Using Propaganda to Justify Invasion
I didn't realize we were being played with Russian propaganda when it began. I know enough about the Shoah (Holocaust) and World War II, to know that the Ukrainians, BeloRussians and other East Europeans were not saints when it comes to nationalism and nativism. So when there were upheavals between Russo-phile and Nativist Ukrainians, I was inclined to be sympathetic to the Russo-philes. But then I saw this was propaganda.
But when I dug I realized I was being too simplistic. Both Russians and Ukrainians have a mixed history. And the Russians perpetrated atrocities on Ukraine during the Soviet Era that were as traumatic as what nearly the entire of Eastern Europe did to their Jewish and Gypsy populations (extermination and expulsion). When the Russians started putting out Stories of Ukrainian atrocities, I soon found that they were mostly exaggerated and were basically propaganda. This post is based on material I gathered explaining the parallels between the Hillary Campaign and the 2010 Ukrainian Election.
Framing, Diversion, Deflection and Trial Balloons!
Attacking Victoria Nuland
Along with articles attacking Hillary's emails, claiming she'd sold nukes to Russia, and generally trying to paint our popularly elected President as a demon. There was this allegation in Truthout in 2015. Written by one Robert Parry. It was among many similar articles he had authored, mostly attacking Hillary Clinton, or Ukraine, so it didn't stand out, especially since the direct target was Victoria Nuland:
"Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs "Toria" Nuland was the "mastermind" behind the Feb. 22, 2014 "regime change" in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible US mainstream media that the coup wasn't really a coup but a victory for 'democracy.'" [Truthout -Parry]
The allegation, based on wikileaks type material, conveniently provided by Russian Intelligence, the article paints Victor Yanukovych as an innocent victim of US plotting. There is a half truth there, in that the USA State Department, while officially neutral, had given moral support to the Ukrainians in their struggles after Yanukovich won election in a rigged election with stuffed Ballots. But ...
Parry claimed that the the Euro-Maiden revolution was a coup!
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders." [Truthout -Parry]
The Ukrainians picked their own leaders, demonstrated and marched on the streets. And Yanukovich fled to Russia. Later they found documents proving the Russian involvement in their election and massive corruption. No country is completely free of corruption, but there had been no coup.
The "Neo-Con" Narrative
Now note, most left wing attacks on Clinton framed her as a neoliberal, but this one sought to paint her as a "neo-con" war-monger. Truthout seems to aspire to be the United State's "Pravda" (translates as Truth)
"To sell this latest neocon-driven "regime change" to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Se[k]ctor. For the US-organized propaganda campaign to work, the coup-makers had to wear white hats, not brown shirts." [Truthout -Parry]
There were nationalists involved in the Euromaidan revolt. But on the whole the Western orientation reflected a sense of identity with Western Liberal Democracies and a desire for elections with integrity, integration with the rest of Europe and the freedom to speak their own dialect and celebrate their own holidays. This also was a source of conflict with Russophiles, but those conflicts could have been bridged without outside interference. But to the Russians this was simply an attack on Russia. Calling the revolutionaries "ultra-nationalists" was a means to divert attention from the reality.
"So, for nearly a year and a half, the West's mainstream media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.[Truthout -Parry]
The reality is that both sides had parasitical ultra-nationalist groups egging on the fighting. The one thing that the far right loves is nativism and wearing military Uniforms and carrying weapons. But to say the Euromaidan revolt was a Nazi style revolt is pure agit-prop.
To deflect from that reality the Russians claimed that their view was being stepped on and that therefore they were the victims of propaganda not engaging in it.
Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed "Russian propaganda" and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a "stooge of Moscow."[Truthout -Parry]
Looking at a sample list of recent Robert Parry's articles, one wouldn't be far off in feeling that he just might be shilling for them:
- MSM, Still Living in Propaganda-ville
- NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard
- Russia-gate Is No Watergate or Iran-Contra
- Russia-gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket
"It wasn't until July 7 that the Times admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The Times also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called "brothers" of the hyper-brutal Islamic State.[Truthout -Parry]
Even if these reports were true, the fact is that Russia is waging aggressive war on Ukraine, using proxies, many of whom work for Russian Intelligence or the military. Russia could help settle the conflict but instead has used propaganda similar to that in this article to inflame passions among Russian speaking Ukrainians.
"Leaked" or Propaganda?
The allegations against Nuland were based on leaked information, massaged and spun, and turned from relatively innocent reporting and State Department work into a lurid effort to take over Ukraine by propagandists like Parry and the Russians.
The BBC article has the commentary by Jonathan Marcus about the leaked Transcripts:
"Overall this is a damaging episode between Washington and Moscow. Nobody really emerges with any credit. The US is clearly much more involved in trying to broker a deal in Ukraine than it publicly lets on. There is some embarrassment too for the Americans given the ease with which their communications were hacked. But is the interception and leaking of communications really the way Russia wants to conduct its foreign policy ? Goodness - after Wikileaks, Edward Snowden and the like could the Russian government be joining the radical apostles of open government? I doubt it. Though given some of the comments from Vladimir Putin's adviser on Ukraine Sergei Glazyev - for example his interview with the Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper the other day - you don't need your own listening station to be clear about Russia's intentions. Russia he said "must interfere in Ukraine" and the authorities there should use force against the demonstrators." [BBC leak]
Unfortunately Jonathan Marcus was wrong. The Russians not only leaked damaging information, they waged an info-wars campaign helped by corrupt (kompromat?) Reporters like Parry, lefties and Righties like Infowars. And involved in all this was Sputnik and RT news agents. Some like Cassandra Fairbanks, playing direct role in events on the ground. They had fun from 2015 to the present!
Reality Does not Matter to Propagandists
Parry says that Nuland was some kind of evil genius, but the leaks, as Marcus notes, show that the Administration was trying desperately to negotiate a peaceful resolution to what was a corrupt election and a violent response. The BBC commentary was almost prescient. The Russians pretty much took over wikileaks and are doing diplomacy through hacked communications now. They succeeded in electing Donald Trump. They failed in protecting Ukraine from being torn apart by an agit-propaganda campaign worthy of Stalin's worst.
Allegations of Atrocities Don't excuse Atrocities
Nuland doesn't see it the way Parry does:
" honor the sacrifice of Ukrainian pilot and Rada Deputy Nadiya Savchenko, who was seized in Ukraine in 2014, dragged across the Russian border and unjustly held and tried in Russia. Today, her hunger strike continues as the court in Rostov again delays announcement of its verdict. Nadiya’s struggle is a stark reminder of the severe pressures and violence Ukraine continues to face even as it works to build a stronger, more resilient country for its citizens." [Nuland Testimony]
Nuland is not a Neo-Con
To the cynical, when a country has problems internally, it's none of our business. And if our people champion individuals, that is really just the USA standing up for Oil in the Ground or some other Geo-political game. But Nuland isn't and wasn't a neo-con. We weren't pursuing an anti-Russian policy but an anti tyranny one. But folks like Parry don't get it.
" all across Ukraine, citizens are standing up and sacrificing for the universal values that bind us as a transatlantic community: for sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights, dignity, clean and accountable government, and justice for all. The United States has a profound national interest in Ukraine’s success, and with it, a more democratic, prosperous, stable Europe." [Nuland Testimony]
Projection of Russian De-stabilization Efforts as US Ones
The goal isn't to destabilize Russia again. It's to protect the human rights of people subject to agit-prop and special forces destabilization. Nuland made her case in 2014
"Russia has sought to stymie its democratic rebirth at every turn – with political pressure, economic pressure, and with unprecedented military aggression and violation of international law." [Nuland Testimony]
And because they could get away with it in Ukraine, now they are doing it here.
Real Goal to Elect Trump
Typically for those who preferred the evil genius US Official "neo-con" narrative to the truth, Robert Parry is now defending Donald Trump's Presidency. What I get from this incident is a suspicion that many of our left leaders are "Russian Assets" along with RW Anarchists and now the GOP.
Robert Parry turned out to be a Trump apologist, on February 23, 2017, he accused Obama of being:
"obsessive about secrecy the longer he remained in the White House, treating the American people as objects to be manipulated rather than citizens to be informed."
He may be having Buyer Remorse. He still defends Russia, but he's now being a bit more critical of Trump's foreign policy, especially where it conflicts with Russian Foreign Policy. A genuine journalist reports objective facts, doesn't cage facts backing only their opinions, and doesn't uncritically share unverified information. We don't have enough of those anymore. This article was part of a propaganda attack on the Democratic Party. I only saw this in retrospect. I used to admire people like Robert Parry.
- Robert Parry As Trump Apologist:
- Robert Lakoff
And wanted Trump to declassify "the truth." Trump never did because the truth is as Obama depicted it.
- Other sources:
I'll have a lot more to say as I continue reading and filling in more info.
- https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html images taken 7/13/2017
Manafort Paid by Russians
Image taken 7/13/2017 from page 20