Russophobia is sweeping the world! Well, maybe not the world, just Europe and America. In other words, The International Community.
But there is more to this mass Western hysteria than mere Russophobia. New psychological disorders have arisen that require an entirely new set of terminology:
Schizoputinia: when you see, hear and feel Putin where he doesn’t exist. (As far as I know, this term was coined by Gulia Ismailova-Adams.) Many have recently been afflicted with this disorder, including Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO. Schizoputinia is often accompanied by Putinophobia.
Putinophobia (also known as Amanpouria): wetting one’s pants every time Putin sneezes, accompanied by excessive whining and hysterical babbling. Typified by Christiane Amanpour, and most EU politicians, especially those of the NATO Protectorate of Poland.
Russopropagandophobia: an excessive fear of Russian propaganda accompanied by complete memory loss regarding your own country’s obnoxious and shallow propaganda. One of the main causes of Russopropagandophobia for many seems to be news outlets such as the Russian news channel RT, which often presents rather biased news reports of world events. Considering the relative lack of pro-Russia perspectives in the West, their bias would normally be regarded by the sane observer as fighting fire with fire, rather than pure propaganda.
Greg Satell (Forbes) warns us of Russian propaganda, chiding those who would make too big a deal out of extreme right-wing nationalists in Europe and Ukraine, explaining that it’s OK in Europe because they don’t have American standards of political correctness, and anyway, there are some Jews in the Ukrainian government.
Russia Is Winning Its Non-Stop Propaganda War On America, from Forbes:
This obvious point (fighting fire with fire) is lost on Russopropagandophobes who see every defense of the Russian position (whether it comes from American sources, well-respected journalists such as Pepe Escobar or John Pilger, or Russian sources like RT and Voice of Russia) as pure Kremlin-funded propaganda. Let’s imagine for a moment that the pro-Russia position is indefensible and those who peddle it are either victims or paid agents of the Kremlin and its massive propaganda machine. Would the Kremlin be any match for the much better-funded armies of anti-Russia, pro-NATO media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, Fox, nearly every major news channel and newspaper in Europe and the US, and the leader of the pack these days, The New York Times?
The mysterious masked men
Let’s take a look at The New York Times to see what real propaganda looks like:
The U.S. and the New York Times pretended that Syria’s government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack … but that claim was debunked, and even the New York Times was forced to retract it several months later. (The alternative media, including Pulitzer prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh, has also pointed out that it was the Syrians rebels – with the help of the Turkish government – did it).
Then the U.S. and the New York Times pretended that they had proof that Russian soldiers were the mysterious “masked men” seizing government buildings in Russia. But a couple of days later, they were forced [by] reporting from the alternative media – especially Robert Parry, winner of the George Polk Award for National Reporting – into retracting that claim, and admitting that their “proof” was almost as flimsy as proof of Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction”.
Throughout the Ukraine crisis, there has been a suggestion that Russian forces were on the ground stirring up some of the unrest, first in Crimea and now in some eastern cities. On April 20, the New York Times had a front-page scoop that offered firm evidence of this. Or maybe it didn’t.
The Times’ supposed proof of Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine is a red herring. Its immediate political purpose is indicated in the article itself. The Times writes: “The question of Russia’s role in eastern Ukraine has a critical bearing on the agreement reached Thursday in Geneva among Russian, Ukrainian, American and European diplomats to ease the crisis. American officials have said that Russia would be held responsible for ensuring that the Ukrainian government buildings were vacated, and that it could face new sanctions if the terms were not met.”
Washington has no interest in defusing the crisis. It entered into the Geneva agreement in bad faith, intending to use Russia’s supposed violation of the agreement to justify further sanctions and stepped up military provocations. By supposedly publishing “proof” that the protests in the east are manipulated by Russia, the Times is supplying the US government with propaganda to claim that the failure of the protesters to disband is Moscow’s doing, which is to become the pretext for further escalating the crisis.
“He could be a Russian special forces soldier or a character from Duck Dynasty.”
Now, the New York Times has led its Monday editions with an article supposedly proving that Russian military special forces are secretly directing the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine…
The Times based its story on grainy photographs provided by the Kiev regime supposedly showing the same armed “green men” involved in actions with the Russian military earlier and now with the pro-Russian protesters who have seized government buildings in towns in eastern Ukraine.
The Times apparently accepts the photos as legitimate in terms of where and when they were taken, but that requires first trusting the source, the post-coup regime in Kiev which has a strong motive for making this argument as a prelude to violently crushing the eastern Ukrainian protests.
Secondly, one has to believe that the fuzzy photographs of the circled faces are the same individuals. They may be, but it is difficult to be sure from what is displayed. The principal figure shown is a man with a long beard and a cap sometimes pulled down over his forehead. He could be a Russian special forces soldier or a character from “Duck Dynasty.”
“The State Department says that the Ukrainian evidence is convincing.”
Putin’s Dilemma, from Counterpunch:
The pattern, of course, is unmistakable. It begins with sanctimonious finger-wagging, economic sanctions and incendiary rhetoric, and quickly escalates into stealth bombings, drone attacks, massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, millions of fleeing refugees, decimated towns and cities, death squads, wholesale human carnage, vast environmental devastation, and the steady slide into failed state anarchy; all of which is accompanied by the stale repetition of state propaganda spewed from every corporate bullhorn in the western media.
Robert Parry: “In my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan… there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.
But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts… are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing… The casualness of this propaganda… is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet.”
Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass:
‘Propaganda bullhorn’: John Kerry attacks RT during his Ukraine address:
“The propaganda bullhorn that is the state-sponsored RT program has been deployed to promote – actually, RT network – has been deployed to promote President Putin’s fantasy about what is playing out on the ground,” Kerry said.
Pepe Escobar fires back at John Kerry and his “scripted” ravings:
Ukraine has launched military raids to regain the buildings, which Mr Lavrov described as a “bloody crime”.
“The West… wants to seize Ukraine so to speak, being solely motivated by its own geopolitical ambitions and not the interests of the Ukrainian people,” Mr Lavrov said, according to AFP.
“The might of US propaganda” was aimed “at smearing Russia, smearing those who protest against the illegal actions of the [Kiev] authorities,” he went on.
Ukraine crisis: West wants to ‘seize control’ – Russia, from BBC:
Edward Lucas of the Daily Mail exemplifies the drooling, hysterical paranoia of the Anglo-American establishment in the article below, referring to Russia as “a rogue state on Europe’s doorstep,” doublespeak for “a country that does not follow the dictates of NATO.” In the article, Lucas takes us through the standard neo-con list of grievances du jour: Putin is the aggressor, NATO wants to help Ukraine, Western leaders are too weak, Putin wants to reestablish the USSR, Britain failed to support intervention in Syria, etc.
I hope I’m wrong but historians may look back and say this was the start of World War III, from Mail Online:
We are soon to face a bleak choice. We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states — almost certainly Putin’s next target — from further Russian incursion. Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions.
It is entirely unclear where our “responsibility to protect” Ukraine (fascist-controlled or otherwise) comes from, but it is clear that Edward Lucas is reading from the song sheet of US United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, with her updated version of “The White Man’s Burden.”
Power, like many others in the ‘responsibility to protect’ industry, has done a great deal to publicize the plight of child soldiers in Africa, in order to justify the continued presence of US troops. However, in Syria there are thousands of child soldiers she and her allies promoting US regime change and militarism seem to be completely unconcerned about.
Protect Syria: Will Samantha Power’s words fool us again? From RT:
Note that when Samantha Power speaks of America’s “responsibility to protect,” hardly anyone raises an eyebrow. When Putin speaks of Russia’s “responsibility to protect” ethnic Russians in Ukraine, he is suddenly the reincarnation of Hitler. “The International Community’s” shallow parody of concern for humanity accomplishes nothing apart from dividing humanity into those who hate Russia, and those who hate America.
Russophobia – the obsession of the UK elite, from RT:
Czar Vladimir? The New York Times characterizes Putin as a Czar:
The New York Times really outdid themselves when they blamed Moscow for the Boston Marathon bombing:
And the American people, once again, are fed pig slop and told to imagine sirloin.
The writers at The Moscow Times have developed a fear of Putin bordering on mania, shown here as they call on “the international community” to stop Putin/Hitler!
A Subtle Similarity Between Hitler and Putin, from The Moscow Times:
Regrettably, the international community is unwilling or unable to stop the violation of human rights in Russia today, just as it was against Germany in the 1930s.
There are also a couple of subtle similarities between The Moscow Times and journalism. It doesn’t mean they should be confused for the same thing.
The US-Russia Ukrainian deal, by Pepe Escobar:
By the time you read this Russia will have invaded Ukraine. Well, that’s what the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, is spinning. Breedlove Supreme says the Russians are “ready to go” and could easily take over eastern Ukraine. Western corporate media have already dusted off their Kevlar vests.
The heart of the matter – obscured by a rainbow bridge of hysteria – is that neither Washington nor Moscow want Ukraine to become a festering wound. Moscow told Washington, officially, it has no intention of “invading” Ukraine.
Putinophobia often involves the hysterical fear that Putin is reestablishing the USSR:
Foreign Policy Magazine is always quick to remind us of the great Russian threat to The International Community, including a recent article on the threat of Russian hackers!
The Heritage Foundation (as is customary these days) blames their Putinophobic bed-wetting problems on Obama’s inability to be tough with Putin, whatever that means:
When You Buy Cheap Gas, You Shop with Putin:
The Russian threat to Sweden!
A severe case of schizoputinia in Sweden: Were it not so tragic, it would be outrageously hilarious to learn that even the Swedes are scrambling to prepare for an imminent Putin invasion, or as the Putinophobes call him, Putler.
Swedish Government Plans Higher Defense Spending Due to Russian Threat, from The Moscow Times:
“What we are seeing now is that Russia’s actions confirm and exceed the fears we had then,” it added in a clear reference to Ukraine, where Moscow’s annexation of Crimea has triggered the worst crisis in relations with the West since the fall of communism.
Defense contractors somewhere are pinching themselves!
Politicians throughout Europe work tirelessly to spread Russophobic panic, none more so than Polish politicians:
… Poland’s defense minister is worried about a possible “Putin doctrine” that aims to recreate the Soviet Union with a “New Russia.”
Of course NATO is always there to provide a false sense of security for Poland’s false sense of threat:
Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has shown sympathy for Polish and Baltic states’ fears of Russia’s aggressive posture in Ukraine and beyond.
Maybe the Polish politicians who helped train Right Sector thugs for the Maidan coup ought to be worried:
The Polish left-wing weekly Nie (No) published a startling witness account of the training given to the most violent of the EuroMaidan activists. According to this source, in September 2013, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski invited 86 members of the Right Sector (Sector Pravy), allegedly in the context of a university exchange program. In reality, the guests were not students, and many were over 40. Contrary to their official schedule, they did not go to the Warsaw University of Technology, but headed instead for the police training center in Legionowo, an hour’s drive from the capital. There, they received four weeks of intensive training in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behavior in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles. Such training took place in September 2013, while the Maidan Square protests were allegedly triggered by a decree suspending preparations for the signing of the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, which was issued by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on November 21, i.e. two months later. The Polish weekly refers to photographs attesting to the training, which show the Ukrainians in Nazi uniforms alongside their Polish instructors in civilian clothing.
Russopropagandophobia also involves a double standard – an irrational fear of Russian propaganda coupled with a near or total lack of awareness (or simply denial) of American and European (The International Community) propaganda directed towards countries not generally regarded to be members of The International Community, eg. Russia and Syria.
This double standard is reflected in Western media coverage and attitudes towards popular uprisings in Ukraine. Euro-Maidan protesters violently attacked police with various weapons including Molotov cocktails, occupied and burned government buildings as well as a trade union building in Kiev, and were supported on the front lines by Right Sector and Svoboda fascists and neo-Nazis. They were and continue to be hailed as champions of democracy deserving of full US and European financial and military support. Eastern Ukrainian pro-Russia protesters have also occupied government buildings but have done so without the violence and without the fascism. They are regarded in the Western media as Russian agents, provocateurs, militants, and even terrorists, despite the fact that most of them are ethnic Russian Ukrainian citizens.
Kiev and the West believe Moscow is stirring up the unrest and a senior U.S. official made clear that Russian leaders had to de-escalate the crisis.
“The idea here is that they would stop aiding and abetting and supporting these separatists and that they would pull their troops back from the borders,” the official told reporters as Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Geneva.
Neil Clark: I’m confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were ‘pro-democracy protestors’.
The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these ‘pro-democracy protestors’ even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.
Now, just a few weeks later, we’re told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not‘pro-democracy protestors’ but ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’.
Why was the occupation of government buildings in Ukraine a very good thing in January, but it is a very bad thing in April? Why was the use of force by the authorities against protestors completely unacceptable in January, but acceptable now? I repeat: I’m confused. Can anyone help me?
“WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed strong concern that attacks by armed militants in eastern Ukraine have been orchestrated and synchronized, and are similar to previous attacks in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.” Associated Press, Apr 12
As far as Secretary of State Kerry is concerned:
- It’s all right for anti Russian protesters to stage violent demonstrations and occupy buildings to protest the former Ukrainian government, but not all right for pro Russian Ukrainians to stage non violent demonstrations and occupy buildings to seek independence from the the current government.
- It’s all right for the United States to invade Iraq without any cause, but not all right for Russia to accept the Crimea’s non violent protests and super majority vote to return to Russia.
- It’s all right for the United States to spend $5 billion to destabilize the government of the Ukraine in order to create an anti-Russian government, but not all right for Russia to resist.
Triumph of the Ill – Ukraine Coup Leaders Turn on People, from Scoop:
The soldiers had been told that the city was swarming with Russian special forces — and, finding none, they disarmed and either deserted their unit or stayed around and joined the local people protesting for autonomy for their region. The “anti-terrorist operation” ordered by the interim government in Kiev, with American backing, stands discredited.
According to The Moscow Times, Putin is making up all the antisemitism in Ukraine.
The involvement of fascists, extreme right-wing nationalists, and outright Nazis in the Euro-Maidan coup, and now in the unelected government of Ukraine, is not a myth made up by the Kremlin. The proof is there for anyone to analyze without the need to swallow any kind of Russian government propaganda. Political parties like Svoboda and the Right Sector are openly fascist and clearly label themselves – how this could be called Russian propaganda is beyond comprehension. The fascists of Kiev must be getting frustrated wondering what they have to do to convince the world of their sincerity. Maybe if they all grew little square mustaches you’d finally believe them!
See my blog entry for a partial list of fascists that entered the government after the Maidan coup:
The BBC ran a report on “ultra-nationalist” Svoboda in December 2012:
Svoboda seems to have attracted voters who would otherwise have stayed away from the polls altogether. Its strong anti-corruption stance – promising to “clean up” Ukraine – has resonated deeply.
- Founded in 1991 as Social-National party
- Won 30-40% of vote in three western regions in 2012 – and about 1% in three eastern regions
The open letter (2005)
- Title – Stop the Criminal Activities of Organised Jewry
- Signed by Tyahnybok and 17 others
- Lists Jewish businessmen, who got rich in the 1990s, and claims they control Ukrainian media
- Describes Zionism as “Jewish Nazism” and warns of “genocide” through the impoverishment of Ukrainians
- Demands investigation into the activities of Jewish organisations headed by people “suspected of serious crimes”
“We want Ukrainians to run the country,” says Bohdan, a participant in a recent Svoboda rally, as he waves a Ukrainian flag and organises cheering and chanting.
“Seventy percent of the parliament are Jews.”
Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine’s ultra-nationalists, from BBC:
The thing that baffles a lot of Russians about this whole Euro-Maidan fiasco is not that western Ukrainians hate Russians (Russians already knew that), it is that they hate Russians so much that they would be willing to sacrifice themselves on the altar of EU and IMF austerity, becoming a NATO puppet state / buffer zone in the process, simply to feel that they are now “part of Europe.” Evidence of this shallow, short-term thinking is easy to find among the people, though it is never reported on properly in the news media.
As Lviv gradually rediscovers its fashionable high society roots and the city gentrifies itself, it is inevitable that people will start to point to the longer European link the region enjoys instead of focusing exclusively on the more recent Soviet experience. Seeing yourself as a European in today’s Ukraine has become something of a status symbol in itself, and Lviv’s European culture gives it enormous kudos. It is also often a factor in allowing European businessmen to set up operations in the region, commenting that the European architecture of the city helps them to feel at home. In the days of the Habsburg Empire Lviv was known as Lemberg, the graceful capital city of Galicia, the north-eastern province of the realm.
A Rich Habsburg Inheritance, from Lviv Today:
Rather than obsessing over these childish fantasies of “fashionable high society roots” and “European cultural kudos,” western Ukrainians should look at what the IMF promises to bring them:
Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the IMF
Ukraine Crisis – What You’re Not Being Told:
John Pilger: Obama’s coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and lured Putin into a trap:
In February, the US mounted one of its proxy “colour” coups against the elected government of Ukraine; the shock troops were fascists. For the first time since 1945, a pro-Nazi, openly antisemitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism on the border of Russia. Some 30 million Russians died in the invasion of their country by Hitler’s Nazis, who were supported by the infamous Ukrainian Insurgent Army (the UPA) which was responsible for numerous Jewish and Polish massacres. The Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, of which the UPA was the military wing, inspires today’s Svoboda party.
The West has tried to counter the bad press the Kiev fascist clique has been getting by attempting to label the other side fascist and xenophobic. Of course Putin has been compared to Hitler by countless journalists and politicians such as Hillary Clinton (known herself by many as Hitlary), but it now goes much further.
The New York Times never sleeps in their quest to paint Moscow as the villain. Here they claim that xenophobia is the latest fad among Muscovites.
Xenophobic Chill Descends on Moscow, from The New York Times:
The antisemitic flyer
An antisemitic flyer was passed around in Donetsk, telling Jews that they had to register or get out. It was signed by Denis Pushilin, pro-Russia “people’s governor.” US Secretary of State John Kerry and others immediately pounced on this opportunity to (at last!) accuse the pro-Russia side of antisemitism.
Pepe Escobar: they were distributed by “three unidentified men wearing balaclavas and carrying the flag of the Russian Federation,” and carrying the logo of “the People’s Republic of Donetsk”
The flyers were signed by Denis Pushilin, in theory the ‘people’s governor’. Pushilin then told Ukrainian media the flyers with the logo were really distributed in Donetsk – but fiercely rejected their content, denying his group had printed them, and even denying he had used the title ‘people’s governor’. Pushilin had no idea who was behind the operation, which he labeled “a provocation’”
Also not surprisingly, Israeli media – and their American echo chambers – were all over the place with the non-story, always failing to stress that anti-Semitic attacks since the Maidan coup had in fact been perpetrated by rabid anti-Russian, Western Ukrainian neo-Nazis/neo-fascists.
And then Kerry, alongside EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the press conference, had to condemn the “grotesque flyers that have no place in our 21st century,” as in forcing Jews in eastern Ukraine to ‘register’. Translation: the State Department accepted what bears all the hallmarks of a CIA-style psy-op as a true story. A not-so-subtle push to imprint in misinformed layers of public opinion the toxic tie-up between Russophobia and anti-Semitism.
On Nazis, Jews & Ukraine ‘de-escalation’ by Pepe Escobar:
Anyone with half a brain could see this coming from miles away, but just in case you don’t already know, it’s a fake.
“It’s a fake flyer,” says Lesley Weiss, deputy director of the National Conference Supporting Jews (NCSJ), which focuses its efforts on Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic States.
A flyer ordering Jews in eastern Ukraine to register with pro-Russian forces or face deportation has been branded a fake by religious leaders, including the area’s rabbi.
Pamphlets circulating in Donetsk demanded ‘citizens of Jewish nationality’ over the age of 16 pay $50 to register and be issued special passports ‘marking the confession of faith’.
But the flyer, described as ‘grotesque’ by US Secretary of State John Kerry, has now been classed by the leader of the city’s Jewish community as a hoax, aimed at stirring up trouble.
“It’s an obvious provocation designed to get this exact response, going all the way up to Kerry,” says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs.
This may be just another tactic to smear the so-called anti-Maidan in the east of Ukraine: you think we’re fascists? Well, take a look at these guys.
The Rise of Putin’s Russia is a good thing
What is lost in all this anxiety, despair, paranoia, hand-wringing, and bed-wetting, is that a powerful Russia is good for the world – the whole world, including Europe and the United States. The post-Soviet world has seen the US as the lone superpower, and what has come of it? Unchecked by any other global power, the US has been led by its oligarchical ruling class of “blitzkrieg” neo-cons and “color revolution” neo-libs (alternating every eight years) on one democracy-spreading mission after another, leaving very little behind in the way of freedom, and very much in the way of deep resentment. The US has overthrown regimes around the world it deemed tyrannical, but in the process has become the tyrant it feared, and with nothing to show for it but an economy often without direction, and more often than not in free-fall. Compared with the days of the Soviet Union, America is a much weaker country economically, and rather than being adored worldwide as the beacon of liberty, it is (rightly or wrongly) widely hated. The USSR often lived up to its “evil empire” reputation, and had it won the Cold War, we could have hardly expected it to behave much better than the Anglo-American elites are behaving now. Nevertheless, a balance of powers was and is a good thing for all involved.
Why a militarily powerful Russia is good for the world:
Webster Tarpley for PressTV:
• Will western financial war against Russia trigger the collapse of globalization and an era of multipolarity? (We can only hope)
• Kiev coup on a killing spree, inviting WW3 as Russia regains control of Ukraine
• London willing to sacrifice Germany and Italy to protect its financial interests
What is propaganda?
For those of us in the West who live in constant fear of pro-Kremlin propaganda, we have quite a lot of reading to catch up on. I suggest, as an introduction, looking into two names which everyone should be well acquainted with – Noam Chomsky and Edward Bernays:
- Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Media:
“But now, with a most inhuman cruelty, they who have put out the people’s eyes, reproach them of their blindness.” John Milton
- In defense of a phrase: “conspiracy theory” by James Richard Bailey, fom Daily Kos:
Edward Bernays: “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?”
- The Century of the Self - BBC documentary series by Adam Curtis: