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Tag Archives: propaganda
This article first appeared at RT.
As the hysterical outpourings of the Western media and their relentless anti-Putin narrative becomes ever more ridiculous. We look at why.
Vladimir Putin wants to cut off your internet. At least, if you are a reader of the New York Times, you may well believe this. The NYT recently reported that “Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications”.
The NYT didn’t bother to expand on how a submarine might go about acting ‘aggressively’ in the presence of inert under sea cables in international waters. Indeed, later in the article they admit that there is “no evidence of any cable cutting”. So the real story here is in fact: Russian submarine in the sea.
That doesn’t sound like a terribly catchy headline though does it?
If you are a Mail on Sunday reader of the print edition, you were recently treated to a two page headline declaring “Putin’s bombing of the innocents”.
Curiously, the online version of that story omitted that headline.
The Mail is good at this. They can find a reason to blame Russia (quoted from someone else of course) in almost any story. The UK telephone company Talk Talk recently suffered a database hacking. The Mail ran a story about it. Sure enough, in that story we find a quote by someone called Ewan Lawson: “this could be part of a wider pattern of activity encouraged or even supported by the Russian state as part of an effort to destabilise the West”.
Colour me sceptical, but I can’t really see the West being destabilised because someone hacked the database of a minor mobile telephone company.
It must have been a quiet day at the Daily Express this week; they are again suggesting Russia is set to start WW3. Apparently, the Express “laid bare” Putin’s “imperialist ambitions”. The reason? Russia plans to build a military base – in Russia.
We see such nonsense in the Western media more than usual right now. When the editors want to keep a narrative alive, or bury some inconvenient actual news, they will publish something, anything, which allows them to use the headlines that apply to that narrative.
Often these stories are essentially made up, but they allow the use of the words and phrases the narrative dictates, and the narrative remains in the ‘news’.
Continual hyperventilating about so-called (and usually non-existent) ‘Russian aggression’ keeps things like the US bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan off the front pages. Certainly it will keep out of the news the US tank that crashed though the gates of the same hospital destroying evidence less than two weeks later.
That is what is happening here. The Western media have had nothing credible to bash Russia with for some time. There’s not a lot being published about American bumbling in the Middle East, Ukraine is yesterdays news while Poroshenko decides how to further eviscerate the country that he is, nominally, the leader of. Few in the Western media really want to run stories about how Russia is obliterating ISIS positions in a matter of weeks where the US failed over a year and a half.
So instead, we get silly pieces that enable writers and thought leaders to keep the anti-Russian meme going with their audiences. Make something up, quote an unnamed source, add a stock photo of Putin with no shirt, and the anti-Putin propaganda train keeps on rumbling down the tracks.
Why the Western media misunderstand Russia.
Much of the Western media fundamentally misunderstand Russians and Russia. Many blame Putin’s 89% popularity rating in Russia on a ludicrous notion that people answer poll questions while gripped with fear. US News recently reported that “Russians that truly do support Putin form their opinions in a virtual information vacuum. The Russian public’s news and information is overwhelmingly created, or at least vetted, by the Kremlin.”
The very idea that – in the internet age – the government of a country such as Russia could control the media to such an extent that 127m people (89%) could be hoodwinked en masse is frankly, preposterous.
A better approach for Western hacks might be to take a look at why Putin has such high support in Russia rather than trying to pretend he hasn’t. From that, politicians elsewhere might learn something.
If one judges a politician’s credibility by what they do, compared to what they say they will do, Putin is credible, honest and honourable. He has a long track record of doing what he said he would do. On the whole, when he says a thing, it will be so. If he does not say a thing, then you can be sure that what you are hearing is speculation. Voters like that. In the West, we have almost no experience of this.
On foreign policy, the Western media glibly overlooks the fact that the US has invaded over a dozen countries and tried to overthrow the elected governments of many others since just 1990. Yet Russia is criticised for allowing Crimea to reunify with hardly a shot fired, which undoubtedly saved many lives while following the will of the people.
Russia is somehow ‘aggressive’ when it expresses concern that the US and the EU are surrounding it with missiles placed in FSU countries, but continual US aggression across the world – this week with China – is meant to be seen as somehow ‘spreading democracy’ and a harbinger of some kind of ‘freedom’.
The Western media is confused. To find a president that actually leads, one who puts the national interest first and does what he says he will do is somewhat disturbing for them. Such behaviour is beyond their domestic sphere of experience. So they extrapolate from this that it cannot actually be so. The polls must be faked, people must be rigid with terror and afraid to speak out or they must have no access to news.
How to report what you do not understand?
If so few Western hacks understand Russia, and cannot be bothered to learn, how do they fill their column inches? Rather than critical analysis, investigating a variety of viewpoints or perhaps even talking to some Russians, many just follow the herd and make it up.
Cue another story on ‘Russian aggression’, Russia being poised to invade [choose any country here], Russia encroaching in someone’s airspace or the latest media misrepresentation: Russia killing moderate terrorists (helpfully called ‘rebels’ for that purpose), presented as if eradicating terrorists is a bad thing.
Reading the Western media can easily conjure up an image of Putin that has him cackling in his volcano, stroking a white cat with a control panel of missile launch buttons at his elbow. It is also amusing to note that every decision made at any level of government in Russia is always personally attributed to Putin. The media imagines that he somehow personally approves every piece of media output, every article and every minor decision. He must have some time management skills!
With such an anti-Putin narrative now the norm in the Western media for so long, it becomes quite easy to see how lazy hacks will use him as the default baddie for almost anything that happens. Mobile phone company hacked? Blame Russia. Found a Russian submarine in the sea someplace? See what is nearby and accuse Russia of being aggressive towards it. Facts are irrelevant if you are able to twist words or modify their intent by quoting them out of context. Find someone who is ‘worried’ and sprinkle in the word ‘Kremlin’ here and there for a sinister overtone.
It seems unlikely that the mainstream Western media will ever go back to honest and fair journalism as they have now travelled so far in the other direction. But a good start would be having the hacks who diligently churn out negative content about Russia each and every day to actually go to Russia and learn something.
Better still; send them to Syria to watch the 800,000 refugees returning home thanks to Russia’s efforts to crush ISIS. It’s hard to put a negative spin on that. Continue reading
This article originally appeared at TruePublica On the one hand, just five individual Billionaires in Britain get to control 80% what you read in printed media and on the other hand, just five Internet Service Providers get to control what 87% … Continue reading
Kiev’s dreams of retaking Crimea and the independent regions of Donbass have finally been recognised in Washington and Brussels as the pipe dream they always were .
Russia has made it very clear that it wont accept continued American hegemony, indeed, Russia is a party to the very necessary managed decline of America as a world superpower.
America has now opened up what it calls a ‘direct channel of communication with Russia’ on the Ukraine crisis. One reason Kerry was recently in Sochi and Nuland in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Poroshenko has fired the head of the Security Service, a chap called Nalivaichenko who was rumoured to be an American operative.
The US has realised it needs to get out of Ukraine while saving face. Responsibility will be quietly passed to Russia to help bring the Ukraine crisis to an end (better late than never I suppose).
This means it is time for Poroshenko to go. But where? Putin wont rescue him as he did with his predecessor. Or if he does, it will have more strings attached than he will like.
Poroshenko is pulling up the drawbridges and trying to surround himself with his own men.
A futile attempt in my opinion. The writing is on the wall. Continue reading
A mistake that most people are making and the single most spectacular success of the propaganda being fed to you is this:
What started out as interference in the domestic politics of an independent state by the US has now been successfully re-framed to the sheeple in the west as actions on the part of Russia. The whole narrative is now framed in terms of Russia initiating processes.
This re-framing makes it very hard for those affected by this fictional worldview to consider what is actually happening, even when they have access to verifiable, accurate inputs about the actions of the various players.
In this context it is thus almost impossible for USAians to see what Russia is doing as a reaction to the inputs of the US. The effect is that Russia is implicitly cast as an aggressor. The truth is rather different. Russia has been forced into taking actions because of the inputs from the west. Those reactions are, in comparison to what we would expect from, for example, the UK or US in a similar situation, hugely restrained and very low key. That is why, in part, the west, led by the US has been ratcheting up the stimuli, upping the inputs in the hope of getting a non-linear response from Russia that better suits the chosen US narrative.
To be honest, I do not think that the US strategists are up to managing a scenario of the type I outlined in my previous post. However it would fit the stated goals of the US and frame the US in a positive light while marginalising Russian influence and casting the Russians as villains.
The way in which language is used to frame the ability to think about and therefore discuss a topic is very interesting. I read about it many years ago but it had no real relevance to me until I started writing a particular document a couple years ago. The research for that work made it clear that using language to manage the way that people were able to think was going on. Seeing the practical effect upon ordinary people was informative. Since then I have come to understand how such management is pretty much the norm in the US these days and is becoming so in the UK. This is one reason why I do not dumb down what I write and why I refuse to use a narrow vocabulary because by reducing the variety of words we use we reduce our ability to transfer shades of meaning.
In this case now, every discussion, no matter the standpoint of the participants, is framed in terms of Russian aggression. That aggression is the “accepted truth” so we have people defending Russia but still accepting a reality of Russian aggression meaning that each discussion starts with a participant on the defensive. The reality is that we should be working from an implicit acceptance of an almost diametrically opposite perspective. A reality in which none of this would have happened if the US had not imposed regime change in Ukraine.
We understand that the US was paying for regime change in Ukraine in order that US foreign policy goals might be more easily attained. I think few of us now think that what happened in Maidan was a spontaneous outpouring of Ukraine solidarity, etc., etc. – even if many of the participants thought that was the case.
Given that we know the US put at least $5billion into the pot to pay for that process what does that tell us about Yanukovych?
You see there’s a thing.
The US may seem to be run by fools, but they are not, they are evil (If you do not think that provoking a coup d’etat and civil war is not an act of evil then we have different moral compasses), and they are above all pragmatic.
If there was a budget to enable US goal attainment in Ukraine who do you think was approached first when the US decided to put Ukraine into play?
Yes, those who shouted out “Yanukovych” win the prize of a free vacation in Cancun.
The money put on the table by the US would have first been offered to Yanukovych. Maybe he was willing to go along with the Americans, but at a point he refused. That was when the US started getting serious about regime change.
So, we know and understand that the current crop of kleptocrats in Ukraine are bought and paid for tools of the US, just as happened during and after the Orange Revolution. We know that Yanukovych was around before the Orange Revolution – did he turn down the US money back then as well? Was that the trigger for the Orange Revolution?
If you knew that the guy was willing to stand firm against the US, knowing the personal outcome for him and for is country, what happens to your perception of the guy?
Do you start to see the current crop as rather less patriotic and maybe that Yanukovych was somewhat more principled and patriotic than we might have thought him before?
You see, I tend to think that people tend to do that which is the easiest. If the US could attain their goals by paying Yanukovych don’t you think they would’ve?
This tells us Yanukovych could not be bought!
What is being missed by many, but not, I am certain by those who are nearer to the top of the food chain is this:
The US, as part of its expressed foreign policy goals wants NATO to include Ukraine (and a couple of other places).
NATO can not extend membership to states that have non-NATO military bases on their territory.
Ergo, as of this moment Ukraine can not join NATO.
This means that either Ukraine does not join NATO, which is counter to US foreign policy OR Russia’s military bases leave Ukrainian territory.
It is unlikely in the extreme that Russia could be inveigled out of its bases on the Black Sea. They WILL go to a shooting war for those – that’s Russian foreign policy. Russia is legally in those bases, they have a multi-year agreement to be there and they pay their rent. It is not easy to get rid of them for many years.
The truly Machiavellian among us might wonder if the US is playing an absolute blinder here, they are perhaps playing in a different game of chess than the one we and the Russians think they are playing?
We know that Russia’s expressed foreign policy precluded annexing any part of Ukraine because they want and need a buffer between Russia and NATO and they understand that NATO is not an option as long as the Russian bases are in Crimea.
However, if Russia were driven to a place whereby they felt it necessary to take over Crimea then Ukraine would no longer have non-NATO bases on her territory. NATO could sign up Ukraine and Russia would lose their buffer state. Checkmate.
We know because they have already done it, that the US has no qualms about destroying countries for their own foreign policy goals. A few hundred thousand deaths is irrelevant, after all they are not Americans and thus not proper humans. The money is a bagatelle, even in the US’s straitened situation. This way no boots on the ground. Ukraine will become a client state of the EU and will be pillaged for the next few decades while a succession of kleptocrats keep the country ticking over.
If this is true then we will see a lot of bluster and threats from the US but little more. There may be some more violence stirred up to keep the pot boiling and tempers high – angry people don’t think much. Continue reading