I was, frankly, surprised to see retired Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, on MSNBC’s Ari Melber’s show two days ago. Wilkerson is a razor sharp analyst and critic of the dangerous, unconstitutional, and enormously expensive U.S. national security state, and appears with frequency on non-corporate alternative media such as Democracy Now!, Paul Jay’s The Analysis News, and Abby Martin’s The Empire Files. MSNBC, by contrast, is generally a reliable corporate purveyor of the dominant hawkish (and usually Democratic Party) narrative.
I discovered that Wilkerson’s appearance was not a mistake; a YouTube search brought up a number of prior MSNBC “talking head” occasions. Still, it’s hard to believe that Wilkerson didn’t strain his relationship with the cable outlet. While denouncing Putin’s bellicose leadership and specifically his decision to invade Ukraine, Wilkerson, in sharp contrast to the other pro-U.S./NATO opinions offered on Melber’s show, called out (1) U.S. and NATO’s provocative failure to recognize Russia’s legitimate security issues, (2) the screeching military-industrial-congressional war hawks who have far less concern for defending democracy in Eastern Europe than in making money on arms sales and corporate “defense” industry donations, (3) the hypocrisy of the U.S. decrying violations of international law while piling up its own mountain of egregious violations (including killing anyone it deems a threat, anywhere in the world), and finally, (4) exacerbating one existential threat to humanity, i.e., the risk of nuclear war, while ignoring the other, i.e., the headlong rush to catastrophic global warming.
Tough stuff. Social workers can learn much by following and giving careful thought to Wilkerson’s work.