This post first appeared on Russia Insider
The CBC never allows any sustained challenge to US foreign policy or the lap-dog adherence to it by all Canadian mainstream political parties. Canadian foreign news headlines and arguments in both public and private Canadian media and those spouted by mainstream Canadian politicians and academics are generally those written by US mainstream news media and spoken by US Neocons/Liberal Interventionists in both the Republican and Democratic Party.
In short when it comes to foreign policy the publicly-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is little more than a propaganda channel for the modern industrial/military complex.
As a consequence Canadians are not presented with a critique of the anti-Russian sanctions or even with a review as to why the Canadian government is supporting them or the associated Russia-phobic rhetoric – a failure which leaves most Canadians in the same place as the majority of our US neighbors – comatose and sleep walking towards more conflict and possibly into nuclear war.
Three important issues the CBC and US media have got wrong:
The Magnitsky Act: Canada has its own version of this act – based on Browder’s false arguments all mainstream political parties in Canada supported this act which has been described as having “kickstarted” the new cold war. The documentary film that Browder produced to boost his case provides the clearest evidence of the false nature of his narrative; the filmmaker (Andrei Nekrasov, an anti-Putin activist) expected to tell Browder’s story but quickly realised his argument was fake not fact – Magnitsky was not a lawyer (no law degree, never called to the bar) as claimed but an accomplice in Browder’s money raking, tax avoiding schemes. Nekrasov concluded that the most accurate account of the Magnitky/Browder saga was that told by Russian authorities. The late Robert Parry has reviewed this case https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/28/guardians-of-the-magnitsky-myth/ it also includes a contact to the contents of the documentary film).
Philip Giraldi has asked if Browder is the most dangerous man in the world and has reviewed the complete argument. (https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/is-bill-browder-the-most-dangerous-man-in-the-world/). Russia has of course been sanctioned by both the US and Canada – the CBC continues to treat Browder as an honest celebrity but never invites a critic to comment on his false accusations.
Also see Diana Johnstone:
Obama’s speech in Brussels to NATO in 2014: This speech outlines Obama and US policy towards Russia particularly in relation to Ukraine. The most striking false claim was made by Obama to attack the referendum that the Crimea authorities held to ask its people if they wanted to re-connect to Russia. They did overwhelmingly, (more than 90% -- allowing for votes against and treating all non-voters as “no” it was still over 80%) and the Duma and Putin consented.
Obama claimed this was not comparable with the UN sanctioned referendum NATO held supporting Kosovo independence. The major problem with this claim was that there was no Kosovo referendum – this was a barefaced lie; such a vote never took place:
“And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors.” (Obama claim March 26 Washington post report 2014. https://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/27/obama-falsely-claims-kosovo-secession-involved-un-backed-referendum/
He also went on to claim the US invasion of Iraq (which he had opposed) was however within the bounds of international law: “But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system” – see references above for links.
(For a more informed view of actual events and sequencing in Kosovo and Serbia see “How America gets away with Murder: Illegal wars, collateral damage and crimes against humanity” by Canadian, Michael Mandel [he spearheaded the international effort to have NATO leaders prosecuted for crimes against humanity committed during the Kosovo war]. And Diana Johnstone “Fools crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and western Delusions”. A link to another false claim by Obama that NATO bombing was justified as it prevented and punished mass killings in Kosovo is https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/30/kosovo-where-nato-bombing-only-made-the-killing-worse/
Other false claims were made in the speech – the major snipers at the Maidan were not state gunmen as claimed at the time and implied in his speech but Maidan snipers firing from buildings controlled by Maidan protesters https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325007236_The_Snipers%27_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine.
Obama’s argument that no ethnic Russians had been assaulted in Ukraine is belied by the video evidence of thuggery and murder, particularly the “January 2014 Odessa massacre” which was completely ignored as an act of extreme violence committed by Maidan supporters – more than 46 anti-Maidan supporters were burned to death, with those jumping out of windows to avoid the fire being videoed as they were kicked and beaten by Maidan activists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWZCu0fhVbw
When Senator McCain argued for more precise weapons for Ukraine he stated that would mean they would no longer need to “indiscriminately bomb and shell” the population of Donbass (mainly ethnic Russians).
The Russian argument that the West was supporting Fascists and neo-Nazis operating within the Ukrainian government was dismissed by Obama – but now even main-stream media has begun to recognise their existence. (https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/05/corporate-medias-about-face-on-ukraines-neo-nazis/)
And there is new evidence that the US is training neo-Nazis including some White-supremacist US volunteers. https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/17/blowback-us-funded-ukraine-neo-nazis-mentor-us-white-supremacists/
No mention was made by the President of US policy in Ukraine – the role played by Victoria Nuland, his special envoy in funding ($5bn) https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/05/ukraines-made-in-usa-finance-minister/
and “midwife” (her phrase) to the uprising. All attempts at Russian diplomacy (yes Obama there was Russian diplomacy aimed at ending the conflict; none from the US) – “Minsk 1” and “Minsk 2” – was effectively countered by Western military aid and a complete failure of countries, such as Canada and the US, to school the coup government of Poroshenko on how to implement and manage a “federal” democracy which includes considerable powers to Provinces or States. Nor was there any mention by Obama of US military advisors who were inside Ukraine.
Obama argued that the government of Yanukovych was corrupt and that justified throwing him out – but one of the first acts of the Maidan coup government was to release Tymoshenko from jail – she had been found guilty of corruption, and interestingly has since stated that the current president, Poroshenko, is even more corrupt than Yanukovych. Irvin Studin a student of Ukrainian affairs had written in 2013, prior to the Maidan uprising: While Yanukovych was inept “Yushchenko was even more inept, while Tymoshenko – a darling reborn – was arguably more corrupt” reproduced in
Remember the West had sponsored both Yushenko and Tymoshenko, so this issue was not just about corruption or competence and given Poroshenko was an Oligarch not about that either. Obama’s own failure to stem corruption and waste was illustrated in Iraq as Peter van Buren documents “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (American Empire Project).”
So based on this false analysis and fake claims (constantly repeated by main-stream media including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) the West embarked on yet more sanctions against Russia and the CBC were the exact same as the US broadcasters – cheerleaders, not journalists, not asking questions and interrogating the evidence, or even allowing listeners to hear alternative arguments presented by informed critics.
We all miss Obama’s skillful oratory, his use of language, and perhaps even his liberal sensitivities but when it comes to foreign policy there is little more truth in his claims than in Trump’s (with perhaps the exception of Iran). As “The Independent” newspaper’s experienced foreign correspondent Robert Fisk has argued “We don’t live in a post-truth world: We live in a world of lies – and always have.”
I counted more than 20 statements or claims in Obama’s speech that evidence exists to counteract his assertions. I have not found anywhere recognition by him that he was wrong to claim a vote had taken place in Kosovo when it so clearly had not. Perhaps a reader can provide a link to such an apology.
Given that such a blatant lie goes uncorrected it’s little wonder that all the other false claims and statements are left unchallenged in order to support the US (and Canada’s) illegitimate sanctions policy .
The CBC radio program The Current did interview Irvin Studin early on in the Ukrainian coup and the program host (Anna Maria Tremonti) did recognise that Canadians may have been “duped” (her term) but the program never invited him or any other critic back to comment on Ukrainian events. Another serious CBC radio program (As it Happens) did interview a Tartar representative re Russia in Crimea during which the representative referred to the “illegitimate Government” in Kiev (the coup government) but the interviewer did not miss a beat simply moved on to the next anti-Russia question rather than ask her what she meant by that phrase (alternatively the interviewer did ask but it was edited out). (Incidentally the CBC in common with other European and US MSM has never explained the WW11 context – many Tartars worked as concentration camp guards and others operated in anti-Russian Nazi death squads – the relocation of Tartars to other majority-Muslim areas of the Soviet Union in 1944 followed the re-taking of Crimea). Exclusion and denial ensured Canadians – similar to the US – never heard a consistent critique of events in Ukraine.
Russiagate: the original claim against Russian meddling in the US election was in relation to Russia hacking Hilary Clinton’s emails – this claim has been tested by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and they have concluded it was a leak not a hack – see https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/
There is no point in me reviewing this information, if you don’t believe these VI PS reports, which have not substantially been challenged, then why don’t folks choose to believe the unsubstantiated assertions of a few hand-picked current intelligence operatives (it was not 17 agencies). To be honest the same can be said of the further claim that Russia actively interfered in the US elections and affected the result, or that Trump colluded with Putin – no evidence after 3 years of investigation just more and more allegations. The Gulf of Tonkin; the Panama deception; the invasion of Grenada on an anti-Cuban pretext; Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction all over again – a right wing critic; a Libertarian former presidential candidate Ron Paul makes the same point that some left critics have made:
“It is interesting that one of the Russian companies indicted by Mueller earlier this year surprised the world by actually entering a “not guilty” plea and demanding to see Mueller’s evidence. The Special Counsel proceeded to file several motions to delay the hand-over of his evidence. What does Mueller have to hide?
Meanwhile, why is no one talking about the estimated 100 elections the US government has meddled in since World War II? Maybe we need to get our own house in order?”
Ron Paul’s clear statement that : “There are hundreds of billions of reasons – otherwise known as dollars – why the Beltway military-industrial complex is terrified of peace breaking out with Russia and will do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening” is important and a match for any leftist argument in its clarity.
Other arguments that need exploring are the insistent Trump administration assertion (similar to Obama’s administration and all US MSM) that Assad is using chemical weapons when time and again these reports have been shown to be shoddy and flawed – the late Robert Parry demonstrated that tucked away in the UN/OPCW reports on the 2017 incident was a clear contradiction – the appendix to the report clearly claimed that civilians had been treated for chemical exposure in hospitals 100 miles away from the incident at least a half or one hour prior to the time the report asserted that Assad’s forces dropped the bomb. A number of Robert Parry’s reports, and others, have questioned these bogus gas attacks: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/07/how-war-propaganda-keeps-on-killing/
And the US already knows who will use chemical weapons:
The point is the publicly-funded CBC never introduces Canadians to the range of critique available in the US or even inside Canada – The “Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity” is not asked to comment on US militarism nor are writers in ConsortiumNews (particularly the VIPS) nor those critiques offered by CounterPunch -- these can be characterised as politically right, centre and left but all agreed on ending military interventions, closing bases and cutting military spending – to borrow from VIPS I think the CBC should be choosing “Sanity” more often than the alternative.
The publicly-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation does have an opportunity to be different from mainstream US corporate media: Former Prime Minister Chrétien did it once by refusing to send Canadian ground forces into Iraq. Now the CBC needs to show the same independence by allowing a “peace agenda” to be seriously discussed including Canadian withdrawal from NATO. The broadcaster does allow general criticism of Trump – which could be considered a step in the right direction – but never of mainstream US foreign policy: a position which leaves Canadians in the same place as US citizens – slowly drifting towards more conflict and possibly into nuclear war.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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