Raging Anti-Russian Propaganda
by Stephen Lendman
Accomplishing political objectives requires winning hearts and minds. The most intense anti-Russian propaganda in memory rages. Outrageous disinformation drowns out hard truths.
If words were bombs, mushroom-shaped denouement would have us all dead. It's not enough, John Kerry claims.
On February 25, he asked House Appropriations Subcommittee members for more money for so-called "democracy promotion" propaganda against nonexistent threats.
To counter the growing influence of alternative news and information sources reporting hard truths everyone needs to know.
Kerry specifically targeted RT International (formerly Russia Today). Last April, he disgracefully called it a "propaganda bullhorn…"
"(D)eployed to promote President Putin's fantasy about what is playing out on the ground," he ludicrously claimed.
It "can be heard in English," said Kerry. "Do we have an equivalent that can be heard in Russian," he asked?
"It’s a pretty expensive proposition. They are spending huge amounts of money." Kerry failed to explain Voice of America propaganda broadcasts in Russian since 1947.
Kerry discussed the same issue before House Foreign Affairs Committee members.
Chairman Ed Royce (R. CA) repeated the Big Lie about "Russia's military aggression…matched…by its propaganda."
It's "spending more than $500 million annually to mislead audiences, sow divisions, and push conspiracy out over RT television," he absurdly claimed.
It's current budget is $225 million. US government media spend over three times as much - $721 million.
Britain's state controlled BBC spends around $375 million. BBC Worldwide is a wholly owned subsidiary.
It generates over $1.5 billion in annual revenue and more than $250 million in profits. Don't expect Kerry, Royce or other policymaking lunatics in Washington to explain.
US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) head Andrew Lack is RT's latest antagonist.
He runs Washington's global propaganda machine. It includes:
- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,
- Radio and TV Marti aimed at Cuba; and
- Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
Enormous sums are spent annually proliferating Big Lies. Lack's job is blasting them worldwide.
He turned truth on its head claiming "(w)e are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram."
"But I firmly believe (BBG) has a role to play in facing those challenges." In other words, counter hard truths with Big Lies.
Kerry want Congress appropriating $639 million for US state-sponsored propaganda.
"(T)o help our friends in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova as they seek to strengthen their democracies, withstand pressure from Russia, and to integrate more closely into Europe," he claimed.
The State Department wants over $2 billion for so-called "democracy, human rights, and governance programs" - state propaganda by any other name.
Ron Paul Institute's Daniel McAdams agrees saying Washington has "an unlimited advertising budget, but the product (it's) selling is not very attractive overseas."
"People are tired of US interventionism. They’re tired of US exceptionalism. They’re tired of the US bombing their country."
BBG's budget is the tip of the iceberg, says McAdams. Washington spends enormous sums "influenc(ing) media oversees," he explains.
"There’s probably another $100 million in direct support to so-called ‘independent news publications’ oversees, and these are all different newspapers and broadcasting outfits that tow the US line that aren’t directly US-related."
America's "propaganda bullhorn" blasts everywhere electronically, in print and other ways - spreading Big Lies, smashing hard truths.
Becoming increasingly ineffective because anyone connected online can easily learn what they need to know with minimal effort.
"Pro-Russian separatists still refuse to grant safe access to OSCE monitors in Donbas."
"OSCE observers see no signs of heavy weapons withdrawal in Donbas."
"Militants spreading rumors about build-up of weapons for new attacks."
"Militants secretly redeploying forces to the south."
"Militants regrouping, sending military equipment equipment toward Mariupol."
"Militant commander threatens to kill OSCE mission experts."
"Militants violate ceasefire in Debaltseve, Donetsk and Mariupol 12 times overnight."
"Militants fire Grad rockets near Mariupol."
Not a shred of credible evidence supports this type propaganda. At the same time, OSCE monitors aren't fulfilling their mandate.
They reject invitations to witness rebel heavy weapons withdrawal.
RT International broadcast live video. According to rebel spokesman Eduard Basurin:
"Every day they have new conditions to put forward. For instance, (on February 26), they demanded a concrete route for the artillery."
"Well, that heavy hardware doesn't travel on the roads, but OSCE monitors wouldn't care to go into the fields."
Rebels want OSCE monitoring. "We believe the OSCE's role is crucial," said Basurin.
"Once again, we confirm that we are interested in OSCE presence at all weapons-withdrawal events."
"The OSCE must be present to monitor the withdrawal of the weapons by both sides."
So far, rebels alone are complying with Minsk. Kiev refuses to withdraw its weapons. Whether it intends doing so ahead remains to be seen.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said OSCE monitors "showed a lack of proper effort to execute the functions entrusted to it."
Its OSCE ambassador Andrey Kelin complained about Kiev failing to fulfill its mandate.
It's not "pull(ing) out (its) heavy weaponry and say a pause is needed. That is what really triggers certain concern of the OSCE as this pause may last indefinitely."
Rebels said they're ready "to grant (OSCE monitors) access…to the locations where guarded weapons would be stored."
Moscow said providing Kiev with weapons and its failure to observe Minsk terms aggravate a very shaky ceasefire.
Britain and Australia sending troops to Ukraine complicates things further. Large numbers of US combat forces helping Kiev show Obama wants war, not peace.
Kiev wants increased propaganda effectiveness. It's recruiting an "online army" to wage information war - to proliferate Big Lies, bury hard truths.
Its Orwellian ministry of truth wants bloggers involved. It wants social media exploited. It wants fake news and information blasted to all Ukrainians.
In December, Kiev announced an information warfare department. Tass quoted Ukraine's propaganda minister Yury Stets saying:
"You don’t need trolls and bots to deliver (Kiev's version of so-called) truthful information to those communicating on the internet. It is obvious for social network veterans."
"To do so we need to unite people influential in social media and they will tell the (so-called) truth(s) (Kiev wants communicated) to everyone who reads them."
Stets announced plans for a new TV channel called Ukrainian Tomorrow. It'll broadcast state propaganda to an international audience.
Maybe he plans a Ukrainian version of Fox News - all propaganda all the time mixed with junk food news.
Kiev wants hard truths entirely eliminated. Over 100 Russian media outlets lost accreditation.
Including Tass, Rossiya Segodnya, and all Russian TV channels except Dozhd.
Sergey Lavrov blasted Kiev's move saying:
"The openly discriminatory decision by Ukraine's parliament to strip Russian mass media of accreditation at the bodies of state power is an extension of the policy to clear the country's media space of alternative points of view."
It "calls into question Kiev's interest in a peace settlement." Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added:
"Russia is a country where media activity is regulated by law, and where Russian and foreign journalists have equal rights to obtain information."
Separately, Peskov said Moscow won't resume cooperation with the West until its position on Ukraine is accepted. A growing chasm separates both sides. A dangerous one risking nuclear war.
"We have witnessed a tremendous clash of interests, collapse of interests in the heart of Europe, in Ukraine," Peskov stressed.
"So in the front of an illegitimate armed takeover, armed coup that occurred in Kiev one year ago, Russia took a position - a quite understandable one - but very, very frank, very open and very firm."
"As soon as this position is accepted with understanding, I think that we all will be ready to resume our cooperation or interaction that we all desperately need in order to be effective in combating challenges that we will face."
"Right now, unfortunately, we don't have any cooperation in very sensitive fields like combating terror, like whatever."
"(A) single country cannot be effective." Not when its best efforts are deliberately sabotaged.
"…Russia cannot move behind the red line in terms of presuming and ensuring its own national interests."
"The only thing we want is that our national interests, our sovereign rights and sovereign interests (are) treated with due respect."
"As soon as it happens, there will be a time for new Renaissance in (our) international relationship."
So far, it's nowhere in sight. America's rage for war threatens everyone. It's reckless quest for global dominance may kill us all.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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