By Brady Stewart, Guest Writer ~ OPINION
It has often been espoused that truth is the first casualty of war, therefore it is critical that we all learn to practice intellectual self defense against propaganda. These six general rules can be universally applied for filtering information, but must be even more dogmatically adhered to when those who consider themselves our leaders start pounding their war drums and rattling their sabers.
1) Avoid binary thinking. Constantly striving for objectivity is absolutely crucial, particularly when censorship impedes your opportunity to hear both sides of an argument. The truth cannot be understood until one is willing to explore the nuance that exists between the polarity of simplistic perspectives. Just because you don’t fully align with your American politicians doesn’t make you pro-Russian any more than disagreeing with a democrat position automatically makes you a republican.
2) Beware confirmation bias. We all hold personal opinions and beliefs of one kind or another. When we seek out information, deeply held convictions guide us toward conclusions that align with our values. In the digital age we even receive search results based on the technology of algorithms which are based on our search history trapping us in “echo chambers” of like minded thinkers. For this reason, it is critical to listen to the arguments of people we disagree with while remaining open to having our mind changed when presented with a superior argument.
3) Don’t fall into the trap of conflating citizens with the regime that rules over them. For example, the reason why economic sanctions are fundamentally immoral as a political tactic is because they punish the civilians for the crimes of their rulers. You are not your government and you have no duty to accept their false premises which they use to manipulate you. Nor are you responsible for their poor decisions and destructive policies.
4) Demand proof before you blindly accept a narrative. Most corporate media outlets as well as social media posts are just parroting a story they have been fed. It is imperative that you accept the responsibility of carrying out due diligence since it is safe to assume that the talking heads have not done any. Pay special attention to phrases like “according to a government official”. This should be recognized instantly as propaganda and dismissed as such until verified by a third party.
5) Always ask yourself who benefits from this narrative. The agenda of news agencies are shaped by their advertisers, producers, and oftentimes the state. (Look up project mockingbird if you are unfamiliar.) Attempt to recognize the bias of the messenger which is influenced by their personal beliefs and opinions. The same scene will inspire wildly different paintings when interpreted through the eyes of different painters. We all recognize the variance in coverage we receive if we switch between FOX and MSNBC.
6) Be especially cautious of bipartisan political consensus. The most destructive agendas like war and debt are usually agreed upon by both sides. Another important fact to recognize on this point is that under the current structure of our economy both sides are usually owned by the same financial players like Blackrock creating the illusion that a choice even exists. (1)
It is so important for everyone to understand that all wars have historically been initiated by lying to the public to garner their support for the atrocities that they otherwise would abhor as immoral and unjust. In the case of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, the allegation that Putin’s military campaign amounts to mere unprovoked aggression is verifiably false.
Following are some facts that are being omitted from the narrative of the American mockingbird media. Their job, in the words of Noam Chomsky, is to manufacture your consent.(2) But again, don’t take my word for it. Confirm my assessment by doing your own research and come to your own conclusions.
In 1990, Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker assured Gorbachev that if Germany was reunited NATO would not expand one inch eastward (beyond Germany). Since that assurance was given, no less than 14 nations between Germany and Russia have been accepted into the NATO alliance. Putin has repeated many times that NATO membership for Ukraine was a “red line” for him that should not be tested. (3) America has backed two coups in Ukraine this century through NGO’s known to be fronts for intelligence operations. The first was the so-called orange revolution of 2004 and, when Ukraine drifted back towards the Russian sphere of influence, they orchestrated the Maidan revolution of 2014.(4)
After the 2014 putsch, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula by a referendum of its residents. The ethnically Russian areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, known as the Donbas region, also declared their independence from Kiev but were not annexed by Russia. The Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015 established a framework for peace which was immediately broken and violent conflict has continued intermittently between the eastern breakaway states of the Donbas and the Ukrainian nationalist forces ever since. In the last eight years before Russia’s recent invasion at least 13,000 people have been killed in the war in Donbas.(5)
The Donbas was under several days of especially intense shelling when Russia decided finally to intervene after years of diplomatic restraint. So why now? One clue would be President Zelensky’s speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 19th telling them he desired to be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. (6) Despite claims that America doesn’t have boots on the ground in their Ukrainian proxy war against Russia, the CIA has been actively training an insurgency group there since at least 2015.
They employed this same strategy in the 1980’s in Afghanistan to train, arm and fund the mujahideen to fight the Soviets. Those insurgents, taught by the CIA how to topple an empire by waging a war of attrition, evolved into America’s own existential threat al Qaeda and were used two decades later to justify numerous wars across the Middle East and an endless gravy train for our military industry. The new insurgency, however, is not composed of Muslim fundamentalists but rather neonazi white supremacists. Groups such as Svoboda, the Azov Battalion, the Right Sector, and the Georgia Legion proudly display nazi symbolism and openly call for the ethnic cleansing of the residents of eastern Ukraine.
Not so coincidentally, our American ruling class now prophetically warns us of the burgeoning threat of white supremacist far right extremism as a pretense to turn their terror war inward on the US citizens. The Department of Homeland Security has been an idle hammer it seems, and so the CIA has built them a nail factory. (7)
In 2019, the Rand Corporation published a strategy paper entitled “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia”. If you are unfamiliar with the Rand Corporation, the concise description is that they are the research and development (RandD) think tank for the Pentagon. In that document, Ukraine is referred to as “Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability.” The Rand plan makes clear that Washington recognizes the risk of direct engagement with Russia by the statement, “any increase in U.S.-provided weapons and military advice to Ukraine would have to be carefully calibrated to increase costs to Russia without provoking a much larger conflict”. (8)
To ensure that critical degree of separation and thus deniability, they rely not on American troops, but rather mercenary armies. International reinforcements from America’s Syrian alQaeda affiliated mercs Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have recently arrived in Ukraine by way of Turkey. (9)
Additionally, America has been providing material support to the corrupt government of Ukraine in the forms of monetary aid and weapons sales for years before Russia’s invasion. Remember Trump’s first impeachment? It was all predicated on the outrage of holding up an arms transfer to Ukraine on the condition that they investigate Biden’s criminal activity in their country. They couldn’t convict him though, because he ended up allowing the weapons sale to proceed.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine is an actor who was elected in 2019 after playing the role of president on a television series for 4 years prior. His cabinet is composed of the executives from his production company. In 2021, he put a political opponent under house arrest and shut down 3 opposition television stations. More recently under cover of martial law which he declared after Russia’s invasion, he has banned 11 opposition political parties and nationalized all television stations in Ukraine into one state run news agency. This is the bastion of democracy and freedom we are implored to support by forking over our increasingly worthless tax dollars to weapons manufacturers and corrupt aid agencies.(10)
Ukraine seems to be a hotbed of illegal activity (sex trafficking, biological weapons, money laundering) used by criminal American politicians and intelligence for years to run their black operations. That is why Hunter Biden was paid $80,000 a month for a seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company for which he had no relevant experience. That company, Burisma, is partially owned by an oligarch named Ihor Kolomoyski who just so happens to own the television station 1+1 that aired Zelensky’s television program “Servant of the People”. He also owns Privatbank which has been the focus of an investigation involving the Bidens for laundering billions of stolen dollars, but there’s probably nothing to see there.
One more interesting tidbit worth noting is that Zelensky owns a $34 million villa in the area of Miami, Florida in the U.S. (11) Finally, what about the supposed madman Putin? His battle plan appears to have been restrained to attacking military targets and allowing civilians corridors to escape arenas of conflict. (12) He has also given citizenship and passports to refugees wishing to escape to Russia. Many of the atrocities plastered across the western press seem likely to be the result of the Ukrainian forces sheltering in civilian structures and using innocents as human shields.
Putin’s stated aim was “the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”. According to the distinguished retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor, Putin has three goals in this conflict which western media refuses to share with you: one, to keep Ukraine unaligned (out of NATO, not reintegrated into Russia); two, a recognition of the autonomy of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics; and three, removal of weapons systems from neighboring NATO countries that threaten Russia with their first strike capability. (13)
Compare the American empire’s invasions of at least seven different countries in the last twenty years. They have destroyed the civilian infrastructure of water sanitation, power plants, and food production. They have reduced schools and hospitals to rubble, and then given no bid contracts to American crony companies to rebuild them. They drone strike weddings with women and children present and then drone strike the funerals of the victims to make sure they eliminate anyone who might seek revenge for the death of a loved one. It’s exactly what you would do if you were intentionally trying to create future generations of new enemies, yet ironically Putin is the war criminal. If that ain’t the wolf calling the poodle a canine. (14)
The standard tactic of politicians and other sophists is to project their own despicable crimes onto their enemies. Biden said Trump was demanding a quid pro quo with Ukraine after he personally threatened to withhold aid from them until the prosecutor who was on his family’s trail was terminated. Fauci tells us the unvaccinated are making people sick. Israel’s government tells us Iran has nuclear weapons. Trudeau tells us that truckers are fascists.
And now of course, we have Zelensky telling us Russia is committing atrocities against civilians. For this reason, we should take them seriously as they show their hand by predicting that Russia plans to use biological warfare and cyberattacks against us. We are told we can’t buy oil from Russia because of Putin’s supposed war crimes in the Ukraine, but it’s perfectly fine for us to buy oil from the Saudis and Emiratis who have spent the last eight years committing genocide in Yemen.
You might not have heard about that war on the news though, regardless of the fact that it has been designated for the last several years as the greatest humanitarian crisis on the planet. Between the combat deaths and the victims of the starvation blockade, the casualties are numbers of magnitude greater than what has happened over the same time period in the Ukraine.
There are three facets of warfare: kinetic, economic and information. Russia continues to win the kinetic war on the ground in Ukraine despite our media’s lies. They have incapacitated military targets, taken control of Mariupol, and effectively encircled and cut off supply lines to Ukraine’s forces in the East. When your army runs out of food, fuel, and ammunition, you lose the war.
Russia has also managed to strengthen their economy in the face of America’s sanctions. Putin has pegged the rouble to gold and demanded all payments for the fuel other countries need in roubles. The rouble is now more valuable than it was before America’s sanctions. (By the way, Putin’s approval rating was recently reported at 83% while Biden’s is the inverse at 38% if such polls can be believed).
On the information war front, America has kicked their propaganda machine into overdrive because they are desperate to hide from you the facts that Russia has all but won this war already. The dollar is dying (so is the euro) and with it goes the unipolar hegemony of the American empire.
Please don’t mistake my condemnation of political and military actors as a condemnation of all the non-combatant citizens of Ukraine. The peaceful civilians are always the victims of wars started by governments and they don’t deserve to have their lives ruined. War is dirty business and no matter which side bears the responsibility of being the aggressor, both sides end up with blood on their hands. War doesn’t decide who’s right, only who’s left. When the dust settles, if we dare to look in the rearview mirror, we always discover we were lied to because that’s the only way we can be convinced to accept the senseless destruction of human life.
There’s an important reason why freedom of the press was included in the first amendment and that was because the proper role of journalism is to expose corruption so it can be judged by the public and dealt with. Unfortunately, our government has trampled the bill of rights and subverted our press. Julian Assange had his life destroyed because he dared to expose the war crimes of the empire. He was imprisoned and tortured as a warning to all other journalists to fall in line with official narrative. The great journalist Mark Twain once said that if you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, and if you do read the newspaper then you are misinformed.
The warmongering politicians and newscasters think you are stupid. Which is ironic if you ever listen to most of them speak. Prove them wrong. Before you put a Ukrainian flag on your social media profile or donate money to a Soros charity, practice a little intellectual self-defense and learn to smell the excrement they’re shoveling your way.
- “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” available on youtube or amazon
- https://countercurrents.org/2018/04/c-i-a-color-revolutions/ , also watch Oliver Stone’s documentary “Ukraine on Fire”
- “Part of the Problem” podcast episode #839 Col. MacGregor interview available on youtube or any podcast app