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Anatomy of American Propaganda – all it takes is a name

The American public is so well insulated from receiving effective and honest news about anything Russia that they believe whatever the media wants them to believe

Seraphim Hanisch

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Please do not misunderstand. My personal regard for Fox News is actually the highest among American mainstream media outlets. To their great credit, they have been very fair to candidate and now President Donald Trump, and they usually demonstrate a good level of proficiency in outlining the news from a conservative point of view, as long as it is regarding domestic policy.

But when it comes to reporting on the rest of the world, it’s a crapshoot. And, further, if they report on Russia, or President Vladimir Putin in particular, this venerable network either caves to, or actually believes, a very incorrect set of rhetoric, and the American people easily buy into it, all through the use of a very simple tool. Before I explain more, let’s have a read at this piece about the upcoming Russian Presidential Election to take place Sunday, March 18th. This is obviously about candidate / President Putin, and for brevity’s sake I have removed what I considered to be not strictly needed to make my own point. However, please feel free to follow this link to read the whole piece. It will help check my own angle for inappropriate bias:

The upcoming Russian presidential elections are critical to President Vladimir Putin. It seems odd to say that when their outcome is not in question (spoiler alert: Putin will win).  But even so, they matter a lot—and thus should matter a lot to us too. 

The scale of his victory, the number and demographics of Russians who vote, and how rigged the results are perceived to be, are all vital to Putin’s continued stability and power. For one thing, Putin needs broad electoral support either to change the rules so he can remain in power indefinitely or secure another way to exist safely at the end of his term. He will not be able to run for president again in 2024 under the current constitution of the Russian Federation..

Of course, Russians have no real choice in this election anyway, as the Kremlin has prevented viable opposition candidates from participating. But just winning isn’t enough for Putin. He must obtain the same level of popular support he had in the last election, if not more. A diminished margin in his inevitable victory or the perception that he has had to cheat badly to put up a good front could undermine his control.

By “viable candidates” the author of this piece is referring to Alexey Navalny. Mr. Navalny was ruled ineligible to run for President because of felony convictions he has. This is a cause that he disputes, but it should also be noted that this activist and lawyer ran for the office of Mayor of Moscow as well, and lost, getting 27% of the vote to Sergey Sobyanin’s 51%. It should further be noted that Mr. Sobyanin, while a Putin pick, is that way for a reason – he is an incredible administrator. Moscow has been undergoing modernization and revitalization in amazing ways, and it is extremely obvious that effective leadership is in action here. (I live in Moscow, so I see everything that happens here.)

But back to our piece:

Another issue is the mass psychology of his strongman rule. Most Russians think most Russians support Putin. His own apparatus supports him in part because it believes that the Russian population broadly supports him. Putin cannot allow that belief to be undermined. 

Surprisingly, Putin also cares about the perceived legitimacy of the elections. Democracy remains central to Putin’s stated political self-definition, and core to his ideology despite the ongoing propaganda campaign against the failures of Western democracies. 

The irony is that most Russians would likely choose Putin anyway, despite recognizing the regime’s policy failures and limitations on their civil liberties. 

Many perceive Putin as a guarantor of Russia’s economic stability and national pride. The majority of Russians remember the horrific 1990s—a period of brutal poverty, weak government, social degradation, and political uncertainty.

There are no expressed limitations on civil liberties that I have ever specifically heard detailed while here in Russia. Freedom of speech is a very valued right here, and I hear plenty of cynicism but no talk of “he’s oppressing us!!” whatsoever.

Historically, Russians have often been willing to surrender civil liberties if doing so ensures that they will not return to instability. This phenomenon is common in many post-dictatorial states when failing economic policies push their populations back toward authoritarian regimes.

This is a pure piece of propaganda that succeeds with Americans who only remember the Soviet Union’s shadow of oppression under Communism. Most American people have no idea what the country is like now, and they would be surprised to learn that there is no issue with anything our writer has said just above.

Putin also intensifies and then fills the need for the assertion of Russian national identity. His propaganda machine plays up Russia’s humiliations of the 1990s and its historical greatness. Putin provides a source of national pride, especially to older generations, through military adventures that “eradicate terrorism” in Syria and Ukraine, fight “Western hypocrisy,” and strengthen Russian military forces.

This is, in my estimation, a mixture of truth and falsehood. What is certainly true is the assertion of Russian national identity is very strong. In contrast to the “America is guilty” rhetoric of the Obama years, and in comparison to the time of great national pride in the US that existed through the 1970’s and into the 1980’s, national pride is a unifying and galvanizing force in Russia, and it is quite an honest phenomenon. To see this country rebuilding itself with such quiet determination and success is really amazing. As for the matters regarding Syria, Russia is following international law, right or wrong, Syria called for their aid. The Americans are there illegally. The Syrians never wanted them, and the American alliance with al-Qaeda affiliated groups is one of the most amazing examples of hypocrisy in American history. Anyone who lived through 9/11 would be outraged to know this.

Many Russians view Ukraine, for example, as chaotic and sliding back into 1990s-era poverty for no clear benefit. Nearly two decades of propaganda narratives about U.S. failures of democracy in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan also feed this perception.

Ukraine HAS slid back into poverty. The country’s money is almost worthless. Even the BBC notes the severity of the situation. And although this report dates from 2014, recent personal reports about life there do not show much progress… unless you are a politician where you are corrupt and go on lavish trips or build palaces for yourself (both sides played equally badly in this one, and it has not stopped.)

Many young people in Russia do not remember the 1990s and are not sold on Putin’s “stability and pride” pitch. The overall economic situation, while not as dire as the ‘90s, is on a negative trajectory.

Totally and completely incorrect. Sorry, this is not my opinion. It is the assessment of the World Bank. The Russian economy is growing and it is quite stable. Inflation has been brought to only about 4.5%, to begin with…

Moreover, international sanctions, hiked again after Russian meddling in U.S. elections, target Putin’s innermost circle of supporters and are having negative economic effects on foreign investment. Consequently, a significant number of Russians question whether the high economic and human toll of Putin’s foreign adventures is justified.

And again the tiresome election meddling story. This Florida lady says the best response I have seen to that old story:

So there is the bulk of the piece. So, what sells so many Americans on the veracity of this writer’s opinion?

Her name.

Nataliya Bugayova. Good Slavic name, therefore she is an expert on Russia. This is not very rational, though, considering the rest of the data about her, given by Fox News:

Nataliya Bugayova is Development Director at the Washington D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War, where she studies Russia’s global impact. She was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Kyiv Post and served in the government of Ukraine following the democratic revolution of 2014.

So, our writer is associated with Washington DC, and served on a Kyivan newspaper in Ukraine, AS WELL as the government of Ukraine following the EuroMaidan. She has a bias.

Now, there is nothing wrong with her writing a piece where she can express what she wishes. And to Fox News’ credit, it IS termed an “opinion” piece. But there is certainly no evident piece in support of Mr. Putin, or that gives a view of Russia that is from inside the country, and is supported by multiple discussions about life with many people who are citizens.

An ideally intellectually honest American media outlet ought to have such a side taken. Fox News used to have a great moniker: “We report. You decide.”

But here, the network does not live up to that, and it is a shame.

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

The Duran

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

RT

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By

Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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