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Just what is propaganda?

The word propaganda is being thrown about so much lately that it has lost its meaning, which was quite broad and relatively benign anyway. Here is a look at how there’s a little bit of propaganda in just about everything.

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It seems that propaganda has got a bad rap lately, thanks to many people on multiple sides of various debates, totally misunderstanding both the word and the nature of propaganda.

The word propaganda derives from the Latin propagare which is synonymous with the modern understanding of the words propagate, disseminate or promulgate.

In the late-modern period, the word came to mean any set of materials whether written, oral, visual or audio, which enthusiastically promulgate various ideas in favour of a specific cause or causes. Whilst this definition is harmless, in colloquial speech, propaganda has taken on the added meaning of referring to materials that are categorically one sided. Again, this is a fairly harmless definition.

When one goes to a church, Marxists or for that matter Hinduism isn’t given a right of reply or ‘equal time’. One goes into a Christian church and the sermon is about Christianity. Sometimes I wonder if those calling everything under the sun ‘propaganda’ realise that the Pope is a Catholic.

For those still confused about the various ways one can disseminate ideas, here’s a helpful list for the unenlightened:

–Academic Writing

Academic Writing generally employs scientific or near-scientific methodology to analyse a generally large set of facts (although there are errors and imperfections even in these facts). The facts are used to bolster or propagate the initial hypothesis. In many instances, academic writers are encouraged to explore a counter-hypothesis in order to better test the rigour of the initially postulated aim of the publication.

–Political analysis

Political analysis is what many people engage in every day. They view the facts to the best of their abilities and analyse what it all means. This analyses can be informed by one, some or all of the following: one’s personal background, one’s political stance, one’s schooling, one’s faith, one’s nationality, one’s race, one’s mood.

All of this should be taken into account when reading political analysis.

–Opinion pieces

This one really does what it says on the tin. It’s a piece of someone’s opinion. Well written opinion pieces site many facts, others site few. Opinion pieces vary in pugnaciousness depending on the strength of one’s opinion. A highly strong and critical opinion piece can be called a polemic.

–Reportage  

A reportage piece is a news item that disseminates information about an event. One can produce a piece of war reportage (The English army had just won the war), sport reportage (the England football team just lost the match), or reportage about local events, (just after the England football team lost the match, supporters became violent and started a war in which the army had to intervene and ultimately won).

–Art

Art is as worthy a propagator of information as anything. It is amongst the most emotionally driven means of disseminating information, but also one of the most effective and easily grasped. Think of how Tchaikovsky’s Grand Overture uses music to depict the Russian victory over invading Napoleonic forces in 1812.

Picasso’s Guernica depicts the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. The American painter Robert Motherwell also painted works as meditations on the Spanish Civil War. Boris Alexandrov’s song The Sacred War remains popular amongst Russians who commemorate the sacrifices of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War.

–Encyclopedic information

Encyclopedic information conveys dates, facts and figures on a wide variety of subjects ranging from historical events, biographies, philosophical movements to scientific terminology and more. Whilst good encyclopedic sources generally have the least opinion of any of the aforementioned means of propagating information, even encyclopedic writing is imbued with certain perspectives.

The way one characterises an individual or political movement for example, can vary from source to source depending on the interpretation and proclivities of the author.

This list shows that there are elements of propaganda in all forms of information dissemination. One is always propagating something other than the cold hard facts and even the cold hard facts often are open to interpretations which are inevitably coloured by opinion.

Propaganda should not be understood as a moral concept. There is no such thing as good propaganda or bad propaganda other than in terms of style. The more important moral imperative should be employed in criticising the cause or movement which is supported by the propagation of information and opinions.

Those who propagate in the service of war are, in my OPINION, doing something immoral. Those who propagate in the service of peace are, in my OPINION doing something both moral and necessary.

Facts, when they can be mutually agreed upon by opposing forces, are sacred, but comment is ideally free. When the Washington Post labels virtually all contemporary media outlets who disagree with its own editorial line as ‘propaganda’, it really is quite farcical.

The Washington Post is using the very methods of the most insidious kind of propaganda to try and stop others from propagating their divergent points of view. I think there ought to be an open market place of ideas where people challenge the ideas themselves rather than the character or those propagating the ideas.

The Washington Post moreover is engaged in something far less sophisticated than any kind of propagation of information, they are engaged in a commercial exercise in order to sell newspapers and advertising space on their website.

I should think that if the editors of the Washington Post composed an overture or produced a painting used to criticise sources of information like The Duran, RT, Infowars and the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, it would be a much better use of their time and resources.

In this spirit, I dedicate the following informational poem to the Washington Post.

An Ode to WaPo
by Adam Garrie

I used to read the Washington Post
To see which liberal cause I admired most
But instead I made a sizable donation
To the decent folk at the Clinton Foundation.
They said in doing so I could author my own legislation.

I told them I oppose terrorism and support the Syrian Regime
That on droning Julian Assange, I was not keen
Suddenly they said that I was working for the Russia State
I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t that be great’.

Far better than working for Saudi and Qatar,
That would be a bridge to far.
But when presidential candidates are by Wahhabist regimes bought and sold
Their talk of human rights is worth its weight in fool’s gold.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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