria for two years but recently started flagging. War was next up among these Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (Why war now, just as covid is waning? Well possibly because Russia, which hoped for a negotiated outcome to a showdown but was ready to move to conflict if necessary, couldn’t move while omicron was rampant in that country). Lurid terms like ‘annihilation’,’ genocide’ and ‘nuclear Armageddon’ are now being bandied about with regard to Ukraine.

Lo and behold, we witness Putin not just demonised, but portrayed as Lucifer himself. This is a conflict between Absolute Good and Absolute Evil.

Putin has witches around him, does he not ? For what are oligarchs if not witches?  Are they not subject to witch hunts? I recommend reading The Crucible (about the witches of Salem) by Arthur Miller. How those today hounding the oligarchs sound like those 17th century Puritan New Englanders who accused elderly women of cavorting with Lucifer on the village green! Can any serious person think that persecuting oligarchs will force Putin to turn his tanks around?

The same applies to sanctions. It is pure magical thinking to imagine that sanctions, which have never worked with any country in the past, will have cast some kind of spell over Russia and make it desist. No media presenter ever asks the politicians to explain the precise mechanism by which this alchemy is to be accomplished, just as they never asked how lockdowns or masks worked in the face of all evidence. Neither do we hear anybody ask if the politicians and sages seriously think Russian soldiers will ever leave Ukraine while sanctions remain in place.

Myths need heroes as well as villains. Cue the Vaccines, the Holy Trinity of Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Moderna, recently joined by NATO as heroes of the hour.

Vaccines, like baptism, used to be a rite of passage for children when I was growing up. Now in these infantilised times they are a rite of passage for adults. Alongside the use of face diapers.

NATO, the Sword in Horsemen of the Apocalypse terms, was not long ago seen by the Presidents of the United States and France no less than an example of the living dead. Now it has cranked up out of its coffin, been given a booster shot and is miraculously revived.

Pulling all these elements together, what we have here with the present war fever is a form of the millennialism which has been emerging and shape-shifting in various guises for over thirty years. Diagnosing the hysteria and showing by what threads its various strands are joined is a useful first step to overcoming it.

By the way, the Horseman of The Apocalypse yet to make an appearance is Famine. Have you checked forward prices for grain?

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Author Peter Ford is a global affairs analyst and former British Ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) and Bahrain (1999-2002).

READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files

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