Media Malpractice Is Criminalizing Better Relations With Russia
The pillorying of General Flynn and hounding of Secretary of State Tillerson equate détente with "collusion with the Kremlin."
By Stephen F. Cohen
Russia-gate's Litany of Corrections
As much as the U.S. mainstream media insists that the Russia-gate scandal is growing, what is undeniably growing is the list of major corrections that news outlets have been forced to issue
By Robert Parry
Cold, hungry and lost: Ukrainian pensioners face fourth winter on the frontline
"We are not living, we are just surviving"
By Umberto Bacchi, Thomson Reuters Foundation
It's So Embarrassing When U.S. Clients Feud [re Saakashvili and Poroshenko]
By Ted Galen Carpenter
Russia's Syria op: Key points of campaign that helped crush ISIS & gave peace a chance
Normalize U.S.-Russia relations?
Post-Cold War words and actions
By Edward Lozansky
Liberal America's unhealthy fixation on Russia
Putin gets a boost from US paranoia that its Cold War enemy fixed the election
By EDWARD LUCE
Guardian Accuses: To 'Question More' Means You're Brainwashed By Kremlin
This latest article re-published by the Guardian demonstrates that in the ‘democratic’ west we are no longer allowed to question and the truth itself is falling victim to the western media narrative
By David MacIlwain
Last week the Guardian republished an article from the ‘Moscow Times’ in its ‘Near East Network’, confirming the ‘Atlantic’ bias of this special section and its carefully selected writers. The author of this hypothetical fantasy piece about Russia’s ‘information warfare’, Mark Galeotti from New York University, had clearly impressed the Guardian and its presumed overlords with his clever framing of the subject, and framing of Russia.
It appears that the West, or NATO, is worried about the effect ‘Russian propaganda’ might have on its subjects, - that it might cause them to ‘Question More’ as RT says. While we RT and RI followers might be still waiting for them to question just once, Galeotti ventures that we already ‘doubt the mainstream’ and are – “already ready to believe that our leaders, our power structures and even our media lie to us.” He then goes on to reassure the questioning Guardian reader with this truly bizarre hypothesis:
“We find ourselves exposed to conspiracy theories and sensationalist nonsense not because of the Russians so much as our own competitive media environments and the speed with which a funny, compelling or exciting lie or half-truth can be reposted, retweeted and re-reported around the world – outdistancing any fact-checking or sober analysis.”
If I rewrite this sentence rearranging its various parts we have something more sensible:
“We find ourselves exposed to conspiracy theories and sensationalist nonsense about Russia because of the speed with which a compelling or exciting lie or half-truth can be posted on social media and then be reported as fact right across our collaborative media environment without the need for checking or sober analysis.”
To make sure that the reader’s mind is properly focused to accept his upside-down presentation of reality, the author lays some groundwork – ‘fears in the west that it is losing the ‘information war’ with Russia’ may be true, he says because – “the Kremlin is undoubtedly engaged in a multi-front, multi-message, multimedia campaign to undermine America and Europe.” So the message to us, those discerning and questioning readers is – ‘if you doubt this, then you’re being duped by Kremlin propaganda’. (and may find yourself trapped in one of those ‘infamous troll houses’ with Tsar Vladimir).
There are two sorts of propaganda at work here - peddling ‘false facts’ and selling false narratives, and they present different challenges. We might think that our opponents’ ‘facts’ are so riddled with inconsistencies and lies that defeating them with the truth should be easy. The example of the ongoing ‘debate’ over global warming tells us otherwise – no amount of facts will persuade people who have an agenda which depends on denial of those facts. What is actually happening here in both cases is that a false narrative is being sold on the basis of false claims of ‘fact’, because the false narrative would be more easily defeated. Exposing that false narrative and presenting the real one could bypass the ‘I say – you claim’ roundabout of this ‘information war’.
Taking an example which draws a parallel between three major ‘West-East’ conflicts in which it is specially significant, is the question of ‘legitimate self-defence’. Whether in the case of Palestinians defending themselves from Israeli attack, the Syrian Arab Army defending its citizens against a foreign backed insurgency, or the civil defence forces of Donbass protecting themselves from Kiev’s ‘anti-terrorist operation’, the case is the same. The aggressors in each case have used the false claim of self-defence from an attack which they have contrived to provoke, pursuing an illegitimate agenda, whether ‘regime change’ or ethnic cleansing.
The tragedy here is that the victims of these aggressive attacks with its supportive propaganda rarely argue their strongest case – that of legitimate self-defence. Instead of arguing against the aggressors and calling for ‘peace’ we would be better to argue for the victims’ rights to armed self-defence in our own ‘propaganda offensive’. And we can use the elastic standards of the ‘international community’ as to what may count as ‘legitimate self-defence’.