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Fake news and its significance in US – Russia relations – Part I

President Trump began to break the liberals’ lock on American domestic news, but foreign issue coverage is still controlled by them.

Seraphim Hanisch

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“Fake news” is a rather ubiquitous term that has come to be used in US and international media. This term is mainly attributed to President Donald Trump, in reaction to false media narratives about him and his campaign, and after his election to the Presidency, fake news became the modus operandi by which the media establishments sought to destroy the Trump Presidency by inundating the American populace with information that would serve to discourage them from supporting him.

In terms of domestic policy, the assault has not been able to do its dirty work, as it did with President George W. Bush, for example, who had such a withering press drive that his approval ratings were driven into the high 20% range during his term. Part of that was the Mr. Bush’s steadfast refusal to play dirty, even though the media did at every turn. History has not caught up to this yet, but eventually it probably will note that George W. Bush was the last of the US’ “gentleman Presidents”.

After Bush 43 and his legacy were successfully driven out of office (John McCain and Sarah Palin were especially easy pickings for the rabidly liberal press), they had eight years of “Hope and Change” to praise with President Obama, praising the man to the point where he received a Nobel Peace Prize without actually having done anything. Just because you are who you are, man! seemed to be the message that the segment of the population that issues the news wanted to say.

The newscasting industry leaders thought more and more that the way they saw things was the way everyone else saw them too. Even though the rise of AM-radio based talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and strangely conservative Fox News were attracting a significant listenership and viewership, the mainstream press had the advantage of numbers and “respectability” among the majority of the American populace which really does not care too much about what is going on in the world or in the US government anyway. The advent of the 24-hour news cycle may also have helped numb the media consumers, because the narrative of the news never really changed, though the players in that narrative often did.

However, that narrative has served largely to insulate Americans from finding out what is really going on in the world.

While the narrative was only challenged domestically on talk radio and Fox, the media curtain was pretty impregnable. American citizens were informationally locked in a fishbowl of only getting the news the media thought they deserved. This was actually reinforced by the stubborn belief that the First Amendment’s protection of the free press and freedom of speech would not be trampled on by the government, nor, could they be, because such actions would be detected by the general population if they actually happened.

The narrative wall was almost perfect. Then 2014 happened.

Dissatisfaction with the excessively liberal policies under President Obama had already lost him the House of Representatives in 2010, but Mr. Obama was still getting his way pretty consistently just the same. The resistance appeared to be growing to the “fundamental transformation of America” that turned out to be quite far from what many Americans thought Mr. Obama meant.

The 2014 midterm election placed Republican majorities in both houses of the US Congress, predicated on no particular party-wide platform, but only on the promise made by the winning candidates that they would “stop Obama.” This was not an organized GOP tactic, but every GOP candidate that offered this service to the constituents in his or her area won their race.

But, in 2015, the GOP-majority Congress showed no such change, capitulating to Obama’s agenda over and over again, all the while promising that they were “giving a little here to get more back later.”

Later never came, until June 16, 2015.

On this day, “Later” finally arrived, in the person of one Donald John Trump, a Queens born real estate tycoon whose flamboyant lifestyle was reflected in wild and risky – but successful! – dealmaking for decades. A billionaire, largely self-made, Mr. Trump had been asked for years to run for President, but always deferred, saying he was not the man for such a job.

With his announcement of running, the press was most likely terrified. This man could crack the walls they had built.

And, he did crack them. The fact that his approval ratings have actually been on a steady state or even a slow climb shows this. President Trump fights the fake news press and takes very positive actions that help break the hammerlock the mainstream press has had on American domestic affairs. While some people will never be convinced that this is so, there are many that got wise to the lies of the press and to the professional political class at home and they simply will not have it any more. For them, Mr. Trump is the sole hope at times, and for them, every time he takes a shot at the media narrative, it is like a breath of much needed fresh air.

Fake News took a hit at home. But on foreign affairs it is still very strong.

But what the President has accomplished with domestic politics has not yet been extended to geopolitical realities. Here the Western media, not just the US media, but the European sycophant outlets like Reuters, the London Times, The Daily Mail, CNN International, and many others, all know that in order to maintain the present geopolitical reality, the narrative must be consistent all the way around.

Therefore, the narrative throughout the West about Russia, China and Iran is remarkably consistentRussia, under President Putin, is trying to take over the world again, China already is moving to do the same, and Iran is just a nation of reprobates. The only change recently on the geopolitical stage has been with the status of North Korea, which admittedly was a stereotype largely broken by President Trump’s endlessly derided “tough guy” campaign against Kim Jong-un, which actually succeeded and has brought about quite a different sort of relationship between the two countries, at least for the last year or two.

But the media lock on Russia has been almost impervious. Part of the reason for this is that Russia does not have anything the US wants, but it is a very large and powerful country with its own interests, which is (deliberately) portrayed as a “threat” to the American way of life. Just for existing!

The dangerous thing about this is that the constant rhetoric coming out of the press about Russia is so close to unanimous in its message that Americans and Westerners believe it. In a sense, they have little choice in the matter. Alternative media outlets like The Duran and Russia Today (RT) are categorized by the West as purveyors of fake news. Some, such as USA Really, are even blocked by Western censors, such as Facebook, although the content on all three of these networks is actually ideologically quite free, with people writing from all points of all ideological spectra.

This reveals a characteristic of Western censorship that differs from that of countries that have “State-run news media”, such as Russia. The US Constitution forbids a state-run media, guaranteeing freedom of the press as a protection against government tyranny.

But this guarantee is not enough to ensure a free press!

In the next part of this series we will examine the problem with Fake News and US – Russian relations more closely.

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fred
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fred

Russia does not have anything the US wants
except gas oil gold titanium the same things they were stealing back under Yeltsin and of course farmland

Dave Patterson
Guest

geezus, ‘gentleman president’ – who willingly lied ‘us’ into the Iraq massacre and played ‘front man’ (the idiot puppet) for establishing the ‘you’re with us or against us’ so-called ‘war on terror’ – very disturbing to see Duran participating in the rewriting of history concerning this evil POS

Isabella
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Isabella

Quite apart from his collusion in the 9/11 narrative and the horrific ‘PATRIOT’ Act

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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