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'Russian Aggression' - CBS Provides a Perfect Example of Imperial Disinformation

For CBS history began yesterday when Russia conducted military drills in its border areas thus justifying a massive NATO build up in Eastern Europe

  • The part where the US before that conducted its own drills and helped install an anti-Russian government in its key neighbor Ukraine never happened

This article originally appeared at The Greanwille Post

Everything—and I mean that literally—everything in this item filed by CBS This Morning on 6.23.15 (below), is false. The object is, as usual, to sell the almost completely clueless and habitually semi-indifferent American public the idea that Russia is the new Nazi Germany, with Putin as the new Fuhrer, rampaging across Europe and grabbing,  insatiably, one hapless nation after another in his march toward the conquest of the…whole Free World!

But wait! The US has heard the cries of the victims and those who fear the new Russian juggernaut…the poor onetime fascist Baltic nations and long-suffering, reactionary Poland, plus other quivering, nervous nations in Russia’s baleful sphere of influence…and the Pentagon, the rightful home of Captain America, champion of everything that is good and righteous in this and any other universe, is already on the job working to stop the bullies. So says Ashton Carter, the obsessive warmongering neocon currently serving as Secretary of Defense (an Orwellian title in an of itself given what the US normally does), and we should believe him—or should we?

Impudent propaganda

This CBS report, which should be preserved as a perfect example of Washington’s style of disinformation, manages to sport all the signatures of Western propaganda, a classic instance of in-your-face impudent Orwellianism at its best. The problem is that, as alert people already know, CBS, while excellent at disinformation, is far from alone: all US media behave more or less along the same lines, and the examples of highhanded lies abound, they are, in fact, the norm for anything of any social or political significance. Which means that maybe you can trust the weather and the crushingly boring sportscasts and not much else.

In any case, to fully appreciate why I call this an exceptional example of disinformation requires that you, an ordinary member of the US audience to whom such propaganda missiles are primarily aimed, already know (or have more than a good grasp of) a number of things:

• Who Ashton Carter is
• What Neocons are, what they do and where they come from
• Why Neocons are not only allowed to shape US policy but dominate it
• What America’s elites really want

• A hefty amount of European and world history, in general, including our own.

Naturally, when I say that you are required to know these things I mean you should know them ‘in fact”, not in their self-serving, propaganda definitions. If we used that approach, we’d all be going in circles—forever. Which suits the empire’s mind managers fine, but not us, if we are really on a truth-seeking mission.

The pre-requisite is a pretty tall order. The problem here is (and I am sympathetic) that picking up a history book, watching the history Channel or the PBS Newshour, or what seems like a respectable magazine is well-nigh useless. The biggest share of foundational propaganda is delivered by history books, as most historians at any given time are busy singing the praises of the status quo. It’s been that way for thousands of years. 

So you must look for counter-establishment voices, again not easy for you because, despite the Internet, the world of “information and opinion” is still dominated by mainstream sources. So when you start on your search for iconoclastic viewpoints, you face something of a triple challenge: you likely never heard of them, don’t even know where to begin to look for them, and once found, you are likely to reject what they say due to your own heavy indoctrination in the system’s “truths.”

Yea, the American brainwash is so potent and subtle that your mind will go into full rejectionist mode, ten times worse than your body rejecting a full organ transplant, the minute it encounters anything that contradicts the sacred catechism. That means you must persist, and not only persist but begin to do something really novel in a culture accustomed to received “wisdom”: using your brain to measure and compare different versions of reality, correlating them with the facts, as far as your own personal experience can attest…and hope for the best.

As you can see, this is pretty much impossible for most Americans who, by alarming majorities, don’t even know who Joe Biden is. Not to mention that America is a “can do,” anti-intellectual nation impatient with long explanations.

Let the above serve as a little digression to show you why CBS and its minions (the grossly overpaid on camera disinformers, like the unctuous media courtier Charlie Rose, or in this specific case Margaret Brennan) can strut around winning awards for “journalism,” while lying—wittingly or unwittingly—to their hearts’ content, with total impunity. For this is what passes for professional journalism these days, what is being held up in J-schools as the meat-and potatoes stuff of daily journalism, and therefore what legions of young would-be reporters are expected to imitate, if they know what’s good for them. (Now, that’s another story we best leave for another day.)

So, without simplifying matters unduly or insulting anyone gratuitously, let me sketch out here why I think this is such a good case of the Big Lie in action, the big lie in the service of war—the most criminal variant in the whole arsenal of disinformation.

For starters, Ashton Carter, a card-carrying Russophobe and war-lover par excellence, is a former Harvard don now acting as the smarmy helmsman of the highly corporatized Pentagon, America’s gianormous tool for mayhem in the world.

At present, as part of the Obama team, he’s working hard to continue the criminal strategy pursued by several presidents already, and amplified by Obama, of encircling and destabilizing Russia, at any cost. (They are trying the same crazy idea on China, too, under the pretext of protecting “weaker nations” in the Pacific region, the so-called “pivot to Asia.”)

They do that because after the Soviet Union’s implosion in 1989, America quickly grew accustomed to being the only superpower in the world, what some call the “unipolar doctrine” and now will not tolerate any other power to contest its “right” to do as it pleases, anywhere, anytime, let alone powers like Russia or China bent on building a sovereign-states multipolar world. That’s what Obama means when he (like others before him) speak in reverent tones of America being “the indispensable nation.” Global hegemony. Unipolarity.

But don’t take it from me. As a leftist I am expected to despise self-impressed, bloated slobs like Ashton Carter, a warmongering corporatist from head to toe. No, take it from a libertarian voice, that of  Daniel McAdams, writing for the Ron Paul Institute. Allow me to quote him at length since it will save us some time:

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter comes (back) to government service the military-industrial complex. Whether in the “private” sector or in government military positions, Carter has made his fortune (and those of others) pushing an aggressive and interventionist US foreign policy. 

Secretary Carter was in Berlin yesterday, pushing the idea that Germany needs to massively increase its military spending to counter what he calls “Russian aggression” in Europe. Currently Germany spends approximately one percent of its GDP on the military and Carter would like to see that amount doubled. (In Japan they are playing the same tune, urging Japan to abandon its longtime antiwar state policy in favor of rearmament to repurpose Japan as a new military counterweight against China.—Eds)

But Carter’s Pentagon also sent a troubling message to Germany that one hopes stems from a confused understanding of 20th century history.

Germany must “dispose of the cold war playbook,” a senior military official said, and instead should “increase [its] security role in the world, commensurate with [its] political and economic weight.”

Germany must forget the post-World War II relative balance in Europe and again assert itself militarily as the master of the European land mass, they urge. Germans, who have been flagellating themselves for more than seven decades over the sins of the monsters who seized power in the 1930s, will hopefully reject the revisitation of such a role. 

Is Ashton Carter encouraging Germany to gear up for another invasion of Russia? It is unclear but implied.

In Carter’s mind, the current stand-off in Europe stems from Russia’s attempt to resurrect the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Russia is trying to “drag us back to the past,” he complained yesterday. And the US will not allow that to happen.

Asked how exactly Russian “aggression” takes shape on the ground in Europe, Carter again throws out the catch-phrase “hybrid,” which we are supposed to know means…well whatever the Pentagon and the Beltway think-tankarians want it to mean. Remember “?”

Said Carter:

…[W]e’re attentive to the hybrid aspects of potential contingencies. Hybrid meaning — I assume you know what the expression means. But so paying attention hybrid warfare, and the ability to deter that.

While condemning Russian “hybrid” aggression (although Russia maintains no major military bases outside its territory), the US-dominated NATO has announced plans to station thousands of US troops — 40,000 total — and heavy military equipment on Russia’s border in the Baltics.

( SOURCE: Daniel McAdams, Sec Def Carter to Russia: ‘Don’t Drag Us Back to the Past‘).

Other analysts reach the same conclusion. Carter’s maniacal resolve to bring war, again, onto the European continent by sicking NATO on Russia is well encapsulated in my colleague Stephen Lendman’s assessment:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is a convenient US stooge – taking orders from Washington. He supports its likely intention to deploy nuclear weapons targeting Russia on the phony pretext of its nonexistent Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) violations – a policy only lunatics would endorse.

On Monday, he said NATO defense ministers will meet on June 24 and 25 – discussing how Alliance members will adapt “to a new and more challenging security environment” at a time no threats exist except ones Washington and rogue partners invent.

Now you see why I dislike this Carter character. Ashton Carter is a corrupt, warmongering, imperialist Neocon, for everything he does is what distinguishes Neocons from saner and less bankrupt human beings.

Yet none of this seems to matter much to Maggie Brennan or CBS, assuming of course that Brennan even knows who Carter is or what he represents, which I doubt since most big American television reporters are appalling ignoramuses, cardboard figures following narrow scripts, far more focused on their careers than in serving the public good.

So there she is, filling her mission as a “professional” journo, doing what her bosses asked her to do, and dutifully sticking a mike in Carter’s face and serving as a prop, so he can hold forth at will, unimpeded, with a cascade of lies disgustingly wrapped in the most self-serving sanctimony that money can buy. (I gotta hand it to him, he does that pretty well. As for Brennan, well, we already defined her role: she’s one more of those stenographers to power that mindlessly crawl all over the body of American mass communications spreading the lies that suit the empire.)

Concluding thoughts

This media log would be incomplete without mentioning what the big lie is in this case, and it’s simple: The US accuses Russia of sowing discord and plotting and practicing military aggression all over the place; of “invading” the Ukraine,  of “taking over” the Crimea, of “threatening other nations (read the conveniently nervous nations already mentioned earlier, clamoring on cue for American help, all in Russia’s sphere of influence); of downing a commercial jet in cold blood, and similar idiotic but inflammatory things, none of which have been proved, and all of which, by the way, have been refuted with proof, or by a clear and impartial examination of recent history, except that no American ever heard of such proofs because no American “news” medium or politician will ever come close to bringing central truths to the captive American public.

Thus, to this day, despite the tireless efforts of alternative media like this blog, precious few Americans know that it was us, Washington through its well-trained proxies, that cynically overthrew the legally constituted government of Ukraine in a color revolution mixed with fascist putsch elements, all to install a fascist regime ready to follow American orders literally on the doorstep of the Russian Federation.

Yes, the Ukraine, by now a Frankenstein state, is indeed the ultimate “Lily Pad”, an advanced projection of reckless American power pointed to the underbelly of Russia.Would we allow a well-known aggressive superpower with a bunch of allied nations flexing their military muscle on the Canadian or Mexican border, while making threatening noises in our direction?

Viewed with an elementary sense of fairness, Putin and Russia’s displeasure is not so hard to understand. As one of the readers quoted in the comments addendum puts it,

“Finance, and help plan a ‘rebellion’, then, when Russia reacts unfavorably, pretend to be the ‘good’ guys.”

Frankly I can’t improve on that.

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