Friday, February 14, 2014
The American Media Might Be Lying and Propagandizing Against Russia and Putin? How Can It Be???
This is the infamous Naked Protester in Kiev, undergoing mistreatment by Ukrainian police in bitterly cold weather. There are a number of stories circulating about this guy; I don't know if any of them are true. One of them says he used some kind of chemical agent against police during a protest action, another says he doused his clothes in gasoline and was about to set himself on fire when he was apprehended -- which was given as the reason for taking his clothes before transport to detention. All I can say with any certainty is that it appears he has been badly beaten about the head and body as there are many obvious bruises, he appears to be disoriented and terrified, and there is a hole in his neck that looks like something was jabbed into him. How or why he came across these wounds is unknown and apparently unrecorded. I have seen some reports saying he is a well-known skinhead/white-supremacist who has engaged in some of the most provocative actions during the protests in Kiev, and that we should be leery of any propaganda suggesting he's a "good guy" being abused by the police. Just goes to show...
By this point, of course, the Anti-Russia/Anti-Putin propaganda is somewhat muted, as the Games in Sochi have turned out to be pretty much OK. The American Team, though robbed of so many medals that were rightfully theirs, have so far managed to barely outpace the Russian Team's medal score, so there is that, and that's what's important.
But an article in the Nation has apparently re-opened old wounds, partly by pointing out the relentlessness of anti-Russian and anti-Putin propaganda leading up to the Games, and the ridiculousness of the American media propaganda on behalf of the Ukrainian rebels and protesters, many of whom are nothing but street thugs, white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
I haven't followed the Olympics much since the opening spectacle, as there are other things with which to occupy one's time. My own enthusiasm for the Olympic Games has long been curbed by my understanding of the deep corruption, corporatism, and neo-Fascism that has been at its root and core for many a long year.
But the anti-Russia/anti-Putin propaganda in the American media leading up to the Games was simply rank, obvious, and thoroughly disgusting. I have never seen Putin as either hero or saint, far from it, and post-Soviet Russia has been looted, dismembered, rode hard and put away wet, to coin a phrase. Putin, whatever his manifest faults, braked the decline. And that, apparently more than anything else, is what triggered mainstream (corporate) media's united crusade against him and the modestly resurgent Russian Federation. Very modestly resurgent. For some Russians, not all.
Despite his KGB roots, Putin is no Commie. Ha! But anyway...
The issue that gets to me, however, is the Ukrainian Thing, because it is self-evidently a rightist populist movement modeled after the Color Revolutions of the past and the far more recent Occupy Movement, with the clear intent of overthrowing the elected government of (the -- we're no longer supposed to say "the" when referring to the) Ukraine and installing a rightist dictatorship subservient to the IMF and EU Central Bank. And of course, much of the American media -- including a significant portion of the so-called "progressive" media -- has been relentlessly fluffing and propagandizing on behalf of the rebels and against the elected government. "Stalin-Hitler" and all that.
What's going on in Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine, what little can be sussed out from the barrage of propaganda from all sides, is disturbing, particularly if it represents a populist trend toward adherence to ever greater levels of rightist ideology and grossly neo-Fascist, neo-Nazi beliefs and practices.
When American media fluffs for rightist populist protesters -- which we're seeing more and more widely around the world -- and routinely denounces or ignores any other kind of protest, we should have a pretty good idea where this is headed: right back to the Good Ol' USofA, where a New Model Occupy may well crop up, funded by the Kochs and other billionaires, to "re-establish American Values" or what have you, leading directly to the imposition of the kind of rightist dictatorship of the corporatariat that we thought we ought to try to avoid, and thought, perhaps, we were avoiding or at least delaying what with all the hoo-hah of anti-Wall Street protest over the last few years...
The immediate issue is the heavy-handed and very obvious propaganda by almost all the mainstream popular media, propaganda denouncing Russia and Putin, and propaganda favoring the rebels in (the) Ukraine.
The article in the Nation referenced above is one of the only ones I've seen in more or less well regarded "leftist" publications, or "new" and "alternative" media, to point to the obvious, and to make the case that this is dangerous stuff, and we, the People, should beware.
It's a good reminder.