Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Phantoms of the operatives

Posted by Charles II on December 8, 2014

John Pilger:

These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government.” It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.

The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia – when, in fact, the fascist-led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and NATO.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington’s military encirclement and intimidation of Russia is not contentious. It’s not even news, but suppressed behind a smear-and-scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first Cold War. Once again, the Evil Empire is coming to get us, led by another Stalin or, perversely, a new Hitler. Name your demon and let rip.

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe since World War Two is blacked out. Washington’s secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.

I think Pilger overstates the case. Russia has dominated Ukraine and is now being challenged by the West. The intent is certainly to encircle and besiege Russia, but there are plenty of countries in Eastern Europe who feel threatened by Russia and regard the siege as a means by which they are defended. This is a contest of two empires, where neither has pure motives, and the actions of both are indefensible. The difference is that only Russians can do something about Russian imperialism, while only Americans can do something about American imperialism. And so Americans–and Britons, and Germans, and French and (like Pilger) Australians should indeed speak out against the actions of their governments.

Pilger thinks that journalists are no longer CIA operatives, as Carl Bernstein revealed in a previous era, just sycophants who print what they’re told to print by the government. I wonder.

In any case, many things that we think we know are just phantoms, produced by operatives.


2 Responses to “Phantoms of the operatives”

  1. We’re about as likely to go to war with China as we are with Saudi Arabia, and for essentially the same reason: Powerful business interests won’t allow it.

    • Charles II said

      Fifteen years ago I would have agreed with you, PW. After Iraq, no one can really say.

      The US behavior in Ukraine speaks for itself: creating a situation that could easily escalate into direct conflict between Russia and NATO, with the possibility of nuclear weapons use.These are not responsible actions. Now imagine a John McCain–or a Hillary Clinton in charge.

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