Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

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by William Blum

 

The mind of the mass media: Email exchange between myself and a leading Washington Post foreign policy reporter:

July 18, 2018

Dear Mr. Birnbaum,

You write Trump “made no mention of Russia’s adventures in Ukraine”. Well, neither he nor Putin nor you made any mention of America’s adventures in the Ukraine, which resulted in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014, which led to the justified Russian adventure. Therefore …?

If Russia overthrew the Mexican government would you blame the US for taking some action in Mexico?

William Blum

Dear Mr. Blum,

Thanks for your note. “America’s adventures in the Ukraine”: what are you talking about? Last time I checked, it was Ukrainians in the streets of Kiev who caused Yanukovych to turn tail and run. Whether or not that was a good thing, we can leave aside, but it wasn’t the Americans who did it.

It is, however, Russian special forces who fanned out across Crimea in February and March 2014, according to Putin, and Russians who came down from Moscow who stoked conflict in eastern Ukraine in the months after, according to their own accounts.

Best, Michael Birnbaum

To MB,

I can scarcely believe your reply. Do you read nothing but the Post? Do you not know of high State Dept official Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador in Ukraine in Maidan Square to encourage the protesters? She spoke of 5 billion (sic) dollars given to aid the protesters who were soon to overthrow the govt. She and the US Amb. spoke openly of who to choose as the next president. And he’s the one who became president. This is all on tape. I guess you never watch Russia Today (RT). God forbid! I read the Post every day. You should watch RT once in a while.

William Blum

To WB,

I was the Moscow bureau chief of the newspaper; I reported extensively in Ukraine in the months and years following the protests. My observations are not based on reading. RT is not a credible news outlet, but I certainly do read far beyond our own pages, and of course I talk to the actual actors on the ground myself – that’s my job.

And: yes, of course Nuland was in the Maidan – but encouraging the protests, as she clearly did, is not the same as sparking them or directing them, nor is playing favorites with potential successors, as she clearly did, the same as being directly responsible for overthrowing the government. I’m not saying the United States wasn’t involved in trying to shape events. So were Russia and the European Union. But Ukrainians were in the driver’s seat the whole way through. I know the guy who posted the first Facebook call to protest Yanukovych in November 2013; he’s not an American agent. RT, meanwhile, reports fabrications and terrible falsehoods all the time. By all means consume a healthy and varied media diet – don’t stop at the US mainstream media. But ask yourself how often RT reports critically on the Russian government, and consider how that lacuna shapes the rest of their reporting. You will find plenty of reporting in the Washington Post that is critical of the US government and US foreign policy in general, and decisions in Ukraine and the Ukrainian government in specific. Our aim is to be fair, without picking sides.

Best, Michael Birnbaum

======================= end of exchange =======================

Right, the United States doesn’t play indispensable roles in changes of foreign governments; never has, never will; even when they offer billions of dollars; even when they pick the new president, which, apparently, is not the same as picking sides. It should be noticed that Mr Birnbaum offers not a single example to back up his extremist claim that RT “reports fabrications and terrible falsehoods all the time.” “All the time”, no less! That should make it easy to give some examples.

For the record, I think RT is much less biased than the Post on international affairs. And, yes, it’s bias, not “fake news” that’s the main problem – Cold-War/anti-Communist/anti-Russian bias that Americans have been raised with for a full century. RT defends Russia against the countless mindless attacks from the West. Who else is there to do that? Should not the Western media be held accountable for what they broadcast? Americans are so unaccustomed to hearing the Russian side defended, or hearing it at all, that when they do it can seem rather weird.

To the casual observer, THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA indictments of July 14 of Russian intelligence agents (GRU) reinforced the argument that the Soviet government interfered in the US 2016 presidential election. Regard these indictments in proper perspective and we find that election interference is only listed as a supposed objective, with charges actually being for unlawful cyber operations, identity theft, and conspiracy to launder money by American individuals unconnected to the Russian government. So … we’re still waiting for some evidence of actual Russian interference in the election aimed at determining the winner.

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‘We are fighting for information about war’: Pentagon curbs media access

Anti-Putin protests in Brisbane, Australia

 

Link removed by request of the filmmakers.

See:

A Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War

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by Steven Jonas

On January 30, 1933, the then President of the German Weimar Republic (1919-1933), the World War I hero Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, as part of a deal with the non-Nazi Right-Wing political parties, appointed Adolf Hitler, the leader of the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party, as Chancellor of Germany. Among other things, the Nazis begin moving very quickly against the trade unions and the two left-wing parties, the Socialists (SPD) and the Communists (KPD), arresting certain members of their leaderships and driving others into exile.

On February 27, the grand, historic, German Parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is hit by a fire that would make it unusable until it was eventually restored after the end of World War II. Although it is not likely that the cause of the fire will ever be known for certain, most historians agree that it was most likely set at the direction of Hermann Goering, one of Hitler’s principal deputies, either by a lone native of Holland, a mentally-handicapped member of the Communist Party, Marinus van der Lubbe, or a crew organized by Goering.

The story of “the cause” that was released almost immediately (within hours) by the Nazis was that the fire was set by van der Lubbe, as the result of a KPD plot. And the Nazis very quickly came up with a series of documents, later proved to be forgeries), that the “KPD Did It.” (Actually, the KPD was as surprised by the Fire as was most everyone else.) The Reichstag conveniently happened to be decorated with highly flammable furniture, drapes, and wall-coverings. Apparently, a few matches did the trick. It happened that the KPD knew nothing of it and that the “incriminating documents” quickly produced by the Nazis were later proved to be forgeries. But that meant nothing at the time.

The Nazis quickly created a national hysteria over the “threat of the KPD and the SPD,” lumped together as “the Marxists,” to the “peace and tranquility of the German nation,” to the “security of the German volk.” To deal with “the Marxist threat,” on Feb. 28, the day after the Fire, before there could be any kind of investigation beyond the Nazi declarations and proffered false documents, with Pres. Hindenburg’s approval, and in accord with a provision of the post-World War I Weimar Republic’s Constitution, all of the civil liberties protections in it were suspended. But this wasn’t enough for the Nazis.

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by Joe Giambrone

 

The freedom of corporate shareholders to fire your ass and move your job to anywhere that pays less, that’s one of them. We’re going to keep it real now, okay?

Each year on July 4th, the working classes of America drink themselves into stupors and play with innocuous explosives in their driveways. To them, this is some kind of representation of “freedom.” Yes, they can blow up paper cylinders; what they cannot blow up is the system that holds them as wage slaves. Say “no” to your boss, and you are economically destroyed. Not so “free” at work it turns out.

America has a twisted, immoral relationship with the word “freedom.” Each war of the modern age has been disguised, inside mountains of propaganda, as an effort to bring so-called “freedom” to somebody somewhere. If they didn’t ask for it, well, that’s no concern.

Freedom is good because we say it is. We liberate a lot of oil and mineral wealth, which needs to break free and become corporate profit. That’s the kind of freedom that launches the Marines or the Special Forces to invade your land. This “freedom” is not a freedom for your people and their human rights, but the freedom of US big money investors to plunder your land’s resources.

This is proven beyond any reasonable doubt, in 2003, by Paul Bremer’s “100 Orders” of the occupying United States. These illegal “Orders” dismantled the entire government of Iraq and wrote in numerous rights for foreign investors. The entire enterprise remains an illegal war of aggression, and the profit motive of the invaders stands as evidence:

 

“Bremer implemented his “100 Orders” with the force of law, all but a handful of which remain in place today. As the preamble to many of the orders state, they are intended to “transition [Iraq] from a … centrally planned economy to a market economy” virtually overnight and by U.S. fiat.

Bremer’s orders included firing the entire Iraqi military–some half a million men–in the first weeks of the occupation. Suddenly jobless, many of these men took their guns with them and joined the violent insurgency. Bremer also fired 120,000 of Iraq’s senior bureaucrats from every government ministry, hospital and school. His laws allowed for the privatization of Iraq’s state-owned enterprises (excluding oil) and for American companies to receive preferential treatment over Iraqis in the awarding of reconstruction contracts. The laws reduced taxes on all corporations by 25 percent and opened every sector of the Iraqi economy to private foreign investment. The laws allowed foreign firms to own 100 percent of Iraqi businesses (as opposed to partnering with Iraqi firms) and to send their profits home without having to invest a cent in the struggling Iraqi economy. Iraqi laws governing banking, foreign investment, patents, copyrights, business ownership, taxes, the media, agriculture and trade were all changed to conform to U.S. goals.”
-Spoils of War, In These Times 

 

That’s the definition of “freedom,” literally, as George W. Bush told us so. That was why he launched the war. That is what he did to the nation of Iraq once it was defeated.

So, clearly, there are different types of freedom. There is what the prisoner yearns for, and there is what the CEO bribes politicians for. Do not confuse them, as that is how propaganda turns freedom to slavery, peace to war, intelligence to idiocy.

Corporate CEOs in the Trump era are stockpiling freedom too. They want freedom to destroy unions, thus disempowering their workers further. They want the freedom to pollute the air and water more than it is already polluted. They want the freedom to keep all the profits for themselves and externalize all the costs onto the lower classes. They even want the freedom to steal American’s Social Security trust fund.

Criminals absolutely love freedom, as it gives them a window of opportunity to pounce.

This July 4th watch the words. Watch your ass.

 

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This is a direct copy of Nazi era policies to demonize Jews, gypsies, communists and other inferior races…

Trump Created An Office To Highlight Immigrant Crime. A Year Later, The Results Are Underwhelming.

 

The widespread “victimization by criminal aliens,” one of Trump’s favorite talking points, never materialized.

 

This is Hitler shit to divide the nation against the out-groups.  He is selling a Big Lie of an external threat to defend the nation from. This is low-grade theater, and Trump is a clownish imitation of a fascist dictator.

 

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Despite Trump’s speech, immigrants commit far fewer crimes than native-born Americans

 

Donald Trump’s Nazi encore, demonizing outsiders as criminals, scapegoating outsider groups, is a BIG LIE. A Big Lie is an audacious falsehood that propagandists keep telling over and over despite facts to the contrary. This is a fascist administration to the core. Its entire modus operandi is the fascism playbook. Be afraid.